Weight Watchers & 911

It’s been a while.

I’ve successfully finished training and gotten certified as a 911 desk operator at the Orlando Police Department. It’s a huge accomplishment for me and I’m very proud.

I’m also Stressed. As. Hell. And tired. Exhausted, really.

With finishing training comes required overtime, and it’s definitely going to be an adjustment for me. That is for sure. But I’ll be ok… I hope. I’m looking forward to bigger paychecks so that we can finally start to maybe get a head a little on finances instead of living paycheck to paycheck. Ryan has been looking for a job for a couple of months now and we’re hoping his search will soon be successful so we can bump up our income even more… we have goals, damn it! We want a house and a puppy and we want to get those things the financially responsible way!!!

In other news, I joined Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago. Finally. I’ve been trying to get my weight under control for a while now but it just kind of leveled out at a weight that is not comfortable. I’m tired all the time and clothes aren’t comfortable and I don’t want to be this size, so I joined Weight Watchers — the only thing that has ever worked in helping me lose weight. I’m already down about 4 pounds, which goes to show how wonderful Weight Watchers is.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of this year pans out. Hopefully I can settle into a routine soon and gain back some sense of peace and normalcy. I think that would be great for my mental health! I’m on the midnight shift this month, and then next month I switch over to the evening shift, which will be my regular shift for the next six months — so hopefully that will help me get back in control of my life. I’m kind of tired of doing nothing but sleeping and working.

That’s all for now. I’ve got about 11 more hours to go on this shift and then I get to go home and sleep! I’m excited. To sleep. What a life.

A Favorite from QuiltCon

I wasn’t able to go to QuiltCon this past February (though I am enjoying every minute of 911 training, I was pretty heartbroken when I had to send that email cancelling my class registration!), but I have seen plenty of the amazing quilts that were there.

Ever since I saw Chawne Kimber‘s “The One for Eric” last year, quilts with a connection to actual issues (especially social justice) in the world have become near and dear to my heart.

Naturally, this quilt, a message to believe the survivors of sexual assault, stood out to me as I scrolled through all of the incredible quilts displayed at QuiltCon. I am so grateful for the incredible artists in this community taking the time to create quilts that can not only capture the eye, but get people talking about things that really matter.

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Quilts for Pulse Distribution Has Begun!

Pulse quilts delivered for victims of Pulse nightclub shooting

On this day: October 28 Distracted driving blamed for rise in traffic deaths, injuries Lake County man catches massive gator in St.

The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild has begun distributing quilts to the recipients and as expected, it’s been an emotional, beautiful experience! We have over 1800 quilts to give away, with donations coming from all 50 states and all over the world. So proud of our guild!

Summer of #QuiltsForPulse

As the summer draws to a close (though you couldn’t tell, with this obscene Florida heat), I’ve been reflecting on #QuiltsForPulse a lot. The beginning of summer, for those of us in Orlando as well as many people around the world, was marked by an event so tragic, it made history. I have gone through so many emotions and found myself in tears over this more times than I bear to count.

Quilt top that I pieced with donated heart blocks.

Orlando has been fighting to come together, pick up the pieces, and heal.

As avid crafters, the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild here found healing through quilts, and the joy it brings to create quilts for someone who might really need some comfort. When our president announced the #QuiltsForPulse project, we were hoping we could get 102 quilts together — just enough for the victims’ loved ones and the survivors to each get one quilt. To us, it sounded like a huge undertaking. 102 quilts in just a few months!? We were crazy for even considering it! But we were more than happy to take on this project, and we called on the online quilting community to help. 102 quilts? Yeah, it’s a lot of work… but maybe a few people on Instagram would be willing to help. A block here, some batting there, and we could make up the difference.

And then the mail started coming in. And generous companies began donating fabric, batting, labels — you name it, we had it covered.

We still had to make quilts, though. We thought, cool, maybe we can expand to also giving quilts to the doctors who treated patients from Pulse that night.

A quilt that I bound after it had been pieced and quilted by someone else

The numbers just continued growing, the quilts kept piling up, and our list of recipients now covers everyone involved that night — from the victims and survivors, to the police officers, paramedics, fire fighters, 911 operators and dispatchers, doctors, nurses…We are even looking into giving a quilt to our mayor, Buddy Dyer, whose response to this tragedy has been absolutely wonderful. Our list is up to 853 quilt recipients. And we have a quilt for each and every one of them.

In fact, we have more than enough. Our quilt count is up to about 1000 I believe, and we still have piles of blocks and supplies to be used.

One of the quilts donated by the OCSO Communications Center

Just this past week, a call-taker from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center brought in two quilts, signed by all of the 911 employees, to donate to our quilt drive. This communications center received the overflow of calls from Pulse that night.

Words cannot express the gratitude I have to my guild for organizing this, the online community for their donations, or for anyone who helped at all. I am humbled to have been able to participate in this project.

It’s hard to live in Orlando without constantly being reminded of Pulse. My heart breaks over and over for everyone involved: the victims, the survivors, the paramedics, the police, the hospital staff, the 911 operators and dispatchers, the officers tasked with removing the bodies while surrounded by the sound of cell phones ringing off the hook — families and friends trying to get in touched with their loved ones. I am absolutely in awe at the way our community has come together to heal, and I am honored and comforted to be able to work on these quilts, knowing that they will be given to everyone involved very soon. I bound this quilt today. Others were responsible for designing, piecing, and quilting. We are looking at over 1000 quilts to give away in response to the tragedy at Pulse in June. People from all over the world have donated and my incredible guild has worked tirelessly to organize and finish this massive project. I am so so humbled to be involved. @orlandomqg @themqg #QuiltsForPulse #quilt #quilting #modernquiltguild #orlandomqg

A photo posted by Alexis Brandenburger (@burgab0o) on

Appalachian’s Log

Yesterday morning, I dropped Ryan and his best friend, Christian, off at the airport to fly to their starting point for their trek on the Appalachian Trail. They flew into DC and got to walk around and see a few sights before hopping on a train to Harper’s Ferry!

They’re about to go on the adventure of a lifetime and hike 2200 miles in five months. It’s going to be awesome.

To document this incredible experience, Ryan started a super awesome blog and I totally encourage you all to check it out. He’s only been gone for one day, but his photo map already has some really cool pictures and I can’t wait to hear more about his experience on the trail. Go check it out!

#QuiltsForPulse in the Orlando Sentinel

Today, the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild had a sew day at the Dr. Phillips library. It was a full house and the Orlando Sentinel was there to document our efforts to wrap our community in love and support with our beautiful rainbow quilts! Check out the video below to get a glimpse into the sew day and hear from one of our members about our goal!

Orlando quilt guild is making rainbow-heart quilts for Pulse survivors

Orlando Modern Quilt Guild gathered at the Southwest Branch Library on Saturday, June 18, 2016, to begin a project to cover those affected by the Pulse shooting with quilts made from rainbow hearts and love.


As you’ve probably heard, there was a terrible shooting at Pulse nightclub here in Orlando last weekend that took the lives of 49 people and injured 53 others. I’m still trying to figure out my own reaction to it – I’m heartbroken, I’m traumatized, I’m angry, and I’ve been processing a lot of emotions over the past week. I’ve been keeping busy doing what I can to reach out and help those who have been affected. I’m filled with hope and warmth as I look out and see several hour waits at blood banks, trucks full of water and juice and food being unloaded at places like The Center and the Zebra Coalition for anyone who needs it, and our community coming together to help each other get through it. Orlando is a weird, hot, sometimes annoying, beautiful, diverse, and loving city and it breaks my heart that something like this has happened here.


The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild has set a goal to give quilts to the victims’ families, the survivors, and the first responders to the scene. It’s a huge undertaking, and we’ve already got so much support from all over! Major companies are donating supplies, quilters are sharing patterns on their blogs, and #QuiltsForPulse is taking over Instagram. We can use all of the help we can get, so if you’d like more information, please check out our website to see how you can contribute!


Below you can find links to free patterns, tutorials, collection sites, and other resources to help you get involved in the #QuiltsForPulse movement. You can also find some supplies (most of which I’ll probably be using!) on Amazon that are easily available if you don’t feel like trolling through a fabric store for the perfect fabric for a few hours (but why wouldn’t you want that?!). This list will be updated as more information becomes available!

The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild – official post with details about our quilt drive

The Modern Quilt Guild – here is the MQG’s main post with information and sign-up forms for our quilt drive

Collection Sites & Sew Days

Gotham Quilts, NYC – a collection site for quilts, patterns, charity sew day on July 24


CluckCluckSew – heart block pattern/tutorial

Life According to Sydney – video tutorial for making the heart block

Don’t Call Me Betsy – foundation paper piecing heart block

Happy Zombie – love quilt pattern

Threaded Quilting – modern heart block pattern

Rebecca Mae Designs – love wins quilt

Sotak Handmade – pixelated heart block/pillow

What The Bobbin – love wins heart block pattern

Sew Mama Sew – love wins hearts block pattern

Crimson Tate – scrappy heart block pattern

Hunter’s Design Studio – paper pieced heart

rainbow stripes tutorial for heart block
rainbow stripes tutorial for heart block

Supplies (these are NOT required to get involved – just suggestions if you want something quick and easy)

Quilter’s Candy Color Wheel Fat Quarter Sampler

Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton White Charm Pack

Simply Colorful Moda Charm Pack

Colorful Fabric Jelly Rolls — great for making binding!

I seriously cannot say enough about how much it means to me and our whole guild that so many people are reaching out and getting involved in the #QuiltsForPulse movement. We’ve had major companies offer supplies and we’ve had tiny guilds send pictures of all the blocks they made at a sew day together. Your support truly means the world to me, and to the guild as well. Thank you so much — now go get quilting!