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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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!