I was heartbroken when I read the first reports of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Senseless violence is impossible for me to understand, and that it so often is rooted in hate and fear makes it that much more unfathomable. When I saw that the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild was calling for quilts for the survivors, victims, and first responders, I felt compelled to contribute a quilt. I wanted to make sure that someone touched by this despicable act knew that they were loved and appreciated and cared for. I always feel better when I can do something productive in a situation I have little to no control over and making a quilt felt like a step in the right direction.
I basically learned to paper piece making this quilt. I combined two of the suggested blocks the Orlando MQG had posted and made them in three shades of the 8 original colors of the pride flag. I used a combination of low volume prints for the backgrounds of the blocks.
I pieced the back together with leftover fabric from the top. Matt helped me lay it out and baste the beast.
This is the largest quilt I’ve made to date. Quilting it was a little challenging, but I learned a lot doing it. For example: quilts are heavy, and I should have twice as much support around the back of my sewing machine than I need. If my seams are a little too small, they may pop and will need to be repaired mid quilt – I had to appliqué a piece of low volume fabric over a popped seam at one point. The low volume is pretty busy so it’s hard to see from the front, but you can see the zig zag stitches on the back of the quilt.
I got a lovely note from the Orlando MQG telling me that my quilt went to a victim. I felt really honored that I got to make something that may give a little piece of comfort to someone who’d had such a traumatic experience.
The Orlando MQG had a beautiful set up at QuiltCon in Savannah with all the quilts that they received. It was really beautiful to see the outpouring of love in the photographs of all the quilts – I believe quilts were received from all 50 states and 33 countries. Hearing that brought back a little of my faith in humanity.
Matt and I spend a lot of time in Orlando. We love to ride roller coasters and spend time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. We went for brunch during our last visit and this mural made me really happy to be from Florida.