When I sat down to write the quilt guild’s meeting recap for June, I had all kinds of bells and whistles proclaiming loudly that QuiltCon (our biggest gathering) registration is just around the corner. That was before.
That was before people lost their lives in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. That was before a gunman became a soundbite for political candidates or the issues of gun control came to the forefront once again. I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about love and goodness. I want to talk about reaching out to a city reeling and letting them know that we are there for them.
When quilters create, they channel love, pride, hope and protection into every stitch. We endow our work with all of the emotions that we have for the recipients, hoping that the fragile cotton will magically provide shelter from every danger. Our hands cannot always be there to stroke the hair of a crying child, or embrace a sick friend – so we give of ourselves, our creativity and our blessings imbuing the threads of our quilts. Orlando needs us. They need an arm around their shoulders. They need that touch that says, I am here. They need to know that we condemn the actions that led to so much loss. They need to hear that love wins. My quilt guild is currently collecting blocks to make a quilt that will be shared with a survivor, the family of a lost loved one or with one of the many first responders. Any additional quilts will be shared with the community.
My daughter has repeatedly declined to begin quilting. Sewing even doll clothes holds no interest for her. When she saw me gathering the fabric and patterns for the blocks I intend to make, she silently sat. I had no idea what she thought. We discussed the shooting at dinner and I thought that perhaps she was mulling it over in her mind. The second time I asked her if she wanted to sew, though, she looked directly at me and said she wanted to help.
The world is a scary place for me right now. My children will be out and about in this crazy place and I will not always be there to protect them. For today, I accept that this small gesture is waht I can do. I can teach tolerance and thoughtfulness. I can stitch together cotton hearts while I stitch together, in my daughter, some kind of awareness of her fellow man and their struggle.
If you want to contribute, please see this message from the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild.