A couple of months ago we told you a little bit about the #quiltsforpulse project that the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild masterminded to help bring some much needed love, support and comfort to all those affected by the June 12th Orlando Pulse massacre. My 11-year-old daughter, Sydney, took the challenge seriously and went from creating a couple of blocks to wanting to sew an entire quilt top. I supported her fully, not knowing if she would give up halfway through and I'd have to jump in and finish it for her.
Well, lo and behold, she surprised us all and actually completed a 20-block quilt top with borders and all! She even filmed a YouTube video documenting her process and trying to encourage other kids to do the same.
After the top was finished, we put out a call for help on Facebook and Instagram. We asked the community if anyone out there would be willing to quilt & bind this for us if we provided all the materials necessary and covered shipping both ways (provided the quilter was out of town). Because the sewing/quilting community is AMAZING, we had several offers, but the first offer that came through was from the awesome Melissa Kirk of @tensionissues. Within a couple of days I had cut the binding strips and Syd and I had packaged the whole kit and shipped it off to her in Sterling, IL. Melissa quilt and bound it in record time and shipped it back to us for final photography before it went down to Orlando.
In the meantime, while the quilt was en route back to us, we got contacted by our local newspaper, The Pantagraph. They wanted to do a story on Sydney and the quilt and they said it would appear in the front page of Friday's paper. The email came on Wednesday, and the quilt was not due back until Thursday (the day after). The reporter agreed to come by and interview Sydney sans quilt, while the photographer would come on Thursday afternoon and photograph the quilt after it arrived.
The interview went off without a hitch and the reporter left to write up her story, not before leaving me the photographer's cell number with explicit instructions to call her as soon as the quilt arrived. I went back to my computer and refreshed the tracking screen about a hundred times. Each time, it said it had arrived at our sorting facility and would be delivered that day (Thursday, August 11). Except for the one time I refreshed and all of a sudden it said it would be delivered on Friday, August 12. I literally screamed! I called the Post Office 5 times with no answer... not even a way to leave a message. I printed the tracking screen, grabbed Sydney and drove as fast as I legally could to the Post Office. The first time I showed the lady at the Claims & Inquiries office my paper, she said there was nothing she could do because the package wasn't physically there... it was at a sorting facility elsewhere that is not open to the public. Tears welled up in both mine and Syd's eyes and I tried to explain to her as calmly as I possibly could why it was so important that we got the package TODAY and not TOMORROW.
She somehow took pity on us and called the sorting facility. The woman who answered the phone didn't even ask for the tracking number, which worried me greatly. She just asked for my zip code and told me my package was on the truck and would be delivered TODAY. I went home reluctantly, and Syd and I proceeded to wait for hours for the truck to show up. Outside... in the heat... because we didn't wait to chance missing it! It was the longest and most excruciating 3.5 hours of our lives!
I called everyone I knew for comfort and just as I was getting ready to hop back in the car and go beg at the P.O. again, the truck showed up with our quilt. I almost fainted in my own driveway. I gathered myself enough to call the photographer, who said she'd be there in 20 minutes. She must've had all her gear packed in her car already with one foot out the door, because she did show up in 20 minutes and did the shoot in record time.
The story came out the next day and it was as fantastic as I could've ever wished. My little girl grazed the front page of The Pantagraph and we are all so proud of her!! Here is the story, if you'd like to read about it.
I did manage to take a few photos of my own before sending the quilt off to Orlando...
We both hope this quilt brings joy to someone who needs it. That whoever gets it knows that it was made by a child who barely understands why anyone could do something so hateful and desperately wanted to do something wonderful to counteract the horror of the situation.
#lovewins #loveislove #weloveorlando