QuiltCon 2017 :: Emanuel AME & Quilts for Pulse

Today's post wouldn't even be here without a sad fact of our times.  Both of these special exhibits were inspired by the outcome of two terrible mass shootings.  As quilters I believe it's our duty to bring love, healing and comfort to those who need it.  It's why so many of us make quilts for our communities.  When overwhelming tragedies happen you'll find many of us joining hands across the miles to create quilts for people we will never even meet.  It's enough to know that our talents can be useful this way.

The Emanuel AME Church quilt exhibit was pretty amazing to see.  This is a project that was started by the Charleston MQG after the tragic shootings at the church there.  In June 2015 they put out a call for signed blocks to be made into quilts.  They hoped to receive 500 blocks, but actually got over 3000 from all 50 states and 19 countries.  A total of 7 quilts were made (6 large and 1 small).  I myself sent in a block, but although I looked high and low I didn't find it (too many to look at!).  These quilts send a beautiful message of love and healing and I'm glad to be part of it.  In a perfect finishing touch, the lyrics to Amazing Grace and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot are quilted into these.

The Quilts for Pulse exhibit didn't include the actual quilts, but was a wonderful construction that included photos of the quilts (over 1700 quilts were made) and a compilation of just how much time and material that took.  The Pulse nightclub shooting was such a huge tragedy. The original call out came in June 2016 by the Orlando MQG.  They wanted to give quilts to all the family members and first responders who were involved including police officers, nurses, and doctors.  Extras were donated locally.  People from all 50 states and around the world sent in finished quilts as well as quilt blocks.  Hearts and rainbows were the theme.  If you do a Google search for Quilts for Pulse you can find many images of the quilts.

The exhibit was created with cardboard walls into a small room with signs and hanging fabric as you'll see below.  The last photo shows their estimation on time and materials.  Pretty amazing!  I also donated a quilt to this cause, but couldn't find mine in the photos.  

Although the reason these two exhibits existed was the saddest there could be, I'm glad to see how quilters respond to such tragedy.  I love that our community is filled with big-hearted people who take the time to help others.  

PS:  To answer Maria's question from the last post, I believe that the traditional method of Siddi quilt construction is all surface design, but I don't know if that holds true today.  As far as I could tell they were created that way, but perhaps a piecing construction might work its way in eventually with future information sharing.