Very early on June 12, 49 people died and 52 more were injured in a dance club in Orlando at the hands of a crazy man. 

Soon after, quilters all over the world started making blocks to send to the Orlando Modern Quilt guild. I made a few, and realized quickly that I wanted to make 49. 

So I got to work. 

I quickly found them very addictive to make. And the scrappy background fabrics I already had cut to the right size because of leftovers from other projects. 

They also go together very fast. 

As quilters have been working on their #quiltsforpulse there have been a lot of relevant things being posted online. This one resonated with me and kept me making more hearts. 

In just a few days, I had all 49. 

Then I wondered what 49 geese flying around a heart would look like, so I built this in Adobe Illustrator. I need to get the design finished and up for free on my Craftsy page if people should want to make one. 

Here is my completed quilt top. I layered and quilted it quickly so that it might be one of the first finished quilts to arrive in Orlando. 

The leftover pieces from the larger triangles in each heart were made into half-square triangles for me to use in another project later. For now they just make me happy on my design wall. 

I free-motioned my favorite flower filler pattern all over the quilt and bound it in a text print. 

And I even managed to win the game of Thread Chicken and finish quilting it before my thread ran out. That usually doesn’t happen!

Friday and Ella tested it immediately and approved. 

Rev. Paul Pradat at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Huntsville blessed it on Sunday, June 26, and many parishioners touched it and expressed their love for the Orlando community. 

I washed and dried the quilt, took fence photos of it, and shipped it to Orlando on Wednesday, June 29. 

While I cannot begin to understand the losses and injuries that were sustained that terrible night, with quilters around the world I hope that we can unite in our love for each other and all people with whom we share this world. The many colors and background fabrics in the quilt symbolize to me how diversity and acceptance and working together cohesively provide depth and richness to our lives that we wouldn’t get to experience if we all believed and lived exactly the same way. 

I may not always agree with everyone I encounter, but I’m glad you’re here in this world. 

As I say to my girls, 

Be strong. Be brave. And above all, be kind. Always be kind.