I do, however, have to offer a clarification. I did not “meticulously embroider” the letters onto fabric. I printed them out from the computer. I don’t know how to embroider, either by hand or machine. What Ysabelle was referring to when I had to shut off my machine was when I was machine piecing the blocks.
To create the Victims Quilts, I first research the victims of each shooting, which is often the hardest part of the project. With the most recent shootings, the major media organizations have included photos of each victim, along with a paragraph of detail about each one. By the time I have finished reading those and copying the names into a file, I’m usually crying too much to do anything more that day. Already at this stage of the project, the victims have become more than a list of names to me.
After gathering the names of the victims, I print them out onto fabric sheets, using my home printer and a product called EQ Printables. Once I have the names on fabric, I sew them into 8″ blocks designed based on the state flag for the location of the shooting. Because of that choice, the quilts are all in patriotic shades of red, white and blue.
I then sew the blocks together into strips of up to 15 blocks long. For shootings with more than 15 victims, I add strips, making the quilts for the largest shootings 4 blocks wide by 14 blocks long. Each banner then gets batting and a backing and I quilt each block in either red or black thread. As a final step, I add a black binding around all four sides of the quilt. I will soon begin this process again for the shooting in Virginia Beach on Friday.