Project to help Pulse victims reaches international quilting community

Local group overwhelmed with international support

DeLAND, Fla. – Enter Alissa Lapinsky's DeLand home and you are quickly greeted with the sounds of laughter, the buzz of sewing machines and piles and piles of fabric.

Lapinsky, president of the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild, has turned her home into what can only be described as a quilting factory. She and a small group of members are hard at work trying to complete a monumental task. 

Following the Pulse shooting in downtown Orlando, she put out a call on social media for fabric and supplies. It was all part of the "Quilts for Pulse Project." Her plan was for the guild to assemble 102 quilts to give to victims of the shooting and their families. 

"I just felt like something needed to be done," she says. "As a quilt guild, we can give love by giving quilts."

She immediately began planning a quilt drive. 

"I posted on the guild Instagram," she says. "I went to sleep, woke up in the morning and nine hours later I had messages from Australia, messages from Canada, from the UK."

"It's overwhelming," she says as she looks at a stack of over 100 quilts folded and cataloged, ready to be given away.  Quilts and fabric have taken over a spare bedroom, living room and dinning room.

Most are made in a pattern of hearts. An easy template of "blocks"she says anyone can make and send in. She's also received completed quilts, many with beautiful custom designs.

Lapinsky says it takes a minimum of 10 hours to complete one quilt.  

To date, the guild has received over 1300 finished quilts and materials to make another 400. They came from twenty three countries and every state. Lapinsky says that's enough for everyone involved, first responders, hospital workers and family members to receive a Pulse inspired quilt.

She says she hopes to hand out the remaining quilts to the last few agencies and individuals in the coming weeks.    

About the Author:

Paul is a Florida native who graduated from the University of Central Florida. As a multimedia journalist, Paul enjoys profiling the people and places that make Central Florida unique.