Monday, July 25, 2016

Thank You Blue

Ever since our son was little, when we saw a first responder on the road or responding to a call, we would take a moment to prayer for the situation: that the first responder would know just what to do, that he or she would be safe, that the offender would accept responsibility for their choices, that victims would full recover, that families would find peace.

This has been a hard summer for our first responders, particularly our law enforcement officers. Our son is only seven, yet we have had many conversations about how, in general, police officers are helpers. If he is in trouble, if he ever gets separated from us, he is to either find woman with children, or a police office to ask for help. (We direct him to the mom first because people can impersonate police officers. They are less likely to pretend to be a mom of young kids or fun aunt). Our city puts on Safety City for incoming kindergartners where they meet first responders from the community and learn how to be safe and ask for help. I want my son to trust the people called to serve and help.

Increasingly though, we are seeing more examples of people in helping professions cause harm. Police officers are not alone in this. We hear about teachers, pastors, doctors and others abusing those who believe they are safe with them due to their job title. We tell our son that some police officers make bad choice, but not all of them, and not enough you should show respect to someone in uniform or expect that they will be more helpful than not. We don't pull our son out of school because a few teachers take advantage of their student's innocence. We don't skip church because some pastors betray the trust of those they are called to shepherd. We don't avoid the doctor because sometimes doctors harm when they are meant to heal.

One of our family rules is that we choose to define others by their best moments, not their worst. We choose to do the same thing with those in the helping professions. We think it's important to support the vast majority of first responders who do their difficult jobs well, who risk their lives in ways we don't know or understand, all for our benefit and safety.

As we kicked off 2016, I wrote that instead of focusing on a word, I choose a phrase, "Do what you can, where you can, when you can." As a parent, it means we have looked for ways to serve those around us. As a quilter and sewist, I have looked for opportunity to comfort, celebrate, and support others through my craft.

Last week, D and I decided that our local sheriff's office needed some donuts. I made him a special shirt and he made a card. We pooled our money and had our local Dunkin Donuts make some special donuts for our men and women in blue. 

I recently made a quilt as part of Quilts For Pulse. I am proud to be a quilter, part of a community that is incredibly generous as a whole. It was very encouraging to see people from around the world send in the heart blocks and quilts to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild to be distributed to victims' families, survivors, and first responders who helped on the night o the Pulse shooting. 

And now the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild has put out a call for blue heart blocks for the families of the fallen officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. I hate that we continue to have these needs, but I am happy to take a little time send my love in fabric form.

The call is for blue hearts with a white background. I started off with a 10.5" unfinished block using this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew.

But I wanted to do something reminiscent of the blue line used to show support for law enforcement officers.Since my heart was blue, I reversed the colors.

First I cut my block .75" from the bottom of the small HSTs, and .75" above the large HSTs. 

I cut strips of black fabric 10.5" x 2.75". 

I attached the top and bottom to get a blue heart with black stripe. 

Our neighbor is a police officer and was kind enough to give me some patches attach to the first four blocks I made. 

I thought I was done, but then I remembered I had some dark navy blue fabric that is nearly black and just had to make four more that more closely looked like the traditional blue line colors. 

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