Upon entering the main lobby at Valley Hospital, one’s eyes are automatically drawn to the bright and commanding presence of a 14’ x 8’ wall hanging created by quilter Lois DeGiulio.
“I wanted to visibly demonstrate my appreciation, admiration and respect for the first responders of 1 October while honoring the victims and their families,” she explained.
Over the course of 11 months, she developed the concept, met with Valley Hospital administration to share her vision and identify the right location, travelled to find the right fabric, cut and pieced together over 1,200 fabric pieces, spent three months sewing and quilting, and handed it over for professional matting, framing and site installation. It was delivered to the hospital in time for a special remembrance ceremony on October 1, 2018.
“I wanted to create a feeling of the expanse and power of the Las Vegas skyline,” said Lois. “I chose bright colors for the buildings to create a sense of positivity, showing the brightness after the darkness. The sky is a deep, dark blue filled with twinkling stars to indicate a positive future and acknowledge the many human ‘stars’ responsible for the recovery of the people and Las Vegas. Scattered throughout the night sky are 58 quilted hearts in honor of victims.”
Quilters might recognize Lois’s use of the French Braid technique, which she chose to represent the intertwining of Las Vegas residents, visitors, business and organizations who came together to help one another in the minutes, hours, days and weeks following the shooting.
Entitled “Above and Beyond,” the quilt’s meaning is featured on a plaque adjacent to the framed piece:
Our heroes who gave of themselves tirelessly on that night and for so many days and weeks…their efforts went so far above and beyond
The lives lost…their souls rose above the Las Vegas sky
Their families and loved ones…their hearts rose above the Las Vegas sky
“This is truly a masterpiece,” said Claude Wise, CEO of Valley Hospital. “Lois’s quilt serves as a memorial to everyone who was affected by the tragedy, and I’m thankful she chose Valley Hospital for this gift.”
Added Tina Sprague, Administration, “To see the quilt in person is breathtaking. As the focal point of our main lobby, you can take time to understand the thought process and incredible detail of Lois’s vision. It’s a stunning gift to our community, and a true honor to have it in our hospital.”