Meet Timothy Johnson
This story is a feature story on a fantastic gentleman that became a member of my Facebook group Cross Stitch Club Originals sometime early last year. This story tells about a man who had a vision to reach out using the art of cross stitch to provide peace and comfort to those suffering from a great tragedy. Read on to see how you can help him achieve this great vision and help him bring peace with his cross stitch charity project.
His name is Timothy Johnson and he is from the Sunshine state we all know as Florida. He is one of the most upbeat and happy go lucky people I have had the pleasure of meeting. I asked him to write me a little bio about himself and you will find that below the picture.
This is Tim.
About Me by Timothy Johnson
I started Stitching at the age of 14 after I was hospitalized from an accident. The nurse was always stitching and one day I said to her, “Would you show me how to do this?” She agreed and the very first piece ever went to my mom (which is a horse’s head and still hangs in the nursing home today).
Thirty-one years later, the mission of stitching for the wall of the nursing home has changed into stitching to help heal hearts.
My first charity donation went to Sandy Hook Elementary, which consisted of 27 pieces. Since then, my eyes have opened to more donations to do my small part in helping. With Rainbows For Peace and Comfort, my personal goal is 123, of which 104 are complete.
Being a flight attendant for almost 20 years is a great way to show the world our wonderful skills and talents. It is a blessing to show the beauty of what cross stitching is and can become again as we reinvent what and how we stitch.
Using our imaginative minds to create is a blessing. It allows us to find the balance in life so we can keep the kindness and love flowing towards one another.
All the support during this past year and a half has made me even more of a passionate stitcher. Thank you all…Hugs Timothy
Tim: The Inspirer of Good Cheer
Not long after I met Tim, he signed up to help with my Ronald McDonald House Project (if you have not heard about this project yet, please feel free to read about it here and if you can help, I would greatly appreciate it!). He stitched two of the designs and delivered them to 2 of the Florida RMH’s.
Since I met Tim, he has made me laugh so many times with his antics and his stories of his escapades of flying all over God’s creation. If I ever need a smile put on my face, I just hop on over to his Facebook page and I am guaranteed there will be something there that will brighten my day! This world definitely needs more Tims in it! LOL
Here are a couple pictures to show you what I mean. Who wouldn’t want to smile at these pictures? I mean come on, he’s funny! LOL
One of the comments on this photo on his facebook page was how funny it would be to see a video of him getting up and back down from there! LOL
And then there is this one. I bet he is a hoot to go shopping with, ya think?
And then there are the pics he shares on his journeys across the skies like these:
Just simply amazing and beautiful, aren’t they?
One last picture before I get into really why I have chosen to do a feature story on Tim. Here is a picture displaying the bag I made for him that was gifted to him by his friend Kyla (his partner in crime…errr, I mean..well..you’ll see in a few minutes who Kyla is as I get on with the story).
Seeing this posted on his Facebook page made my day brighter for sure..I love it when I see people enjoy my crafty creations. Please be sure to check out my Crafty Creations page here if you have not already. There is lots of good stuff and I am always trying to think of something new to make our stitching even more fun!
Rainbows for Peace and Comfort
Ok, so here is the REAL story! I am sure you all recall the horrific tragedy that happened on June 12th, 2016 at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, FL. Forty-nine people were killed and 53 others wounded in this senseless act of hate against gays. In Timothy’s words, “49 angels went to heaven that day”.
The next morning after learning of this tragedy, Timothy’s mind went into overdrive and he thought, “We need to do something to help these families that lost their loved ones, the survivors as well as the first responders.”
He knew that a memorial and tribute of this size was going to take an army of angels and stitchers from around the world. Sharing an art as beautiful as what cross stitch is has the ability to aid in the healing of those that need the support and need to know that others do care.
He went to work on looking for designs and colors to begin putting together his vision of bring comfort and peace. He then contacted his good friend Kyla. Kyla had started a similar project for the tragedy of the Sandy Hook Massacre so Tim knew that Kyla would be the best person to help get this up and running.
And the Project Began
With much deliberation, Timothy came up with the colors of black and white to be used for the fabric. The floss colors were those that matched the color of the rainbow with this being his reason for that, “The rainbow is the Bridge To Heaven to me. When a terrible storm passes we always look to the heavens for that rainbow, for that moment of calm and peace and to know the worst is over. ”
Kyla created a Facebook group called Rainbows for Peace and Comfort (please feel free to join this awesome group and help their cause!)
The first square that Timothy stitched was this rainbow butterfly by Climbing Goats Design.
Edward Sotomayor Jr was the first name to be stitched on this design in memory of his passing. As more people became aware of the project and jumped on board to help, this design ended up selling out.
Timothy reached out to the store owner on Etsy that was selling this pattern and explained the project and how they were using her beautiful pattern. She was very touched and graciously made more copies available immediately.
Tim reached out to other cross stitch companies such as DMC, Design Works, Weeks Dye Works, and many more Etsy store owners and shared the pictures and information of where their design will be heading. These companies were very touched by Tim’s story and were more than willing to donate patterns to contribute to this worthy cause.
Here are just a few out of MANY designs that have been done by members from around the globe to honor these victims, survivors and first responders.
Many designs are custom creations from the imagination of these creative stitchers. Timothy himself has come up with so many brilliant and creative designs (around 70 or so designs have come from his imagination).
So here is the breakdown of how many stitches will be done and how they will be used. There were 49 lost, 53 survived, and 21 first responders and city department who have supported the families all the way during this healing process. A total of 123 quilts are being put together, each with 9 stitched designs on them.
This equals the need for 1107 stitched squares. So far, Tim has received 875 works of art, 105 of which have been completed by him. Another member, Gwenda, has completed 188 (simply amazing..just a stitching machine! LOL).
What started off as one person’s vision has now become a group of 775 members all supporting love and peace. They have all come together to show how the world can be changed one stitch at a time!
After all 1107 stitched pieces have been delivered to Tim and the quilting phase begins, this chapter for the Pulse project will come to a close. Tim and his group of stitching angels will then be turning their focus on starting a new chapter to help the families and first responders of the Las Vegas shooting that took place in October of 2017.
So as you can see, cross stitching for many is much more than just stitching for fun. The beauty of this art can be used to bring cheer and heal hearts. I hope I have been able to inspire you to want to come join this army of stitching angels.
If so, then please go to the Rainbows for Peace and Love group now and request to join (you can also go to the group by clicking on the image below). But if not, then I hope I have at least given you a different perspective on an art that many say is “a dying art”.
In closing, I do ask one favor of you all. If you have enjoyed this story, please share it with everyone you know. You never know, it may be the one thing that helps brighten someone else’s day. It may give them a much needed hope, to see there is still so much good in this world.
And last but not least, it may inspire someone that wants a hobby to pick up a needle and start stitching! I mean really, what else allows you to stab something 10,000 times without being arrested? LOL
Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below. We would love to hear them!