COVID Memorial Quilt: Studio City teen hopes tribute helps bring healing to those who have lost loved ones

STUDIO CITY, Calif. (KABC) -- A 13-year-old Studio City girl has created a COVID Memorial Quilt to remember the victims who have died from the virus.

It is reminiscent of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

The teen, Madeleine Fugate, hopes it helps bring healing to so many hurting people.

Each stitch has a purpose. Each square honors a victim of COVID-19.

"This was for a grandmother who loved to travel," Madeleine Fugate explained, pointing to one section of the quilt, "so they made this square of an atlas for her."

"It started as a school project" last spring, Madeleine said, "and now it's to help people heal."

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Madeleine said there's a constant reminder, daily totals of the number of people dying from the virus.

"I feel like we're forgetting those numbers are still people -- people who existed, who had lives, had jobs, had friends and families," Madeleine said.

She said the inspiration came from her mother, Katherine.

"We want to spread hope and healing," Katherine Fugate said. "The AIDS Memorial Quilt did that for me."

Thirty years ago, Katherine worked on the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt to honor victims of the disease.

"There is a synchronicity," Katherine said. "It's another pandemic. It's all over the world. It's painful deaths, it's people often feeling alone and not feeling recognized."

The Fugates say they've received squares from across the U.S. and around the world to add to the COVID Memorial Quilt.

Each of the quilt's squares measures 8 inches by 8 inches -- the number 8 being the symbol of infinity and a constant flow of energy, Madeleine said.

She continues to accept quilt squares. She said for those who don't sew, she just needs information about who a loved one wants to recognize and she will make the square for them.

She said she hopes to see the quilt displayed in city halls, hospitals and wherever healing needs to take place.
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