Make a Memory, Quilt for Hope and Support

Sometimes fiber art is for art's sake: the joy of creating with color and texture. Sometimes, though, we imbue our artwork with meaning: memory quilts to honor a loved one's passing, journal quilts that recall specialand ordinarydays, story quilts that tell the world how you feel about an issue.

Prayer flag for my
friend Barb.

I have made several memory quilts over the years. But the tale of the prayer flag I made about a year ago for my Sisters in Cloth friend, Barb, who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, is more uplifting.

 Prayer flag detail.

I wanted this flag to reflect Barb, who demonstrated strength, positive energy, and thankfulness that her diagnosis was swift, her tumor was tiny and contained, and that her treatment would be bearable. Her resilience in the face of adversity has been admirable, and a lesson to all around her.

Don't we all have Sisters, though, who have been diagnosed with this terrible disease? My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, best friend, blood sister, and many others in my near-and-dear circle have all battled breast cancer. And at some point, haven't we all wished we could do something about it?

I was reminded of this particular prayer flag when I got a sneak peek of the September/October 2012 issue of our sister publication, Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.

Not only is this issue packed with fantastic examples of assemblage made from lightbulbs, found objects, and even store-bought vintage-esque items, the magazine is also supporting, remembering, and celebrating National Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Artists Give Back artwork by (clockwise from top
left): Grace Mahoney, Kim Henkel, Paula Guhin,
and Nikki Smith.

In this very special issue, the Cloth Paper Scissors team is helping to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.® (NBCF). More than 30 artists2012 contributors to Cloth Paper Scissors and Cloth Paper Scissors Studios magazines along with instructors from our 2012 CREATE Art Retreatshave donated works of art to help the cause.

Beginning later this month, you can join the fight against breast cancer by purchasing one of these original works of art from Cloth Paper Scissors's special Etsy store "Artists Give Back" at

To learn more about this collaboration (and mixed-media art techniques), be sure to get this special issue of Cloth Paper Scissors. Now would be a perfect time to subscribe!

By the way, my friend Barb is doing fine. A sure sign, to me, that prayer flags work.

P.S. How have you used fiber art to support or memorialize a loved one? Leave your comment below, and include a link to an image of the artwork, if you have one.


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5 thoughts on “Make a Memory, Quilt for Hope and Support

  1. The memory flag you created for your friend is so special and meaningful. There is something heartfelt about creating memories with cloth, thread and buttons. I recently created a memory quilt for my cousin to celebrate her mother . My aunt died several years ago of a brain tumor. My cousin only had a few pictures of her. She was a remarkable woman. She was Japanese and created beautiful Japanese dolls. She made everything for the dolls right down to the kimono’s. I thought a kimono shaped quilt would reflect her spirit. I will post the pic over in the sharing forum. Thank you again for your lovely post and for sharing your beautiful prayer flag! Tamara B.

  2. Thank you for your prayer flag idea. I will make one the next time I want to give such a gift.
    In the immediate weeks after 9/11, I, along with many others, made a healing quilt to be given to a child who had lost a parent in the tragedy. As I sewed each stitch, I said the word “love” to myself, over and over and over, until it was done.
    It is my hope that that quilt still holds healing energy for the child, now well grown, who received it.
    Carol S

  3. I made a Good Wishes quilt for my 82 yr. old mom a few months ago as she began her chemo treatments for colon cancer. We asked friends and family to send good wishes, and cards to fill the pockets. She was very touched by this gift. Here she is with it at a family picnic.

    Presently she has undergone 5 of the 12 chemo treatments and is doing remarkably well.

  4. After my mother died in a car accident, we made a quilt for my father in memory of her. Everyone in the family, grandchildren included, made a block. My sister put it together for us. It became one of my father’s prized possessions as we honored our mother’s legacy.

  5. Every Tuesday, the teams from Quilting Arts , Cloth Paper Scissors , and Stitch magazines gather in the common area of our office space for show and tell. Each week, we ooh and aah over projects big and small-from handmade quilts to encaustic experiments