How To Make A Panel
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Each panel is meant to be a personal memorial to someone who has
died of AIDS. Many panels are made privately by individuals remembering
a person they loved, but we hope you will follow the traditions
of old-fashion quilting bees and include friends, family and co-workers.
You may make your panel at home, office, school or at our chapter's
quilting bees where people gather to make panels in a supportive
The memorial panels that make up the Quilt have been made by all
sorts of people, in all kinds of colors, fabrics and styles. You
do not have to be a professional artist to create a moving personal
tribute. It doesn't matter if you use spray paint or fine needle
work - any remembrance is appropriate.
To create a panel just follow these 6 steps:
1. Design the panel
Include the name of your friend or loved one and please limit
each memorial panel to one individual. Feel free to include other
information, such as the dates of birth and death and a hometown.
2. Choose your materials
Because the Quilt is folded and unfolded many times, durability
is crucial. A medium weight, non-stretch fabric such as cotton
works best. Your design can be vertical or horizontal, but the
finished panel must be 3 feet by 6 feet (90 cm x 180cm) and avoid
putting anything at the extreme edges of the panel. When you cut
the fabric, leave an extra 1-2 inches on each side for a hem.
Batting or backing is not necessary but not discouraged.
You might want to consider the following techniques when constructing
Appliqué: sew fabric letters and small mementos onto background fabric.
Don't rely on glue - it won't last.
Paint: brush on fabric or textile paint or color fast dye, or use permanent
(indelible) marking pens. Don't use "puff" paints that come in
a tube because it is too sticky and will come off.
Stencil: trace your design onto the fabric with a pencil, lift the stencil,
then use a brush to apply textile paint or indelible markers.
Collage: whatever materials you add to the panel, make sure they won't
tear the fabric (avoid glass, sequins and sharp metal for this
reason) and please avoid very bulky objects.
Photos: the best way to include photos or letters is to photocopy them
onto iron-on transfers, iron them onto 100% cotton fabric and
sew that fabric to the panel. You may also put the photo in clear
plastic vinyl (available at most fabric stores). When you sew
them onto the panel, do not place them in the center where constant
folding and unfolding is likely to damage them. You might also
consider silk screening the image onto fabric and stitching that
to the panel.
When your panel is finished, hem it to be exactly 3'x6'. If you
can't hem it yourself, The NAMES Project will do it for you.
4. Archive Information
Please take the time to write a one or two page letter about the
person you've remembered. Include your relationship to the person,
how he or she would like to be remembered and maybe a favorite
memory. If you can, enclose a photograph for The NAMES Project
archives with the letter.
5. Panelmaker Information
Please make sure you include the following information (or complete
a Primary Panelmaker Information Card): your name, address and
phone number (and others who may have helped make the panel),
cities in which the panel should be displayed, your relationship
to the person for whom you've made the panel, and the person's
full name if it isn't included on the panel itself.
If you can, please make a financial contribution to help pay for
the cost of adding your panel to the Quilt. The NAMES Project
depends on the support of panelmakers to help preserve the Quilt
and keep it on display. Checks should be made payable to: The
You may present your panel locally to our Chapter at our panelmaking
workshops, dedication ceremony or general meeting or mail to:
The NAMES Project NYC
75 Varick St., Suite 1404
New York, NY 10013-1917
All materials submitted become the sole property of The NAMES
Project Foundation and cannot be returned or reclaimed by the
sender. The NAMES Project retains all copyrights on materials