Healing Quilts in Medicine

Art Quilts Making a Difference in the Lives of Patients and their Families

 


Judy House created the vision for the Healing Quilts in Medicine project. She was battling breast and ovarian cancer at the time she started this ambitious project. We lost this very special woman on July 28, 2005. The following is her obituary as it appeared in the Washington Post on August 14, 2005.

HOUSE, JUDITH A., Quilt Artist (Age 65)

On July 28, 2005 JUDITH A. HOUSE, a well-known quilt artist, died in her home under hospice care after a nine-year battle with breast and ovarian cancer. Judith began quilting in 1986 and eventually taught and lectured on art quilting. Her work was recognized at local and nationwide quilt shows. When she died, she was leading a group of contemporary quilters who are creating quilts for donation to a local area hospital. Her husband, three children and seven grandchildren survive her. The family plans to celebrate her life at a reception at the Army Navy Country Club on September 16 from 12 Noon to 2 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Dress is business casual. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society or Capital Hospice, PO Box 1576, Merrifield, VA 22116-1576. Her ashes will be interred in October at Saint Dunstan's Episcopal Church located in Carmel Valley, CA.

Here are Judy's inspiring words:

A dear friend of mine who lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer said, "Cancer equals WAITING". You are either waiting for doctors appointments, tests, results of those tests, treatments, and results of treatments. This is stressful time for the patient, their family members and friends. I would therefore like to provide them with something pleasant to look at and reflect on during those often-difficult moments.

In 2005, before Judy died, she organized a group of 37 art quilters to make art quilts based on the plants and animals used in chemotherapies. These quilts now hang in the oncology areas of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. You can view images of these quilts by going to the Walter Reed Quilt Gallery.

Since the Walter Reed project, a group of quilters from the Washington D.C. metro area have continued Judy's legacy and are involved in several healing quilt projects. We call ourselves Fiber Artists @ Loose Ends. We have been working with the Gifts of Art at the University of Michigan and the Society for the Arts in Healthcare to bring healing quilts to new venues. Our latest projects include cancer quilts for Auburn University, the National Institutes of Health and Inova Fair Oaks Hospital.