Healing Quilts in Medicine

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


Healing Cancer Quilts for Women's Resource Center Auburn University

Click to enlarge quilt images.


Words of Love by Annabel Ebersole
My friend, Jean, and I were in water aerobics class and I had asked about her encouraging words that sustained her through 2 surgeries, with the third soon to come. We came up with love, hope and trust . Then later she jogged over and said " Belief in Miracles" and still later " Courage and Faith". These words of Love are strong and will give hope to all of us at times of need. Jean is back in the pool!!

Survivor Tribute: Arlene Ebersole (Mother-in-law), 1988, Colon Cancer


Purple Meadow Rue by Vivian Milholen
Walking through the peaceful woods, I discovered a meadow with Purple Meadow Rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum) in bloom. This beautiful plant is used in the production of anticancer drugs. It is my hope that this quilt conveys a sense of peace and hope for the viewer.

Survivor Tribute: Della Milholen (Mother-in-law), 2001, Skin Cancer


Pick Your Poison II by Barbara Hollinger
As numerous as the species of Poison Dart Frogs that produce them, amino acids chained together into bioactive peptides are being studied as agents of healing. Possible treatments for cancer, infection, heart disease and stroke might come from these bright jewels of the rain forest.

Survivor Tribute: Janet Ball, 1985, Breast Cancer


Helenium Autumnale by Mary Lois Davis
Helenium autumnale, commonly known as Sneezeweed, has been explored by scientists since the 1800's for its medicinal purposes. Recently the National Cancer Institute identified components in this plant as having significant anti-tumor characteristics. Knowing that scientists are continuing daily their search for a cure gives me hope and the possibility that plants such as this beautiful flower might contribute to that solution is every exciting and uplifting.

Survivor Tribute: Kay Lettau, 2010, Breast Cancer


Look for the Silver Lining by Carole Nicholas
I enjoy playing with crossword puzzles and Sudoku to fill the hours when I travel, sit on the beach in the summer or waiting in doctors' offices. The words and numbers provide endless entertainment and mental stimulation. My quilt incorporates encouraging words and sayings, so that you the viewer will be challenged and cheered.

Survivor information: Bonnie Campbell, Co-Founder Y-Me Washington DC Chapter, 1984, Breast Cancer


Feverfew by Lisa Ellis
The feverfew plant has long been known for its medicinal properties. Now, it is showing promise in fighting leukemia. I chose this plant because it conjures up happy memories of childhood daisy picking and creating sweet bouquets for my mom. My hope is that it creates a smile for those going through the tough days of waiting, tests, and treatments.

Survivor Tribute: Francesca Adler-Baeder, December 2009, Breast Cancer


Breathe, Pray, Love by Sandi Goldman
Breathe, Pray, Love are some of the words that can encourage healing. A strong support system can help cancer patients and families through out the process of dealing with this disease that affect millions of people through out the world. I chose the beautiful flower of "Ipomoea batatas", Sweet Potato that has been used in clinical trials for cancer and other diseases.

Survivor Tribute: Carol Odenwaldt, 1975, Kidney Cancer. Has survived with one kidney for 36 years!


Joyous Garden by Judy Busby
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) is a source of etoposide used against small-cell lung cancer, testicular cancer, lymphomas and leukemia. Also a source of teniposide, it is used to fight brain tumors and neuroblastoma. My mother and I loved gardening together. I remember our laughter as we watched the dancing bumblebees and rejoiced in the heady fragrances that wafted around us. A joyous garden is a miracle with beauty that is precious and uplifts your heart!

Survivor Tribute: Kathy Jones, 2008, Breast Cancer


Three Periwinkles by Bunnie Jordan
I hope this quilt brings the viewer some measure of enjoyment as well as inspiration from the words printed and stitched in the background: love, faith and courage. The Rosy Periwinkle plant is used to develop the chemotherapeutic agent, Vincristine. This drug was one of several used to successfully treat my son's cancer and I hope it inspires trust that sources of treatment continue to be researched and developed.

Survivor Tribute: Brad Jordan, 1998 (age 16), Stage 4-Hodgkin's Lymphoma


Garlic for Life by Paula Golden
Garlic flavors my life with its delicious smells and taste. Its potential in fighting cancer, boosting the immune response and antioxidant properties, Allium sativum, is always planted in my garden in October for harvest in June.

Survivor Tribute: Ginny Marshall, 2005, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Jennifer Marshall, 1996, Leukemia

Group Quilt

Tourmaline II by Carole Nicholas
Among the many exotic marine species featured in my seascape there are a number of the sea slug Elysia rufescens which looks like a garden slug in desert camouflage, with twin ruffles down its back. Can you find them? Kahalalide F is an anti-tumor agent isolated from these underwater slugs which has been in clinical trials in Europe.

Survivor information: Bonnie Campbell, Co-Founder Y-Me Washington DC Chapter, 1984, Breast Cancer


Harmony by Christine Adams
This piece was created using men's ties and tells its story using Morse Code. One of the lawyers who gave me his ties told me "in retirement he hoped to never wear another tie." Any square that has a triangle in it has no code. The squares with circles and squares on them stand for a letter of Morse Code. The square shapes are dashes and the circles are dots. I am sending you the message "Wishing you peace and harmony."

Survivor Tribute: Jill Schulmann, 1989, Breast Cancer