Quilt of Hope Fact Sheet

Quilt making is a unique art form, and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a unique institution. The two come together in the St. Jude Quilt of Hope Project.

A quilt is a work of art that also provides warmth and comfort. Pieces of diverse materials are woven together by the loving stitches of caring individuals. As quilt makers assemble pieces they create a sense of community. The pieces come together in a tapestry that weaves an extraordinary tale.

The St. Jude Quilt of Hope tells the story of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Every stitch represents the meticulous, yet loving care given to each patient. Each piece of material represents the people who make up the St. Jude family—the patients, parents, doctors, nurses, employees, volunteers and donors. Every person who contributed a square to this memorable quilt has added a small chapter to the St. Jude story. The quilt is a lasting remembrance to the elements that make up St. Jude—hope against seemingly insurmountable odds, dreams in the midst of darkness, courage in the face of hardship and diligence and innovation that transform into miracles.

Each square lays bare a person’s soul, depicting feelings of gratitude, sorrow, faith or utter glee. Begun in 1999, the tapestry tells the tale of unwavering determination displayed each day by the St. Jude staff, patients, volunteers and donors who share the goal of ridding the world of childhood cancer and other catastrophic diseases. People around the world took part in the project, mailing pieces from as far away as Switzerland and New Zealand. One year after its inception, a sew-a-thon, sponsored by Hancock Fabrics, was held to sew the patches into 4 ½-foot panels. About two dozen volunteers spent more than 36 hours completing the job. Today, 50 panels are showcased on a rotating basis in a permanent display in the hospital.