Global Quilt wants to help an organization set up a panelmaking workshop in your community.  Workshops give people an opportunity to come together and share common experiences in a safe environment, and make an AIDS Memorial Quilt for someone who has died from AIDS.  Here are some guidelines to consider.

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• Preparation In Getting Started
• Workshop Needs

The desire to make an AIDS Memorial Quilt panel begins with the lose of someone to AIDS. Panels can be made for a  friend, family member, partner, colleague, or someone students learned about at school.  They can be created by an individual, family unit, or by a group from a school, church, civic organization, or business.  The idea of bringing people together and share the positive memories can be a healing process for some, while an educational and awareness experience for others.
There is no timeframe when a panel should be completed, each panelmaker should be allowed to go through their own emotional and/or psychological timeframe.  Some panelmakers decide to create a panel soon after losing someone while other might take months or years.
Coordinator & Team
When a group or team of individuals are interested in opening a workshop, it is best that someone takes the responsibility as the coordinator.  The coordinator needs to have the skills to inspire, organize, promote, and facilitate the workshops, as well as be capable to act as a counselor to assist those who might need support through their grief as they create their panel.
While there are individuals who are capable of all the skills necessary to run a workshop, having a team to share the responsibilities (logistics, supplies, promoting, etc) can offer participants and your workshop with increased support.  A team can offer different personalities for participants to relate to, have expertise in specific needs for the workshop, and sharing the responsibilities in running a successful workshop.
If you are an individual or family, a workshop can take place at your home and move to different homes over the course of making the panel.  If you are a group from a church, school, or business, Global Quilt suggests that you approach your own organization to donate space for your workshop.  If you do not have an existing space, we encourage you to approach a church or organization in your community.  Wherever you hold your workshop, remember to respect the wishes of the venue with regards to setup, cleanup, or other logistical details they might require.
The most important thing to remember is to have a venue that is a safe environment for potential participants.  Individuals attending your workshop are going through the grief of losing someone, so remember that special attention might be necessary to make participants feel comfortable.
Advertising & Schedule
It is essential to get the word out to those you wish to attend your workshop.  Choosing to meet monthly is appropriate to begin with and allows panelmakers to work on their own in-between workshops.  Then based on need or if a special event (World AIDS Day, International Candlelight Vigil, Quilt display, etc.) gets closer, workshops can be increased to bi-monthly or weekly.  Once you come up with a schedule, it is important that it is printed with dates and times so people can plan ahead.
Publicity provides an opportunity to notify your community that there are individuals and/or organizations who care about those dealing with HIV/AIDS.  Global Quilt encourages workshops to notify local HIV/AIDS agencies, local civic groups, community newspapers to promote your workshop in community calendar, upcoming news sections, and bulletin boards.  If your group is working with other AIDS or health-related organizations, they might allow you to use their mailing lists to invite their clients and staff to attend.

Global Quilt encourage individuals who are attending a panelmaking workshop bring their own fabrics, pictures, and other personal mementos (such as a deceased persons’ t-shirt, caps, pins, etc).  Workshop teams should ask for donations for used or unwanted fabric, notions, sewing machine supplies, (see listing below) in printed promotions and advertising for the workshops, or asking directly to local community individuals, fabric stores, or other companies that have supplies you could use.  Students, churches, and organizations can go to local fabric stores with a letter on school letterhead asking for donations for their workshop.
If you are an organization with a bulletin board, program, or newsletter, putting a “wish list” of supplies can help find necessary supplies.  It can also advertise your event at the same time.
There is a list of some key supplies individuals or workshops need to come prepared with:


-Cotton or muslin fabric 3ft by 6ft, with 1-2" extra for hem and sewing
-“Theme” fabrics with scenes, animals, flowers, etc., 
-Felt to cut out letters, objects, etc.


-Buttons, ric rak, lace, feathers, piping, beads
-Embroidery, crotchet supplies


-Fabric glue, Fabric glue gun
-Scissors and tape measurers
-Straight and safety pins, thread
-Person effects, t-shirts, caps, pins
-Picture of person (best to transfer picture to cotton fabric, then sew on Quilt)


-Fabric (water-based) markers (Sharpies is one brand)
-Fabric paint and brushes
-2-3" letter stencils to cut out letters

Global Quilt realizes that many countries do not have all the necessary supplies to make a panel to remember someone who has died from AIDS.  In association with Global Quilt’s partner, International AIDS Prevention Initiative (“IAPI”), IAPIs “Threads of Hope” program which created “kits” with basic supplies to make a panel, is available to developing countries (based on supply,  availability, and access to a country).  Kits are currently being put together by US-based organizations involved with the Community Service Project portion of the program.

For more information about “Threads Of Hope” Community Service Project, click here to learn more.

Click here for complete instructions on How To Make A Panel in multiple languages.
When working with your venue, see what equipment they can provide.  Be mindful that there could be a cost or rental fee, and see if you can get a donation from your venue.  It is most important that you provide a sewing machine and someone capable to help with all your workshop and participant sewing needs.  And check with the venue you are using to see if they have amble tables and chairs for participants to use to layout their panels while creating them.
Food and Transport
In some communities and countries, it is essential that workshops provide food and beverage for individuals coming.  And if a workshop is in areas that participants don’t have cars and need to rely on public transport or taxis, you might need to budget for the cost to transport them to and from your event.
For additional assistance, please contact Global Quilt at