AFSP Lifekeeper Memory Quilts are collaborative tributes created by survivors of suicide loss that are publicly displayed at local and national events in order to put a human face on the tragedy of suicide and the devastating toll it has taken on our families and communities.
Each quilt is comprised of fabric squares that have been crafted by different survivors with photos, drawings, text, or embroidery in memory of loved ones who have taken their lives. The creation of quilts is locally organized by volunteers who sign up to serve as AFSP Lifekeeper Memory Quilt Organizers. This grassroots activity provides a meaningful and creative outlet for survivors, and as each square of the quilt is lovingly stitched together with others, we are reminded that no survivor stands alone—there are thousands of others who also feel the pain and loneliness of losing a loved one to suicide.
Each time an AFSP Lifekeeper Memory Quilt is displayed, it helps increase public awareness of suicide and removes a little more of the stigma that is unfortunately still associated with this issue.
Share your story and honor the memory of your loved one by crafting a quilt square for an AFSP Lifekeeper Memory Quilt. It's easy to do—no sewing skills are needed.
Click here to contact the Memory Quilt Organizer nearest you.
The quilt is made up of 12”by 12” squares, typically 18 – 24 squares per quilt. Keeping it this size helps when carrying and handling. The center square will identify the state and/or chapter and read “The Faces of Suicide”. The quilt will be used throughout the year at local and statewide events, fundraising activities such as the Out of the Darkness Community Walk, survivor conferences and public awareness activities, etc.
For example in Massachusetts, the Western MA Chapter's quilts are displayed each year at the Annual State House Day, Out of the Darkness Community Walk, Springfield City Hall, Florence Savings Bank, Springfield City Library, Saint Mary's Church and in your community. Just ask.
Creating and adding your own square is not difficult so DON’T PANIC! You don’t need quilting skills, and can make the square as simple or creative as you like! Jennifer Lynch Serrano 413-682-4205 or [email protected] will walk you through every step.
You will need:
- A piece of material (white pima cotton is best) 12”x 12”, pre-shrunk and ironed.
- A photo (up to 8”x 10”) of the person you lost to suicide. If you don’t have the size you want a copy center can enlarge, reduce, crop etc for you. A color photo works best. Multiple photos are okay too; just keep the total area of the photos to 8 x 10. The photo(s) will be representative of the theme “faces of suicide”.
- You may wish to include birth and death dates, a poem, multiple photos etc. You can have that information scanned too, or after the photo is transferred to the square use fabric paint, permanent markers, stitching etc.