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Photo: Jodi Hilton


A Quilt to Remember

The Tufts community responded to 9/11 with a bid for peace

Patches for Peace, the kaleidoscopic quilt unveiled at Tufts two months after 9/11, shows how eighty-eight student organizations—among them the Association of Latin American Students, the Arab Student Association, the Chamber Singers, the Inter-Greek Council, the No Homer’s Club, and the women’s soccer team—summoned hope and creativity in the aftermath of violence.

The project got its start within hours of the attacks. Gathering at Tufts Hillel, a core group of volunteers got busy writing guidelines for quilt patches. Then they tackled the daunting task of contacting every last Tufts student organization—some one hundred forty in all. After that came the complexities of assembling the patches and sewing them together. The final ten-by-twelve-foot product was exhibited at the Mayer Campus Center from November 7, 2001, until the summer of 2010. Then it was moved to the university’s Digital Collections and Archives to be cleaned and preserved, a job whose challenges included reattaching pipe cleaners, regluing crystals and felt hearts, and reshaping tinfoil.

This fall, to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the quilt hung in the campus center once more. An online exhibit chronicles its history and provides a close look at individual patches at bit.ly/peacequilt.

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