How big is The Quilt?

As of June 2016, The AIDS Memorial Quilt is composed of more than 49,000 panels on 5,956 blocks (blocks are the twelve foot square building blocks of The Quilt seen at displays). Most blocks are composed of 8 separate panels, remembering the lives of eight individuals lost to AIDS. We continue to receive new panels throughout the year at the Foundation office in Atlanta, GA.

When was The Quilt founded?

The AIDS Memorial Quilt was founded in San Francisco, CA in 1987- click here for more on the creation of The Quilt.

Where is The Quilt on display?

Portions of The Quilt are constantly on display around the country. Check our display schedule to see when The Quilt will be coming to your community. You can also contact your local chapter to obtain their display schedule and find out what blocks of The Quilt they are currently hosting.

When will the entire Quilt be displayed again?

The Quilt was displayed in June and July 2012 with two events  in the Nation’s Capital.

The 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival: The Smithsonian Institution has invited The AIDS Memorial Quilt to be one of the three major programs presented on the National Mall in Washington D.C., June 27- July 1, and July 4 – 8, 2012.

The XIX International AIDS Conference: As the global scientific HIV and AIDS community gathers for the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), The Quilt will blanket Washington D.C. From July 21st to July 24th, The Quilt will fill the available sections of the National Mall (from 8th to 14th streets) and be on display in over 50 locations throughout the metropolitan D.C. area.


Why can’t I find my panel on the website database?

We are constantly photographing and archiving information for every panel we receive. Not all panels we receive in our national office have been photographed and made available yet via our website. To date, the website database contains 12-by-12 blocks up through number 5,956.

How much does it cost for me to add a panel to The Quilt?

There is absolutely no cost for a panel maker to add a panel to the AIDS Memorial Quilt. No cost. Ever. While we rely on generous donations from individuals to support the maintenance of The Quilt and underwrite display costs so that The Quilt can play its unique role in infection prevention efforts.

That doesn’t change the fact that we never require donations to add panels to The Quilt. NEVER. It does, however, cost roughly $100 a year to process and care for each panel and roughly $200 to add a new panel to The Quilt. For more on adding panels to The Quilt, see “How To Make A Panel.”

What happens to a panel after it’s submitted to The Quilt?

After a panel arrives at our main offices in Atlanta, it is carefully logged and examined for durability. Sometimes a panel may require reinforcement, minor repairs or hemming to adjust for size. While we do sometimes reinforce or repair new panels, we will never alter the design of a panel or what you have included on a panel.

Next, a new panel is sorted and “bundled” with other similar panels. When eight similar panels have been bundled, they are sewn together to form a twelve-foot square. This is the basic building block of The Quilt and is known as a “12-by-12” or “block.”

Once sewn, each 12-by-12 is edged in canvas and given a unique number, making it possible to keep track of that block. All panel, panel maker and numerical information is then entered into our Quilt database. Once this happens, you are sent information on the block number the panel you submitted is in, as well as how to request that block for displays of The Quilt, and a current display schedule.

The entire process, from receiving a panel to incorporating it into a 12-by-12 in the AIDS Memorial Quilt, can take up to 6-9 months.

As part of our Archive Project, every 12-by-12 is photographed before a block becomes available for display, and the film is stored in our archive files. The archive files also contain any accompanying letters, photographs or other documentation submitted with each panel. This provides a permanent visual and written record for each panel.

How can I see a panel?

Quilt displays are coordinated both by the Foundation office in Atlanta and by our regional chapters around the country. Block display requests can only be accepted for those displays which have been scheduled and are listed on our web site – more information about requests can be found there.

Please feel free to call us to check on the status of a display request, but please wait until one month before the display starts.

Do you tell me when my panel is displayed?

Our policy of notifying panel makers if a panel they made is to be displayed in their area has been suspended due to the cost of postage and labor required now that The Quilt has grown so large, but we hope to resume display notifications at some point in the future.

Please be sure to advise us of any change of address so that you will receive these and other important notifications. To find out where a block is being displayed please call the Foundation office at (404) 688-5500; have the block number for the panel you are inquiring about handy when you call and virtually any employee can assist you.

What about chapters?

Most of our chapters receive a selection of Quilt panels three times a year for displays in their local area. Contact the chapter nearest you for their current display schedule and to request that a panel you submitted be hosted by the chapter. Please be aware that this means the block will be committed to that chapter for a period of up to six months and will be unavailable for other displays during that time.