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CSUSM COVID-19 Compassion Quilting Project


The COVID-19 Compassion Quilt Project will focus on the creation of a campus quilt to commemorate our collective experience around COVID-19. 

All members of the campus community will be encouraged to create a 10” square panel for the quilt.  This panel may honor someone who died during this pandemic (of COVID-19 or other illnesses/accidents), honor the service of someone during the pandemic, or provide some expression of what we are grateful for during this pandemic.

Each participant will share their story about who their panel honors and what the art of the panel means for them. It is through the process of creating this quilt that the campus can grieve together and find healing through our common experiences.

Example of a Panel Created

quilt panel example

Where to Purchase

You can purchase material (100% cotton preferred) at a Joann’s store (or quilting shop) OR just cut up a clean shirt or other piece of clothing (perhaps something from a loved one). Medium-weight, non-stretch fabrics such as poplin work best.

Design Your Panel

You will want to sketch out your design so you know what you want before you start creating. If this is a memorial panel, provide the name of the person you are remembering. Once you have your design sketched out, you can draw, paint, or sew your piece together! Find out the rules of designing below. 



Make Your Own Quilt Panel

Thank you so much for participaing in the Compassion Quilt Project!

Before you get started, check out the guidelines and sign up:  

  • The Guidelines

     Dimensions for the panels 

    • Panel size: 10" x 10" When designing, allow 1/4" for the border

    Where to purchase material

    • You can purchase material (100% cotton is preferred) at a Joann’s store, quilting shop, or just cut up a clean shirt or other piece of clothing (perhaps something from a loved one).

    • Medium-weight, non-stretch fabrics such as poplin and cotton work best (do not use t-shirts – they stretch too much).

    Design Your Panel

    • Sketch out your design so you know what you want before you start creating.

    • If this is a memorial panel, you can provide the name of the person you are remembering. You can include specifics like dates of birth and death, special talents. You do not have to provide this information on the quilt square if you do not choose to do so.  But please limit each panel to one person.

    • Please don’t use glue. Glue cracks and will wear out as the quilt gets folded and unfolded.

    Possible techniques for decorating the panel:

    • Paint: fabric paints or permanent ink pens. Don’t use puffy paint – it won’t last.

    • Stencils: trace the design onto the panel with a pencil, then use fabric paints, permanent markers, or even embroider to create your design.

    • Collage: use materials that won’t tear the fabric (glass and sequins can tear the fabric so avoid those); avoid bulky items.

    • Photos: you can photo-copy pictures onto iron-on transfers and iron them on to the 100% cotton fabric, then sew that fabric to the panel.

    • Applique: You can sew fabric, letters, and small items onto the background fabric.

    Where to Submit Your Panel

    • On Campus: We will accept panels at the tables in front of Kelloggs (November 9, 16 and 30; December 7). We will also have tables in early spring so you can submit your squres. 

    • You can also leave your quilt square (with your name and contact email) at the Psychology Department Office (SBSB 3222) for  Dr. Hamill. 

Sign Up Form

Thank you so much for sharing your story and building this quilt with us! We will be contacting those who want to help put this quilt together in the fall. 

Fill out my online form.

Our Stories 

My Mother

My mother was a fervent supporter of the underserved.  She dedicated her life to helping others.  She began the first chapter of Women's Empowerment International here in North County 20 plus years ago.  She and her friends started this to support micro loans for women in Latin America.  My mother worked at local food banks and shelters providing mental health support.   My mother loved to quilt in her spare time.  10 years ago my mother was diagnosed with early onset dementia and she lost her battle with this horrible illness in June of 2020. Because of COVID, we were not able to be with her as much in her last months.  I am making this panel to remember her, her story and those she helped.

- Laura Coca

Speech and Language Pathologists

Did you know speech-language pathologists (SLP) are healthcare workers? Our SLP graduate student clinicians often start their clinical placements in a hospital or a public school. Not only have our students risen to the challenge of working through a global pandemic risking their own lives, but many fully transitioned to telepractice in a matter of days in order to keep their clients on target with their progress. Not only have our students continued to face new challenges that COVID-19 brings everyday, but many of them have lost loved ones themselves. I want to honor all SLPs, not just our students but alumnae and beyond, for all they have done for the community during this very difficult time. 

- Rachel Nortz

Emergency Room Staff at the VA

We have been working together through this pandemic in the emergency room. I think I'm still too close to the events of the last year to say much more than that.

- Gage VanderMeer

Campus Initiatives

Join the CSUSM community as we remember COVID and commemorate our experience. 

Commemorating COVID