Tibetan Quilt Project


The Tibetan Memorial Quilt Project

The intention of the Tibetan Memorial Quilt Project is to raise awareness about human rights. The Tibetan Association of Northern California organized the Tibetan Memorial Quilt Project (TMQP) in 2009 to commemorate 50 Years of Tibet’s Occupation by China. The quilts, made by the Tibetan community members, memorialize more than 1.2 million Tibetans who have died in the struggle for justice and freedom. Many of these Tibetan s/heros are monks and nuns persecuted for their belief in Tibetan Buddhism and their uncompromising loyalty to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

Like the AIDS Quilt Project, this series of quilts juxtaposes human pain and suffering with the warmth and comfort of quilted fabric.

This project was launched on April 25, 2009 during His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to the Bay Area. At the occasion, the Dalai Lama was presented with the first quilt for his blessing. TANC’s goal is to have at least 50 Quilts (each with 25 patches). To date, 16 quilts have been completed, each measuring 36 square feet.

The ultimate vision is to transform TMQP from a “TANC project” to a “Tibetan-wide project”. To this end, invitations to Tibetan Associations in North America to participate in this endeavor in their local communities were sent. To date, the Tibetan Association of Southern California and Tibetan Community of New York/New Jersey have expressed interest to do something similar in their local communities.  We welcome their interest and look forward to working together with TASC and TCNYNJ in the near future.

Past Exhibitions

  • Tibetan Thanksgiving event hosted by TANC on November 1, 2009
  • Events to commemorate the Anniversary of His Holiness the Dalai Lama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2009
  • Bay area fundraising event sponsored by Bay Area chapter of Students for a Free Tibet, 2009
  • March 10, 2010 marking the 51st anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising in Lhasa (Tibet’s capital) protesting China’s occupation.  Quilts displayed at San Francisco’s Union Square rally.

Future Exhibitions (2010)

AUGUST 7-27 Rock Paper and Scissors Collective – a volunteer-run organization that fosters creativity and collaboration in order to strengthen local communities and encourage sustainable practices and alternative models.

SEPTEMBER 10-?? India-inauguration in partnership with the Tibetan Women’s Association and the Tibetan Nun’s Project in Dharamsala.

OCTOBER 17-31 Buddhist Union of Kalmykia, Russia.

Volunteers & Sponsors

The TMQP project would not have happened without the contributions from many people such as:

  • – Lindsay Kelly (quilter and volunteer), Gyen Pega la (master tailor), and John Scottdugger (professional banner-maker) for giving up many voluntary hours with me on the TMQP Committee &  of course, to the TANC Board for their moral support to this project.
  • – All the Tibetan Sunday School parents/teachers and other community members who have sewn the panels consistently since the project began in April 2009. {Gyen la, please pass along this email to TSS parents/teachers]
  • – Ingrid Good of the former (no longer in business) Sew Your Own of Waterside Workshops in Berkeley for her initial support with community sewing space.
  • – Sunflower Fabrics (no longer in business) that made generous donations of the very first reels of fabric to begin the TMQP.
  • – Suzan Steinberg, co-owner of Stone Mountain and Daughters Fabrics in Berkeley that generously gives us free use of its sewing space, 20% discount on all purchases for the project, and highlights TMQP as one way to “give back”
  • – All our project endorsers so far with ongoing search for more endorsers.
  • – Virginia Cambour for her donations of exquisite clothes.
  • – Tibetan Gift Corner in San Francisco for the beautiful Rajasthani quilt that adorns borders of one of the TMQP quilts.
  • – Tenpa Jamyang la and Amchi Kelsang la for their respective calligraphy in Tibetan and sewing.

AND so many more Tibetans in the community who have quietly contributed to this project over time!


In addition to the in-kind support from volunteers, the TMQP received financial support from Catherine Shine and a grant from the Office of Tibet in New York.

Five ways to help:

  • Join the Project by starting local quilt projects: Help transform TMQP from a “TANC project” to a “Tibetan-wide project”
  • Host an exhibition: Help find a suitable space for display of quilts
  • Sponsor a Quilt or a Patch: $625 sponsors a quilt with 25 patches, and $25 sponsors a single patch*
  • Volunteer: Help design and sew patches and quilts, and volunteer to help install exhibitions
  • Donate Funds and/or Fabric: Checks payable to TANC (indicate “TMQP” in the memo) may be sent to our office at: 2288 Fulton Street Suite 312, Berkeley CA 94704

*Donations will be matched in kind with volunteer hours.

For more information on the project and how you can get involved, please write to:

tibetanquiltproject@gmail.com or call 510-409-9162.