October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Quilters have long used their art to help promote education about, and the prevention of, breast cancer. Quilts have been created for awareness, for fundraising, to comfort and inspire those in treatment, to honor those who have fought boldly and those who fight now, and to celebrate all successes We’d like to show just one quilt, from one of our readers, this afternoon. It does honor all the best.
This beautiful quilt was made by Victoria Castle whose mother is now cancer free. She writes,
“Mymother was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago. After months of treatment and surgery the doctors told her she was cancer free. For her birthday I surprised her by making this quilt in honor of all the breastcancer survivors and all who have lost the battle. I wanted to share this since its breast cancer awareness month. Thank you.“
And Victoria, we’d like to thank you! Your post brings the attention of all of us to a disease diagnosed in an estimated 200,000 women in 2011 alone. (American Cancer Society) We all can help share information and use our quilting hobby in our own creative ways. Thank you and give your Mom our warmest regards!
The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is a collaboration of organizations working to promote awareness, share information on the disease and help provide greater access to services. Their website at nbcam.org provides a link for low-cost screening in each state, links to their partner organizations and other resources.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has a good website about symptoms, mammograms, low-cost screening, and how to lower our risks.
Jenny Doan, with the Missouri Star Quilt company, has a wonderful YouTube video to show how to make a Breast Cancer Awareness Block. A layout contributed by one of their readers and is free to use and share is at http://blog.missouriquiltco.com/breast-cancer-awareness-quilt-from-one-of-you-with-the-twister-tool/
The Mayo Clinic’s Women’s Cancer Program has a wonderful publication online showing masterwork quilts, including some by Eunice Hill, from a 2004 exhibit. Several were made by groups and convey that sense of oneness that comes when groups work together on a project that can, and does, touch most lives.
Many of the pattern companies have breast cancer awareness quilt patterns that may be free and that can be downloaded. There are also many resources for fabric.
If you’ve made a quilt to help with breast cancer awareness and would like to share a photo of it just come to the 24 Blocks Facebook page and upload the photo with as much description as you can. If you used a pattern, our readers would love to know the name and source. If it was your own design, we’d love to hear your inspiration. We do stitch honor, courage and hope. We try to inspire each other.