Make a Quilt Square

Patches of Love booklet A printer friendly version of the instructions on how to make a donor quilt patch.

How Do I Begin?

  • Talk to your family members and friends. Get their input on designing the
    square, since only one square can be submitted per donor. Take your time
    and think about what you would like to include on the Quilt square. What
    was important to your loved one? What reminds you of him or her?
  • Please use the size guide on pages 4–5 when designing your Quilt square.
    Your Quilt square MUST be an 8-inch x 8-inch square. Your design must
    fit inside a 7-inch square.
  • You may use almost any fabric color or type, including sentimental
    materials such as part of your loved one's baby blanket, high school jacket,
    tie or favorite sweater. You may use paint (no watercolors), permanent
    markers, laminated photos or paper and thread to design the square.
  • Please do NOT use glitter, stickers, glue, crayons or paper (unless
    laminated), as these items can easily fall off of your Quilt square.
  • You may adorn the square with poems, quotes and/or symbols of your
    loved one's life, your loved one's name, date of birth and/or date of
    death. Please sew everything securely (do not use glue). The Quilt travels
    frequently, so make sure everything is as secure as possible.
  • Do not “finish” the square with quilting or backing.
  • If you would like to include a photograph of your loved one, you can have
    a photo transferred onto fabric at a copy shop. You may also be able to
    purchase special fabric for your personal printer.

What if I Can’t Sew or I Need Help Getting Started?

If you are unsure of what to do:

  • View other Quilt squares for ideas and inspiration.
  • Ask a friend or relative to help.
  • Ask local fabric stores for tips from experienced quilters.
  • Call the NDFC and we will find someone who can help you with
    your design.
  • Attend a quilt-making workshop at special events, such as the U.S.
    Transplant Games.

Can I Make More Than One Square?

No. Due to the overwhelming response to this project, we request that each family honor their loved one with only one square.

You may want to ask other family members for their input when designing the square.

There may be a local quilt in your area, which would give you the opportunity to create another quilt square. Contact the NDFC for assistance in locating a local quilt.


What is the Deadline?

There is no deadline; the Quilt is never finished. This project is ongoing so that new families always have the opportunity to remember their loved ones in this special way.

Mailing in Your Quilt Square

  • Please take a photo of your Quilt square before you mail it so you will always remember your design. Some families make pillows, wall hangings or other artwork from their Quilt design.
  • A photo of your Quilt square will be added to the Web site, unless you indicate you don’t want it published. We invite you to share a story about your Quilt design for our Web site as well. Stories must be limited to 100 words. You may send your story with your Quilt square, or wait and send it at a later time.
  • Please complete the Quilt Release Form in this brochure.
  • Enclose the square in a zippered plastic bag to ensure its clean, safe arrival.
    We recommend that you send your Quilt square in a padded envelope with cardboard to protect it. Send your square, Quilt Release Form and story (if you are enclosing one at this time) by registered mail or insured carrier to:
    National Kidney Foundation
    National Donor Family Quilt
    30 East 33rd Street
    New York, NY 10016
    Phone: 212.889.2210
  • You will receive a letter confirming receipt of your square in six to eight weeks. If you want to confirm that your square was received or if you have questions, please contact the NDFC.