Quilter extraordinaire Robin Berson ’67 has picked up her needle once again to create a new public quilt. “My latest project is a quilt in honor of women with metastatic breast cancer—my own daughter among them,” she says.

The Metastatic Breast Cancer Honor Quilt is her third public quilting project. A historian and labor activist as well as a quilter, she created the Triangle Factory Fire Quilt and the Bangladesh Quilt, both memorializing garment workers who died in factory fires. 

For Berson, her most recent project ideally will serve as a call to action: “I’m planning for a smallish quilt—something that can be carried by two people in marches, a scheduled ‘die-in,’ etc.” To that end, she will incorporate text that underscores the devastating scope of the disease and the disproportionate allocation of resources—graphic representations of the number of women affected, statistics on the number of deaths vs. the percentage of research funds it attracts.

To create it, Berson is enlisting volunteers (no sewing experience required) through a dedicated Facebook page: she supplies the muslin and invites people to “sew, paint, use fabric markers, glue, image-transfer” the squares. 

The Triangle Factory Fire and Bangladesh quilts measured 10 by 7 feet, and their sheer scale imparts a certain gravitas. Unlike those efforts, the Metastatic Breast Cancer Honor Quilt is designed for easy portability. “My other quilts are truly difficult to transport, and their size limits display venues,” she says.

“My hope is that several smaller quilts can function in a decentralized manner and be available for regional or even local demonstrations.”

Robin Berson
Quilter Extraordinaire

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