The Underground Quilt Project X Trust Women

Karen Joffe (left), with Trust Women staff.

Over the years, we’ve had so many amazing opportunities to connect with diverse communities through this work. We see patients from across our region, and our supporters reach out to us from every state in the country, and even a few countries from across the world. We are grateful for their support, in whatever form it arrives, and that support keeps us motivated to continue this work even through the most challenging times.  

We recently met one of those supporters, Karen, and hosted her at our Wichita, Kansas, clinic. Karen is spearheading a project called “The Underground Quilt Project,” a form of “soft resistance” that is connecting quilters and crafters with clinics and patients in states where abortions have been banned or severely restricted.  

Karen told us that following the overturning of Roe v Wade, she was inspired to create a quilt to honor abortion clinic caregivers and clients. To me, it is an homage to the long tradition of American women quilting as an art form to tell their stories and raise their spirits.” 

Our spirits were definitely raised by this heartfelt gift from Karen and the other quilters who contributed to this beautiful quilt. Karen shared a bit of the history of The Underground Quilt Project:  

The Project began in November 2022 by Temple Sinai member Karen Joffe, in response to Dobbs. Karen sent out fabric squares (quilt “blocks”) to friends and family to decorate with their own designs or messages. The blocks were then stitched into a large wall hanging and a smaller lap quilt.  

Karen delivered them to Las Cruces (N.M) Women’s Health Organization Executive Director Shannon Brewer on March 1st. Brewer had formerly directed Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the clinic in MS, which defended the right of American women to abortion in Jackson v. Dobbs. 

Because of how enthusiastically the Las Cruces quilts were received, another round of quilt making was launched, resulting in three more quilts that Karen will deliver to the Chicago Women’s Health Organization on September 28th and to the Trust Women clinic in Wichita, KS, in November.  

The Project now has a goal of creating a wall quilt for each independent abortion clinic in the U.S. 

If you’d like to learn more about how you can support The Underground Quilt Project, please reach out to us at info@itrustwomen.org, and we’d be happy to put you in touch with Karen.  

From everyone at Trust Women, we’re extending a full-throated thank you to Karen and everyone else involved in bringing this project to Wichita!  

Learn more about our work and how to get involved as a volunteer or contributor! 

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