Visiting the NAMES Project building was an awesome experience, the quilt was beautiful on the website, through the view the quilt option but the picture served no justice compared to seeing it in person. This building is very peaceful and offers hundreds of quilts and thousands of panels to choose from. The quilt looked brand new when we unfolded it, many different fabrics and other textured items were used to make this panel a vivid story of his life.
This square shaped AIDS quilt from the NAMES Project was much different in comparison to the others I have observed, although the dimensions of the quilt were the same the concept drew me into wanting to research it more in depth. Six of the panels were 3′ by 6′ and the middle panel was 6′ by 6′ totaling it to 12′ by 12′. This quilt included 7 panels, but are dedicated to memorializing one individual, Pastor Charles F. Krimmel. Each quilt was special and drew a light onto different things that meant something to Pastor Charles.
IMG_8053 (Here’s a look at the breathtaking quilt and an inside view of the building)
The first panel
The top left corner features a royal purple fabric background with individually threaded butterflies that each includes a letter to make the phrase “We Are A Resurrection People”. Ressurection means to come back to life after death, which symbolizes that although he is gone his legacy still lives through his people. In the bottom half of this panel, a lighter shade of purple fabric is used for a circle cut out that glances at the milestones in his life.
Under four of the butterflies lies the inscriptions of the names of four pastors from Southeastern Pennsylvania ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), who died of AIDS. The pastors were, Pastor Charles Krimmel, Pastor Leonard Quiring, Pastor George Freeman and Pastor Mark Livermore, these other three pastors were included with the hopes of that the ELCA one day understands the message of the panel. Each butterfly was about 3 inches in height and 3 inches in width, there were about seven different colors that ranged from white to black and the letters on each butterfly were either navy blue or ivory.
Here features a circle cut out with a nicely stitched pattern of waves, which symbolizes the milestones in Pastor Charles life. It starts by giving his date of birth in 1940, next was his baptized date a year later, the day he was ordained on his birthday in 1976 and his resurrection in 1990. These phrases were written with a white gel-like paint around the circle.
The second panel
The bottom left corner features things Pastor Charles was known to love which were singing and his dog Greta. This 3′ by 6′ panel includes smaller panels inside of it, this is due to many people working on it to make it whole.
The words “Amazing Grace… Lift Every Voice and Sing” were sewn along the music symbol and heart, to show that music helps heal the heart by singing together. The music notes and heart shape are a thin dark purple fabric cut out. Under this panel was two smaller panels that were about 1.5′ width by 2′ height. These panels include things that Pastor Charles cherished dearly, his dog Greta, flowers and a dove which can all be seen as meaningful symbols in a church setting.
At the bottom of this panel, the makers of this individual panel that is 3 feet by 2 feet, printed his name and organization his churched belong to onto an ivory colored rag like cut out. This cut out was smooth and had infringed ends on the border. His church was under the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which started officially started in 1988, two years prior to his death. The fact that they included this shows that the organization had a lot of influence on the church. Around the colorful, sewn music symbols was a fish with the letter “IXOYC” initially I thought these were random words, but after much research, I found that these were the first letters of Greek words that were translated into Christian prodigies.
The third panel
This panel includes about 50 handprints of church members, ranging from little children to seniors. In this 6′ by 3′ panel the members of his congregation join together to add to this meaningful quilt, they wrote their names near their handprint. The phrase “Go Make Disciples of All Nations Baptizing.. and Teaching Them” and “MT. 28:19-20“, this is a scripture from the bible that talks about resurrection in-depth. The words in this phrase were cutouts of a thin red fabric.
The fourth panel
This panel is unique to its viewers because of the size of it being 6′ by 6′ compared to the others in this panel, it draws much attention because it gives us a picture of Pastor Charles F. Krimmel. It also tells us what he was to the people who help create each panel that was featured in the binding together to make the quilt a whole.
A picture of Pastor Charles is inserted in the panel with a fabric cut out to make the border of the picture. This fabric is stitched along the edges of the pictures and a close up of it shows that rather it being colorful polka dots, it is actually many tiny flowers. Two doves are alongside different ends of the picture as if they were to be holding it up. On the right side of his picture were descriptions of what his title was to them and under was the phrase “His Light Still Shines”, the fabric used throughout this panel was the same purplish fabric with many tiny flowers.
The fifth panel
This 6′ by 3′ panel includes the phrases “Clergy United to Save Our Schools”, “West Oak Lane Concerned Citizens” and “How Many Can it Feed”. All with a central meaning that, together the people can do much more rather than being separate.
This heart designed was configured to include the symbols of little children, men, and women holding hands to show the love and support to all of those people who have lost their lives to AIDS. The figure next to it shows a sphere like Earth with the arms and hands of four different colored people, to show that no matter the age or race, together is better.
The sixth panel
In this 3′ by 6′ panel they have a prophet with his hands held up as if he’s praising his savior, this prophet is meant to be Pastor Charles. A scripture from Matthew is above the cut out that states “Lo, I am With You Alway, Even Unto The End of the World”. The prophet cutout is a yellow fabric that is about 4 feet in height, under it the words ” In Loving Memory, Pastor Charles Krimmel” follows. The words were written in a yellow gel-like paint and the prophet’s features seem to be drawn out with a pen or pencil.
The seventh panel
Initially, I thought this panel was made for another lost life due to AIDS but after reading the papers that were sent in with this panel, I found out that this was his nickname given to him by his family and friends. This panel was definitely the brightest of them all with his name in a hot pink color on top of the light blue background. Under his name is a shiny silver metallic cup with a scoop of strawberry and vanilla ice cream which were Chuckles favorite. In the teal box, the quote Pastor Charles said a lot was included “We’re All Good Guys In God’s Eyes”.