Migrant Quilt: Tucson Sector 2004-2005





Where are the records for this quilt housed?

Quilts and Human Rights Project at Michigan State University Museum; Arizona Quilt Documentation Project

Who documented this quilt?

Quilts and Human Rights; Migrant Quilt Project; Arizona Historical Society - Arizona History Museum

Documentation Project Number:

Arizona Quilt Documentation Project #MAZ170011

If this quilt is owned by a museum, enter the accession number here.

TS 2020.1.5


Two things struck me emotionally working on our migrant quilt. One was a pair of female size 4 jeans. So small. The other was writing ‘baby boy_________’ on a strip of denim. Numbers are not names! So sad that ‘baby boy’ is just a number and wasn’t able to be named. Carol Hood

I found myself seeking solitude while working on our migrant quilt. We met as a group in a large room but drifted to separate tables, recording each name on cloth in silence. When working at home alone I played no music, listened to no radio. I felt these sounds deserved my attention. In the past I’ve been part of special quilts for specific people. The migrant quilt; however, was unique. A time for silent reflection. Sandra Klapp

My heart goes out to the families of the ‘Unknown’ people. They will never know what happened to their loved ones. Phyllis Sager

Picked from the desert, I’m gazing at the tiny pieces of Jeans. These are what’s left of real lives. They had hopes and dreams of better and safer futures. Virginia Wenzel

This is a:

Finished quilt

Quilt's title:

Migrant Quilt: Tucson Sector 2004-2005

Subject of the quilt:

Migrant deaths in the Arizona deserts

How wide is the quilt?


How long is the quilt?


Shape of edge:


Describe the edge:

bottom edge has applied crocheted lace trim

What color is the quilt?

Blue; Brown; Red

Overall color scheme:


Describe the quilt's layout:

Nontraditional or art

Fiber types used to make the quilt top:


Fabric styles used in the quilt top:


Describe the fibers or fabrics in the quilt top:

Day of the Dead Calavera print

Piecing techniques used to make the quilt top:

Machine Piecing

Applique techniques used to make the quilt top:

Machine Applique

Embellishment techniques used to make the quilt top:


Describe the techniques used to make the quilt top:

Crochet trim on bottom edge.

Describe embellishment materials or techniques:

crochet trim, pieces of embroidery

What kind of filling is used in the quilt?

No filling

How are the layers held together?

Tied or tufted

Thread type used for the quilting:


Color of thread used in the quilting:


Materials used to make the back:


Describe the back:


What color is the back of the quilt?


Number of pieces of fabric in the quilt back:


Width of pieces on the back:

45" x 89"

Type of inscription:

Date; Multiple Names; Place

Method used to make the inscription:


Location of inscription:

multiple locations

What is inscribed on the quilt?

Multiple names and word "unknown" to indicate unidentified migrants.

Quilt's condition:

Excellent/like new

When was the quilt started?


When was the quilt finished?


Time period:


Why was the quilt made?

Art or personal expression; Memorial; Mourning; Therapy

Quilt is presently used as:


Describe present uses of the quilt:

Eventually will enter the collection of the Arizona Historical Society

Where the quilt was made, city:


Where the quilt was made, county:


Where the quilt was made, state:

Arizona (AZ)

Where the quilt was made, country:

United States

Where did the maker get their materials?

Old clothes; Purchased new

Describe the sources of the quilt's materials:

Clothing--blue jeans, embroidered cloths and other items--were salvaged from migrant lay up sites in the Sonoran Desert.

Exhibitions where this quilt was displayed:

March/April 2017: Amado Unitarian Universalist Church, Amado AZ
June/July 2017: Sky Island Unitarian Universalist Church, Sierra Vista AZ
August 25-September 22, 2017: Tempe History Museum, Tempe AZ
November 2017: Dia de los Muertos exhibit Arizona History Museum, Tucson AZ
February 2018: Pimeria Alta Museum Nogales, AZ
May 1-July 15 2018: New England Quilt Museum Lowell, MA
August 6-September 4, 2018: Loutit District Library Grand Haven, MI
September 15-October 14, 2018: Urban Edge Gallery Waukegan Arts Council, Waukegan, IL

Related items such as diaries, obituaries, wills, household inventories, or pictures of the quiltmaker:

Local Library Hosts Migrant Quilt Project, by Krystle Wagner. Grand Haven Tribune, August 13, 2018.

"With Paint and Patchwork, Artists Offer a New Perspective on Immigration," by Donna Bryson. Christian Science Monitor, July 17, 2018.

"The Migrant Quilt, by Valarie Lee James. Kosmos Journal, Summer 2018.

"Migrant Quilt Project brings border tragedies to the surface, stitch by stitch," by Mark Pratt, AP. Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2018. (and picked up by other papers)

"The Migrant Quilt Project: Stitching Compassion and Change," by Mary Fons. Quiltfolk, issue 6, pp. 98-111.

Video feature about the Migrant Quilt Project's exhibition at the Pimeria Alta Historical Museum in Nogales, Arizona. February 11 &12, 2018.

"Quilts honoring migrants come to Nogales museum," by Kendal Blust. Nogales International, January 30, 2018.

"The Migrant Quilt Project Remembers Lives Lost Along the U.S.-Mexico Border," by Katherine Davis-Young. Atlas Obscura, November 27, 2017.

Video about the Migrant Quilt Project by Al Jazeera!

"How Arizona Artists Are Using Quilts in the Border Debate," by Lynn Trimble. Phoenix New Times, September 21, 2017.

"Migrant Quilt Project raises awareness of migrant deaths through tangible message," by Angela Martinez. Daily Wildcat, April 22, 2017.

"Migrant memorials: Quilts honor migrants who died in the Arizona desert," by Kendal Blust. Arizona Daily Star, January 5, 2017.

"Quilt project remembers border crossers," by Ellen Sussman. Special to the Green Valley News, March 15, 2017.

Quilt top made by:

Hood, Carol; Klapp, Sandra; Sager, Phyllis; Wenzel, Virginia

Quilted by:

Hood, Carol; Klapp, Sandra; Sager, Phyllis; Wenzel, Virginia

Name of the group that made the quilt:

They are members of Heritage Quilt Study Group -- at Sharlot Hall Museum, but this is not an official project of the group



Quilt owner's name:

Arizona Historical Society - Arizona History Museum

Person filling out this form is:


Source of the information on this quilt:

Curator of the Migrant Quilt Project

How was this quilt acquired?


Tell the story of how the quilt was obtained:

Donated to the collection by the Migrant Quilt Project.

Ownership of this quilt is:

Public Museum, Library, or Institution

Quilt owner's city:


Quilt owner's county:


Quilt owner's state:

Arizona (AZ)

Quilt owner's country:

United States

Access and copyright information:


Copyright holder:

Arizona Historical Society - Arizona History Museum
949 E. 2nd Street, Tucson, AZ 85719
Registrar Jace Dostal

When was the form filled out?


Who helped you fill out the form?

Carol Hood, Sandra Klapp, Phyllis Sager, Virginia Wenzel

Describe anything about the history of the quilt that wasn't already recorded in a previous field:

Quilt was made by volunteers for the Migrant Quilt Project.

Who photographed this quilt?

Wilson Graham Photography


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Cite this Quilt

Hood, Carol; Klapp, Sandra; Sager, Phyllis; Wenzel, Virgini. Migrant Quilt: Tucson Sector 2004-2005. 2016. From Quilts and Human Rights Project at Michigan State University Museum, Quilts and Human Rights; Migrant Quilt Project; Arizona Historical Society - Arizona History Museum. Published in The Quilt Index, Accessed: 07/14/24