Quilters rally to encourage Briana Clancy.

Jackson; Wyoming; United States


Briana Clancy with the quilt of t-shirts donated by Briana’s family members, gymnastic and swimming teammates, and others who wanted to demonstrate their support of Briana while she was undergoing cancer treatments. The t-shirts were sewn into the overall top by Kathleen Neiley and the top was quilted by Vicki Mollett.
Photo by David J Swift

In 2013, Kathleen Neiley, of Jackson, Wyoming, embarked on a project that used clothes of the living to comfort those undergoing health challenges. To create a quilt for her sister-in-law who had breast cancer, Neiley used thirty t-shirts from family members, upon which each wrote inspirational messages, When all involved were so positive about this method of shared comforting, Neiley was inspired to start a business, Full Circle Quilts, to engage other groups in making t-shirt quilts for someone who they knew were facing health issues and could use the comfort that a collaboratively-made quilt could provide. As Neiley says, “the personal connection of the quilt from giver(s) can give an extra measure of comfort and emotional support to the recipient.” One of the first activities of her new business was to work with a support group for Brianna Clancy a nine-year old competitive athlete who had a brain tumor. Brianna’s coach, team members, family members, athletes from University of Wyoming, and even some Olympian athletes provided the t-shirts. Brianna, now successfully through her surgery radiation and chemotherapy treatments, blogs for Neiley’s business website.

Written by Neiley, Kathleen;MacDowell, Marsha;Luz, Clare;Donaldson, Beth (2017)

MacDowell, Marsha; Luz, Clare; Donaldson, Beth. Quilts and Health. University of Indiana Press, 2017. Page 62.

Quilts and Health

  • Quilts and Health

    Documentation Project

    Michigan State University

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