Continuation quilts are made with the Chinese figure for continuation and a poem that are silk-screened on. Quilts are gifts to the patient and often serve as a keepsake for a patient’s loved ones.
It is an emotional moment for the loved ones of a patient nearing the end of life. The handmade quilt is brought into the hospital room and laid gently across the patient. There is an immediate transformation, and the hospital room becomes warm, personal and homely. The quilt adds color, beauty, texture and something more. It represents the transition from trying to cure the patient to trying to comfort through their final hours. It also helps loved ones and caregivers begin to accept that death is close at hand.
The quilt project is a collaboration between Volunteer Services and Palliative Care Services at Sacred Heart Medical Center. Each quilt is sewn by volunteers and serves as a memento of the patient’s last moments and an heirloom for future generations. Each one is silk-screened with the Chinese character meaning "new life" and the poem, "Continuation" by Deng Ming-Dao. The character and poem were inspired by the idea that we are all eternally connected and that death is not an end but part of a continuum.