Primary Source Descriptions

About the quilt

The size of my chosen panel is 6×3 feet, which is the average size for a panel on the AIDS quilt. It is located on the upper left corner of the block it’s located on, it makes up the edge of the quilt. My quilt block has the usual eight panels, but what is unusual is that my panel has a front and back.

My chosen panel is on block number 5959. According to the the NAMES project website, there are 5,956 blocks. My quilt is a new edition to the NAMES project, and was just recently finished. The family of the person the quilt is dedicated to couldn’t help but add more to it,which is why the quilt is front and back.

The quilt doesn’t actually feature the full name of the person its dedicated to, only the nickname Renard. There is however a picture on the back of the quilt of the person to whom the quilt is dedicated to with the name Christopher next to it, so one would assume his name was Christopher.

The primary colors on the quilt are red, yellow, and black. These were his favorite colors according to the key to the quilt that his family left with the quilt.  Most of the items on the quilt are flat, except some of the larger pieces which are 3 dimensional, and plush to the touch.

I will do my best to describe every detail of this lovely panel from top to bottom, while providing details given to me by the family that made it. I hope you’re able to experience the majesty of this panel by just reading my descriptions, although I know I won’t be able to do it justice.


Since this panel is on the very edge of the quilt it bears the same stark snow white color as the edge of any block you find at the NAMES project. The edge however is a much cleaner white then the average block at the NAMES project because it is a new edition to the quilt collection. The shade of white on the very edge is similar to a coat of fresh white paint, or a carton of vanilla ice cream. The edge is made of a much rougher material than the part that is the actual panel. The edge is gritty like canvas. To touch it is like rubbing grains of salt between your fingers.

The frame is double stitched. The first stitching is a shade of chartreuse. It is a straight stitch following the length of the border.  Beneath that stitch is an egg shell white thread. The stitch pattern is that off a running stitch.

The part that is the actual panel is stitched with a blood orange thread, In a straight stitch pattern. The whole background of the panel including the frame is that of a cherry red. The material is thick, the fabric is stitched together tightly. The material is nylon similar to that of a well made flag. When touched it feels coarse.

Top of the Panel

The swallows on the upper left and right. The swallow is a symbol of his childhood. The swallows are bordered in orange, and covered in blue with red beaks. The wings of each swallow are beige color.

The carp symbolizes the perseverance needed to reach enlightenment in Buddhism. Both carps are blood orange red with blue beaded eyes. The blue beads are supposed to ward off the evil eye. The carp on the left is bordered in a navy blue thread and outlined in a orange thread. The carp on the right is outlined in navy blue and bordered in blood orange.

The pineapple between the two carps is sequined in gold, with a navy green top outlined in a light green. The top of the pineapple is not sequined like the bottom, the material is similar to that of an iron on patch.

The inverted triangle is flamingo pink with a blue bead in the center. The thread outlining the triangle is white. The material is soft to the touch and plush.

The Center of the Panel

The center of the panel is similar to that of a crest. The whole thing is framed in the shape of a banner. The banner is colored in canary yellow, split in fours with icons in each square.

The first block on the top left has the icon of a fox. The fox is there because the french word for fox is Renard. The fox is one of the 3D parts of the quilt. Made with a soft, plush fabric, and colored purple.

The square on the top right is that of a candle. It symbolizes Renard’s talent for lighting. The candle is golden threaded with a black background. The flame of the candle is burgundy, and sits over the candle holder.

The bottom left square is that of a Valkyrie helmet. It symbolizes Renard’s love of opera. The center of the helmet is silver with a yellow lightening bolt on it. The wings on the sides of the helmet are golden threaded with a black background like that of the candle. There are tassel’s hanging from the helmet in a mustard yellow. The center of the helmet is 3D, and soft to the touch. It is stuffed with a plush material.

The bottom right square has a burgundy rose and a fleur de lis. The rose has navy green leaves and all have black stitching including the rose. The fleur de lis symbolizes his french heritage. It is bordered in gold and colored in a bright silver.

Separating the squares is a cross made of a cow print. The center of the cross is a mauve square with a golden circle on it. At the very center of the golden circle is an emerald green circle.

Bottom of the Panel

The bottom of the panel has the nickname RENARD in large burgundy letters.  With his birth date of March 4th 1955, and his death of May 24th 1994 in burgundy letters. Between his name are thistles which represents his Scottish heritage. The thistle is purple with navy green leaves and lime green thread used for outline of the leaves.

At the very bottom of the quilt are three constellations.  Each constellation is made of pearl colored beads. Each bead is linked with vanilla white thread.

The first constellation is Orion “the hunter”

The second constellation is made up of the big and little dipper. They represent something to help find the way.

The third constellation is of the astrological sign Pisces.

Back of the Panel

The back of the panel has a fabric similar to those used for linens. The touch of it is that of a sheet with a 180 thread count. The color of the main cloth is made up of multi colored dots. Each dot is a different shade of orange.  The pictures on the back are bordered in a sanguine red that has black blotches. Each picture is bordered in a orange rope coiled around it.