Wednesday, November 4, 2009

video of the quilt

Here's a video up on you tube of the quilt! It was taken at the very end of the day, after the action was over. The first part of it is rising tide bikers messing around on the (totally rocking pedal powered!) speaker system, and after that there's a bunch of footage of the quilt. About 1000 people walked through it taking pictures and getting inspired:

Thanks for all of your participation so far! 

(Tell people if you think they still want to make squares!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Its already November!

Hello friends!
Here in California, we're having cool sunny days full of the sweet smell of leaves drifting all over the place. Everything feel like fall, so beautiful! I continue to see the hummingbirds that come to our windows to drink from the passion flowers and thinking "Oh! I should make a square of that!" I haven't made any new squares since the action Oct 24th, but we continue to receive them by mail, and if anyone you know would like to make one, please encourage them to!

Here are some of the pictures from the action(s) Oct 24th... It was a beautiful day! The one at the top is the quilt laid out at Dolores Park, with San Francisco in the background. You can see people sewing the new squares together... by the end of the morning we had another panel plus extras. The next one is Justin Herman Plaza, where 1000 people walked through the quilt exclaiming over their favorite squares and took photos... it was so exciting to see the idea of the quilt as a whole piece emerge after focusing on putting all of the parts together for so long! Lastly, you can see the 3-5-0 panels in front of the San Francisco skyline.

 We're hoping to have a website up soon that will have a gallery of each of the squares, who made them, plus the stories we received with the squares so that everyone can see all of the care and beauty that the quilt has sewn into it.

Fall blessings,

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oct 24th, 2009

What an amazing day!
It was amazing to watch the sunrise this morning (while we were frantically packing stacks of folded quilt panels, flags, and posters) and know that it had been greeted in New Zealand many hours before by banners and prayers for this day.... 4500 action, in 179 countries... the images are incredible: They come not a day too soon. Congress starts debating the US's stance for Copenhagen and the Climate this Tuesday. Make sure they know you support 350!!!

Dolores Park this morning was sunny and beautiful, and many people stopped by to see the 11 giant panels stretched out on the hill. While we were there, another panel was sewn by hand, so we had 12 for the big rally at Justin Herman Plaza. I'm too tired to describe the whole day, but look for the story tomorrow. Here's our picture behind a polar bear and a little girl, in the Chronicle:

I haven't counted, but we have somewhere around 180 squares now, and many more on the way! We'll keep collecting them until we get to 350 (so make one if you haven't). I'll be taking the quilt to schools and community groups to talk about the atmosphere, global warming, and the stories of the quilt. f you'd like the quilt to visit your community, please be in touch!

Love and gratitude for everything that everyone has done for the quilt, and for this day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Its craziness around here!

Hello friends!

The whole living room here on the farm is covered with squares and panels! In the last few days we have received so many squares that my attempts at counting have been undermined by the priority of getting them all laid out and sewn together. The 350 Reasons quilt is looking beautiful! I think we have somewhere near 200 squares arriving or arrived now, with many people bringing their contributions to Dolores Park on Saturday to sewn them in there. 

This week, we've received a bunch of squares form children, most of them drawn with markers, and they are the best reason of all the reasons-- their pictures of Earth, surrounded by their handprints and hearts seem to be a theme and it open me up wider and wider to see them.

Hopefully many of you reading will be able to make it to the action this weekend. We'll be at Dolores Park from 9- 2:30 and then we're moving the quilt to Justin Herman Plaza where it will be part of the giant gathering of 350 actions there from 3-5.

After the 24th, we'll keep sewing in squares until we get 350, so please think of something you love about life and make a square if you haven't already. I will be traveling with the quilt to different schools and communities around the Bay to share about the stories in the quilt and our atmosphere, so if you know of anywhere that might be good place for that, let me know!

Three days left until the big day and it's going to be enormous-- there will be over 4000 actions in 170 countries, so make sure to go to one nearby to you. You can find all of them with an interactive map at:

Best to all of you in these last few days!

Friday, October 16, 2009

quilt update!

Hello friends!

The squares are really starting to come in now-- we get about 5 a day and they're coming from all over the world now, many people I don't know. I just got back from the first day of the Bioneers conference, where part of the quilt is on display at the youth area and the youth are making prayer flags to be incorporated into the quilt! Please come by and see it if you're at Bioneers!

All three of the large center panels that spell out 3-5-0 are complete. I'll post pictures soon!

Here is the statement of intent I wrote for the quilt earlier this week. I meant to post it yesterday for the blog action day on climate change, so here it is, one day late:

Statement of intent for the 350 Reasons Quilt

Humanity has never faced a challenge as enormous as climate change. For the first time ever in our history and pre-history, our choices are affecting the entire planet. And unlike other collapses, we are all in this one together. We have, right now, in our lifetimes, a quickly shrinking window of time to evolve into an entirely different relationship with each other and the planet. 

The movement that is growing to meet this challenge now is astounding in its breadth and possibility. To begin with, on Oct 24th, over 2000 actions will take place in nearly every country in the world-- the largest day of action for the environment in history, and possibly the largest global demonstration of solidarity around one thing-- the number 350-- ever.

350 is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere (in parts per million). For most of human civilization-- from neanderthals right up until 200 years ago-- Earth’s atmosphere has stayed at roughly 275 parts per million, carefully balanced by the giant ecosystems of our planet. In just 200 years, we have pushed that number up to its current level of 390 parts per million carbon dioxide which continues to rise by 2 every year. Earth is like a giant body--like us, she stays relatively healthy even under stress until that day when too little sleep, too little nutrients, poor water, viruses, whatever, combine to push us the whole organism over the edge. 

That happened dramatically two years ago in the summer of 2007 when 25 percent of the ice that has been locked up in the arctic for millions of years melted in just under 3 months. Scientists who have been forecasting and warning us about climate change were shocked. We had past the buffer of Earth’s resiliency. James Hansen and his team at NASA published their report a few months later, stating: "If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm." That is such strong language for a peer reviewed paper.

The good news is, we know exactly what we have to do. We have to get back down below 350 parts per million CO2 and we have to do it fast. Because of the buffer of Earth’s complexity and resilience to stressors, global warming has a 30 year time lag. In other words, the changes we are experiencing now are the result of carbon levels in the atmosphere 30 years ago, in 1979. The results of the carbon we’ve now loaded into the air will be felt by us and our children 30 years from now. So no matter what, global warming will get worse before it gets better. But if it’s going to get better at all, we have to act immediately.

I have great hope for this challenge because it unites us all within one common need and the potential for unprecedented cooperation and creativity between nations and communities is huge. Climate change is a greater threat than any nation could hope to be-- it is greater than our conflicts, greater than the enormous gap between wealthy and poor, greater than our prejudices against each other. We already have the technology, the science is done. We only lack the political and individual will to do whatever it takes. 

The day of action on Oct 24th is meant to lift this understanding-- what 350 means, its challenge and its promise, into the collective imagination of humanity so that our creativity and resolve is strengthened and mobilized. 

I designed the 350 Reasons Quilt, an open community art project, to inspire and inform people about 350. I chose a quilt because in ecology, the word “patchwork” refers to the fragmentation of whole ecosystems by roads, developments, logging, mining, etc.... Although we do not use that term for human communities, we could look at the divisions and loss of connection between religious, economic, political, cultural, racial, gender and other groups in our lives as patchworking, too. Quilts create something beautiful and useful out of fragments. It is my hope that sewing all of the pieces of the 350 Reasons quilt together creates a kind of whole that is also a prayer for connection and for collaboration as we face climate change. 

The 350 Reasons Quilt is meant to have 350 squares, each of something someone loves about life on Earth. Preschoolers, farmers, grandmothers, microsoft engineers, poets, teachers, monks and teens are all participating. We have squares of bicycles, sewing machines, whooping cranes, Bach’s cello suite in D, rain, beloved grandchildren, great green macaws, breezes, oceans, and ice, to name just a few. The care that has gone into each square is beautiful in itself, and all together, all of the beloved pieces are truly moving. At the center of the quilt are three giant panels that spell out 3-5-0,  the challenge we are rising to meet with our love. 

The quilt will be displayed Oct 24th in Spanish and English at Dolores Park from 9- 2:30 and then at Justin Herman Plaza from 3-5. Please come walk through it and be inspired! After the 24th, I will continue gathering and sewing in squares, and begin taking the quilt around to schools and communities to talk about the atmosphere, global warming, and 350. 

If you haven’t yet, please contribute a square of something you love about life! Squares should be 2X2 feet, with an extra inch all around for sewing, and they can be any form of art on fabric. When you’re done, please mail them to: America Worden, PO BOX 781, Sonoma, CA, 95476.

Please contact America for further information: Or see our blog:

For the Earth,

America Worden

Monday, October 5, 2009

19 days to go!

Hi Everyone!

We have 19 days to go, which means two more weekends that you all can make your squares and still get them mailed in to America Worden PO BOX 781 Sonoma, CA, 95476. Get making them!!!

Here is a picture of last minute setting up for the lecture Bill McKibben gave at Sonoma Country Day school in Santa Rosa last Friday. It was so exciting and inspiring to hear about all of the amazing actions happening around the world Oct 24th. I'm feeling so grateful to be making the quilt and be part of the whole thing! Even more inspiring were the stories of why we're doing this-- glaciers at the headwaters of the world's great rivers melting, the spread of diseases born by mosquitos into places that have warmed up, and of course, the bark beetle damage here in our boreal forests. We have so much to work for!!!

You can see in the picture the big 3, the first of three center panels for the quilt, and one of the panels of everyone's squares. I'm on pins and needles (it's like my birthday for a month!) waiting for the squares to really start pouring in. Friday we got two more-- one from my aunt of the forest and water and her sewing machine, and one from Harmony at Harmony Arts who designed a piece of organic cotton fabric for the quilt (how cool is that?!) Harmony has also donated some beautiful fabric to us as have Grace in Sonoma and Violet in Santa Rosa-- we're using it all for youth at various schools and conferences coming up these last weeks to make squares. Thanks you ladies!

I also wanted to showcase the gorgeous square made by Sandy in Bolinas. This is the story of her square: " As the planet is in a state of transition caused and called by humans Global Warming, most of Earth's inhabitants are held in our hands by the choices we make on how we live here. One group of indigenous people the Kuna live on islands only a few inches above the sea level, in a country that has gone under water before. They are the caretakers of a priceless land called Kuna Yala in Panama. I try to walk lightly for their survival and all those who have always cared for the Earth and her infinite beauty." 

Please send your stories in, too! We're going to make little cards to pin on your squares in Spanish and English for the park!

Can't wait to see your square!!!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Here come the squares!

Hi friends! 

Here are some of the squares, to inspire you and give you ideas for your own. Lia's square "Polar bears and a waterfall" is made by glueing fabric and metallic stars onto a piece of an old white sheet (with fabric "tacky" glue) and drawing with T-shirt pens. Adam's square "Sea meeting land" is pne of his photos transferred to canvas and glued to a black background fabric. Jon's square "Gecko for Annie" is made with fabric cut-outs glued onto a fabric background-- all of our fabric has been salvaged or donated! Will's square "Winter in Crestone" is drawn in permanent marker on an old sheet, and then painted with fabric paints. You can see more of the squares being laid out on our living room floor in the other picture. The one I'm laying down is a gorgeous, traditionally quilted piece from Sandy, in Bolinas, CA, of the plight of the Kuna people in Panama, and the orange one in front of that was mailed to us from Mississippi by Aidan, who, at three, is the third youngest artist with a square in the 350 Reasons quilt! To make your own square, please see the post "How to make a square" and let me know you're making one: so I can add you to our list!

We have lots more beautiful squares. I'll post them one by one....
Thanks for your participation!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

help support the quilt... commission a square


If you've been unable to participate in the 350 Reasons Quilt because of time or other concerns, please think about supporting the project by commissioning a square. We've been amazingly blessed by donations of fabric, but we're hoping to cover the costs of venue to display the quilt (we're still  negotiating with Parks and Rec in San Francisco about where we can have the event) and some of the art supplies. 

My brother and I are both artists and we're offering to create custom made squares for $50. You pick something you love about life on Earth and we'll make you an original piece of quilt art for the quilt, and send you a print. Please email me (America) at: if you'd like to commission a square or you know someone who would be interested.


Monday, September 21, 2009

exciting news

Hi Everyone!
There have been a bunch of new moments in this project these last few days! For one thing, people have been generously donating fabric for the quilt, which is wonderful. We'll also be at Bill McKibben's talk at Sonoma Country Day school on Oct 2nd with a few of the quilt panels and materials for people to make squares or be inspired to make squares there. Tickets for that event can be purchased on line here:  I'm also talking to the youth summit organizers at the Bioneers conference and it looks like the 350 Reasons Quilt is going to be part of their activities, where many people will be able to see and know about the quilt. We've also had a bunch of new possible school classes wanting to make squares. The quilt is growing!

We still need lots of help! We're no where near 350 squares. If anyone has extra sheets or fabric they don't want, please let me know! And even more importantly, if any of you can have a square-making gathering and make squares to send us, please do! Most importantly of all, please tell everyone you can think of about 350 and Oct 24th!

Thanks for all of your beautiful work!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

the quilt so far

The quilt is growing!
We started receiving the first mailed-in squares this week, beginning with a bright orange square with waves and stars and lizards on it from a little guy in Mississippi, and we're expecting squares from the UK, Canada, maybe Papua New Guinea (!) and closer to home, from Oregon, Michigan, New York and Arizona as well as an offer from the Green Gulch Zen center and hopefully a few classrooms and quilting guilds. I finished the first of the giant center squares that spell out 350 today-- so the 3 is complete. For your inspiration, some of the things people love that we're sewing together are: pacific tree frogs, monkeys, drums, bicycles, the breeze at 6pm in Cali, Columbia, a hawk, the blue sky, sea turtles, sheep made out of real sheep.... what a beautiful landscape! It's really inspiring to see it coming together.

We still needs lots of squares!!!

It would be fantastic if anyone who's able to host a little gathering and paint, marker, quilt, silkscreen, glue, dye, stencil-- anything!-- squares and then mail us a bunch of them in one go. Even if it's you and two or three friends, we can build the rest of the quilt 3 or 4 people at a time, no problem! Old sheets have turned out to be a great resource that most people have hanging around for fabric.

Thanks a million for your participation!

PS. We're still waiting to hear back from parks and rec in San Francisco about where we can get our permit to display the quilt on Oct 24th, but I'll post it here as soon as we do!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Hi everyone!
We're on facebook:
And I've sent out an email for mass circulation, so circulate away! The best way to participate, we're discovering, is to have a party or gathering and make squares together! For more info on making a square, see the post "How To Make a Square". GO NUTS! The whole point is to get as many people involved as possible-- so show your square to everyone! Tell them what you're making it for and why. And if you email us a picture, we'll put it on the blog!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What To Do With Your Finished Square

So I made my square, then what?
1. Please put your name on it if you want, and name the square (for example "Tiger" or "My Grandson")

2. If you would like to attach the story of your square (why you made what you made, your hopes for the future, etc) please do that on a piece of paper attached with a stitch or paperclip so it can be removed. We'll include it in this blog with a picture of your square unless you ask us not to.

3. Bring it in person to the action on October 24th (in San Francisco, location, TBA) or mail it to: America Worden PO BOX 781, Sonoma, CA, 95476

4. PLEASE LET US KNOW you're making a square so we can plan for the whole quilt! Email Meri at:

Extra Credit:
To help everyone out, if you have the time and know other people who are participating (and hopefully lots of people you know are!) you could sew (not expertly, just firmly) a few squares to each other before you bring them on the 24th or mail them in. We're going to be making panels that are 8 feet X 8 feet wide (so 8 big squares, or 16 small squares, or some combination of them) to lay out the whole quilt so that people can walk between these panels and see all 350 beloved reasons. I'm going to post diagrams very soon to illustrate, or feel free to email)

How to Make a Square

Making a square is easy! In fact, it doesn't have to be quilted or sewn at all...

Think of something you really love about life on Earth. It could be an animal, a place, a person (a child, grandchild, someone from six generations in the future), a symphony, a piece of art or architecture, a book, an iceberg, a language, a particular plant or tree... something that is unique to Earth that you want to continue into the future. Your square of the quilt will be a tribute to that beloved entity.

Create your square however you like (you could even write on an old sheet with a sharpie) on a piece of non-stretchy, easy to sew cloth (like an old sheet, a piece of painter's canvas, etc.). The dimensions of the decorated part can be two different sizes, either:

2 feet X 4 feet (that's 24 inches X 48 inches, 60.96 centimeters X 121.92 centimeters) PLEASE ADD AN *EXTRA* INCH ALL AROUND for sewing the pieces together.


2 feet X 2 feet (24 X 24 inches, 60.96 X 60.96 centimeters) WITH AN *EXTRA* INCH ALL AROUND.

Please leave a little extra room (a few centimeters or an inch) on all sides of the decoration for easy sewing together.

As noted above, the square should be made out of non-stretchy cloth. Please consider the process of piecing all of the squares together and refrain from using any fabric that is particularly fragile or fussy to sew. When it is finished, it should also be foldable.

Other than that, it's up to you what you do with the fabric! It doesn't have to be a recognizable or even beautiful image, just something that is important to you. It doesn't even have to be an image, it could be a poem or a prayer or a piece of writing for or about your subject. (It would be great for the quilt as a whole piece of art if your square is colorful, but again, its up to you.)

Here are some ideas:

* Paint on it with waterproof paint
* Draw or write on it with permanent markers
* Use dyes
* Spray paint or stencil on it
* Batik your square
* Fingerpaint!
* Make a big cut out stamp out of piece of cardboard and stamp it onto your square
* Quilt it the traditional way, by sewing pieces of fabric together to make a pattern
* Make a collage (you can attach anything you want to it as long as it's durable and not heavy, for example, no rocks, large pieces of metal, etc)
* Sew your subject onto your square in cool beads or buttons
* Have a photo printed on it
* Silkscreen your square
* Any and all creative possibilities you want to share in a comment to this post!

Next Steps:
Tell all of your friends to make a square, too!
Please see the post What To Do With Your Finished Square for next steps...

About the quilt project

The 350 Reasons Quilt is a community art project created to raise awareness about keeping our atmosphere here on Earth safe for the life we love.

Last year, the world's leading climate scientists determined that the maximum carbon dioxide levels Earth's atmosphere can hold without causing huge changes in the climate and ecosystems of our planet is 350 parts per million. These are the words of James Hansen of NASA:

"If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm." (Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim?, 2008)

Right now, Earth's atmosphere contains 390 parts per million, and we are just beginning to really see the effects of this overload in unusual seasons, huge storms, the melting of the polar ice, etc....

This December in Copenhagen our world's leaders are meeting to reach an agreement on dealing with the global climate crisis together. International cooperation and large scale legislation is the most important thing we can work toward to get carbon back down below 350. The 350 Reasons Quilt is part of a global day of action to raise awareness about the number 350, the most important number on Earth, and to create support for this limit throughout the human community. On October 24th, 2009, there will be actions all over the world (in 100 countries and counting) to move 350 into the our collective awareness (check out for tons of information). We're going to be sewing together and displaying the quilt that day in San Francisco at a location that we're still determining. Please come!

Each panel of the quilt is a tribute to something that the person who made it loves about life on Earth. All sewn together, the quilt will represent 350 reasons we dedicate ourselves to keeping Earth's atmosphere below 350.

Please participate! You can participate in this project by:
-coming to sew the quilt together
-spreading the word about 350,, or the quilt
-making a panel of something you love about life (It's EASY- check out the post How to Make a Square for more details.)
-creating and registering your own action for October 24th (check out

As the panels are completed and sewn together, we'll be posting them on this site with any explanation/description/caption or dedication the panel's maker includes.

Spread the word!