affectionately known as the “mother of the AIDS Quilt”
When AIDS began to attack her friends, Gert was heartbroken and angry that this would happen to her boys. In April of 1987, Gert went to a meeting about making a memorial quilt. There were only 5 gay men and Gert, plus she realized that these men knew nothing about sewing. She made her first quilt for activist Roger Lyon and she has not stopped sewing in all of these thirty-three years.
Gert is the only person that has caressed and/or had a hand in sewing each and every panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
During the COVID pandemic, Gert has led an effort to make thousands of masks made from quilt fabric to ensure doctors, nurses and first-responders could be safe and healthy.