In January 1993, the UHCL 20th Anniversary Commemoration Steering Committee convened to begin planning a year-long celebration from September 1993 to September 1994. The Committee adopted the theme "Celebration of Excellence," and planned a full slate of events such as a national aspiring playwrights festival, guest lecturer Joyce Carol Oates, and a charter faculty and staff reunion. In addition, the committee desired to commission a lasting piece of permanent artwork for the University.
Joyce Goerke, honorary chair of the committee and wife of then-UHCL President Glenn Goerke, suggested a quilt as an artistic symbol of the commemorative event. Just as a large quilt is created of many small parts, so does the University represent a unified community, a patchwork of people and ideas.
To design the quilt, the Committee turned to a quilter of international reputation: Judy Cloninger, the wife of UHCL charter faculty, Dale Cloninger. She was assisted by Betty Liebfried, both a graduate of the UHCL Art Program and the wife of longtime UHCL faculty Dr. Ted Liebfried.
On May 5, 1993, Judy Cloninger, Joyce Goerke and a number of volunteers met for the first time to discuss the quilt project and the initial design concept.