How one man’s idea for the AIDS quilt made the country pay attention Twenty-nine years ago, the AIDS Memorial Quilt was unfolded on the Mall for the first time, with 1,920 panels. Today, it has grown to more than 49,000. The project was the idea of Cleve Jones, a San Francisco gay rights activist. This article is adapted from Jones’s book “When We Rise: My Life in the Movement,” which is being published Nov. 29 by Hachette Books. For the full article visit the Washington Post.