The tradition of stitching together a sandwich of fabric with some wadding in between goes back a long, long time. In fact the term "Quilt" derives from the Latin for 'Stuffed Sack' , illustrating how the adoption of such a simple process to create a comfort blanket existed long before it became a method of familial expression.
That evolution grew from the increased availability of cotton in America's formative years as those on the frontier learnt to farm the resource domestically. From there, patchwork quilting emerged and before long generations were sharing the stories of their families across a tapestry of individual frames stitched together to become a tremendous collaborative narrative.
It is from that principle that this workshop was born.
The materials list is quite simple:
Squares of felt.
Glue & Glue Gun
With the above it is simple work to craft a symbolic representation of a story or event. But for the purposes of this event I included small re-recordable 'Voiceboxes' - the kind you find inside talking teddy bears. I had ordered 100 from a Chinese factory and offered then to the participants to provide an added dimension to their work.
The intention of the workshop was to create something to share with someone who might need comforting both physically and also emotionally and as such the voices recorded within each panel of the quilt should offer a story of hope and/ or happiness.
The process was quick for the participants, from the conception of the narrative through to a symbolic representation on their patch to the recording of the voicebox, sticthing and wadding - we completed a 12 panel quilt in less than an hour.
The results were really quite moving and I am very happy to report that the quilt has since been donated and has raised a little money and hope for those needing comfort.