Creating Community Through Quilt Making
Have you ever had the opportunity to help create a quilt?
It's a wonderful way to contribute a piece of yourself to a larger scale and to your community.
[Photo Credit: A Gr.4 Community quilt from Marianne and Community Group Quilt, PTA]
Quilting is a handicraft that involves sewing or knitting pieces of individual patchwork together to form a quilt. In the above photo, a class of children have also created a community quilt using paper and markers.
Quilts can be created for many occasions such as for a new baby, a family memory, or a community group. Quilts are all different and unique and community quilts are meaningful because they can bring a group of people together. If you are interested in creating a quilt of your own, the library has some great books for you to check out:
Community groups such as Toronto Public Library's Craft and English Conversation Circle at the Gerrard/Ashdale Branch is one such example that has in the past few months created a quilt piece that was donated to a charitable organization. The quilt pieces were created by knitting and crocheting and then patched together by the individual members in the group.
The circle began when there became a need to address a growing number of newcomer customers in the Gerrard India Bazaar neighbourhood. The customers wanted a learning space to develop their English as well as a social space to get to know their community. They quickly developed the idea to create a quilt, which helped to bring them closer.
The group welcomes beginner, intermediate, and advanced handi-crafters as well as English speakers of all levels.
[Photo Credit: Craft and Conversation Circle at Gerrard/Ashdale Library]
English Conversation Circles at the Toronto Public Library provides opportunities to develop and practice English language skills in an informal environment. If you are looking to learn new expressions, meet new friends, and increase your confidence in using conversational English, then check out an English Conversation Circle near you!
You can also learn more about our English Conversation Circles in a previous English Conversation Circle Blog.
The Gerrard India Bazaar also recently saw the unveiling of yet another beautiful community quilt. This quilt however was a project that originated from one of the store owners in the neighbourhood. The project, called Social Fabric with help from artists of The Toronto Art Group, brought together store owners, local organizations, and families in the Gerrard Street East neighbourhood. Each group contributed and created their own patchwork, which was then sewn into a community quilt that represented the unique qualities of the area.
[Photo Credit: InsideToronto]
The unveiling of the quilt coincided with the Toronto Public Library's South Asia Homelands Festival at the Gerrard/Ashdale Library, an annual celebration for Asian Heritage Month. Everyone gathered around the cozy second floor library and watched as the quilt was unveiled by young children in the crowd.
[Photo Credit: Gerrard/Ashdale Library Staff]
The quilt will be on display at the Gerrard/Ashdale Library until the end of May 2012, after which it will be placed into one of the empty store fronts along Gerrard St. East.
After seeing all these beautiful pieces of patched quilts, I hope you are inspired to create your very own. Whether with a group, a family, or yourself, a quilt is a piece of art that anyone can take part in!