Quilt of Belonging: The Invitation Project

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Boston Mills Press, Feb 1, 2006 - Crafts & Hobbies - 296 pages

A cultural milestone.

Canada is home to immigrants from every nation in the world. Quilting artist Esther Bryan wanted to celebrate this fact, to promote a sense of greater belonging among these diverse groups. A quilt would be a collaborative, community-based project to celebrate cultural diversity.

Each cultural group contributed one 11-inch square pieced into a giant quilt named the Quilt of Belonging. The quilt is approximately 120 feet long by 10 feet high (36 m by 3.5 m). It consists of 263 squares representing 71 Aboriginal groups and 192 immigrant nationalities found in Canada.

The quilt includes fabric that has been appliqued, beaded, cross-stitched, embroidered, and hand-woven. The many cultural decorations include:

  • Abalone shells
  • Lithuanian amber
  • Bobbin lace
  • A brooch from Poland
  • English wool
  • Kente cloth from Ghana
  • Porcupine quills, rabbit fur, sealskin, and smoked caribou hide
  • 200-year-old German linen
  • Worry dolls from Guatemala.

The Quilt of Belonging will be exhibited in spring 2005 with an opening show at Canada's Museum of Civilization and then will become part of a traveling exhibit of stitches and stories that visits museums and community centers throughout Canada and beyond.

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Stitches and Stories

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About the author (2006)

Esther Bryan was born in France to an American mother and a Slovakian father and is herself an immigrant. A noted quilting artist, she lives in Williamstown, Ontario.

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