Quilt of Belonging
The Invitation ProjectBook - 2005
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.
A well illustrated book about a quilt project with squares from 270 master quilters, each representing a different cultural or ethnic group from Canada. Each unique square is illustrated, the story behind the group's square told and the maker profiled.