By William Kissane, Staff Writer
Last month, a group comprised of Warren Wilson College students and staff working with the Fiber Arts crew completed the community quilt project after over a month of work. The idea for making the quilt was introduced last fall semester as an idea for a community art project, the goal being to create something that would bring together and represent individual students in the Wilson community. Creating this sort of collaboration is a common role of traditional quilts. The project was also an educational undertaking, serving as an attempt to teach students the process of embroidery. The quilt was shown at the Fiber Arts crew open house on February 26th and will soon be displayed in Cowpie Cafe.
“The community quilt was a way to teach the Warren Wilson community more about fiber arts, as well as teaching embroidery, which many of them were doing for the first time with us,” junior Fiber Arts crew member, Morgan Vessel, said. “The purpose was to bring the community together to learn and enjoy each other’s company, while making a quilt that would represent the community itself.”
Vessel helped to come up with the idea for the project and the process of creating it. She also joined members of the Fiber Arts crew to teach people to embroider at a table outside Gladfelter Dining Hall and was involved in the sewing and quilting of the actual quilt. Students hand embroidered words that represented what Wilson meant to them on pieces of fabric that were then sewed together into the quilt to create a unique and beautiful piece of art. For the past month, members of the crew had a table set up at Cowpie during lunch with the embroidery supplies for students to sit down and learn how to embroider their own patches for the quilt.
“So many students put their limited lunch time into making a patch, which we were not sure was going to work out at first,” said Vessel. “Also, Richard Caro, a really great quilter in town, helped us weekly to arrange the patches and sew and quilt them together. He was there for every step of the process to help us figure out how to make it work.”
Many members of the Wilson community were involved in the creation of the quilt in addition to the members of Fiber Arts crew. The project was immensely successful in achieving its goal to bring together the community, and this success will hopefully give way to many more community-oriented art projects.