Lives Writ in Cloth
Quilts were first created as a utilitarian way of recycling fabric; but they can also tell us a story. Just as music can express emotion through rhythm and tone, quilters can use the rhythm and texture of cloth patterns to express a connection to family, history, or an important life event.
Katrina Gorman and Letha Anderson are members of the Sisters of the Cloth quilting guild in Fort Wayne. This group of African-American women meets to create brightly colored works of art and teach new quilters of all skill levels. As Anderson notes, they are not just teaching quilting, but life skills as well.
Gen Dornbush's quilts follow traditional European-American patterns that have been handed down for generations. She explains that for a long time, quilts were a method for women to express their political views during a period when their voices were seldom heard. Her own quilts serve as treasured family heirlooms. The women of Dornbush's family have been quilting for more than 200 years.