Communal Quilt Project


The Communal Quilt Project brings together members of our broad community (at W&M and in Williamsburg and beyond) to share their story in a series of workshops facilitated by Steve Prince of the Muscarelle Museum at William & Mary. Participants will create their own quilt square with fabric, scissors, and glue to share their story in the context of community. In Spring 2022, the squares will be stitched together and displayed on DoG Street as an vision exemplifying who we are together. All are welcome and no quilting or art experience is necessary. Workshops are free of charge.

We are offering workshops at a variety of times and locations, and you can register as an individual or as a group. If you would like to request a workshop for your space or group, let us know.

The Communal Quilt Project is an arts experiential initiative designed to work with all people in Williamsburg and surrounding counties and cities to create a giant quilt. With simple elements such as fabric, glue, and scissors participants will be able to shape and craft images while sharing aspects of their story in the context of community. We will operatively create a safe space where we can demystify the superficial barriers that cause division in our community and reveal how close we really are. In the Spring of 2022, we will harvest the story-quilts and place them on Duke of Gloucester (DOG) Street as a symbol of the community functioning as one body. Over time we will create a communal quilt called the “DOG Street Mile Communal Quilt."

The project is designed to replicate aspects of the sewing circle in a series of hands-on workshops. Participants will be guided through the process of creating faux patchwork narrative quilt sections.

Patchwork quilts date back over 5000 years and have been found in all cultures across the world. Generations of people took the scraps and discarded fabric remnants recycling and re-invigorating them with new life typically housed in repeat geometric patterns. The fabric fragments each held a story of the family history. In ante-bellum America sewing circles, comprised mostly of women, would gather to pass the knowledge to younger generations, to talk, to gossip, and to strategize. Over time, the quilters developed patchwork patterns and during slavery in America, Abolitionists secretly used quilt patterns as codes to help slaves navigate the South to the North searching for a Promised Land.
191 People | 157 Impacts | 318 Hours