Monday, December 5, 2011

Project Update December 5, 2011


 Thanks to everyone for the roles you played in completing our first quilt. We appreciate the donations of fabric and material donations and use of sewing machines from Karen Bailey and Shirley Wilson, Lisa Wilcoxen, Reneau Diallo and Jacqueline Gipson. We thank Lisa Wilcoxen, Karen Bailey, Shirley Wilson, Jacqueline Gipson and Chris Malawy for providing leadership and/or technical assistance in pulling the quilt pieces together. We appreciate the donation of fabric blocks by the quilters, Historic K-Town and Kameryn Leonard. We thank BBF for in-kind donations of space, staff time, copies and use of computers.

We thank Dianna Long, of the Urban Art Retreat, for conducting quilting workshops for children and adults at her program site. She has 4 quilts underway, and has invited us to drop in and see the work in progress. Dianna may be contacted at

1957 S. Spaulding Ave.
Chicago, Il. 60623
(773) 542-9126


We are almost done with our first quilt. Constructing this quilt is giving us an opportunity to learn skills for developing what will be our cloth museum. We have pieced together the 9-patch blocks that the class made for practice a few weeks ago, and have pieced together the top and backing, inserted the batting, and have started knotting the 3 layers. Valerie Leonard will finish knotting the 3 outstanding 9-patches tonight, so that we can focus our efforts on binding tomorrow. When we're done binding, Karen will take the quilt and work with her apprentices later this week to crochet a decorative border.

Jacqueline Gipson has started a quilt honoring her father and other significant people and events in North Lawndale. Reneau Diallo has indicated that it is difficult for her to make it over to the West Side in the evenings, and has offered to work with a group of quilters who grew up in North Lawndale to produce a quilt.

Ashunti Community Services, Inc. has offered to assist in the development of a quilt and to host the celebration on their premises. We will explore this opportunity further. We will be scheduling one-on-one meetings with individuals and organizations that have expressed an interest in participating, but find Tuesday evenings inconvenient.

Next Steps

We should be done with the quilt tomorrow. Next week's meeting will be spent planning activities for the remainder of the project. We will select themes for individual rooms in our cloth museum. Each room will have its own theme, ie, journalists, schools, athletes, etc. We are asking each person to be responsible for completing at least one wall size quilt, of at least 24" x 24" by January 15th. Some people will be able to get their quilts done sooner. Those of us who have quilting experience will be on hand to help those of us who don't.

We hope to have a date set for our drive through quilting by the end of the week. We are looking at January 7th and/OR January 14th. Reneau Diallo has indicated that she would be willing to take the lead on this, sharing her experiences from the Quilt Pavilion at the African Festival of the Arts. If you have any questions, please e-mail Valerie F. Leonard, Project Manager, at

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