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An Earth Quilt project begins with planning. This includes meeting with school or community leaders to discuss project plans, developing a plan for curriculum integration if applicable, and selecting a site.

Each residency begins with a slide presentation and quilt display open to the entire community. The project comes alive as images of previous Earth Quilts are shown. I explain how the symbols in each Earth Quilt relate to the community in which it was created. As slides of Earth Quilt installations are shown a clear understanding is gained of the process in which they will participate. The quilt display consists of fiber quilts gathered from community members. After the slide presentation, each person who brought a quilt shares the story that their quilt holds or inspires.

The design process includes input from the community, parents, teachers, students... They design a working drawing of a shape or pattern they feel represents their community.

I speak to community members in their homes, at quilt and garden club meetings and at civic club meetings, to learn about the uniqueness of the community and its focus.

All community members and student drawings are considered as I develop my own working drawings.

The garden is installed: frames are constructed, masonry is completed, soil is prepared, and garden elements are added.

The dedication ceremony takes place and is enjoyed by all. Click here for more on the dedication ceremony, including poems written by participants.


I would like to thank the thousands of individuals involved in the Earth Quilt project over the past 23 years. Your dedication, participation and hard work made these beautiful gardens possible. It is my hope that they continue to bring joy, inspiration and hope into your lives.


All designs, images, and text © updated 2023
For information on classes and workshops please contact Norma at

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