Community Fiber Quilts     
In the Classroom - Rehabilitation Center - Group Home

Traditionally quilts strengthened ties between individuals and their communities. Although most individuals were not trained artists the need to express a personal vision seemed to spring from the fertile imagination.  It is these aspects of quilt making that make it a wonderful vehicle for continuing the tradition for building community, connecting with others and for revealing personal expression and our history. 

After thirty years of creating quilts in schools, at group homes, rehabilitation centers and hospitals, I am still excited by the process. Each project is individually designed to meet the vision of the teachers, hospital staff or therapists. At schools the projects are fully integrated into the curriculum. Through this process we go beyond the boundary of traditional quilts in order to reflect our own time and sense of place.  Individually and collaboratively we create “Art Quilts” that can be permanently placed at the site or taken home by the individuals that create the work. 

For more information or to discuss your particular vision, please contact me at 828-273-7509 or .

Black Mountain Primary - “Our Friends from Japan”

Seven third grade classes embraced Japanese Art and Culture through hands-on projects which were fully integrated into their curriculum meeting 21st century guidelines. Each student created a paper block that became a community quilt and a fiber block which they took home. Working in small groups we created the three collaborative quilt tops which were completed in my studio.

I invited Emiko Suzuk, a visiting artist from Japan, Ikebana and Tea Ceremony Master and a colleague of my Ikebana practice, to share stories of her life in Japan and demonstrate an Ikebana arrangement (Japanese flower arranging). Students created an arrangement in the clay containers they created with their classroom art teacher. They had the opportunity to try on Japanese children’s clothing. The music teacher taught the students Japanese tunes they played on instruments found in both the US and in Japan. They wrote stories or poems inspired by their art work. The closing program included presenting the completed quilts, a Haiku I wrote for the children, music and folk tale program by the students and a formal tea ceremony presented by Emiko Suzuki.

Our Friends from Japan
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Our Friends from Japan
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Our Friends from Japan
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Class quilt
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Experiencing clothing from Japan
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Ikebana Arrangements
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Selecting materials for Ikebana Arrangements
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Working on the Cherry Blossom quilt
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Tea Ceremony
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Playing Japanese Tunes at Closing Ceremony
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(Photo credit: Megan Bannerman and Black Mountain News, Copyright 2013)

   

Montessori School of Raleigh, NC

1-3rd grade students studied the cultures of Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Each student created a personal block they took home. Working with small group we created two community quilts tops. The quilts were completed in my studio and returned to the school to be on exhibit in a public space.

Australia and Africa
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Detail of Africa
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Detail of Australia
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Asia and Europe
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Detail of Europe
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Detail of Asia
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ArtSpace Charter School, Aheville, NC

4th grade students and Jr. High School students studied the artists and environment at Black Mountain College.Three paper quilts and three collaborative fiber quilt tops were created inspired by the spirit of experimentation at the college. The quilts were completed in my studio and returned to the school. They are on exhibit in a public space for the community to enjoy.

4th grade
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4th grade
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ArtSpace Middle School
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Detail of ArtSpace Middle School
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Vance Elementary, Raleigh NC

Fifth grade students studied cycles. Integrating art and science, each student created a paper block that became a community paper quilt and a fiber block that they took home. Working in small groups we created the tops for three community quilts: “Eco Systems”, “Land Forms” and “Weather”. The quilts were completed in my studio and sent back to the school for installation in the media center.

Art Teacher, Sue Hanehan created a photographic essay of the process and wrote: “Many thanks to Norma Bradley for sharing her passion for quilts with our students. The experience enriched not only the lives or our students, but the teachers and community members who shared in the residency”

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Detail of "Weather"
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Detail of "Land Forms"
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Detail of "Ecosystems"
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Montessori Middle School of Raleigh, Raleigh NC
“Peace Tree” and personal quilts
Each student contributed to the creation of a community quilt which is hung at their school. Using similar techniques they each created a personal quilt to take home. Click photos to enlarge.
Students working together Large personal quilts
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personal quilts
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"Peace Tree" Community Quilt
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"Peace Tree" detail 1
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"Peace Tree" detail 2
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"Tesselations" at Bugg Elementary School
Raleigh NC
“Tessellations” are visible in the world around us in tiles as well as beehives. Fourth grade students looked at natural elements, their school environment, fiber quilts and learned about the work of M.C. Escher. They created their own tessellation designs and each class helped to create an “Art Quilt”. The three quilts are installed at their school.
Creating personal tessellations
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Bugg Elementary "Tessellations"
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Detail of "Tesselation"
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“Community Ties”at Bugg Elementary School
Raleigh, NC

3rd grade students proudly share family quilts. Members of the community sew with students and share their quilt stories.
   
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Oaxaca Lending Library
Oaxaca, Mexico
Children come to the library on Saturday morning to learn English. They created visual stories of their everyday life. Their colorful, inspiring work was displayed as a wall quilt. Visit their web-site at http://ninosadelante.googlepages.com/
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Pisgah Elementary
Asheville, NC
Inspired by their favorite book, students created their individual images and added stitches and beads to add texture and design.
Texture & design
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3rd grade students help with the design process
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Detail of Story Quilts
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Detail of Story Quilts
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Salem Elementary
Apex, NC
Fifth grade students are leaving their legacy in the school library. Inspired by their favorite story book they created designs, wrote about their experience of creating the quilts and how the story related to their own life.
Drawing with the scissor
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1 of 4 story quilts created by the 5th grade
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Detail - Story Quilts by the 5th grade
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5th grade
Salem Elementary
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Durant Middle School
Raleigh, NC

Students created four quilts to raise awareness about the invasive Hydrilla plant that is clogging lakes and harms animals.

“It’s an excellent example of stewardship among these young people…. This quilt is wonderfully symbolic of that.”
Martha Woods, Umstead Park Superintendent

local quilt guild members participate
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Family quilts are proudly shared
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Each quilt holds its personal story
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Quilting bee students collaborate to create four panels
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Isaac Dickson Elementary
Asheville, NC
community members participate
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4th grade students write stories and poems inspired by their images
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Art quilts on display at an ice cream parlor
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Creating quilts brings joy to the classroom setting
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Asheville Catholic School
Asheville, NC
Helping Hands
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Helping Hands
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Cheraw High School
Cheraw, SC
Art students listened to Dizzy’s music, read one of his books, and talked about his early life in Cheraw. The quilt was displayed at the art gallery in celebration of Black History Month and is on permanent display at the school.
"Dizzy" - A celebration of Dizzy Gelaspie's life
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Creating "Dizzy"
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Working and creating together build community
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Creating "Dizzy"
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Spring Hill High School
Dorothea Dix Hospital
Raleigh, NC
Details of art quilts
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Detail of a community quilt
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All designs, images, and text © 2015 Norma Bradley Earth Quilt Designs
For information or to arrange a presentation or workshop, please contact Norma at 828-273-7509 or
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