Since 1998 a group of dedicated volunteers has been working on an amazing quilt that began life as the Invitation Project. The resulting 120-foot-long Quilt of Belonging has been touring throughout Canada for more than two years, touching the lives of all who see it and sending the message that "there is a place for everyone in the fabric of society."
How Did It Begin?
She was overwhelmed by the response to her work and by the public's need to share their own stories. Esther had been searching for new directions to explore in her art. As she describes it, she has found her answer. "I felt compelled to make art that would include all who needed to belong, artist or not. All would be invited to participate, to belong. Invitation: The Quilt of Belonging was born!"
It took more than six years to find a person to represent each country. Equally challenging was identifying the major groupings that comprise the more than 600 First Nations, Inuit and Métis bands and groups of Canada's aboriginal peoples. Each country and each aboriginal unit was invited to make a block to represent their culture.
Quilt of Belonging
Every block in this quilt can be viewed individually at www.QuiltofBelonging.ca. Each design is explained, the designer identified and a short history of the nation or aboriginal group is given. The workmanship in the blocks is amazing.
A companion book, Quilt of Belonging: The Invitation Project by Esther Bryan and Friends, is also available through the Web site. This book gives a more detailed and personal account about the making of the quilt, profiling the blocks' makers and their work.
Esther's goal to include everyone in her art was certainly accomplished in this magnificent tapestry that represents the large variety of cultural beliefs of all those who make Canada their home. QW
The Quilt of Belonging will be on display at the International Quilt Festival in Houston from Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2007.