Quilt of Belonging
The Invitation ProjectBook - 2005
A cultural milestone.
Canada is home to immigrants from every nation in the world. Quilting artist Esther Bryan wanted to celebrate this fact, to promote a sense of greater belonging among these diverse groups. A quilt would be a collaborative, community-based project to celebrate cultural diversity.
Each cultural group contributed one 11-inch square pieced into a giant quilt named the Quilt of Belonging. The quilt is approximately 120 feet long by 10 feet high (36 m by 3.5 m). It consists of 263 squares representing 71 Aboriginal groups and 192 immigrant nationalities found in Canada.
The quilt includes fabric that has been appliqued, beaded, cross-stitched, embroidered, and hand-woven. The many cultural decorations include:Abalone shells Lithuanian amber Bobbin lace A brooch from Poland English wool Kente cloth from Ghana Porcupine quills, rabbit fur, sealskin, and smoked caribou hide 200-year-old German linen Worry dolls from Guatemala. The Quilt of Belonging will be exhibited in spring 2005 with an opening show at Canada's Museum of Civilization and then will become part of a traveling exhibit of stitches and stories that visits museums and community centers throughout Canada and beyond.