Sonoma community quilt goes on tour

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What started as a call to the community to decorate fabric squares has now turned into a “Sonoma Community Quilt,” which will travel to different venues across town while on exhibition. Individuals, families, nonprofits and businesses all participated by expressing themselves on a 12-by-12 inch piece of fabric and submitting their creations to the Sonoma Community Center.

By August of last year, the fiber arts department at the center had received more than 80 hand-created compositions from all ages that included decorative techniques such as embroidery, hand painting, quilting, collage, appliqué and fabric printing.

“The request was for participants to represent who they are, their contribution to Sonoma, or interpretation of what Sonoma is to them,” said Eric Jackson, fiber arts manager and the staffer who oversaw the creation of the community quilt. “It’s so fascinating to see the range of squares. And that became a challenge – how to cohesively put them altogether.”

Rather than one large quilt, the community quilt is actually currently nine segments.

“We found that by honoring the traditional 9-patch form, we could combine like-minded fabric squares that then tell a story,” said Jackson.

The results are nine separate stories that are told under the titles “Delicious Delights” and “Fire Story,” for example.

The community quilt was first unveiled at the Sonoma Community Center last fall. The exhibition of the communal artwork will continue at Adastra Wines tasting room on the Plaza in January. After that, the quilt will be displayed at the Vintage House for six weeks as well as the Sonoma Valley Regional Library in May.

Jackson added, “I really enjoy the metaphor of the strength and beauty that results from us coming together. And I hope the exhibit inspires others for when we put out the call for more squares.”

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