Information on Native-made quilts sought
A call is going out to the Native community by well-known Canadian quilt-maker Anne Bird for information on Nativemade quilts,
After years of travelling throughout Canada and the United States to talk to people about quilts, Bird wondered why she had never seen much quilt-making by Native people.
October 5, 1989: Volume 16 #15
She knew of quilters from the culture working with Native designs and art work, but was curious to know whether Native people were actually getting in on the past-time.
Back in 1987, Bird learned of Alice Olsen Williams, a well-known Ojibway quilt-maker from the curve Lake reserve in southern Ontario. Williams who is originally from Trout Lake, about 30 kilometers north of red Lake, incorporates her quilting know-how with the various Nishnawbe art forms of Curve Lake artist Norman Knott.
Williams says she started quilting after a four week beginners course in 1980.
"I took the course on a lark and haven't stopped ever since.
I had no idea I would love it so much," she says.
Williams produces about five quilts a year which range from $1,000 to $2,000.
She is now including more Nishnawbe-kwe (feminine) designs of floral and geometric forms.
Bird, with the help of quilters like Williams, is hoping to compile as many photographs and slides from Native people to possibly produce a book on the subject.
If you know of a Native quilter in Nishnawbe-Aski, please send their names and address to ANNe Bird at 82 Flora St., Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 1A8.
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