Dixwell and Newhallville Quilters' Work in Exhibit

“Community of Quilters,” an exhibit of 30 handmade patchwork quilts, created as a collaboration between residents of the Dixwell and Newhallville communities and Yale graduate student Heather Williams, will be displayed in the main branch of the New Haven Public Library on Elm Street from September 15 to October 15.

The quilters come from the Scantelbury Senior Residence on Dixwell Avenue, Mary B. Ashford Adult Services on Shelton Avenue, the Dixwell Senior Center on Bristol Street, and Newhallville Over-Sixty, which meets at the Jackie Robinson Middle School on Fournier Street. Craftswomen of varying skill levels participated; most were seniors, but occasionally grandchildren joined in the piecing and sewing. About 40 people participated in the project. Ms. Williams organized meetings at each of the four centers that participated, and visited each one in turn for nine weeks this summer, bringing sewing tools and fabric, and teaching basic and more advanced quilting techniques.

Ms. Williams was one of 30 Yale students who were awarded fellowships this summer by President Richard C. Levin, enabling them to work for non-profit agencies or on their own service projects. The Yale President’s Public Service Fellowship program was established in 1994. Ms. Williams is a doctoral student in American Studies at the University. She is a self-taught quilter who uses vibrant, traditionally African colors and patterns in her work.

On Thursday, September 18, at 4 p.m., many of the quilters will be on hand at the Public Library’s program room, 133 Elm Street, ground floor, for a reception in their honor sponsored by Yale University.

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