Quilt Class Stitches Together History, Arts and Craft
Galloway, N.J. – Cheyanne Banks is a math major and she is also into crafts. The Quilts class at Stockton combined both of her interests.
“Quilting really is both math and art,” Banks said. “This class was phenomenal and exposed me to new views of textiles.”
The class is taught by Associate Professor of Creative Writing Cynthia King who said the class is interdisciplinary, incorporating the arts, material culture, history, and writing, as well as some basic sewing skills.
“The students do a lot of reading about American history and textiles and then do a final project,” she said. “We really enjoy our time together. They did a great job.”
The student projects were on display in the Art Gallery in May along with quilts made by professional quilter Gloria Davis, quilts from the collection of Ralph Hunter, director of the African American Heritage Museum of South Jersey, quilts loaned by Stockton faculty members, and quilts made by the Quilts of Valor of New Jersey to honor veterans.
Banks, of Quinton in Salem County, crocheted a cotton blanket that is color coded following the model of a “temperature blanket” to show global CO2 emissions over time.
“I’ve crocheted for a long time, but this is the first time I made something with something to say,” she said of her environmentally themed project.
Hannah Jones took the class with her roommates, Carina McCormick and Jessica Kelly, and together they created a small quilt that blends each of their interests into one connected panel.
“We wanted something that we could do together and showed how we flow together,” McCormick said. Her section features the beach and sunflowers, Kelly’s has mountains and Carina wants to have a farm. Each woman decorated her part of a large heart represented on the quilt, telling a story of their friendship.
Not all of the final works were quilts, but all told stories through handicraft. Ryan La created crocheted bees and flowers to represent nature and climate change. Andrew Ngo’s cascading paper cranes, titled “Currently in the Air” was created with the help of friends who contributed paper cranes.
“I felt a connection with those who helped,” Ngo said. “This idea of a project began feeling less and less of a project and more a community activity.”
- Story and photos by Diane D'Amico