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Northern Dreams Quilt Project

2000-2001

This project started out as a local initiative led by Myths and Mirrors and well-known and respected textile artist from Manitoulin Island, Judith Martin. The purpose was to get women involved in a community art project that focused on their dreams for the future of our new millennium. After being approached by the Ontario Women’s Health Network, the project was expanded to include women in Sault Ste Marie, Manitoulin Island, North Bay, Timmins and Elliot Lake.

Each community was visited at least three times. In a packed van full of beautiful hand dyed fabric and flip charts, the team traveled throughout the North of Ontario delivering workshops and inspiration. Women shared their stories of living in the North, the joys of safe, close-knit communities, of the wild and beautiful natural environment, and of the sorrows of unemployment, poverty and the out-migration of their children to the jobs in Southern urban areas. Together they dreamed of a future that includes clean air and water, kindness, meaningful and sustaining work, beauty, justice, safety and reliable health care. Demonstrations of various textile art techniques such as fabric painting, transfers, embroidery, etc. provided inspiration for transforming their dreams into quilt square designs.

One hundred and fifty women contributed beautiful squares, which were stitched together and quilted into six quilts. A grand unveiling took place at in the lobby of Sudbury’s town hall, where they remained for a month long exhibit. The quilts then traveled to the participating communities for viewing, where they each got to pick one for permanent exhibit.

Please feel free to visit photographs from the ‘Northern Dreams Quilt Project’ here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mythsandmirrors/sets/72157615785504874/

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