The 2021 Community Quilt Project
For anyone who spends any amount of time in Kimberly, it’s easy to see that the people who live and work here share many of the same values. People take pride in the excellent schools that Kimberly offers, as well as an exciting and successful athletics program. People spend time outside, walking the paths with their dogs, playing sports, enjoying the swim beach, and biking. People attend community events, participate in hobbies like gardening, reading and art, and they take time to give back to their community. Above all, people practice kindness and respect in the everyday occurrences of their lives. The words, actions, and interactions of the people of Kimberly tell a lot about their core values – the essential qualities that residents of Kimberly deem as most important. The words, actions, and interactions of the people of Kimberly, in essence, define Kimberly.
As an individual and professional who finds value in storytelling, I believe it’s important to encourage the telling of our community story. A community quilt is an engaging way to illustrate the essential qualities and core values that make up our shared experience as Kimberly residents and members of this beautiful community. It would, in fact, be a tangible snapshot of who we are in this moment in time – quintessentially Kimberly.
In order to get the story right, the Kimberly Public Library would like your input about Kimberly. We want to know from your perspective and your own experience, what specific quality, activity, place, group, event, or tradition you define as iconically Kimberly. We want to turn your words and ideas into quilt squares, so please be sure that your story can invoke an image or can be easily recognized by others through the imagery of a quilt square.
So when you see giant Post-It Notes stuck up around the library or at outreach events around the community throughout the month of September, please pick up a pen and write your story of Kimberly. The prompt is simple; just complete one sentence, “Kimberly wouldn’t be Kimberly without….” Your answer can be a place, event, group, tradition, or something else. And then maybe tell a little bit of the story that explains why you feel that way. No need to draw a picture or design a quilt square. Just write from your heart.
You can follow the library’s quilting idea collection on social media or just stop into the library this fall. After we collect your ideas and stories, the next step is to sort them and assign images.
To do the work of design and sewing, we’ve enlisted the help of local hobby quilter, Marcie Karner, and some of her crafty friends. Marcie has more than 48 years of sewing experience and got her start right here in Kimberly, taking classes at the former Kimberly Quilt Shop in downtown Kimberly. She will be assisted by fellow-quilters Joanne Tompkins and Sharon Hoehne.
“Quilting,” Marcie says, “is in my blood. I’ve made hundreds of quilts over the years.”
She has donated quilts to the Hearthstone, St. Elizabeth Hospital, the humane society, a local church, and more. To see more of Marcie’s work, visit the Kimberly Public Library during the month of October when we will have a small subset of her autumnal collection on display.
Everyone is encouraged to share in the process of defining the essence of Kimberly for the community quilt. Every answer matters. As Marcie explains, when you make a block quilt, all the sections are created individually, but everything is gathered together to show the full picture. We want the full picture.
The Kimberly Public Library will accept your input through October 31. Once we’ve collected your ideas, Marcia and her co-quilters will work with Kimberly Library staff to design and create the community quilt based on your stories, then piece it together as a team to create the full picture. Upon completion, the quilt will be on display at the Kimberly Public Library.
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