Awardee: Mama Carla

Primary Artistic Medium: Crafts and Textiles


Mama Carla’s Olney Resident Story Quilt

The oral history documentation and quilt making project would engage 8-12 businesses and their customers in oral interviews. The project would compensate 4-6 local teens from Olney who speak various languages to capture audio stories from the local businesses. After interviewing business owners, customers and residents, we would leave each business with muslin fabric, markers, hand sanitizer and wipes for three – five days in order to have the community write their thoughts on a muslin cloth for use in the quilt. After which, we would have youth collect muslin fabric with community comments on them and return to Mama Carla for assembling into a 72”x72” quilt with The Olney Embrace Project Logo and name in the Center. Eight of the twelve businesses would be included in the quilt which will be adorned with fabrics from participating cultures, writings on muslin and borders of color. Carla would then engage other quilters to assemble the quilt creating a wall hanging to be displayed in locations around the city. Should all twelve successfully complete muslin, we could have a much larger quilt or to smaller quilts; which would be decided upon evaluation of all submissions. The audio collected would be edited to create the storyline which will accompany the traveling quilt.

Each participating business will be presented with a framed photo of their square which will remain in the store as part of their participation in the project. We would then identify locations around the city to display the traveling quilt and exhibit the audio stories that support the creation of the quilt. Through this quilting and storytelling project we are able to capture the history of Olney residents, families, elders and business owners preserving the history and culture of the Olney community for years to come. We understand the healing power of people telling their stories through audio and visual means. Given an opportunity to share their stories, we find the valuable gems of culture in the community that often goes unnoticed, underserved and unacknowledged.