Rethinking Home, Building Community

By Lisa Van De Graaff

Our home has become a place of refuge.  We can take off our masks (and our bras) and be ourselves.  By unplugging the wifi, we can even find quiet.  My good fortune is having a shelter despite fires and hurricanes and lost income is something for which I feel tremendous gratitude.  The health and safety of my loved ones is my only priority now.  A pandemic can apparently bring clarity.

These past few weeks, my home feels even more deeply personal.  The womb was the first home for all of us – a place of nourishment and comfort and safety.  Yet politicians, and judges, and religions want to reside inside my uterus and in the bodies of my sisters.  The Shelter of my house is not enough to protect by body…

…Which brings me to community.  Only women understand what it means to have the capacity to create life.  Creation. Creativity.  It is fundamental part of femininity, and the community I desire embraces that.  The community for which I long would celebrate women.  It would support women and their well-being, and it would encourage women and girls to become the best versions of themselves.


Rethinking Home, Building Community

By Julee Coffman

Growing up rurally I thought “community” was better represented by city living.  So, I chose this fabric to start this piece.  But then my dilemma was how to demonstrate community.  I think of activities best shared; garden, playground and bicycles…..

“A Crooked Little House”

By Kay Welch

A crooked little house

Built on a crooked little hill.

We sit together, side by side,

Warm and cozy in love.


A poem I wrote in junior high.

My inspiration for this piece:  my poem, my own crooked little house on a crooked little hill where I once lived, my mother’s words of encouragement I was raised on, the flowers blooming in abundance at my granny’s house, the mountains here in New Mexico, and the night sky filled with stars.  The most important inspiration – LOVE. The most important part of life – love in all of its forms, places, and lasting effects.

Seeking Balance

By Hildegard Pressesky

Original design 30.5” x 25.5” Machine pieced, raw edge applique, machine quilted on a household sewing machine.

Warmly lit buildings, a gigantic pineapple in the middle of the town, oversized flowers and birds:  I imagine a world where people are safe and secure in their homes, where abundant resources are shared, where we all thrive in balance with nature and rejoice in the beauty of this planet.

“Rethinking Home, Building Community”

By Louise Heine

Nothing other than “Faith, Hope and Love”, is what comes to mind and is what I envision…

Pattern: Log Cabin Cross by Quilts Ole, 2018

“Rethinking Home, Building Community”

By Jerri Bryson


Around the time the quilting store gave notice of this contest I saw this pattern in American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, and I thought it was perfect.   The gray background signifies this difficult time we’re all trying to survive, but I made the homes out of my favorite range of violet colors coordinating well together as a community.  Then there’s that nice yellow sun shining to give us hope of a better future.


By Carolyn Bell

My daughter, Kaitlin, lives in New York City.  Born and raised in New Mexico, she escaped to the big city and embraced the fast-paced city life.  Although we’d always been close, many years passed and our connection had faded.  Then Covid arrived.  Her job came to an abrupt halt and NYC closed down.  Kaitlin flew to NM and stayed with us for 4 months.  Together we redecorated the house, celebrated birthday milestones, created daily “Booty Bootcamps”, and spent time outside in beautiful New Mexico.  Past issues were discussed and resolved, conversations while hiking, biking, gardening gradually brought us back together deepening and enriching our relationship.  I wanted to make a quilt to reflect this.

 I had no real plan before I started this quilt other than wanting to make a crazy quilt (crazy Covid times) and use the colors of New Mexico.  As I started to work on it, I separated the colors into light, medium and dark.  I felt that the light colors symbolized the relationship that Kaitlin and I had at the beginning of Covid.  Gradually, as we spent time together our relationship deepened and enriched into the darker colors.  The center of each block is red to represent emotional connection.  I bleached the red fabric for the light and medium colored blocks.  To show movement of emotion, I hand quilted the quilt to mimic the ripples outward from a rock thrown in a pond.

The Fish Chair, 24 inches by 28 inches, by Diane DiMaria

The simple heartwarming story of The Fish Chair inspired me to do this piece. This past year has been so challenging for most of us. Changing all aspects of our lives-family, home, community. A mission by a group on Facebook of thrift store find enthusiasts from all over the world, self-designated the “Fellowship of the Fish Chair” to deliver a zany chair to a total stranger reminded me of the best in humankind. During times of adversity, humans can find a way to come together as a community, even if not in person, to build a family-in this case of complete strangers-to find home in all of us.

The Story: The fish chair was spotted in a local thrift shop in Baltimore by a woman who snapped a photo of the unusual piece to share on her Facebook group of around 2 million members. One of the members, Emily DelFavero, was shocked because she had a tattoo of the exact chair on her leg. She had gotten the tattoo because it reminded her of her mother who once collected the pieces by the chair’s designer. The chair symbolized family, home, and good memories shared with loved ones. Of simpler and safer times. The group decided that Emily had to have the chair, so they collected enough money to buy her the chair. Then they drove the chair, 330 miles from Baltimore to Emily, who lived in Syracuse, NY. 

“The chair has always represented love, but now it’s not just for me. It’s for all of us.” Emily DelFavero