HOME- A First Look at the Moore Place Quilt

Before I share this post,  I should clearly say that all of these amazing photographs were taken by Ben Premeaux.

14923757534_2df416cd92_kYou can see all of the photos by visiting the McColl Center for Art + Innovation’s flickr page.

15545325752_a3054b7a80_kIt seems long, long ago and at the same time yesterday that I was living in Charlotte, North Carolina for two months as part of a residency program established by the Rasmuson Foundation.

15545313142_5b7e449ee1_kThis is how the program works–four outside organizations send four artists and writers to the north, and Alaska sends four artists and writers to the lower 48.

Photo by Ben Premeaux of Maria Shell's work with Moore PlaceLast year, I was one of those artists.

14923610394_1e1c5abbd8_kI have written several posts about the residency program and you can read them by clicking here, here, and here.

15544425765_6363d9726b_kMy residency partner was the McColl Center for Art + Innovation. At McColl, the residency program has a community component.

15541814221_a72fd83cf6_kThis means we take our art out of the studio and into the community with the hopes of engaging the community in a meaningful way.

15541794491_126da64a42_kI’ve written before about making community quilts and the joy that happens when a community is stitched together out of colorful scraps of fabric.

Photo by Ben Premeaux of Maria Shell's work with Moore PlaceI have written about community quilts many times on this blog. A few of the more popular posts are here, here, here, and here.

15541785371_feda0863dc_kHaving experience with engaging communities in this way, it only made sense that I would build a community quilt while in Charlotte.

15541759431_18bd6acaf3_kAnd so I did. I spent two months working with the residents of Moore Place.

15541645041_d4d42d6db8_kI told the full story about my journey to Moore Place in this blog post. If you have time, I hope you will read it.

15520785396_2cc67b0c09_kThe work the Urban Ministry Center and Moore Place are doing should be recognized.

Photo by Ben Premeaux of Maria Shell's work with Moore PlaceThey are amazing organizations.

15520760836_4ca3977e04_kHere is the short version. Moore Place is a permenant housing facility for 85 formerly chronically homeless individuals.

15358755000_faa43b2f37_kMoore Place is a HousingWorks program implemented via the Urban Ministry Center.

15358413387_cfb2c7dd12_kHousingWorks believes in an evidence-based practice called Housing First also known as Permanent Supportive Housing.

15358403607_d1e0ea4165_kIt is a simple idea with powerful results–give the chronically homeless housing.

15358349978_b6077ba5d5_kOnce they have a home, they can then begin to address many of the issues that are the root causes of homelessness–mental and physical disabilities, addiction and abuse, and unemployment.

15358340238_0e6ed7c6be_kThink about it. If you were homeless how healthy would your diet be? how likely would you be able to hold down a job? how emotionally stable would you feel?

15358267278_bdd3224e7a_kEvery Tuesday for two months, I made pillow cases and tote bags with the residents of Moore Place.

15357818279_b49074989a_kWe talked about building a community quilt and what that might mean.

15357750909_8422be9426_kFor the last two sessions, we made quilt blocks.

14924319333_47cd34f7eb_kI collected 32 quilt blocks made by the residents of Moore Place as well all the stakeholders in the project including staff from the Urban Ministry Center, the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, and Moore Place.

14924150983_627ed7033a_kI am calling this quilt HOME. If you would like to see my progress as I stitch these blocks together, you can by following me on Instagram or Facebook. As most of you know, I am not particularly tech savvy. I’m working on it. I do believe I have set links on my about blog page for you do to this.

This entry was published on May 16, 2015 at 11:22 AM. It’s filed under News And Events, Quilt Stories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

10 thoughts on “HOME- A First Look at the Moore Place Quilt

  1. I’m looking forward to seeing it together! The blocks are fabulous!

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  2. Maria: What a wonderful program and I am thankful the world has people like you in it who are giving so much to others.

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    • Teresa- I am the lucky one. You are right it is a wonderful program. When I go back to Charlotte for the quilt celebration we are having one more SEW SHOP and we are going to make plastic bag dispensers!

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  3. Everyone looks very happy with their efforts and so they should be as there are some really lovely quilt blocks there. It can be quite therapeutic sitting around with a group of people, chatting and making things.

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    • Pip, social workers at Moore Place said some residents had NEVER participated in a group activity, but they turned out to pillow cases and quilt blocks. There is power and therapy in making. I’ve seen it over and over again. Thank you so much for commenting.

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  4. I’m passing a One Lovely Blog award to you and hope some new readers find your enlightening blog. Best wishes!

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  5. Wow. I thought I’d left a comment when you first posted this. These are the works that inspire me. More than donating anonymously. Like you, I truly believe people can reach an inner spark and and inner peace by making useful items. Discovering beauty that they created lights up their lives.

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