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Socially Engaged Art Project by Carolin Kropff

Radus' Quilt
with actress and director Nicoleta Danila.

From Nicoleta's favourite ties, we hand-sewed Radu's quilt. These neckties were cut up and transferred into a new pattern following their pattern.
Nicoleta helped me learn more about English paper piecing and the history of patchwork and quilting, and I helped her sew a quilt for her son Radu.



Quilting was a healing experience. After a failed relationship and the news of an unexpected pregnancy, I was quite shaken. A child changes everything. Life as you know it is suddenly no more. I needed something to help me reconcile with the idea that I would have to either put all the plans I had for myself on hold for a while or abandon them altogether. So when Caro suggested that we work together on a baby quilt, I didn't have to think twice.

When you think about it, life itself is a patchwork quilt. The memory of each person we meet, the memory of each day they are nothing but patches on this invisible lifetime quilt we unknowingly sew. When we look back, what do we see? Like a worn fabric, some of the memories lose their color and fade. Objects carry memories, fabrics carry memories. And I want to remember. As a student, I used to wear ties with funny designs. I don't know why I brought them with me to Germany. Maybe they were a reminder of the best years of my life? A time of freedom, of being carefree? A time I wanted to say goodbye to now.

Caro and I used these ties for the baby quilt. By giving my unborn son some of my fondest memories, I let him know he was welcome and loved. Caro has been very supportive of me through this process. She showed me and taught me how it was done, but she also gave me the freedom to draw all the templates and make all the decisions. In a way, she gave me the tools and assured me that I could do no wrong. Quilting with Caro gave me the opportunity to let go of life as I knew it and prepare for what was to come. I was healing and had no idea I was doing it. Beautiful memories keep my boy warm. Literally.


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