An artistic prelude to the Norwalk Quilt Trail will take place from 1 to 7 p.m. on April 30 at 136 Washington St. In addition to dining and shopping, visitors to Historic SoNo are invited to create panels for a paper quilt that will be displayed in the windows of the vacant storefront, along with quilted pillows and fabric art. The display in the former Sweet Rexie's space is part of Art in the Windows, a cooperative project by the Norwalk Arts Commission and FD Rich Realtors/TR SoNo Partners.
Lizzy Rockwell, the artistic director of Peace by Piece: The Norwalk Community Quilt Project, will coordinate the paper quilt workshop, which is free and open to people of all ages (children younger than 10 must be accompanied by an adult). Peace by Piece is an intergenerational after-school arts program that is supported by the Norwalk Children's Foundation. For information, call 203-846-0525.
The Norwalk Quilt Trail, which opens May 14 and 15, will spotlight displays of beautifully crafted quilts made and collected in Norwalk. Norwalk's six museums and other public sites throughout the city will host an in-depth look at the quilting tradition in this area. Quilt Trail participants include the Norwalk and Rowayton Historical Societies (the lead partners), Norwalk Museum, Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk Seaport Association's Sheffield Island Lighthouse, Stepping Stones Museum for Children and Switch Tower Museum. Additionally, panels from the National AIDS Memorial Quilt will be shown at City Hall and local libraries will offer quilt-related displays and workshops.
The Paper Quilt Workshop is one of the first public events planned at sites throughout the city to augment the NQT exhibits. These include lectures by quilt scholars, workshops and opportunities for residents to display their personal quilts. One of the project highlights will be a Norwalk Has Heart quilt designed by Rockwell and created by residents from throughout the community during Peace by Piece quilting bees. It will be dedicated at the conclusion of the NQT in mid-November.
"Peace by Piece welcomes people of all ages to express their creativity during this fun activity," Rockwell said. "No experience is necessary and we will provide all the materials. This is a wonderful opportunity for families and friends to help make something together."