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Mathers Museum offers more than just an exhibit to IU freshman Laysha Hawkins

Apr 2, 2018

Description of the following video:



[Video: one female visitor stands in the Mathers Museum of world cultures observing the brightly colored quilts on display against white walls. The camera moves right to show more quilts on display.]


[Words appear: Indiana University presents]

[Video: Jacquei Seals, founding member of the Sisters of the Cloth Quilting Guild is interviewed off screen.]

[Seals speaks: It all comes together, and sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re using a big stich or a small stich or if it’s a wide seam or a small seam.] [Video: Seals stands in front of a “guestbook quilt” that has many small squares with patterns and signatures.] [Seals speaks: The whole idea is that you’re trying to create something. If you mess up, that’s okay ‘cause who’s going to really notice that unless you tell ‘em.] [Video: Seals speaking and smiling in reassurance.]

[Video: Matthew Sieber, manager of exhibitions at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures is interviewed on screen.]


[Sieber speaks: This year we decided to ask the sisters if they would like to have an exhibit here, and they were really excited about it. They’re just a wonderful bunch of women; they’re hysterical and friendly.]


[Video: Three members of the Sister of the Cloth sit at a table opposite two college students laughing and talking.]


[Video: Laysha Hawkins, IU Bloomington freshman, is interviewed on screen.]


[Hawkins speaks: When I was walking around the museum with a friend, I noticed a piece that looked particularly familiar to me.] [Video: The camera pans another angle of the exhibit to show more quilts and stops on a quilt done by Amelia J. Culpher entitled “Praise Dance.” It has sixteen small squares showing different types of dance. Then Laysha’s interview is shown again.]


[Hawkins speaks:  So, I went back to find out more information and I was able to see that it was the Sisters of the Cloth exhibit and looking at the picture I noticed a lot of women of my church, and just a lot of women that I recognize.] [Video: A still photo of the Sisters of the Cloth members is zoomed in on.]


[Hawkins speaks: It gave me a really warm and overwhelming feeling because it was at that point that I came to the realization that the quilt that I recognized, the quilt that was so familiar to me, was a quilt that I actually helped contribute to.] [Video: A shot of Culpher’s quilt goes from out of focus into focus.]


[Hawkins speaks: It was the most amazing feeling.] [Video: Hawkins stands in front of the quilt proudly.]


[Video: Sarah Hatcher, head of programs and education at the Mathers Museum of World Culture is interviewed on screen.]


[Hatcher speaks: I think that the Sisters of the Cloth, through their membership, really embody that idea of people coming together because they have a wide range of ages within their group,] [Video: One member of the guild shows a college student the stitching she did on a piece.] [Hatcher speaks: and they actively work with children in some of the community centers in Fort Wayne,] [Video: Seals is shown at a sewing machine showing another college student how a piece comes together.] [Hatcher speaks: to enable a new generation of quilters. In fact, their club moto is “Each one, teach one” and I think that that’s just lovely.]


[Hawkins speaks: To have them on display for other to see, that maybe didn’t think of quilting as something that is a way of cultural expression, as well as creative expression, is very important and something that I’m so glad that the Mathers Museum is working to do.]




[Video: The Indiana University trident appears]


[Words appear: Indiana University]


[Words appear: Fulfilling the Promise]


[Words appear:]


When the Mathers Museum of World Cultures was looking for artists to feature for the 2018 installment of its annual quilting exhibit, Traditional Arts Indiana introduced the museum to the Sisters of the Cloth Quilting Guild.

The Sisters are based out of Fort Wayne and started as two women who shared a passion for quilting. As the members started to realize how many connections they already had to the quilting community, the small group grew quickly and now has members across the country. Following their motto “Each One, Teach One,” the guild members strive to pass on their art by working with young people throughout their home communities. The partnership with Traditional Arts Indiana and the Mathers Museum has allowed them to expand their reach beyond their home communities.

IU freshman Laysha Hawkins was visiting the Mathers Museum of World Cultures when she discovered she was closely tied to one of the quilts on display. After closer investigation, she realized that as a young child, she had helped to create that quilt while working with the guild one night after school. Looking back, she says that working with the guild is a fond memory from her childhood.

The exhibit is titled “This Is Our Story.” The Sisters chose the theme and then hand selected which quilts would be on display. They wanted all the quilts to tell the story of the guild. This means that there are quilts about the guild as a whole, but also from individual quilt makers as they all come together to make up the guild.

“The Sisters of the Cloth: This Is Our Story” will be on display at the Mathers Museum through May 6. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

More information on “The Sisters of the Cloth: This Is Our Story” and other exhibits at the Mathers Museum is available on the Mathers website


IU Newsroom

Aubrey Gibson

News & Media Intern, IU Bloomington

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