Western North Carolina Woman


I have an unyielding interest in our American cultural diversity and how we translate that into quilt patterns. I want to symbolically cover the land with a quilt that will foster the nurturing side of humankind.

Quilts tell the stories of our lives through their shapes, colors and textures. They hold a history of their makers as well as the people who care for them. They become sacred treasures. Gardens are about hope and the creation of sacred space. Both help us to go beyond the ordinary moments and to enter into a world of deeper meaning and beauty. They help us connect with a body of knowledge, with ourselves and with other people. When I am not working on an Earth Quilt Garden I am working on the creation of a fiber quilt. This body of work is about process, relationships and hope.

The Earth Quilt Project/Public Art

What continues to excite me is discovering the uniqueness of each new community I visit: its people, community focus, physical environment and its architecture. My goal is to transform all of this information into a quilt pattern. I thoroughly enjoy collaborating with others to create a sense of place that is deeply personal: helping people to connect with their roots, every day life and creative gifts. I like to plant seeds for continued involvement and a sense of hope. I am always thrilled to see how the process of creating an Earth Quilt brings the community together. In schools, the process is fully integrated into the school curriculum. At a dedication we celebrate with music, dance and poetry.

An Earth Quilt is a living garden. As the name implies, Earth Quilts don’t cover beds, they are beds of seasonal flowers, perennials, evergreens and rocks in newly inspired patterns. Each design is original and symbolically represents the community in which it is created. Wood, bricks and stones are the bones. They are the architectural elements that create the structure and pattern which remain evident throughout the seasons. Each Earth Quilt tells the story of the community through its colors, shapes, and textures.

The Earth Quilt Project is a collaborative, hands-on, experience in the creation of a site specific garden. Beginning with an idea, we work together...and arrive at a sense of community. Members of each community are invited to participate in the design process, fabrication, installation and celebration. The idea is grounded in the belief that the “arts” can play a central role in healing, learning and building community. © Norma Bradleynormabradley.com

How Long Does It Take?

Each project takes on its own form depending on the desires of the community. The average project takes three weeks to a month. It is a residency format. I live in your community working collaboratively with community members, teachers and staff in schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and at group homes.

How is an Earth Quilt Project Funded?

State and Federal Grants, Art Councils, Foundation Grants, Corporations, local business partners, private funds and matching funds.

How do we get started?

Let’s have a phone meeting so that I can learn about your community and your particular desires, needs and focus. (E-mail or phone me). For information go to normabradley.com


Western North Carolina Woman
is a publication of INFINITE CIRCLES, INC.

PO BOX 1332 • MARS HILL NC 28754 • 828-689-2988

Celebrating the Spirit of Place in Western North Carolina