Signature Quilt

Thank you to all who supported the Signature Quilt project! The Quilt is now being completed, and we look forward to the unveiling at Alumni Weekend.

In honour of the centennial celebration of Home Economics and Human Ecology programs at the University of Alberta, staff and volunteers are creating a Signature Quilt. This project marks the event in a tangible way and serves as a fundraiser to support an endowed and much-needed textile conservator position.

Quilts are often called the “fabric of our lives” and the Human Ecology Signature Quilt will be an excellent representation of generations of Human Ecology alumni, faculty and staff. Since the turn of the 19th century, signature quilts were made to document and commemorate historical and communal events, individuals and affiliation with different organizations and groups. The act of piecing the quilt together from hundreds of blocks symbolizes the multidisciplinary quality of home economics and human ecology programs, the value of collaboration and the important ways in which people’s lives have been shaped by these programs.

The completed quilt and donor acknowledgements (by level of donation) will be displayed at Alumni Weekend in September 2018.


Significance of Quilt Components:

Colours: Red and white are the colours of the Canadian flag and are also traditionally used in signature quilts. Grey is added to emphasize a movement of rays, to break the large red and white space and make the overall composition more dynamic.

The star symbolizes knowledge and light. The radiating "flying gees"/rays connect the star with the community represented by the stylized human figures (shapes inspired by the 1868 signature quilt from the Rosenberg Quilt Collection) at the bottom of the quilt.

Other significant design aspects include:

  • House: family, protection, stability, interiors, design, material culture
  • Hearts: relationship, compassion, warmth
  • Needle and thread: sewing, mending, craftsmanship, joining things together, connections
  • Dress: clothing design, identity, fashion, fashion history
  • Hand: working hand, helping hand, support, reaching out
  • Eyeglasses: aging, help, knowledge, style
  • Teacup: nutrition, socializing
  • Apple: nutrition, healthy food and lifestyle; it is also a symbol of education