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Student Assists with Honor Quilt for Croixdale

Honor Quilt at Croixdale MAY 15, 2009 | A University of Wisconsin-River Falls student has lent her art and sewing expertise to the Croixdale senior housing facility in Bayport, Minn., to make an honor quilt.

Nicole Cross, a senior art education major from Osceola, took on the project as a way to gain teaching experience and additional credits toward her degree.

“The purpose of the honor quilt is to be placed on the deceased while loved ones honor them with prayers, readings and bible verses,” says Cross.

Cross’s advisor and UWRF art professor, Lynn Jermal, says the concept of a honor cloth is becoming popular in contemporary times. “The concept of a honor cloth originated from African culture as a way to say goodbye to our deceased loved ones,” said Jermal, and it is now used in western cultures as a way to honor deceased loved ones and during transport to funeral arrangements.

Cross has been working on this project with the Croixdale residents since February and plans on finishing the project by the end of spring semester.

The quilt is made up of numerous squares that have been personalized with fabric dyes. Cross has been using her artistic and sewing skills and teaching background to teach senior citizens how to do this technique. Cross said she was inspired to take on this project by her grandmother, who has been teaching Cross how to sew since she was young.

“I am enjoying the expressions on the seniors’ faces after they see the result of their hard work,” says Cross. Cross plans on pursuing an art teaching position with K-12 students.

Says Jermal: “Nicole is very sincere and will be an empathetic teacher because she listens well. This project is building her confidence as she is working with people who are older than her; this experience will make her a great artist and teacher.”


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