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Quilt Enhances Life Through Art

A section of quilt was pulled across two support beams at the Westport Library while volunteers slowly made their stitches. Constance Chien bent over, carefully running needle and thread back and forth, securing two pieces together.

"It's a nice way to hearken back to our roots by using a pre-industrial art form," said Chien as she examined the quality of her stitching. She quickly darted under the table to have a look from below while another volunteer tried to figure out the best way to bring the needle up through the back.

The quilt is part of Peace by Piece: The Norwalk Community Quilt Project, an organization founded in 2007 and funded by the Norwalk Children's Foundation. The quilt being worked on in Westport is an installation piece that will hang in the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk.

"It's pretty cool, I used to go there when I was little and I was there when it opened," said Chien, keeping a constant eye on her stitch work. She works in the library and came in early to lend some nimble fingers to the task.

Lizzy Rockwell, one of the Peace by Piece organizers, said the quilt projects they do help bring young people and the elderly together to enrich their lives through quilting. She herself is an art teacher and children's book illustrator and said she loves quilting as an art medium because it is collaborative and takes time.

When the quilt is hung in November, the names of every person who helped construct it will be displayed alongside of it. Rockwell said by taking the quilt on a tour to different locations like the Westport Library, they are giving as many people as possible a chance to contribute. The quilt will be in the South Norwalk Branch Library next week.

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