"A quilt is a silent partner… A quilt is a communal gatherer."

In words and photos, quilter Diener shares the art and craft of making a beautiful tapestry from scraps of cloth along with the thoughts and feelings that accompany them. She imagines a "Piece-Gatherer"—an inner force uniting a "hodgepodge" of scattered tendencies into a restored, newfound totality. From her own latest creations such as "Celebration of Completion," a simple design made mystical by a crocheted flower at one corner, to "Grandma's Quilt"—perfectly ordered tiny squares in blue-green and grey created by her grandmother in the 1950s—every work displayed is brilliantly colorful, often insightful in its message, recollecting olden times, or startling with more modern, artistic discord. Accompanying the pictures is a text so rich in its language that it borders on poetry, evoking images of the women who traditionally created quilts in pleasant communal settings.

Diener grew up with quilts. Her aunt pieced together the wondrous, highly organized "Trip Around the World I and II." Her mother left a legacy of Bible verses laboriously embroidered with floral edging, which would eventually be hand-stitched by the author into a precious banner of faith. Diener offers engaging stories to accompany each photo, appending to each prose segment a section called "Consider with me," posing deep questions for the reader based on her experience of constructing or collecting these material marvels. Her quilts have passed to her children. Some have traveled the world as she and other family members worked overseas. A quilt for a son cleverly incorporates tee shirts. One created in memory of her father poignantly includes a patch of his bib overalls. A new grandson is honored with groupings of sports and scooters. Diener hopes those encountering her work will hear their own "whispered secrets." This seems likely as readers are drawn to her profound prose and patchwork.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home