Where Guys Quilt

Behind bars at Ohio’s Grafton Correctional Institution is the short answer. Bear with me, because there is a connection between prison and quilting.

A recent talk at my quilt guild by Barbara King, the institution’s Deputy Warden, included a show of quilts made by prisoners.  She started teaching inmates how to quilt as part of the prison’s community service rehabilitation program.  All the quilts are made with donated supplies and are given to charities in Ohio.  No public money is involved.

It seems the inmates started with cardboard templates and plastic children’s scissors.  They now have rotary cutters, but even needles must be carefully checked out and in.

Here are some of the quilts that left our efforts in the dust.

Lorain1This one is waiting for a program volunteer to quilt it.

Lorain17I wonder if any of these flowers have shown up as tattoos.

Lorain18Each piece of this pineapple quilt was individually cut as the maker was intent on accuracy.

Lorain14The accuracy of the piecing here is something I can only dream about.

These guys crank out quilts quickly, not surprising when you have an enforced daily quilting time.  Apparently they also tune into Fons and Porter’s quilting show on Saturday mornings.  I would love to see the reaction of the other prisoners to that.

UPDATE: Photos of more quilts made through this program are on Pinterest.


Filed under Commentary

11 responses to “Where Guys Quilt

  1. I remember seeing the display of quilts by the men at Grafton Prison at the Streetsboro Quilt Show in 2012. I too was very impressed with the quality of their work! At that time, I wrote a blog post featuring the prison quilts with more information about donating material. Here is the link to that post if anyone is interested in viewing it.

  2. This goes right along with my belief that having parameters or restrictions forces creativity. What a heartwarming story. Nothin’ snarky about this.

  3. jennyklyon

    Amazing quilts and very cool post-thank you!

  4. jennyklyon

    Mind if I repost on Face Book with your link? This is very cool! Jenny

  5. These are amazing. I read some information recently about a women’s program in Ohio, but I can’t remember the location. The results were equally breath-taking. Thanks.

  6. sandy

    What a wonderful program! I’m so impressed.

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