The Newnan Living Quilt is installed

Jane speaking at the opening ceremony

detail of the installed quilt

another view of the installed quilt

Jane and Bette Hancock getting ready for the installation

Many children helped install the quilt squares

Robert Hancock, Newnan Art Rez Board Member spoke at the installation ceremony

local children line up to install the quilt squares

Jane speaking at the opening ceremony

Just before the installation of the quilt squares – it was sunny!

putting in a stake

Bed just before the quilt is installed

all the children who helped install the handmade paper quilt squares

View of Newnan Living Quilt from the foot of the bed


the finished quilt installation

Watering the installed quilt to start the seed germination

Bette Hickman and others looking at the Newnan papermaking plants sample book

installing quilt squares

view of the installed “Newnan Living Quilt” and the Male Academy Museum building

close up of putting in a stake to hold the handmade paper quilt on the ground

putting in the stakes

Jane and the children getting ready to water the “quilt”

installing another quilt square

Carrying a quilt square to be installed

a side view of the installed quilt

Jane and Robert Hancock looking at the installation

putting in the borders

Offering a blessing at the end of the installation ceremony

the mayor speaks to the people gathered for the installation of the Newnan Living Quilt

children installing the squares

Participants looking at the installed quilt

Bette Hickman and Jane laying out the inner borders

the finished Living Quilt for Newnan


Mayor of Newnan and grand-daughters looking at the quilt squares

close up of the installed quilt

My “Living Quilt for Newnan – City of Homes” was installed at 6 PM on Thursday, August 31, 2017. The weather turned out perfect with even some sunshine after a morning and evening before of heavy rains. Many people came out to enjoy the installation and dedication ceremony including the mayor of Newnan and Art Rez Board Members and many local children who helped to install the handmade paper quilt squares. We staked down the quilt with bamboo skewers with a cork on top, all being biodegradable materials.

The quilt is made with hand papermaking using stencils and dyed pulp from purchased and local plant materials and has seeds in the paper pulp for Southeastern wildflowers in the same colors as the quilt pattern.  I used bark from cedar, crepe myrtle, magnolia, mulberry, paper bush and wisteria to make paper in Newnan and created a recipe and sample book for Newnan papermaking plants.   The Newnan Living Quilt has a house motif and features a 2-story antebellum home in red, yellow, blue and white colors. The homes are around a square in the middle of each 20-inch quilt square, and each home is composed of 8 layers of handmade paper with natural string in between layers helping to hold it all together.

At the August 31 ceremony, local children laid out the squares and put in the stakes, and then a local minister/poet offered a prayer/blessing for the quilt. I am very grateful to all the volunteers who helped make the handmade paper quilt and construct the “bed. The headboard and footboard are made with local branches collected along the streets of Newnan after people had done some tree trimming. The headboard and footboard also contain wisteria and other vines and lots of hydrangea blossoms that someone had recently clipped off and left to be picked up.

This project was lots of fun for me although lots of work in the 3 weeks of my residency. Thanks to my husband Timothy S. Allen who was with me during the residency in Newnan and helped with all aspects of this project as well as taking great photographs to document it. For more of Tim’s photos see his Blog at

I was an artist in residence at Newnan Art Rez from August 8 to Sept. 1, 2017. We leave Newnan today, and I hope the quilt will change over time with the seeds sprouting and blooming as a living quilt for Newnan. Check back here to see photos of the quilt as it changes over time. I am hoping that local volunteers will continue to send me photos. Thank you, Newnan, for a wonderful residency experience!

For more information about the artist-in-residency program in Newnan, visit the website at