Project Requirements and How to Participate

Join us in making quilt squares! There are multiple ways to participate:

Paper Blocks

(for general artists/non-sewers)

Let your imagination run wild and create a "quilt" block out of any material in a 10 x 10 inch square. Feel free to draw, paint, or use paper or any other medium to create a 10 x 10 inch square inspired by Toni Morrison and her works. Use the quilting resources page to learn how to embroider or applique. Take a picture of your work and send to us for potential display in an online gallery.

Quilt Blocks

(for beginning or advanced quilters/sewers)

Squares should be 10.5 x 10.5 inches, leaving the last 1/4 inch on each side free of embellishments since that's where the pieces will be sewn together. In other words, for all you quilters out there leave a 1/4 inch seam allowance. You can use the blocks suggested on the quilting resources page or a block of your choosing. If you prefer not to piece your block, you can decorate your block however you like: draw on it, applique, stitch, etc. The blocks will be sewn together into quilts that will be displayed, donated, and sold to provide resources to community organizations.

Small Quilts

While many will be making blocks to honor Toni Morrison which will be sewn together into larger quilts, others are inspired to go beyond the block and create a whole small quilt or wall hanging to be auctioned in honor of Toni Morrison's legacy. All small quilts will be included in an online exhibit (if the makers so choose). Small quilts donated for the small quilt auction will additionally be featured in an in-person exhibit and online silent auction.


Themes: Any Toni Morrison theme that inspires you: her books, Black History and heritage, African American culture and quilts, portraits and people, powerful words, anything you choose!

Style: Traditional or contemporary, applique or pieced, hand or machine quilted, African American or any style that fits your Toni Morrison inspiration.

Shape and size: Any shape. Ideally, smaller than maximum 60" on any side.

Sleeve: For quilts being donated and in the in-person exhibit, please sew a 1 inch wide sleeve (casing) on the top back of your quilt for a dowel so that it can be hung for display.

Sign and date your quilt: Please put your name and the date on the back of your small quilt being donated.

Submission for donated and non-donated small quilts: Please see submission information below.

Deadline: May 31st, 2021, with the Small Quilt Exhibits and online auction in early July, 2021 (more details to follow).

Auction Proceeds to Honor Toni Morrison's Legacy: What better way to honor Toni Morrison's legacy than by promoting and supporting efforts to inspire young people to read? Funds raised by the auction will be used to engage teenagers at the Southside Community Center in making their own Toni Morrison Wrap-Up and Read Quilts with a poetry pocket and a new book from one of Ithaca's independent booksellers.


For both blocks and quilts, please fill out the online submission form or copy the questions and place the answers on a sheet of paper along with your submission. Unfortunately, we are unable to return submitted quilts. However, you can still participate in our online exhibit by filling out the submission form and including a digital image of your quilt.  Here is the link to the Submission form


Finished squares that you are willing to donate should be placed in a plastic bag along with your name and email address. They can either be sent to us c/o Toni Morrison Quilting Project at Mann Library, 237 Mann Drive, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 or drop off at one of the locations below by May 31.


(if you have permission to come on campus)

Africana Center (lobby), north campus: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm

Mann Library (lobby), Ag Quad: see Mann website for hours

Olin Library Circulation Desk, Arts Quad: see Olin website for hours


Tompkins County Public Library during in lobby days (Tues., Thurs., and Sat. from 10 AM - 1 PM, 2-6 PM or 5 PM on Saturdays)


Finished quilts that you are willing to donate can either sent to us c/o Toni Morrison Quilting Project at Mann Library, 237 Mann Drive, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 or if you're in the Ithaca area, write to us at the email below to set up a drop-off or pick-up by May 31.

Virtual Toni Morrison book club and making meetup

Join us for a virtual making meetup and sewing circle and bring your projects to work on while listening to the works of Toni Morrison! Co-sponsored with Tompkins County Public Library.

Register Wednesday, April 7, 2021 from 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Register for Wednesday, May 5, 2021 from 12:00pm - 1:00pm


Got questions? Contact Marcie Farwell for more information.