PITTSBURG — Fabric from another country was pieced together to share with the Pittsburg Presbyterian Church.

A little over two years ago Pittsburg Presbyterian Reverend K.O. Noonoo was given a small request, to come back from Ghana, Africa, with some fabric.

Noonoo took his mother with him to pick out the fabric, which he said is generally used for “typical dress and traditional garments.”

When he came back he entrusted fabric to quilt makers and mother-daughter duo Elma Hurt and Debbie Walker.
Walker and Hurt often make quilts together, in fact they are members of the Little Balkans Quilt Guild. This, however, was a personal project with which they wanted to surprised Noonoo.

“We kept it a secret the whole time and we never told K.O.,” Hurt said.
Now a year later, the quilt makers said they were worried that maybe Noonoo thought they forgot about the cloth, but they went on with the plan anyhow.

Luckily for them it had slipped Noonoo’s mind since presenting them with the cloth.

“I had forgotten about them,” he said, laughing.

Now completed, they put the quilts on the wall and one Sunday morning Noonoo walked in and “violá,” he said, there were the quilts lining a hallway in the church.

It was quite the process, Walker and Hurt said.

They had many colors to work with and even had to hand-dye their own cloth to work the designs.
Hurt’s living room was taken over by the sewing project, where they worked for months.

Walker and Hurt found different patterns which would suit the colorful designs of the fabric through Pinterest and magazines.  

One quilt they designed is called the “Ghana, Africa Quilt” and has the shape of Africa sewn into it and a little spot to designate where Noonoo came from.

One of the quilts have little girls in dresses and beads sewn into it.

The duo also made a wall hanging quilt which has very accents including handmade arrows made out of plastic. The even kept the tags the fabric came with which they used a wax process to place onto the quilt.

“We thought the labels were awesome so we left them on there,” Walker said.

Noonoo said his mother would be blown away at what the fabric was transformed into.

For Noonoo, the quilts are an example of the positive effect of diversity.

“For me it a picture of this whole idea of how much better off we are when we draw from the different diversities, different experiences and different perspectives,” he said. “This is just fabric from Ghana made typically for dress and other traditional garments.

“It can be taken and put in a different form and different shape — applied with these gifts and come up with something different.”

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.