Every quilt has a story

Founder and CEO of SUSTAINABLE SHIFT, NaKena Cromarite, is introducing the Black Lives Matter CommUnity Quilt to St. Petersburg.

An opportunity for St. Petersburg residents to come together and tell their stories

ST. PETERSBURG — Quilting in America can trace its roots to a community activity where women would gather to create what many consider a piece of art that also provided physical protection and insulation. Now, NaKena Cromartie wants to use the art of quilting to bring the St. Petersburg community together.

The founder and CEO of SUSTAINABLE SHIFT, Cromarite, is introducing the Black Lives Matter CommUnity Quilt to St. Petersburg.

The CommUnity Quilt will be made up of hundreds of quilt squares decorated by the community, sharing their own stories. Once the squares are collected, Cromartie will use her company’s Sew Studio to construct the quilt.

The quilt squares are free and can be picked up at the St. Petersburg Museum of History during regular business hours. Once the squares are decorated, they can be returned to the museum for collection.

“I’ve grown to understand and appreciate the historical significance of quilt-making. The storytelling and textile production that African slaves used to lead their way to freedom on the Underground Railroad,” said Cromartie, who learned the art of quilting locally at a young age.

“I believe this story quilt will show a common thread of unity, which is something we all can be a part of and claim a piece of. The community’s participation will further empower the Black Lives Matter movement in a collective and creative way while shining light on the progressive legacy of the Greater St. Petersburg-Tampa Bay CommUnity.”

The CommUnity Quilt squares are available now at the Museum of History, and the return deadline is Saturday, Oct. 31. Thanks to Cromartie’s company, the process is available at no cost to the community. Once the quilt is completed, it will be donated to and revealed at the Museum of History.

Next Steps to Get Your Quilt Square:

  1. Pick-up and register. Select and log your individual envelope with a quilt square inside at a partnering location.
  2. Design. Use markers, paint, and accessories to be secured with hot glue sticks to express your empowerment and story.
  3. Return. Place your quilt square in the envelope and drop-off at a partnering location.

Other Partnering Locations for Pick-up/Drop-off:

  • The Well of Life833 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712; Sundays only: 1-4 p.m.
  • ARTicles Art Gallery and Custom Framing1445 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, FL 33705; Monday-Saturday 11-5 p.m.

The St. Petersburg Museum of History is located at 335 2nd Ave. NE. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday from 10-5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, please call 727-894-1052.

scroll to top