“Quilting unites us. I am always looking for ways to help the school prosper and the quilt is an opportunity to get people excited about the community and really benefit the school.”

Quilts have a long-standing association with both comfort and community, which makes them ideal artistry for philanthropic ends. According to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, “The popularity of using needlework for fundraising and social support took off during the Civil War and its aftermath. Later in the 19th century, ladies’ aid societies outside of the church frequently produced quilts as a way to contribute to particular causes, such as temperance or women’s suffrage.”

In keeping with this time-honored tradition, The Waldorf School of Philadelphia offers our community a chance to inherit The Holiday Fair Quilt — a piece of priceless quilt-work from our own artisan and Eurythmy teacher, Anna Ziegner. This year marks the 16th anniversary of the Waldorf School of Philadelphia’s Holiday Fair Quilt, which has come to represent the strength and warmth of our community. The original idea came from Waldorf parents Yvonne Fisher and Helen Schlosser who dedicated countless hours to this quilt project and to the school in general.

Anna Ziegner showing off her handmade quilt that will be raffled off at the Waldorf School of Philadelphia’s annual Holiday Fair and Craft Bazaar

Each year, Anna uses her generosity and expertise — which can be seen both in her Etsy store and as a member of The Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild — to craft our one-of-a-kind quilt.

The community quilt will be raffled to a lucky winner at our Holiday Fair on November 16th and 17th. Anyone within or outside of our community is welcome to purchase raffle tickets at the cost of $50 for 20 tickets, $10 for 3 tickets or $5 for 1 ticket.

We asked Anna why she chooses to give her talents and time, year after year, to our quilt project. She said, “Quilting unites us. I am always looking for ways to help the school prosper and the quilt is an opportunity to get people excited about the community and really benefit the school.”

Anna also personally enjoys her art and likes the creative process of choosing the theme and design for each year’s quilt. “I spend a lot of time thinking about what would appeal to our school community. I want it to be modern, versatile, and appeal to many people.”

“I spend a lot of time thinking about what would appeal to our school community.

In addition to planning, designing and crafting the quilt, Anna leverages her community relationships to make deeper connections within our quilt tradition. Two years ago, we collaborated with the fabric design team from Galbraith and Paul, who donated beautiful hand printed fabrics to the school. Anna used these donated fabrics to make two quilts that year with the help of The Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild — one for our community and one for Galbraith and Paul’s charity fundraiser for the Philadelphia soup kitchen.

The school has also, in year’s past, received generously donated quilts from other Philadelphia-based quilters, including a community quilt made by the talented members of The Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild.

“The community really supports the quilt project,” said Anna.

“It’s fun to see people come together over the quilt. Last year, one of my students told me their mother buys tickets every year hoping to win, but has not yet. Perhaps this will be her lucky year.”

In fact, Holiday Fair organizers are still waiting for one of the school’s teachers to win the quilt, and encourages those who would like to donate, but may not want the quilt, to purchase a ticket in honor of their teacher.

If you’d like to purchase tickets for yourself, a family member, a friend, or a teacher, you can do so during the Holiday Fair on November 16th and 17th. If you would like to purchase raffle tickets, but cannot make it to the Holiday Fair, please email Jenny Kley at kleyj@phillywaldorf.com. You don’t have to be present to win the quilt.

Photography by Kyle Kielinski