Detail of face from quilt.Close up of quilt.

Details from Prayer Quilt by Kristin Hoelscher-Schacker.


Kristin Hoelscher-Schacker has created quilts for 16 years. She started with traditional patterns and designs, and evolved into composing her own designs with traditional and non-traditional materials and methods.

Kristin Hoelscher-Schacker

“The quilt has a very personal meaning to me.”

“I learned to sew from my mother when I was very small; so I’ve been sewing since I’ve been 5 years old. I started out as a very traditional quilter. My first son was born in 1991, and I made him his baby quilt.

It was a very traditional pattern out of a book. I took traditional classes at a traditional quilt shop and after a few years that just wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to go in a different direction; so I started making more things that hang on the wall.

The title of the quilt is Prayer Flag and technically it uses a lot of different elements—some hand-dyed fabric, some fabric that was printed using an ink jet printer and a computer, and photographs that I took—things that I’ve collected over the years, malagros and beads from various places. It also has a lot of different prayers on it that I wrote using a tool called an air pen.

The quilt has a very personal meaning to me. I started making the quilt when my sister-in-law was very ill and dying. I started the quilt while she was in treatment and when we still considered that we had some hope she would recover. So the prayers started out being about healing, the prayers that are on this quilt. Then as it became clearer that no matter what we tried nothing was probably going to work and that she would be dying, it turned into a different kind of piece. The prayers, I can’t say they stopped being prayers of hope because what greater hope is there than that transformation that we hope is going to happen when we leave here and move on? So what could have been a very somber quilt about someone I loved dying, turned into a piece of hope about someone moving onto the next step.”

Kristin Hoelscher-Schacker standing in front of quilt.

Kristin Hoelscher-Schacker made the prayer quilt for a beloved sister-in-law who was dying.