About Joanna Dermenjian

As an independent researcher and life-long maker, I am investigating women’s domestic and charitable making in cloth and fibers. I am interested in how women have used stitching, both historically and in the present day, to nurture and restore themselves and to create community with other women for individual and collective well-being.  I am also exploring how women’s everyday domestic textiles and tools reveal stories about their lives, particularly in the 20th century. My research has led me to rediscover a poorly documented quilt-making operation by Canadian women during the Second World War — hundreds of thousands of quilts made by women and children and donated to the British Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) and the Canadian Red Cross to be distributed to soldiers, civilians and hospitals in Britain and Europe.

I enjoy sharing my research about these Canadian wartime quilts and their importance in consideration of war history, women’s work and quilting. I have created a 45 minute slideshow which I present live by Zoom, showcasing some of the surviving quilts along with archival photos of the women, the domestic charitable work and the home front. I am currently booking presentations for Fall 2022 and into 2023.

Master’s Degree in Cultural Studies, Queen’s University – 2021

Memberships:

  • American Quilt Study Group
  • Kingston Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites
  • Kingston Heirloom Quilters
  • Quilt Alliance
  • Ruth Singer – Maker Membership
  • Textile Society of America