Freedom Quilt Hungary


The Freedom Quilt Hungary is a project designed by Christalena Hughmanick to unite people around the topic of free speech and democracy through a series of public events and the creation of a collectively made artwork. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Socialist regime change and the formation of the Magyar Foltvarró Céh (Hungarian Patchwork Guild) in 1989, eight workshops were held at US Embassy American Corners locations, Moholy-Nagy Művészeti Egyetem and Brody Studios. During these free of cost workshops, Christalena provided a lecture on American Patchwork quilting traditions and their connections to cultural diversity, creative expression and storytelling. Participants were given basic sewing and appliqué skills with materials in order to design and create a 40 cm by 40 cm quilt block based on the prompt “what does freedom mean to you?”

In addition, The Hungarian Patchwork Guild circulated a call for blocks amongst their member network around the country. The primary material choice for this work is kékfestö cloth which is a resist indigo dye technique that holds particular significance in the cultural and political past in Hungary. The collected blocks were sewn into one large quilt by members of the Hungarian Patchwork Guild in the format of a public quilting bee at the Skanzen Szabadtéri Néprajzi Múzeum in August 2019. This slow hand work inherently lent to the sharing of skills, news and practical information in a social manner which was not experienced by quilters in Hungary until 1989 when the newly sovereign government began funding non-profit organizations. All decisions on block inclusion, layout and top stitching patterns were decided by a majority vote taken with present members each day.

Public Quilting Bee at Skanzen Szabadtéri Néprajzi Múzeum in August 2019.

An edition of 100 risograph printed books was designed by Ryan Ingebritson and released in Budapest, Hungary and Chicago, USA. The publication doubles as an exhibition catalog and instruction manual for creating a selection of twelve blocks made by guild members that are in the quilt. Included in this book is an essay by Christalena that outlines the series of events and how the foundational goal of cross-cultural exchange between Hungary and the United States was approached. This work continues to evolve through exhibitions and circulation of the book as quilters around the world remake the included patterns. A free PDF download can be found here: and the project can be followed through social media accounts at freedom_quilt_hungary/ and More info at http://

Freedom Hungary Quilt Book

Project Press / Other related items such as publications, image, oral history, ephemera, web url, YouTube, social media, etc.:
Hughmanick, Christalena. "The Freedom Quilt: Collective Patchwork In Post-Communist
Hungary." Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of World Textiles, Co-edited by Janis Jefferies & Vivienne Richmond, Bloomsbury Press, Volume 8: Politics & Power (unpublished manuscript).
"Freedom Quilt: Collective Patchwork in Post-Communist Hungary," Hidden Stories/Human Lives; Proceedings of the Textile Society of America's 17th Annual Symposium, October 14, 2020.
Ágnes Parnaki Interview, Hungarian Patchwork Guild Magazine, December 2019. Print.
Less Than Half, Women of Chicago, September 8, 2020 fbclid=IwAR3vJrcEv8LkDjepkGXqn_CWDjn_K5KLFkvR7YzpKL8QVtf7qzhlWx-04ig
Lori Waxman, COVID Reviews, Quarantine Times, July 17, 2020

Written by Hughmanick, Christalena (2021)

Quilts and Human Rights


  • Quilts and Human Rights

    Documentation Project

    Michigan State University

  • February 20, 2020 (...

    Freedom Quilt Hun...

    Hughmanick, Christa...

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