Notre Dame College to Present "Fabrics of a New Life" April 18-May 28

Notre Dame College to Present "Fabrics of a New Life" April 18-May 28

The Notre Dame College Clara Fritzsche Library will host “Fabrics of a New Life,” an exhibition of quilts by native Clevelander Julius J. Bremer April 18 through May 28.

An opening reception will be held in the library from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 18. the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

While this exhibition is Bremer’s first solo show, his individual works have been on display at the DuSable Museum in Chicago─America’s foremost museum of African American history─and in several Northeast Ohio locales.

Bremer has had his work exhibited in four juried Lake Farmpark Quilt Shows, where he won third place in the art category in 2011 for “Sankofa Rising.” He also won the Viewers’ Choice Award at the African American Quilt and Doll Guild (AAQDG) 2010 Show for “Dance of the Maasai Warriors.”

He said his most exciting achievement to date is the inclusion of one of his quilts, entitled “My President,” in the book “Journey of Hope: Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama by Carolyn Mazloomi. The quilt is now on exhibit at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, Ohio, and will be a part of a traveling exhibit. The same quilt was exhibited at the 2009 Yokohama Quilt Show in Yokohama, Japan, during President Obama’s visit to the city.

A member of the AAQDG, the largest Africa American quilting group in Ohio, Bremer was recently profiled in “The Home Hobbyist” column of the February 14 issue of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, accompanied by photos of examples of his colorful quilts. 

Bremer discovered quilting as a method of relaxation after his retirement, following 30 years at the Cleveland Public Library, where he worked as head of the business, economics and labor department. 

His interest in quilting was first sparked when he saw an exhibit at the main Cleveland Public Library in 2001 that contained a quilted map of Ohio that displayed the routes of the Underground Railroad. The exhibit included the book “Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad,” which described how quilts were embroidered with messages that guided slaves to freedom.  The idea fascinated Bremer, who was also remodeling his home at the time and looking for some artwork to cover his bare walls.

Being a librarian, his first step in starting his new hobby was to check out a book on the subject. Armed with “Quilting for Dummiesand previous sewing experience, quilting was an easy transition for Bremer. After a year or two, he said he became quite skilled at the craft, experimenting with various quilting techniques and styles.

Mathematical and geometric themes also interest Bremer, who holds a degree in quantitative research from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, in addition to a master's degree in library science from Case Western Reserve University.

In Northeast Ohio, Bremer’s quilts have been displayed in churches, libraries, theater lobbies and schools, including the Cleveland Play House; Liberty Hill Baptist Church; Shaker Heights Public Library; the Hospice of the Western Reserve Hospice House; and the Cleveland Public Library, Carl B. Stokes Branch. He has been invited on numerous occasions to lecture about the various aspects of quilting at local libraries, churches, community centers, schools and quilting guilds.

The “Fabrics of a New Life” exhibit may be viewed during summer library hours: Monday-Tuesday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The library is closed on Sundays. For additional information about the show, contact Karen Zoller at 216.373.5267 or kzoller@ndc.edu.




For 90 years, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers 22 NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.


Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid.