Renee Turning Heart - Lakota star quilts

Master: Renee Turning Heart, Eagle Butte
Apprentice: Kristin Turning Heart, Eagle Butte
Art Form: Lakota star quilting

Renee Turning Heart learned to make star quilts from her grandmother, who taught her that in Lakota culture quilts were given to honor or thank someone. They are given at births, graduations, weddings, funerals, and in thanks to friend who have helped in times of need. Renee is one of the people in her community that people come to when they need a quilt, and she will work with whatever colors or designs they want. Renee’s daughter Kristin only started sewing a few years ago, but she has watched her mother since she was small so she caught on quickly when Renee began teaching her. It’s important to be very precise when matching up the points of the many diamond-shaped pieces that make up a star quilt, and Renee makes Kristin take the pieces apart and re-sew them if they don’t line up. Kristin has really taken to quilting, and feels a part of the community tradition now. “She likes the part of giving,” Renee says,” and I notice she just beams when she says ‘I made this!’”

Kristin Turning Heart and her mother Renee.
Two women at a table with quilting materials. Kristen Turning Heart at left. Renee Turning Heart at right.

Kristin and Renee Turning Heart showing a star quilt.
Two women holding a blue toned star quilt. Kristen Turning Heart at left. Renee Turning Heart at right.