Patchwork Dreams

Patchwork Dreams is a unique anthology of essays, oral histories, historical photos, quilt art, and 24 songs about Big Ugly Creek and Harts Creek, West Virginia that Heidi compiled and produced for the Step by Step organization in 2007. She served as an artist-in-residence at the Big Ugly Community Center in 2004, funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, to conduct a six-month intergenerational history, art, and music project around the theme of local history. Children interviewed elders, made quilt blocks depicting life and local history, and wrote songs with Heidi that were presented in a fall heritage festival. Step by Step later asked Heidi to use those materials and collect more to create a book with even more songs, written by local residents and gathered from past music projects at the Big Ugly Community Center.

This resulting 200-page book captured more than 25 oral histories and memories from folks who have now passed on, plus poems, recipes, and old newspaper articles. Two song-teaching CDs are included in the book presenting both complete vocal and “karaoke” versions, where children or adults can sing along with instrumental tracks. It’s a great resource for families, teachers, teaching artists, history buffs, and anyone interested in Appalachian studies and heritage.

Patchwork Dreams is available directly from the publisher, Step by Step, Inc., which is the nonprofit organization based in Charleston, WV that oversees the Big Ugly Community Center. To order, please contact Step by Step at (304) 414-4452 or email director Michael Tierney at