We are a small group of people who want to provide fundraising support to non-profits doing vital work in Africa and other developing regions. The vehicle we have chosen to base our fundraising work on is beautiful, amazing, hand-made quilts. Our quilts are lovingly made by quilters who want to support this work.
Our quilts typically incorporate hand-embroidered fabric panels that are made by young women in Zimbabwe. You can see examples of the hand-embroidered panels in the banner at the top of this page and in our first two quilts on the Quilts page.
Countless stories are woven into each quilt. To begin with, there is a unique story involved in the making of each small embroidered panel. The small panels that go into each quilt are hand-embroidered by young women in the village of Mutare, in Zimbabwe. Who made the panel? What does the panel symbolize?
Since it takes months to craft a quilt, over numerous quilting sessions, each session can tell a story. How was the fabric selected? Where did the fabric come from? How were the patterns chosen? What does the back of the quilt communicate?
We have our quilts finished by an amazing long-arm quilter – Susan Porter. The patterns incorporated in the long-arm quilting adds another chapter to the story. Once the quilt is done, we begin displaying it for the public to admire. Each event where the quilt is displayed is unique.
Here’s an interesting and true story: The very first time we displayed our first quilt in the early summer of 2016, it was at a farmer’s market on Whidbey Island. During that event, it clouded up and began to rain quite heavily. A group of marimba players played valiantly under a tarp. We were lucky that our quilt and table were also under the cover of a canopy. Bless the people who came by to support us! We sold very few raffle tickets that day – probably 15 tickets total.
We were only just figuring out how to do the project. Over the course of the eight months that followed, we would show our beautiful original quilt at seven more public events and sell more than 600 raffle tickets – almost a hundred tickets per event on average. We got to be relatively good at setting up, showing the quilt, and discussing our project. Each of those events was memorable, but that first event in the rain still stands out in as an experience to cherish.
After eight months we held the drawing for the winning ticket at a marimba recital in Portland, Oregon. Wouldn’t you know it, the winning ticket, one among over 600 in the jar that night, turned out to be one of the original 15 tickets that were sold at that very first event, in the rain. Really!
So you see, a beautiful hand-made quilt has many, many stories to tell.
To date we have raffled off two quilts – that first one in March 2016, and the second one in March, 2017.
Our project goal is to raffle off at least one quilt per year going forward. Since our work is all volunteer, all proceeds (100%) are donated to registered non-profits. In 2018 the project will support the work of five special organizations:
1. Portland-Mutare Sister City Association (PMSCA)
2. Tariro – Hope and Health for Zimbabwe’s Orphans
3. Ancient Ways – A Path – A Choice – A Future
4. UNICEF – For every child, a fair chance
5. Zimfest – a celebration of Zimbabwean music and culture