Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cushion Covers made by the Bitengye Designers

I thought you might like to hear a little more about the Bitengye Designers, and the Kitambaa Sewing and Quilting Project. You will remember that a shipment of new items arrived in mid-May. It included cushion covers, wallhangings, sets of placemats and Alice's bags. We have been taking these to quilt shows and trunk shows, and they've been selling very well. In fact, Alice's bags have sold out, and one third of the money she needs to start building her new sewing school has been raised. But for those of you in farther flung places, you haven't had the same opportunity to see the products first hand, so here are some photos of the cushion covers. The first photo shows you the design of the cushion covers we have on hand on the left (actual colours vary from cushion cover to cushion cover, as does the size), and one of the "new fashions" made by Alice on the right. And the second photo shows you two other designs that we hope to make with the women on our return trip to Uganda this January. Alice saw me working on one of the sashiko samplers when I was there this year, and asked me if she could make one too. Absolutely, I told her. So she made the one on the left and bordered it with African fabrics, while I made the one on the right and bordered it with Shweshwe and Japanese indigos. The cushion covers are a bargain at $15 each, and are sure to add a touch of colour (well maybe more than a
touch) to any room, and 100% of the profit (after the women have been paid) goes straight back into the project. There are still some wallhangings ($20 each) and placemats (4 for $20) left too, although these are going rapidly. For those closer to home, we will be at the Gibsons Landing Fibre Arts Festival the third week in August, at the Comox Valley Exhibition the last weekend in August, in Grand Forks for their quilt show over Labour Day weekend, and and the Vancouver Quilters' Guild Show in October. Perhaps we'll see you there?So the Bitengye Designers will keep making the same products for sale until our workshop with them at the end of January. Once again we'll be spending six weeks in the country, teaching them new project, looking for ways to improve marketing both inside the country and at home, and visiting the women in their homes. We'll be looking for new types of crafts to teach to new groups of widows, and expanding our secondary school education sponsorships to more of their children. It's only 6 months until we'll back in Uganda, and many preparations still remain to be made. Please know that all your contributions, big and small, make a tremendous difference to these women's lives and the lives of their families. Thank you, once again.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Pippa,
    Love the sashiko cushion covers - what a cultural marriage of Japanese and African styles taught by a Canadian teacher. I love it!
    There were 14 of us from the Lions Gate Quilters Guild that went to sisters in a car convoy last weekend. At the show, a woman from Sisters, Oregon had a display where she was selling small quilts made from African fabric. Guess what? She (with the support of her church) went to Uganda last year and taught aids widows to quilt and sponsored their children's educations!! She was in the north, in the mountains (I'm not sure where you were?). Anyway, she has produced a small book and DVD about her project, which she also had for sale. I wrote down your name and Kitambaa designs for her as she was keen to contact you...I hope she does. She was really nice.
    Maybe I'll run into you on Hornby the last week of August?...or maybe you'll be busy in Comox....