Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Door for My House

Finally, my piece for this year's effort of the North Island Quilters for Community Awareness, is completed. Better late than never. More than fifty individual pieces have been made, each one reflecting the artist's interpretation of this year's theme for the Stephen Lewis Foundation - Turning the Tide. Each one is astounding, personal, and speaks of the hope and positive change that is happening among the women of African, in spite of, or because of HIV/AIDS. All sorts of techniques and materials have been used to convey the story of what is possible, "one ripple at a time". The collection has already begun its tour throughout western Canada, and if you have the opportunity to see it, I would encourage you to get out and do so. A full catalogue of the pieces and the venues in which they will be displayed can be seen on the website - As for my piece, the central block is based on a photograph I took of Alice teaching the other Bitengye Designers how to thread a treadle sewing machine. The blocks surrounding it. tell the

story of the way life has changed for these amazing women, since they have learned how to sew. It illustrates the things they have been able to purchase, since they started to have an income. Annah told me she'd bought a cow, Knight bought a bed for herself, and Rechael bought a door for her house. A book has been published containing photos of the entire collection, and can be purchased wherever the quilts are being showcased. And all proceeds will go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which continues to support widows and grandmothers, and orphans affected by HIV/AIDS. If you haven't already read it, I would suggest you get

yourself a copy of "Race Against Time". Stephen Lewis articulates the difficulties in combatting this pandemic as few others have. And despite the frustrations in so doing, continues to remember the women of Africa, and to do what he can, what his Foundation can, to "Turn the Tide". And while it is a wee drop in the bucket, the Bitengye Designers are doing that too. I applaud both of them from the bottom of my heart!


  1. It is an incredible quilt Pippa and a wonderful tribute to the success of the Bitengye Designers collective. I hope to see all of the quilts in person!

  2. I'm really interested in where we can obtain this new book if we are unable to attend one of the openings of the exhibit.
    Would you be able to find us a list of venues for the exhibits? the glcier grannies link does not work - but will stay tuned for further updates.
    nina in Powell River

  3. You have made a difference in the lives of these women, and their families, and their communities ... I am in awe of what you have accomplished!

  4. What a beautiful quilt Pippa. I too am in awe of your dedication to these women and to the Stephen Lewis foundation. How lucky we are to have people like you in our world! I would love to know where and when the quilts will be on display. I will watch for the website to be up and running.