Alice is always full of surprises, and when she produced this large-sized star quilt I was just amazed. And she's already taught some of the other Bitengye Designers how to make this "fashion". She's found a source of solid black cotton in the market since we last saw her, which always looks stunning with African wax fabrics. Yesterday she made a tree block, which might (or might not) become the centre of a larger tablecloth. And now she is working on a notepad cover - one of the samples we brought with us. "I have come to work", she announced yesterday, and the challenge is for us to keep up with her!
Another young woman ready to work is Athens, pictured here. She has been working in the ACTS office for the last year, and now she is going to take on the role of liaison between Alice and Kitambaa Designs. It will be Athens who receives the finished items made by the Bitengye ladies, makes an inventory of them, and packages them off to Canada. We will also place new orders through Athens, and have ready access to Alice and she to us whenever one of us has questions. One more step in preparing to hand over the project to Alice entirely. For any of you who bought the shorter paper bead necklaces when you were attending Quilt Canada in Calgary, it was Athens who made those. At that time she was earning the funds to go to Secretarial School, and she made the beads to help cover her costs. I hope to have more of those beads to bring back with me this year.