This month has been one of encouragement for the Kitambaa Sewing Project and the Bitengye Designers on several fronts. Five new sponsored students have been chosen to attend Alice's Sewing School. Two of the sponsorships were given by the Blue Mountain Quilters' Guild in Port Coquitlam, and also include treadle sewing machines to be donated to these young women upon graduation. Langley Quilters' Guild has undertaken to raise funds for another sewing machine, and just this morning I received a request for the greeting cards we've made up with photos of various aspects of the sewing project, to be used to this end. Donations both large and small are coming in, and will go toward this year's workshop with the women. Our flights are now booked and all being well, we'll depart on October 21st. Back on the home front, I've started to make "Kitambaa Cozies" - bean bags to use heated or iced for comfort of aching shoulders and backs. The pattern was generously shared with me by someone who used to make these as part of the outreach program of the
organization for whom she worked as a counsellor. And several volunteers have come forward to help me with these. Meanwhile a fresh order of newly-made items has just arrived from Uganda and more jackets are on their way (photos of these will be posted as soon as they arrive). What's been most encouraging of all is that Alice's school is now finished, with the sewing machines moved in and classes being held there regularly. I can't wait to see it in the fall! Lastly, I wanted to show you this photo of an African-inspired quilt made by Joanne Colleaux of Armstrong, BC. She is one of the featured quilt artists at the Shuswap Quilt Guild Show being held on June 7th and 8th at the Salmon Arm Recreation Centre. She'll have this quilt as part of her display, and is using it to raise more funds for the sewing project. I just love it - yet another way to use all these wild and wonderful African fabrics, and benefitting the Bitengye Designers at the same time. Wonderful!
I am a textile artist and quiltmaker, a teacher and a writer. I have been playing with fabric for over 30 years, the last 15 of which have been spent creating original work and teaching design-based classes. I have a deep connection with the women of Africa, and since 2007 have spent part of each year teaching sewing and quilting to women in Uganda.