Quilting with a Conscience

I went to Quilted Treasures this weekend for the Block of the Month like I always do on the third Saturday of the month.  This month, however, we were to have a guest speaker.  The topic was bargello – not an exciting topic to me.  The speaker was Maggie Ball.  She was going to be teaching a class later in the day.

The bargello technique she showed us had a unique spin.  (I liked it. Who would’ve guessed?)  She worked with bargello blocks instead of strips.  By varying the placement of the blocks and the number of colors in each, a myriad of quilts is possible.  We had great show and tell.  Wish I had photos of those for you.  

 

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We saw the cover quilt which was even more stunning in person.  Lots of others with interesting borders.   Now that I’ve seen the quilts, I definitely want to try to make one sometime.  Isn’t that how it often is with quilt books or patterns?  The photo may not do the quilt justice, so it doesn’t get noticed until someone shows off a fantastic sample.

Even more interesting to me was Maggie’s story.  A woman from Mongolia sent emails to various quilt teachers in the US.  She was asking for someone to teach the women there how to quilt so they could earn money and become more self-sufficient.  Most others turned her down for one or another reasons, but Maggie asked for more info and ended up helping.  She designed a quilting motif that was symbolic of Mongolia, one found on the door of the urts.  She then traveled to Mongolia to teach the women to quilt.  They began by making bags and aprons and then moved on to quilts.  They are now beginning to incorporate applique into their quilting.

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In collaboration with quilters from England, Maggie hosted a Mongolian booth at the 2007 Festival of Quilts in UK  where she raised $82,000 for a capital campaign, and in September 2008 purchased a new Center for the woman in the heart of Ulaanbaatar!  It has a retail area with a shop front, a large classroom, a bathroom and kitchen/office and is in an excellent location

Visit the Dragonfly Quilts website to read more about this quilting outreach.  Also, take a look at some pictures from Mongolia.  More pictures.  Even more pictures.  And finally pictures of the quilting center.

If you’d like to make a purchase or donation click here. It sure seems like a very worthwhile project to me. Quilters have such big hearts, I’m sure there are many of you out there who’d like to help.  

I never expected the block of the month meeting to transport me halfway around the world, but it sure was a fun trip.

Jan

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