This has been an interesting week, as I have been hearing quite a bit from people who lived in Ethiopia when I did. I attended the American Community School in Addis Ababa from first through third grade, and I hear there will be a reunion in 2013 in Addis for ACS students. Very exciting!
When I was a child in Addis, I was actually a very privileged kid. We lived in a great house with a very large yard, with a formal garden, a vegetable garden, and a playhouse large enough to host my school classes for birthday parties. Like many American kids whose parents worked for Ethiopian Airlines, we went back to the States every summer to stock up on school clothes and toys, and visit relatives. My grandmother, in Kansas, was a quilter, and like many quilters she saw the creation of quilts as an act of love. I’ve always thought of quilts as a “portable hug” because when wrapped in a quilt, you can always feel the love of the person who made it for you.
My grandmother made quilts for my sister and me which we kept on our beds, and which we still have to this day. Paula’s was a Chips and Whetstones quilt, and mine was a variegated 9-patch with alternate pink blocks between each scrappy 9-patch. I used to sit on my bed and find matching squares and triangles, made from my grandmother’s old clothes and from feed sacks. I spent a lot of time checking how those half-triangle squares fit together and checking out the colors that went well together and those that seemed discordant. It was actually very mentally stimulating. That quilt was, and still is, very special to me, both because I loved all the colors and fabrics, and because it symbolized my grandmother’s love for me.
In 2007 and 2008 QBB gave over 500 quilts to girls and boys in an orphanage in Addis. (If you click on the photo links on the left of this page you’ll be able to see pictures of the children in that orphanage.) While I wasn’t able to go on those trips, I know the children treasured those quilts, even more than I treasured the quilt from my grandmother. These children owned nothing else. Even their school uniforms were shared. And because there weren’t enough toys for all the children in the orphanage, the toys they did have were hung from the ceiling so all the children could see them. The quilts that are given to children by QBB are truly valued by these children, and it’s wonderful to see some of the quilts that we receive that will wrap them in love, inspire their sense of color and shape, and keep them warm at night.
Today’s featured quilts are quilted by Sharon Wilt and Judy Vliss (and a couple I did). Piecers include Richard and Martha, Carolyn and Allison.
The first two quilts were quilted by Judy Vliss. Judy is a hobby quilter who quilts for her family and a Women’s Crisis Center, as well as QBB. She believes that “those of us who have been blessed need to give back.” Well said, Judy! The quilts were pieced by Allison and Carolyn, and Judy finished them with big loopy meanders.
The next 3 quilts were quilted by Sharon Wilt, who has a business called Fabric Creations. The Hotwheels quilt was pieced by Richard from Texas, and was quilted by Sharon with swirls. The Cat quilt was pieced by Richard’s wife Martha, and Sharon quilted it with feathered motifs and wreaths in the orange blocks, meanders in the cat blocks. Martha also pieced the Indian center panel quilt, which Sharon quilted with meanders and leaves.
Martha also kitted up three more wholecloths with cheery fabric that was just too pretty to cut up, which Sharon quilted with loopy hearts and swirls. Martha tells me that she and Richard are “trying to outdo each other” with quilt creation! Fabulous! They’ve done many quilts for us over the last year or so, and I know the children will love everyone of them!
These two quilts were quilted by me, with tops by Richard:
All of these quilts are great as “stashbusters”, and all of them will be greatly loved and appreciated by the children who will receive them. Thank you to all!