If you’re headed down to Houston for the International Quilt Festival (Nov3-6,) the Alliance for American Quilts could use your help. They’re looking for volunteers to help record oral histories for their Quilters’ Save Our Stories (QSOS) project.
QSOS is a grassroots oral history project launched by the Alliance in 1999 to record, archive and present the stories of today's quilters. Volunteers record quilters’ stories in "guided conversations" centered on a quilt chosen by the interviewee. The recordings are then shared on the Alliance's website and archived by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
Many volunteers are needed including—interviewers, scribes, registration desk attendants, photographers, and data entry/backup assistants. This is a grassroots effort so no professional experience is required.
All volunteers will receive free admission to the show on the days that they work. Each Team QSOS volunteer will also receive a QSOS lapel pin and t-shirt, and a goody bag of fabric and notion treats (aka – swag!)
For more information visit the Alliance for American Quilts website at
www.AllianceforAmericanQuilts.org/qsos/2011IQFinfo.php or email them at email@example.com.
The anniversary of the tragic events of 9.11 has come and gone but the memories live on.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has marked the occasion with a memorial viewing of Faith Ringgold’s 9/11 Peace Story Quilt. Constructed in collaboration with NYC public school students ten years ago, the quilt poignantly conveys the importance of communication across cultures and religions to achieve the goal of peace. Comprised of three panels, each with twelve squares on the theme of peace, the quilt will be displayed alongside several original works of art that inspired its content.
If you find yourself visiting New York this fall, you might want to check it out. The quilt will be on displayed through January 22, 2012.
If you’ve opened your browser, read the morning paper or turned on the radio or TV this morning, then you know—it’s Earth Day! The world is going green my friends. So in the spirit of the day, I thought I’d log on with yet one more recycling idea.
Some of us have been buying and collecting fabric for years—you know who you are—and now find ourselves with way more than we can ever use. We also know that fabric ages out—so the stuff we just had to have ten years ago may not be the same fabric we want to incorporate in current projects. The solution—recycle it—and return it to the fabric universe.
The Salvation Army (downtown on Union Street) has a fabric compacter. They crush it down, bundle it up and sell it off to manufacturers who then weave it into new stuff. You get a donation and they get product they can resell to support their efforts. The world is less cluttered and we get to buy more fabric. Sounds like a win-win to me.
(If Union Street is a little out of the way for you, drop your donations at any of their locations and it will find its way to the compactor.)
Happy sewing everybody…
If you’ve been lucky enough to replace your old sewing machine with a new one—good for you! Not everyone is so lucky. For women who use their sewing machine to make a living, the lost of a machine is not just disappointing; it can mean financial ruin for their families.
Margaret Jankowski understands this well. After the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia, Margaret read an article about a woman who had lost a sewing machine in the storm—a machine this woman saved for years to buy—a machine she used to support her family. When the storm swept it away, it took this woman’s livelihood with it. So Margaret decided to help by collecting donated sewing machines and shipping them to Sri Lanka.
But this isn’t the end of this story. Margaret visited Quiltology last month and told us about The Sewing Machine Project—a nonprofit organization she started in order to help even more women in need. I urge you to check out their web site and forward this info to your sewing friends. If you’ve got an old machine collecting dust, please consider donating it to this group. It doesn’t have to have lots of fancy functionality, but it does need to be in good working order.
Margaret’s focus has now shifted to other areas of need—like New Orleans. Since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, she’s made five trips to the city, delivering more than 500 donated sewing machines. Some of these machines have gone to individuals, others to community centers and schools. And most recently Margaret sent 16 sewing machines to women in a village in Kosovo that’s still recovering from the 1990s conflict between Serbia and ethnic Albanians.
If you don’t have a sewing machine to pass along, you can still help The Sewing Machine Project with a tax deductable monetary donation which they can use to help cover shipping costs.
The Sewing Machine Project also accepts donations of fabric, patterns and other sewing-related items. Note—fabric must be clean, and of a type that is useable in the South—please don’t send your stash of wool and polar fleece!
Email Margaret@thesewingmachineproject.org for additional info.
Do good—feel good!