Friday, 3 July 2015

Earth Diary Project in China

Christine Porter, author of numerous quilt books and a very well known quilter, asked me if I would be able to go to China to teach machine patchwork and quilting on a project run by her former student homestay guest, Angel Yao.  Called the 'Earth Diary Project', it has set up various schemes to help disabled minorities people into work.  This project will be in Guizhou province, near Kaili, Quiandongnan, which is about three hour's drive from Guiyang city.  Our group will be learning how to make machine sewn patchwork and quilting, so I am going to start them off with a simple bag or cushion in stitch and flip patchwork, and then we will move on to making some group quilts, again using stitch and flip.  If, as seems the case, they haven't used machines before, I think this will be easiest.  A big challenge for me will be working metric!

Our group are disabled women from the Miao minority.  I am aware of the Miao's stunning traditional embroideries and clothing, and our project is not trying to undermine that, but to give the students a means to earn an income by making patchwork and quilted items for sale.  We are being sponsored with sewing machines from Singer and they are also providing us with fabric and other equipment we need.  Angel's initial idea was to use recycled fabrics as that fits with the eco ideas of the wider project but it is going to be easier to start off beginners with new fabric.  We have also been sponsored with some threads from Aurifil which I will be taking with me - thanks to the lovely Alex Veronelli at Aurifil.  These are simply, IMHO, the best threads I've found for regular patchwork piecing and they will keep the sewing machines happy and lint free while we work.

I've set up a blog page on my website, as I won't be able to access Blogger while in China (it is a Google service), so if you want to follow my progress there (as wifi access allows!), please look at 'Chinese Diaries' on my website.  I'm going on 19th July.  A few quilts, including the Denman Kannon (above) will be going with me, some for teaching, some for including in a local craft exhibition.

享受絎縫!Xiǎngshòu háng fèng!

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