The making of a very special quilt!

(And appeal for volunteers at Vietnam Quilts shops!)

In making this special quilt, many individual pieces of material represent stories of women’s lives in poor rural communities in Vietnam.  And all these pieces need to earn a regular income.

Many times, over the beginning years, the pieces were pulled apart and re done over many hours, trying to find a pattern that the people would like.

Finally this special quilt was then delivered to Ho Chi Minh City and the word spread slowly about how and why the quilt was being made.  However, too slowly. But the quilt was attractive and the heart was still pumping and 45 individual pieces were still sewn together by a common need.

For the quilt to stay together it had to borrow money from its NGO (Vietnam Plus) to purchase more batting, fabric and thread. 

Then from a land far away, an ocean blue piece traveled to Ho Chi Minh City, to assist this quilt (this was me, Sue!). The task for this piece was easy.  More people had to hear about the quilt and that was not hard to do.  Once people saw and heard the quilt story, they liked what they saw and bought.

Over the next two years another 95 multi coloured pieces of material were threaded together (today 150 women work full time). The pieces laugh together and eat together all the time believing in the reason they were all together, to enable each to send their children to school and feed their families.  For most of these pieces of material their income had doubled in this period of time.  They were the lucky ones.

Their success can now be shared and the quilt now gives back to where it once borrowed money.  Other children from less fortunate families are now able to attend school; women have participated in a health education program; latrines have been built and mosquito nets have been distributed.

There are always other pieces of material, with their own stories that want to have a chance to be stitched into the quilt.  The deepest burgundy piece, who has six children to feed and the dazzling pink piece whose husband left her to feed three children by herself.

To make this happen the ocean blue piece has traveled to the city in the north, to continue her role spreading the news about this special quilt (a new Vietnam-Quilts shop has opened in Hà-Nôi). This piece would not swap her life for anything.  The work is so satisfying and rewarding.  The quilt is beautiful!!

Sue Wise, volunteer at Vietnam-Quilts.

We need your help!
2 shops plus special events… we cannot cope and need volunteers to assist in sales. Vietnam-Quilts takes volunteers for a minimum period of 6 months, full time or part time. Please email us, or contact Sue or Ben.
08 829 87 94 (Hô Chí Minh City)
04 926 3682 (Hà Nôi)