Ten Thousand Villages in Evanston and Marketplace: Handwork of India have long been partners. Both assist low-income areas through business and social development and provide vital fair income to producers in developing countries. Now, a team of committed volunteers from both organizations has partnered with the Indian women artisans to create a quilt of many colors, made by many hands. This quilt spans the oceans: quilt squares were made by women artisans in cooperatives that MarketPlace works with and together with remnant design swatches, women in Evanston designed and hand quilted this magnificent quilt.
Susanne Donoghue, the amazing women who spearheaded this volunteer project, wrote this poem to sum up her experience:
It is so charming, this quilt.
Deepest colors of emerald, ruby, turquoise,
marigold and tangerine.
As I run my needle in and out, in and out,
tracing the leaves, elephants, daisies, ponies,
I can’t help but ask why I do this.
Some things, it seems, are their own reason.
The layers of fabric are already bound,
stitched together beyond any falling apart but age.
But I must keep stitching this crazy path up stems,
around petals, wind around like a drunkard’s walk
because my hand and eye want to.
No matter that the time is short and it must be finished.
No matter that my word was given.
No matter, even, that no more stitching is really needed.
I must, I must, follow this thread to its end
before I snip it off.
Compulsion? No, perfection demands too much of me,
but this is not that.
This is answer–to Pushpika and Lalita, to P.L.
and all the others in India,
to Rajya and Hannah and Penny.
Every stitch is a joy-cry: you have done well,
and I celebrate you and in this moment am with you.
This stunning 84″x84″ quilt was handmade using hand-dyed and hand-embroidered cotton fabric remnants from MarketPlace: Handwork of India, and we’re raffling the quilt to raise funds to support MarketPlace’s initiatives that educate women artisans and their children for $20 a ticket or $100 for 6. To purchase tickets online, please click here and win this quilt. The drawing will be held on May 15th, 4:30pm, at the Ten Thousand Villages Store.