Stitch-a-Long 3.0 Update

By Crispina ffrench

Fundraiser, Stitch-A-Long

By Tuesday over 50 sewers from across North America will be finishing up their quilt squares for our Stitch-a-Long 3.0 fundraising collaboration -  supporting the construction of a quilting studio in Gee's Bend Alabama.

Sondra Primeaux my teaching/design partner in this fundraiser will be compiling all the detailed hand sewn squares into a quilt top…

As each sewer posts pictures in the Stitch-a-Long 3.0 Group in Stitcherhood, I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude and JOY.  We are creating magic together.

We are doing this to raise money and awareness of the need for Gee’s Bend Quilters to have better accommodation and income.  It still astounds me to know that the average annual household income in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, population 208 (as of the 2020 census) is $16,000.  

How can this be?

Gee’s Bend is an African American enclave of historical and internationally recognized quilting, the birthplace of North American textile upcycling.  Gee’s Bend Quilts are held in permanent collection of over 2 dozen big name internationally recognized art museums across the world, yet the makers do not have financial security or even comfortable workspace to carry-on their generations-old legacy.

With your help we can raise enough money to help a Gee’s Bend quilter, Mary Margaret Pettway build a worthy, yet humble studio where she can spread out and make bed-sized quilts with her friends.

Mary Margaret will do the actual quilting of our collaborative queen-size quilt.  Donations that go directly to Mary Margaret (via her daughter, Jade’s, Venmo) will be accepted right here in the coming days.  Each contribution of $50 will get a name listed on our roster from which one very lucky person will be chosen to own the fruit of our collaboration. (If you donate $100 you get to list two names, etc.)

We have secured a matching grant and are working to secure a couple of other challenges that are in the works to help with our fundraising efforts.  

Donations will be collected until the quilt is complete (planned for mid October 2022).  All donors will be kept up to date with the process with fun ways to watch it all come together.

I'd like to personally thank the over 50 sewers who have joined in making, giving their time, compassion, and handwork to the project.  Stitch-a-Long 3.0 allows us to show our appreciation and respect to Gee’s Bend quilters in a way that might enable them to know the impact they have had on our art history, national history and textile upcycling heritage.

We would like to, not only bring attention to Gee’s Bend as major contributors to all of that, we would also like to make things right and bring Gee’s Bend out of poverty into a place of financial security.  

Together we can.  Hop on the email list to be notified when donations are open.  Email us to let us know if you would like to make a matching donation or set up a challenge to amp up our fundraising efforts.  

  

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