The Advocacy Project Quilts

Since 2009 I have been volunteering with The Advicay Project to help them use quilting to give a voice to marginalized groups around the world. Together we have curated several exhibits at the Untied Nations, the New England Quilt Museum and the Textile Museum in Washington DC. Their most recent project, Sister Artists has brought together women from Mali and Kenya and quilt artists from North America to raise funds for job training in embroidery for the women in Afrtic To learn more about The Advocacy Project and their powerful work, visit their website.

Mali Village

Sister Artists was a project I initiated between Quilt for Change and The Advocacy Project. Gender based violence survivors in Mali embroidered blocks and quilt artists from North America finished them as art quilts. The quilts were then displayed at the Textile Museum in Washington DC and then auctioned online. Over $7000 was raised for job training for the women in Mali. 

In my quilt, Mali Village, mud cloth and Indigo from Mali encircle the beautiful embroidered block depicting village life in Mali. I loved the pentagon shop created by the embroiderer, and so worked to enhance this shape and the colors and themes of village life.

Mud cloth from Mali
Mud cloth from Mali
Mali Village by Allison Wilbur

The Zimbabwe Child Marriage Quilt

The squares in this quilt describe the many pressures on girls to marry in Zimbabwe. Over a third of all girls in the country marry before the legal age of 18.

One of my favorite blocks was explained in the stories the girls wrote to accompany the blocks. In her story, the young girl says the broken pot symbolizes her broken life and broken dreams. Speaking up gives these girls a chance to tell their story and become empowered to demand change.

Child Marriage block
Embroidered block showing broken shards of pot that represent broken dreams

Romano Trajo Quilt

The blocks in this quilt were made by Roma women in Eastern Europe. The quilt is a celebration of their traditional customs and culture, the theme is a marriage. The embroidery is truly extraordinary in these blocks and I wanted to enhance the setting with quilting that echoed the natural setting and beautiful needlework.

Romano Trajo embroidered block
quilted rose
Quilted Tree