This is diary of my experiences owning Kalahari Quilts. Being the only Quilting store in Botswana we have had quite a lot of fun, interesting and unique experiences. I love what I do and the ladies I work with.
The Maru-a-Pula wall quilt is done Wheeeew. What a job and what fun. This picture is of it laid out on the floor of my store. It takes up 3/4 of the length of the floor, we had to move the massive cutting table and other stuff so we could check every inch of it for quality and straightness. ( It is machine sewn and ALL hand quilted) I cant wait to see it hung up in the new wing of the Library at MAP. Every piece in here is a Bali batik, for some reason Batiks are the largest part of my fabric collection. The quilt will hang on a wall 5 meters wide by 3 meters high. Ahhhhh to be done with this is an amazing feeling. The thoughts on hanging it was troubling. There are no ideas on the web for such a large quilt so finally decided on 6 smaller sleeves on the back with eye hooks on the wall and boards through the sleeves so the quilt will look like it is floating on the wall and add another bit of astonishment. By the way, this was quilted in my mothers back garden by 2 ladies and 1 man while kids come and go to school. One of the reasons I started KQ was to have ladies be able to earn an income while at home watching their kids and monitoring the schooling so as to help further the education of the next generation. All three were below minimum wage before KQ and their kids had to live in the Village while they worked just to survive. Now all 8 kids are doing really well and living with their mothers and going to good schools. ( My mom was a teacher all her life and has instilled GREAT studies and provided extra reading material for them and their friends too, anything to further education.) 2 of the kids ( I call them my boys too) are over here right now for a sleepover with my kids. Hallelujah is my sons best friend and top of his class, while Andrew (named after my brother) is my daughters friend and as smart as his older brother. All 4 playing away on the computer :) Such a lovely life we lead here.
How Green is Kalahari Quilts? Talking to a wonderful customer the other day called Chiho Suzuki who was as enthusiastic about the small things as I am by the way. I realized I had not actually explained this in my Blog yet. WE ARE VERY GREEN. We care about our footprint. Living in a place where the fabrics cost twice what they cost in the States, and where people all around us are scratching for every penny we care a lot about wastage. Here is a picture of our final step. Our "Threads of Africa" is made up of the smallest bits of fabric we have. After a quilt is made we keep the scraps in a huge Botswana Basket. From there we make our ornaments and small things.
Shown here are our Hut Ornaments which I also use as my gift hung around the wine bottle neck when I go for dinners, and our "Mpopi" which means doll in Setswana.
The scraps from these items are used to make the "Threads of Africa" A technique I designed myself (I am sure I am not the first) We only throw away a small trash can once a week and that usually consists of my paperwork (also used on both sides) and used tea bags haha, we LOVE Bush tea in the store. So GREEN WE ARE :)