07 April 2013

Sew for your supper

When we quilters go off on holiday, we always try to find a nice little fabric shop along the way.  I tried in Vietnam, but not unsurprisingly I didn't find one!  But, in downtown Hanoi, I did find this



 It is a shop run by a not for profit organisation, filled with beautiful quilts made by women in small villages around Ho Chi Mhin city. They are well paid for their work and all profits from the organisation are put back into the community.  If you can spare a moment, you can read about them here - it will make you feel all warm and cosy inside! 

When we were in the rural areas in Vietnam, we saw how poor people are in the villages.  They really have so little, and it seems to be the women who work hard to keep the family going.  They work in the fields, they go to the markets, often walking for hours, sell food on the streets, whilst the men, from what we could see, sit around drinking and watching TV!





The last photograph was taken in a village where the Black Hmong and Red Dzou minority people live, and they really have nothing.  The children are rarely sent to school, and we saw small children playing in the mud and animal poo wearing just t shirt, no socks, shoes or pants! 

Women working for this organisation will earn more money than the could imagine, which helps feed the families and keep their children in school, ensuring they have better opportunities in the future. 

The shop was packed full of quilts, pillows, small toys, and all were beautifully made.  I think they are totally hand sewn, but certainly they are all hand quilted.   Here's a few pictures







It is so nice to see a project that helps people to help themselves.  Not only does it give these ladies a better life, but also gives their children half a chance at a better future.   And all because of quilting.  We do it because we like it, it feeds our creative sides, it makes us feel better, but we don't expect to make a living out of it.  For these ladies, it provides a life-line.  

You may all be very pleased to hear that that's the last of the Vietnam pictures (although if you really want, there are still around another 1000 you haven't seen!)


12 comments:

  1. Great story of helping people improve their own situation and opportunities. The hand quilting is awesome too!

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  2. Impressive quilting especially if it's all hand done! It's great to hear about these ladies being paid decent money for their labour.

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  3. What a wonderful organisation! Loved the wee penguins mini too :-)

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  4. A great organisation indeed! And love the pictures!

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  5. Wow these quilts are amazing and very humbling.

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  6. Thanks for sharing your photos with us. It looks like you had a great trip! I enjoyed reading all your posts and I'm sorry I didn't leave you a comment every time I came to visit! I especially love this one as it shows how our hobby can be other people's source of life.

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  7. I love looking at pictures and have really enjoyed seeing yours from Vietnam. So I would be happy to see some more!
    Love the quilts that you've shown, especially the neutral one at the bottom. It looks to me like bowls of rice (my favourite food) and is just beautiful. It's great to see that something that is a hobby for us can actually make such a big difference to others.

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  8. Great quilts, and great project; got to love a Vietnamese penguin!

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  9. Thanks for sharing these quilts and the story of the women who make them. What a life! It's moments like this when you are thankful for all that you have and are able to do.

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  10. Thanks for sharing the story behind these quilts - there are quite a few women's co-operatives here where they earn decent money for the things they make.

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  11. Really thought provoking post - thank you for sharing it (and I've enjoyed seeing the photos too)

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  12. What fabulous quilts and a great story to read about. Thanks for that, Di!

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