PCV Quiltmaking Project

July 9th, 2009 by admin

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PCV Abba Greenleaf reports that she has a growing quilt-making project going in Cameroon. She is serving in Mayo Darle, Adamawa, as a Health Volunteer, and is originally from Iowa City, Iowa. Before joining the Peace Corps, she studied Public Health at George Washington University.

“I started quilting when I met a woman, Mairama, who is located in a village near the Nigerian border. She is an Umbororo woman who has been in Cameroon for about 9 years, since the Umbororo/Mambila conflict that forced her and her family to flee Nigeria. She was looking for a way to make money and so I taught her how to hand quilt. Now we have 9 women hand quilting and 3 piecing (using a machine to put the pieces together).

“Each month we have a meeting where I teach the women about a health topic and they get paid for their work and receive new work. They are learning, (petit a petit), how to be independent in their work, since I will be leaving Cameroon in December of this year. This means I am teaching them about budgeting, cotising money to buy supplies.

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“It has been incredibly exciting to see these women learn the trade, turn it into a beautiful art while at the same time supporting their families. All the quilts are pieced on a machine, then hand quilted. Prices depend on size and the difficulty of the quilt. The smallest quilt usually costs about 15,000 cfa ($30) with the most expensive (large enough to cover a double bed) is usually around $100. All the quilts have pagne, and some are mixed with monotone color fabric to help ease the intensity (pagne is very bright and busy!). As you can see in the pictures, there is also the possibility of using the PC fabric. We chose to mix the fabric with green, yellow and red since those are the national colors. 🙂 However, there are lots of different designs we can try out.

“If people are interested in ordering quilts; the address to use is agreenleafpccam@yahoo.com .

“My village actually just got electricity on the 20th of May, for 4 hours every night, but we are still a long way from Internet!
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