Who We Are

Solar Sister Opening, Geneva, March 2013 Photo by Eric Bridiers

Our Mission

Quilt for Change strives to raise awareness on global issues that affect women and empower quilt artists to become agents for social change.  Working with various partner organizations, we create themed art quilt exhibitions which are displayed at high visibility venues in Europe and North America such as the United Nations, major quilt festivals in the United States, museums and universities. Our exhibits are a forum for fiber artists from the U.S., Canada, Europe and around the world to share their talent, creativity and inspiration, and serve as a call to action by shining a spotlight on major issues affecting women around the world.

Our Philosophy

We seek to create a forum where images, whether they be representational or abstract, put a human face on the problems faced by women today. Women as positive and strong agents for change, sharp social commentary, and culturally knowledgeable and aware images can tell the story of the human condition in ways that move the viewer to take steps to be more involved in changing the world around us. Fiber is an international media that has connections, particularly to women, in so many societies around the world. We hope to tap into the tradition of women expressing their views in thread. For those who wish to use their quilting and art talents more directly, we maintain a list of projects to which you can contribute.

Artists from Mali with their embroidery blocks

Sister Artists II Launched in March 2021

Kenya’s spectacular wildlife has emerged in brilliant color from two of Nairobi’s most forbidding informal urban settlements, Kangemi and Kibera.
Forty-one women from Kangemi and Kibera have used embroidery to recognize a species. Now, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, we are seeking quilters to turn their squares into art quilts that will be exhibited in the US and auctioned. Profits will be invested back in the Kenyan artists.
The competition starts today (March 8) at 12.30 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) and is open to any quilter from the Global North and South. Submissions will be accepted in the order they are received. Please follow the instructions on this web page and email us for more information.
This project is a sequel to Sister Artists 1, which raised over $7,000 for survivors of gender-based violence in Mali last year. The new initiative was suggested by Stella Makena and Caren Mbayaki (photos below), two community leaders in Kibera and Kangemi who told their story for The Woman’s World Quilt in 2019.
The Kenyan animal squares were made at the height of the pandemic and participants agreed that training and stitching together – while observing restrictions – had helped to alleviate the stress and anxiety.
“This is a time when some of us are going through depression,” wrote Lydia Awino, an artist from Kangemi. “Coming together gives us a platform to share with friends and knitting keeps our minds busy too.” Ms Mbayaki also noted that her team had formed a self-help association, further illustrating the benefits of group stitching. Members hope their new organization will advocate for better services in their sorely-pressed community. Profiles of the artists, which have been uploaded to the AP site, describe the devastating impact of the pandemic on women in under-served urban areas. Ms Mbayaki herself is a single mother who cares for two children and sick parents. 
But at the same time, many of the artists have stepped up their volunteering during the pandemic. Cecilia Marigi works with street children and prostitutes. AP covers all costs of embroidery projects (including prizes for the best designs) on the understanding that the stitching will form the first phase of a sustained program to build skills, earn money and strengthen organizations.  Participants have embraced this approach with enthusiasm, and Sister Artists 2 promises to be no exception. 
The artists in Nairobi are already hard at work on the next phase. Both groups are describing their experience with COVID-19 through embroidery. The Kangemi members will then make animal squares for tote bags in the US. The Kibera group is developing a pilot project to help poor families use vermiculture and composting. 

Exhibitions 

To view quilts from past exhibitions, click on the links below.

Water is Life

Official Invitation to the March 22 Opening at United Nations Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland

Solar Sister: Light, Hope and Opportunity

Clean Energy for the Future by South Rutland Elementary School
Clean Energy for the Future by South Rutland Elementary School

Women, Peace and Security

United Nations Human Rights Council Hall Opening March 2019
United Nations Human Rights Council Hall Opening March 2019 Photo by Eric Bridiers

Making a Healthier World for our Children 

Poster for the Global Fund Exhibit

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