Salama Quilters from Kenya

by Allison Wilbur on November 6, 2019

The Salama Quilters Self Help Group of Nairobi, Kenya, (the Salama Mamas) have only been making quilts since 2017. Inspired by a presentation at the Kenya Quilt Guild about the African Siddi Quilters of India, they began to make quilts using the Indian technique of hand piecing with a running stitch. From the beginning, they made their quilts 100% African by using African textiles on the tops and Masai shukas (plaid blankets worn by the Masai people of Kenya) as backing and batting. The Mamas are constantly evolving their style, and imitating what they see in quilting books and magazines.

This quilt is made with tiny squares interspersed with ¼” strips of African fabrics. The quilt features a map of Kenya in the center medallion. Instead of using the Mali women’s #7 square intact, the Mamas cut it into 4 pieces and appliquéd them down with feather stitch embroidery.

For more information about the Salama Mamas, check out their facebook page, or contact them via email at

Kenya Quilters Join Mali Embroiderers Against Gender ViolenceMade by the Salama Quilters. Machine pieced and machine quilted. Hand applique. Nairobi, Kenya, 2019

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