Quilters in the United States

AP salutes the American quilters who have helped to assemble advocacy quilts. Over 40 quilters have participated, from seven states (Maryland, Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and New York.) They all donated their time for free and showed incredible skill and commitment. Several have said that working on quilts has opened their eyes to the challenges facing women in the Global South – but also to their artistry. We look forward to working more with these talented American artists.

Bobbi Fitzsimmons and Connie Moser completed the first three Nepal Tiger Quilts at home in North Carolina. (April 2017)

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Debbie White, a member of the Cabin Branch Quilt Guild in Lake Ridge Virginia, assembled the Third Mali Camel Quilt from squares that were made by survivors of SGBV in Mali. (March 2017)


Ruth Spears, left, formed a group of quilters from the Quilters by the Sea Guild (Portsmouth Rhode Island) to assemble the two Middle Eastern Refugee Quilts in February 2017. Allison Wilbur, right, finished off the quilting in her studio in Bristol, Rhode Island. Allison is founder of Quilt for Change and a long-time friend of AP.  Watch our video of the quilters at work! (January 2017)

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Merry May, from the South Shore Stitchers Guild in New Jersey, assembled the First Mali Camel Quilt from squares that were embroidered by survivors of SGBV in Bamako. Merry is seen here with the Second Mali Camel Quilt, which was made by the survivors in Mali and modeled on Merry’s own quilt. This quilt now hangs in the Malian embassy in Washington.

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The two Alafia Mali quilts from Mali were assembled by the PM Fiber Arts Guild from Bethesda, Maryland, at the initiative of Helen Blumen, left.

The Nunca Mas quilts from Peru  were assembled in New Jersey by Ginny Cooper, Elizabeth Ohlson (shown right), and Merry May from the South Shore Stitchers Guild.


Henna Pride was assembled in Maryland, US, by Nancy Evans (right) and John Anderson. Nancy also helped to assemble the Ahadi quilts from the DRC and the Vietnam Disability Quilt.

The River Gypsy Quilt from Bangladesh was assembled by The Sisters Choice quilters in Falls Church Virginia: Leslie Jo Waters, Cathy Eckbreth, Gail Wentzell, Beth Suddaby, and Amy Loar. The quilters explain what they learned about the River Gypsies from working on the quilt in the video on the right. For more on the making of the quilt, click here .

Alison Wilbur, from Rhode Island, is the founder of Quilt for Change. She assembled the Chintan wastepicker’s quilt and the Romano Trajo (Roma Life) quilt.

Bobbi Fitzsimmons and Sharon Sisson from the Swan Lake Quilt Guild in Sumter, South Carolina assembled the Gracanica Roma Quilt, and the Child protection quilt.

Carol Grimstad assembled the Women’s Microcredit Quilt from panels made by women members of a microcredit cooperative in Bangladesh.

Quilters Nancy Evans (left) and Sharon Rhoton (middle), from Maryland, from the Faithful Circle Quilt Guild, were part of the group that assembled the two Mahalako Swastha quilts from Nepal. They are pictured with Peace Fellow Kate Bollinger, who worked with the artists in Nepal and brought the painted panels back to the US.

Kathy Springer, from Indianapolis, has assembled three advocacy quilts: the Rehema Widows Quilt from Kenya; the Moroccan Amizigh Quilt; and the Women’s Microcredit Quilt from Bangladesh.

Kim, Kelly and Shannon, Rochester, from New York, at work on the first version of the Romano Trajo (Roma Life) quilt from Lithuania.

Susan Louis, from New York, compiled the Sixth Love Blanket at her home in New York, from panels made by freed domestic slaves in Nepal. (Photo left by Ben Gancsos ©)

Barbara Wofford, from Maryland, assembled the Czech Roma quilt from panels that were made by Roma women in Mimon, Czech Republic, with help from Barb’s daughter Beth who served as a Peace Fellow in the Czech Republic.

Maria O’Haver, from Maryland, worked on the Mahilako Swastha (Women’s Health) quilts, made by women in Nepal for the Women’s Reproductive Rights Program (WRRP).

Onalie Gagliano, from New Jersey, put together the Maasai Girls quilt from the Kakenya Center for Excellence in Kenya, and the fifth Love Blanket from BASE in Nepal.

Barbara Barber, from Rhode Island, assembled the Belize Forest Quilt and the Belize Orchid Quilt.

Quilters from the Capitol City Quilt Guild, in Lansing Michigan, with one of the three Ahadi (Congolese) quilts that they assembled in 2011. From the left: Barbara Jepson-Taylor, Minda Schneider, Janet Munn, Sue Kesti, and Rosamond Meerdink.

The first quilting project involved quilters from the Faithful Circle Quilt Guild, in Columbia, Maryland (right) and the Capitol City Quilt Guild (below). The two groups worked together by phone and email in 2011 to assemble the six Ahadi quilts from the Congo. Thanks to the following quilters from Faithful circle: Janet O’Leary and Carolyn May, Alka Mital, Sharon Rhoton, Peg McClelland, Susan Schreurs, Sally Timko, and Beth Bohac. Click on the right for a video of the quilters at work.

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