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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Munroe

Sister Artists Project

Through the partnership of The Advocacy Project (AP) and Quilt for Change, I am one of many artists who have committed to the Sister Artists Project, creating an art quilt from a block embroidered by a woman in Mali.

The Project: Under the initiative, known as Sister Artists, GBV survivors have produced embroidered blocks depicting scenes of life in Mali. Quilt for Change is inviting American quilters to turn one of these blocks into an art quilt which will then be posted online, exhibited and auctioned. All proceeds from the auction will be sent to Mali and invested in a micro-enterprise for the artists.

Exhibit: The collection of art quilts will be exhibited at a brief exhibit or event in Washington DC in the fall of 2019 before the online auction. Details about this exhibit will be shared when available.

This is the block that I have chosen. The block hung on my design wall for some time, as I had no idea how I was going to make this into a quilt, and still keep the block the highlight of the piece.

Although my block was titled "preparing food", I was more drawn to studying the hut, I decided to mimic the strength of the hand made walls - showing and emphasizing the strength of these women and what they have endured. Huts also, to me, makes me think of a community, actually In an article titled “Wisdom from an African Hut”, Alan McSmith stated: “In most, if not all indigenous cultures, social gatherings and councils took place in circles around a focal point. Usually a warm fire …Within the hut, families would sit and eat together in the same way, tell stories in their circles – excluding no one. They would sit, eat together. I believe Westerners can learn a lot from this system if they tried it.”

Being very conscious of keeping the focus on the block and the beautiful embroidery work, I thought duplicating the artists work - specifically the tree - and adding that to the background would give the piece more interest. In the above photo I have started to cut out the tree and place in the background.

Making progress - as I raw edge applique the tree, I cant help but think of the women who fled from the conflict in northern Mali, survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in Mali, and have used their blocks to remember the life they left behind. I hope my quilt in the end will really showcase my artist's work -

You too can participate in this project - visit to learn more!

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