Today was the final meeting of the Hope Workshop for their first advocacy quilting project! The women viewed each other’s work and shared their ideas and thoughts about the experience. They agreed they would like to see the embroidery, a partnership between CRP and the Advocacy Project, become an annual endeavor. The embroidery required serious focus, and helped them concentrate their thoughts and efforts on a productive project that will help them share their stories with the world.
Shatha, the coordinator of the Hope Workshop and also a Project Manager at CRP, says that in the past, the largest project the collective worked on was their annual hat sales. “It has been great for income generation and when we did the hats, the membership of the Hope Workshop grew,” she says. Crochet is a skill many women in the collective are already familiar with, she explains, and it was not time consuming or difficult for them to make the hats, which sell very well in Amman during the winter. “But,” Shatha explains, “we can’t make hats all year!”
AP’s quilting project came just in time to fill this void. The momentum and energy from the women, along with their incredible patience and skill, made the project come to life. Next, the squares will travel to America, where they will be assembled by a group of Boston-based quilters into two quilts. One quilt will be used specifically for exhibition, traveling to universities, museums, and galleries both in the U.S. and in Jordan. The second quilt will be for sale, and the money from the sale will go back to the women themselves and to the collective to help fund future Hope Workshop projects.
“I like how this project was organized,” Shatha says. “Maybe it will take time for the quilt to sell, but the women will see the returns. I could tell they were very happy to participate, and through the project they were able to express their feelings, talk about their memories and where they are from. We’d like to continue.”
Please continue to follow the Hope Workshop blog to see pictures of the quilt squares and read the stories of the women who produced them. Updates on the progress of the quilt and its assembly in America will follow!