Thursday, August 13, 2020

Sisterhood

I used the International Sister Quilt Block to make the Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks in 2019.


Ladies in Red

It was a year of ups and downs.

Feeling (Dark) Blue
You sent me hugs when I was feeling blue

Light Blue


Women of Color
You celebrated with Women of Color

It is Easy being Green

And you were with me when the sisters went to the dark side.

To the Dark Side
I shared new blocks month after month.

Shining Sisters






































The Sisters were received with so much joy, it warmed my heart.

Passionately Purple


The Rainbow Scrap Challenge of 2019 resulted in enough blocks to make two quilts.
The first I made for Eva.

32 Sister for Eva

The second one was made for the Quilt Show.  All quilts bound for the show must be labelled, with a prescribed sleeve including the name, address, phone number and guild chapter name. After an online registration process, each quilt (accompanied with the print-out of the registration form) must be brought to the photo session for a professional photoshoot before they make it to the show.  Yes it is big to-do and I did all that.


Piecing in Progress

Piecing Diagonal Rows


Enjoying the Process

The corner blocks


In my mind, I had pictured myself at the quilt show, standing next to my quilt, with 50 gorgeous sisters. I would use that picture in the blogpost that I would write about the quilt - Sisterhood.


Finished Flimsy

Of course the quilt show was cancelled. The picture did not happen and the blogpost seemed too tedious to write.


On Monday I received an email from EJI. It was the receipt for the donation.



A few distracted clicks later I was reading about Julia Tutwiler Women's Prison in Alabama.  EJI investigated and exposed the widespread sexual abuse of women in this prison leading to a federal investigation. Although the Department of Justice found evidence of abuse there has been no meaningful reform.


Pieced Backing

On February 2, 2016, Alabama Governor Robert J. Bentley announced in his State of the State speech that Tutwiler prison would be closed as a part of a "complete transformation of the prison system," which would include the construction of new facilities. "The process" was due to start within the 2016 calendar year but, as of 2020, the prison remains open.


Sisterhood

Finished at 71" by 85"


Sexual abuse is disgusting and dehumanizing. It is particularly heinous when it is perpetrated by those who are meant to protect. Discussing sexual abuse is uncomfortable and unpleasant. I have struggled to write this post. Some of you may say "just stick to quilting"


Celebrating Sisterhood


I wish I could. I cannot unread. I cannot unsee.  Our ignorance bolsters the perpetrators and our silence further hurts the victims.


You are beautiful

Even if I could keep quiet, these fifty sisters will not be silenced.  How can I celebrate these gorgeous sisters while ignoring those who languish in prison - abused and unheard.
It was time to write this blogpost.


Walking Foot Quilting


Bright


Orange Binding

To those who want me to stick to "just quilting" I say - just look at the quilt pictures.
To those who ask - how can I help/what can I do, I say - check this link.


Sisters Forever


Six sisters remain with me. Please let me know if you want them to come to your home/studio.
I will pick a winner on August 29, 2020.

Ready to Travel

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties (see full list on the sidebar) and with Angela's So Scrappy Linky Party.

56 comments:

  1. Such a happy quilt, Preeti! I am looking forward to making at least one with these blocks.
    EJI is a worth cause; I'll be adding it to the list of charities I donate to. Thank you for posting.

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  2. It's awesome! You did an amazing job. I think I need to make a few of these blocks.

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  3. No need to stick to writing just about quilting when you've got so many other important things to say. I love seeing your quilts, and reading the stories behind them. Thanks.

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  4. I love it!! your blog so many nice things - keep it up !!

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  5. Bless you for your passion and commitment to justice and decency.

    I am so sorry your beautiful sisters did not make it to the quilt show, but their friends did make it to Eva, spreading their love.

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  6. A wonderful post Preeti, your Sisters are beautiful and have spread all across the world. Lots are here in Australia and some are in New Zealand. You can say what you feel you need to say on your blog. I for one am always learning new things from what you write. Keep safe.

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  7. This second, larger, Sisters Quilt is amazing, and I’m in love with it! I will check out the link, but please never stop using your voice to share worthy causes with us, just as you share your beautiful quilts. I’m still making Sisters. This month I’ll put together #3 (of 8) Sisters double-sided wall hangings for Harambe Humanitarian. I need to sandwich in a month devoted solely to that effort so I can finally allow myself to assemble the Sisters I’ve been sewing for my very own quilt. It will all culminate in 2021, and hopefully we’ll be post-pandemic by then. Sorry I missed your calls last weekend. Too much yardwork. xo

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  8. Prison Reform has ever been, and always will be, part of the dirty gray wall that never comes clean. Your Sisters see and acknowledge the suffering of prisoners. I would Love to have some Sisters live with me.

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  9. Absolutely FABULOUS. We are all 'sisters' now!!!

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  10. Your sisters are lovely! Your blog you can say what you need to say.

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  11. Your blog brings so much... your beautiful quilts to see and things for me to think about and pray over. I love your passion and commitment to help those who need your voice because their voices aren't being heard.

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  12. I also have six sisters who are waiting to be joined by more sisters!

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  13. More sisters are always better. I love this sisters quilt and the passion you bring to life. This is what makes me so happy to know you. Have a happy day!

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  14. I enjoy reading your thoughtful blogs. I first started when you began the Sisters and I have loved them ever since. They are on my list. Take care.

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  15. Thank you for continuing to write posts that are informative and alert us to things we should know about. I love when I am reading blogs from various places in the world and see pictures of your International Sisters sprinkled among them. Perhaps, someday there will be an International Sisters quilt hanging in the White House.

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  16. Love, love this quilt! I will be making one in the future, the tutorial is great!

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  17. Preeti, we don't live in a bubble. Good things (many) and bad things (too many!) happen all around us. Thank you for your passionate concern for these women and their situation.....and I'd be happy to provide a new home for the six sisters. (Making a whole quilt's worth of them is on my list!)

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  18. I love your sisters and I love your blog! Thank you for always making me think and bringing to light many things in or country and world that we need to pay attention to. 💕

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  19. Preeti, I love your blog whether you are having a sassy conversation with your hubby or you're opening our eyes to yet another world injustice! Please don't change a thing!

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  20. Loved this block when you first shared it, and they look even better in finished quilts! When I lived in Maryland, I volunteered in a women's prison, teaching quilting. A really great experience. The women were so appreciative to have 2 hours a week to be "normal" and sit and sew and chat. I fully support your advocating for justice wherever you see it's needed. You rock! :)

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  21. Preeti...love the quilts that you share...love the stories that you share! Thank you so much for voicing the injustices that you share! Awareness is so important!

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  22. I love all your posts! Please continue to be you! I haven’t made a sisters block as of yet, but I intend to! Maybe giving your 6 sister a home, would get me moving to continue and get a quilt in the process. I thank you for your lovely thoughts, always!

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  23. I applaud you for standing up for the Sisterhood, Preeti!! Awareness it the first step toward change.

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  24. I have always loved your Sisters, standing tall with their beautiful turbans. So many great fabrics. Once again, congratulations to you for supporting reform and assistance. Thanks for writing about it, too. We can't just sit on a tuffet any longer and pretend everything is beautiful. We all need to work to bring beauty and respect to others.

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  25. You are a fabulous story teller whether just commentary about making your quilt (and Paul's comments) or moving others to understanding and hopefully action. Please share your extra sisters with someone who will put them to good use. (IE -- I've got too many UFOs currently!) Wasn't an Alabama judge who said a lifetime sentence was appropriate for someone who stole some hedge clippers? (I didn't read the whole article but the headline stuck with me!) Take care Sister.

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  26. Both of your Sisters quilts are awesome. You keep being you. Spreading joy, seeking justice, being sassy, creating quilts that bring comfort to those who need a quilty hug.
    Pat

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  27. Oh PREETI. Your stories are so interesting. It is your blog and you can write what you want. I have enjoyed working on your sisters blocks and having some of yours join them would be a way to unite our countries. Count me in.

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  28. What marvellous insight you always share with you quilts. So much thought and heartfelt emotion laid bare for us, the web based quilting community. I do hope that you can remain strong against trolls. I would love the sisters to come for a vacation at my house be moving on to see more of the world. What if you sent 1 block to as many people as you have blocks for and we add 2 and send them on and so and so until there are enough for a quilt to be donated to a fundraiser for a women's shelter or equalty movement?
    But if all the ladies arrive, I will gladly welcome them and donate to my local women's shelter. Keep doing what you are doing.
    If the round robinish idea floats- I volunteer to accept blocks back to finish quilts and forward on to charities.

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  29. If we can't quilt with purpose, why do it? Your words have an impact. So glad to hear your thoughts. Your quilt is just beautiful! My son recently began working for a non-profit organization that helps battered and sexually abused women. You've planted a seed for a way to help someone through the message of a quilt. Thank you!

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  30. In the scope of things, not having a quilt show isn't up there, but it's still disappointing. Sorry you didn't get to show all your lovely sisters off to a larger audience in person. But as you put into perspective in the post, there are other things that deserve our attention.

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  31. You are so right, Preeti -- the most heinous sins of humanity hide in plain site, where are "civilized eyes" look away from what we can't bear to see or imagine. I felt that way when I read the expose series that the New York Times did about a year ago on how the Internet is facilitating the violent sexual abuse and trafficking of children, even very young toddlers and infants, on a massive and sickening scale. I can't unsee, I can't unread, and I can't unknow. I feel so powerless, yet so inspired by those who roll up their sleeves to fight the darkness -- and by those like you, who find a way to speak up and speak out in whatever forum is available to you, knowing full well that some readers may be lost by the "political content."

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  32. thank you Preeti... as a survivor of childhood incest and sexual harassment in the workplace, the mistreatment of women, (well living things in general!) is an important discussion. I have heard other women say they are "tired" of hearing me too. Tired. Well we're tired of living it! I've heard people say it doesn't go on, when I lived it, so that I feel they are calling me a liar. They just can't handle knowing about it, but you can, you're strong and giving and I appreciate not only your art but your approach to human rights. Thanks again
    LeeAnna

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  33. This is an amazing quilt - and the image of you with 50 sisters standing around it can be seen in my head. For the Sisters that you are bringing to the light, to make us aware... they are standing around you... hugging you... I can see it ;-) Our company allowed us to suggest where charitable contributions should go - we all chose EJI. Hugs my friend.

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  34. Your sisters quilt is just beautiful and the causes you share need a voice and I am so glad you are that voice. I'll be doing some looking into the link and see what help is needed in my area. Thank you!

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  35. The sisters are so amazing. But more amazing is the heart behind this, that does and feels and talks about what matters. Hugs to you for the pain you feel for others and the work you do for them.

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  36. You are amazing, your quilt is amazing and your words are amazing. It is so important to expose the injustices so change can happen. Big hugs for you!

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  37. Thank you for continuing to share important issues with us, your readers. I can't imagine anyone wanting you to stick only to writing about quilting. You are an important voice in the quilting world.

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  38. Yes we cannot unhear or unsee. A beautiful, thought provoking post which has enlightened us all of the injustices in your country; and so, so many other countries...thank you. I am deeply saddened by what I have read on the EJI website and your provocative and poignant words. As for your quilt it is beautiful; in colour choices, in pattern and in design....the stories which evolve around it. A most gorgeous finish.

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  39. It is an amazing quilt! And I love the photos of it on the green grass :) But I am also glad you feel and speak up for all the injustice. You are very compassionate!

    PS: I love the idea in comment #29 by Shell. It is annoying to send to the US but if you have other readers from the EU that would build that quilt, I would participate and send them blocks :)

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  40. Thanks for the link, and for this engaged post. I think too it's important to not just let it go and quilt peacefully in our home.
    By the way, your 2 quits are gorgeous, as usual ;) Love your sisters, and the quilting is just perfect.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and quilts ;)

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  41. Beautiful quilt, Preeti. All those lovely women represented. I'm sorry for the injustices in this world. I know a young woman who was falsely accused of murder. Her young daughter was taken from her and she had to live through a prison term for a number of years until she was sent back to her home country.

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  42. I am grateful to hear these stories, Preeti! It is good to see the sisters again :") I would be proud to have them in my sewing room. I want to make the sisters someday to share with my granddaughters.

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  43. You do you, Preeti. Love reading your blog, even if (or perhaps especially because) the stories of injustice enrage me so. I adore your “Sisters” blocks. I have 12 or 13 of my own done already. They’d live some company. But I understand you folks in the USA are having issues with the USPS (incredible election fraud being perpetrated so openly by your president & his co-conspirators!), so I understand if shipping to Canada 🇨🇦 is too much of a huge hassle. No worries, you’ve taught this woman how to fish, I can sew my own. Keep on blogging truth. ~Diana K. p.s. if I could somehow get your email address, I’d. E happy to send you the pictures and dimensions of my smaller Picket Stars blocks using 2.5” strips. One jelly roll would make a very nice sized quilt! Diana dot Kastelic at hotmail dot com

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  44. Hi Preeti! Thank you. Ever since you've shared this block back in 2018 (before RSC in 2019), I have wanted to make a fabulous quilt of my own. Not just one but dozens and dozens because the positive message is just fab. That hasn't happened. YET. I don't want to be silent, I don't want to bolster the abuser, I don't know how to help the abused . . . until now. Posts like yours give us a way, give them a voice, and highlight the injustice that the prison is STILL OPEN. What?? Why?? It makes me sick that there are so many stories like this - without the yous of this world, we would all remain un-see-ers. Not me. I clicked the link. One person can make a difference - you just showed us how. {{Hugs}} Thank you again. ~smile~ Roseanne

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  45. Beautiful quilts beautiful thoughts. Injustice sexual exploitation and oppression of those in less than human circumstances has always been a problem but one we can stand up and say NO MORE! Thank you for a post.

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  46. Great quilt, great everything... I need to make a sisterhood quilt too.
    Keep talking, we are listening.

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  47. What an inspiring post! I am just overwhelmed by your words but by your sisterhood quilt. I also read your previous post on the block itself and am so ever grateful that you are sharing it with us. And kudos to you for speaking about sexual abuse. It is an ugly subject that makes many uncomfortable but silence only condones it. Women have been speaking up with their quilts for 200 years so speak loud and clear. Alabama has a horrid history and shame on its governor that 4 years later that prison is still open. Thank you again for sharing the block. I am definitely making a sister quilt and would love to be a winner of one of yours to include so the sisterhood continues.

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  48. Thank you for speaking out. Especially on a topic most don't want to hear about. We need to hear, we need to read, we need to speak out about this! It is horrid that these women are being securely abused. Thank you. I have been wanting to make a quilt of sisters block, so I would love your extra blocks to come to my studio for inspiration.

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  49. I would love to have your six sisters join the sisters at my house. I am slowly gathering my sisters together to make a donation quilt for a women's crisis center.

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  50. Please speak out whenever you feel moved. I enjoy hearing from others about what moves them. I have my own little soapboxes. And the sisters quilt is gorgeous.

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  51. The quilts looks so great. Great block, it was just amazing when it was put into the quilt. Enjoyed your quilting very much!

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  52. Thank you for sharing this information and your lovely pictures. I have the sisters block in my "eventually I'll make some" plan :) Would love to have your sisters join mine.

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  53. great timing...I just pieced my International Sisters top today. who knows when it will be quilted. haha thanks for the pattern...it was great.

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  54. It is a marvellous quilt and I have enjoyed watching you make these blocks over time. If the sisters wanted to move to Canada, they could be part of my Unity quilt!

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  55. Pretti, look at all these folks who support and love your work. I'd say choosing JOY was the right decision. Congratulations on the Canadian quilt article. Well done. What will you do when you become super famous? Barbara

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