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Illuminate Fair Trade: Ethically Sourced Textiles, Supporting Artisans in the Developing World


Making a Guatemalan Quilt

About our Handmade Quilts: Guatemalan patchwork quilts are renowned for their beauty. They are handcrafted from cotton patches and each is unique.

Designing a quilt!
Artisans begin the work of designing a new quilt by laying out the patches [some hand embroidered] on plastic which has been measured and cut for king, queen, and twin-size quilts. [In the picture they are doing that on a soccer field].

The patches come from the fabric the women have sewn to make their skirts and "huipiles", which are the traditional hand-woven and embroidered blouses that Mayan women originally began wearing before the Spanish conquest. This clothing varies from region to region within Guatemala and the secrets of this beautiful craft have been passed down at the family and village level for generations. The quilts are made of patches from various regions of Guatemala and reflect a variety of styles and colors.

The women then move the patches around until they have a design which is pleasing to them and satisfies a basic pattern and color scheme.

Once they have captured their intended design with the patches, they will begin sewing them together. They double stitch each patch to make the quilts durable. Some of the quilts are then dyed to reinforce the overall color scheme.

Once the quilt dries, the women sew a solid colored backing onto it to complement the color scheme. Finally, they go over the entire quilt to cut loose threads and fix any imperfections they might find. The resulting quilts are unique, museum quality works of art!

Like most hand-made patchwork quilts, they should be hand washed or washed on delicate using cold water. Cool dry. You can also dry clean them.

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Our Fabulous Guatemalan Backpack Shoulder Bag

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