San Mateo Area Chapter EGA went to the Bay Area Maker Faire 2009 this past weekend - May 30-31, 2009. Our outreach education project was the 1000 Hands Quilt. Over the weekend we had approximately 100 people stop by the booth and stitch on the quilt blocks.
My co-booth coordinator, Julie McAuliffe and I developed the idea of the 1000 Hands Quilt as a way to reach out to the public and encourage participation. The idea of a cooperative stitching project is not new; think back to prior generations and the quilting bee. This take on the concept was to create 24 crazy quilt blocks and then encourage people to stop by the booth and decorate them. Many thanks to the members of the San Mateo Area Chapter - EGA, the staff of Always Quilting, and the patrons of Always Quilting who donated the majority of the materials -- fabric, lace and ribbon bits, buttons, bead soup, threads and more. Thanks too to the people who came to work at our booth -- Julie McAuliffe, Catherine McCausland, Judy O'Brien, Pat Funke, and Sue Hans.
Over the weekend about 100 people stopped by the booth for 5 - 30 minutes to add a bit to the blocks. Rarely were our stitching stations empty. We had children and adults of all ages and ethnicities. We had beginning stitchers to experienced needleworkers. After all anyone can stitch on a bead or button and for some this was their first time. Many were, also, excited about the concept of a cooperative needlework effort.
On Saturday Rachel Hobson, of Craft Magazine stopped by to stitch on the quilt. On Sunday she came by to give us an Editor's Choice Award.
Only 8 of the quilt blocks received some decoration. We have 16 more to go. We also have 400 more people to go. This project will be continued through out the next year and make appearances at meetings, the county faire, and other venues. We hope to have the quilt completed by the next Maker Faire in May 2010 so it can be displayed before being auctioned off.
Photos of the booth, some of the participants and the blocks as they are so far are available for viewing at http://picasaweb.google.com/bayrose.robin/EGA_MakerFaire_2009?feat=directlink.