We had the exhibition for 3 days in the Public Central Library of Sparta. It's a beautiful and very big library, so space enough to hang the quilts. Most of them, like the appliqued monster one here in the front and the two long ones in the background were made by Kristine Pappas, an American lady, living with her Greek/American husband in Thessaloniki. Quilt making was always her hobby and she donates most of the quilts to orphanages, widowed or divorced women with children who are in a difficult situation, homeless people. She makes about a hundred quilts a year!
The other quilt is made by Theodora Badra, a quilter from Athens.
The exposed quilts were divided in three categories: traditional American quilts, quilts with a Greek theme and quilt, which designs were made by women who escaped sex trafficking and live in a safe house in Thessaloniki.
The patterns of the traditional quilts of the exhibition have a secret code. In the old days women had no voice, they couldn't vote or express their opinion. They used quilts to show their preferences for e.g. a president candidate or left messages for the slaves, who, during the Civil War in America tried to escape from the South to the North, where they could be free.
In this quilt here the inner square is black instead of red, which is the "official inner colour". This means that the people in the house where the quilt is hanging on the line, are friendly and will help the slaves on their way to freedom.
The "zig-zag" pattern means that there is danger. There are slave hunters, lots of times with dogs, in the neighbourhood and the slave should choose another route, pass through rivers to mislead the dogs, and be very careful.
The quilts in the category with Greek themes were made by Greek women. This one here won the first prize in Thessaloniki, where they had a contest .
The woman who made this one used old doilies, which her grandmother made.
Kristine teaches quilting in a safe house, where women who escaped sex trafficking live. It gives them something to do, which is very important, because they get bored. They are in a safe "prison" . She asked 10 of them to make a sketch about their experience, and made quilts with these designs.
The quilts speak for themselves!
She asked the women which colours to use and what the colours represented for them.
The white innocent rabbit against the snake
The boat is attacked, lost its rudders, floating without being able to steer and going down.
A few month ago a hot line for sex trafficking opened in Greece.
The number is 1109
Tomorrow more about the exhibition.