Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Three Cups of Tea---

Crumb block pinwheel centers
Our book club read "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and Oliver David Relin. It is the story of how Mortenson developed a passion to build a school for girls in Pakistan. 

Mortenson got lost wandering the mountainous region of Pakistan after a failed attempt to climb K2. He ends up in a small village where the people help him recover. 

Pinwheel blocks
During his recovery, he notices children using sticks to write letters in the dirt to complete their studies. He decides to build a school for the girls to repay the village people for their kindness to him. 

It takes him years to complete the task. He develops skills with each step along the way.  To symbolize the debris along the trail that he encountered during his climb, I pieced crumb centers from bits of other projects. I remember thinking how the sherpa guides would come through the tossed clothing articles to find items that would work for them.

To symbolize the meaning behind the three cups of tea, I used three colors to make the pinwheel blades. To symbolize the poverty and the cold of the region, I used a black and white print as the background.

Straight line quilting viewed for the back of the quilt
I remember the descriptions behind the three cups of tea. The first time you had tea with the chief, you were a stranger. The second time, you were an honored guest. The third time, you became family.

I spent a lot of time organizing the blocks into a layout that pleased my eye. I spent even longer determining what to do for a border.

In the end, I decided to finish piecing the black pinwheels. Those grey pinwheels symbolized all the air miles he traveled in his quest to build the first school.
Close up of label
Although I can't remember for sure, I think that I was inspired to make the pinwheels because of Sharyn Craig. She was an instructor who introduced me to the concept that all colors can go together when you use fabrics that become neutrals. This was my attempt to prove her correct!

I quilted it using straight lines in the pinwheels and bound it with the red fabric  For the label, I used leftover parts from the triangles.

I named the quilt, "Fire and Ice." Ice for all the initial environment Mortenson encountered and then for the "ice" Mortenson thawed to drum up contributions for his charity. Fire for the fire that Mortenson fueled for years to keep moving toward his goal of building a school. 

Entire label
I finished this quilt in 2011. I gifted it to my nephew when he moved into his first home. I hope that it is still keeping him warm.

I remember being surprised at how the bag of crumbs, while greatly reduced,  I still had leftovers! 

In 2014, there were accusations against Mortenson of not being truthful about the number of schools that were built as well as not being able to produce a clear record of where the charitable funds were spent.  

In the end, Mortenson resigned from his leadership position on the non profit organization he created and in the years since his departure, the organization has regained support and appears to again be operating in good standing.


Finished front

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