Piece By Piece Quilts

 

It's a question we'd been asked since the beginning, "how can we recycle thebeautiful batik fabric that Ground Soap is wrapped in?" There have been many great ideas throughout the years but for us, one of them stood out.
 

IntroducingPiece by Piece

We're very proud to introduce a really great way to recycle the 100% cotton batik fabric that Ground Soap is wrapped in. You can now mail us back the fabric and it will be used in the creation of beautiful handmade quilts that will be used to benefit women's and family issues in our area.

These quilts are being designed and hand stitched by Debbie Fraser in Cornwall Ontario and machine quilted by Neil Hargreaves in Ottawa. We'll be partnering with The United Way of SDG to either auction quilts to raise money for, or occasionally donate quilts to new families or women and families in need.   

The Story

Not long after Ground Soap started wrapping soap in batik we got a note from a friend of a friend who made quilts. She was interested in working with any scraps that we had and after sending some along to her a beautiful handmade quilt showed up in the mail. I was shocked at being the recipient of such a beautiful creation that clearly represented dozens of hours of loving work and I could instantly feel that this was something that had much more meaning than just fabric and thread. I thought of how perfect a project it would be if we ever needed to raise money for a cause.

Then last fall I met Debbie Fraser at a party and in the ensuing conversation I found out she was also a quilter. The conversation turned to how this could be done and before long things were happening. She was at a perfect time in her life to take on the challenge and got started right away, making several magnificent quilts in short order using extra batik we had. She started building a small network of resources and before long we were starting to think of who would be the best recipients for these labors of love.

The History

Batik Fabric has great significance to me. Before the the 2nd world war my grandfather Klaas migrated to Indonesia from Holland to take advantage of a job opportunity in the rubber plantations there. After settling, he was married by proxy to his Dutch fiancé Tine, who promptly boarded a ship and made her way from Holland to join him. They spent several years living with the local people on the plantation, learning the language, the culture and the cuisine and welcomed their first son, Klaas Jr. But when war broke out, the two were once again separated and placed in internment camps. There they spent three painful years apart not knowing each other’s fate. Fortunately, when the war ended they were re-united and returned to working the plantation for another four years during which they welcomed the arrival of my Uncle Bert and my Mother Anne. Eventually their growing family immigrated to Canada to settle in Eastern Ontario where they dropped roots for good.

Through these years a great deal of the Indonesian culture and cuisine had made it into the fabric of my family where it still thrives today and so when it came time to create the packaging for Ground Soap I knew exactly where to look for inspiration. A few years ago I traveled to Indonesia to meet the people who create beautiful batiks by hand. I was lucky enough to hang around their outdoor shops while they stamped, washed and dyed long rolls of cotton into beautiful designs and I even got to walk through lofts of hanging batiks swaying in the afternoon breeze to dry. I felt like I was in a movie. This absolutely solidified my connection to Indonesia, it's people and the beautiful handmade fabric that I’ve been a little obsessed with ever since.

What to do

It’s easy. After unwrapping your soap, save the fabric and send it to us at:

Piece By Piece c/o Ground Soap
7-841 Sydney Street
Suite 900
Cornwall ON, CAN
K6H 7L2

Make sure to include your name so that we can add you to the list of contributors to the Piece by Piece project.

If you are a quilter and would like to donate some of your time and talents to the project or have any other questions about it and how you can help, please email us at piecebypiece@groundsoap.com