Celebrating Fair Trade Fortnight with a giveaway!

Tracey from Quilt Me Happy got in touch with me a week or so ago to tell me about her new stock of hand-dyed fair trade fabric from Northern Uganda to add to my Guide to Buying Fair Trade & Eco-Friendly Fabric. As soon as I looked up the pictures and read about the fabrics, I did something I very rarely do (because I’m just not that cheeky!), and emailed Tracey to ask if there was any chance she wanted to do a giveaway to publicise this lovely range.

Akonye Kena Summer Colours bundle at Quilt Me Happy

Can you see why I liked them? This (above) is the Summer Colours bundle that Tracey has put together. I confess that I haven’t seen these in person, but the pictures have me reaching for my credit card.. or at least emailing Tracey asking her to give some away to a lucky VB reader…

The fabrics are from an organisation called Akonye Kena (meaning ‘I will help myself’ in Acholi, a North Ugandan dialect), which works with young people in east Africa to train them in skills which will enable them to be self-sufficient (they also make baskets and paper beads – you can find them on Facebook just here, where you can find lots more lovely photos).
Fair trade fabric collage

They are working to get into the wholesale market, and Tracey, after seeing their fabrics at the Houston Quilt Market last year, was impressed enough to take the plunge and stock the fabrics here in the UK.

Being the talented person that she is, Tracey has done some piecing and quilting to see how the fabrics perform. Here are the lovely results:

quilting akonye collage

Tracey says that they are rather different from your average quilt shop fabric, because the weave is more open, and because they have no finishing products they have a soft, drapey feel (so great for summer dressmaking too!). In spite of the softness the fabric cuts and pieces well, and the upside is that the finished quilts have a lovely soft handle. She has also washed the quilts (and as you can see she used lots of nice contrasts!) and found that the dye retention is good – there is some dye release but the water runs clear after rinsing. She reports that shrinkage is quite high, so advises pre-washing. The fabrics are great value for a hand-dyed fair trade fabric at just £10 per metre for a 58″ inch width fabric.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is, Tracey said yes to the giveaway! So we are celebrating Fair Trade Fortnight, which we just happen to be right in the middle of, with a lovely feast of fair trade fabric.

The Giveaway

This is such a fantastic prize that I had to check back with Tracey that I had read it right… The winner will receive one each of the Seed to Sewer – Seasons bundles that Tracey is stocking… that is 4 packs of 10 FQS…. that’s it, 40 Fat Quarters.

Akoyne bundles

The winner will also get (I know…!) a Fat 8th pack of these beautiful neutrals, called Bark and Berries (because they use natural dyes of course):

AK Barks & Berries 1 at Quiltmehappy

Red Wagon Naturals

Just think what you could do with all these goodies!

The Rules

  • To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post telling us what you would make if you were the very lucky winner.
  • For a second chance to win, sign up to the follow Quilt Me Happy on Facebook, and leave a SECOND COMMENT saying that you’ve done so, or tell us that you are already a follower if you are. If you don’t leave a second comment I’m afraid that your second entry wont be counted.
  • The giveaway is open to anyone anywhere (which is super-generous of Tracey so more kudos to her for that!).
  • Because this giveaway is so marvellous I thought I would give you a couple of extra days, so I will do the draw and announce the winner on Wednesday 13th March, so best to get your comments left before midnight on 12th March.

Good luck!

220 thoughts on “Celebrating Fair Trade Fortnight with a giveaway!

  1. I’d make a quilt to have on my bed, i’m in need of having something on my bed to add a little extra warmth and look to the room, making a quilt would be perfect.

  2. If I was lucky to win I would make a small cot quilt for my baby which is due in 5 months (plenty of time I hope!) and a wall hanging for their nursery. I have only recently taken up patchwork ( much to my mum’s delight who has been producing beautiful items for years) and hope to aspire to her skills! This bundle would definatley help me on that path 🙂

  3. I would like to make a quilt as well as some cushions for all the rooms in my house, even for the kitchen. Thank you!

  4. These look amazing, so many beautiful colours. Just been wondering what to make next. Quite new to quilting and only used sqaures before. I would make some lovely cusions trying out some more complicated patterns.

  5. I’m hopping to make my best friend a T shirt Quit. The tshirts would be from his old gigs and bands that he has played in. I have loads of over sized ones. I’m a newbie so this is gonna take me a long time and I would love to win this to give me some tips.

    Following your blog.

    Thanks JA

  6. Two lovely blankets for my sister’s babies (twins!!) and if I have any left over then some lovely scatter cushion covers. Im in need of a new project!!

  7. If I was so very lucky to win this fantastic prize I would finish my quilt I’m working on but also I would use the fabric to make children’s toys that I enjoy making so much.

  8. If I were to win this then I would be giving it to my very good friend Dawn who attends my therapy group. Part of her therapy is crafts and her group of crafty friend make things for the local hospitals neo-natal unit. They are always looking for good quality material to carry on their hard, rewarding work! Fingers Crossed xx

  9. If I win I will use the fabric towards a quilt I am going to my for my baby girl, due next Sunday (17th March) 🙂 Thanks

  10. “Very lucky” are the right words to be sure!!! This is an amazingly generous prize and and if I was the lucky one it would fit right in with my ethical making ethos, so I could use the fabrics in the crafts that I sell without compromising. Solids are so useful and I would use them to make a lovely drapey quilt or some cushion covers.
    Teresa x

  11. I’ve been wanting to make a quilt for a while now…my husband got me a sewing machine earlier this year but I haven’t had much chance to use it and I love the idea of a patchwork quilt. Unfortunately I have two sons who don’t really “get” sewing and fabrics, but I’d love to make a start on a quilt for my first future grandchild!

  12. if i won i would love to start a quilt for my lovey wee granddaugter very first bed. i know she would be able to keep it forever

  13. If I won, I would faint, then start making baby quilts! I have several friends who are pregnant & another little nephew on the way.

  14. If I won, my first project would be a cot quilt for my new little granddaughter, Holly, then maybe a quilt for myself!

  15. Wow, these are amazing! I am desperate to make another patchwork quilt so I would have to use these in my next quilt. I have also vowed to make one piece of clothing for each of us (me, hub, Bella and Will) by the time I’m 30 – I will have one year left on the 16th March so I’d make some super cute summer clothes for me and the kids! 🙂

  16. My nieces have asked for some ‘grown up’ quilts for their rooms. This selection would give me the perfect base to work out a design. Thank you

  17. What an amazing giveaway! I would make a load of patchwork cushion covers for my living room, and maybe a dress and skirt or two. Everything’s crossed!

  18. If I won, I would make a huge quilt for my mum as a late (properly a very late) mother’s day present to say thank you too her for everything she has done for me. I’ve also nearly finished my GCSE textiles and I really want to try and make a wider range of things and improve my textiles skills.

  19. I’ve been wanting to make a quilt only out of solids for a while so that would be top of my list! Thanks for such an amazing giveaway!

  20. Oh my what a generous offer! I would soooooo make that gorgeous Swoon quilt (a few of them no!). Thank you for such a great blog

  21. Have also liked on Facebook. I would love to start a family quilt that my children can contribute to

  22. Wow, amazing giveaway. I first learned to see by quilting and always wanted to make my very own heirloom patchwork quilt that could be handed down thru the generations. I never got round to making it as I made lots of quilts as presents for friends and family. I then moved on to sewing garments. SO, if I won this, I would def make my dream patchwork quilt, finally!

  23. My best friend in the whole wide world just got engaged, so I’d use the fabrics to make a huge quilt as a wedding present, along with some beautiful prints and patterns.

  24. we moved into a new home recently, the previous owners were a lover of cream wallpaper and cream carpets…the rooms are all so bland. I’m trying to add a splash of colour to each room, so I think a new quilt for our bedroom would be in order and maybe some colourful placemats for the dining table.

    thanks for sharing the story behind the fabric. I’m off to Facebook now.

    FIngers crossed I really need to change my home!

  25. Wow, that is such a great giveaway. My sister had a fantastic couple of months staying in Kenya with her then boyfriend’s family a few years back, so if I won, I’d have to ask her if she wanted a quilt to remind her of Africa. I’ve made one for her 6 month old daughter, but never made anything for her.

  26. That’s so much fabric that I would have to share it with my quilt group….they make quilts for a local children’s hospice…and bags to raffle off.

  27. Ohhh, they are beautiful! I have a lovely book of Zakka style projects that I am working my way through – these would be perfect! Thank you for the giveaway : )

  28. Wow what beautiful fabrics and the colours are amazing. I have just started making bags with matching dolls peeking out of the pockets. This fabric would be great with some embroidery detail on it too.

  29. Whoever gets this lot is very lucky! Those lovely bright colours would go very well with some vintage vilene I have so I’m thinking small applique cushions, also coin purses, phone cases… the list could be endless actually!

  30. What a great giveaway Ali, such a faberooni addition to any sewer’s stash. For a start I would be a little OCD and keep them in graduating colour order and keep looking at them and folding them – then….. after all that I would love to make some sort of throw/quilt. Everything is crossed for this one xx

  31. What a lovely giveaway! I am a beginner, so if I was lucky enough to win I would start by making some needlecases and make-up bags as gifts. Also my daughter is off to university later this year and will be studying costume design as part of her degree – I’m sure she would “borrow” some of these gorgeous fabrics to make something special!

  32. well i’ve been making clothes recently so perhaps some little dresses and trousers for my two, although I really love those neutrals, would love to pair those with some patterns and make some bags

  33. Wow what a prize. these would become the new throw and curtains in my grandsons room – at three he is a little bit big now for cream teddies and these colours would be excellent. good luck everyone x

  34. I’ve yet to make a quilt from solids and these would be a lovely collection to work on that with, enough to do the top and the backing! Thanks for the give away!

  35. these fabrics are gorgeous. I’ve recently learnt to make clothes and I think these would be perfect , with perhaps a touch of patterned fabric added in, to make some new skirts and tops

  36. I would definitely sew up more totes and pouches to be given away as presents for family/friends/my children’s friends…Thanks a milliion for the awesome giveaway…bless you for your generous heart

  37. Improv quilts do shout out but I see bags too – just seen a tutorial for a clever folded bag. It’s done in one fabric but I’d like to do a pieced version, especially as the seams would be nice and soft, not bulky, going by the fabric description.

  38. Beautiful fabrics – I’m a dressmaker rather than a quilter, so I’d have to say some summer clothes for my daughter – I can see a lovely tiered dress, with graduated shades of fabric, or maybe some patchwork shorts. And since I’m planning to make a dress for Dress a Girl Around the World for every one I make for my daughter, this fabric would be particularly appropriate.

  39. Love the colours, I see a full size quilt and a cover for my blanket box and possibly cushions. One thing is sure not a scrap would be wasted.

  40. What a fabulous prize to give away! With all those fabulous colours, I can foresee many exciting projects – why limit to one! – probably including lots of bag making 🙂

  41. Wow what a generous prize! I am desperate to make an equilateral triangle quilt, maybe with an ombré effect going from light to dark colours. Or maybe a light/dark colour value pattern, as that is another project on my virtual to do list!

  42. This is a very generous giveaway – which I would love to win. If I did, I would make my first ever proper quilt. Having played around and made smaller projects this would be a ‘grown-up’ effort.

  43. I would love to make so many things but first would be to have a first try at a patchwork bed cover. Beautiful colours.

  44. Oh wow, what an amazing prize! I’d love to make quilts for my little girl and for my new baby niece, the softness sounds perfect.

  45. I’d really like to make a wall hanging to liven up my apartment for spring – these would be a fabulous addition.

  46. wow, what a great haul of beautiful fabrics! i would looove to get my hands on these for a quilt for my babe-to-be, and to incorporate into zip pouches and wallets and loads of other pieced goods 🙂

  47. I’m experimenting with making crayon/pencil rolls at the moment (for little hands) and the beautiful range of colours of this collection would be super cool for making them.

  48. Wow, what an offer! I’ve just bought needles and thread to start doing hand quilting, and these fabrics would suit that perfectly!!

  49. wow, despite an increasing enthusiasm for buying fabric, I haven’t done anything particularly impressive yet – these would be a wonderful inspiration to actually get going on that first real quilt. It’s great to see more fair trade fabrics available, and as such a fantastic price!

  50. no idea what i’d make. i’d probably just have to covet them for a while.put them in the cupboard and sneek a peak now and them!

  51. I will make a quilt for my little angle and teach her at the same time how to make one for her doll. I hope she will get hooked like her mum…

  52. What a fantastic prize, what would I make, well maybe nothing this looks like stroking and looking stash to me..lol I need to make a new quilt for my bedroom so it would fit the bill just right x Here’s hoping 🙂

    1. Such beautiful fabrics, they look so tactile I wan’t to sink my hands into the pictures and feel them! They look perfect for a simply pieced Welsh or Amish style quilt, where the colours and the drape of the fabric do all the talking and lots of hand quilting 🙂 What a fab giveaway! Hxx

  53. I’d make my very first quilt! I have been eager to make one for ages now but sadly I can’t afford all of the lovely fabric…this would definitely set me up for it though!

  54. I’d use the wonderful fabrics for my final quilt for the City & Guilds course that I’m doing, much better than dying my own.

  55. What an amazing giveaway. I would love to make a low volume quilt (using the neutral fabrics) with bright patches scattered throughout. Thanks so much!

  56. Wow…I love those subtle natural colors! I will make a quilt..it will be beautiful!!
    Keeping my fingers crossed!!

  57. Oh wow, amazing fabrics! If I were lucky enough to win I’d enrol my Bee in helping me make a king size improv quilt for our bedroom. Fortuitously it’s my month in April so the timing is perfect 🙂 and I actually don’t have a quilt if my own ( surprisingly!)
    Thanks fur the chance to win 🙂 x

  58. I think I’d sew some new patchworked roman blinds or curtains for my daughter’s bedroom and a matching quilted throw for the bed – now she’s at high school she could do with a more grown-up room and I think she would enjoy helping create something from these gorgeous fabrics.

  59. I have been to Uganda twice and worked with local people both on building and school projects. I would live to get my mitts on these to make something to send back to those who do valuable work out there, often with little thanks or reward.
    Quilting with these colours would be amazing.

  60. Wow, what would I make? I think that I would make a valance for my bay window with some combination of these fabrics that way more people would be able to see them

  61. Wow — what an awesome giveaway! i think the neutrals would become a quilt all on their own, then I’d throw caution to the wind and make something very modern and improvised with the colours! It’d be huge with all those FQs!!

  62. Wow, what an amazing giveaway and how fascinating to find out about the origin of the fabrics. A win would = lots of projects for my baby (due beginning April) and revamp some of our tired furnishings!

  63. This is an amazing giveaway!!! Love all the colours. Adore neutrals. From neutrals I’d like to make skirt and dress for my little girl. Other colours will look pretty on a quilt, I’m beginner in quilting so need lots of fabrics :))

  64. Oh gosh, amazing! If I were the lucky winner I would like to try a quilted cushion (or 10!!). LOVE the quilt above!

  65. This is an amazing giveaway!!! Love all the colours. Adore neutrals. From neutrals I’d like to make skirt and dress for my little girl. Other colours will look pretty on a quilt, I’m beginner in quilting so need lots of fabrics :))

  66. What a wonderful way to highlight fair trade. Thanks for this golden opportunity to try this fabric in a new quilt. Thanks so much for the giveaway.

  67. If I won I would make comfort blankets for some of the children at my local women’s refuge and bags for some of the women.

  68. I also l liked Quilt Me Happy on Facebook, and signed up for the newsletter to follow this marvelous fabric! Crossing my fingers and toes, as I am sure many are!

  69. What a lovely prize….if I won any of these I would have to make some lovely summer clothes for my three little grandaughter’s and maybe some cushion covers for the new settee we are going to buy….the first new one we have ever had after being married in 1975!!

  70. Wow, I am blown away! Generous giveaway- and fabulous fabrics! The neutrals are scrumptious and the seasonal seed to sew bundles are fantastic. Love how she photographed them too. Sigh….they would have to turn into a quilt, meandery and loose, with hand quilting too.

  71. Was a couple of time in Africa for voluntary services.
    Lost a big piece of my heart there….
    These colours make it more alive again…

  72. Another great giveaway! These fabrics look and sound amazing and I ‘d love to win them and make a wrap around patchwork skirt for the summer:o)

  73. Wow! I think I agree with you, They seem perfect for a summer dress. But with so many fabric… there would be one for me, one for my niece, and perhaps one for my sister too!!! We are all little people, and my niece is just 8 years old… it would be nice to make dresses for all of us 🙂

  74. What a fabulous array of gorgeous fabric! Being Fair Trade is the icing on the cake. I would love to make a linear design quilt for my kingsize bed, but would have left overs for other smaller projects (cushion cover, picnic rug ………..). Thank you for the chance to win.

  75. Wow! What an absolutely amazing giveaway and beautiful fabrics! I think I would make a quilt and maybe a patchwork skirt? I’ve not made myself clothes before, but it sounds like this would make a lovely soft skirt 🙂

  76. Well you could make so much with this amazing fabric. I love to make quilts, bags, pouches and children’s clothes and I think I would firstly make some bags with the neutrals and a touch of Liberty and a lap quilt with the colours. jennylarking@gmail.com

  77. wow those fabrics are gorgeous!!! my favorite is the blue FQ bundle. The price is also very reasonable and that’s a bonus 🙂

    1. oops I forgot to mention what I would make if I win…. well as (almost) all my quilts go to childrens hospitals I would make kids quilts with the colored bundles and Little Quitls of Love with the beautiful nutrals. Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  78. Love this fabric, especially the price!

    Hmmm, if I won I’d use some the coloured bundles to try my hand at English Paper Piecing based around Penrose tiling and with the neutrals and a couple of bright accent colours I’d make an improv pieced quilt.

  79. Wow! What a great giveaway…..love the fabrics. I think I would make some bags from this fabric or use it with prints to make bags. I don’t have very many solids on hand and this would sure be a boost.

  80. With such an amazing giveaway, I’d love to make a big quilt for my bed and some smaller ones for newborns this year- such soft and gentle colours. Perfect!

  81. Oh my oh my! I think I would actually get round to making a quilt for myself because those neutrals are so lovely and it is such a long time since I made something for my home!

  82. Slightly giddy at what I could do…perhaps gaze lovingly for a while then make something zingy for our tired looking bedroom. The neutrals are so lovely too- sofa I think!

  83. How amazing is this prize?! If i was the very fortunate winner i would take it all round to the tuesday night craft club i attend and let all the ladies imaginations go wild! Oh what fun we could have with all those delicious colours. I would also find a way of incorporating my crochet with the fabric,maybe some pretty flowery headbands, brooches and ooohhh so many possibilites 😀

  84. Wow!!!!!!!!!!! This is an amazing giveaway. The fabric packs look just lovely, thank you so much for sharing. I would be doing some bag making with these fabrics, and also getting hexagon happy.

  85. Oh wow, what an amazing prize! Okay, I would love to do some kind of abstract improvy quilt with these, mixing coloured panels in with neutral/love volume pieces. Thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  86. If I won… well, when the sniffing salts (mans socks would do…) have been out and I’ve been picked up off the floor… Improv solids quilt, got to be. And I’d also love to do some quilty covers for the sofa cushions one day, it could so use some new life to it and those are gorgous colours 🙂

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