I decided to illustrate Long Live Earth with fabric scraps because quilting is an age old form of recycling. For whatever reason I tended to think of quilting as mainly an American labor with images coming to mind of bonneted pioneer women, log cabins and Pa Ingalls in his red long johns. In reality this couldn’t be further from the truth. The earliest known quilt dates back to the Pharaoh of the Egyptian First Dynasty, about 3400 B.C.
The other day I stumbled upon this little movie short called 100 Good Wishes Quilt – The Virtue to Sustain Love and Environment which I can’t seem to watch without crying.
In northern China there is a centuries old tradition of creating a “Bai-Jia-Bei”, otherwise known as a “100 Good Wishes Quilt”. One hundred family and friends donate a piece of fabric along with a written wish. The wish can be anything: a quote, a poem, a saying or a simple wish from the heart. The fabric scraps are then stitched into a quilt by the child’s mother or another elder and given to the child along with the wishes. The quilt literally wraps the child in good wishes and represents the virtue to sustain love and environment. The Bai-Jia-Bei is then passed down through the generations. Isn’t that beautiful?