Leading By Example: The Patron's Corner at Carakana

Discover intricate and beautiful cross stitch made by Mama Rachel Ruto. She not only passes the skills to other women but she, herself cross stitches.

By Carakana

Learn about cross stitching through Mama Rachel's own work

Mama Rachel started to cross stitch , since she loved hand stitched artwork which she had grown seeing her mother doing. She explains how she founded Carakana, as a program for empowering the marginalised persons through hand made crafts, this is one among her other programs. 

The Patron's cornerCarakana

Meet Mama Rachel Ruto

Her Excellency Mama Rachel Ruto is a thought leader on financial inclusion and women economic empowerment. Through her leadership, she has become a role model for women. Mama Ruto started the Kenyan NGO Carakana which teaches vulnerable people cross stitch and traditional craft.

The Patron's corner by Her Excellency Rachel RutoCarakana

Mama Ruto's own work

Mama Ruto is a talented cross stitcher in her own right, and her work is profiled in the 'Patron's Corner' at Carakana's gallery.

The Patron's corner by Her Excellency Rachel RutoCarakana

What Mama Ruto says about cross stitch

"We liken cross stitch to God’s work in our lives. Every new pattern is unique and interesting just like we are all unique and special before God."

The Patron's corner by Her Excellency Rachel RutoCarakana

Mama Ruto's personal story

Speaking about her work and how she became inspired by cross stitch, Mama Ruto states: “It had always been my desire to have an outstanding hand-made artwork to display in my house. Growing up, I had seen my mother and other women in my village stitch all sorts of handmade products but one was outstanding — cross stitch.''

The Patron's corner by Her Excellency Rachel RutoCarakana

How Mama Ruto began cross stitching

 Mama Ruto says , " I saw a colleague at work working on a piece of artwork, but as I moved closer, I realized that it was cross stitch. This fascinated me because it was different from what I had seen and known. My colleague explained how it was done and I started stitching."

Before cross stitch technology was developed

Mama Ruto goes on to explain how she first started cross sitching "Stitching those days involved a lot of work since one had to read and translate the pattern onto a plain fabric. We invested our time, money and energy and managed to stitch quite a number of master pieces for our homes and as gifts.''

Different Insects, Animals and Birds (1998/1998) by PatronOriginal Source: Carakana

The evolution of cross stitch


As Mama Ruto says: ''With the invention of technology, cross stitch has evolved. This means we can now stitch more in a shorter time, easily recognize mistakes in the stitches and rectify them in good time. The best part is enjoying cross stitching while bonding with family and friends.''

Psalms 23 Bible Verse (1998/1998) by PatronOriginal Source: Carakana

Cross stitch changes lives

''One thing is certain, by the time you finish your pattern and see the finished product; your life will never be the same again.”

What Is Love According To The Bible (1998/1998) by PatronOriginal Source: Carakana

The joy of cross stitch

When Mama Ruto explains  the process of cross stitch she states: ''While stitching, you can not tell how the finished work will look like. However, as you continue, stitch by stitch, the pattern slowly starts shaping up and the finished work is truly amazing''

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