Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tiny Kampot Pillows

We left Kampot yesterday, and I really wish we could have had longer here. As weird as it is, it has such a charm to it, and it is just so unique that it has really grabbed a hold on my heart. I missed out seeing a couple of things I really wanted to just because we overestimated the speed and capabilities of Cambodia’s transport systems. I would love to come back and travel a little further out to the more rural areas, and also do a bit of trekking in Bokor National Park. The short trip out to Rabbit Island gave me the idea of going back one day to write a book or do some painting. It has that kind of solitary, explorative vibe to it.
Very Hunter S Thompson meets Frieda Kahlo mixed with Gilligan’s Island. 

The ever-so-radical Rabbit Isl.

Perhaps I am feeling so good because I just made one of the best purchases of my life. On our way back from a town tour in a tuktuk today, we stopped at a little shop called ‘Tiny Kampot Pillows’. It was a very small material slash textiles shop which sold scarves and dresses and pepper and postcards. They had a sign saying that they gave quotes for sets of sheets and pillowcases, so I asked her if she had any bed sheets for sale. She replied ‘no’, and said they were only made to order, but gestured to the back of the shop behind here counter, where there was a massive quilt hanging up, taking up the whole wall space. 

She did all her own sewing in the shop at this little counter!
With the assistance of good noodle sustenance.
It was patchworked with the crazy bright colours of all the material found in the shop and was absolutely beautiful. Travelling to China, though, I needed something warmer. I asked her how long it took her to make this bigger-than-2-metres-squared artwork and she replied just ‘four days’. Now I had an idea. I decided I was going to order a quilt and take it with me to China. 

You can see the quilt behind us.

After much discussion about how badly the Cambodian Post system fails at life, we came to the conclusion that she would have the quilt completed by the 17th and take a taxi to drop it off to me in Phnom Penh. She was shocked that I would pay for such a service as well as a doubly thick quilt and an express fee. I asked her for the total price and she nervously pecked at the calculator. The total price?


She peeked nervously over the counter to anticipate my reaction. I beamed. For a handmade quilt, completely created from Cambodian material, and personally delivered more than 160km to my hotel door. I was ecstatic! I passed her a fifty and she honestly couldn’t believe her eyes. I think it was then that it dawned on her that I was actually happy. I said ‘no change’ - and that’s when she got really happy too.
She was thanking me profusely and was swearing that she would deliver the quilt on time and was making a call to her friend so that she would have it finished on time and was double checking what colours I wanted.
She was so awesome.

My quilt arrives tomorrow, can’t wait to show you!


  1. I like that "No change"

  2. Love the colours. Is it silk? Where is mine? Does it have the Potter power to make you invisible? Be great to wrap yourself in, when walking down the street, trying to avoid the dogs.x

  3. Tiny Kampot Pillows now has a tiny website:

  4. Readers! I have just been informed that Tiny Kampot Pillows now has a good website:

    So if you like my quilt enough, you can order one of your own!


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