Sunday, May 23, 2010

African Quilts

Look what I just found!
After recently posting about my friends' African Quilts, another friend told me she'd found some photos of another one on another blog. These pics come from Alison's blog, Cardygirl, and the quilt was made by Lea. It was really amazing seeing the quilt after selling Lea the African Squares pack and leopard print from my eBay Store.
Online selling is great, but it also tends to be a bit impersonal. You often only ever know your customers by their log on IDs, and you never really know what they use the goods they buy from you for.
The African Fabric Squares are a bit significant for me, as most of the fabrics were bought by me in South Africa and Swaziland, came from pieces my sister gave me, or markets in Zimbabwe when my daughter and I went over to visit my sister when she was living in Pretoria, South Africa. Some were even remnants GIVEN to me by a lovely African tailor in Pretoria, Images d'Afrique - so exotic!It was a wonderful trip with my little girl, to an amazing place and my love affair with fabulous African fabrics, colours and designs began. When we came back to Australia, I wanted to make a quilt to showcase the fabrics I got in a quilt, as well as design a quilt that could be taught with kits so I could sell some of the fabric.
I came up with The African Quilt (you can get a free pattern if you click on this image on my website):
It started as a wall hanging with the central 36 fabric squares and a border but I liked it so much I went on and made it into a single bed quilt. I used a strange and ugly large harlequin diamond black and white print and fussy cut it for the sashings. The zigzag edge on the border is made from the left over strips between the fussy cutting! Then I decided to teach the quilt and make kits - my first commercial venture.
It was so popular, Australian Quilters' Companion asked me to do it as a project, and it became my second published work.
Then I made a new version as a wedding quilt for my sister and her husband. It's a queen size and quilt- as- you- go and as I was running out of the Black and White diamond print, I decided to cut it just as it came. It still looked good and was much easier with no wastage, and it still created the alternate light and dark effect.
I used a golden yellow Lonni Rossi fabric for the corner stones. One of her friends liked it so much, she commissioned me to make one for her, with turquoise accent fabrics. I chose a gorgeous Phillip Jacobs print for the corner stones to give a different effect. It's also slightly larger.
I entered it in the Queensland Quilt Show and was invited to submit it as a project to Down Under Quilts, where it was published in issue 141, April 2010. (I've already had a good response to the project, thank you!)
It's quilt-as-you-go and reversible. Here's the back:
So, there's the story, started by Cardygirl with Lea's quilt and ended with one of Alison's photos, another cat and quilt cameo. Thanks Lea, for following through with the quilt. And Thanks Alison for posting the pics!
Happy stitching,
xo xo Ann


  1. I love all of those quilts. :) I've been very tempted to buy a pack off you, but made a vow I would only buy things I need for existing projects! Hmm, maybe there's an exception to the rule? lol

  2. Temptress! I succumbed! lol

  3. Hi Ann...great post...nice to hear the story behind your beautiful designs. Lea will be thrilled!


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