Monday, January 9, 2012

My Newest African Collage quilt

Today my daughter Jessie and I head over to Hornby for a couple of days. She works as a masseuse at a spa in Tofino, and has a few days off. Charlie (my yellow lab) and I are happy to accompany her there, where my newest African Collage awaits me. When I get there, I have been known to sew all morning in my nightie and caftan. I'm an early riser, and love to use those hours when I'm most alert and alive, to do my designing and sewing. Some things can wait until later in the day, but not designing. I think I forgot to show you all seven of the silk-screened prints with their borders, so I've included them this time. You will remember that I added half-square triangles to two sides of two of the prints. Now I'll be deciding on borders for the other 5 prints, and then begin to think about what to use as fillers. I've also added a photo of the African fabric binding (double-fold) that I will use on this quilt. It will also be available online on our new website, for $1.50 a metre. It's the perfect way to finish off a quilt which incorporates many different African fabrics. Lastly there's my "hut quilt". I called it my "hut quilt" for so long, that I had a hard time coming up with a proper name for it when it was finished. Somehow the present title - "Home is Where Your Hut Is", just isn't quite right. What do you think about "There's No Place Like Home"? I think I like that better. And it's not too late to change it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

News from Kitambaa Designs - Bundles and Limited Edition Kits

As some of you already know, a new website for Kitambaa Designs has been in the works for some time now. It will also include items for sale from the Bitengye Designers, and it will have a shopping cart! Yahoo! I thought I'd give you a sneak preview of a couple of the new items. First are our bundles - of African Fabrics, of Black and White Fabrics, of Safari-inspired fabrics, and so on. It will make it much easier for you to shop for our fabrics (other fabrics will still be available by the metre). Secondly, Kitambaa will soon be releasing a line of Limited Edition kits - all inspired by Africa. These are the result of realizing that I can't be sure that I can get a fabric I like more than once, so I'm going to design new wall-hangings and quilts that use what I already have on hand. Then when they're
all gone, they're gone, and I'll design something new. The first of the Limited Edition kits is "Home is Where Your Hut Is", and features the hut buttons available through South Africa's Incomparable Buttons. Don't you love the guinea fowl in the foreground! The pattern for this is an original design. The second Limited Edition kit is "Esther's Choice", and it's made entirely from hand-batiked fabrics made by Esther from Accra, Ghana. We met Esther last year on our way home from Uganda, and were so impressed by these fabrics. They're quite a departure for us - much more earthy colours and designs - but we think you'll enjoy them as much as we do. The pattern itself is an adaptation of a pattern by Blue Underground, which is included with the kit.A third kit is in the works, and will feature guinea fowls. All the kits will be for sale as soon as our website goes public, and I'll be sure to announce that as soon as it happens. In the meantime, save up your
sheckels so that you too will be able to order online from us. We can hardly wait! Lastly, for those of you who are also readers, I've chosen my 5 favourite reads from 2011. I love to hear what other people have read and enjoyed, so if you'd like to comment and add your own choices, they would be very welcome.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

Happy New Year to all of you, wherever you are and whatever you're doing! Now that the January 1st marker is behind us, it's time to start sewing. When I last posted, I was making a list of completed projects from 2012. The pleasant surprise was that there were more than I thought. The next thing I did was to make a list of all my quilting goals for the coming year - everything - an unedited list. There were 39 things on that list. No wonder I sometimes feel overwhelmed! Next I narrowed it down to 9 specific goals for January. A bit easier to deal with, although still over the top for
do-ability. The first item on the list was to make a new African Collage - just because. I love piecing. I love bright colours (especially at this time of year). And I love working intuitively. First I pulled out a North American multi-coloured piece that has a very definite African feel about it. (You can see it in the first photo.) I would like to have bolts of, but with less than a yard left, I decided that now's the time to use it. After all, I could be dead and gone by next year, and then what use would it be. I used that favourite fabric in choosing my other colours - reds and golds, greens and browns, and some black and whites. Next I pulled out 7 of the
silk-screened animals I designed and printed when my South African supply ran out. On a whim, I'd printed them on a lettered fabric, and I am very pleased with how crisp and clear they are. Next I chose borders for each of the prints. Each has an inner green border, and then two other fabrics for the outer borders. Already they have so much more life! Then I began contemplating what other borders to add, and began with trusty half-square triangles on two sides of two of the prints. They're pretty bright, I know, but everyone needs some colour in their life. All of this happened when I was over at my
cabin on Hornby Island for the weekend. And now I'm home in Comox again. I've left everything over there until I return, so I'm going to have to leave you hanging off the edges of your proverbial seats before I can tell you what happens next. But stay tuned, and I'll let you know in a later post . . .