Sunday, December 10, 2017

African Quilt

A client brought me this beautiful quilt top earlier this year that she had made from fabrics which she had purchased while living in Africa.   She made this quilt top for a memory of their time there.  

She wanted to have the option of being able to wash it.  I was VERY concerned about the colors running since she had not pre-washed her fabrics.  So I asked her to take it home and gave her some specific washing instructions (cold water,  delicate/hand wash cycle to minimize fraying, with a box or two of those Clorox Color Catchers, and to repeat the process until the rinse water came out fairly clear)

It sat on my dining room table for a few weeks while I came up with a quilting design.

The focal fabric was this gorgeous elephant in the middle.  It's one of those waxed prints from Africa made like a batik on a soft canvas.   I free motion quilted around all the parts of the elephant, especially those ridges on his trunk, and buried the threads.  

I knew I wanted to incorporate a diagonal tile design to repeat the lines of the log cabin blocks.

My client asked that I incorporate this African design into the quilt.  So I sized it to fit in 4 corners.  
I copied it onto that special thin paper used for quilting, pinned it down and very slowly quilted over the design, burying the threads.

I added an echo around it, separating it from the tile quilting.  I stitched over the design several times to make it stand out.

My favorite fabric on her quilt (besides the elephant) was this border batik.  I love the contrast of the bright yellows and red/orange against the black (it was also used for the backing) I knew that free motion quilting around the fish and curved lines would add a nice contrast to the rest of the quilting and would make these fish pop.

I was very happy with how it turned out.  


  1. Wow, what a wonderful quilt! I think your quilting really added the perfect touches. I hope it washes up well and gives her years and years of pleasure!

  2. well done to the maker of this quilt. Your quilting is lovely.


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