Sunday, September 11, 2011

Out of Africa quilt challenge finished to the quilting stage

Yesterday my good friend Dolly helped me finish the border of my Out of Africa quilt challenging for my online challenge group, Challenging Ourselves.

The blocks are mostly from a swap I did about ten years ago with my online Southern Cross Quilters group (Scquilters for short). I sent out feature fabric that I had bought in bundles from the Unique Spool quilt shop in the US. These are what I call African tribal fabrics, made in Africa with African themes and bright colours.

My own block that I sent out with the African tribal fabrics is the yellow sunburst block, which is the third block from the left in the second row from the bottom of the quilt. I just love making the sunburst blocks and they are dead easy using paper piecing.

The challenge for me was to "edit" the blocks that I received back in the swap, even though some I wanted to keep in. Unfortunately the blocks with turquoise in them just did not fit, as gorgeous as they were. I then made up a series of square in a square, friendship stars and nin patch to make up for the blocks that I had to take out.

I interspersed the pieced blocks with the African tribal prints and some suitable batiks and I am quite happy with how the quilt has turned out. I will say that I got lots of exercise running around the bed in the guest bedroom, constantly swapping the blocks over to make the colour balance work.

Dolly has now taken the quilt top up to her home to quilt for me as she has a lovely Happy Jack quilting frame/machine. I just have to piece the backing, which will consist of the spare blocks from the front, scraps from the front and also some bright fabric and African-themed print fabric, to make the quilt back. I learned from Adina Sullivan many years ago to try to make my backs match my fronts.

I am going to name the quilt " I know a place in Africa: in memory of Karen Blixen (author of the book Out of Africa)" since I loved the book and the film and more importantly Karen's spirit. The book was written in Karen's pseudonym of Isak Dinesen but I preferred to use her real name in the title of the quilt.

9/11 10th anniversary

R.I.P. all those who lost their lives in, and as a result of 9/11. My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost family and friends as a result of this horrendous act and with those who survived the many attacks of that day.