African Village Quilt with Dancers using Diamond blocks

by Judy Tucker


AfricanVillagequiltwithdancers.jpg

I've completed my African Village Quilt with all diamond blocks.  The dancers in the diamond blocks, the bodies of the houses and the borders are all African Fabrics, or African designed fabrics made in Holland.  The border fabric is mud cloth made in Gambia. It is soft and gauzy. It worked well in the borders but the wax fabrics are easier to use for piecing since they have less give. Because the African fabrics were all so different, I washed them before I used them. The wax fabrics were really waxy prior to washing but soft afterwards.  I found these fabrics at the Etsy shop, Tambo Collection.  They had a great selection of fabrics and the prices are reasonable.

Here is the back of the quilt.  The central fabric is Kente cloth made in made in Holland. The tops and bottom strips are Kona Cotton "Cheddar"!

I really like the motion in the Kente Cloth print.  It's great designing. 

In the live and learn department:

If you compare the photo of the quilt above with the pattern diagram below, you'll see that the quilt has 2 layers of "lawn" below the huts while there is only 1 in the pattern.  When I printed the PDFs paper piecing files, I didn't change the print specifications to 100% which is necessary to get an accurate pattern.  I had 1 inch markers on the patterns but didn't check them since they were my own patterns.  I would have caught my error if I had put a ruler on the inch marker.  The pattern on file is accurate but the printing wasn't.  My hut blocks came out 8 inch finished instead of the needed 9 inch.  When I was sewing the huts, they didn't seem any different than the huts on the first quilt I made. But they were slightly smaller.  When I tried to sew the blocks together, they didn't match.  I decided was easier to add to the hut blocks to make them larger rather than re-making the diamond blocks smaller.   

All the paper pieced patterns I've used from other designers have always specified printing at 100% which I've done. And I checked the 1 inch mark too.  I've always wondered if it really matters.  And the answer is:  YES, it does!  When I went back and printed one of the hut patterns with the print setting at 100% and the block measured a perfect 9 inch finished.   Lesson learned. 

African Village with Diamonds Quilt Design

African Village with Diamonds Quilt Design



African Village Quilt--Completed. Free pattern

by Judy Tucker


Here's my completed African Village Quilt.  It measures 40 x 57 inches. 

African Village Quilt

African Village Quilt

I recently took Jacquie Gering's Craftsy course, "Creative Quilting with your Walking Foot."  She had some great tips and suggestions about using the walking foot for quilting.  I used echoing in, radiating designs and straight quilting using a variety of specialty stitches on my domestic sewing machine. It was lots of fun to use her techniques.  

The echoing in stitching is in the setting triangles in the upper strip of diamonds. 

Here is a detail of radiating quilting on a roof. 

Radiating quilting done with walking foot on the hut roof,  Free motion quilting used to create grasses and heat swirls. 

Radiating quilting done with walking foot on the hut roof,  Free motion quilting used to create grasses and heat swirls. 

I used Jacquie's suggestion of using the Bernina specialty stitch #4, the serpentine stitch, to make the current in the river blocks. She said that this stitch is intended for use in garment construction making lingerie which needs to stretch!  Doesn't it make a lovely river current?

Bernina Stitch #4 to make the waves in the river blocks.  Free motion quilting to make the stream pebbles and swirls around the women.

Bernina Stitch #4 to make the waves in the river blocks.  Free motion quilting to make the stream pebbles and swirls around the women.

I also used the serpentine stitch to make the smoke coming out of the chimney in the central hut. 

Central hut showing serpentine stitch for smoke.  Also note the straight stitching done on the focus fabric blocks adjacent to the block and on the hut walls.

Central hut showing serpentine stitch for smoke.  Also note the straight stitching done on the focus fabric blocks adjacent to the block and on the hut walls.

 

There are also lots of straight stitching using the walking foot throughout the quilting. 

Straight stitching with the walking foot and 2 decorative stitches in the outer quilt border.

Straight stitching with the walking foot and 2 decorative stitches in the outer quilt border.

You'll also see free motion quilting on this quilt.  I used it to make heat currents, pebbles and grasses and other vegetation. 

This quilt was a lot of fun to make and to quilt.  

Here is a PDF pattern for the African Village Quilt.  The pattern is for the diamond variation.  The instructions for the version I made are in my blog posts starting August 4, 2014.  You may use the pattern to make a quilt for yourself but not for commercial sale.  

You are always welcome to use my patterns to make quilts for charities.  While I was working on this quilt I often listened to the radio.  The Ebola epidemic in West African has been constantly in the news and I thought about this virus and the people who were ill a lot while I was sewing.   I think this quilt pattern would a good choice if you want to make a quilt to raise funds for research on the Ebola virus or to raise funds to care for the patients.  I know quilters often make quilts to comfort patients. However, because anything used by a patient infected with the Ebola virus needs to be destroyed to prevent spreading of the illness, making quilts for the patients doesn't make much sense in this case.  But selling or raffling a quilt to raise funds is a great way to help.  

Here three charities actively reaching out in the countries affected by the Ebola Virus.  There are also other humanitarian and research organizations involved.  If you wish to donate, choose an organization to support that you like that and that has a solid reputation.  Look on their websites for a report on their use of donation funds so you know how the money you donate will be used.

Unicef    More information about Unicef the Ebola crisis.

Save the Children  More information about their work in affected areas.

 Doctors without Borders   Their link to news about Ebola.

I heard on the news this morning that Doctors without Borders is working on making several new isolation wards in the affected countries in African. Their website states that their response to the Ebola outbreak is fully funded!  Donations can't be earmarked for the Ebola crisis but funds will be used for medical humanitarian emergencies as needed.

I sold my African Village quilt yesterday.  I valued my quilt at $200 and have donated the full value to Unicef which uses 91% of ever dollar to help children. I hope you'll consider joining me in supporting humanitarian efforts responding to this medical crisis.

I hope you like this quilt! If you make one, for charity or for yourself, have fun sewing and let me know!