Saturday, April 14, 2007

The 54th good thing about Lagos: Time to quilt.

I come from a female heritage of quilters, but I had never really got into it myself. But I decided that it was something I would enjoy doing in Lagos, where I have more free time. It took longer than I had planned to get our air shipment which had my sewing machine and fabric for my new grandson's baby quilt, so when I just had 2 weeks before leaving, I wasn't sure I'd have time to sew it. But I managed to finish it and I was quite happy with the results. The fabric is a batik flannel which is very soft -- I bought it at the Houston Quilt Show last fall. It ends up being kind of an international quilt -- the fabric is woven in Indonesia, purchased in Houston, sewn in Nigeria for a Boston baby. The front is a very simple strip quilt pattern -- I couldn't do something more complicated for my first real pieced quilt. The back I wanted to make like an abstract painting. I was inspired by the Gee's Bend quilters in my design. They are a group of Southern black women from a quite isolated and poor part of Alabama who create these great abstract design quilts. We've had a couple of exhibitions of their quilts at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. I had a great time meeting a bunch of these quilters at the opening of their last exhibition at the museum. They talked about laying out different pieces on the bed until it just felt right. I did the same thing, only on my dining room table. My design was partly necessity because I was short on fabric and had to use absolutely every piece. I had about a 1-inch square and some skinny trimmings left when I was done.

Of course, the cutest view of the quilt is when there's a baby on it!

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