Sunday, July 20, 2008

Quilting and writing. Writing and quilting. Both seem to balance each other. Since we've returned to Spokane, out came the unfinished African Quilt top from storage, inspired by Kaye England and Mary Elizabeth Johnson's colorful Quilt Inspirations from Africa. This book was about $25 when it first came out and is now a quilt collector's classic.

Thus, off I go to the library. Two chapters were especially helpful to me as I started this quilt last July. The top is comprised entirely of Fulani stars (I can find nothing online about this technique, though it's explained beautifully in Quilt Inspirations). The design is inspired by quilted armor Fulani cavalrymen wore into battle to protect them. Here's the top:

Inspired by this panel, I wanted to make an "almost" quilt for the back.

But somehow I also wanted to work in Adinkra symbols from the Ashanti, those applique shapes that convey additional protection and meaning. So, I chose four: osrane (the moon, full of positive female qualities, love and kindness); kuntin kantan (humility); gye nyame ("except for God", the immortality of God); and duafe (a wooden comb, again a female symbol for patience and care).

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