Friday, January 15, 2010

African Circles

I just love the Quilt Reveal label. I put it on this post before I even started writing or adding pictures. This is my first finish of the year, hopefully the first of many. The binding is done on the African Circles quilt.

This quilt is very different from my normal style, and I didn't even think I had one, and took me out of my comfort range. The African fabrics are busy, and I added a background that was also busy, but hopefully tames and brings them together. I know that the circles are arranged symmetrically, which wasn't the plan, but I had to put them in a pleasing arrangement, and symmetry is pleasing to my eye.

Just as a reminder, I used an old CD as a template, and the circles are attached raw edged with a zigzag stitch. They are also quilted with a zigzag stitch around each circle.

According to some sources I've read, Africans make their quilts busy to avoid evil spirits from getting into them. Somehow to my logic, it seems that busy quilts would trap the evil spirits in a quilt, which is still somehow a good thing. In either case, I added some quilting in a zigzag pattern on the circles on the side for the evil spirits. They may see that they will be treated like pinballs in this quilt, and avoid entering.

The border also has zigzag stitching, to create a diamond pattern.

Although it didn't need more quilting, since the circles are quilted, it did look like it needed more quilting design, so I looped around the middle circles. It was hard, because I wanted to make sure I wasn't causing any lumping as I created the loops. I didn't, even though the photo shows a crease. I'm not sure I like the circular quilting. I might take it out and add diagonal lines joining some of the circles. I'm just not sure the diagonal lines would look any better, and not sure it would make an overall difference in the quilt. Please let me know what you think.

For now, I'm calling it done, and reserving the right to redo the quilting.

I've added this blog post to Blue Cricket Design's show and tell Wednesday, and Amy Lou's Sew and Tell. Feel free to click on the links to see what other crafters are up to.


Allie said...

That is a very cool quilt! I like the symmetry of the circles. I've heard that about African quilts too - the spirits won't enter if it's busy.
I can't tell from the picture about the quilting - but I wonder if straight lines would enhance the circles. I really like the zigzag in your second picture.
Excellent job!

Paula, the quilter said...

Yay! it's done and looks great. I, too, have been know to use a cd for a template.

Karen said...

Great finish. Thanks for sharing.

Carla said...

IT all looks great! I become intimidated with African prints. Just not sure how to use them.

carol said...

Love the circles, I have a pile of those clear plastic circles that come on the top of a thing of blank CDs, that way I can see the fabric through it, to fussy cut. great idea. carol

Unknown said...

I think you have sufficiently taken care of the evil spirits! I like it!

Tanya said...

It tuned out beautifully. Will all the colored circles that background doesn't look "busy". I love the muted colors! Good first finish of the year!

Rene' said...

This is a really cool quilt! I like how you "tamed" the busy fabric with a busy background. They do work great together. Thanks for sharing.

Heather said...

It looks wonderful! Congrats on a great finish! Loved hearing about your research on African quilts, too. I hadn't heard about the evil spirits before. Interesting!