Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Quilt Reveal: African Garden


I finished the quilt formerly known as Tuxedo Vest. Since the name is based on the fabrics on what is now the background, I am changing the name to African Garden to refer to the applique which is now the focal point.

This was the quilt as I left it in 2021. It was supposed to be a simple baby quilt, but I don't know anyone who would want it as a baby quilt. I thought about keeping it, but I would need a lap quilt so my original plan was to add more columns and make it larger. But it didn't motivate me to continue.

When I finished the Portraits quilt and listed the chart that I include every time I start or finish a quilt, I realized that I needed to get some more finishes in order to meet my very easy goal of finishing more quilts than I start.


I pulled out the Tuxedo Vest quilt but kept it in my bedroom until I was ready to work on it in an effort to keep the sewing studio clean for the YouTube videos.


I bought a bunch of African fabrics and put them in the same staging area in my bedroom until I was ready to film them. Placing them together like that with the Tuxedo Vest quilt gave me the idea that I could use them to applique on the quilt.

I was originally thinking of adding just one or two motifs  to help the floral fabric and the stripe fabric work better together. I cut out a bunch of motifs to try them out on the quilt,  and I couldn't reject any of them, so I used all of the ones I cut.

I used my general technique to combine the applique and the quilting. I secured the edges of the appliue and then stippled the background.

 I tried to add a piece from an older quilt, but they are shiny, and I decided to use this piece from the stash of fabrics.  I think I have used some of the background fabric in another quilt so the continuity is there, and I can use scraps of this quilt in another quilt.


I made a YouTube video about the process if you are interested in seeing that.

I've made a lot of quilts this year but I need to finish at least one more to meet my goal of finishing more quilts than I start. One thing about keeping records, I know it is not a record year in terms of started or finished quilts.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Celebrating Zoey's Gotcha Day


Zoey joined my family on September 15 last year, and on October 3, I added a post here on this blog about her as a way to document her growth and progress.

Interestingly, not much has changed with her. Most of the changes are mine. When I first got her, I kept wondering if her energy and her past traumas were too much for me to handle. She doesn't jump on me or put my hands in her mouth as often as she used to, mostly because she is more comfortable with me and doesn't get as frightened or nervous as she used to. She has separation anxiety so she will jump on me or pull at my clothes when I come back from taking the trash out for pickup.

 Mostly though, I am no longer afraid that she is going to bite me or hurt me when she jumps on me.


She finds the ripe passion-fruit and plays ball with it until it breaks and then she eats it. She is much better than I am at determining which passion-fruit is ripe enough to eat so she gets more than I do. In the picture above, you can see a yellowish green walnut and beside that is the darker green passion-fruit. 

I tried to put a daisy on her head like I had put the dandelion in a previous post, but she decided she would rather know whether I still love her. 

Yes I definitely do. I am so happy she is here. She still loves her squeaky ball and carries it around with her, even to bed. The one that fits her mouth is small enough to roll under the couch and furniture, so I have to keep getting them for her. 

Now that firework season is gone, I have reduced her anxiety medicine. She no longer chews on furniture or baseboards when I am gone, but I still try to stay home as much as possible or get a sitter for her when I have to go anywhere for more than an hour. She walks around the house crying and looking for me.

I haven't added any more talking buttons to the board, but she loves to use them to tell me she loves me, to ask for food, and to ask to go outside. When I tell her to wait, she will wait a few minutes and will remind me when the few minutes are over. I am glad she does that.

15 Minutes to Stitch Week 41


I spent these weeks quilting and binding African Garden quilt. That's it in the picture at the top of the post. I am really happy with how it turned out. One of my determining factors about whether  quilt is successful is how it looks when it is all rumpled up, and this one definitely makes me happy. Even when you can't see the pattern, the colors make it so pretty.

15 minute days these weeks --14 out of 14
15 minute days this year -- 213 out of 288 days
Success rate  = 74%
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 15 Minutes to Stitch follow this link to see all the other people who participate in this challenge

Friday, October 6, 2023

Progress on Tuxedo Vest


I bought a bunch of African fabrics. I know them as Kitenge, which is what they are called in East Africa. They are known as Ankara in West Africa. I showed them all in a Youtube video.

I fussy cut some of them and am appliquéing them to the Tuxedo Vest quilt. It looks very different now from where it started. It will be finished shortly.

Looking at it now, I am reminded of a Jane Sassaman quilt that was a garden. I had put it on my mental list of quilts to make a long time ago. I can't find the picture now, but it makes me happy that I am retroactively able to cross that quilt off my to-do list.

Yesterday, I found an art quilter who uses Ankara fabrics to make art quilts, Marcellina Oseghale Akpojotor. She was featured on the Colossal, which features different artists every day. They remind me of the dimensional pinecone quilts that were in a book I recently saw, even though these quilts aren't made with triangles.

I also want to bring your attention to American Quilt Society Worldwide Quilt Parade that is going on right now. I submitted three quilts to that parade. I am from Ohio, if you want to find them faster. You can vote for quilts you like there if you want.

15 Minutes to Stitch Week 39 and 40


I spent these weeks admiring the African fabrics and cutting and appliquing them to the Tuxedo Vest quilt. Eventually I will rename this quilt. Right now I am thinking of Kintenge Garden or Ankara Garden.

15 minute days these weeks --14 out of 14
15 minute days this year -- 199 out of 274 days
Success rate  = 73%