I’m so excited you decided to join the Block Of The Month!!
The theme of the Quilt Africa Fabrics Block of the Month is "A Quilter's Journey Through Africa In Fabrics."
I was pleasantly surprised to find that a lot similarities between Quilt Patterns and African cultural symbols.
Symbols and patterns are the only evidence of Africa's written language. Everything else, genealogies and historical records are all oral.
Each month, alongside the making of our blocks, we will be exploring the similarity of the Block pattern to symbols and patterns across Africa.
Symbols and patterns across Africa are similar but the meanings differ across cultures. For any of our chosen patterns that are cross-cultural, our journeys will take us across boundaries.
Many of these symbols have a proverb, adage or wise saying that brings them to life. We will be exploring these and making connections between them.
The most interesting/relevant thing about symbols, patterns and proverbs is that they provide messages of instruction for life.
They were used as a means of conversational communication and also as a means of community learning/education and enlightenment.
The monthly blocks are structured in a way that represents significant milestones in the life of our protagonist, Togor Yamba (God's gift). Her journey is loosely divided into:
- Her Beginnings
- Her Relationships/Connections
- Her Life Lessons
- Her Identity
I can't help but be excited about the message of her life and how it will undergird life lessons we already know.
The Block of The Month
The major purpose of the Quilt Africa Fabrics Block of The Month is to allow you explore your creativity using African Fabrics without being intimidated by the colours and large patterns.
I am convinced that the bold patterns in African prints make them unique in that the provide versatility that can help you create with the same piece of fabric and end up with dramatically different results depending on your personality, style and focus in cutting the fabric.
Keeping in mind that we are on an explorative journey, I hope that at the end of the year we achieve these goals:
- We become colour confident, not allowing ourselves get stuck in working with one colour way but experimenting and making colour combinations that are unusual but pleasing.
- Seek to appraise the seeming riotous colours and patterns of African prints and learn the language of the fabric, how they work together and with solids. I believe that will make us very confident working with any fabric under the sun.
- Understand that depending on how you cut, place fabric and piece you get a different result that will influence your block's finished look.
The way to achieve our goals and enjoy our exploration is go the way of a sampler quilt.
We will be working without preselected fabrics and block patterns without repeats or seeming similarities.
A sampler quilt gives us the opportunity to hone and build a new set of technical skills, help us learn how African fabrics will respond to being place in different ways.I recommend the following:
1. Think about how you would like your finished blocks to look in the final quilt. How will you tie in the different blocks together? DO you want to use a preselected fabric as sashing to create uniformity? Or will you go with the flow and decide at the end.
2. Plan to use solids to 'frame' your fabrics. Solids help African fabrics shine. No matter how busy the fabric is, surrounding it with a solid will put the spotlight on it.
3. Take advantage of making just one block a month and learn all you can about the block and possibly try out different techniques.
- The recommended size of blocks is 12". This gives you a large enough finished quilt at the end of a year. To provide interest and accommodate some of the patterns we will be making you might consider alternating between 12" and 6". You can however choose any size you prefer.
- Your Block of the Month must be made with not less that 75% of the BOM print fabrics you received on sign-up. 25% may be from other sources.
- You may use one or all of your Fat Quarters in a month.
More details will be coming about the Guild part of our BOM.
The general idea is to do something charitable every month. Look around you to see where we can come together and make an impact.
I am hoping some will come to me to distribute to the needy in my community.
Monthly Activity Schedule
Every month we will be holding these activities:
- Q&A + Sit and Sew - 15th Day of every month.
- Show & Tell - Last Saturday of each month.
All Live times will be 4pm US Eastern, 1pm US Pacific, 3pm US Mountain.
Bonus Blocks: If you're looking for more blocks to make your quilt bigger, you can add these to the list
- Spiral Bargello.
- Spool Block.
- Star Block
- Drunkards Path
Thank you so much for joining me.