Machine Quilting: African Stripes

Have you ever had the opportunity to experience the absolute beauty of African fabrics? Well, if you haven't had the chance in person, Carol and I will share them with you virtually.
 Carol made the Strip Therapy 4 pattern combining a portion of her African fabrics from her stash with batiks to add a little color or flavor where needed. The blocks are basic reversals of prints but the total impact of the quilt is incredible.
Here's what the pattern looks like. By laying the lights and darks strategically you create winding rows that fade from corner to corner.
 I started stitching these ferny vines up and down the light strips and adding the swirls to the center of each block.
 Then I switched threads and came back to quilt these leaves in the dark strips. I'm sure if you look closely you can tell which fabrics are African and which are batiks. FYI - there's a ton of African fabrics!
 To mimic the swirls in the blocks I quilted these continuous swirls in the small border. Carol's choice of fabric for the small flange (or as we call it a flappy-doo) really accented the blues in the center of the quilt. Finally the outer border was quilted simply to allow the fabric to shine.
 Here's a view of one corner as the colors darken overall. You can really see the quilting in certain areas.
 Now this is sideways because I loaded it that way. The top of the quilt is actually to the left, but here you can see a little more of how the diagonal rows interact with eachother.
 So the ferns go up and down and the leaves and swirls fill in the rest.
Her colors are absolutely gorgeous and this quilt was so much fun to work with. Like the Feathered Star quilt I showed you recently, this quilt will also be hanging at the Lake Farmparks Quilts 2013 Show here in about another month or so. If you have the chance to go and see this beauty up close, DO IT! As is typical, these pictures are a very good representation but they do not do the quilt justice as if you saw it in person. Many of these fabrics are such that most people have never seen anything like them before.

I'll keep you posted on how this quilt does in the upcoming show. I'm hoping the future is bright for this one. Carol, thanks for letting me play with your fabrics until the wee hours of the morning at retreat and for letting me be a part of this amazing piece of art you've made! It is a stunner on so many levels!

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