Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas and trying new things

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. We did!

I have been holding on to my African fabric for a long time now. The colors are bold and the patterns so distinctive that they do not blend easily into my usual quilt patterns and colorways. So, I held on to the fabric but have noticed some really clever ways to use prints like these. Kelli used some of her stash for a really cute blanket just recently. She encouraged me to get out the scissors!

The cloth I chose for this first experiment is called Homme Boubou (French: homme = man: boubou = a boubou is a traditional dress for muslim men in West Africa). I fussy cut the men either solo or with a pal. The shapes are rectangles. I used a solid black to make a border. On some I used 2 inch borders. On others I wonkified (a new word) the homme boubou. On yet others, I wonkified the black frame. I used a bright, multi-colored pattern for the outer border. I made one strip just to see how they might go together. I'm not yet sure how they will all go together but it will probably work out.

I find that cutting and sewing without a pattern is more stressful than using a pattern. I am conscious of wasting fabric and thinking a head to "what could I do with this little bit?" So far, I am saving all the little scraps just in case. I worry that the shapes will not come together nicely. I think I worry too much. I've been holding on to this cloth for 15+ years. It is time. It is time to try something new.