By early 2012, it was time to spend that money! We organized two tours through a local travel agency. The tours, plus the cost of visas and immunizations totaled close to $4,000. That nearly wiped out our account, with just a little leftover for buying souvenirs and food/lodging in country. The first leg of our journey was a safari (the camera kind, not the gun kind) in East Africa, touring the national parks of Kenya and Tanzania. Then to West Africa, for cultural/historical tour of Ghana, Togo, and Benin. We learned about the Abomey (Dahomey) kingdom, the slave trade, and the Vodun religion. Finally, we visited Liberia and stayed with the family of our Liberian friend in Philly. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see the world, to travel with my mom, and to learn and grow.
I bought some fabric in West Africa, in the Grand Marché of Togo. It lived in my stash, admired but unused, for many years, before in 2017 I took a yard to make a whole-cloth quilt for Congolese friends. The rest went back to my stash. I had a vague idea of using it to line a trenchcoat (but never made the trenchcoat).
Now, I am ready to make a quilt of my memories of Africa, which I will give to my mom!
I have two goals for this quilt, one technical, and one design-related. For the technical goal, I want to learn Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP). I have the idea of doing FPP animals, to make a quilted safari. My mom and I took many pictures, and found the East African animals particularly exciting. For the design goal, I want to make something with the bold and busy West African prints, that doesn't overwhelm the eye. I read years ago that detail without focus is clutter... such clutter is a real risk when using such detailed and large-scale prints as these! I hope the gold fabric from Kona Bay will be a place for the eye to rest!
And I have already begun! Check out my first attempt at Foundation Paper Piecing, the superb starling.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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