Every year, members of the Kenya Quilt Guild participate in a quilt challenge event. The quilt challenge for 2011 is to make an African Quilt. From our good friend Magie Relph has come the following challenge description:
Use the name or idea of an African myth, legend, folk tale or god as a basis for a quilt. The quilt does not necessarily have to be pictorial, showing the actual story of the legend. Think about the subject of the story and see if it can lead you to depict the idea of the theme in a different way.
Perhaps you could use certain traditional blocks to represent specific ideas? What about the use of colour to represent certain ideas? Blue- the sky, brown, red ochre- the earth, are simple colour translations. What about using symbols…
Your finished African Challenge Quilt can be any shape, but it must be no larger than 2,304 square inches in area. For example, you might make a square quilt measuring 48″ x 48″ (2,304 square inches). A quilt 32″ wide may be no longer than 72″. To find the correct proportions to maximize the area, simply divide 2,304 square inches by the width or height of your intended quilt. The answer will be the correct remaining dimension: 2,304 sq. in. / 27″ = 85″ and so on. Your quilt need not be this large; smaller quilts will also be most welcome.
If you would like to participate and join in the fun, you might like to have a look at a few websites that can provide some inspiration:
- Indigenous People of Africa and America’s Overview of Kenyan Folklore
- Kikuyu Fables and Legends
- Myths Encyclopedia’s African Mythology
- Kiki Amedja’s African Legends
- Godcheckers (what fun!) African Gods
For others that address notions of “what is an African quilt?,” take a look at these:
- Dena Crain’s What Makes an African Quilt “African?” Tutorial
- Google Images African Quilts
- Magie Relph’s The African Fabric Shop
- The St. Theresa Textile Trove
- The South African Quilters Guild
Then, build up your stash of African fabrics, push your imagination to come up with new design ideas, and come join the fun!
Challenge quilts must be completely finished and ready for display by June 1, 2011. A prize will be awarded for the best quilt. Get started NOW!