“Tribal Fishermen”

9 05 2013

Do you love creating with new fabrics as much as I do?

Several weeks ago, I was wandering through fabric displays and dreaming about future quilts in Loving Stitches, my local quilt shop. Wanda, the helpful saleslady pointed me to a new line of fabric, “African Inspirations” by Kaye England. What an intriguing feature fabric, and what bold coordinating tonals! I loved the fish fabric, too, and added a zebra print from another fabric line for a light contrast.DSCN4496

To capture the essence of the feature fabric of dancing tribesmen, I cut two 10 1/2″ squares. After placing the squares on my design wall, I decided the squares needed frames: one green and one purple. Flying Geese made from the zebra print and the orange tonal add movement to the quilt.DSCN4489

Next, I constructed four simple blocks to act as a unit below the framed square  and balance the left side of the quilt.


To complete the design, I added other simple shapes: squares, rectangles and strips. I used a ruler, calculator and graph paper to make sure the left half of the quilt would measure the same length as the right half of the quilt.


An all-over design of spiral suns with wavy rays is quilted with pink/orange/yellow variegated thread.

The quilt backing is a zebra print Congo cloth acquired in Kenya on a mission trip in October 2011. Selvage strips from both the backing fabric and the feature fabric are used on the label.


When designing a modern quilt, follow your intuition about what will look balanced and pleasing. And be willing to change your mind along the way. Sew as you are inspired, and walk away from the project when you don’t know what to add next. Your brain will subconsciously work on the design problem while you are driving the carpool or cleaning house. Have fun playing with fabric and shapes!

You will find sketchy instructions for this quilt on the “Patterns” page of this blog. If you make a similar quilt, please email me a picture of your creation.




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