Africa, a Quilt for


I spend a good deal of my time sewing, so I see the world a little differently than most people.  Everything is full of lines and colors, problems and patterns — and good planning in the beginning usually helps everything to work out in the end.

The girls and Rocky

You see these beautiful faces?  These are the girls from St. Monica’s Children Home in Nairobi, Kenya.  That’s Rocky Turner in front, she’s the Education Director at St. Monica’s.  She spends as much time with the girls as she can, and sometimes on her visits to be with them Kenya, she shops at the open air markets and buys gorgeous African wax print fabrics.  When I’m very, very lucky, she sends some of them to me.  :)

The fabrics are absolutely beautiful!  They’re full of vibrant, cheerful colors and bold designs.  I wanted to work all the fabrics into one wall hanging, but what a challenge to blend such strong patterns together!  And the wax prints are lighter and more delicate than the quilting cottons I’m used to working with, which only makes sense coming from their warmer climate.  Frankly, I worried that the fabrics just weren’t strong enough and that so many “personalities” of prints just couldn’t work well together.

Then realized with a stronger, more stable start, this could really work.  The fabrics just needed a good home base and a little room to shine, just like the girls at St. Monica’s.

Africa Quilt

Each circle is from the African wax print fabrics Rocky bought in the open air markets of Kenya, and they’re appliqued onto a batik fabric square I purchased here.  The squares are arranged so that in the background you’ll see an outline of Africa, with the warm oranges and yellows of the land in the blue batik sea.  The batik fabric provides strength to the African wax prints and gives the restful space each fabric needs to stand on its own.

Africa Quilt

Can you see the continent?  With a closer look, you’ll also see sturdy double rows of pale blue quilting following each seam.  This makes for an especially strong little quilt.

Africa Quilt

Africa Quilt

I hope this wall hanging quilt will serve as a reminder that the strong base of an education and the loving home provided at St. Monica’s will give each of these girls what they need to grow, prosper and shine.

Africa Quilt

The Africa quilt will be auctioned November 3, 2012, to raise funds for the Gift of Education.  It measures approximately 35.5″ x 40″ and has a rod pocket on the back for hanging.  Please let me know if you have any questions about it!

The Little House on the Prairie Quilt for


Little House on the Prairie Quilt for

My friend Pat White sent me a box of fabrics to make a quilt for a charity we both support, Mothers Fighting for Others, and this is the end result.  When I first saw the fabrics, the sweet calico prints made me think of Little House on the Prairie.  Since the aim is to raise money for a school and orphanage for young girls, basing the quilt on a book seemed perfect.  I decided it might be even better to actually buy a copy of the book and pair it with the quilt for the upcoming auction.  (I like this idea so much, I’ve already decided on a book and quilt design for the next auction, if they’d like me to contribute again!)

Once I had the quilt finished, I could almost picture a little girl enjoying the breeze on a warm summer afternoon in the yard, laying on her quilt under a shade tree, lost in her book.  I thought, “She’s going to need a pillow,” and made that for her, too.  All we’re missing now is the little girl!

Little House on the Prairie Quilt for

The quilt is a traditional hourglass design, a pattern that may have been used in as a part of a “quilt code” to help send messages to escaping slaves as a part of the underground railroad.  An hourglass quilt hung outside or visible in a window might have been a message about when travel would be safe, or a signal to travel in disguise or to change from the clothing of a slave to those of a person of higher status. (You can read more here and here.)  I imagine the future owner of this quilt will love these stories.  We’re working on building a lifelong love of reading and learning here!

Little House on the Prairie Quilt  for

The finished quilt measures about 39″ x 45″ and the pillow is about 12″ x 16″.  It’s pretty heavily quilted, and I love the way the lines intersected to make a starburst pattern.  It’s a little easier to see on the back.

Little House on the Prairie Quilting Detail

If you’re interested in owning this quilt set, I think the auction will be held in October.  (Leave me a comment and I’ll be sure to let you know once it’s been scheduled!)

Little House on the Praire Quilt for

The purchase of this quilt will contribute to the love of learning for the special little girl who receives it, and it will also help educate all 35 girls at Saint Monica Children’s Home.  That’s a lot to expect from a little quilt, but I have faith in it.

Little House on the Prairie Quilt for