Wednesday, 3 July 2013

An African inspired quilt for charity

Last September I took my friend Rachel (from Sew Bored, it was her birthday) to a book launch for the charity MUMs Recipes. I love this charity- I met Linda who started it a few years ago, and she is such a lovely, dedicated, and kind person. So I was pretty keen to go to the book launch for When The Rains Come- a children's book about life in Malawi by Tom Pow and Malike Favre.

The illustrations are so beautiful and rich in colour.

Maybe it was the reading by Tom Pow's wife Julie. Maybe it was the singing by a choir from an Edinburgh school. Maybe it was the free glasses of bucks fizz that we had knocked back.... Rachel came up with a great idea- for us to make a quilt for MUMs based on When the Rains Come, and raise some money for the children in Malawi.

Linda was immediately thrilled with the idea, as were we.

I mean look at these drawings and the colour! It was going to be a fun quilt to make.

Step one was to come up with an idea. 

Rachel suggested we use some fabric from Africa, as she'd made a lovely african quilt for her mother-in-law with some  fabric from Malawi.

After tossing about a few ideas, I came up with this sketch. Every second square has a character from the book (that we'd applique), and every other square would be a solid piece of African fabric. The idea is these make up the "quilt" that Oscar and Jennifer are laying under (which we took from a double page in the book).

We thought it could work, so then we got in touch with Malika Favre, who she was happy for us to use her designs, and even offered to help if we got stuck! (how lovely!).

Linda found a bag of fabric scraps for us from Malawi (I love scraps). We were ready to go!

I went to Mandors in Edinburgh for my block colours. They match so well.

For some animals I used Malawi fabric- like the chicken. The giraffe was quite fiddly, but bondaweb is great stuff and I was surprised how at precise I could cut and applique his spots.

The turtle (hero of the story!) and Grandmother Rose with Baby Grace.

I really enjoyed finishing the appliques by hand. My mum taught me how to embroider when I was about 10. I really think it added to the look. The little french knots for Rose and Grace's hair was really fun to do.

The quilt top was really starting to take shape.
Rachel then sewed some patchwork to go behind the heads of Oscar and Jennifer. By this stage I thought I'd go crazy with any more applique- but we had a goal- so I finished the children's heads for the top of the quilt- oh and 4 hands (just when you think you're done- hands! Tricky little things).

My lovely friend sent me some more fabric from Tanzania to work as a backing for the quilt. Then I quilted it together. Rachel did a fantastic job with the binding, using the Malawi fabric scraps. And it was done... woo hoo!

We are tickled pink with it. I hope you like it too! There are some great photos of it on the MUMs website (where you can read more about Linda's fantastic charity).
Oh, and if you'd like to buy raffle tickets, the When The Rains Come book, or the world famous MUMs recipe books, please visit the online shop: thanks!

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