Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Making quilts with hand-stamped fabrics is pretty entertaining. I've been using them for quite a while, but as I'm working on one quilt, another idea will occur to me, and then I've got to try yet another new way to integrate my stamped fabrics into a fun quilt. These photos show "Susuwe" 46" x 32" . This quilt is named after an island in the Kwando River, in the Caprivi Strip, which is a long narrow finger of land in northeastern Namibia. There you can see hippos, elephants, exotic birds and lots of other wildlife. It's the greenest part of Namibia, which boasts starkly beautiful deserts in most of the rest of the country. Most of the African prints in this quilt came from the markets in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where I used to live, but I also used some great pieces I bought from , a wonderful place to shop for African fabrics!
Once again, my thanks to Annaliese Moyer of for the photos of my work, and to the folks at Oshiwa Designs for the printing blocks that I use to stamp my fabrics.

Earlier this month I had the very great pleasure of visiting Val Hearder in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. I was lucky enough to have a chance to visit friends in Halifax, and discovered that Mahone Bay wasn't a long drive, so a road trip was born. Besides making beautiful quilts, Val does wonderful work supporting women in South Africa who support their grandchildren after their children have died of AIDS. In many cases, these women have very few resources, but they embroider vividly colorful panels and do gorgeous beadwork, which Val then brings into Canada and sells on her website In this photo, you can see us wearing necklaces from Val's shop---terrific, aren't they? How fun to know that you're supporting such a good cause while shopping!

I was also very happy to meet Laurie Swim in her studio in Lunenberg, NS. Laurie makes textured landscape quilts that reveal intense threadwork close-up, and look like paintings from a distance. All this talent, and she's nice, too! Later that evening, I was able to attend the Mahone Bay Quilt Guild meeting, where the members impressed me by their great show-and-tell and their very welcoming warmth. I hope to have a chance to make a return visit!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Time for more photos! I now have professional shots of my work taken by Annaliese Moyer, who can be found at . Annaliese works out of Portland, OR, but travels, especially to interesting places like Namibia!

This piece is Okapuka, named for a game ranch near Windhoek, Namibia, where we could go to see giraffes, oryx, kudu, rhinos and lots of other animals, all living on a huge stretch of land just 20 minutes from our house.

In this piece I've used African prints and some images I hand-stamped with Oshiwa blocks. The Oshiwa carvers make wonderfully vivid and lifelike animal blocks and geometric blocks that intrigue me with their bold, graphic designs.