If you are of a certain age you will have some beautiful old photo albums with small black and white photo’s carefully displayed with sticky corners.  Those albums are usually looked at by me during the emotional times of my life – births, deaths and visits from relatives.  Otherwise, they remain carefully stacked in a cupboard (upstairs in my house – in case of floods!)

So what has this to do with patchwork and quilting?  Well – just over a year ago I was planning a visit to South Africa (my country of origin) to spend some time with a cousin who had been diagnosed with cancer, a rare form where the prognosis is not good. He and I are the eldest children in our families – so started life together – with lots of black and white photo’s to depict those early years.  I spent some time trying to think of a meaningful gift to take to him and eventually came up with the idea of using these photo’s

I selected a number of them and had them printed onto some very thin canvas fabric.  I used a picture framing shop to do that – as I did not have the time to experiment with trying to reproduce them myself. I then cut them into single pictures leaving a border around each one for stitching.  I had seen a picture in a Quilt Now magazine a couple of years ago where pictures had been joined together to look like an old photo reel. So I laid them out of rows and joined them together with a black strip of fabric and then created a border for each strip of photo’s with black fabric that had white dots (in straight lines) – and I had photo’s in an old fashioned reel!

I appliqued them onto a background fabric and created a title with hand embroidery – ‘Those were the days….’

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