Since it was introduced to the shores of Africa in 1846 by the Dutch, African prints have come to represent the culture, history, tradition and way of life of not just one group of people but the tribes and tongues of a whole continent.
African prints tell a story, of a people and their past, their present way of life, their aspirations and the fusion of who they are and the influences around them; past and present that have made them who they are. African prints are very personal to every African, they confirm our identity, affirm our ‘African-ness’ and encapsulate the best of Africa-her beauty, vivacity, her colour and open-heartedness.
Choosing to quilt with only African prints when I taught myself to quilt was a natural decision, with African prints, I could express my creativity in a way I understood. I always say that quilting with African prints give me a tangible piece of my culture to wrap around myself.
In 2016, I opened an online shop offering African prints from my local markets in Africa to quilters all around the world. The following year, I started an African Prints Quilting Challenge online, to share my love for my continent of Africa and celebrate being a quilter from Africa and also to give every quilter a chance to experience Africa through fabric.
So far, we’ve had very creative entries from both beginner and expert quilters who took the plunge and created beautiful quilts with just African prints and solids.
The next Quilt Africa Fabrics Challenge starts June 1-August 30 2018.
Whether you have quilted with exotics fabrics- shibori, batiks, aboriginal, native American fabrics and of course African prints or not, I hope you will take part in this Challenge. I hope you will be inspired to push the boundaries of your creativity to create your very own one of a kind quilt with vibrant and bold African print fabrics that reflect how dynamic, rich and diverse Africa is.