Friday, June 28, 2013

How I Ended up with a Blue and Orange Bedroom

We've always had bedrooms that are either very neutral or based on either blues or purples.  So when we were in the US for two years, we saw this quilt set on sale at B*d, B*th, & B*yond.  It was a different color scheme than we'd ever had, John really liked the colors and thought it was less girlie than some we've had in the past, and it had just enough blue and even a touch of purple in it to make it acceptable to me.  So we bought it and used it on our bed the year we lived in Maryland.

Then we boxed it up, along with the two pillow shams, and blue curtains to send it to Niger on a container.  Well, somewhere along the line, one of our boxes went missing.  
To this day we don't know if UPS lost it, or if it's languishing in a forgotten corner of a store room where they packed or unpacked the container.  Everybody says they haven't seen it.  

While we were waiting for the container with our stuff in it to arrive, we went ahead and got the bedroom painted....one wall orange and the other three blue.  Let me tell you, I'm not a fan of oranges and yellows, so this was a stretch for me, but it turns out I really like the orange wall.  Then the container arrived and we discovered that the missing box contained the bedspread and one panel of the curtains.  So, we had three out of four panels of the curtains and the pillow shams.

Last summer I searched every W*lmart I could find and could not find that style of curtains anymore.  So I found a close proximity and reinvented it a bit.  You can hardly tell that it's not the same type of curtain.  I blogged about that here.

I decided to make a quilt to go with the orange and blue walls.  My inspiration was mainly from an article called Quilting as Textile Jazz. (Isn't that a gorgeous quilt!)Tracy Vaughn said "she had just met the quilter, Heather Williams, a historian whose area of specialization is slavery.  Vaughn remembers, 'The quilts had no patterns and that really appealed to me.  They had jagged edges; some of them were circular.  Some had archival images of slaves, which Williams had transferred to fabric.  The quilts were just spectacular and they elevated those in the images, as well as the art form of quilting itself, to a level of nobility.  And I thought: I have to learn how to do this.'"  

The article also said, "For her Northwestern students, they are a tactile connection with an art form that features prominently in the stories of black women....African American quilting reaches almost as far back as the history of colonial America. Slave women on plantations were often needed for spinning, weaving, sewing, and quilting. Some made scrap quilts for their own families with leftover material, discarded clothing, and feed sacks.

“'The enslaved would take these scraps to make quilts to supplement their bedding to keep warm,' Vaughn tells us. 'But even in that was a certain level of pride in its artistry and construction and its originality. What I try to do is to tap into that and show progress from that history and that legacy.'”


Now, I know that I'm not African American, but I do admire the way the slaves made beauty out of poverty, how they took scraps that had been discarded and made something beautiful out of them. I guess it's similar to the way my African neighbors live.  And I have all these beautiful African textiles available in the market, so I chose an orange and blue colors and put them together a quilt.  There is no particular pattern to it.  I just cut and sewed.  

I also had this picture as an inspiration, found here. And I got some practical help from this tutorial.  

I've got the top done.

 I've got a piece for the back (not shown).
 Now to put them together.  I don't really want to use batting since it's so stinkin' hot where we live.
 I think two layers of cloth would be plenty warm enough for our cooler months.  What do you think?  Have any of you done any quilting without batting?  Any words of advice on how to put together the front and back without batting?

Right now I'm procrastinating on putting it all together because I'm not sure what to do next!

2 comments:

annejisca said...

I love your quilt!!! Good job!

Beka said...

my mother in law who was a quilter and had lived in africa (so she knew the heat), just choose the extra thin batting. if you don't have batting, the quilt feels all bumpy from the seams. that was her take. we don't find ours too hot, but we don't use it to cover us all year round. by the way, your quilt looks FAB!