23 August 2012

All together now

Now that is the reaction you want when you give someone a quilt! (Especially a man!!!)
Or maybe this? Wrapping it around superhero style??? (P.S. I love Melvin. He is a HAM, with or without a camera around. Like a leopard, always posing for a picture.)
Smiles like this one work too. Isn't he gorgeous?
Here are all my pals (plus little man James) wrapped up in so much of my hard work and love.
And from the back.
And with me. All of the time and work and fretting was totally worth it. The quilts were received exactly as you dreamed they would be. And it makes me happy to think that something that I made with my own two hands will be keeping my Londo family warm. Sigh.


16 August 2012

For Milton

The last one. Quilt 5 of 5. I have to apologize for the pictures of this one. It was finished just before we left and I didn't get a chance to take any pictures at home. The day that the quilt handover happened, it was grey and cloudy so my pictures all look sort of grey and cloudy too. Sadly, these two are the best ones I have to document this quilt which is unfortunate because it was lovely.

This one was for Milton, our tracker. Milton sits in a seat on the hood of the Land Rover and watches out for signs - like poop or tracks in the sand. When he spots a promising clue, he hops down and wanders off into the bush with nothing but a stick for protection. And you get the feeling he's never had to use the stick. The strong, silent type doesn't quite sum up this man. He's gorgeous and has a calmness to him that makes you feel protected. He wears a badge on his uniform everyday so that you know the position he holds in his church. He'll break your heart with his care and his sweetness.

Last year we asked Milton about his family. He told us that he'd been married for 12 years to a woman named Rose. I don't know if I've ever witnessed anyone light up the way he did when he said her name. (I like to think Scott does that when he's away from me. . .) It was so clearly obvious that after twelve years, he still loves her intensely. He explained that when they met, they didn't speak the same language but they learned for each other. They have four boys.

When I started thinking about a quilt for Milton and Rose, I knew I wanted it to be special and have meaning. I think I picked the right one. Milton is the star in the bottom right corner - the rock and foundation of the family. The four smaller stars are for their sons, of course. And the star in the middle is for Rose. It's vibrant and beautiful. All of her men are orbiting around her and she's shining. This one is large enough so that they could put it on top of their bed. I hope it keeps them warm and comforted for years.

All the boys' stars are Curious Nature by Parson Gray. Her star is Loulouthi by Anna Maria Horner. The background is Kona Windsor. Pattern was from Fat Quarterly issue #5. It's by Katy Jones and the pattern is Constellation.

I'll post group pictures soon.

12 August 2012

For Caven

Number 4 of 5 - the quilt for Caven. Caven (pronounced with a short a, as in apple) is the butler for our lodge, although calling him a butler seems silly to me (possibly because the idea of me having a butler seems ridiculous). He has a billion watt smile which you'll see later when I finally get around to posting pictures of the quilts being handed over. He makes BY FAR the best gin and tonics I've ever had and never lets you run dry. He teaches us words in Shangaan, some of which are not so nice and get me shocked looks from the chefs. And when that happens, he scoots away giggling. He has a way of saying "pleasure" as in "my pleasure" which we've imitated for the last year because it's so endearing. You fall in love with him in seconds flat. AND he has a gorgeous wife named Mercyful. (Could you just die from how awesome that name is???) He's promised us twin babies by next year so that sounds like more quilts to me. . .

The pattern for this came from the Modern Quilts Illustrated #2 magazine from Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. All prints on the front are Curious Nature by David Butler of Parson Gray. The solid is Kona Pepper. It's almost black with just a touch of blue. (Hint - wash it first or use a Shout Color Catcher. I used two and I was glad because man, does that stuff bleed.)

Backing fabric was a sheet from Target.  Hoorah for that. Once I got down to the wire, I ran out of time to piece backs but this fabric was perfect. Quilting was easy organic wavy lines.
And the label. I've blurred out everyone's names except ours because I don't want to post them all over the interwebs. But I wanted to show you the labels I used for these which may become my staple as soon as I can find printable fabric that I like. Seems to be a task. And you can see the super fun fabric on the back.
Also wanted to introduce you to a new friend, Francine. She was a gift for James when we arrived and she insisted on coming out on game drives with us. Cheeky girl.

And yes, it was that cold. And doesn't the wind do nice things for my hair??

09 August 2012

For Cinzia

I've been back from Africa for a few days now and it has been a hard transition home. Partly because I can't get my body back on a US schedule, partly because a big chunk of my heart was left in the bush. If I didn't have puppies and family and friends, I would have shimmied up a marula tree and refused to leave. And one of the few things that is getting me through (apart from puppies and family and friends) is that we are already counting the days until we go back. 354, in case you're interested. . .

This is the third of the quilts I made for our southern hemisphere family. This one is for Cinzia. She's the teacher at Londolozi. She's lovely. I didn't get a chance to get to know her last year so was happy that this year we were fast friends. She's great at planning surprise scavenger hunts and making play-doh and capturing animal tracks in cement. She's even more fun hanging out around a fire with cocktails late into the night. I adore her. I can see her sweet face and hear her laugh now. And I hope she keeps her promise to come see us soon in the States.
The pattern is Tula Pink's Kiss Kiss. All fabric except the large chunk of persimmon colored linen is from Anna Maria Horner's Loulouthi line. This one was tons of fun and came together fairly quickly. I know that while we were there that it was already used for afternoon movie snuggle time. That makes my heart happy.

Love you Cinzia. We're all counting the days. . .