Saturday, November 19, 2011

Serengeti Serenade... The Story Behind The Quilt

Hello Everyone,

Many of you have seen this little preview of the quilt that I made on my recent retreat.  So I thought I would give you a little background.  



This is truly an African quilt from my heart.  Let's start from the beginning.  In January, 2005 my husband, my brother and three friends went to Tanzania to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.  It was a dream of his and a once in a lifetime opportunity.


Here they are at the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.  My husband is on the far right in the black.  My brother is holding the American flag.  He fulfilled a dream he had.  It was exciting and difficult all at the same time.



Here is their view from above the clouds.  Simply magnificent!  I admire him and everyone who went.



Following the week long summit adventure they went on a safari.  Another opportunity of a lifetime.  Of course, I had to share some wonderful kitty photos with you.


Don't you just love a mama and her cubs?


 How beautiful is this mama lion?

So what does this have to do with fabric and a quilt?  When my husband left he asked if there was anything that I would like him to bring back from his trip?  Of course I said fabric.


He brought these two pieces of fabric home for me.  About a total of 6 yards.  I was ecstatic! Then began my journey of collecting authentic African fabric for the next six years.  My intention was to collect enough fabric to make a quilt for my husband to commemorate his trip to Tanzania.

In the process, I fell in love with the fabric.  I always had a particular design in mind, but then my issue of McCall's Quilting Jan, 2011 came and this pattern captured my eye.



It is all done with 2.5 inch strips and in batiks, but I thought "WOW, wouldn't that look great in the African fabrics?"  Just perfect!

This became the year of the African Quilt!

When I went on retreat last week, the cutting and sewing began.



And the smiles got bigger.  Lots of love went into the making of this quilt from the first day that my husband brought me home those two lovely fabrics straight from Tanzania.

I used one of the fabrics, the yellow and black, for the four highlighted pieces in the borders.  I also used strips of both of the fabrics throughout the quilt.  The larger pieces that were left of the fabrics my husband gave to me, will become part of the backing.

Let me introduce you to Serengeti Serenade...


 I will be quilting this over the next few weeks and giving this to my husband for Christmas.  I hope that he loves it as much as I do and that will remind him of his trip to Africa.

I am so glad that my husband doesn't read my blog, so if you know him... shhhh!  Don't tell him about his gift... Thanks!


Until Next Time...


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30 comments:

creativedawn said...

Jackie,
That quilt is beyond STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS!!! I wondered how you came to make such a gem. Thanks for the heartwarming story! Awesome...I would love to make such a beauty, but I'm still collecting....lol...
Have a lovely holiday!

hugz
Pam

paula, the quilter said...

Not only do I admire that lovely quilt, but I admire the guys being able to mark something so BIG off of their bucket list. Well done!

Anya said...

Lovely, lovely!

PamKittyMorning said...

The quilt turned out wonderfully, and I imagine he's going to go nuts over it! The pictures are great, what an accomplishment.

MJMR said...

The quilt is going to be stunning! You could not have picked out a better pattern for your African fabric.

Nifty Quilts said...

It's a GORGEOUS quilt, and I love the story that goes with it. It will be a very merry Christmas at your house!

Exuberant Color said...

The quilt is beautiful and he will love it I'm sure. It's great to hear the stories that go with the quilts. The aren't just quilts, they are journals of experiences.

cottonreel said...

I also love African prints . I always buy fabric at malvern quilt show from a stall called Out of Africa . The colours are stunning .
Love your quilt

DianeY said...

I love, love, love it!

Lesley said...

Jackie, Congratulations on your creation! I love the fact that you took your time to find just the perfect fabrics to go along with those he brought home. It will be a very special Christmas morning in your home!

Britt-Inger said...

This will be a stunning quilt and I´m sure that your husband will love it.

Ulla's Quilt World said...

Hi! Greetings from Finland! Your quilts are so fantastic! It's so nice to find other quilters all around the world! :)

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Jackie! What a story. Your husband is going to love it -- you might want to include a few kleenex in the present! ;-D

Amy said...

Thumbs up Jackie. A fabulous quilt.

Cindy said...

Beautiful quilt and love the story that goes with it! Your husband will be delighted!

Linda at Roscoe's Ma said...

This is a BEAUTIFUL quilt. I love all the fabrics and colors, and I love the quilt design you chose. Thanks for sharing the beautiful story too. Great post!

Stephanie said...

I love a quilt with a story. What a very special treasure for your husband--a beautiful quilt handmade with love to commemorate an amazing adventure in his life.

Jean said...

This is a showpiece! And the story makes it "more gooder"... I don't know your hubby, but I know if I got that quilt, with all the love and thought that went into making it, I'd bawl my eyes out.

What a great piece to represent his personal victory and your love and respect for his achievement!

pasqueflower said...

What a beautiful quilt!! And with a piece of family history stitched in.

Barb said...

great story and wonderful quilt!
How wonderful to use fabrics that were actually obtained in Africa!
awesome!

Cathi said...

What a wonderful story behind an absolutely spectacular quilt!

Love the gorgeous photos of the lions!

Pam - said...

Wow! A perfect pattern + a collection of beautiful African fabrics = 1 gorgeous stunning quilt.

em's scrapbag said...

This is stunning. I love African fabric. I had a friend bring me some from Ghana. It is so vibrant. Thanks for sharing the story of your quilt.

Donna Becker said...

Perfect, Jackie! I've been collecting African fabric, and other ethnic fabrics, for about three years. Some of the African fabric will become borders on a picture painted by an African artist on heavy cotton. The rest will become their own smaller quilt. I love how your quilt turned out, and that there's such a terrific story behind it. It's marvelous!

Jen said...

Such a beautiful quilt! The colors are just stunning. He will LOVE this quilt! Such a great story too ;)

Elzaan said...

This is truly a special quilt. I am sure hubby will love it to pieces.

nitro rc cars said...

I have been collecting African fabric, and other ethnic fabrics also. Some of the African fabric will become borders on a picture painted by an African artist on heavy cotton. The rest will become their own smaller quilt.

Cathy said...

Jackie I've loved reading this post, how inspiring!! What a fabulous story and a beautiful, meaningful gift for your hubby. Great pics, thanks for sharing. xo

Sandy said...

Beautiful quilt and amazing story to go with it. Priceless.

Vesuviusmama said...

Wow, that is fantastic!

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