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Quilt Inspirations from Africa : A Caravan of Ideas, Patterns, Motifs, and Techniques Paperback – January 1, 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The authors are not African art historians, nor do they speak from a personal African heritage; instead, they are expert quilters and quilting instructors who have been inspired by the colors, fabrics, and artistry of African design and have set out to make quilts reflecting this inspiration. After an introduction to textile design and textile arts in Africa, the authors present a "Caravan of Quilts" 16 quilt patterns inspired by African motifs and colors. As is the norm for Quilt Digest Press, color illustrations abound, and full-size quilting designs and templates are included. A good choice for public library quilting collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Kaye England, one of America's best-known quilters and fabric designers, is currently working on a new line for South Sea Fabrics featuring African motifs to be released in conjunction with this title. Mary Elizabeth Johnson is a well-known quilt expert and author who has written several books on quilt making, including The American Quilt with Roderick Kiracofe.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 177 pages
  • Publisher: The Quilt Digest Press; 1 edition (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0844242063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0844242064
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.6 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #509,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Quilt Inspirations from Africa is a fitting tribute to the beautiful tradition of designing and creating the complex yet simple quilt designs of Africa.
The book itself is an incredible design. It warms your hands and delights your eyes as you behold the colors of African sand, sky and clay in the colors used on the cover. The graphics are clear and rich and provide a wonderful level of detail of the designs that are covered.
The use of diagrams and symbols was well executed and I was especially pleased to learn the meaning of the listed Adinkra symbols and their story. They reminded me of the symbols in the book 1000 Symbols � What shapes mean in art and myth � written by Rowena and Rupert Shepard.
As Mary has done so ably in past books, she takes us into the lives and communal folkways of the quilters, whose work she is representing to the world. And she goes one important step further � she gives us the tools and instructions needed to help perpetuate and preserve these traditions by teaching us how to design, layout and stitch them for ourselves.
Great job on an incredible book.
Philip House
Atlanta, Georgia
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Format: Paperback
This book provides excellent examples of how to adapt images and ideas from other cultures to contemporary, Western objects. The reasarch is highly credible and the applications inspired and easy to follow. It is a must have for anyone who quilts or who is interested in adapting motifs form other cultures and eras to any art form, including beading and other forms of embroidery.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great looking book. Even though the authors are not of immediate African heritage, they have successfully caputred the flavor of African quilting and provided many great photos. The entire book is a joy to own and great to work with. I have used it successfully to make my own interpretations of African designs. I felt it was worth every penny.
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Format: Paperback
I like the visual impact of the book - it is well designed and the quilts are vibrant and striking. The pattern instructions are easy to follow. But, I felt cheated when I realized that almost all the fabrics used are from England's own line of fabrics. I wish that had been clearly spelled out from the beginning - as it is in Kaffe Fassett's quilting books. Finally, England and Johnson choose to open the main text with a quote by a traveller to Africa that includes the phrase that I found particularly offensive.
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Format: Paperback
I recently had the opportunity to purchase this book - directly from Kaye at a recent quilt show. I went back to my hotel room and was mesmerized by the content of this wonderful book. The photography is grand and the text is interesting. The projects are inspiring, as well as the richness of the textiles illustrated. Included is a great bibliography. This is well worth the dollars!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very beautiful book with a number of great quilt designs that will be helpful if you are working in wax or super wax fabrics manufactured for the African marketplace or in fabrics that are manufactured with an African theme for the quilt markets. Most of the fabrics made specifically for the African market that are available here in the United States are either from Vlisco, a company in the Netherlands that has sold in the African market for over 100 years, or from China, and usually a person has to purchase a 4-6 yard piece if you purchase the fabrics over the Internet. (Some of these are available by the yard on etsy.com.) Sometimes fabrics actually manufactured in Africa can be found at quilt shows, or if there is a large African community in your area, you may be able to find sellers who bring fabric back with them from Africa. Sometimes the most beautiful fabrics are the ones actually designed and made in Africa, but they are really hard to come by. One would hope that books like this will increase the interest enough so that a demand is created for them in the United States. (There are also other fabrics out there, such as the African batiks and indigo-dyed fabrics.)

The book contains beautiful photographs of quilts; there are also eight quilt patterns, templates for applique with Adinkra symbols, and African inspired quilt designs. One thing that the book lacks is instructions for preparing imported fabrics for quilts. The wax fabrics must be washed, sometimes multiple times, with color sheets to get out excess dye so that it does not run into the different parts of the quilt, and it should be preshrunk. This is true for the wax, java and super wax fabrics from Vlisco, China and from Africa. These fabrics are lighter in weight than those manufactured for the U.S.
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Format: Paperback
Delightful book featuring gorgeous quilts with great explanations of construction and quilting techniques. I was very pleased with the information about the meaning of the African Symbols featured in the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to replace a library book that got wet, so I needed to have a perfect copy of this book. Fortunately, the book was as described. It was in fabulous condition, which is nice because it is out of print and I couldn't just order from the publisher. Thanks for a great experience!
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