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  • WarmQuilts

Cape Buffalo

Africa had such an emotional impact on my travel-mate and me; I now have an "Africa Corner" in my studio and she has created an "African inspired" retreat space. Although our husbands didn't join us on this adventure, they have embraced our connections to this far-away continent.

GETTING STARTED: My inspiration for this project is a photo that I took of a Cape Buffalo. I am always amazed by those who expertly transform a photograph into an Art Quilt. I know that the process can be tedius. For me, it will be quite challenging as I am clearly out of my comfort zone with sketching, appliqué and whatever else I will learn along the way.

THE PROCESS: Choosing the fabrics was the fun part. Cutting the drawing into pieces, using fusible backing and piecing together took a while longer.

Assembling just the right fabrics; cutting and re-cutting went slow, but was rewarding.

As I struggled with the eyes, my husband looked at the piece and suggested using the pattern in the fabric for the eye (like the right side that was "accidentally" placed in the correct location). Problem solved and I moved on to removing the backing and ironing the fabric into permanent position. Stitching around the fabric pieces moved quickly.

COMPLETING THE PROJECT: The photos presented document the process. Ambitions were set to create a quilt for my girlfriend's retreat space, but with 42 hours into the project, and still working on the face, I scaled back to a more manageable deadline . . . completed nearly on schedule!

Have you been inspired by a photo or a piece of art to try your skills using a new technique?


Africa does that to most people, and yes, it is difficult to put feelings into words (art does a better job) to explain the deep connection to our ancestral home. I had 25 precious years there and I am so grateful. May the world grow to love and respect this deeply rich continent and to again treat her as she deserves to be treated - with love, peace and reverence. May Africa's majesty live in your creativity always, and that sketch is wonderful by the way! Much love and admiration. Céline H. 11/7/2014

I love all of your growing-up-in-Africa stories, Céline and your deep connection to your ancestral home. We only experienced a very brief encounter but it did leave me wanting more. Although I did not include the photo of my sketch on this post (because it was too light), I appreciate you acknowledging my attempt at drawing.


Once you have visited Africa, you never leave it; Africa never leaves you. Its dust, mostly red, sometimes white, often black, settles on the heart...and remains forever. One always returns - if only in spirit. ~ Quote by Don Steffen (writer), submitted by Anonymous 11/15/2014

Yes, "one always returns" - I hope to do so again. Thank you.

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