Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Broward Quilt Expo, African Fabric

Quilt-y stuff has been coming and going, and making me feel excited about future projects.  😀

On Friday, I drove 4½ hours south to Pembroke Pines to teach quilting. On the way, I spent about a half hour in a traffic back-up due to a serious accident (four cars, and a road-tarring tank that turned over and smashed a guard rail).

I had time to take a picture of the tollway sign:

Florida Turnpike: The Less Stressway

Not so sure I'd agree. 

But once I was in Pembroke Pines, it was simply lovely to meet-up with many South Florida MQG quilters who I've gotten to know since joining that chapter last year (during the pandemic) and being involved virtually. Several of them are friends - so I had the chance to share meals with several of them, and others popped by my workshop to say hi. I stayed two nights at a Hampton Inn.

My task was to teach an all day Saturday walking foot/free motion quilting workshop (more info on my Programs and Workshops page) in conjunction with the Broward Quilt Expo, an event at the Dodge City Center that was meant to happen in April, but was postponed due to COVID.

My "classroom" was in the convention hall, screened from vendors and the quilt show by black drapes. Joe Cunningham taught an improv workshop "next door."  Though 20 students registered for my workshop, 18 attended.

I didn't take nearly enough pictures, so I'll just have to tell you that I saw lots of enthusiasm and smiling faces as quilters were quilting. Maybe that's because, for many of us, this was the first time in more than a year that we've attend an in-person quilt show. 

Or maybe because I was so excited about teaching my favorite topic again - quilting! - that a little bit of my enthusiasm rubbed off!

No matter what the reason, the workshop was successful, and I'm very optimistic about many of these quilters becoming proficient domestic machine quilters.  

Even though I had limited time to view quilts, I made sure I stopped at the vendor booth: Kianga Art. Owner Kianga sells African fabrics that I've become interested in since hearing a prediction by Carole Lyles Shaw, that two new trends we'll be seeing in modern quilts are: 1) maximalism; and, 2) the use of African prints. 

Kianga was very helpful, explaining how African prints are made in Africa - similarly to batiks, but African designers prefer their own manufacturing process. You'll know an African print is of high quality when the design on the front and back are indistinguishable. The only way to know which side is the front is by reading the words on the selvedge. Four of the five pieces I bought are high quality.

The hand of African fabric feels stiff, but that's because of residual wax used in the printing process. Kianga recommends washing fabrics before cutting and piecing into quilts. 

Many of the print shapes and designs are symbolic of the West African language Adinkra. Kianga referred me to www.Adinkra.org to learn the meanings.

Choosing these pieces was simply based on my attraction to happy, bright colors. Fabrics were only $10 a yard!

This is the only quilt I saw in the show that was made with African prints.
2nd Place: Blocks for Aye, 59" X 63" by Mary Sample and Janice Devitto

For now, I don't know what I'm doing with my African prints. Might be that one will become a shirt for me! But I'll definitely use them. Perhaps I'll create a 2022 challenge for myself?

I'm glad I got my too-brief walk-through of the show late Saturday afternoon. 

This happened late afternoon Sunday. 

According to the post on Instagram: 
And this is what happens when a child runs thru the quilt show unsupervised
and tears down the entire display.
Yep, the child ran through the quilts, grabbed the pole, twirled, and the quilts came down in a domino effect. We couldn’t stop it.
Can you imagine?! Apparently the parents were "speechless and embarrassed." I bet that child won't be allowed to run amok at a quilt show again!

In my next blog post, I'll share some pictures of quilts in the modern category at the Broward Quilt Expo.

Book Recommendation
The People We Meet on Vacation
 by Emily Henry is all about "opposites attract." Poppy meets Alex at college in Chicago. They're surprised to learn that they're from the same Ohio city, though they attended high schools on opposite sides of town. After college, Poppy doesn't want to return to Ohio, preferring life in New York City where she home-bases while traveling everywhere as writer for a popular magazine: Rest and Relaxation. More studious Alex continues earning advanced college degrees, and enjoying small success as a writer and teacher at the high school back in their home town. But Poppy likes Alex's height, his almost-smiles, and his dry wit, and so, each year invites him on a "summer vacation. Together they experience new places while she gathers information for her next magazine article.

Though you'll probably figure out where the story is headed, it's a light-hearted read, with glimpses of humor that will at least make you smile. Linda's score: 3.6/5.0

Last week, Big Cypress Quilters celebrated five years as a chapter of Quilting Guild of The Villages (Now totaling 1100-plus members in 26 chapters). My friend, Peggy was a birthday party co-chair, and made these adorable sundae pin cushions for everyone who attended the party. Thank you Peggy! It's too. Darned. Cute! 

That's a glass sundae cup, filled with a felted wool ball that's covered with a piece of chenille blanket, topped with a crocheted chocolate circle, an artificial cherry, and pin head sprinkles. It stands about 8" tall, and makes me want a Twistee Treat ice cream every time I see it! Linda


  1. Sounds like you and your students enjoyed your getaway! Thanks for the information on African prints. I never would have guessed they were so reasonably priced. I'll have to watch out for them if I ever get a chance to be at a quilt show again, lucky you!

  2. What a wonderful time in person! Those prints are lovely. Egad- the quilt show take down was awful to see. Thanks for the info on Mac computers. That's worth considering.

  3. Can't wait to see how you use those wonderful African prints. Find it interesting that maximalism will be a trend. I've long said the more the merrier when using fabrics/prints in my quilts. Nothings really is new is it? As for the wild child destroying a quilt show . . . no words for those parents.

  4. There were a lot of smiling faces in that class of yours! Love the African prints. I have been using them in quilts for more than 20 years.

  5. Sounds like a fantastic time was had by you and your students. And really learning to finish our quilts on our sewing machines is magical! I look forward to see what you do with these beautiful African prints!

  6. There's nothing like teaching in-person and seeing participants enjoying the experiencing of gaining skills. Definitely worth a troublesome road trip to teach and meet friends.
    And wow! How to take down a quilt show!

  7. So glad you got to go to a show and teach, too. I haven't made it to a show yet, but hope to get to Paducah next spring.

  8. So doing some blog catching up. So I went to Liberia, bought some fabric and came back to check provenance. Unfortunately, HiTarget is a Chinese brand. I bought HiTarget as well because that was what was available in the market.

    I found this helpful in doing my research.


    Vlisco isn't made in Africa but is the granddame of African batiks. The price point on their website shows it as well!


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