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Bid on a plank quilt and raise money to help Musa's clinic in The Gambia
Quilt & Stitch Village, Uttoxeter Racecourse :: Fri 25 Apr - Sun 27 Apr
The bidding war is on already online, but why not make your bid in person and see all the quilts at their first and only exhibition.
Thank you to everyone who has been blogging, emailing and spreading the word. The response so far has been astounding, as bids continue coming in online at www.buyaplank.com for the quilts in the No 1 African Fabric Shop quilt challenge.
The auction continues in earnest this coming weekend at a great UK quilt show: the Quilt & Stitch Village in Uttoxeter.
In conjunction with the show organisers Traplet Publications and British Patchwork & Quilting magazine, we will be showing all of the quilts in a special exhibition.
Visitors to the show can bid for a quilt by sealed bid. Bidding closes at show close on Sunday.
Or, you can see the quilts online and place your bid at www.buyaplank.com
These are really fabulous quilts with a great story to tell. Some are by everyday quilters who have stretched themselves to the challenge. A few are by some very well-known and respected textile artists: names like Mary Fisher, Janice Gunner, Annette Morgan and Kate Dowty, to mention a few.
All of the money we raise will go to the local clinic in the village of Sukuta, The Gambia.
Bid for a quilt NOW online: www.buyaplank.com
Thank you textile lovers of the south of England for making our first
World Textile Day in Romsey a great day out
Wow! Our World Textile Days have already been a smash success in Wales, Scotland and Norfolk. But the amazing number of enthusiastic textile lovers that thronged the hall for our first outing in the south of England at Romsey, Hampshire on 5 April took us a bit by surprise. Amazing!
We've already had some lovely 'thank you' emails, as well as a few helpful suggestions for making a great day out even better next year.
For example, due to fire regulations, we were only able to accommodate 70 people sitting for the morning and afternoon lectures by John Gillow and Martin Conlan. To those who missed out, we can only apologise. We were truly surprised by the numbers and are aiming to find a solution for the future.
We also had a technical glitch with the morning slide presentation. Without going into detail, again we are very sorry. We were able to solve the problem for the afternoon session and now that we know the answer it won't happen again. Promise!
Thank you Meon Valley Quilters
The home-baked goodies courtesy of Meon Valley Quilters were fantastic: Bob especially liked the lemon drizzle cake!
Thank you Romsey Quilters
Thank you also to Romsey Quilters, who graciously supplied the quilt stands we needed to display our textiles.
Watch this space for details of next year's event. In the meantime, our three remaining World Textile Days in 2014 are:
- 21 Jun - Scotland
- 20 Sep - East of England
- 1 Nov - West of England
More info: www.worldtextileday.co.uk
NEW stripes & clouds batiks
It's been a busy couple of months since getting back from our winter travels to Ghana and The Gambia.
Bob has just now uploaded a whole new page of great new hand-dyed batik fabrics - mainly beautiful stripes, cloud and crack designs.
View and buy: Batik stripes & clouds fabrics
NEW scarves and kikoys on website
Our latest collections of mud cloth scarves from Mali and colourful, practical Kikoy wraps from Kenya are now online as well.
View and buy: Mud cloth scarves from Mali
View and buy: Kikoy wraps from Kenya
Contemporary prints from Akasombo Textiles Ghana
When ever we travel the dusty roads of Africa, we're on the lookout for new and exciting textiles.
Ghana has long been a hot-bed of African fabric production: both hand-dyed batik and top-quality, factory-produced African wax prints.
New ideas, new ranges and new designs hit the market every year. Our customers are very particular, so we have to be a bit careful experimenting with completely new lines. Having said that, here's one that we know you'll love!
Da Viva African prints are produced in Ghana by Akasombo Textiles Ltd right along side their long-established ATL brand of African wax prints.
These colourful designs are especially popular as a fashionable dress-making fabric in Ghana and Nigeria.
We think they are particularly suitable for patchwork and quilting, as well.
View and buy: Da Viva African prints
Proudly African inspired
'Rabbit' by Rachel Wright
We really enjoy showcasing the creative endeavours of our customers.
Not only does it show off their work to the world at large, it also shows you how you can use our African fabrics in your own work.
More inspiration: Using African Fabrics
Wow! Baskets, baskets and more baskets
Still at last year's prices!
We went a bit crazy on the basket front last month when we were with our great pals Greg and Okalah up north in Bolgatanga.
The quality, variety and colours this year made choosing our baskets harder than ever. Which means we have a house-full of fantastic new baskets.
Even better: for the moment (at least), we've been able to avoid a price increase. So, you can buy this year's baskets at our 2013 prices. Howzat?!
View and buy: Bolgatanga Fair Trade Baskets
NEW Kuba cloth and mud cloth
Sourcing these genuine textiles is getting more difficult thse days. Kuba cloth comes from The Congo and mud cloth from Mali - both regions struggling with rebellion and chaos.
We are lucky to have reliable connections, however. So at the moment we are still able to offer genuine Kuba cloth and mud cloth at suprisingly tempting prices.
On our Kuba cloth page, we now have a few rare examples of 'cut-pile' Kuba, as well as the more common 'flat weave' cloths.
View and buy: Kuba cloth
View and buy: Mud cloth
Our acclaimed book
African Wax Print: A Textile Journey
African wax print holds a very special place in Magie's heart. When she first ventured into the chaos of an African market in 1984, African wax print fabric just grabbed her. It hasn't let go since.
Not only does Magie use African wax print fabric in her work as a textile artist, she has done extensive research into its history, manufacture, design, use and importance as an icon of African style.
So here we have it: the only book devoted exclusively to African wax print fabric!
The African Fabric Shop Supports the Dream Children's Home in Kenya
Africa is very important to us and we travel there as often as we can to source new fabrics, beads and baskets. In addition to supporting small-scale craft producers, we try to give a bit more back to Africa by donating to small African charities.
On Magie's latest trip to Kenya she visited the Dream Children's Home in the Ngong Hills near Nairobi. This inspiring project provides shelter, food, clothing, medical care, counselling, education and hope for needy orphans who have nowhere else to turn.
We are now supporting the Dream Children's Home directly through our own modest donation programme. For every sale of our Safari and Skin Print fabrics and Safari Print Adventrue Packs, we donate a percentage to this very worthy cause.
Find our more: www.dreamchildrenshome-kenya-orphanage.org
And donate directly: www.betterplace.org
Using African Fabrics
Thanks to many of my loyal and creative customers, I've been collecting digital images of quilts, wallhangings, clothing, bags - you name it! - all demonstrating how you can use African fabrics in your work.
To show these images to the world, I've created a new page on the website: Using African Fabrics
I'm going to try (!) to keep this page up-to-date with new images as my customers create new and exciting things.