Most of my quilts are rooted in some way in Africa - either in design, inspiration, fabrics, or all three. I'll try to rotate new pieces through the gallery from time to time. I hope you enjoy my work and find it inspiring.
In 2016 on our epic three-month trip across West Africa, we brought together two very special friends: Trish Graham - an astounding embroiderer who lived in Ghana for many years - and Musa Jaiteh - who dyes traditional kola nut and indigo fabrics in The Gambia.
One of the cotton fabrics Musa can buy for his work is the 'Jumping Fish' brand from China. Each bolt of fabric is printed with the company logo and and some text.
When Trish saw it, she asked Musa for the printed end of the bolt and started embroidering the logo with coloured threads. She sent the panel to Magie as a present.
Eventually in 2018 Magie combined Trish’s embroidered panel with some of Musa’s hand-dyed indigo fabrics.
Wallhanging. Hand embroidered, machine pieced and machine quilted.
42 x 73 cm
View and buy: Musa's hand-dyed indigo fabrics
Magie took inspiration from the Trish’s original embroidered panel to create a new piece: 'Another Jumping Fish'.
Way back in 2003 she’d asked Musa to over-dye the printed end of a bolt of fabric with kola nut and indigo. Where did it end up? In her stash, of course.
In 2019 she dug out that piece, added a pieced border of hand-dyed batiks, then machine-quilted the logo and printing. Presto: Another Jumping Fish.
Wallhanging. Machine pieced and hand quilted.
42 x 73 cm
On the road in Africa there's plenty of time to kill: waiting for transport, waiting on borders, that sort of thing. Magie has taken to filling the time by handstitching small 'postcard' quilts as interpretations and reflections on the journey.
As quickly as you buy up our fantastic Bolga baskets, Bob has to get down to reshaping more.
Here he is on a lovely day in our garden looking out at the Pennines hanging a batch of reshaped baskets to dry in our Yorkshire sunshine.
For a few recent years when we were in Accra we stayed with our good pals Tracy and Mike. Tracy's a quilter, of course, and loves textiles. Mike's an engineer and kept the beer flowing at the Club brewery.
Alas, they're back in the UK now, so we'll miss them in Accra.
As a small 'thank you', Magie made this Postcard for Mike. The wheels are Club beer caps and the back of the van is fashioned from Club beer labels.
'Cheers,' to Tracy and Mike.
We're not beach people: too bright, too hot, too boring.
However, nearing the end of our three-month textile junket across West Africa we got stuck getting visas in sprawling, chaotic, expensve, cosmopolitan Abidjan. We needed some peace and quiet, so headed up the coast a bit to a sleepy resort town called Grand Bassam.
Once the capital of French West Africa, now a crumbling and fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site, Grand Bassam offers an endless beach, crashing and dangerous surf, great sea food and the National Costume Museum of Côte d'Ivoire.
We loved it.