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Magie Relph Quilt Gallery

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.

Magie Relph

Gilly Gilly to Neneh's

In December 2017 we spent a couple of days making batik with one of our cherished makers - Neneh Jallow in The Gambia.

Under Neneh's patient supervision, Magie made this batik painting of a gilly gilly - that's a very crowded shared minibus like the ones we ram ourselves into to get around.

When we got home, Magie added some quilting and embellishments.

Thanks, Neneh - for teaching us so much.

View and buy: Neneh's handpainted batiks

Gilly Gilly to Neneh's © Magie Relph

African Fabric Shop Batik

Even Bob got into the act painting batik with Neneh.

Bob loves maps, so the basic idea was obvious.

The names and companies on the quilt are our wonderful suppliers. Without them, there wouldn't be an African Fabric Shop.

Here's his effort - quilted and finished off by Magie, of course.

African Fabric Shop Batik © Robert Irwin

Sabine's Quilt

Magie hadn't mada a full-size bed quilt for a while. So when Bob's sister-in-law Sabine was here in the spring, Magie asked Bob, 'Do you feel like doing some machine piecing?'

Magie cut out over 700 squares from scraps of African wax print fabric. Bob fired up Magie's old Bernina - the Quilters' Edition  153 is strictly off limits - and got stitching.

Meanwhile, Magie cut and pieced the back from our range of Shwe Shwe Colours fabric from South Africa.

Magie did the layering and machine quilting.

We've now delivered this very pleasing quilt to Sabine and Doug in Nova Scotia and it looks great there.

Enjoy, Sabine!

Sabine's Quilt © Magie Relph & Robert Irwin

Left: quilt top. Right: quilt back.

Magie's Postcard Collection

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.

Basket Bob

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.

Basket Bob © Magie Relph

Postcard for Mike: Club Beer Wagon

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.

Postcard for Mike: Club Beer Wagon © Magie Relph

Postcard from Grand Bassam

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.

Postcard from Grand Basssam © Magie Relph
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