by Kaye England and Elizabeth Johnson
First the Authors share their love of Africa, its textiles and its design traditions. This can only be an overview - with over fifty countries, Africa is a big subject.
Nonetheless they give us glimpses of a rich heritage: fabrics made from bark or raffia; mud cloth; Kente cloth; hand-tufted velvets; colours and patterns reserved for royalty; diverse meanings for familiar patterns (half square triangles can represent a crocodile’s back or hearthstones, depending on which part of the continent you’re in). While Africa is too hot a place for layered bed quilts, the patterns they use in traditional textile art are instantly recognisable to any quilter.
Sixteen wonderful designs inspired by the colours and motifs of Africa. The blocks are familiar, but the colours and combinations may surprise. The patterns are very easy, and include new ways to handle tricky techniques, for example have a go at the three-dimensional flying geese, it’s a revelation!
This is a wonderful book. Get it out of the library if you love or want to explore bright colours and strong design, or even just for the wonderful photography and stories of African textile traditions.