Showcasing Beautiful Animal Fabrics

Posted by on 18 February 2019 | 2 Comments

A good number of years ago, at least 15 I'd say and probably closer to 20, I joined a New Zealand online quilting group. While being a member of this group (and I still am) back then we started a secret angel program. For the program, each person was given another's name, address and a clue to some of the things they liked, but that person did not know who had their details. The secret angel would send a small package each month but they never revealed who they were until the very end. Some guessed beforehand, but most didn't from memory. It was a lot of fun.

During the time I was a secret angel, I made blocks for a cot quilt using an African animal theme. Each month I would send the blocks and at the same time, I made a set of blocks for myself. Today I found my unfinished project and fortunately some of the fabrics that I used in the quilt. Both had been stashed away in a box in my daughter's garage all this time.

wild animal quilt small

african quilt fabrics

The design was original, but the giraffe blocks on the sides were from a book I had - sorry I cannot remember what that was, all I remember is that it had lots of wonderful pieced animals. If anyone recognizes it, please let me know.

I decided this quilt would make a wonderful single bed quilt for my grandson however it isn't large enough as is (only 28" square) so I will need to look at ways to make it bigger. I'll need to increase it to something around 56" x 80".

I set to and pulled out some additional fabrics from my stash that I thought might help as I certainly do not have enough of the originals.

african quilt extra fabrics

There are small star blocks already in the quilt so perhaps some larger ones around the outside could work. I could also add more flying geese. With these thoughts in mind, I opened up EQ8 (quilt software program) and imported the original quilt. Then I added borders around it while referring to the fabric amounts I would be able to use.

After saving that as an image, I loaded the design into GIMP, a raster graphic editor (otherwise known as a photo editor) and added various elements by cutting them from the original quilt photo. 

african quilt extension

As you can see, I also cut out a piece of big cat fabric (from a photo) and put that into the borders at top and bottom. Here's a closer look at that fabric.

big cats fabric

Do you know how much fun this is to create a virtual quilt this way? and it's really helpful to get a look at how the quilt might be before I start cutting up fabrics for real. 

This is one idea I could use to make a larger quilt. I may add more star blocks and some sashing strips in between or I could possibly add more of the corner block patches around that outer border too. Lots more playing for sure! I'd love to hear any thoughts you may have so drop me a note below in the comments.

By the way, GIMP is one of the software programs I teach in my class "Free Software for Quilters". The software is free to download and use but is quite detailed and sophisticated that's why I decided the workshop would be helpful for quilters who wanted to create their own quilts. You can find out more about it here: Free Software for Quilters

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  • Hi Molly, yes there are plans to do this, actually I have even made a start.... it's on my list to be complete this year. It's just finding enough time!

    Posted by Ruth, 19/02/2019 5:00pm (1 year ago)

  • At one time you mentioned a "Free Software for Quilters Part 2" which would expand on the original lessons. Are there any more plans to do this?

    Posted by Molly E Flowers, 19/02/2019 4:55pm (1 year ago)

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