Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's a Boy

My step-daughter gave birth to her first child a few weeks ago. I made a baby quilt for the first two grandchildren, so I continued that tradition by creating an adinkra quilt for the new baby. I stamped the adinkra symbols on the quilt top two months ago, but as I am so proficient at procrastinating, I waited until the last minute to actually sew it together.

Adinkra cloth is particularly suited for celebrating a new life. Each cloth carries its own message, based on the combination of symbols used. When I create a baby quilt, I usually choose symbols to reflect the qualities I wish for the newborn as they make their way through life. For this quilt, I chose symbols to represent:

Learning from the past

Strength and humility

Ability to adapt to change

Safety and security




Ability to withstand hardships

Because the fabric came out of the dyebath with such a defined grid, I chose not to hand stamp gridlines, as is traditional. Instead, I let the dye pattern be the grid to contain the adinkra symbols. My sewing machine was acting up, so I decided to hand-tie it instead of quilting. I used pearl cotton and made small vertical stitches on the front, which I tied in back. I love the combination of traditional techniques from different cultures paired with a contemporary approach to design. I guess the quilt was a success, because it received the studio cats' seal of approval. (But so would anything that is soft and cuddly.) Time now to remove all the cat hair and send it off to our new grandson.

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