Saturday, February 10, 2007

Nobonie and me

This is an image of some of the BACK of my new large quilt that I am calling Protection Blanket for Africa. I am very excited about the central embroidery in this construction as it is one of the ones I purchased from African Threads, Valerie Hearder's project for Stephen Lewis' grandmother to grandmother campaign. I asked Valerie to find out more information about the artist and what the imagery meant and this is what Jackie Downs, the co-ordinator of Keiskamma art projects in Africa wrote back in an email.

"The cow sampler you asked about: This was made when we were focusing a lot of our work on cows. In these pieces we encouraged the embroiderer or beader to draw a picture of their own cow. Cows are the wealth of the Xhosa nation and in customary Xhosa culture the cows are a mans responsibility. In our project it is the women who are taking responsibility for their families and lives so through needlework they are working with the cows.
The name of the artist appears on the top in this case Nobonile (at least it looks like Nobonile), she is from the village Bell which is about 15 km from Hamburg. The name of the cow is at the bottom, Flepu. My friend Noseti says it is just a name but probably has significance to the family"
As you can see, this is a very strong embroidery and I am in love with it. I hope that the artist Nobonie, doesn't mind that I've combined our art work in this way. Thanks Nobonie.


  1. I stumbled upon your blog and found it interesting. My sister lived on Manitoulin many years ago and I believe she learned quilting there as well. She still quilts and in fact teaches basic quilting. Unfortunately, she does not feel confidant enough to create on her own for some reason. I do love the medium that quilts have become for artistic expression. I'm afraid I don't have the patience to quilt myself though. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Jeannie, I went to your blog and saw the photos of your children. You are right to say they are attractive. Gorgeous.

  3. Hello Judy, I also purchased one of these embroidered pieces, and absolutely love it. I will probably frame and hang it. I like, though, your idea of incorporating it into a quilted piece of your own. Also, it's hard to remember now, but I believe I first learned of African Threads from your web page earlier this year. Thanks!


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx