TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

TAFA Raffle: Ralli Quilts, Kuba Cloths and More!!!

TAFA is holding its first public event on April 27-30 during the Quilt Show.  See the TAFA Market page for details.  We have two major goals: to introduce our members to the public and to raise money for our new website.

Not coming to Paducah? 
You can join us in the action through the TAFA  Raffle!


The products below are my contribution to the new website.  Each image is followed by a Pay Pal button and a description of the item.  The button is associated to the item with cyber raffle tickets values.  You can buy as many tickets as you want to.  As the payments come in, the information will be transferred to an excel file.  Each entry will be printed on to a sticker which will be attached to a card, the same as the ones which will be available for sale during the show.

These items are currently listed on my Etsy shop and will be removed from the shop when the first raffle ticket is purchased for that item.  Ticket prices are based on 10% of the retail value of the piece.  Click on the photos to see larger images.

  • Deadline for Online Ticket Purchases:  Midnight (Central Time, USA), April 29th.
  • Drawing:   6PM (Central Time, USA), April 30th at the TAFA Market.
  • Notification:  If the winner is not present at the drawing an email will be sent out later that night.  The same email will be used that was used with the Pay Pal payment.
  • Shipping:  Winner pays for the shipping.  Billing will happen when we have the winner and location.  Items will be shipped on May 1st via the US Postal Service, priority mail.

Check out:  You can check out at the bottom of the page or right here:

    Doggie Love by Rayela Art

    Retail Value:  $340
    Raffle Ticket Price:  $34

    Purchase Ticket for Doggie Love:

    I made this vessel using a technique called Candy Wrapper Weaving.  Instead of candy wrappers, I use the outer layer of dog food bags.  While I was working on this piece last year, I went through some awful times with my dogs, ultimately losing two of them (out of four).  The full story is on my blog.  Because of that, this is a very special piece to me.

    Dimensions: 6.5" diameter x 16.5" high (including handle), handle 2" wide
    Metric: 16.5 cm diameter x 43.5 cm high; handle 5 cm wide

    This technique involves folding small rectangles of paper several times, interlocking them together into strips and then sewing them together.  I have documented the process in depth on my blog and this link will take you to related posts.

    Prairie Point Centerpiece, "Golden Flower", by Rayela Art

    Retail Value:  $150
    Raffle Ticket Price:  $15

    Purchase Ticket for Golden Flower:

    As you can see, I like texture and making lots of little pieces come together into a whole.  My interest in prairie points was stimulated by a vintage piece that I found in a folk art market many years ago.  Read all about Prairie Point Madness in my blog to see the vintage inspiration and subsequent experiments.  Oh, and take a look at this hat, too!

    I used different shades of lightweight linens. Many of them have a light sheen and some texture, which captures light in an interesting way. The center is a large yo-yo made from an Andover piece of cotton fabric. The back is lined with a thick upholstery floral fabric.

    The centerpiece is 17" in diameter. It took me 10 hours of patience to make this piece.
    This piece can be hand washed with care.

    Vintage Silk Sari

    Retail Value:  $160
    Raffle Ticket Price:  $16

    Purchase Ticket for Vintage Silk Sari:

    Dimensions:  184" long x 43" wide (over 5 yards!)
    Metric: 467 x 109 centimeters.

    Silk sari from India with metallic thread.

    This piece has a rich, luscious feel to it. It does have one large tear in it which is hard to see in these photos.  Many quilters and fiber artists buy these old saris to incorporate them into new projects of their own. Although there are some fragile areas in this one, I believe most of it is still very strong. I pulled on it in several places to test it and it held.

    As the sari is so long, I was not able to photograph it in one long piece, so it is folded and hopefully I have captured some of its beauty. It was hard to get the color to match the original, but imagine a true purple, as in a grape or eggplant and that will be close. The thread looks like brass.

    There is enough yardage here for many projects: garments, pillows, curtains... Some people use old saris as window dressing, draping them over and around a window. This fabric would be gorgeous incorporated into a quilt, but because of its fragility, test areas for strength before using in a piece that would need washing.

    Estimated age is 20-30 years.

    Ralli Quilt #94

    Retail Value:  $135
    Raffle Ticket Price:  $13.50

    Purchase Ticket for Vintage Ralli Quilt #94:

    Dimensions: 78" long x 50" wide
    Metric: 198 x 127 cm

    I fell in love with ralli quilts several years ago and was fortunate to buy quite a few through a Pakistani dealer who had prices that I could afford.  They are becoming quite collectible.  I love the imperfections and faded fabrics, crooked lines and color combinations.  You can read about them on my blog.

    Specifics on this piece:
    I can't tell what the fabrics in this quilt are, maybe some sort of polyester. It feels very soft and satiny to the touch. The quilt is in good condition, but has worn through in several small spots. I love the retro look with the vintage patterns.

    The quilt appears to be constructed completely by hand. I didn't see any evidence of machine sewing. The quilt was musty and smelly, quite dirty, so I machine washed it and it cleaned up beautifully.

    Estimated age: 1970's

    Ralli Quilt #95

    Retail Value:  $140
    Raffle Ticket Price:  $14

    Purchase Ticket for Vintage Ralli Quilt #95:

    Dimensions: 82" long x 59" wide
    Metric: 208.5 x 150 cm

    Specifics on this piece:

    The whole quilt is cotton. Top fabrics were dyed and the back was hand stamped. The dyes used are not fast, so they appear to be veggie, but most likely were not. The quilt is in good condition, with some loose threads. The quilt appears to be constructed completely by hand. I didn't see any evidence of machine sewing. The quilt was musty and smelly, quite dirty, so I machine washed it and it cleaned up beautifully.

    Estimated age:

    Vintage Cowrie Shell Kuba Hat

    Retail Value:  $180
    Raffle Ticket Price:  $18

    Purchase Ticket for Vintage Kuba Hat:

    I have bought Kuba cloths from an African trader friend for years. He might be coming as a vendor to our TAFA Market (!!!!).  The last time he came through, I couldn't resist this Kuba hat. I have a book on African art and there are a couple of pictures there showing men wearing similar hats. They perch on the top of their heads and are used for ceremonial occasions. The Kuba people live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Zaire, and have a King who has held his throne since 1969.

    Wikipedia has some info on their social structure and their art:
    I also have posts on my blog about Kuba cloths.

    This hat is probably from the 1950's. Fabric covers a support structure, woven like a basket and then the cowrie shells were sewn through the basket and back again from the back. There is a dark patina showing that the hat was worn.

    An ornate candle stick holder works well to display the hat. It's in great shape and will look great in any environment that welcomes tribal art!

    Dimensions:  6.5" diameter, 5" high
    Metric:  16.5 cm diameter, 12 cm high

    Kuba Cloth #2

    Retail Value:  $125
    Raffle Ticket Price:  $12.50

    Purchase Ticket for Vintage Kuba Cloth #2:

    Dimensions: 27.5" x 22"
    Metric: 70 x 56 cm

    There are several qualities of kuba cloth on the market. This is of the highest quality and actually becoming more difficult to find. It's a big one, shows some wear, but is still in excellent shape.

    The technique of making Kuba cloth is similar to that of hand knotting carpets or weaving a kilim. Instead of using wool, the weavers use raffia palm.

    Kuba cloths can be hand-washed with a mild soap. They can be made into pillows, bags, or incorporated into other sewn projects. They look great used as an accent or framed on rice paper or other natural paper or fabric as a backing.

    The following ethnographic description is taken from The African
    Conservancy, a non-profit which seems to be a great organization.

    Kuba Cloth: Playing with Geometry
    Kuba cloth, the magnificent embroidered and appliqué fabric of the Kuba people, is the best-known example of the ancient African tradition of raffia cloth weaving.

    A Trend-Setting Art Form
    Weaving, embroidery, appliqué; and other textile techniques have long been staples of African artistry. In the past, European nobility displayed raffia cloth in curio cabinets as prime examples of African artistry. More recently, the masterful abstract patterning displayed in Kuba cloth served as a source of inspiration to artists such as Klee, Picasso, and Braque. Matisse was such a fan that he displayed pieces of his extensive Kuba cloth collection on the walls of his studio.

    Symbols in the After-Life
    The ceremonial occasions and court rituals that embroidered raffia cloth were originally produced for are rare events today.The survival of raffia weaving and embroidery techniques is tied to the importance these cloths play in today's funeral celebrations. The Kuba believe that high quality, correctly patterned raffia dress is key to being recognized by clan ancestors in the land of the dead, so families accumulate the cloths and pass them down through the generations.

    Creating Kuba Cloth
    The basic unit of Kuba weaving is the undecorated square of plain raffia cloth, the mbal, woven by men on an upright single-heddle loom. Although men sometimes decorate the cloth they weave, only women produce the most laborious and prestigious type of cloth decoration, cut-pile embroidery.

    It takes about a month of regular work for a woman to complete a small square of kuba embroidery using a laborious technique that includes dying, detailed needlework and clipping individual tufts. Except for novices, designs are created as the crafter proceeds, usually elaborating a new combination from the more than 200 familiar patterns known designs, most which are identified by name. The same patterns are used on other Kuba art forms, including wood sculpture, metalworking, mat making, and women's body scarification.
    Although the regular interlacing on the background cloth promotes a regular and symmetrical design, Kuba artists favor an improvisational, fluid effect that plays with deliberate asymmetries and pattern variation, creating the exquisite workmanship that distinguishes this native art form.

    Kuba Cloth #3

    Retail Value:  $125
    Raffle Ticket Price:  $12.50

    Purchase Ticket for Vintage Kuba Cloth #3:

    Dimensions: 28" x 29"
    Metric: 71 x 74 cm

    The description for this piece is basically the same as the one above, except that #2 has plush areas of "velvet" raffia where this one is a flat weave with no raised texture.

    5 Pairs Assorted Mukluks from Afghanistan

    Retail Value:  $87.50
    Raffle Ticket Price:  $8.75

    Purchase Ticket for 5 Pairs of Mukluks:

    I used to sell these on eBay but they are not allowed on Etsy as they are not vintage, so they have been kind of taking up room in my house.  I admit openly that they are also kind of the bottom of the barrel as far as quality is concerned.  Made from recycled sweaters by refugees in Pakistan, some could have been knit with a bit more care.  Materials are also a mix, mostly a cotton/poly blend.  I wear them all the time in the winter and for the price, it's still a great bargain.

    You will get five assorted pairs in various sizes (most are pretty big) similar to the ones in the photo.  They make great Christmas presents and dancers also like to use them in their warm-ups.

    If more than 20 tickets of the mukluks are sold, I will add a second winner as I have at least 10 pairs left.


    That's it!  
    Here is your check out button:


    If I have time to photograph more things, I may add some more later on, so do check back.
    Please share this raffle with your friends and help make our TAFA Market a successful event. 


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