Modern quilts have designs from Africa

On the Home Front

June 02, 1996

Though the quilters themselves may be unaware of it, contemporary African-American quilts often involve designs and techniques that have distinctively African roots.

Maude Southwell Wahlman, guest curator of a new exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art, has assembled more than 20 quilts and textiles from Africa, the Caribbean and the Southern United States. The show traces the quilts' heritage and illustrates the characteristics that distinguish them from their Anglo-American counterparts. "Signs and Symbols: African Images in African-American Quilts from the Rural South" runs from June 5 through July 28.

When summer comes

Those annuals you planted are looking great right now because of our wet, cool spring. But how are you going to keep them that way once summer finally gets here? Jon Traunfeld of the University of Maryland's Home and Garden Information Center advises:

Mulching will keep weeds down and moisture in.

Water in the morning to minimize wet foliage, which increases the chance of disease.

How often you water, of course, depends on how often it rains and how hot it is. Keep a careful watch, and when you do water, avoid watering the leaves, as much as possible, and water deeply -- 4 to 6 inches down.

"Dead head" the plants -- pinch off faded blooms.

Use a balanced soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro, but follow package directions carefully. Too much can burn the leaves or roots.

Traunfeld's most surprising advice? "Most annuals are inexpensive," he says, "So rather than buying insecticides if plants are attacked, just pull them up and put in new ones."

Leasing offers flexibility

These days people lease cars even when they can afford to buy them, so it's not surprising that they're also renting sofas, recliners, end tables, stereos and television sets.

Most rental/purchase customers aren't people with small incomes or less-than-perfect credit histories, according to ColorTyme, a national rent-to-own chain with four stores in the Baltimore area.

More than 75 percent are working people with other options who prefer the flexibility of leasing. These include families with vacation homes, people who have been relocated, college students and home-based businesses that need up-to-date equipment. Other pluses of renting: free delivery, replacement and repair services.

Elizabeth Large On the Home Front welcomes interesting tidbits of home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, On the Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or fax to (410) 783-2519.

Pub Date: 6/02/96

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