"an elegant tapestry of quotations, musings, aphorisms, and autobiographical reflections" (James Atlas)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

This and that

 Don't know where last week got to! I'm sure I didn't do much, but it seemed to have filled my time. Still, a couple of highlights feature, such as the amazing Tentmakers of Cairo exhibition a friend and I visited on Saturday.
This was a one-man show, featuring Hany Mahmoud and his works. There were also pieces by other tentmakers, and other artworks of Egyptian artists. The 'quilts' were the highlight, however. I say 'quilts' with reservations, because the pieces the tentmakers craft are not quilted, only backed. Traditionally, the needleturn applique is sewn onto (tent) canvas, but these days, different background
fabrics are also used. There are about 40 shops in the Tentmakers' street in Cairo, and boy! would I like to see that! Hany said he usually sits on a cushion with his legs tucked underneath him, and he can sew for hours in this position. A typical quilt will take approx. 6 weeks to make, and at the speed these guys work, I can believe it! The applique fabric is usually a cotton homespun in solid colours, although some people also work with silk and organza. The traditional Islamic patterns do not contain flowers or creatures, and are made up with geometric shapes and Arabic writing, e.g. sayings from the Koran.
Others use floral or animal motifs, such as the lotus flower, and birds are also a favourite.
The design is drawn unto the background with a white pencil, and the top fabric is held on top of the design and then fastened with needle and thread to the background. I asked Hany how he works his points, which is something I find tricky. He showed me a way to make points, which I will try in my next applique quilt. We were certainly deeply impressed with the exhibition, and I wish I had the ready to buy one of the quilts. Instead, I came home with an Egyptian cookbook, which has some yummy recipes.

And it will soon be Halloween! I made a few Halloween cards, only one of which loaded here for whatever reason. And I'm making a small Halloween quilt for a friend. Will post a photo when it's gifted.

I look forward to having the Wednesday night group here this evening. Always nice to catch up with the ladies.

And we've booked all our flights and accommodation for our Canada trip next year, yay! quilt Canada, here we come!


  1. That exhibition looked amazing Donna, will have to get a points lesson from you. ๐Ÿ˜€ Great Halloweeen card, yay for the bookings being done!!

  2. Great Halloween card! And I am sure that your quilt will turn out gorgeous!