Emi and I met in Arabic classes, and oh what fun we had! She had so many official responsibilities, but we would arrange to meet up for coffee, to have an adventure now and then. Sometimes, we could even get our husbands away from their busy schedules and find a place to hideaway for some great conversation.
When Emi discovered they were leaving, it was the middle of summer, and there was no one in Doha except her and me! She, who had so graciously farewelled so many women, was left with only me to farewell her.
It was so wrong. We had a wonderful dinner together at a local restaurant they had never been to, and we gave her this quilt:
The quilt is called Sand and Sea, and has the colors of the Qatar desert and the Arabian Gulf. In the very center is a little girl, holding a Japanese flag – what serendipity that I had a piece of fabric from some Olympics or something, with that little girl! And there are Japanese cranes, which mate for life, and a chrysanthemum . . . all things Emi loved.
Every now and then you take a risk. I was with people buying sari fabric at the LuLu Hypermarche in Doha, which, surprisingly, had a very good sari selecton, from the lower prices to the exquisite. My house guests loved going to the LuLu, and several bought sari fabrics at the LuLu dealer upstairs.
One time the salesman brought out sari fabric I had never seen before and never seen anything like it before – it was a creamy white, hand loomed, with gold metallic embellishments and weaving through it. At the end, where the fanciest part of the sari is, was a temple scene, all in gold and cream except for a row of umbrellas. The unbrellas were over elephant heads.
My Indian friends have told me it is an annual festival, held around February, in India where there are both elephants and unbrellas featured at one particular and very special temple. How totally fabulous is that?
I bought the fabric, I couldn’t resist. I have used all the lengths of creamy hand-woven fabric in countless ways, and the gold/cream trip of the sides was even in the Bride’s Bag, but the end – I sandwiched it and hand quilted it, and I use it as a wall hanging in my guest room. It never fails to give me joy with it’s serene, elegant and joyful colors.
I love the hatchet block, and use it it a variety of quilts. This was for a new baby girl.
Sometimes you need to do a baby quilt in a hurry. Fortunately, I had some nice fabric with teddy bears on it, and was able to put this one together quickly.
This quilt began in a Mystery Night at Ramstein AFB, taught in 2002 (?) by Kimberly Einmo before her first book was published. Oh! We had so much fun, but making zillions of half square triangles was a chore.
The top went together quickly, but I had a photograph of a tombstone from when we visited Ireland, and I wanted to use it as a quilting motif in the white centers. I also found a Celtic border I liked, but it was very small, and I had to enlarge it over and over to get it to the proper size for my border.
The hand quilting took forever, partially because the white fabric was sort of rubbery, and hand quilting through it was tough. Aaarrgh! I didn’t finish hand quilting until I was back in the Kaiserslautern area for an emergency surgery, and had nothing to do by wait for my return flight to Doha and quilt!
This is my beautiful daughter-in-law who was teaching English in France, and perfecting her French at the same time. I made her a Paris quilt with some really cool fabric I found that had cafe scenes and Eiffel towers on it.
The background fabric is ecru on ecru, an old map of Paris. The whole quilt was so much fun.
This is inspired by a quilting pattern by Evelyn Sloppy, but I wanted a more square star, so I re-drafted it on 16″ square graph paper to get the resulting (approx) 12″ square. The trick is, while drafting, to be sure the points cross 1/4 inch BEFORE the unfinished block edge, so that when stitched together, all the points will be there.
After drafting the star, you copy it on freezer paper and iron it to the top of a stack of 13 darks and 12 lights, and slash. After slashing, you shift pieces, so that the background of every star is composed of five different fabrics, and the star itself is composed of 6 different fabrics.
Since I was going to so much trouble anyway, I used double the lights and double the darks, and made a Dancing Star quilt first for my sister, with light background and dark stars. A couple years later I got around to making up the one for myself, but it won a judges commendation in a local quilt show, so I am happy.
Yusef is Ala’s twin brother, whose name means Joseph in English. There was a secret in this quilt – I machine quilted the name of Yusef’s parents, and all his 11 sisters and brothers in the white ribbons, in white thread. I told the family there was a secret, but I wouldn’t tell them what it was. Oh what fun!
The pattern in ribbon star / ribbon friendship star (oh, it has a lot of other names!) and is a very very simple friendship star block with half square triangle corners, so that the light fabric forms the ribbons. Very traditional block. I have made this quilt countless times.
Ala means “all good things”, my Arabic speaking friends tell me, but when I looked it up, the meaning was grace, a name I dearly love. This was a baby quilt for Ala. December 2004