Pink is Complicated

Same song, different year – I don’t have the hours to quilt that I once had. Retired husband. Trips to exotic lands. Grandchildren. My quilting time is eaten away.

I remember how with every new move there was, at the beginning,  a time of great loneliness, and quilting was my solace and my therapy. When I start to bemoan my lack of productivity, I also have to a ask myself if I want to go back to a life where I move often, and have to start over making new friends?

I miss the nomadic life. I miss the challenges, the demands for new ways of thinking, new ways to approach problems. And also, I don’t miss it. I don’t miss saying goodbyes to people I really love,  I don’t miss the selecting out and giving away and packing up, really hard physical labor.

A new baby girl is coming, and I wanted to do a quilt for her Mama, also starting a new life in Pensacola. I think about being a woman; some times I am more hopeful than other times. I wish this baby to have more options, more equality, and a strong spirit to face the challenges of being a woman. I chose a wonderful swirly batik pink, with a range of pink, from purples to pale, and then put in cross hatches in a very light pink and a very subtle purple. It’s complicated. Just like we are 🙂

 

Advertisements

Jonathan’s Star

P1110799.jpg

 

My first quilt for 2016; I’ve been working on it sporadically since October. With my husband retired and after-school care for our grandson, I just don’t have the uninterrupted time to focus that I used to have 🙂  I’m not complaining, and at the same time, it is very satisfying to be able to complete a quilt from time to time.

I am using up a bunch of half square triangles that I cut and sewed to make friendship quilts. I’ve had them ummm. . . maybe seven years now, and it’s time to use things up or pass them along. I got bored with the friendship stars and did one of the eight sided stars in the center, just for fun and to practice the principles of medallion quilts, i.e. that borders must relate to the center.

Bag Lady

In Kuwait, a wonderful generous lady taught us how to make small bags. It takes several steps, but the results are wonderful.

It’s coming up on Fall, when all our charity quilts are due for this year’s project, when bazaars need donations, and, of course, Christmas is also coming. I’ve been busy with bags, and this is the first round completed – I have more, many more, in the works:

00FirstRoundBags

00ParisBagsBlue

00ParisBagsStreetScene

These are so handy – make-up, medications, chargers, snacks – each in its own travel bag. Woo HOOOOO!

Colors of Kuwait: A Quilt Series

It all started with a conversation about a baby quilt. My sweet young Kuwait friend is having a baby, and I asked her what she thought about a quilt in ‘the colors of Kuwait’. “What colors of Kuwait?” she responded. “When I think of Kuwait, I think of black and white.”

That got me started. I found Kuwait rich in color. I never knew the desert could be so flat, and that in the beige-y-ness, there could be so many variations. All the flat white-to-beige-to-grey and a thousand variations, and with such a neutral background, any color at all made a splash. I thought of how very green a palm tree looked against the flat beige hard-packed soil, how a turquoise dome stood out; I thought of the colors in the souks, and oh, the colors of the Arabian Gulf.

I knew exactly how I wanted to proceed for her baby, but I also thought of her, a reader, a Kuwaiti now living in a cold country. I thought she also needed a quilt, a quilt big enough to wrap her and her two little boys as they read stories on a cold winter’s day.

I decided to do another Wild Stars series, use the best Kuwait colored blocks for her new baby and use the leftover blocks for a children’s charity my small quilting group has identified for the coming year.

Note to self: No. No, you cannot cut through 25 layers of cloth. You were mistaken. You can cut through 13, but not 25. So, good! Learned a lesson right off the top!

This time, by piecing every square exactly the same way, they all came out around 15 1/2 inches. I had to add a thin strip to two squares, but out of 25, that’s not bad.

Loved the color combinations, how they came together, and loved them so much I used the same fabrics for my friend’s quilt, with a little of the Gulf thrown in. This is the quilt for my friend, a Kaleidoscope of Kuwait colors, which came out to be about 65″ x 65″:

00ColorsOfKuwait

For her new son, Colors of Kuwait in wild stars:
00ColorsOfKuwaitAziz

Squares made with leftover blocks:
00ColorsOfKuwaitSquare1

00ColorsOfKuwaitSquare2

00ColorsOfKuwaitSquare3

Last quilt, a rectangle, still 32″ x 46:
00ColorsOfKuwaitRectangle

Umm Al Tawaman (Mother of Twins)

Even as I write, my niece is in labor, about to give birth to TWINS. We are all wild and dancing for joy! I reminded her she will now have to use the dual form in Arabic, and she groaned. Such are the jokes we tell one another in my family.

Baby girl’s quilt is called Desert Rose:

00TwinGirlQuilt

Baby boy’s is called Interconnected:

00TwinBoyQuilt

Each quilt is about 54″ square

Gift Kaleidoscope in Sea Colors

I am in the process of finishing up a number of quilts – not all, I still have a disgraceful number of quilts to be finished, many of which have been waiting more than ten years – oh no!

I have discovered I really love the look when the four corners that meet are all one color, forming one block; to me, it helps the flow into that swirling, interconnecting flow of sort-of-circles.

00Jan2013Kaleidoscope

This isn’t really finished, but I wanted to get it this far so I would have something for our upcoming “quiet day” for our bee. No class, no business, just handwork, chatting and having fun. 🙂

When I make a sea-color kaleidoscope, I often make double – or more – the blocks I need. Now I am using up some of those unused blocks to make up some gift quilts – you know, you never know when you are going to need to give away a quilt. I have a pretty good idea who this one is for . . .

Kuwait Map Quilt

00KuwaitQuilt

There is a new Kuwait baby quickly approaching his birth date, and a baby for which a very special quilt needed to be made. His parents were instrumental in our having had such a good time in Kuwait. We were introduced by one of my Qatari friends who had spent time in Kuwait, and she was right – we were meant to be friends.

The first night we met, we started talking and never stopped. We explored restaurants together, strolled through the souks, and heard all kinds of stories of old Kuwait. Our time with them was – and is – priceless.

I like for a baby quilt to have legs – useful as a crawl pad, useful as a cover to sleep under, washable, washable, washable and in the end, able to be hung on the wall of an otherwish anonymous college dorm room. This one will do the trick, plus having lots and lots of patterns to keep a baby fascinated as he learns how to focus his eyes 🙂

I’d forgotten how much work a map quilt can be in the preparation stages. This relatively small quilt (60in x 60 inches until I washed it and it shrank about 2 inches in both directions; I’ve never had that happen before! It was noticeable!) has 900 pieces, and those 900 pieces had to include sea pieces, Kuwait pieces and Saudi and Iraq desert pieces (pale, pale, pale) Of course, there had to be a lot of variety.

00TrayKuwaitColors

00TrayOfSeaColors

Seeking, planning and cutting took longer than assembly. The land portions are quilted in the ditch, a grid, and the Arabian Gulf segments have waves quilted in thin silver strands, so they glint like the sunlight on the Arabian Sea.

There are many many blocks made from fabric finds from the Kuwait souks, also a few with Kuwait memories. In Arabic, there are “sun” words and “moon words” so I found a sun and a moon. A family nearby us had a private zoo where, from time to time, a large cat would escape and put my village in a panic until it was recovered . . . so there is a large cat. In the end, this was one of the most fun and rewarding quilts I have made.

00SpecialBlocks