Le Rouvray

My sweet little granddaughter shows signs of a nomadic spirit ๐Ÿ™‚ She is a lively, fun filled girl, with strong preferences.

I’ve had a variety of squares from Le Rouvray, a quilt shop on the Left Bank, very near Notre Dame. I’d go in there, but the fabrics were always so expensive that most of my French fabrics are from the outdoor markets in Metz, Strasbourg and Colmar.

These squares have vexed me for so long. How to use them? I finally found a rosy French red that sort of tied them all together, and just sewed them all together. The quilt is a perfect size for a 2 year old, and has all kinds of French scenes on the back, left over from her Mother’s engagement quilt.

I also found some Eiffel Tower burlap and mounted in to a wood frame. Let’s get her started dreaming of Paris ๐Ÿ™‚


Paris Tower Framed


The Generous Heart

“A friend is going to Pensacola!” my Kuwaiti friend wrote to me, “What can I send you?”

My heart immediately went to my two favorite places, the supermarket and the fabric souks. Did you know it is illegal to bring in fresh green vegetables into the United States, or meat? (I brought some jerky once from South Africa and ended up with all the people who were bringing monkey brains and special Namibian melons to all their family members. Fortunately, I got a lecture, not a fine.)

So – just a little fabric, I asked. Something Kuwaiti looking, or African, colors in combinations you can’t get here in Pensacola.

“Doh!” as Homer Simpson says. I should have remembered how generous my friend is. It’s something she isn’t even aware of, she just gives, freely gives, like she thinks everyone is as generous as she is.

Her friends delivered the packet to my door. In it are yards and yards of fabrics, and as I lift them to my nose, I can smell the souks. . . I miss the souks ๐Ÿ™‚

So much fabric, such a wealth of fabric!


But even better – look at the bag she packed it in!


I asked her about it and it is a good thing I did. I had immediate thoughts of using it as a center medallion in a quilt, but she said it was designed by a famous Egyptian artist, Helmi El Touni, to raise funds for medical treatment for students and protestors injured during the Arab Spring. She also said she did not think the ink was water proof. Oooch! I needed to hear that! Now, it will not go into a quilt but maybe some kind of frame . . . I love those braids ๐Ÿ™‚

I smile every time I see these fabrics.

African Dreams

I actually finished this quilt back in July, but it is a gift, and I didn’t want to take the chance of them seeing it before it was Christmas. They dream of going to Africa. It’s been a long time in the making; I started cutting for the quilt while I was still with the Q8Quilters, in Kuwait, gathered all the fabrics and pieces in the ubiquitous plastic bin, and hauled them to Qatar and then to Pensacola for more cutting and ultimately the piecing. This is one of those quilts that was a lot of fun to work on because I loved the fabrics so much.

(It looks lumpy because my trial wall hangs over my book/storage cases, and sometimes things from behind poke out and make the quilt bulge in some places)

Many of the fabrics are genuine fabrics I have found in Africa, have been given by people who lived in Africa, or were sold to me by Africans. Some batiks I found at a little shop in Edmonds, WA, where they sell objects made by African women as a means of supporting themselves. As I have less and less genuine African fabric left, the quilt pieces I use are smaller and smaller! I hate to waste a single fragment!

I tried some different kinds of quilting on this, and while it went together quickly and was fun to put together, at the end, you have all this bias edge and it is hard to make it all match up, or at least it was for me. I love the look, and one day I may try another, but I will be thinking how to avoid having that bias on the outside edges, hmmmmmmmm. . . . . (thinking)

Flesh Tones

I have a lot less time for quilting, these months, with my husband retired and ready to play. When he worked long hours, I filled those long hours with my work – quilting. It takes focus, for me. When a quilt comes to mind, it is like a sort of engineering problem, and I am usually trying a new skill. I have a pretty clear idea where I am going but I need to work out how I am going to get there.

I have a great quilt in mind, I’m really excited about it. I am using some fabrics I bought at one of the European International Quilt Exhibits while I was living in Germany and going to European quilt exhibits :-). Different nationalities see colors, techniques and even traditional patterns very differently, so those exhibitions were always stimulating, and often even astonishing.

But I wander. The fabrics I bought are reproductions of very very old Dutch fabrics by Den Haag und Wagonmakers B.V, one including a tree of life panel, in which the fruit of the tree of life – or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – is the pomegranate, which just happens to be one of my very favorite all time fruits.

I am working out the composition, but am a little bit stuck on flesh tones. I know the tone I want, but the flesh tones look different under different lights. Can you see the difference?

I may have to tea-dye one of the fabrics just a little darker, a tiny bit browner . . . I don’t know. I am stuck. I’ve been stuck before. It will work out, but I wish it would work out sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, I have been burning the midnight oil working on little bags. But that’s another post, for when I have a photo of some of the bags I’ve made, at least the ones I have not yet given away!

Fabric Finds in the Safat Souks, Kuwait

I was so restrained! It is hard, when beautiful fabrics in Kuwait are customarily only a third to half of what we pay in the US, but I refrained. Well, I was not entirely fabric-celibate, I did buy a little, but only a little.

Then I had to go back. There was a piece I saw that was expensive, but I had never seen anything like it. It is Iranian. There were others, I could have bought meters and meters of this fun fabric, some with Arabic writing, perfect for a little summer shift or skirt . . . all colors . . . but expensive. I did not resist this meager one meter:

This, also was expensive, but I only bought a half a meter, thinking I might make a couple of those cosmetic bags in colors that sing to my soul, the colors-of-the-sea, sparkling like sun on the Gulf:

I have had such a good time here with my textile and quilting friends. This is no longer my home, but oh, I miss the joys of living in Kuwait. My friends in the Kuwait Textile Arts Association are planning a group trip to Iran, and oh, it kills me not to be going with them. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ They are going to have such a good time. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve Got a Secret . . .

but I had better tell you all about it now, because soon it is not going to be a secret anymore!

First, I apologize for not writing for such a long time. I’ve been busy – quilting, sewing, my days are full with workshops and with projects. My good friend and quilter, Coeurcountry is hosting a bazaar to benefit the Animal Friends League in Kuwait, and I am proud to be a small part of the good work she is doing. It will be held October 25th, for those of you in Kuwait, and will have really really cool things you can’t find in other places, many hand made items, a home-made bake sale, and some specialized vendors.

OK, now – the secret.

I have a friend who owns a quilt shop – and it is a quilt shop I love, clean and airy, always full of people with new ideas and inspirations – Quilting by the Bay in Panama City, Florida.

Her shop has been selected for the Better Homes and Gardens Special Quilt Shop edition, coming out soon!

And, if you are really lucky, you can order some of the fabulous batik fabric specially designed to celebrate this honor:

Isn’t it gorgeous? You can only order it from Quilting By the Bay – it’s an exclusive.

Sandy, my heart sings at your success. (We were in the same quilt guild in Germany.)

Undercover Quilts: Seattle

One of my favorite quilt shops in the world is Undercover Quilts, run by Linda Hitchcock just south of the original Pike Place Market in Seattle. She always has great huge quantities of the batiks I love, and she also sells fabrics online, even to APO addresses overseas.ย Her shop is full of fabulous original quilts and the newest time saving and energy saving quilting tools.ย ย She just got in a one-time shipment of African wax-resist fabrics from Uganda, which are available from her online siteย  Undercover Quilts.com.Take a look around her website, and then be sure to visit her e-bay site where she and her quilt-warrior husband sell lengths of very cool quilting fabrics.00undercoverquilts.jpg