Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dubai International Quilt Show 2008

I would like to include some corrections to this posting as follows: This is detail of the cathedral window quilt named 'Mount Everest' by Nora Shafi which won 2nd prize at the Dubai International Quilt Show. It also won 'Best in Show' at the Al-Khobar Quilt Show in 2007.

This is a full shot picture of Nora's Mt. Everest Quilt. It was really impressive! She won a Bernina 440 QE machine for this quilt when it was entered in the Al-Khobar Show. You can see a better picture of it on Nora's website.

I just got back from Dubai ( yes, AGAIN!). We had the most fantastic, fun time attending the first Dubai International Quilt Show. Six members of our little quilt guild went including me and we had a great time. We met the most extraordinary people - quilters from all over! The show was hosted by the local Bernina dealer - Classic Quilts and Quilting.

This quilt was "Best of Show". It's really impressive up close. The colors and the quilting are wonderful.

This quilt was done in degradations of black to white by a Saudi quilt artist named Nora Shafi. She won 3rd prize for this quilt at the Dubai International Quilt Show. It was really nice meeting such a talented quilter. She is from Jubail in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. You can read about her at her website. 

When you stand back or when you look through the camera you see the full effect of this quilt! Neat, Huh?

This is another one of Nora Shafi's quilts which also won 1st prize in the small pieced category at the Al-Khobar Quilt Show in Saudi Arabia. It is machine quilted very beautifully with silver-colored thread.

 The colors and the applique of this quilt were amazing!

This quilt won a prize in the miniature category - very simple and beautiful!

A very pretty quilt by Svanhild Olsen-Nalum, a member of the Dubai Quilter's Guild who is originally from Norway.

This quilt was made for Quilt Pink to raise funds for Breast Cancer research.

No, this is not my quilt but I've made on just like it! It was hanging (oddly enough) next to another quilt that I have the pattern and material for and that I plan to make soon!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Shopping in the Old Souq District

Last week our little friendship quilting group and I went down to the old shopping district of Riyadh to hunt for ribbons and trims and anything else that could be useful for our quilt projects.  These are the wholesale suppliers for the rest of the more fancy shops in the newer "malls" of the city. It's dusty and dirty (bring your hand wipes!) but you never know what you're going to find down there and the prices are cheaper than even in the USA! 

Rolls and rolls of ribbon - velvet, organdy and satin - in all sorts of colors and widths. 

Sacks and strings of beads...

Colorful rayon thread...

This is what I picked up...I even managed to find fusible hemming tape from Clover (for emergencies!) The rayon thread is varigated. The black stuff is rick-rack which will come in handy for - cat's whiskers?!! Yes, I think that was it! 

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

I've been so busy lately with getting DD ready to leave (she left us Monday night, we miss her a lot already). Finally, I managed to put together the top for the valentine banner that I found on Nanette's blog. I also made a smaller version with 1" squares. So much fun! All that's missing is some valentine fabric for the borders of the double heart banner. I'd like to have a dark valentine print with red and some black like Nanette's. It's very hard to find quality cotton here in Riyadh and you can forget about finding valentines fabric! Next week I'll be going back to Dubai so I'll look in the shops there. I'll be attending the Dubai International Quilt Festival with four other members of our little quilt guild. We are SO EXCITED!!! More on that later...

I watched "Sense and Sensibility" today - how's that for a Valentine 's Day flick? I hadn't watched it for ages and I ended up shedding a few tears at the end. It won't replace the beauty of  "Pride and Prejudice" with Kiera Knightley and Mathew Macfadyen though - I think I have Mr. Darcy's  every gesture and every look in that film memorized! 

More quilty content in he next couple of days - I promise ; ) I'm still new to this blogging thing so you'll have to be patient!

I'm getting better at the picture thing though (placement of photos etc.) It took awhile to figure out on my own but it's worth it so if anyone out there is thinking of starting their own blog I would encourage you to do so. All you need is a digital camera and a high-speed internet and some time to devote to this hobby. Good luck to all! 

BTW Happy Birthday to a dear friend who's birthday is so easy to remember because it falls on Valentine's Day and she is such a sweetheart! Happy Birthday Aisha!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Little Shopping!

No trip to Dubai is complete without a little shopping! Here is DD trying on the latest head gear at the camel shop - cute, huh?

How about a smiley-faced cutie?!

Jewels anyone...?

Doesn't this couple look like they're having fun?

A nice variety of boxes!

The sheesha pipe otherwise known as hookah or nargileh. Remember the caterpillar in "Alice and Wonderland"? It makes you feel kind of dizzy when you smoke it (I'm told)!

More on Dubai...

While in Dubai we stayed at the Kempinski Hotel which is connected to the Mall of the Emirates. The most famous thing about this mall (besides the variety of stores) is that it is home to Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort where you can rent skis, boots and winter gear and ski down a miniature mountain. Imagine...outside the mall it may be 100F but inside the ski resort you have a beautiful snow covered mountain, a chair lift, and a little chalet! It's connected to the mall so people can watch through the glass windows. So unreal!!!! Dubai is an absolute fantasy land!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Dune Bashing in Dubai!

We had the greatest time in Dubai, UAE. The best thing of all was meeting DD there after she finished participating with the Cleveland Clinic team at the Arab Health Conference 2008. The ground-breaking for the Cleveland Clinic took place in Abu Dhabi on January 27th.
We spent 3 days of fun, shopping and we even went on a desert safari. Imagine..., I've been in the middle east for 23 years and I've never ventured out to the desert!

 Well, DD took care of that and arranged this outing, care of www.knighttours.co.ae, a compagny that specializes in taking people out to the desert in land rovers with expert drivers to "ski" down the dunes at high speeds. It's really unsettling at first until you realize that this driver has done it lots of times before although he tried to make us believe that this was his first time! First they let the air out of the tires so that the wheels can grip the sand better - sort of imitating the flat soft hooves of the camel - then we took off in a caravan of three cars. The sand stretched as far as the eye could see (but in fact we were just off the highway and not far from our bedouin camp ground which was next destination!) We went up and down the sand dunes practically flying off the tops and then sliding down the slopes. I really thought at first that we would, God forbid, topple over at some point but then I realized that these outings would not be going on every day if that were the case! So I decided to go with the (ebb and) flow of the sand which is BTW the most amazing color of red and is so fine and powdery! 

After about a half hour of "dune bashing" we were led to the bedouin camp (with bathrooms and running water THANK GOD) where we were allowed to ride some very friendly camels and to visit the camel farm to see the baby camels (so cute!)
After all that running around in the sand we worked up quite an appetite so we were more than ready when they invited us for a delicious meal of kebab, salad and hummus with fresh, homemade, on-the-spot bread! To finish off our little repas, DD got me a little plate of traditional sweets - oum ali and muhalibiyah.  This food tasted sooo good!
Thankyou DD for suggesting and arranging an outing that, for sure, we would never have done if left to our selves... it made her Dad and I feel the wonder of nature and God's lovely creation and it was great for our souls...

More on Dubai to follow...