Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fabric journal covers

I had fun making this fabric journal cover from the February 2008 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting magazine that E lent to me. Thank's E! It's a nice short project - took me about 2 hours to pick out the material and put it together. At first I wasn't sure about the instructions but then I read them slowly and went step by step. The instructions kinda confused me because I've seen versions of this on the internet and they used a different method. You can check out Lara's blog for another way to make these covers, in fact, I might try Lara's so that I can compare the two methods.

It's my quilting buddy's birthday soon so this will make a nice present, don't you think? No peeking Jean!!!!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Birthday Message for Safia!

Happy birthday dear daughter! Twenty-four years ago on March 24th God blessed us, so this is your lucky year! You are our sunshine, and our life (hayatee)! Have a wonderful day and we will see you soon!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

More Good Things from the Garden...

Can you guess what this is? Nnnooooo.... it's not a lemon on steroids!!!!

You are close, though. It's a fruit related to the lemon family which is cultivated in gardens all over the Middle East. These trees are common in Syria where they are still found in traditional Damascean interior gardens.

Here's how it compares to an ordinary lemon! Kind of bumpy, eh? Well, there's not much juice in these things but the peel is very thick and, you guessed it, it's used to make a sort of marmelade.

The peel is trimmed off and boiled in a concentrated sugar mixture on a low heat so that it becomes this candied, lemon-type peel which can be eaten at breakfast or for dessert sometimes. My dear Syrian MIL used to make it and she called it 'kabbad' in arabic.

This is just to show you my poor, sun-baked, outdoor thermometer which is registering about 94F. Not too bad since it's noontime here and don't forget it's a DRY heat! So I'll wait 'til July to complain!!!

I'll leave you with a few more hibiscus flowers.

Aren't these colors pretty?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Have a peek...!

Hi fellow quilters! Just some quick peeks about what I'm working on now... I finished the machine quilting part on this little baby quilt:

Now, I have to finish...

the hand applique!

No more UFO's (yah, right!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tour Of Our Garden

I've decided to give you all a little tour of my garden in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The name 'Riyadh' comes from the arabic word for garden or 'rawdah'. When I first came to Riyadh 23 years ago I didn't see the connection but then I realised that there is an oasis here and lots of date palm groves in and outside the city but (mainly outside the city).

This is a picture of the door to our house or 'villa' as everyone refers to houses here. Over the door there is an overhang and when we first moved in I planted some indian jasmine which grew over the top and hangs down the sides. Indian jasmine has a pink flower and it has the most beautiful fragrance especially when the weather cools off at night. Whenever I come home at night and I open the front gate I am greeted with its wonderful perfume. The yard around everyone's 'villa' is entirely enclosed by high walls which give complete privacy and security.

This colorful bush is bougainvillia. It grows like a weed here and usually it is used to climb up and over the outside walls. The arabic name for it is 'majnouneh' which means 'crazy' - I guess because it grows like 'crazy'!

Petunias in pots! This simple flower is one of my favorites - when they are grouped together they have the sweetest smell.

This is part of the backyard. You can see that we don't let the tree get too tall! It's better that way as I think they are a miniature variety. The wonderful thing about these trees is that they stay this magnificent green all year long!

The purple flower is a climbing vine that grows and covers the outside walls. It's one of DH's favorites - he saw it at a neighbor's house and decided that it would grow equally well here and he was right! I'm not sure, but I think it's a type of morningglory?

Hibiscus make me think of Hawaii but actually many different varieties and colors grow here.

Another little grouping of flowering plants. I let the gardener choose these - not bad, eh?

I leave you with a group of purple pansies...alors, pense à moi, d'accord!!?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Challenge contest winners!

Tonight we had our monthly quilt meeting and the results of the challenge quilt were revealed. The theme was reflections and we had to use these two fabrics as a starting point. Here are the inspiration fabrics:

Since I did not participate in the challenge, I was asked to be one of the four judges.We are such a small guild we had only 11 entries but oh what imagination!We basically followed the quilt judging guidelines of the Vermont Quilters Festival which I found on their website. It was SO much fun! Here are some of the pics:

This is the winning quilt made by Marcella our former president and creator of this year's BOM. She hand appliqued and hand quilted this beauty using lots of batiks. It is called 'Nature's Kiss' and depicts an hibiscus blossom with it's reflection. Hibiscus shrubs are found in gardens all over Riyadh.

I really liked this cute little quilt made by Marcella's daughter. I like its modern quirky feel. Doesn't it make you think of Joel Dewberry?

This quilt was so well thought out and just overflowed with minute details. Glady's unique use of materials makes this quilt a standout. Check out the wall-paper, the blue velvet slippers and the image of Marilyn in the mirror! Even the curtain tie-back is braided. It's entitled 'As Young As You Feel' and we should all have that lady's confidence!

This quilt won third place and I could take hours just looking at all the details. It's a collage of machine applique.

Here is a closer look at some of the details.

Isn't this amazing?

This is a cute machine-appliqued piece. I just love the sky and earth blocks.

This color combination was interesting. Sort of reminds me of Xmas ornaments.

I like the way she mounted this convergence quilt on point. I might need to get some of that butterfly fabric from you Sitti!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lost In Blogland...Will Be Back Soon (I Hope)

Isn't this the cutest cartoon? I think it should be printed on a t-shirt or something. I think I would wear it all the time! I found it on flippytale's blog which you should all check out.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Some 'quilty' things...

These are a few of the 'quilty' things I've been working on. (Doesn't quilty resemble guilty? - somehow I always have to chuckle when I type those words!) Anyways, I've been wanting to stick to my many projects with the intention of FINISHING them so I managed to sew the following:

I thought I would try to experiment a little with color. This is a technique by Ricky Tims called convergence quilting. I like the results that HE got but I'm not so thrilled with mine! I think it might need something appliqued on top of it, like flowers? butterflies? I have even more respect for those quilters that really produce works of colorful art . Check out Wanda's work.

I've also put together my birdhouse block and it really turned out nice. I just love this BOM that our guild is doing.

This is the BOM quilt with all its blocks in place. I love the oversized pine tree block. I think it really completes and balances that side of the quilt, don't you think?.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Are You Addicted As Much As I Am?

I found this on Marisa's blog and thought it would be fun to try. I definately check the blogs every day and my list of favorites are growing exponentially but it's SO much fun to see what other creative people are doing.

BTW, Marisa's blog was one of the first that I stumbled upon that led me to start this hobby. But one blog is not enough...It's sort of like falling into the rabbit hole if you know what I mean!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

More Pics From Dubai...

This is the Dubai Quilt Guilds raffle quilt which raised 10,000 dirhams (roughly divide by 4 to get dollars) for the Emirates Arthritis Foundation. I love this pattern and plan to do one myself (I'm collecting those blue and yellows!) It's from BH&G's American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

Here is a close up of the machine quilting. They used a silvery thread and it turned out really nice. Needless to say, I didn't win! They should have had a prize for the people that traveled the longest distance but then again there was one person that I met that came all the way from Arizona!

This footstool covering was made entirely from men's silk ties!

Just to leave you with a smile on your face! To all my quilting friends, have a happy day!