Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tying up loose ends

Many who just came to this country asked how I managed to survive being here for four years.

My answer to that is, guess what? Quilting.

Meeting up weekly with my cherished quilting friends, sometimes at two places, sometimes three. My days get filled up pretty quickly.

I am really grateful for the wonderful people I've met here and my circle of friends have been extended just from quilting.

Especially important in a country where I live at the moment where women may not be as free as they normally would be else where. Lets face it, sure yes there are many things we women could do over here, more than what people think, but you'd have to be really brave to be able to venture out all alone. But to have friends who can show you the way, share their knowledge, speak the language, thats something else altogether.

I haven't started on any new projects but has decided to finish up all my old ones.

Many friends had asked me why I didn't put up my quilts for show in my house. I didn't have an answer to that. I never got round to showcase my work. I just didn't think of doing it. My joy was in making them. I didn't even know or for whom I sewed them. Just that I wanted to learn something new, a new design, pattern or class. Put the fabrics together and sewed them.

Which was why I was never in any hurry to finish them up properly!

This stained glass quilt took me 3 years in total to complete. It started 3 years ago, when I was taking a class with Evelyn, Joy and Alice. Eva was there too. Somehow I did two blocks and then decided to put it away.

Then the following year in the guild, Jean, who was the President of the guild that year presented a president's challenge. Her challenge was to finish a UFO.

I was pregnant with DD then and was determined to finish the quilt top. At the end of the guild meet year I managed to finish up the top.

In the meantime, Joy who had moved to Jubail, told me that she met a lady who could quilt it for me. Which was a godsend for me at that time so I sent the quilt through Joy to Jubail to have it quilted by Nora at Craft Kingdom.

The quilt came back, I was happy with it, sewed the binding on but didn't finish the hand stitching.

Childbirth and a new baby just made me forgot that I didn't finish this quilt. Until two months ago that is. I don't know what got into me. I decided that I will not start on a new project but to finish up all my unfinished quilt.

And I took this quilt out. It had been hibernating for awhile on my shelf. I finished the hand stitching on is binding and submitted it for the end of the Guild meet year quilt show.

At the moment I am finishing 3 other projects. A braid pattern table runner, I am quilting the tessellation stars and tying up the loose threads for my tessellation pinwheels.

Lets hope it won't take me another 3 years!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

And we sewed

When we learned that one of the ladies whom we sew with on Wednesdays will leave for good in July, S@linah suggested that we make her a quilt.

At first we thought we'd do a friendship quilt sort of thing, one block per person and we will put the blocks together in a quilt.

Then I remembered 2 tubes of what supposed to be a water colour heart quilt. A project I started 2 years ago and left in the drawer sewn, uncut and unpicked. (The project requires unpicking much like the bargello quilt style.)

So I recommended to the ladies that we did a watercolour heart project and I will project manage the quilt. Just that we have to commit to meet until the quilt finishes.

We met 3 days, one day to do the unpicking and piecing together for the top. Another day to attach the binding. And the final day to sew the label.

I worked on the quilt 2 additional days, one day to sew the tube and cut into strips and another day pinning and quilting the top.

S@linah spent one day handsewing the binding.

Everyone had their own role. Sa@diah and Nor@ helped with the unpicking and the piecing. Abeer sew the paper pieced heart for the label. Anees was in charge of the label.

5 days isn't bad for a group work.

And the result, gave us inspiration to work on our quilts together from now on. Abeer suggested that starting September we will start sewing one quilt per person each month. The owner of the quilt will choose fabric and pattern and we will all work on the quilt for that month. The following month, it will be another person's turn to have their quilt sewn together by us.

It seems so much more fun that we sewed the quilt together!

I call it a quilt tontine.