Sunday, May 30, 2010

Come drink A Cup of tea with Me

Tea and coffee is very much a part of life and social etiquette in Syria- it's a serious business. I am intrigued by how many ways people find to have their tea ( I focussed on tea as I am a tea drinker).
Just quietly sitting and watching the street go by- requires a cup of tea!

Tea is dispensed throughout the souq's by elaborately dressed men with their highly decorative water carriers and teapots!There were more of these tea carriers around this time compared to my previous trips.This man I encountered in the al hamadiye souq in Damascus.

You often encounter gas rings and teapots on the  foot paths- one just never knows when a cup of tea is needed.

Another tea carrier in Aleppo.

 The trip to Syria was organised by Creative Arts Safaris and covered many areas of everyday Syrian textiles and life. There is another trip planned for next year so please let Fiona from Creative Arts Safaris know if you are interested.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Syrian Odyssey

I am back after a fabulous two weeks in Syria despite the flu. We saw, we marvelled, we explored, we played a little with textiles , we ate, we delved into history, we met people and their crafts,we spent time in souqs , palaces and ruins,we slept in a bedouin tent- basically that sums up my love affair with Syria! I will be sharing photos and experiences over the next few weeks as well as trying to get some projects done for the Bernina blog.
Maybe some of these things could have helped for the flu??

These are Syrian pickles- aren't the colours fabulous??

And some blue glass bottles- one had to come back of course!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Reef is Finished

I have finally finished hand stitching the silk dyed piece I have entitled Reef. it took a lot of hand stitching. In another half hour I will be driving to Lyon so i can catch my flight to Damascus. I hope I shall be able to do some blog posts if not I will share lots of photos when I get back. I am on orders from my daughter to take lots of good images for the Carvanserai book.

And if I were to do an "art quilt" type book what would you like to see me write it on?

Monday, May 10, 2010

72 MORE Ways Not to Stipple or Meander

The coloured version of 72 MORE Ways is finished and delivered together with the black and white version to Editions de Saxe last Thursday, who will publish my second free machine quilting ideas book in time for  Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork.It will be published in French- no one in English speaking publishing world seems to be interested in publishing it...

It was a crazy week last week as I left the Netherlands ( had to pack up all our /my stuff) and then  return  a machine I had borrowed from a friend near Paris. Picked up a machine from Bernina who have agreed to sponsor me with the use of a machine when I am in Europe and I shall be blogging for them ( I will send the link when I have it)- finish the coloured version plus some other work for Southern Lands which will be exhibited at Centre Europeen Du Patchwork from 16 May, teaching for two days before finally arriving back in Le Triadou. I have decided I would like to experience a southern French summer- but so far the weather isn't co-operating!!! I will be in le Triadou until late August so if you are interested in workshops in southern France please contact me! We have space here to run workshops for 4-5 people.

For those of you who registered interest for KISS- it's still happening,  I have simply extended the deadline until late in May because I shall be travelling to Syria next Thursday for the Creative Safaris tour- I am so looking forward to that.I hope to be able to blog from Syria - to inspire you, and my eldest daughter and I are working on a book  inspired by Syria and the work I made in response to the experience.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

73 MORE Ways- The Coloured Version

I have been working hard on the  coloured version of 72 MORE Ways Not to Stipple or Meander , as I need to deliver quilts and words and whatever else we need to Editions de Saxe next week so they can prepare the book in time for Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork. I did not think I would get there as I could not dye the right colour blue but after several attempts I was running out of time to keep dyeing more so I decided I needed to start on the quilting. I also have to leave the apartment I rented in the Netherlands on Monday morning- so I have been working hard.

I have been using the Aurifiul Cotton 28  weight Mako Thread and it is sewing like a dream. I decided not to use the machine embroidery threads as I wanted to see how the  heavier weight cotton would look. I am surprised that it has made me sew the individual elements of the designs larger or maybe when I made the black and white version I was more stressed ( we had just moved house and I was wondering how we would make ends meet)- I don't know, but try as I might I can't get the motifs as small as I did on the black and white quilt. I guess it doesn't really matter and it is 18 months since I made the black and white version and things change!

Don't forget the black and white version of the book is still available from me. I can send from Europe.If you are interested email me.