Saturday, September 1, 2012

egyptian tent makers and more

Last weekend (took this long to figure out how to get the photos out of my new "smart" phone), I travelled to the AQS show in Michigan.  Though a much smaller show than Chicago, it was a great show.

The big attraction (for me, at least) was a display of Egyptian tent-quilts.  These are made to be the inside walls of ceremonial tents - when the sun shines through it looks like stained glass.

Made by mostly men who are looked down upon, these "tent walls" are incredible.  I was overwhelmed and stopped taking photos after just a few!  I just walked around carrying my jaw.  Every one was more stunning than the last.  I can't believe the men who make these aren't celebrated!

A gal from Australia discovered them when living there, as her hubby was the ambassador to Egypt.  She's promoted their craft and two of the men (?) are travelling all over the world to quilt shows to accompany an amazing assortment of their, and others, work.

Enough yakking, the photos Katie!

I tried to take a good representation of the different styles, but photos just don't do these justice.

This video shows more of the quilts and the gal chats with the two men who were also at the show in Michigan.

They were demonstrating their craft and I got to see the finishing of one project.

This is Hosam Hanafy.  He doesn't speak much English, but knew to hold up his finished quilt and smile when he saw my camera phone.  He started this on Wednesday at the opening of the show.  He finished it Saturday afternoon.  He had no pattern, no templates.  His circle in the center is perfect and while I missed the sewing, my mom did not - he started with a lumpy-shaped piece and ended with a perfect circle.  (That alone is amazing!)

The other man travelling with the quilts speaks more English.  I didn't see him working, but heard that a comment was made that prompted him to sew WITH HIS EYES CLOSED.  He kept going like his eyes were open.  Really.

Another friend reported that they take a stitch a second.  A SECOND!  I'm not sure my sewing machine goes that fast half the time!

So.  If you have a chance to see this show.  GO.

There were lots of other beautiful quilts.  Guild challenge quilts.  Quilts to be judged.  Quilts to showcase a particular artist.  Quilts from the sister city in Japan.  But this was amazing.

AQS was required to purchase the quilts to be able to bring them in and show them, so you may notice prices or "sold" signs on the quilts.  They were being sold.  For crazy good prices.  Unfortunately I don't have that large of a slush fund for quilting.

I bought a few patterns (which you will likely see projects from at least 2 of the 3 before the year is out) and drooled a lot at the vendors.

Then stayed and helped tear down the booth my brother and his wife were running.  They have a business that does custom embroidery and screen printing (Accurate Promotions if anyone is interested in sending business their way - they can ship to anywhere!) and printed a bunch of quilty t-shirts to sell.  It was interesting to see things come down after the show.  And how fast.

But my quilting?  Not so good.  I've had to force myself to work a bit every night (when time allows) on my August UFO.  Still not done, but here's a few photos...

You can finally see where those geese are going, but I've got a long way to finish this quilt.  42 blocks means about a bajillion pieces.  Plus sashing and borders.

I've decided to scrap the September UFO (#11 - it's a batch of family names embroidered that was going to be a project and wasn't much planned beyond the names, so not much lost) and work on finishing this quilt, plus the two baby quilts that are STILL in the washed-but-not-ironed-fabric stage.  Yikes!

But this is a holiday (3-day) weekend for those of us in the USA, so I'm trying to take full advantage of that.  Of course, the new smart phone is distracting.  And the cats.  And my imagination.  (Some days I can focus, others I end up going 14 different directions and never finish is one of those multi-directional days!)

Happy quilting,


Marsha B said...

Wow, those are gorgeous! They are so intricate and amazing. That looks like a great show to attend. I've been having to work to get myself going, too. I have just started cutting out what I think will be a quilt for my son and his bride to be (Oct. is the wedding). I hope this gets me more motivated! Have a great weekend!

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

WOW!!!!!!!!!! Those Egyptian Quilts are AMAZING!! Makes anything I have ever done or ever will do seem very primitive - ;))

---"Love" said...

Oh my goodness! Those quilts are incredibly gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing the pictures and video! How exciting they are!
I'm having one of those multi-directional days, (no, make that weeks), too! But your quilt is beginning to take shape! Have a great week-end! ---"Love"

Beth said...

Katie, I was just talking to a couple at the shop who had been to the show. They were telling me to look up the tentmakers of Eygpt. Then Bam you had it here for me. The pictures are amazing.
Looks like you are making progress on that UFO.
Have a good weekend.

canuckquilter said...

Wow! Those tent wall quilts are beautiful! Thanks for sharing. As for your quilting - we all have multi-directional days and periods of low quilting creativity. I'm sure you'll get your enthusiasm back, and then we won't be able to keep up! I suspect your enthusiasm will spring back when you feel free to just work on what you want as opposed to what you feel you should be finishing up.

Unknown said...

Okay, those are amazing quilts. And, you can tell they don't have kids to watch or housework to do;) Just sayin';) Would have been great to see them up close in person;)
The fourteen direction thing...that's me almost everyday;) AADD...oh, look..shiney!! lol;)
Happy Quilting!!

Lynette said...

I'm jealous that you got to see some Tentmaker quilts in person. :D I learned about them just a couple weeks ago when a blogger I read shared her trip to Tentmaker Alley there in Egypt - talk about JEALOUS!! lol I was fascinated. I'm so glad to see you feature their work.