Funny, isn’t it, that all this time, and I’ve never once mentioned quilting, even though I think about it all the time, and try to fit some in every day. Well, here goes.
Quilting has been a big part of my life since I moved to the Middle East. I have met a wonderful group of women from all parts of the world. I have had many wonderful teachers who willingly shared what they knew. I have changed from a timid pattern-follower to someone who tends to think about how I can change the pattern to make it my own. I have had access to inexpensive fabric and good friends who encouraged me and pushed me to do better. I also have a husband who encourages me every step of the way, even to allowing me to take over the dining room in our Muscat house for my sewing room. I have had opportunities that I would never have dreamed of in Canada.
On Saturday, I finally got the chance to attend a quilt meeting here in Muscat. It was an unusual meeting, as we were having a craft-related flea market (no fleas allowed, of course) and also voting to select the three quilts to go to the Dubai International Exhibition this year to represent Oman. I had entered a couple of quilts….. and was eager to see what the other members have done.
It was a good morning, with lots of time to chat with other quilters, browse the tables for fabrics, books and notions, and of course, check out the quilts. I was hopeful that one of my quilts would make the cut, but not too sure when I saw the caliber of the other entries. Lucky, lucky me……. one of my quilts will be headed to Dubai.
In Canada I would never have dreamed of entering a quilt competition. When the First Dubai International Exhibition was coming up, I decided that I had to take a chance…….. when might I get another? So I worked with my idea of Harmony, and it took me far from my first draft, and “Call to Prayer” went blithely on its way.
And now, “Starlit Garden” will go too. It was a project of love, hand appliqued over a year, and quilted on my little Bailey 13 Home Quilter.
I got a really neat piece of news from Cecilia in Kuwait as well. Two years ago, a group of 5 of us made a quilt to be raffled by the Quilt Group. We were given a packet of floral fabrics, and challenged to make a quilt. We picked the Jewel Box pattern, and made a full-size quilt, adding in some fabrics from our stashes. As we were the only ones to make a big quilt, we were the last to be finished…. and other quilts had been chosen to be raffled. As I was having issues with my quilt frame, I decided that getting the quilting finished was no longer top priority – and it was put off. Luckily, it DID get finished, and is going to Dubai as an example of what the group does.
I hope I don’t sound like I’m blowing my own horn over all this. I count myself as very lucky, not accomplished. If I had not had friends who pushed me to learn and to try new things, I would have done none of this work. The quilter I am is a direct result of my being in the Middle East…… and I’m so proud to be a Middle East Quilter!
And by the way, David is grumbling about us not having a home-made quilt for OUR bed, so I guess I’d better get busy.