It has been too long…

23 Mar

Wow!  How long has it been?  Way too long!  So what has been going on in the Q?

The Adventures of Alice In Wonderland, were finally realized!   

  

This took over my life for soooo long, I was happy to see her go to her forever home.  However, truth be told, I do miss Alice!  Following Alice I really wanted something easy.  Something that I could whip up and finish.  “The Games Kitties Play” filled the bill.  

 I actually started this quilt over 2 years ago and kinda forgot about it.  But as soon as it was done, I heard that my sweet niece Hailey loved it!  Ok!  The kittys have a home.  After the zen cleanse of Kittys I made some Junior Explorer bags. 

  

  

These are designed for kids to turn a walk in the park to an adventure.  With a few tools and reference materials kids can examine the world they live in.  We need to inspire the next generation, if they don’t care, all is lost.

So I’ve got a couple of things working now.    

 

#2015sewmystash

And The Hunter Games #zombieapocalypse .

  So hopefully I will have some new photos to post soon.  

Quips from the Q, signing off for now.  Stitch on and enjoy!

A Palestinian Wedding

22 Sep

First, I spent over an hour writing a detailed description of a wedding JD and I attended last Friday. When I was almost finished my iPad froze and my narrative was lost in space, or maybe in the Cloud. So as I once again write about the wedding I’m afraid I won’t be providing as much detail. Enough of the disclaimer.

A traditional Palestinian wedding (and perhaps all Islamic weddings) consists of three parts. Part one is the engagement contract wherein the parents, and the couple, sign an engagement contract. Following the signing the couple meets every few days at the home of the parents of the bride or groom, but usually the bride. This is an opportunity to get to know one another and the families they are marrying.  Family is a focal point of life here and it is very important that the parents and the couple get along.

The second step in the marriage follows the engagement, which is at least six months or longer.  The couple, now committed to marry, sign a marriage contract and are now legally married but each return to their homes until after the third and final step.  Once the couple has signed the contract they can go out unaccompanied, but most don’t.  If something were to go wrong between step two and step three, it would damage the reputations of both parties.

Now to the grand finale, the Wedding and Party.  All of the wedding attendees, and there are a lot, from the bride’s village gather at the home of her parents.  All of the women are dressed in their finest Thobes, which is the traditional Palestinian dress for special occasions.  A woman’s Thobe is a long, slim dress, usually black, decorated with very intricate hand embroidery.  For weddings the decoration sometimes includes hand-stitched beading and sparkly stuff.  The mother of the bride wears a very fancy and colorful dress, as do some of her aunts and cousins, and the younger girls  are wearing their fanciest dresses and I saw lots of sparkly shoes.  All the adult women are wearing hijabs, the head covering, except the bride.  The bride herself is wearing a traditional, western style white gown with some modification, sleeves have been added for modesty and because in Islam it is haram, sinful, to have exposed skin.  Modern adherrants to Islam do not follow this rule, but this was a traditional wedding and most of the females were covered, myself included out of respect for tradition and because I wanted a Thobe and hijab.  (I was less than successful with my hijab, it is hard to get it right, so I basically ended up wearing a scarf.)

All the women gather together with the bride for the women’s party.  They ohh and ahh over the bride and sit and talk, drink tea, soft drinks and eat fruit (fresh figs).  Towards the end of the party the bride’s grandmothers and aunts start singing and clapping wishes for the bride.  The singing is accompanied by trilling, a sound that no American woman, even one in a Thobe and hijab, can make.

Meanwhile, the men are gathered together elsewhere for the men’s party where they drink tea, coffee and water.  No food for the men, not even figs.  Most of the men were casually dressed, except the bride’s father who was wearing a suit.  Some of the men were wearing traditional robes (also called Thobes) and headdresses.  The robes and headdresses are white with a black band securing the headdress. It is ncalled a keffiyeh.

After about an hour, the grooms family shows up.  The males go to the men’s party and the women come to greet the bride.  They come into the party singing and dancing and bringing gifts for the bride.  This goes on for a while and then it’s time to leave and go to the groom’s village.  The bride puts on a hooded cloak and is escorted to a decorated car.  (We still haven’t seen the groom.). All of the guests, which is everyone in the village, get into their cars (they even had taxis and a medium sized bus) and form a caravan to travel to the groom’s village.  With the bridal car leading, lights flashing, sirens and horns blaring, we drove from the village of Jiljilya to the village of Baytin, about 20 kilometers.

Once we arrived in Baytin we went to the Municipal Building for the “wedding” party.  As we drove through town we encountered a large group of males gathered next to the road.  This group was the groom’s party.  In the middle was the groom, dressed in traditional robes and headdress.  After we got to the building and the bride was secured in the women’s room, the group of men started moving down the street.  By this time the groom was riding a horse and carrying a sword, surrounded by his ‘tribe’ all of whom were singing, chanting, and clapping.  The horse was also decorated with ribbons and bells and pom proms and sort of pranced down the street.

The parties were on the fourth floor and after getting stuck in the women’s elevator (it broke) and getting turned away from the men’s elevator (haram) by the elevator police, I trudged up the stairs to the party.  Finally, the bride and groom arrived, the cloak was removed, and the dancing, singing and merriment began.

First, the bride and groom danced, then the women in the bride’s family formed a circle and danced around the (still) dancing bride and groom.  This went on for quite some time until the groom left and went to the men’s party.  I’m not sure what they did but JD tells me he went around the room and greeted and shook hands with everyone.

Meanwhile at the women’s party everyone was taking turns dancing with the bride in the circle.  Then the groom’s family, including the male relatives, came in and they all started dancing.  It was very festive.  We, JD and I, have now been at the wedding for about fours hours, with only figs to sustain us.  Suddenly, there is an audible murmur in the room and I notice that JD has entered the women’s party and is making his way in my direction.  But it’s okay, it’s just the Americans.  So after about four or five hours we give our regards and head for home.  A beautiful, and very different, wedding in Palestine.

People you Meet

14 Sep

Went to lunch with our friends Khadar and Nuha in their shop yesterday. Khadar made Makalouba, an extraordinary Palestinian dish ceremoniously served on a platter after flipping over the pot. Check it out in recipes. I tried my hand at making it but mine still needs work and it took hours to make. I also made a pastry filled with fresh figs, roasted almonds and spices. Turned out great. (No recipe).

Other guests at lunch were Gerard, an Australian human rights attorney, working with ‘child’ prisoners in the Israeli military court system and a reporter and his family who had just finished a documentary film about those same children. The film (about 45 minutes long) is “Stone Cold Justice” and can be viewed on u Tube. It gives another view of the occupation and a good insight into “how to make a terrorist.”

On a lighter note, we have been picking up souvenirs, textiles mostly, and I have a picture of my latest acquisition. This rug is handmade from wool dyed with natural dyes. It is from one of the ‘stan’ countries, not sure which one, and is beautiful. We looked at some others but we thought they were much too grand for our beach cottage. I have also included a picture of a wall hanging we got which is all hand-embroidered. Lots of really neat stuff to see here.

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This looks like a good time to stop.  Congratulations to Rockin G Quilts for awards and sales at the Quiltfest.  We have gotten lots of positive feedback on our work and hope it will soon translate into more sales.  Next up, unless we decide to enter more contests, is QuiltCon in Austin next February.  We have two entries finished and may have more.  Keep traveling, sewing and, of course, following the weluv2sew blog.

Capitol of Texas QuiltFest – Fiesta!

13 Sep

Rockin’ G Quilts had a great time at the quilt show! La Feria de Colores won a Judges Choice award and our other entry, Steppin’ Out, was purchased by a woman as a gift for her daughter! I think a celebration is in order!
Tomorrow, Mark, Lani and I will go and take one last stroll among the quilts before quilt pick-up time. Then, Steppin’ Out will go home with a new family and I will bring La Feria back to send to Maria & Jimmy.
All is good and I am happy!
Dawn 😄

Capitol of Texas QuiltFest – Fiesta!

13 Sep

My La Feria quilt, entered in the AAQG QuiltFest won a Judge’s Choice Award! Yay!
There were some great quilts entered, which really makes me proud & happy for the judge’s recognition. My quilt did not look ANYTHING like the other entries. So it really makes me happy to receive this award.
I did volunteer work Tuesday, Thursday & today. Tomorrow I will work on my own stuff and Sunday, Mark & daughter Lani will go with me to view the show quilts.
We pick up the quilts Sunday evening. So Monday, I can send the quilt to it’s forever home, where Maria & Jimmy can enjoy it’s snuggle-ishishness!

Quips from the Q

8 Sep

Wow! Things have been hectic at the Q, a lot going on! My daughter’s wedding celebration party brought in family from far and wide.

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It was so great to see 2 of my sisters and their daughters and my nephew (and wife) representing my 3rd sister. Along with some really special friends it was a lovely party!
Now it is time for the Capitol of Texas QuiltFest Fiesta! Ginger and I have quilts entered and tomorrow is the drop off day.
Ginger’s entry is “Steppin’ Out”.

IMG_0275.JPG. I love this festive quilt! It is for sale at the show.
My entry is “La Feria de Colores”.

IMG_0289.JPG. I love these bright colors! I made this quilt for my husband’s beautiful daughter, Maria. She has been very patient waiting for her quilt. When the quilt show is over I can finally send it to her! I know she will be glad. 😄
So I am pretty excited about the show. I have volunteered to work at the show and I really think it will be lots of fun!
So the QuiltFest ends on Sunday and then I can start talking about all of the other great projects that are waiting in the wings.
Oh yes, and I will report back on the show!
Dawn in the Q, signing off.

Storage Ideas

8 Aug
Cutting table

Cutting table

In newsletters, advertisements and sales info about sewing, I receive lots of things designed and sold to help in organizing sewing and craft spaces. I’m a person who doesn’t like to spend money on things I think I can make so I am going to share a few of my own hints.

For my sewing room in Neptune Beach, I recycled an old triple dresser into my cutting table. It is the perfect height (no bending when cutting) and about 60″ long. I put an unused Formica table top on the dresser which is wide enough to accommodate two of my 18″ x 24″ cutting mats and still have room for stacks of fat quarters, etc. and my ruler/template holder.

For fabric storage I purchased inexpensive bookcases at target with adjustable shelves. I like the plastic fabric organizers they sell, but didn’t want to buy them so I asked my friends at the fabric store what they did with the cardboard flats when they’re empty. They throw them away. They were more than happy to give them to me and I cut them to height and wrap my fabric around them. Very neat storage and easy access without going through stacks of fabric. Everything on the shelves is stored vertically so it is also easy to see what I have.

My lovely spouse looks a little hungry so I guess I’ll make him some breakfast. More later. Ginger