Sunday, 29 May 2011

Dubai in pictures 16

I haven't done one of these in quite a while..

This is the view of the Dubai Marina skyline as seen from the Montgomerie Golf Course.
I was on my morning walk and although it looks really cool and green, 
it was about 32C and not even 9am yet!

Orange orange everywhere...

The Flamboyant Trees are in full bloom again.  
These are all on the way to school this morning.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Knitting experiment continues

The saga of the knitting experiment continues:  

I am so much happier with this than with the previous attempt!
The script is bolder but not too bulky...

I used a thicker yarn - I love this yarn!  It is Baltic from Bergere de France and it is perfect.
The moss stitch gives a much better texture than the stocking stitch,

and the colours are great.  Subtle but not dull.

We are moving in the right direction...

Stash-buster 2

The second stash-buster quilt is finished.  Another triangle quilt, this time pink.  I have one more blue one to finish, then we'll move on to something new.

Layering happens like this:
I put the backing fabric on the tiled floor and stick it down with masking-tape.
I then add the "batting".  For these quilts I used fleece blankets.  They are the perfect size, not to thick.. and very affordable.
The pieced layer comes on top.  When everything is smoothed down, I secure the three layers together with quilting safety-pins.
When everything is secured, I cut off the excess backing.  I leave a 5-10cm margin to accommodate any crawling.

The finished quilt.  I used straight stitching this time.  It went a lot faster, but I had more 'crawling' in the fabric.
I will try something new next time.

Some more IKEA backing.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Layer Cakes and Jelly Rolls

My favourite shop in Dubai is Craft Land.  It is a dedicated to all things needlecraft, has wonderful fabrics, yarns, books, etc - and great staff.

There is only one problem:  I can never leave empty handed.

They always have things I absolutely have to buy - like these layer cakes and jelly rolls.

They are irresistable...
So much for my resolve not to buy anything new before I worked away all the old stuff...

Friday, 20 May 2011


In my street wanderings this week, I found this little book

It has wonderful Arabic henna designs for hands and feet

Isn't this beautiful?  Who needs shoes?

The book is part of a series.  There are others with Indian designs, Wedding designs, etc.

I can see a few embroidery designs in there.  Can you?

Sunday, 15 May 2011

More Souks

Two years ago I met Mignon at the Decorex Show in Johannesburg.  She is visiting Dubai at the moment with 3 friends and I showed them around the old part of town this morning.

The nice thing about having visitors is that I get to visit those parts of Dubai which isn't part of my everyday life, like the souks.

I know part of it is a tourist trap, but the most part is really interesting, colourful and good fun.

Look at these silk scarves.  Above as they are packaged, all twisted up in little plaits, and below unwrapped and gorgeous.

An embroidered umbrella,

a few ottomans,

some colourful shirts,

and awesome fabrics.

A quiet corner.

Bags of liquorice (on the right) and some other unknown woody spice (on the left) from Pakistan

According to our very helpful shop assistant these pods contain seeds which, when consumed after being soaked in water for 20 minutes, will give your man a "strong machine", 

And if that fails, you can always try these packages.  'One for Papa and one for Mama'.

Or you can just settle for a cup of beautifully packaged tea...

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Stash-buster 1

Stash-buster No 1 is done.  
It was a bit of a trial blazer, as I tried out a few ideas, but I think it turned out okay.

I didn't do a lot of planning for this one, I just cut a pile of blocks and started working.  
The triangles were cut years ago and ended up back in the stash box unused, so I started with those and just added more blocks to make up a small single blanket.

 It was the first time I tried machine-quilting.  
I like hand-quilting more, but I just don't have the time to work my way through all the stash by hand.  
I am very impressed with my very basic bottom-of-the-range Brother sewing machine - I think it did a great job.  
I used a variegated quilt-thread, which I like a lot - I think I'll stick with that for the following quilts too.

(Look how nicely the afternoon sun shines on my work space...)

I have already pieced the tops of the next two quilts, but I think I will change the quilting slightly.  
On this one I quilted around every block.  It took forever and it involved a lot of turning the whole blanket around while in the machine.  Not the perfect situation with my machine. Oh, and working away the loose ends! On the next one I will only do straight lines...

The back of the quilt is from IKEA.  I bought a whole roll a few years ago to use as table cloths for a party.  I am still trying work it all away...  I think I have enough to back ALL the stash-buster quilts I still plan to make.

A Parrot in the Parking Lot*

Actually it is a Rose-ringed Parakeet, originally from India, but now a common feral resident in the UAE

*far less entertaining than the Parrot in the Pepper Tree

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Look what I bought today

I have just installed it, and still have to educate myself, but I can't wait.

Only good things can follow..