Friday, 22 July 2011

More than the dress

Before I came to live in the Middle-East I thought an Arab is an Arab is an Arab.  They all look the same, they all dress the same and they all believe the same. 

I couldn't have been more wrong. 

The longer I live here the more I come to realize this is possibly one of the most culturally rich and diverse regions of the world. 

One of the things I came to admire is the rise of a younger generation of culturally aware individuals from this region.  They are educated, intelligent, creative and very productive. The Brownbook Magazine is one of the endeavors of this generation. It is an urban lifestyle guide focusing on design, culture and travel across the Middle East and North Africa.

These two images where published in the latest issues and gives a quick visual guide to the diffidence in dress styles across the region. 
If you are interested in learning more about some of the real people of this region, get your hands on a copy of the magazine, or read some of the features online.

Monday, 18 July 2011

More Arabian Design Inspiration

Just look at these beautiful things!

We spent some time at the wonderful Qasr Al Sarab hotel this past weekend

and all these Arabian designs really spoke to me.

I can see so many different quilt and embroidery designs in here.

It's time to get to work.

More about the hotel 

and the rest of our weekend later.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Template tutorial

This is how I make all my templates: 

All you need is a pack of coloured, semi-transparent plastic file-dividers like these.  They cost next to nothing at the supermarket stationary department.

Place a sheet of plastic over the pattern and trace with a permanent marker.

If you are going to use it for quilting or sewing, add the seam allowances.

For this pattern I could fit a few pieces on the same sheet.

I used different colour sheets for different parts of the pattern

These templates were for my Arabic quilt.  Here I was playing around with the colours, placing my templates with the fabric I planned to use for each piece.

The plastic is easy to cut, doesn't fray or tear, is transparent for better placement on the fabric and sturdy enough to be re-used over and over.

I've used this method successfully with:
The Arabic quilt (still in progress)

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

More changes

Have a look at my new pages menu at the top, just below the blog header.  Read more about me and my writing.  

What do you think? 

Monday, 11 July 2011

New Look

As you can see I am playing around with the look of the blog.  After almost 2 and a half years, I feel the need for a change.  I am still working on adding extra pages and a shop is in the works too...(shh, don't tell yet)

I am only playing around with the blogger templates, as I am a bit technologically challenged!  I can design a quilt or a crochet pattern any day, but a website/blog is a bit out of my league..

Some feedback would be nice though.  What do you think of the new look?  Should I change a bit more, or go back to the old look?  What would you like to see/know about me?  Please let me know in the comments.


Friday, 1 July 2011

Arabian design influence

Arabian geometric patterns and designs have fascinated me ever since we moved to the Middle-East seven years ago.  One of the things I love the most about the buildings and designs of this part of the world is the attention to detail.  Everything is finished with a pattern, a decorative border or a tiled inlay of some kind.

Whether it is a facade wall, a window, a screen, a floor or a ceiling everything is decorated.  Some very ostentatious and other very subtle and low key. 

I am working on a quilt pattern inspired by these Islamic/Arab designs.  I have studied the different designs and came up with a quilt pattern I like very much.  I am now in the 'test the pattern' phase, and this is what I have so far:

It is only one block of many making up the design.  It consists of MANY pieces and part of the test is to see if it is feasible and whether I should try to simplify it.  Once I am happy with the pattern I will start testing the colour combinations.  So far so good...