Friday, August 31, 2012

A final moment to reflect

I am packing our bags for our vacation to British Columbia and am taking a little moment to admire my quilts. I say admire because of the work and time that has gone into them, but also because I can see such an improvement from the first quilts I made a year ago. My stitches are more even and my confidence has increased. I have learned so much from blogs, taking friends' advice and practicing.

I let my fingers brush the fabric and my eyes soak in the colors, while feeling a tad sentimental. 

Such a pleasant process and visible improvement. Now what's the next project? I will be sure to pop into a fabric store in BC. I have to fill up the space in the suitcase left from the quilts I'm giving away now don't I ?

Have an admirable day!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

The city of gold

After being here for eight months, we finally made it up to Mount of Olives to watch the sun set.

While waiting around, the family took a tour around the parking lot on a camel.

The kiddies ran around a lot, which guarantees an early bedtime. Highly encouraged by both parents.

Once the sun started to set, it went very quickly.

 Just gorgeous!

And since it was the last day of Ramadan we could not only hear three canon shots but see them too in the hour of twilight.

Have an enchanting day!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Caesaria aqueduct

We went back to the aquaduct near Caesaria North of Tel Aviv, as this was a source of fascination for my husband. The aqueduct lies on the shore of the Mediterranean, so while my husband went exploring the ancient structure, the kids and I enjoyed the beach.

Have an historic day!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Retro flower quilt finished

And here is the second quilt destined for Vancouver. I was scratching my head a bit over this one. Though the requested colors were pink and purple, I was afraid that I would get caught in another "pinky-pinky"overload.

To balance it, I inserted a multi-colored pastel flower in the middle and found a light green fabric to use as a border matching one of the shades in the center. 

This fabric was also inserted in the backing to counter the rosy tones.

As the little girl is also fond of butterflies, I found a fabric that I thought would be appropriate. The quilt is reversible, come to think of it. I thought to embroider some butterflies on the flowers in the front, but decided against it in the end.

In the vertical strip I inserted different pinks, purples and creams I had left over from another project. The entire quilt was stippled. 

Once again a little self-promotion. Final measurement: 43" (109 cm) x 64" (162 cm) - a crib quilt with some extra width to tuck the little one in at night.

Have a rosy day!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Elephant quilt finished

After some days off with the family due to Eid celebrations here in Jerusalem, I returned to the sewing machine to finish the two quilts destined for Vancouver.

 My kids kept pulling down the blinds during the photo session, so the room was rather dim. The colors are fresher than what is seen here.

I wanted to quilt this Elephant quilt with horizontal "organic"lines to resemble elephant trails, but I just did not get the hang of it and since I just had a few days left before our departure I changed strategy. When in doubt, stipple. And that is what I did.

This was the first time I used cotton thread and it did feel a bit different to work with. I think I prefer synthetic thread, as it seemed to flow better somehow. However I hear that cotton is best as it gives a little better once in the quilt.

The back is a quilt in itself, I think. 

The bottom part represents the savannah, the middle stripe an elephant caravan, the orange representing the sun in the horizon and the blue the sky.

I really do like my label. The final dimensions: 55" (140 cm) x 90" (230 cm) - a good size for a child's single bed.

Have a memorable day!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

David's Tower

The crusaders believed this to be the City of David. Though they were mistaken and the actual site is being excavated a couple of kilometers away, the name has stuck and is currently being used for this impressive historic museum of Jerusalem.

Inside the courtyard where light shows depicting the history of Jerusalem are held in the evenings.

A model providing an overview.

There are so many layers showing the different eras and the origins of the conquerors. This little gem is from the Ottomans, I believe. Below are views of the Old City from South to North with the Mount of Olives in the background.

The exterior wall and Jaffa gate can be seen mid-picture.

I simply do not grow tired of admiring the splendor. And to think this is all just a 10-15 minute walk away from my home.

Have a splendid day!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Sataf forest

Just outside of Jerusalem is a lovely national park that we enjoy visiting. Normally we would go to the ancient agricultural area. However, lately we have wandered more frequently in the forest there. The days are so hot and it is only in the evening that we feel comfortable taking strolls, much like the rest of the population.

Ahh... some shade from the sun!

Notice how dry the vegetation is. Lots of thorns, twigs and dust. Well, I hear the rain will return in October...

Have a refreshing day!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Russian Orthodox Church in West Jerusalem

Just before entering the modern area of West Jerusalem and a stone's throw from the town hall is the Russian Orthodox Church. Apparently a substantial corner of this area belonged to the Russian Colony, but ended up being sold by Stalin to the state of Israel for oranges. 

The interior, though ornate, has a lovely pigeon egg blue that compliments the gold.

And lots of cherubs! My daughter loved these. It was very difficult to contain her squeals of joy  - "baaaabies!"amid the concentrated worshippers.

Have a serene day!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Toy medical bag that ended up becoming a shopping bag

My son has had a fully supplied medical bag that I thought could be shared with his sister. Do I hear some laughing out there? Yes, indeed. Sharing is not the motto of my household of late. So why not make a medical bag for my daughter? I got inspired by My House and Home blog where there was a tutorial for a no-sew duct tape bag. I liked the shape of it, but as this is a sewing blog and not a non-sewing blog, I decided on the more traditional approach.

I got out the reds from my fabric stash, but then my eye wandered to some sweet bees on light blue. I let myself steer off course and ended up with a totally un-medical look. A simple shrug of the shoulders and off to the machine I went.

Was I right when I said the bees were sweet?

Red polka dots on the inside and it is reversible.

When I made the hole for the handle I was reminded of a button hole, so I button hole stitched twice around it and I think it turned out well. The top red edge is done by simply rolling the interior over the exterior and then top-stitching.

Between the two fabrics seen here, I fused a stiff linen that I have been trying to get rid of. The bag can stand on its own. It measures 12" (30 cm) on top, 8"(20 cm) on the bottom and 10"(25 cm) in height.

It ended up looking like a normal purse or shopping bag, but this system makes it easy for her to take the content in and out easily. A velcro closing is probably a good idea too, but I did not include it for now. Perhaps I should make one that looks more medically professional just to challenge myself, but that is for another occasion.

Have a diverting day!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

West Jerusalem market

I normally wander in the Arab market (souq), as I adore the (for me) exotic ambiance, but this time we took a family outing to the main shouk in a Jewish neighbourhood. Let's admire the delights from the region, shall we?

Have a culinary day!