The Tentmakers of Cairo and other Quilt Fun

Tentmakers of Cairo coverIt’s been one huge celebration of quilting in Adelaide! Festival of Quilts and Quilt Encounter Week, including a visit from the Tentmakers of Cairo.

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

This past week was one of the biggest in the calendar of the Quilter’s Guild of South Australia. The State Guild Quilt Show and the guild’s annual live-in quilting retreat’s 25th anniversary, back-to-back. I am not sure why it was organised this way this year. Festival of Quilts has been in November in the past. Perhaps it was to give country quilters a chance to participate in both in one trip? Or maybe it was to capitalise on the Tentmakers of Cairo? Anyway, a great week for quilters, and an exhausting week for organisers – I take my hat of to you all!

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Today’s blog highlight is definitely the Tentmakers of Cairo coming to town. But first, a quick look at the South Australian Festival of Quilts.

Festival of Quilts, Adelaide 2017

I would love to tell you more about the Festival of Quilts. But photos were allowed only on the proviso that they are for personal use only. So there is only limited interesting news I can tell. I can tell you that the quality of the quilts is very high and still rising.

If you would like to see the winning quilts in each category from the Festival of Quilts. you can access pictures via the Quilters’ Guild of SA here.

My personal FOQ happiness

I can show you what I entered into this year’s show. This is the first time I have entered, and I was very excited to receive a ribbon! Judges commendation!!

Celebrate SA quilt by Dione Gardner-Stephen at 2017 FOQ
My quilt entry for the “South Australia – Ocean to Outback” challenge category. It is called “Celebrate SA”.

The brief for the quilt challenge was to make a quilt of 55cm square or 55x110cm on the theme “South Australia – Ocean to Outback”. I abstractly portrayed some of the highlights of our state with a happy pelican imposed over the top. Pelicans are not particularly numerous here, but they ubiquitous. You see them on the coast, in the wetlands at the end of my street in suburbia, on the River Murray, and in the salt lakes of the outback. And they travel all over the state at will. Anyway, more on this quilt another time – today I really want to get to the Tentmakers of Cairo exhibition.

But just before I do….. To top off the joy at getting a ribbon, I also just found out that the whole collection of challenge quilts is invited to Brisbane to be a Special Exhibition at The Mad Quilters’ Gathering in August. What fun! Sorry – I am a bit excited by all this! 

Dandelion Wishes re-visit

Quilt guild project: Modern quilt jigsaw
Quilt guild project: Modern quilt jigsaw.

Remember my Dandelion Wishes Appliqué Mini Quilt? If not, you can find the tutorial for it here. I now know much more about the project that I made this for, as promised.

This project is going to run for nearly a year, and everyone is invited to make an unbound mini quilt of size 40x60cm. They will be trimmed to puzzle shapes and be sold as a fundraiser. Unsold pieces will become part of a special travelling exhibition. Apparently there are prizes up for grabs for guild members who participate. I will keep you up to date about this project as it progresses.

So, finally.! We’re here. Introducing the…..

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Quilt Encounter participants were very fortunate to have two Tentmakers of Cairo, Essam Aly and Hosam Hanafy visiting and presenting at their retreat. The exhibition was also open to the public, which is where I come in. Photos were welcome, and I want to share with you the colour and happiness of these works of art.

There were lots of beautiful medallion-style designs.

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

These appliqués are done almost exclusively by men. There was one piece that was done by one of the craftsmen’s sister. I am pretty sure it is the one in the photo directly above. But this is apparently not typical. Also, each family from the Tentmakers has its own designs, and copying other family’s designs is forbidden.

There were also panel designs, which remind me (probably not surprisingly) of Arabian carved door panels.

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

My Favourites from the Tentmakers of Cairo

The last “category” of quilts I want to show you is my favourite. It is the pictorial appliqués.

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017

These pieces were called “quilts”, but what they really are is appliquéd wallhangings. They are lined on the back with canvas and they are bound, but there is no third layer inside, and there is no quilting. Just beautiful appliqué and hand embroidery. The work is needle turn appliqué, and the men are extremely adept – they are fast and use massive scissors to trim their work as they go with great confidence. If you ever get a chance to see them in action, it is definitely worth it. It will definitely Colour Your Mood for the better and Brighten Your World.

I’m glad we went early in the day to this. A lot of these pieces were sold and out the door by the time we left!

Clever Chameleon logo yellow

Finally, I will leave you with some shots of the detail in the pictorial appliqués. I hope you appreciate some of the humour and colour that is embodied in these works. Enjoy!

 

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Tentmakers of Cairo at Quilt Encounter 2017, detail

Now it's your turn.... what do you think?