The news of the world has been highly focused on the unrest in many places lately, Egypt and Tunisia among them. While watching the politics and economics shake out, I got to thinking about the incredible textile tradition from this region.
That led me to go back to one of my favorite quilt and fabric blog sites—Jenny Bowker’s Postcards From Cairo. While she does not update her blog often, it is well worth a visit, as it is richly loaded with marvelous photos of textiles from her years living in the area. From there, I hop over to her website and marvel at her creations, many heavily influenced by her experiences in North Africa.
Jenny Bowker is a master quilter, author, and teacher from Australia who followed her diplomat husband when he was stationed in North Africa and the Middle East. With her artist’s eye, she has captured the textiles, architecture, tile work, and people of these areas, often translating them into fabulous quilts. Browse her gallery, full of unique quilts sure to evoke a desire to travel in anyone! Her detail is so intricate, just looking at photos of the quilts makes me want to reach out and touch the faces and places she portrays. I hope you will take a few minutes to visit her sites, and soak in her interpretation of this textile heritage. Personally, I dream of taking her textile tour, but suspect that they are on hold for a while.
And how could one not be inspired by the rich textile history of these areas? Take a scroll through the photos on R. John Howe’s Textiles and Text lectures given by William and Sondra Bechhoefer. They share their photos and insights on Tunisian rugs, tents, shawls, and more. I am struck by how the creation of fabrics and other textiles is an intrinsic part of the history and even the way of life in the country. Wool, cotton, linens and more, touching every aspect of life.
It is easy to see numerous ideas for quilts in these pieces! From the intricate geometry of tiles and rugs, to the vivid colors of traditional clothing, there is an abundance of inspiration for all fabric lovers.
As you visit these sites, and explore others, I encourage you to leave comments and let them know how you enjoy the creativity that they share so freely with the rest of us!
I hope you enjoy my random Wandering Wednesday visits to interesting quilters and inspiring sites. Search for Wandering Wednesday to find past posts.
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