Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sara's Travel - Down the Nile and Through Time

This challenge really gave me fits for some reason. I did not want to be too literal but I couldn't seem to settle on any idea. Finally I thought of travel by river and how much I enjoyed the two river cruises I've been fortunate to take. The first river cruise was on the Nile from Luxor to Aswan. The ancient scenery was breath taking and I totally loved the repetitive motifs such as the ankhs and stylized lotus blossums and papyrus that we saw engraved into temple structures and burial structures.
With that theme in mind, I started this quilt without really knowing how I was going to execute it - I was thinking wood block but then with fabric in hand decided on reverse applique. I layered 3 pieces of fabric and stitched outlines of a canopic jar and anhk on the left side  and the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lotus and Papyrus and the eye of Horus on the right. I decided more was needed and so outlined the motifs using bobbin stitching and heavy metallic cord (Superior Razzle Dazzle and Madeira Glamour).While stitching on this, I watched a Libby Lehman lesson on The Quilt Show in which she showed machine binding using fusible to hold the binding on the back and then couching the cord next to the binding which adds color to the binding and secures it with machine stitches. I did that with the two colors of cord used in the quilt twisted together. Watching that video was fortuitous since she shows lots of reverse applique and I already decided to go in that direction.

Detail of Down the Nile and Through Time


  1. I feel I have been down the Nile. I just tried to find Libby Lehman lesson on The Quilt Show but couldn't. So appreciative of your reverse applique. Super job! Inspiring, however labor intensive.

  2. A beautiful and exotic quilt! Like you, I've been on river cruises--Danube and Rhone, and how I'd love to go on this one. I agree with Linda that this quilt was labor-intensive, and like her, I'd love to have a link to that Libby Lehman lesson! (Oh, wait a minute--don't you have to subscribe to The Quilt Show???) So good to see you recently at Festival, Sara!

  3. This is so cool! To be able to go on a river cruise must be wonderful. Did you get to stop and tour places along the way?
    Thanks for the close up photo. I can really see the work you put into it. Wish we could have connected in Houston. I missed seeing you.

    1. I missed you too. I am definitely NOT signing up for any more Friday night classes, I enjoyed the class I took but would have had a more lasting experience by meeting with my friends and meeting some of the others here

  4. Your stylized river is wonderful...and yes, very labor intensive, but not unlike early Egyptian art: both very stylized and labor intensive.

  5. I think you do have to be a member to see Libby's tutorial, not sure if it has to be a paid membership or not. The process wasn't that labor intensive since I did it by machine. I spent an entire day on it. I drew my design on totally stable and placed it on top of three squares of fabric ( bigger than 12 inches). I stitched on the lines and in most places I stitched parallel lines. I then pulled out the paper. That was yucky- my son who has more patience than I helped. Next time, I will reverse my drawing and stitch from the back. I then carefully cut away the layers of fabric to reveal the colors I wanted. This palette is unusual for me but I wanted sand colors and the chocolate brown just went with it.

  6. I didn't like the raw edges so I added small satin stitches (free motion) before I decided that I wanted to bump it up with crouching. I am always amazed when work get started and my hands take over and things just start happening without fretting and planning.

  7. Sara, I love the way you wait until the last minute and then produce something beautiful! Love this quilt, and thanks for the explanation of how you incorporated Libby's techniques. I would LOVE to go on a river cruise on the Nile - maybe someday!