Week of July 28, 2019 – Egyptian Applique

Last week Kay Lee gave a wonderful presentation (sharing her collection of several dozen pieces) of Egyptian Applique at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Study Group.  She has had the opportunity to travel to Egypt several times and to England to collect the works of the Cairo Tentmakers.  She mentioned they are also available online.  This first picture is full of vivid color and it shows the incredible applique as well as embroidery work.  Some of these pieces are made to sell to tourists so they are the size that you can hang on the wall.  But the original work hundreds of years ago was made to decorate and become the walls of the tents where they lived.

This second picture shows Kay holding a very old piece of work showing figures of men and their animals.  The amazing part of their applique is that it is worked on heavy canvas.  Often the stitching does not even come through to the back because it gets buried in the thick canvas.

Some of the pieces are pictorial and tell an old folk tale that was repeated to their children.  This one with the man and child and donkey has a great story to go with it, reading from right to left.

Some of the pieces will portray an animal as this horse is to the left.  If you notice, his body is filled in with what looks like black filling squiggles, but it is actually Arabic writing all over his body.  It can be used to convey a message.  The amazing part is that each “letter” is appliqued onto this heavy canvas and then they sew a border or two around the piece to frame it so it can be hung on the wall.

Several of the pieces that Kay brought to share with us were VERY large, at least 12 feet x 12 feet.  This one to the right is a normal wall size but shows the beautiful color choices and Arabic design elements.

What a treat to see her collection in person!

Just for You – Quilt Quote: “Blessed are the piecemakers.”

If you have any comments or questions, please contact Phyllis at:  [email protected]