Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Searching for signs of quilting...

This post is aimed at my quilting friends, but you others might be interested too.
I brought some applique to do (and finish) while I was here. I have pulled it out of the drawer exactly twice in 3 months. So my next goal is to finish it while travelling this summer.

So, I have kept my eyes open here in the KRG for signs of quilting activity. I will tell you that it is very scarce and hard to find. However, as I was walking toward the city square one day I did see this mobile CD stall. Sure looks like patchwork to me.

Then, another day, as I was on a bus I looked out at a little building by the road and spied a man doing what looked like quilting ( top layer, batting and bottom layer). So, I went out walking to see if I could document this. He seemed a little confused as to why I wanted a photo of him doing this activity, but photo opps are very common here, so he soon got back to work.

Quilting the cotton mattresses that many people sleep on on the floor.

Last week Lukasz and I made the 2 hour trip to the capital city Hawler/Erbil (depends if you are speaking Kurdish or Arabic) to pick up our registration certificate that allows us to operate as a NGO here for another year. My main goal for the trip was to visit the Kurdish Textile Museum. Here are examples of the beautiful rugs and carpets that have traditionally been made here. Unfortunately, there are very few people actually making these works of art any more. They aren't quilts, but they are beautiful. I have bought three smaller ones to bring home with me.

The patterns look familiar
This next one is a very large peice that I took pictures of in 4 sections. This is one of them. Looks like something that would make a fantastic quilt someday.

I was looking around the museum when I heard a commotion. The university students who were supposed to be looking at the textiles had discovered that Lukasz's dreadlocked hair used the same technique as the felted carpets (ha, ha). They all wanted to take his picture. Behind him is a larger view of the previous carpet.

 This is one of the felted carpets. It is made of wool and the size is around 8 feet long and 6 feet wide.

Samples of the various caps traditionaly worn by the men. Each pattern is from a certain region of Kurdish people.

 And, in the bazaar there are many, many fabric stalls. BUT basically no cotton, and really no Kurdish cloth. It seems that many women buy the cloth and have a tailor make the dress for them. I did find out the word for cotton and one dealer told me that a certain few bolts were cotton. But he was wrong. Should have trusted my instincts.

Finally, a shot of what the men are doing while the women look at fabric.
These little cell phone stalls are along a couple of blocks in the centre of the city. You can't tell in the photo but the men throng here to look at the newest models. I wonder what they did before cell phones came into use. Apparently, that is only a couple of years ago here in the KRG.

CPT is just ending its Spring fundraising campaign. It was not very successful. It would be wonderful if you could send a cheque to CPT to help out with the projects that they are working with right now. If you like, you could put mention my name and it would go toward my work here in Kurdish Northern Iraq.

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1 comment:

  1. fun pix and stories. did your friend get away safely from the dreadlock admirers? what sort of fabric is sold in those stores? poly blends? btw: I was just in New York City and the stores in the garment district were fabulous.