On our last night in Egypt, Jason and I found a great little shop called Fair Trade Egypt. Along with the lamp, jewelry, and table runners I bought there, I also bought the swath of fabric that was stuffed inside the lamp. It was bright and colorful and fun and I had no idea what to do with it.
This summer I decided to teach myself quilting and as I worked on my first quilt, I realized that the Cairo cloth could work as backing on a second one.
I have many photos of quilts saved from my online browsing. I am drawn to more modern designs, and found I was especially fascinated by “stained glass” quilts.
After some research and some internet shopping, I had two “jelly rolls” (bundles of 40 pre-cut strips of 2.5×42 inch fabric), one black and one batik double ombré.
I tried laying out the strips in random color pattern and in a more deliberate gradient:
and opted for the random sorting, sewing the strips together with thinner black strips in between:
The Cairo fabric was longer than I wanted, so I cut off a panel and sewed it into a pillowcase. The striped top then went to my cutting board for the scariest part of the process:
…cutting it apart to make the square-rectangle designs.
I then turned to Excel to figure out whether to flip the stripes or to keep the colors in their original order. Yay, spreadsheets!
I flipped the skinnier parts and lined them all up. I think discovered how much my sewing varied in seam allowance – many of the squares didn’t line up at all with the stripes. So I did a LOT of pinning to get things in the right place and sewed it all together again.
Time to make the quilt sandwich! I hung the Cairo backing on my wall,
Then hung the backing,
See that weird lump?
That’s Hela helping.
I sprayed both with adhesive and smoothed them together, then hung the striped top over it and spray-glued it to the batting. Then I opened all of the windows to try to avoid huffing the glue.
After pinning it all, I took it down and found that the sides were a little too narrow. So I unpicked the black sides, added the dark blue/brown strips of fabric I hadn’t used among the colors, and the reattached the black sides again.
I quilted the whole thing following the straight lines on the striped side, then ironed and pinned the black border to make it into the binding. Et voila!
And a bonus pillow:
I’ll be napping under bright colors this winter!