Monday, September 14, 2015

Tayta's College Quilt

My blog posts are all out of order now, but oh well. I was so happy to completely finish Tayta's happy quilt before traveling to the US last July. That is why it is my happy quilt. Tayta calls it her happy quilt because it makes her happy to look at it.

When we began considering patterns for her college quilt, I showed her this pattern in one of my quilting books: 

One of authors, Amanda Jean Nyberg, who blogs at Crazy Mom Quilts , is the quilter who first inspired me to pick up quilting again, by introducing me to the world of modern scrap quilting.

Tayta, with some imput from Artist Son and Me, chose the fabrics from my stash of scraps. Represented in the quilt are clothes from most family members: a shirt of Active Sons, dresses and tops from Oldest Daughter and Tayta, fabric from a dress I made for myself over 25 years ago, a shirt of Dear Husbands, and leftover scraps from Artist Son's college quilt. Tayta did a lot of the laying out of squares, with minimal help from me, and I did the sewing and construction--such a fun project to work on together!

For the back of Tayta's quilt, I used a vintage cotton duvet cover that I found in the used market. It didn't provide quite enough backing fabric, so I improvised by adding in scraps left over from the front. I first added the wide strip, thinking it would be enough, but it wasn't, so I added the cross strip as well. The binding was fashioned from, of course, more scraps. I machine quilted the quilt using a diagonal pattern and I used two-inch wide masking tape as a guide for the stitching lines.

Here is Tayta looking happy about her quilt in the olive grove near our home. Beautiful olive trees are one of the enduring favorite things of Tayta's childhood, so she thought the olive grove the perfect place for a quilt photo-shoot.

I am in awe of people who quilt as a business. I enjoyed making this quilt, but it took me a long time! If I had to put a price tag on it, either my hourly wage would be very, very low or the quilt would cost much more than I could actually sell it for! And that isn't even with considerations of it's imperfections (i.e. mistakes). 

Next quilt? I'm not sure. I need to find my inspiration. I think I'll work on some smaller projects first...

Friday, September 11, 2015

Tayta Goes to College

Where to begin? I haven't blogged much of anything since April or May. Somehow, I managed to blog when I had four children at home, but now that I have (had) one? Maybe I'm just slowing down.

The spring and summer months were filled with graduating Tayta, celebrating 30 years of marriage, wonderful, wonderful times with family and friends in the the US, taking Tayta to college (or, university, as it is an significant distinction in Jordan, college generally denoting a two-year program), and returning to Jordan last week as empty-nesters--and an engagement since then! But I will begin here, with our trip to Houston, showing Tayta's new surroundings and her new life at Houston Baptist University.

Tayta is our first family member to make her home, even if temporarily, in Texas. I think she's going to like it there. The city of Houston isn't beautiful and the weather, not so great, unless you like hot and humid, but the people are wonderful--Texans are very kind people!-- the campus is lovely, and Houston is home to a lot of arts and culture, world-class medical centers, and people of many backrounds.

Tatya is  studying in the Nursing Honors program at HBU; she has been accepted into the nursing program and all her core classes will be fulfilled in Great Books reading/writing/discussion based courses.

                    More campus shots:

HBU's 2015 freshman class

Tayta is being initiated into the concept of school spirit. As a home-schooled student who was raised overseas, this is an unfamiliar and even odd experience for her, but she is trying. The freshman class was given school beanies at the "Beanie Ceremony", and they were supposed to wear their them throughout the first week of school. She kinda did that. We're giving the "Dawgs Up" sign--HBU's mascot is a Husky. I don't think Tayta has the Woof Woof call down yet. 

Dear Husband coaxed Tatya into attending some of HBU's football teams pre-game scrimmage so that he could explain American football and try to infuse a little more team spirit into her. I think she'll like the social aspect, anyway.

HBU has a a really cool Bible museum. Above is the first printed Greek New Testament~1516.

We were thrilled to discover that several illuminations and hand-calligraphied pages from the St. John's Bible were on on display, as just the week before we had watched a fascinating documentary featuring extensive interviews with the lead artist, Donald Jackson of Wales. What a treat to have the exquisite manuscripts right before us!

(notice Hagar's name, bottom center/right, is recorded first in Hebrew, and then in Arabic right below)

Selfie at the Persian restaurant near HBU. We ate there twice as it was a very authentic taste of home. 

Starbucks selfie--we had several strategy and planning meetings at a couple different Starbucks so as to discuss meal plans, class schedules, and what we still needed to buy at Target. Just one more trip...

I lost track of how many visits we made to Target. I do know I visited a total of three different Target stores. Dear Husband was a good sport as Tayta and I discussed (again) final needs and purchases.

Tayta set up and arranged her corner of the room just the way she had envisioned it for months, as she chose and collected just the right items and pictures for her dorm room. She's done a good job of making it her home away from home. I enjoyed taking a tour-of-rooms within her suite. All the young women did such a beautiful job of arranging and decorating their rooms. "Give Thanks"(banner over bed). Indeed!

Tayta sent me this picture after her first anatomy lab. Yes, it is a real head. I thanked her for not sending me a profile shot. She loves this stuff. 

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Flowering Jordan Calendar 2015~August

A little late but still wanted to share the beautiful Black Irises of Jordan, the national flower.