Old Muscat Souq Featuring Eve by Art Gallery Fabrics
You can find a copy of the Old Muscat Souq in my shop.
About the Inspiration
The Old Muscat Souq quilt pattern was named after an ancient market in Muscat, Oman. Muscat is the capitol city and combines modern with ancient. The Mutrah Souq is an ancient market which overlooks the Gulf of Oman. This two hundred year old market is a maze of stalls, treasures, traditional Omani prayer caps and souvenirs. We were here during Ramadan so most of the stalls were closed as people were home during day light hours (it is common during Ramadan for business owners to greatly change their hours so they are awake during nighttime and sleeping during the fasting hours). Even with very few visitors it was hard not to get lost in the twist and turns of the souq.
Our trip to Oman left me completely inspired. I saw so many amazing designs and patterns engraved into walls, buildings and Mosques... The Old Muscat Souq quilt pattern was the first, of what I hope to be several quilt patterns, inspired by Oman.
About the Fabric
For this version of the Old Muscat Souq I used Art Gallery Fabrics. Art Gallery Fabrics creates some of the highest quality modern fabric you can find on the market today. I love working with their fabrics not only because I love their designs, but also because the quality is hard to beat. I frequently get told by guests who see my current projects that "this fabric can't be cotton, it's too soft and flowy". I highly suggest if you have not worked with their product to give it a try.
Art Gallery Fabrics asked if I would submit an idea to showcase their new line, Eve. Eve is described by it's creator, Bari J. as, "In honor of the strength and endurance of the female spirit, Eve, the mother of us all, represents the beautiful qualities of being a woman through prints of fierce cheetahs, graceful herons, and gentle butterflies."
This line of fabric definitely has some strong prints in it. I struggled with how to put the fabrics together in a way that balanced the strength and beauty of the line. As with any line of fabric I work with, I had my favorite prints (I just love those cheetahs). I was also intimidated working with Bari J.'s fabrics, knowing that these are her art and feeling overwhelmed in trying to put her vision into one quilt.
However, Art Gallery has an amazingly creative team which came up with the final design I sewed for their lookbook. This design does not use fat quarters (as is in the original pattern), but a mixture of 1/2 yards and 1/4 yards to create the design. Many of the center blocks are fussy cut to show off the herons and cheetahs in the Eve prints. The fabric requirements for this quilt are slightly off what you will find on the back of the pattern. You can find the fabric requirements for the Eve version of Old Muscat Souq here.
As you can see from the image above, the center of each block shows off the bold fabrics. Each center was also the perfect size to fussy cut around the herons (tight squeeze) and cheetahs. The outer colors accent the inside fabric without over powering the fabric.
The Old Muscat Souq modern quilt pattern was written with four sizes (baby, throw, twin and queen). Here are a couple fast facts about this quilt.
- This version is the throw size
- The throw size is made from 12 blocks
- In this quilt there are four different sets of three blocks.
- Usually in the Old Muscat Souq each block is different.
- In this version, the sets of three matching blocks are alternated throughout the quilt.
The Fun of Collaboration
I'll be honest... I don't have a ton of quilty friends besides virtual ones. But none that I really bounce ideas off of. I mean I ask my mom what she thinks but she has a completely different style than mine. My husband tells me to do the opposite of what she says. LOL!
My husband isn't a big fan of quilts. I mean he likes mine, he kind of has to though. He usually squints his eyes at them and says really slow, in a high voice "yeeeaaah, I think I like it." He says quilts are too busy and he can't figure out where to focus his eyes. He likes the modern simple, classic quilts I make.
I do talk to Kaitlyn from Knot and Thread Design. We haven't ever met. But we text some. Mostly I ask her questions because she is somewhat of an expert in my book on about everything relating to quilting and the quilting business.
But I haven't had anyone to bounce ideas off of with designs or see what they would do and why. Collaborating with Art Gallery Fabrics has been fun for this reason. I love how this quilt uses my design, but someone else's idea and spin to make it a little different. I realize the more I collaborate with others that I usually get stuck in my mode of thinking or my original vision for my patterns and can't quite see past it to create something different.
I never would have thought to combine the fabrics they did, or to make the four sets of three blocks and arrange them the way they suggested. The result left me seeing new possibilities for my patterns. I guess that's a long way of saying don't be afraid to collaborate, take some criticism and embrace someone else's ideas.
Speaking of Kaitlyn from Knot and Thread Design, she quilted this up for me. If you are willing to pay a small fee, she will do a quick turn around for you. It's worth it if you are on a deadline, which I was.
Last thing about this quilt, my favorite fabric from this modern quilting cotton fabric line is the backing. The flowers, colors and butterflies are elegant and classic. It was the perfect completion to the quilt.
So grab yourself a bundle of Eve and a copy of the Old Muscat Souq and embrace the power and uniqueness of being a woman.