Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Haifa, Part I

street markets behind the Gallery Hotel in Haifa

Maybe not the most beautiful view of Haifa, Israel but certainly one of the most interesting. We stayed at an interesting hotel in an older, historic area, the Gallery Hotel. Behind the hotel there were numerous street markets selling everything imaginable.  The intensity of aromas from spices and foods was incredible. 

Arriving fairly late, we took a taxi from Tel Aviv. The hotel is located in an older but historic part of Haifa which is undergoing tremendous renovation. The street in front of the hotel was completely torn up, and honestly, after traveling for hours, it was a bit of a let down.  But once in the hotel, my anxiety vanished because not only was it extremely clean but quite interesting. Art is everywhere - scupture, paintings, whimsical pieces like this:
and this

There was an entire museum on the top floor, which we never made it to, and beautiful roof top views:

The staff is very gracious, friendly, and helpful; intrigued by our Southern accents.  Rooms in Israel are very small - at least ours were - but comfortable. That night we went to the dining room, very hungry, and were served enough food for a family. After the second course I just had to stop.

It was very hot when we were first in Haifa. We went up to Mt. Carmel, to the Bahai Gardens, walked all the way down to Ben Gurion Street in the German Quarter. 

I know I will go back to Israel. I hope to retire in 3-4 years and my husband and I plan to visit both Israel and England, our two favorite places.

Monday, January 21, 2013

This Quilt May Never Be Finished

I thought I was nearly finished but I saw this lovely moire fabric at the store and thought it would be perfect as a border on my CQJP quilt. Then I ran across some lace and put it up against the moire .... then I thought how lovely some beads would be.....


I definitely will add the fabric border, not that wide of course.

These are the embroideries Debra sent me a while back, and the little cross stitch piece - from goodness knows how long ago - which seem to go together. I think these would make a lovely CQ for the CQJP 2013.  I will have to get moving on this if I plan to do it. I'm already three weeks behind. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013


I chose to alter the final arrangement for several reasons. The concentration of the white in the center of the quilt was distracting to me.  I felt it detracted from the other blocks.  Secondly, I did not do a good job softening the edges of the white triangles and they seemed harsh.  I had also miscalculated one of the blocks and made it about 2 inches smaller tha the others and had to add to it. This was the center block on the top row so I decided to move it to a less conspicuous - I felt - location.

Whether this arrangement was a good or bad decision, I do not know. Over time I will be more objective. However, my intent in making this quilt was to remember my mother and her sisters, who were the "Wednesday Quilters" in my blog title. They are all but one gone now but when I worked on this quilt, and when I look at this quilt, I can hear them and feel them. So I am just happy that I finished (it will be finished very soon!) this, and can hang it in my home so that I and my daughters will always remember them and their love of quilting and family. 

So whether this will win any awards or be praised by anyone but me and my family, I don't really care. I will always have these ladies close to my heart. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013


This weekend is dedicated to:

daughter's birthday
organizing UFOs
organizing and planning AAQI pieces
exercise :-) - where I'm headed in a few minutes.

Here are a couple of AAQI UFOs I've been mulling over for many months along with material and various and assorted other things I figure I can put to use. I have a few hundred $$ to go to fulfill my $1000 pledge.

My oldest daughter's birthday is tomorrow and traditionally we (my daughter, sister in law and I) go shopping on the Sunday closest to her birthday. We have breakfast at The Flying Biscuit, take in Ikea and Target, and then spend the rest of the day roaming around Atlantic Station. We look forward to this every year.

I'm cooking chicken pot pie for the family tonight and have found a recipe for a special cake which will be a complete surprise for my daughter. She usually gets the traditional chocolate layer cake, but she's 25 tomorrow and that calls for something special.

I think 2013 is off to a good start. Here's to sustaining that good feeling and positive action.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

At the Mahane Yehuda market, Jerusalem

My sister in law and I visited the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem while we were in Israel. Right down the street from our hotel, the Lev Yerushalayim, we could walk there in less than 10 minutes.  It is a  fascinating  market place crammed with fresh fruit, vegetables, oils, nuts, spices, sweets, meat, cheese - "just about anything grown from or picked from the Israeli soil." (Lonely Planet, Israel and the Palestinian Territories). The smells are amazing: cinnamon,  pesto, paprika, coffee, fish - you feel you are in an exotic alternate universe! If you're hungry (when are we not?) you can chose from a number of restaurants. You can also find shops that sell non food items. I stepped in one tiny establishment that was not much bigger than my bathroom at home. It was stifling hot, in October no less. What must it be like in the summer?

We were a bit early the day we were there, so the vendors were just setting up. On my next trip, I will make a point to go in the early afternoon on Friday. In Israel, and especially in Jerusalem, Friday afternoons must be experienced. We were in Mea She'arim, an intensely Orthodox community in Jerusalem, around 2 pm just before Shabbat. It was crazy with activity; folks getting their business done before shutting down for the Sabbath. . I am truly in awe of the devotion and dedication of the people who live in this fascinating community.