Catching up #1 – Tentmakers and Cairo

It seems as if months have passed since I was in Cairo, although it really is only a few weeks.  In that time the crowd-funding appeal for the documentary film on the work of the Tentmakers has reached its goal (but you can still contribute here), and they have been featured at quilt shows  in France,  the US and one to come here in the UK.  You can imagine that I’m mega excited about the UK show – British Quilt & Stitch Village – because it is virtually our local show, less than 20 miles away.  It will be very strange meeting up with Hany in my country rather than his.  Hany is one of the first Tentmakers I met and chatted to on my first visit to the Street of the Tentmakers in 2002 and I have several pieces of his work in The Cupboard my collection.

Hany El Saed Ahmed

Hany was at the show in Paris when I was in Cairo so there are no pictures of him from this last visit.  However, there was still plenty to see, admire (and buy!) in the studios that line the street

Tentmaker work

Tarek Fattoh studio

Ashraf's studio

Tarek Fattoh's studio

new design - Tarek Fattoh

lotus design

The last time I met Hasan, he and Tarek were demonstrating their skills at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham.  It was good to see him in the studio again

Hasan at work

Hasan's studio

Two of the pieces being held up here found their way into my bag ……….!

Altogether, a wonderful trip.  The classes I was teaching went well, thanks to a great group of students who just dived right in to everything and were a lot of fun – great classroom too, well done Debbie!

view from the classroom


and there was cake!

day one - Marsha

dyeing day!

dyeing day - the aftermath

some of the dyeing results

Tentmaker style applique

working on points

Of course, there had to be a day of sand, atmosphere and history –


Debbie W, this is for you

tomb carvings

There’s a rumour about a return visit next year………… just try and keep me away!

9 thoughts on “Catching up #1 – Tentmakers and Cairo”

  1. Fantastic, you sound as though you had a truly brilliant time. Thank you for sharing the pictures. Fascinating. I too love those quilts, loved watching the chap at FoQ two years ago I think it was. Brilliant.

  2. Glad to see you had your visit to the sun and sand this year. I love seeing the shots of the tentmakers work and agree that at least a couple would have to come home.

  3. It looks like you had an amazing trip and some great photos of the Tentmakers work. I remember how fascinated I was when they were demonstrating at AQC in Melbourne some years ago and I will never forget the size of their needle or the enormous shears they used to cut the little pieces of fabric for the applique. I hope Spring is being kind to you back in England. Take care.

  4. Could you show us some pictures of your purchases, PLEASE????
    I think they look wonderful, but close-up photos would even be better!
    And this British Quilt and Stitch Village, do you mean the 2013 or the 2014 show? I would love to go there to see the tentmaker’s art!
    Kind regards,
    The Netherlands

  5. Hi Digna,

    Yes, we are arranging for the wonderful Hany from the Tent Makers Of Cairo to come to our British Quilt & Stitch Show THIS year – April 26-28 April 2013 ! I am the Show Manager and I really wanted to bring one of their demonstrators over to the UK so that many of their fans can see and chat to them first hand without having to go all the way to Cairo 🙂 Would love to see you at our friendly show.

    Angela Price –

  6. Dear Barbara

    I was thrilled to see the Tent Makers at Uttoxeter, I had fallen in love with them at the NEC and enjoyed seeing your collection at Lutterworth Piecemakers last year. For my birthday, my husband said that I could buy something from them.

    I choose the most beautiful hanging with the most fantastic birds. The colours are wonderful and I am sure that it will give me pleasure for many years.

    You might be quite green if you saw it.

    Kind regards

    Di Jones

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