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April 2022 President’s Piece

Kia Ora everyone,

Yes, we are back having spent 3 weeks overseas. 2 weeks in Dubai and 1 week in Azerbaijan. We have had a wonderful time and it felt so good to experience the freedom to travel again. In those three weeks we have had 3 PCR tests and 2 Rats tests upon returning home and all have been negative so life is returning to normal again. The major requirements for travel are masks, vaccination certificate, sanitizer and keeping yourself safe. The main reason to go to Dubai was of course to see our granddaughter, now 8 months old. Sitting up now but not quite crawling and definitely exerting her personality.

While in Dubai we spent 3 days wandering around Expo. A very exciting place to wander, beautiful buildings, gardens and restaurants among thousands of people. Not a hope of social distancing! My favourite country exhibit was Uzbekistan, a brilliant building. Inside they told the history of the Silk Road with interesting special effects and marvelous pictures. I have always been fascinated with the stories of the Silk Road and over the years we have visited many countries following the Silk Road. I am sure that’s where my love for tiles and carpets comes from.

Azerbaijan is one of those countries on the Silk Road route and it did not disappoint. A three hour flight from Dubai to the capital Baku. Azerbaijan is known for its beautiful handmade carpets so the Carpet Museum was a must to see. The building resembles a rolled up carpet.

Inside was a display of carpets through the ages that was mind boggling, but what fascinated me were the large saddle bags made from kilim carpets, hand sewn and strapped over horses.

The old walled city is beautifully restored and the new architecture is beginning to rival Dubai. The photo is of the Flame Towers and the Crescent still being built.

While we were in Dubai we visited a gallery that had several big wall hangings that looked familiar. I had bought a quilt many years ago from the Tent Makers in Cairo and recognized their technique and style. The gallery brings them in, mounts them on board and then frames them between 2 pieces of perspex. They look very much like an artwork and sell very quickly. An interesting way to mount the quilt.  Excuse the photo but the light is catching the Perspex.

Well enough of me. I hope you are all keeping well and busy. The world is slowly opening up and restrictions are getting less here in NZ so hopefully some of the exhibitions planned will go ahead. The ‘Lines’ challenge is due in shortly so I hope you have all been working hard.

Regards Valda Sutton, President Aotearoa Quilters