Gaye Alger – Seasons – Falaj

Continuing my Omani series and with the environment in mind I have used the Aflaj irrigation system as my source of inspiration. Oman has a sub tropical, hot desert climate and is either very warm through to very hot! It almost never rains, except on the high mountains although it does have the odd spectacular thunderstorm in the cooler period. As a result water is of a premium. The Falaj (plural of aflaj) of Oman are a very old (many are over a thousand years old) although the design is thought to have come with Persian settlers who introduced the qanat system thousands of years ago and is a wonderful example of community sharing of a rare resource for the good of all. They are dug and maintained by the village members. The first open section is free for all to use. After passing through the fort or village the water passes to the gardens and agricultural land where it is most often distributed on a timed basis and these timings are inherited. In addition there is often some extra water which is available for rental by auction.With access to water often throughout the whole year and the warm weather the gardens produce feed for the livestock and vegetables and fruit for the families, with more than one harvest per year. To see these gardens in this often barren landscape is amazing.

My quilt background has been pieced using a collection of hand dyes and commercial fabrics from my scrap boxes. It has been embellished with fabric paints and free motion quilted and finished with a simple binding.




Close up View:

Falaj close up 1


Falaj close up 2

  1. It is a constant source of wonder for me the way the desert has been made to produce and bloom, you have depicted this beautifully Gaye, I love all the little fields in such neat and orderly rows.

  2. Beautiful colors and composition. You can almost see the produce on the little gardens.
    Lovely completion of your Omani series.

  3. This piece is evocative of the work of Alicia Merrett…(…and provided a learning experience for me, living here on the other side of the world, in such a different geography. Beautifully done!

  4. joanbrailsford

    I like the feeling of having a ‘birds eye view’ of the landscape, and the colours are very well chosen

  5. I like the fact that it looks like a view from the sky !

  6. Gaye, a beautiful vibrant quilt, it will go well with the others in your series, I appreciate all the work that went into your design. Bravo

  7. This remindes me of Alicia Merreth too. Very nice how you used different techniques for the gardens.

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