Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Portrait Quilt : A Final Reveal

It was a hundred years ago that the story of this quilt actually started...

It is the story of Krishnaji Shripad Dandekar - or Dada-ajoba (Big grandfather) to our family now.

In a small town, Sangli there lived a young man who was a mechanic and repaired bicycles (there were so few cars then). One day he fell down into a well and broke his leg. After that he could not go back to be a mechanic - the medical treatments were not yet so advanced and  a fracture meant a broken bone for life!

But he did not give up! He was strong, not strong physically, but by nature...

He decided to start his own business. He was innovative when he decided to start selling lantern glass! Typically an oil lantern glass would break pretty often and people would rather not buy the whole lantern just for that! He found a place on Ganpati Road (now a bustling main commercial street in the town, but then a small lane that went to the city temple.) an sat on it with his small "shop"

But soon the business grew. He made a lot of additions to it. He built a house - a two-storeyed house - at the very place he used to sit on a piece of burlap.

During the independence struggle, his son became a freedom fighter. He was even imprisoned at times. But Dada-ajoba never let his spirit die.

Soon after India became independent. It was a moment of joy and celebration for the entire country. But almost immediately after it, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. The culprit was Nathuram Godse. This caused a communal violence all over India and Dada-ajoba's house was burnt down. It must have been a traumatic event, but Dada-ajoba just became even more stronger. Looking at the still smouldering ashes he decided to build a three storeyed house in its place! AND HE DID!

He worked harder (not to forget that he was almost 45 years older than he must have been when he started his business) and built a three storeyed house in the very place! The house stands tall and proud today as a salute to the hard work, innovation and never-say-die spirit of the person who built it!

I am proud to be a part of this family. Every true Dandekar has the traits of Dada-ajoba. Today the business has grown many-folds - we have come a long way from selling lantern glass. We sell building materials, generator sets, cement, steel, agriculatural products and now - Laptops! But the streak of character remains. And I feel that it is due to that character that "Dandekar = trust" equation exists. We have loyal customers who have been with us for 2 generations , or more!

Next year - 2013 - we will be celebrating the centenary of our business : M/s P. K. Dandekar. I had always admired dada-ajoba and wanted to do my little bit in paying respect to him...

I decided to make a portrait quilt to celebrate his spirit!




This was a daunting project. I was perpetually scared I might not be able to do it right. I was scared that it might end up looking totally different. But I decided to give it a try nevertheless!

And here's  the result... My first (there will be many more to come, I'm sure) portrait quilt!

I raw edge appliqued all the pieces together to make this one... I used about 15 different fabrics in shades of grey for it. I used Kona Cotton (a half yard bundle of Silent Cinema), Bella Solids (assorted) and local cotton fabric.


The fusing was done using Pellon Fusible # 805


I top stitched the pieces down first and then quilted it with lines that I'd have done the sketch with.


I used Aurifil thread to quilt it. #2615 for quilting the background, # 2605, # 2612, # 2630 and #2620 for top stitching the pieces and #2692 for the sketching line - quilting (all wt 50). In the entire process of going through multiple layers - I also used Pellon to baste the quilt so the layers were : Fused piece (sometimes more than 3 overlapping each other) - Pellon - back fabric - pellon - batting - pellon - backing - there were only 2 incidents where the thread broke! And both the times the needle broke maybe because i was tugging the piece while quilting!


I quilted it on my Emily! (Bernina 330) And she sure did a great job!

Quilt stats :

Quilt Size : 32.5 " x 48"
# of pieces fused : 3488+
Batting : Cotton
Techniques used : Raw Edge applique and Free motion quilting.

I'd love to make many more portrait quilts. Making this quilt was a satisfaction in itself. It made me think, as I traced, cut and fused each piece about myself and I feel I learnt a lot from the process.

I'd really like to thank Sandra Bruce for being the inspiration to make this quilt. Had it not been for you, I would not even have attempted it!

:)

Yes, I'm proud to have made this!
Proud to be a part of the Dandekar family!

Cheers!!!


39 comments:

  1. Beautiful story and a noble quilt. I think you made an heirloom.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am just so impressed with how it turned out, I can't even think up the appropriate compliments here!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Brilliant. They will fall over!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is an amazing quilt to go with an amazingly strong history! You did an awesome job!

    ReplyDelete
  5. congratulations on your perseverance! what a wonderful heritage piece for generations. superb work and lots of love poured into it - it shows!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. congratulations on your perseverance! what a wonderful heritage piece for generations. superb work and lots of love poured into it - it shows!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am so impressed. Thank you for sharing the whole story- not just of the quilt but also of your family. Happy anniversary (a bit early).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Such a great story and a fabulous quilt! I'm so glad you finally went ahead and made it!! :) Also - it made me smile that you quilted it with me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. So glad to read the story about the man in the portrait. You really did a fabulous job.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Shruti, this is an absolutely beautiful piece of art. And the story behind it is equally fabulous. You are so talented.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your portrait is fantastic! And there is a wonderful story to go with it. I hope you will write the story out and attach it to the back, or beside, the quilt.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Truly amazing and a wonderful story

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is so beautiful! A treasured keepsake for years to come!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just wonderful! You did an amazing thing!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Truly an amazing tribute - your story touches my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh Shruti! This is just so amazing and fantastic!! What a wonderful tribute to such an inspiring man. I'm sure your dada-ajoba would be honored.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is really amazing! Makes me want to give portrait quilting a go! Thanks for the beautiful inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  18. EXTRAORDINARY!! what a beautiful story and the tribute with this gorgeous portrait! nicely done!!..continued success...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow, just amazing! And such a lovely story too :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Beautiful and thanks for sharing the story behind it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Absolutely amazing. The quilt and the story!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Shruti, you made an exceptional portrait quilt. Awesome

    ReplyDelete
  23. Amazing!!! You did a fantistic job. Be very proud.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Brilliant, Shruti! You should be proud.

    ReplyDelete
  25. That looks SO good. You did a fantastic job.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Excellent job! I have always wanted to make a portrait quilt. I better start collecting grey fabrics.

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is an amazing piece of art and craftsmanship. Stunning! :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. What a remarkable quilt and no wonder your so proud of what this fine man achieved!
    Its a delightful story of endurance and tenacity.......youve obviously inherited some of it yourself and this quilt proves it !

    ReplyDelete
  29. I have to agree with Trevor from "so I married a craft blogger" this is a masterpiece. I am so impressed.
    Thank you for sharing your creation! It is truely inspiring.
    with love,
    -Jo

    ReplyDelete
  30. Congratulations! And what a wonderful story as well!

    ReplyDelete
  31. What a testament to you and your family. Your perseverance and talent are certainly evident in your masterpiece , although others are bound to follow. Congratulations .

    ReplyDelete
  32. That is simply amazing! Good luck with Sew-vivor!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Your quilt is amazing. I love it. Good Luck with sew-vivor.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I found your blog by googling Portrait quilts, have been reading the blog nonstop, I love this quilt! It is beautiful, such a work of art.......Thanks for sharing it with us!!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Free Social Media Marketing where Every thing will be Free, Facebook Likes, Twitter Followers, Twitter Tweets, Twitter Re-Tweets, Twitter Favorites, Google Plus Followers, StumbleUpon Followers, Youtube Views, Youtube Likes, Youtube Subsribes, Pinterest Followers, Pinterest Likes, Pinterest PinIt, Free Website Visitors.
    Just Join now and Free Increase your Social Media Networks.
    GetLikeFast.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. Lols and Gags, Lol Pictures, Funny Pictures, Lol is the Laugh out of Laugh where you can Fun Unlimited and Laughing Unlimited. Visit the Best Lol Network Ever, where you can every thing is lol and Funny, Troll Images, Funny Vidoes, Prank Peoples, Funny Peoples, Prank Images, Fail Pictures, Epic Pictures and Much More Fun and Entertainment
    lolsgag.com

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments... I try to reply to all of them personally, but sometimes life is just too fast to do that... But I love hearing from you...