Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bloggers Quilt Festival!!!

Hiya all! Its time for the Bloggers Quilt Festival organized every year by Amy!!!

And this year, I'm entering it again!!!

I am going to enter one of the most favorite quilts that I made this year. Apsara aali...

The quest for the photo started about 2-3 months before I actually stared making this quilt. I have always been intrigued by the many different ways in which a saree is draped in India. The length of the saree also varies regionally.

In Maharashtra - the state in India that I live in - the 9 yard saree - called nav vari (nau = nine, var = yard) is the traditional gear for women. It has its own variants too! It looks especially beautiful from behind!

I wanted to capture the grace of that saree, without making it look like I was trying to make a quilt of a woman's bottom!

I might be a good quilter, but an artist - I'm not! But I know my limitations and instead of taking the chance I began my quest for a perfect photo that I could use as a guide for my quilt. A friend suggested Madhuri Dixit's pose from the poster of Gaja Gamini - a film made by the famous painter M F Hussain.

The pose was from one of my most favorite songs in the movie, music by Bhupen Hazarika. You can watch the song here... 

It was exactly what I was looking for!

I used the poster as a guideline and divided the picture and tackled it one part at a time!

It made things really easy...

And about 4 months after the initial idea started brewing, here is the quilt - ready in all its glory!

I love the fact that the saree looks like it is draped and not stitched down!!!

Here, you can see the details of the saree... 

 Here you can see how instead of sewing down the folds of the saree, I let them stand out to give it a 3D effect...

I was totally skeptical about doing the ties of her blouse, having never done something like that before. But it turned out alright!

I could not find the exact color for the central panel in the local market. Then I thought, why not dye it myself! So I did. I hand dyed white fabric to make the central panel... And then added a border of the darkest shade outside the black frame!

I made the bundle on top 3D too! And I actually stuffed it with batting scraps to make it fluffy!

The back was also given a lot of thought...

I wanted to make a window and then have a silhouette of  her as if seen through a frosted glass...

Does it look like that? I tried to match the front applique to the silhouette on the back as fat as possible, there is a difference of about 3/8" at some points! But I'm happy with it!

I am planning to enter this one in multiple quilt shows...  And I start with Amy's!

I even put a proper sleeve on the back, and did not forget my trademark ribbons and my elephant charm!

Quilt Stats :
Name : Apsara aali...
 Size : HUGE : 40" x 80"
2. Material : Fabric - from stash - ALL OF IT!Including the Saree and the blouse fabric! A lot of cotton poplin, some linen and curtain lining remnants!
I used a LOT of Pellon Fusible (#805). I also used a lot of local interfacing - mainly to sew the entire figure on, before sewing it onto the final quilt!
Thread - Aurifil Invisible (90% of the work) and Aurifil 50 wt Black & White as per the situation. I used a little of Superior & a little of Madeira Mono-filament thread as well.

Experience : In one word - Surreal!

Do you like her? I am very proud of her!!!
If you do like her, please vote for me when the voting starts on November 11th! You can find my quilt in the Wall hanging category here. Go vote!!!
Now I'm off to see other quilts entered in the show so far!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rant # 437862 : Design copyrights

I was very saddened by this incident and needed to vent about it as well as seek everybody's opinion on it.

I know a fellow quilter from my country since one year now. I was totally floored by her work when I saw it. It was absolutely breathtaking. She learned quilting at an institute abroad and it really reflected in her work. I was mighty impressed.

During the one year I knew her, she only managed to make 2 quilts. Both of them nowhere near the ones she had made during her stay abroad, with respect to finesse as well as precision that was a huge 'wow' factor in her previous quilts. I watched her work at one of the workshops and was really unimpressed by the messy stuff she created.

I even had a discussion with her about one of the quilts she had made which I loved - especially one feature of it, which was made as a challenge entry for one of the Facebook groups she is a part of. She claimed it (the feature) to be her original idea and design. She told me she was inspired by a flower/fruit she saw during her stay abroad. Same was true for the other quilt too. That one was also made for a Facebook group challenge.

Fast forward to yesterday, I was browsing pinterest and one quilt caught my eye. It bore an uncanny resemblance to one of the 2 quilts she had made! I checked it out and realized that she had copied the design 100%! Every line of stitching is copied from the original design. That design is just one of the 3 main features of her quilt but it is the main feature of the other quilt. Doesn't that deserve a credit to the original designer? Also, the original designer - a Japanese Quilter - does not even have a blog or haven't put up their quilt anywhere online. The photos I found were all taken at a Quilt Festival in which that person was one of the top 3 winners. That means that the person does not want to share their designs with everybody, and surely wont tolerate somebody blatantly copying their design!

This prompted me to investigate the other quilt that she has made and I traced back the original to a painting by a fellow Indian artist from Kolkata.

I believe that imitation is the best form of flattery, but is it not right to be honest about it? I called up my 'friend' today and just told her that I came across one of her designs online. I told her which design I was talking about and and that I can see that one is the replica of the other. I did not tell her that the quilt was made back in 2009 and she made it in 2012! She thinks that I think that the other person copied her design. I just did that so that she had an opportunity to confess to me that she had indeed used somebody else's idea. But she did nothing of the kind. I also warned her how expensive a copyright infringement lawsuit might cost anybody who did that. But she maintained her stance that it is her original design.

Now what do I do? Do I talk to her again and tell her that I know that she has copied the design? Or do I just leave it at it? Or do I contact the original artists in both the cases and notify them of the copy?

It hurts because India is very new in the International quilting scenario and I am a proud Indian who hates people like her spoiling the image of my country! What would you do in my place?

Just so that I do not leave you with a pictureless post, here's what I'm currently working on.

A Portrait quilt using reverse applique technique!

A sneak peek of the photo.

And my work


Friday, October 11, 2013

Bella Parade '13 : Grand Finale Winner

Hey guys!!!

Have been totally busy for a while... Plus the fact that the home telephone (and hence the internet) was dead, did not help things!!!

Finally got stuff sorted and here it is

The name of the Grand Finale Winner!!!

Drum roll please...

 Commentor # 18

And that is













Congratulations Lisa!!!

Shoot me an email with your address and the prize will be on its way to you!!!

And the reason that the FQ Bundle has 30 solids while the yardage has only 29 is that, after the solids were out, Moda realized that two of their shades were just too close together and so they discontinued one of it!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A road less traveled

I recently became a part of a group of 30 art quilters - Art Quilts around the world.
We have a challenge every 2 months and make A3 size art quilts depicting that theme in our own ways.

This was my first challenge and the theme was

A Road Less Traveled

All the time I was thinking about this challenge, I had a ton of other things go through my mind... I was super busy - with the Bella Parade and stuff at home and the upcoming craft fair! I was given a choice since I joined late - to skip this one and start with the next one from October - November. But I wanted to participate since this was my first challenge. 
Around the same time, one of my school friends posted this prayer that we said in our school every morning... It is written by Rabindranath Tagore. At that time, we loved it because it was longer compared to the other ones and that would mean longer assembly time. But now it actually makes sense.
"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake."
  The words just ran through my mind, over and over again, and I realized that we actually needed to understand the meaning of those words today...
I stopped reading the newspaper ever since the number of rape news started increasing alarmingly! There was even a 2 and a half year old girl raped not more than 60 kilometers from where I live! It hurt and it hurt hard! I longed for a place that was calm, serene and quiet. A place where I will feel safe, where my child will feel safe!!! 
That, I feel, is the road less traveled today! A path where people walk with love and compassion for each other. A path where they all hold hands so that they can distribute their strengths evenly and help those who are a bit slow... A path that awakens a nation, mine, yours... The entire humankind!!!
So the quilt I made represents that! My happy place!!

I also decided to use a technique that in itself is a road less traveled - Three Dimensional Quilting.
I could not work out how to do it for a long time. Then I looked around the internet and found this! I think Kathy York is one of the best #d quilt artists ever! And she was sweet enough to help me work out how to make my tree stand!!! I love the generosity of quilters around the world. Every time I have approached an expert with a problem, they've always helped me with it!!! Thanks Kathy, I owe this one to you!

The architect in me immediately  knew I had to make contours for the mounds!!! I made them one at a time and then stitched them together from top to bottom to make the about 1-1/2" high mound!

The fact that I used DanScapes fabric made it a little easier for me to get the effect!

I used some of my scarf scraps for the river... I then used  one of the wooden finish fabric and layered a piece of felt in it and quilted it to make the bridge! The stiffness of the felt is enough to make the bridge stand!

I quilted around the pebble shapes on the fabric to give it a 3D look! 

The tree was a lot of work. First I made the base by stuffing a fabric tube with batting scraps. Then I inserted a wire in it (the kind we use to make stocking flowers) and made branches from it. I then covered the branches with batting strips and then followed with fabric. I used glue intermittently to hold it in place.

For the leaves, I densely quilted a sandwich  of some Danscapes foliage fabric with green felt using black thread. I then followed it with straight line quilting with a variegated green thread. I then cut it up into, what felt like,  a million pieces using the straight line quilting as a guide - the leaf vein!

  One by one, I then hand sewed the leaves to the branches. It was a lot of work and now I know why I should ALWAYS wear a thimble! I even pricked my finger wit the WRONG END of a needle!!!

For most part of the quilt, I used the regular Black Aurifl Thread (50 Wt). I used colors for the highlights and invisible for the quilting (in some places). I did not have any problem sewing through all those layers (at some places I stitched through almost 12 layers of batting). I used a #14 Quilting needle in my Bernina 330 and it did its job well!!!

This one has been claimed by Aadi already!!! And I'm happy that he loves it! It is going to stay in his room once I figure out how to mend the tree that he broke while playing with it!

Do you like it?