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?


  1. Not only are you a quilt artist, you are also a wordsmith! You are simply amazing!

  2. Mini quilt but a Maxi Acheivement... Like I always say Shruti keep going..Don't ever stop! !

  3. wow Shruti - you are amazing :-)

  4. You are very talented taking inspiration and realizing your vision. Kudos.

  5. Love it.. The prayer and wishes for tomorrow are beautiful as well.

  6. What an awesome quilt Shruti and what a lovely post. Thanks so much for sharing the story behind your quilt and for linking up :)

  7. Wow... this is just wonderful! I really enjoyed reading this.


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