Thursday, October 29, 2015

My heart's delight : portrait of Aadi

It is every quilting mother's dream. To be able to make a portrait of her child. I did that this past week.

Remember Sandra Bruce's self portrait? I had interviewed her some time back. You can go here to read that interview. It was about 3 years back! Ever since I have wanted to make a portrait using her technique.

I visited her during my USA trip. And she wrote a wonderful post about it on her blog! (We do have a mutual admiration club!)

So back to the portrait...

I had this photo of Aadi, that has always been my favorite one. It was clicked by one of the members of the Amateur Photographer's Club in Sangli sometime back in 2008! Aadi was barely 11 months old then. We had gone for a stroll in a garden early in the morning. The club members were there and asked me permission to click photos of Aadi. I told them they could as long as they give me a copy of every photo they take and the permission to use them the way i want to. The did. and a few days later I had a CD with some of the most awesome snaps of Aadi delivered to my home. I still do not know the name of the person who actually clicked this photo. But I am very much indebted to him.

I knew this picture would make a great portrait. Until now I have only made portraits in gray scale. This one screamed at me to be made in color. What was holding me back, you ask? I was scared I would not be able to do it. But I decided to just go and do it! 

So I gathered all my supplies. In the end, I decided to crop out the background and use white instead. That made it easier on me. I did it one square at a time. I looked for prints that matched the position onthe photo. If I did not have prints like that, I improv-pieced the squares. Some I decided to applique because they were too complicated to be pieced. 

 I was on the edge of my seat, more  sure than not, that I am not going to be able to do this! Till this moment.

I got the eye right!!! That was the moment I knew I was going to be able to make it.

And then I got the other eye right too!!! That one was difficult since it had to match the first one. Between those two eyes I think I have 6 pairs of attempts before I got them right!

And at the end of 4 days all the squares were ready!!! Time to do the unthinkable. Piece them together! I managed to do that in another couple of days. The quilting took 2 days...

And at the end of the week : my quilt was ready!!!

Here it is, "My heart's delight : portrait of Aadi"

I decided to keep the quilting simple. And most often matched the thread with the background. I wanted the piecing to be the "hero" of this quilt rather than the quilting.

Here's a more detailed shot of the quilting.

I quilted his three favorite nursery rhymes (when he was 11 months old) in the background. I have no score of how many times I must have sung them to him! So you see  "Wheels on the bus", "Incy wincy spider" and "You're my sunshine" on the white background. I also wanted to include some Marathi songs, but there was no more space left.

I used a 'curly' design to quilt the hair. It turned out awesome!!!

I let Aadi pick the backing for this quilt, and he chose this one! Nummers from Ikea. Its perfect for this quilt!

Quilt stats

Name : "My heart's delight : portrait of Aadi"
Size : 40" x 40" - 200 squares 2.5" (10 appliqued, 76 pieced others whole)
Material used :
Fabric : Hand dyed fabric (for the skin), assorted Black and white prints (for the hair), Some local scraps (for the dress), Bella Solid White and Snow (background)
Thread : Aurifil 50 wt in Tan for piecing and applique. Assorted shades - black, pink, white, grey, blue and red for quilting. Aurifil 40 wt White in bobbin.(only because I was running out of 50 wt in white)

Pieced and quilted on my Bernina 710 using the Dual Feed System and BSR.

Aurifil & Bernina managed to go through several layers (at one intersection it must be close to 7) without ANY incident of thread breakage! Go "Berifil"!!!

Other material : My laptop, freezer paper and my brain (lot of it)

Experience : Amazing!!!

Thank you Sandra, for inspiring me to make this quilt and for sharing your process with me. Though I ended up doing it my own way - it was fun to see how I started out at the same point as you, with the same concept and reached the same destination, travelling down my own road!!! Your support has been phenomenal. This quilt is going to change my life! I know it! And thank you for being such a lovely friend!!!

Do you like "My heart's delight?"

I'm entering it into the Bloggers Quilt Festival  on Amy's Creative Side.

You can find my quilt in the Art Quilt category. Please vote for it if you like it!


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

When a quilter sees a monster...

Kids see monsters all the time. i'm sure many moms like me have, more often than not, put a label "Monster Spray" over a spray bottle filled with a room freshener.

But what happens when the quilter mom sees a monster?

She makes it into a quilt, of course!!!

I was playing with some fabric dyes yesterday. While ironing out the fabrics, I saw a shape of a monster in it!!!

My mind started whirring with ideas. So much so that I totally forgot to take a picture of it!!!

I snapped this one just as I set it up on my machine to make the "Monster in my Dye" quilt!

If you turn your head to the left, you can see the monster's face!

I took him and made it into a quilt! I'm sure my son will love it when he sees it!!!

I added a small piping before I added the binding! I love the effect of it!

Here's a detail shot of the face... The quilting turned out awesome!

Quilt stats :

Name : "Monster in my Dye"

Size : 14" x 16.5"

Material Used
Fabric : Hand dyed cotton poplin - local market buy
Thread : Aurifil 50 wt in different colours - Blues, Green, Red and White!

Technique : Whole Cloth quilt!

Experience : Scary !!! LOL! Lot of spontaneous fun!!!

Do you like my monster?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

'Unpicked' - A Bernina Pictogram Project

Earlier this year, I was invited to participate in a group project on the BERNINA International Blog.

Last year, with the help of Jutta Hellbach a well-known German artist, BERNINA put together a creative Project on the Web called “People”.  European artists got the opportunity to create a piece of textile art which had to feature a Pictogram. These panels were then displayed as an exhibition at Quilt and Textile Events around Europe.

When I saw the invite I knew I wanted to be a part of it! And immediately informed Bernina India so.

Early last week, I received my package. 

When I looked at it I was happy with the colours and the material. But nothing more really 'clicked'.

By the end of the week, I had nothing much to work on. Inspiration struck when I listened to a report in the news about the increased incidents of female foeticides. 

What is Female Foeticide?

Female Foeticide is deliberately getting rid killing a fetus in the womb after a confirmation that it is a female from an ultrasound sex determination. There are a lot of reasons behind that. But the root of it all is gender inequality. Even today, parents of girls have to pay dowry to 'secure' her future with a 'good' husband! It is the sad truth of the community around me. My state ranks 6th in the Sex Ratio in the country - standing at 114 boys for 100 girls. (Researchers say the normal ratio is between 103 to 107)

Here is the quilt that I made.

It is a very strong quilt, I must admit. The process of making it was emotionally draining. Every stitch that I unpicked, made me think about doctors doing this to an actual fetus! In some cases, since its illegal, the mother (more often than not, against her wish) is taken to a non-doctor. The measures that they use to 'unpick' the girl from her mother's womb puts even the mother's life at risk. But they do not care about her life either. After all, she is just another Woman! 

I also used Marathi and Hindi words for Boy and Girl in the quilt - मुलगा (मुलगी) & लडका (लडकी)

I am very glad that even though I was born at a time when sex determination was not illegal, and gender based discrimination was the 'normal' way of life, my parents brought me up as a strong, confident and self assertive individual. They never let the fact that I was a girl come between me and my goals! They taught me to be independent. They taught me to respect others and earn their respect. They made me the person I am today. I can never thank them enough for it.

At the same time, I am also thankful that my better half, Rohit, and his family isn't gender biased either. I have never been given any less respect or opportunity because I am not a 'son' of the family. In fact, sometimes I think they are more biased on my side than his! All my endeavors have been met with appreciation and encouragement! Without their support I would not be able to do what I do today.

I hope that every girl gets the same love, respect, encouragement, opportunity and appreciation that I get from both my families! 

Because, you're worth it!

Quilt Stats :
Name : "Unpicked"
Size : 22 cm x 28 cm 
Material Used : Felt, Mettler and Aurifil thread
Technique used : Free Motion Quilting
Experience : Beyond words!