Monday, February 29, 2016

The Quilt with no Corners

Around QuiltCon, I'm always inspired to create quilts that are strikingly modern. Today I finished one such quilt.

My idea of a modern quilt is a quilt that challenges the basic 'rules' of traditional quilting. I feel, it is all about making a quilt with (or without) your own rules!

I have seen people experiment with layouts, material, technique, colors, quilting designs and a whole lot of things.

Last week I decided to experiment with the shape of the quilt.

The shape in itself was inspired by a Guitar 'pick' (plectrum). This is the first time I have made a quilt with the intention of entering into a quilt show. I decided to be very meticulous with this one. Those who know me well were really worried for a while looking at my approach while making the quilt. My intern actually asked me if I was okay!

I started by sketching out the tentative layout (which I ended up not following) and playing with color options. This phase involved a lot of pulling-my-fabric-out-of-the-boxes-and-not-putting-it-back-in-place! But I had 4 options worked out (along with coordinating fabrics for each option) on my table before I finalized one.

I then made a mock-up of the fabric layout on my design wall before I actually stitched anything together. 

The piecing came along quite fast and within a day, my quilt was quilted 1" apart using my Walking foot. I used a light grey Aurifil thread in 50 wt to quilt it. I then quilted it at 0.5" adding some more greys, some red and blue threads to the lot. I also added a single line of some metallic silver thread that I had on hand. I continued quilting it closer (0.25") increasing the number of times I, randomly, used other colors.  It was so much fun to see it come together.

Then it was time to trim it down to the desired size and shape. I cut out the shape on some non-fusible grid (Pellon) and then used that as a pattern to actually cut the quilt. I was ALWAYS scared that I am going to mess it up. 

Thankfully nothing untoward happened and my quilt was ready for a photo session!

I decided to 'face' the quilt using a bias strip rather than bind it. It makes it look more like a guitar 'pick'

I even did a little photo session with my quilt outside my studio.

I love how it makes my studio look modern instantly!!!

 Quilt Stats
Name : #thequiltwithnocorners

Size : About 46" x 52"

Material used : Linen from stash, Assorted prints in grey and black and white, red and blue grunge fabric.
Aurifil 50 wt threads in assorted colors - greys, red and blue

Technique used : Piecing, straight line quilting, bias strip 'facing'

Experience : I am so satisfied with this quilt. It turned out much better than what I had envisioned it. I am glad that I went with my gut about thinking out of the box with this one!

Do you like my #quiltwithnocorners?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

52 prompts to blog every week : Week 8

Once again its time to blog with the 52 prompts!!!

For the full list in PDF , just click here

Today's topic is "My favorite Quilt"

Oh! Its so difficult to pick a favorite quilt...all of them are so dear to me and each one has taught me so much over the years including, the one that started out as something and ended up as completely something different - The Dr Suess Quilt for Aadi!!!

-the paintbox quilt that went all wonky

The portrait quilt of Dada Ajoba that I made for my husband and his family

The iQuilt I made for my (not-so) little brother

The Apsara quilt

Each one has taught me patience and that there such a long way to success.

An absolute favourite right now is the "My heart's desire quilt, a portrait of Aadi, my son. As the quilt comes back from its show at the Dubai Quilt festival, I look forward to its return and fondly remember the feelings when my little one was born could fit in my arms! Now my arms have to go around him to hug him :) How fast he grows!!

Which is your favorite quilt? And why?

Do leave a comment and let me know!!!


52 prompts to blog every week : Week 7

Today is Week 7!!! Yay! And I'm still doing these posts! I am happy that I am sharing with you guys! Do leave a comment to let me know if you are sharing them too!!!

Today we are going to talk about my favorite Quilter!!!

My favourite quilter ought to be Elizabeth Hartman of OhFranson fame. When I embarked upon the journey of quilting, a complete novice deer in the woods, she painstakingly took the time and effort to explain each and every query to me via email. Mind you, I met her, though very briefly at QuiltCon (I was so starstruck that I forgot to eve take a picture with her!!!) . She has taught me all those initial years when the world didn't know about me as a quilter. She is now more active in Instagram and the blog has taken a back seat but I have learnt and made so many  projects  from her blog tutorials.
Here are some of them.

Kitchen Window from her book Practical Guide to Patchwork

My first attempt at making Little Leaves, also from the same book.

Echino Pillows inspired by her quilt

Valentine, also from her book Practical guide to Patchwork

My intern, Preeti made this fabulous quilt from her book Modern Patchwork!

Apart from Elizabeth, I also love Angela Walters.
Last year at  Quiltcon, I attended a lecture by Angela Walters. It was the best one I attended! And I'm planning to go back for QuiltCon 2017 and she is the Key Note Speaker for that one!!! Cannot wait for it to be February next year!!!

Other than these, who are people I look up to, there are many more that I adore - Sandra Bruce, Luke Haynes, Nancy Zieman, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Melissa Averonis,..... There are so many names I want to put on this list!

Who is your favorite quilter? Are there more than one that you adore? Have you met them in person, or just loved their work online? I would love to hear from you!!!


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Crack in the wall!!!

Sometimes inspiration strikes in really odd places and it takes your mind on a ride! You travel through time, space and fantasy and reach a destination that you could never have imagined!

I went on one such ride today! It all started here -

A crack in the wall!!!

Though I tend to forget it, I AM an architect. Today as I sat in my studio thinking what do I make, I saw a crack in the wall. A small, superficial one.

When I worked as an architect, I was lucky enough to have a mentor who taught me the importance of details. He wasn't an architect himself, but a structural designer. He taught me that insufficient reinforcement might not actually cause a structure to collapse, but cause minor crack in the plaster. They are in no way harmful, but little by little they cause enough damage to the beauty of the structure. And then, even though it might be the safest structure in the world, but the inhabitants are never happy and satisfied.

That made me think about relationships.

We need so many things to have wonderful, happy and satisfying relationships - and not just with out partners! I'm talking about all relationships - spouses, children, parents, friends, extended family... anyone...

Having a strong foundation is surely a boon, but we also need proper reinforcement! And we need to keep checking it from time to time and top it up as and when required.

It all starts with a small, tiny hair-line crack! You cannot even see it. But as you start adding more force, the crack starts to widen. Thats when you notice it.

A crack tells you that you need to look into the reinforcement that is holding your relationship together. You need to take stock and make modifications to repair the crack. If you keep on ignoring it, your relationship is sure to fall apart!

Does patching up assure that there wont be any cracks? Does a crack mean the relationship is beyond repair? Does it mean that there will be more cracks? Does it mean 'an end'?

I am still looking for answers!  But I do know one thing, cracks are not THE damage- they are SYMPTOMS of the damage! They are there so that you know that there is a problem and you need to look into it.

The past few weeks have been very stressful for me, personally. While I made the quilt, I thought about the cracks that I need to patch up and those that are beyond repair! How can I be sure that they are beyond repair? If I give up now, will there be a time when I will feel "I should have tried just one more time?"

This quilt provided me with some answers, and some more questions! It got me thinking and moved me to such an extent that I actually cried when it was complete. I spent just one day making this, every line that I quilted sent me thinking in a new direction!

I am hoping, it leads me onto a journey where I find peace in my mind!

Here's my quilt - "Crack in the Wall"

Quilt Stats
Name : Crack in the Wall
Size : 26" x 21"
Material used : Stonhenge (I have had it in my stash for a  very long time, so cannot remember which one it was) in a light colour and black. Aurifil thread in black and grey.
Technique used : Reverse applique.
Experience : Introspective!!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

52 prompts to blog every week : Week 6

In the 52 prompts series, this week, we are going to talk about our favorite fabrics!

For a very long time, I have been totally in love with Echino! Thats always been my favorite fabric EVER. I do not throw away ANY Echino scraps from my studio!

I had picked up some fabulous Echino on my trip to USA for QuiltCon last year. I recently made one of thoes fabrics into a bag.

I even put some Bag feet on its bottom!!! Love that it looks so professional!!!

Which is your favorite fabric? Do leave me a comment and share!!!


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

52 prompts to blog every week : Week 5

It is February. February is the month of  love. In the 52 prompts series, this month we will be discussing about our favorites. Today its time to talk about

My favorite Sewing Machine

I have had a series of sewing machines. Now that I have an independent studio of my own, it helps keep my my machines spread out and using them at regular intervals.
I have a Featherweight from my grandparents - Durby, a Bernette E56 - Betty, a Bernina 330 - Emily and a Bernina 710 - Ross.

Click on the image to enlarge

Needless to say,Ross is my favorite sewing machine that I have. Its super neat and the BSR is a god send. It makes my quilting look super neat and professional. I seriously love it.

Do you want to know what my dream sewing machine is?

Its the Bernina Q24 on a frame.

I have plans to buy it in 2016. But before that I have to save up enough money!

Hope I will be able to do that.

Which is your favorite sewing machine? And which is your dream sewing machine?
Do drop me a comment and let me know.

P.S. I'm not doing a linky thing till we have more participants. Doesnt make sense anyways!


Monday, February 1, 2016


Nataraj is the dancing position of Hindu God Shiva,  as the cosmic dancer who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for the Lord Brahma to start the process of creation.
I made it as a gift for a friend and his wife. Yashodhan (known as Dhan in friends) directed the play my husband participated last year. The play was critically acclaimed at the national level and won lots of prizes. The play was called "Vrundavan" and received a lot of prizes including best Director and Actress (Kavita - Dhan's wife) and depicts the sorry state of the affairs of widows in Vrundavan and hence the name.

I first sketched the image onto one of my hand-dyed fabrics. Then I used two layers of stabilizer under it and 'thread painted' it. I used 2 shades of brown colored 40 wt Aurifil thread for this. Then I basted it with a high loft cotton batting and a beautiful yellow-gray linen for the back.

I quilted it using 50 wt Aurifil in pale yellow on top and 50 wt Aurifil black in the bobbin. I love the quilting design I came up with.

I just had 4 days to finish this quilt. And since we had invited them for lunch already, I could not push the deadline forward, in spite of an OPEN STUDIO. It was fun to work on it during the time that people came to visit.
After finishing the quilting, I used my Inktense pencils to add colour to the sketch.

Quilt Stats :
Name : Nataraj
Size : 36" x 30" (I actually forgot to measure it, so I'm not entirely sure. I'm just recalling from where I cut it)
Material used :
Fabric - Hand dyed Umaid Mill Poplin for the front and Linen for the back
Thread - Aurifil 40 wt in two shades of Brown for the thread painting, 50 wt in pale yellow for quilting and 50 wt black for the bobbin. I normally do not use different weight threads in the top and bobbin. But I did not have black in 40 wt, so had to improvise. I just set my tension to a little lower (number) than I normally use so that the bottom thread did not show up.
I used my BSR for the quilting and love the uniformity of the stitches.
I also used Inktense pencils for colouring it.
Experience - Making this quilt for Dhan & Kavita was in itself an inspiration. Dhan is a natural when he goes to the stage. He has been acting and directing for 20 years now. Kavita joined him after they got married. She has worked so hard to potray "Arish" in this play. Her Silver Medal for that role is totally well deserved. (They do not have a gold medal since they say - no one can play any role perfectly). The effect of the play was so strong that I actually did not feel like watching it one more time. The plight of the widows of Vrundawan is real. And this pair did an excellent job of bringing it to light! Making this quilt for them, felt so rewarding to myself.  Kudos to the Vrundawan team!!!