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!!!


  1. It's stunning. I like the quilting design you came up with, too.

  2. It's stunning. I like the quilting design you came up with, too.

  3. Wow! You are a wonderful artist. This is beautiful.

  4. You have chosen a lovely fabric for the background. And that quilting makes it look like flames - you do know the frame around Nagaraj is usually flames! What a lovely gift!


  5. Love your work.You do a great job. The quilting technique you have used is amazing and complementing the Natraja picture.


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...