Wednesday, March 30, 2016

52 prompts to blog every week : Week 13

Today we are talking about making a quilt for someone you love!!!

You can download the full list here and start writing your own blog posts too!!!

I have made a lot of quilts for a lot of people whom I really love, but one of them stands out more than any other. 

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

Rohit comes from the Dandekar family. He is the fourth generation businessman from the family. Dada Ajoba or Krushnaji Dandekar was the person who started the family business. We celebrated the  centenary of the shop that stands proud and tall on the main business street of Sangli.

I wanted to gift something to Rohit & his family on that ocassion. I decided to make a portrait of Dada Ajoba.

It was not an easy task. I had only one photo to follow - It was a 4" x 6" photo in black and white. I just enlarge - photocopied it and worked from there. I used over 30 shades of grey in not just cotton, but absolutely ANY fabric that I could lay my hand on!

The quilt ended up having 3500+ pieces!!! 

It was a quilt that changed my life. I had never felt so confident about myself and my work before. My family had never taken me seriously. They thought quilting was just a hobby and after Aadi grew up, I would go back to my job as an architect. Why them, even I thought so! But after making that quilt, I have never given 'going back' a thought!

It was a quilt that made me a more serious quilter! 

I'm so glad that I made it. Not just for myself. I was able to say thank you to my in-laws. They have been my biggest cheer leaders along this road!

This quilt gave me immensely. Satisfaction, confidence, gratitude, pride, honour... to name a few things!

Here's the original photo that I used.

And here's the finished quilt!!!

You can read my original post about making the quilt here, here and here.

Have you made a quilt for someone you loved? Do share it!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Precious Metals...

I'm so excited to share today's finish!

This one took quite some time. The piecing finished in a couple of days, but the quilting felt like it took forever!

It was fun to watch the blocks come together.

I did make some more grey-white blocks for the negative space, but ended up not using them. I used a linen from my stash instead.

The quilt top was pieced just like the blocks. Improvised.

I knew how I wanted to quilt it. The inspiration came from Angela Walters.

I did swirls around the triangle. Straight-ish lines in the pieced part and pebbles in the grey linen.

I love the quilting on this one. I was almost ready to give up, but I decided not to start the next project (which I am even more excited about) till I finished this one!!! That gave me the necessary motive to finish this!!!

I am absolutely thrilled with this one!!!

Quilt Stats

Name : Precious Metals

Size : 44" x 46"

Material Used : Fabric - Cotton solids, Linen and prints from stash. Thread - Aurifil 50 wt (2320) on top and 40 wt (2600) in the bobbin.

Technique : Improv piecing

Experience : Fun, tiring, exhausting, depressing, exciting!!! All in one!!!

What did you make today?

52 prompts to blog every week : Week 12

Its the 52 prompts series again, and today I'm going to tell you about the first quilt i made!

You can download the full list here and start writing your own blog posts too!!!

I was actually working on 4 at the same time and do not know which one I finished first.

I know I started this one first. Because half of the blocks were hand pieced!!!

Sorry for the blurry photo, but I had a very poor phone at the time. It was made from Elizabeth Hartman's pattern. (I do nopt remember the name, but it was a sampler). I also inserted white squares in it on which I heat-transfered photos of Rohit, Aadi & me!

I still have this one, and I cherish it though its all old and the photos have faded!

The next was also based on Elizabeth's pattern - the Paint Box. Mine is an 'oops' paintbox quilt!

 I did not have a rotary cutter then, and marked and cut each of the 80 fabrics individually! I knew absolutely nothing about fabric and the way it behaves when stitching. So none of the seams match! But I love the quilt for reasons beyond aesthetics! 

The fabric was cut when my mother was undergoing surgery and we spent a lot of time talking - heart to heart! We were afraid we were going to loose her, fortunately we were wrong. But those moments are precious! 
This quilt is now owned by my little brother! And me and Aadi recently got to snuggle under it!

 The next one was the simplest quilt I have ever made! It is made from a cotton suit set. It consists of 2 coordinating 2.5 m fabrics, plus a dupatta. This came along fast. And I loved the Yin-yang design. 

This was the first time I designed a quilt myself!

The next one is a Lemon Quilt. I think the patter was from Fresh Lemon Quilts. I used fabric from my mother's dresses to make the pieced 9 patch blocks.

This quilt was my first attempt at FMQ. I had used an old curtain (a heavy one) as batting. It took me about 3-4 days to finish the FMQ on my Bernette e56. But afterwards my fingers were numb for about two weeks! I was so scared, but did not say a word. The day I decided I would go to the doctor and see him about any permanent damage caused, the sensation was back! I was so relieved!!!

My mom still has this in her house!!!

Which was your first quilt? Do share your memories! I'd love to hear about it!


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

52 prompts to blog every week : Week 11

I'm back with the 52 prompts series and today we are going to talk about a Quilt Guild or a Group

You can download the full list here and start writing your own blog posts too!!!

I would like to talk about two groups that I am a part of.

The first is The Modern Quilt Guild

"The MQG developed out of the thriving online community of modern quilters and their desire to start meeting in person. The founding guild was formed in Los Angeles in October of 2009. Through blogs and the Internet, word spread quickly of the fun they were having and soon guilds started popping up everywhere. "

I have been a member of the MQG right since when I started quilting. It was initially a free guild. And the members were spread all over the world.

We started a local chapter here The India Modern Quilt Guild.

After the MQG was regularized in 2012, we closed the IMQG. I continued to be an Individual member of the MQG.

I love the fact that I can be a member of a vast community, in spite of living on the other side of the world from all the Quilty things! The community is filled with forums that we can participate in. There are wonderful webinars not just to improve your quilting skills, but to give your business a little nudge too.

I also love the fact that all the leaders of the guild - the Directors, are easily approachable. There has not been a single email of mine that has been left unanswered by Jacquie Gering or Alissa Haight Carlton or Heather Grant! These are all people who have poured their hearts into the organization and strive all the time to make it a better experience for everyone!

I so enjoy being a member of the MQG!!!

The other group that I want to talk about is the Studio Art Quilts Associates

"Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. (SAQA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation, and publications. SAQA defines an art quilt as "a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure."
Founded in 1989 by an initial group of 50 artists, SAQA now has over 3,000 members: artists, teachers, collectors, gallery owners, museum curators and corporate sponsors. A dedicated core of volunteers and staff keep the organization vibrant, dynamic, and progressive."

I recently joined SAQA and being the ONLY member in my region, I was invited to be a Regional Representative for India. Soon the region was expanded to include India & SouthEast Asia.

The most important thing about SAQA that I have observed that the members are ready to help each other all the time. I signed up for the Mentorship Program they offered and it has been a blessing. I realized that my quilts are much more meaningful since the amazing Barbara Lange has started guiding me! I think about every stitch that I make, everything is much more intentional than it used to be and that makes me very happy!

I also love the inspiration that the SAQA portfolio offers! They also have educational webinars that you can watch. The resources section is filled with so much information that your brain is kept buzzing for days after you see it!

Being a part of both these organizations has helped me find my way in the quilt world. I'm happy about my decision to sign up for both of them. And I'm looking forward to a long quilty association!!!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Quilting Workshops in India

It has been more than an year that I was made one of the two BERNINA Brand Ambassadors for India.

Ever since, I have been conducting workshops in Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore & Sangli. Very soon, I will be travelling to Chennai as well as Hyderabad to conduct a few workshops.

The quilting scene in India is totally unlike what you see in other countries.

In other countries, the organizer pays the teacher a sum, makes the travel and accommodation arrangements, provides for meals and miscellaneous expenses. The students bring their own material, including, sometimes, the machines.

In India, the picture is a lot different. 

When I plan a workshop, I have to make all my arrangements myself - travel, accommodation, meals. Not only that, I also have to prepare and carry kits for the participants - the cost of which is included in the cost of the workshop. Remember, also, that there is no assurance on the organizer's behalf about the number of students! I have sometimes conducted workshops with just ONE student!
It is usually at times like this that I end up spending money from my pocket rather than earning anything.

Comparatively, my experience of doing a workshop at the Bernina Creative Center in Mumbai has been so much better! Its less costly for me to travel, and since they have regular workshops, the turnout is pretty good. Plus Ajay Gupta and his wife, Deepika are are super supportive! She makes the most awesome lunches EVER!

How much do I normally charge for an intermediate level workshop?

Rs 3000 per day per student. (That comes to about 45$). These are just my fees. Not the cost of the workshop for the students.

How do I break it up?

1. Travel : I usually assume I will have 6 students in a workshop. So my travel expenses are divided among the 6. If I am doing more than one workshop on my trip, I divide my travel expenses first by the number of workshops and then divide each by 6  to arrive at a sum.
If the destination is nearby, it usually rounds off at about Rs 500 per student. If I have to fly, it goes up to Rs 1500, if I'm flying for a single workshop!

2. Accommodation and meals : I consider this at a round figure of Rs 4800 per day. Once again divided over those 6 students, it comes down to Rs 800 per student.

3. Kits : I made individual kits for every student. I carry everything that is required for the workshop, including thread, scissors, pencil, carbon papers etc. Normally the kit can cost anything between Rs 500 - Rs 1500. And I have to be prepared for the class to be full, so even if there is just a couple of students, I usually carry enough kits for about 15 people!

So what do I earn after I conduct a workshop?

Unless my workshop is full and has 10-12 participants - NOTHING!!!

More often than not, I am happy that I did not have to pay from my pocket for something!

Then why do I do it?

Because I love to!
I love to quilt.
I love to teach.
I love to share my knowledge.
I love to see others conquer their fears and make something that they never thought they could do!
I love to make new friends and have a blast!!!

I want to show people that all these things that I can make - ANYONE can do that!

Its not rocket science.

Am I not afraid that one of my students might do a better job than me?

NOT AT ALL! I am not that insecure (those who are, my advice to you would be - DON'T TEACH) I would actually love to see a student making better quilts than me! I will be proud when I tell others that I taught them!

Am I not afraid that someone I teach something to, will teach it to somebody else and earn money?

I cannot teach everyone! So I will be more than glad, if one of my students taught others. Yes, I would definitely expect a heads up from them, BEFORE they teach, but other than that, I'm all for spreading quilting as a hobby in India! Of course, if you are teaching my reverse applique portrait class, I would appreciate you buying individual copies of my book for every participant. If you drop me an email, I would be ready to work out a different rate for you!

Do you want me to come and teach in your town?

I would love to do that! Just drop me an email and we can work out the details! I must tell you, I am, usually, accompanied by my wonderful sister from another mother - Kausalya (or Kaa as she is known to her friends). Don't worry, you do not have to pay for her expenses, I will do that. But she makes some of the most boring workshops fun and the fun workshops even more fun for me and everyone else!!!

I cannot wait to come and teach in your town!!! If you do not have a creative center, don't worry, all we need is an enthusiastic group of quilters who are ready to come together along with their machines!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

52 prompts to blog every week : Week 10

Its the 52 prompts series and today we are going to talk about a quilting class that we took!

For the full list in PDF , just click here

I have taken numerous classes over the course of the 6 years that I have been quilting. Some live, some online.

There is one that I just absolutely loved! It was actually a Craftsy class!
Creative Quilting with your Walking foot by Jacquie Gering

I had recently ordered my Walking foot from Bernina and this class provided me with a load of ideas to use it!!!

Here's what Crafsy has to say about the class
"Stitch an inspiring collection of walking foot designs with acclaimed quilter and author Jacquie Gering. Use linear designs like matchstick quilting, as well as grid and crosshatch quilting to sew textures that look and feel wonderful. Quilt lines that radiate and overlap to produce numerous shapes and infinite interest. Accentuate your piecing with gorgeous gentle curves, flower-like continuous curves and more. Frame a focal point with spirals, create a ripple effect with concentric circles and play off of your pieced shapes by "echoing in." Plus, learn to quilt eye-catching text, and discover tips for quilting larger projects on a small machine. Quilt your projects with fresh walking foot designs for a finish you'll admire."

This class helped me a lot to improve my straight line quilting. So much so that recently my intern, Preeti commented that I have ONLY done straight line quilting on my recent projects!

First up, my two Abstract Portraits


and Arizona

Then a quick improv quilt - Around the world in ten blocks

My Art Quilt Around the World QR code quilt!

And my recent - #quiltwithnocorners

Which is the favorite class you have taken?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

52 prompts to blog every week : Week 9

In the 52 prompts series, we will be talking about Quilt shows today!!!
Tell us about a quilt show that you have attended!!!

For me, the last (and only) quilt show I attended was QuiltCon 2015. It needed a lot of planning (which actually began in 2013!). I had to save up a LOT of money.

But it was a trip that was the most memorable one in my life. It was my first solo trip abroad, it was my first trip to America, it was my first quilt show, It was the first time my quilt was in a show!!!

It was totally worth it!!!

My husband came with me to Mumbai to see me off. We celebrated our 10 year anniversary (that I was going to miss because of my trip) over the weekend before I flew off!

After entering the glass doors of the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport - Terminal 2 I was totally on my own! I was nervous, scared, excited, happy, sad, worried, anxious, curious - everything all at once!

After travelling for 33 hours (I started at 3.00 am on 17th Feb - IST from Mumbai and landed at 3.30 am on 18th Feb - EST at Austin!!!) changing 4 airplanes - Mumbai - Kuwait - London - New York - Austin - I was at last at my destination!!! I actually was the person who had traveled the farthest to reach Quiltcon!!!

I wrote posts about my room mates at QuiltCon and about volunteering as soon as I came back. Please read them there so I do not repeat myself.

Today I will talk about all the awesome people I met there! I wish I had not packed my schedule so tight! I could have spent more time talking to people. I'm not signing up for ANY classes at QuiltCon17 and doing a lot more Volunteering!!!

Here are some of the people I met (and remembered to click photos with)

My modern quilting idol - Jacquie Gering! I love this lady!!! I want to be her when I grow up!

Kimberly Jolly (Fat Quarter Shop)! After years of to and fro communication I met the lady who has supported me all these years in person.

Alex Veronelli (Aurifil)! This was an awesome moment! Giving him the quilt I made of him, in person!

Of course, Emily Lang!!! How can I forget her!!! My Best Friend across the oceans!!!

Jay Dodds, my fellow art quilter from the Art Quilts Around the World group! I was chewing gum and I do not have a single decent picture of me with her. Note to self : next time remember NOT to chew gum when taking photos

Yoshiko Jingenzi!!! Amazing woman! She was a complete enigma! I am totally in love with her work.


Carolyn Friedlander - I love her work so much!!! Her lecture was amazing too!

Bill Kerr!!! He is such a sweet and wonderful person!!!

Michelle Fedor, a fellow admin from the Modern Quilting FB Group!!!

Angela Walters - my FMQ God!!!

Victoria Findlay Wolfe

Junior Mr Ueltschi from Bernina USA

Nancy Ziemen


Lotta Jansdotter

Alyssa Haight Carlton - another amazing MQG lady that I adore!!!

Sherri Lynn Woods!!! She was a complete surprise! I signed up for her workshop with not a lot of excitement, but I left it with so much inspiration!!!

Andrew Joslyn!!!

Denise Schmidt

And of course Luke Haynes!!!

Another note to self : Next time give the camera to someone who is not as excited as you are!!! That will help with no more blurry photos!

Here are all my memories on my studio wall. This is right next to my sewing machine and I love to look at this wall and be inspired by all my memories!!!

I've already started planning to go to Savannah for QuiltCon 2017!!! Will you be there?

Which is the most memorable quilt show you have attended? How was your experience? Do leave a comment and let me know!