Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I'm speaking at QuiltCon!!!

I have some news! And the most exciting news of all!!!

I will be speaking at QuiltCon 2017!!!

I'm speaking at QuiltCon 2017 photo speaking_at_quiltcon_2017_zpsh00b4pz9.png

I'm over the moon about my lecture!

And I simply love my topic : "Quilting in India : A review of Siddi Quilts, Godharis and Contemporary Quilt Making"

For the past few weeks, I have been keeping my eyes and ears open and looking out for some excellent examples of quilts to bring to you.

Right now I am focusing on Godharis of Maharashtra.

The regional differences in the method of construction vary so much! It is really a whole new exciting world!

I had always wanted to study the beautiful art pieces that come out of these humble settlements.

The people who live in these temporary accommodations are the "Nandi-baili" people. they are a nomadic tribe. they have a bull that they decorate and take it around town, people then ask them about astrology - basically they predict people's futures. They come back home with whatever donations people give them. That is their source of income.

The womenfolk make quilts from old clothes, their own or sometimes they buy clothes from the old clothes market.

Here are some of the quilts that I saw. The work was absolutely mind blowing!!!

They have used every material available right from Georgette, chiffon, Silk to Cotton and Linen.

Here is a quilt that is work in progress.

This wonderful quilter even demonstrated her style to us.

The designs were spectacular!

The workmanship was impeccable.

There was so much to learn from these women. They have limited means and they create absolute master pieces.

Now next time when my Rotary cutter blade dulls a little and I find myself cursing, I will think about these women who do not even use scissors! They use a razor blade to snip and then tear the fabric!!!

Are you ready to see more and hear more???

Sign up for the lecture at Quiltcon 2017!!!

You're not a member of the Modern Quilt Guild yet?

Go join!!!

52 prompts to blog every week: Week 17

I am a self taught quilter. There are techniques that I have learnt myself, ones I have learnt from the net, ones learnt from others at quilt meets and Quiltcon, some I have dreamt about and then a few more...

Of all of them, I love the technique I use in my book,'About face' the most. Its a kind of reverse applique, but then, not quite so!

I used it for the first time in my Harry Potter quilt.

I have made portraits with it and written a book and taught classes, both online and in person.

The first portrait I made using the technique was that of Steve Jobs. I made the iQuilt for my little brother. 

And then I also made this portrait of Alex Veronelli of Aurifil Threads! He was brave enough to be the subject for my eBook. I had the pleasure of meeting him at Quiltcon and handing over the quilt I made for him!

I have been taking classes to teach this technique, both online and in person. My students have come up with brilliant works of art!!!

And I'm really proud of them.

Here are my students at the Bernina Creative Center, Mumbai.

So this is that one technique I love and cherish the most.

Here's a small tutorial.

Supplies : Fabric - minimum 2 of the same size, thread (that matches either of the fabrics), a pair of SHARP scissors (I love my stork scissors for this one), seam ripper, temporary fabric marker.

1. Draw the design onto the topmost fabric. I suggest you take the lightest fabric on the top.

Now using the thread, I use Aurifil monofilament thread, and your FMQ foot, stitch through all the layers of fabric. Use a small stitch length. On my BSR I use a stitch length of 1 - 1.5.

Now use your seam ripper and/or your sharp scissors to cut away the layer(s) according to your design. Take care to cut as close to the stitch line as possible.

I use the seam ripper for tinier areas that I need to cut away.

Here's the result :  On the top is my reverse applique piece and on the bottom is the original print.

If you want to know more about creating portraits using this technique, I would highly recommend my own book (how modest!).

You can buy it here at Fat Quarter Shop

Which is your favorite technique? Do share about it so that we can all get to know it!


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Upcoming workshops at Chennai

I'm travelling to Chennai next week to visit Tina's 'The Square Inch


Tina was the first woman to start a Bernina Creative Center in India. And she has one of the most fabulous places that has buzzing with activity that I have seen. I'm so looking forward to my trip to Chennai early next month.

Here is what I will be teaching.

First up - Abstract Expressions
A 2 day, beginner friendly workshop that helps students create an abstract portrait. 

Arizona - 40" x 40"

This is a completely beginner friendly class. You DO NOT need to have any background in Art! You also need not be an expert quilter to learn this. You only need to know how to stitch a straight line!!!

This workshop is divided into four quarters. In the first quarter, we will be talking about basics of Expressionism and Fauvism. We will also discuss the basics of portraiture and the effects of light on the faces. We will then spend some time getting acquainted with the process of portraits by the Canadian artist, Martina Shapiro. Playing with acrylic paints comes next before lunch time!

By the end of the first quarter you will have made your abstract portrait in paint.

In the second quarter, we will begin working with fabric. And by the end of the first day, we will be done creating the outline of the face you will make into a quilt.

the next day, you will start working on the colours of the face. This is the most interesting process, as you think about colours and the way they blend.

At the end of 2 days, you will leave with a completed portrait. Each quilt is unique and I find that more often than not, you can find a glimpse of the maker in their quilt!

This workshop will be on the 6th & 7th May. You will have to bring along a bag full of colourful scraps to use and share. How big bag you ask, An A4 size ziploc bag will do. Cram in as many colours as you can. Even tiny crumbs will be used. So do not be shy. You can use any material - silk, georgette, cotton, linen etc.

The next workshop is ABOUT face, my reverse appliqué portrait class.

This class requires you to be a little acquainted with the process of Free Motion Quilting.
Also, this is a extensive class. It will require a lot more time and effort.

Normally, I take an image that all the participants work on. But for the Chennai workshop I'm experimenting with a new approach.

We will actually be clicking the participants photo at The Square Inch and using that photo to make the quilt.

The first quarter will be about taking photographs, editing and printing them. After that at the end of the first quarter we will finish copying the image onto the base fabric.

In the second quarter, we will be stitching the design and we will start cutting away unwanted fabric, revealing the design underneath.

By the end of the third quarter, your design will all be cut out.

In the last quarter, you will learn how to quilt the face so that you enhance your work even further.

This workshop is based on the reverse appliqué technique that I have developed for making portrait quilts. every participant receives one e-copy of my eBook ABOUT face.

This technique is, I believe, the fastest and the easiest way to make portrait quilts. It is easy to understand and once you have 'got' it, it goes by super quick!

How quick, you want to know - It took me 3 months of working 3-4 hours of work everyday (it amounts to about 270 hours). But the iQuilt took me just 7 days with 1-2 hours of work everyday (about 10-14 hours) and the Alex Veronelli quilt took me 3 weeks with 5-6 hours every WEEK (15-18 hours).

At the end of the workshop, you will leave with a finished portrait quilt of about 24" x 30" in 2-3 colours.

I guarantee that you will finish the quilt if you make it in 2 colours. But if your quilt has to be made in 3 colours, you might have to go home with just the quilt top (finished) and you can continue doing the FMQ at home.

The ABOUT face workshop is on 8th & 9th of May at The Square Inch.
You will have to bring along just a pencil! All the material will be provided by us.

If you are in Chennai on those days, do not miss the workshops. Don't be shy to ask me any questions you need to ask, I'd love to clear any doubts. Just drop me a line on my email for any questions.

Hoping to see you there!!!


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

52 prompts to blog every week: Week 16

Yes yes! 4 months done of the year !

Did one third of the year just fly me by...

Today we are talking about Photography. You can download the entire list in PDF format here.

I just have a very simple tip. What looks good to the eye, looks good to the camera's eye. Always click your snaps in day light, preferably in the morning and  away from direct sunlight, else the glare of the sun creeps in into the photos and they all seem to glow!

Let me show you some examples here. This quilt is clicked in diffused daylight, during the day and away from the sun...the colours look real and bright and natural.

Now lets look at an example of how a lovely bright quilt can loose its sheen if the photograph is not
right. The bright yellow looks pale due to inadequate lighting.

Here is an example of quilt clicked in the afternoon sun. The  warm afternoon mellow sunlight warm sup teh warm colours even further. teh quilt looks etherial...
So a glow is not always bad!
Go with the flow!

Do not be afraid to click multiple snaps from various angles. In the digital world, retain whatever looks good and discard the rest.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

52 prompts to blog every week : Week 15

Aha ! my favourite this week, the favourite  FMQ design...

And a favourite from my favourite thing would be a difficult choice to make. However, I would like to go with paisleys! Its my go to design and is often repeated on a lot of my quilts!

The design is a little difficult to begin with but with practice I have become one of the most loved paisley quilters in India. I might as well say, that my friend and family dare not disturb me when I am with Ross trying to do some paisleys! I am, at that point , in my studio

Ross is my Bernina 770 if you didn't know yet ...ha ha ha

It first debuted in the portrait quilt of Dada Ajoba

It made a comeback in the Apsara Quilt

And then peeped in a little in the Nukkad quilt

My favorite Tutorial for the Paisley (or most of my favorite designs) is by Leah Day. Hop over to her website for an in-depth tutorial.

I attended Angela Walters talk at Quiltcon 2015 and it was just like I found a new me. I loved it so much...I started falling in love with FMQ all over again :)

I love teaching FMQ to new quilters in India as well. I have done that in my improv piecing workshop last Pune last April and at many other workshops. I love how new quilters, stumble, fear, then overcome the fear and fly! Much like I have done in the past.

You can download the entire list of my blog prompts in PDF format here.