Tuesday, January 26, 2021

I'm off on a new journey!!!

 I cannot believe that my last post on the blog was way back in February 2020. So much has happened since then. Well, the  entire world has changed between these two dates and so has mine!

Most of those who follow me  on my social media might be aware of it, but somewhere during these last 10-ish months, I got some time on my hand to look at my life objectively. And I decided to make one huge change.

You all know that I took up quilting on a sabbatical from my career in Architecture roughly 10 years back. At that time, I decided to slow down because I was in a phase in my life where earning money was not a priority. As I progressed through the past 10 years, I started looking at what I thought was a hobby and turned it in to a business. 

I was happy with how things were progressing, but I had a big setback in August 2019 due to the floods at my home. My studio had about 36" of water in it for 4 days. A lot of my fabric, notions and furniture were damaged. The studio also sustained severe structural damage as the building was over 80 years old.

I moved whatever little was left from my stash to my home and started working from there. But I could feel the magic fizzing out. After making the huge Shivarajyabhishek quilt, I had started feeling burnt out. So I focused on teaching and was busy filling up my calendars for 2020 and 2021. 

And then, COVID happened! All my plans were thrown away. I did not want to teach online as it does not give m e the same satisfaction of a face-to-face class. So work trickled out and I focused on using up whatever stash of fabric I had on hand and made masks.

I started donating masks to those who needed them - Doctors, patients, children, healthcare workers, Essential workers, reporters etc. And then I saw the policemen working with handkerchiefs tied to their faces. I wanted to help them. So I went ahead an asked how many masks would be required for the entire district police force. 

When they got back to me with the number, around 10000, I knew I could not do it alone. I called up a friend and a fellow  bagmaker - Nilima - and told her that I really wanted to do this, would she help me with organizing a drive to get those masks made by women in the city. She agreed and we got to work and before the day ended, we had a group of 25+ women awaiting further instructions. All they knew was they had to use their own material to make the masks and they had to make them fast! 

Within a week, we had made more than 12000 masks for them and donated to them. This activity not only gave us  the satisfaction of giving back to the society, but more importantly filled our lockdown with a purpose.

 I got up early each day and worked on this project apart from whatever else I had to do around home. Since the boys were home too, we did have a lot of fun together too! Rohit has recently started farming, so we spent a lot of time there too.

We also adopted these two wonderful siblings and they have brought us a lot of joy and laughter! The black and  white one is a boy and we have named him Siri. The golden one is a girl and we have named her Alexa!

Now they're a lot bigger and not so quiet anymore!!! 

But apart from all of this, 2020 is the year I will remember in a much different way!

While all of this was going on, I realized that my future as a travelling quilting instructor might be on hold for quite some time now and I needed to find an alternative.

That was when I found WhitehatJr. It is a leading Indian Edutech company that teaches kids between the ages of 6-16 to code. I was an architect and then a quilter, so how am I qualified to teach coding?

Well, when I made my 40 things to do before 40 list, I had put "Learn a  new language" on my list. And instead of learning a human language I went ahead and learnt C,C++. I had no idea it would be useful later!!! 

Also, I had been taught LOGO, COBOL and BASIC in school and I had followed  it up with a MS-DOS certification after school. So my basics were clear. I went through three rounds of interviews followed by many many hours of training and assessments (I still have to do that) before I was eligible to teach. And what a  wonderful journey it has been!!!

I have met students from so many different places all over the world - From Florida to Los  Angeles to Dehradun to Pune!!! It feels awesome to play a pivotal role in igniting these bright minds! 

More than anything I was happy to have a purpose! To work towards something. To learn something new. My laptop has replaced my sewing machine. And I am working crazy hours (2.30 am to 6.30 am - for US kids - and then again 3.00 pm to 7 pm - for Indian kids), but I am enjoying it and am happy!!! 

It hasn't been easy. From being the master of your own time, to making plans at least 3 weeks in advance, it  is quite difficult and needs a lot of preparation. But I will talk about it in my later posts.

This is only to let you all know that my blog will cease to be dedicated to the quilting aspect of my life and have a lot more glimpses from my new world too!!! 

So feel free to unsubscribe if you feel so. 

The quilting industry has given me so much. Wonderful opportunities, success, fame and glory! But deep in my heart, I know its time to say goodbye to it. I will continue to quilt, but no more in a professional capacity. You will see my quilts  pop up here once in a while, but those will be the ones I will make for my pleasure rather than for sale.


  1. Congrats, Shruti! All the best with your new adventures.

  2. Wow Shruti! You have been through a trial by fire... or by water. :-) But it's good to know how you have evolved through challenges. Living through and during COVID has been a journey for everyone, in one form or another, and your resiliency is wonderful to see. How good it must feel to know you are giving back - making thousands of masks, and now teaching children. Certainly that's fulfilling. It's also self-satisfying to change your quiltmaking focus to yourself as you make quilts for fun, rather than "work." You've made positive changes, and that's the best way to enjoy life. Keep up the good work!

  3. I can understand that having a flooded studio would feel like starting over. And when you do that, you might as well choose what you want to work on. I wish you well on your new adventure.

  4. It's always best to do what you what to do vs what you have to do. Your art life will always be around but best to you in your new 'hobby'! ha...

  5. Congrats on the new adventure... I am sure you will be amazing in this too.... Quilting for pleasure will create masterpieces and I am waiting to see those. Good luck to you.

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  10. Hey Shruti, I wanted to first applaud you for the resilience you have shown during your journey from August 2019 - our batch.(MLP6). As I was going through your blog post I realized how similar our lives have been, only at different points of time. I started my marketing journey making content for Chapter X Academy - They teach kids to code from 6 - 16 too. Small startup though. Next I also during my lowest had adopted two little cute kittes, sure its a family of 3 cats and a dog now, but thats where it started. 2020 for me was also life changing because I had to reinvent myself after becoming very ill and fighting to stay alive. I am so thankful that you write the way you do, makes a lot of us feel less alone in the world. Sending you positive affirmations and all the good energy you need!!


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