As part of an activity for the Nool Koota group (the name for a group of us from our community who used to meet once a week to share skills and learn about crochet and knitting and a sewing, before Covid took over our lives!!) I had offered to teach the making of a Kawadi quilt. I had attended a workshop a couple of years ago and had loved the experience. The Kawadi quilts originated from the Siddi tribe of women from a North Karnataka. The details are in an earlier post given below.
Its been over a year since I posted anything....Life happens I guess! Another attempt in trying to maintain my blog. Hopefully with better luck this time!
I was looking at a crochet blog the other day, and was amazed to see the beautiful use of colour in the stuff the lady crocheted. Her inspiration is nature, she says and had posted some beautiful products alongside her inspirational pictures.
It really struck a chord in me....there have been umpteen times that I have tried to think of what colours to use when crocheting something, be it a blanket or an afghan or a scarf or hat....and got stuck, or started something and ripped it midway because the colours just didnt go well together, or left it the way it was and really not been happy with the finished product.
She lives in the west, so she had her own unique sense of colours from her natural surrounding, often muted and subtle. But I live in a different part of the world, and our colours in India are so much brighter, as our trees and plants are more vibrant and bright.
So I have started collecting colours and am amazed at how incredible the mixing, the matching the synergy that exists in colours form leaves, and flowers and trees and the seasons as they unfold.
And then of course there are beautiful colour mixes in flowers!
Dark browns and blacks have so many hues, there is colour even in decaying leaves.
I have been wanting to attend a workshop by Jenny Bowker ever since I saw pictures of her amazing quilts. As amazing are her quilts, is Jenny herself, a generous and gifted teacher, who shares her knowledge and skills with complete honesty, encourages you to the extent that you feel you are a master! For me free motion quilting has always been a challenge, and something I was petrified to try....what if I ruin my pieced work!!!! But Jenny made it simple, shared a systematic way of us doing it and at the end of the 3 days, I felt confident and kept wondering why it had taken me so long!!
The preparations for the workshop started a couple of months before we actually met. She sent mails giving details of what she was going to do and encouraged questions, which she answered in great detail. Finally the days arrived and 14 of us met in Mumbai to experience an exhilarating and exhausting 3 days!
We learnt how to create our template, increase the size and get tracing done onto the backing fabric, trace out the outline on fusible web and then start putting the pieces. It was like painting with fabric!
It's finally done!!!!!! I actually finally had the guts to try free option quilting and finished quilting a top of a quilt I made 3 years ago!!!! As a 60th birthday present my family gave me a very special gift....a week's residential workshop, learning to quilt with Karen Sengel, a wonderfully talented quilter who lives in Chiangmai in Thailand! She specialised in a technique developed by Ruth McDowell, another very well known American quilter, which is completely pieced and machine quilted. I have given the link to my earlier blog post incase anyone is interested in checking out the process.
I like using local Indian woven fabrics, and the problem with that is that they are all of varying weights. This creates huge issues while quilting as the fabric stretches. I did try to stabilise it with starch, but it was still difficult. Didn't make it easier that I am a hand quilter, and free motion quilting proves to be a challenge! I am really pleased with the final result....although the FMQ needs a lot more practice. I like the fact that I have caught the superior expression of the cockerel!!
Once the pieces were placed and ironed on the top was ready! Then I made a sandwich with batting and a backing fabric and quilted it.....using the thread to paint with and shade the picture! I have only just stared free motion quilting as I prefer hand sewing, so the stitches are defunetely quite uneven! But on the whole I really enjoyed making this!
In case any of you are interested log on to The Quilting Acedemy......they have a host of excellent classes!
The final product.... I call it Aamar Sonar Bangla! My Beloved Bengal!
Nikhil, who's all of 3, is in love with Spider-Man and Dinos! The pattern is by Abby Glassenberg. The original was made with fleece, but I made it in cotton. Nikhil lives in Hanoi and can't see him cuddling a fleece toy in the heat! So I used a nice Batik! He loved it! He says the colors make Dino, a magical creature!
So I did what I wanted to for a long time.....a quiet book for my little Rafael. I am amazed at the generosity of people in sharing ideas, thoughts, patterns, how tos....and so much more. So this is being posted with a lot of thanks to all those generous people. My grandson Rafael, loved it! I had a ball making it and customizing it for Rafael.