Wednesday, December 25, 2013

An angel for Christmas!

A very Christmas to all of you who check out my blog from time to time and leave comments....I really enjoy the connection!  Have a wonderful 2014!
I was looking for something special to make for Naeeda's in laws who are Portuguese. We are spending Christmas with them in the Algarve and so I wanted something appropriate ! I have been crocheting a lot so was looking for something that could be crocheted. I came across this pattern on the net and it was just right. I loved making it.....the instructions were really clear. I learnt a new technique for stiffening the crochet with sugar syrup!!! Since there won't be a problem with ants in Portugal, it's worked fine. I will have to look at some other method for stiffening at home!!
The Morgados loved it....and it looks really beautiful on their highly polished piano top! 
It's Christmas today, and seems the right day to post this picture! The Morgados are all here, the whole extended family, aunts and uncles, cousins and children. Some have come from as far away as Macau! Naeeda's in laws have a beautiful rambling home in the Algarve and it is open house now....there is a beautiful Christmas tree, and candles every where. The angel fits in very well! A fire burns in the grate all day, and it is warm and welcoming! We are all sitting around the fire place just now after having had the most amazing Christmas lunch, of every kind of meat, much to Viveck's delight! The kids are all playing with their gifts, and we are enjoying this wonderful feeling of being together. Language doesn't seem to be a problem, as we seem to be able to communicate affection with such ease!
It's strange not to be with all my girls together, today and I do miss being with them. The first time since they were born, that we are not all together for Christmas! But there is next year! This was important for David and Naeeda!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Sam the dog for Sarah

What is it about 20 odd year old young women who seem to delight in getting little toys. Sarah is Nafisa's friend from her design school, and a very competent designer herself. She saw Nafisa's little dog and immediately wanted one....so here it is Sarah! The pattern is from the net and thanks needs to go to the creator Michelle Wilcox from www.crochettoday.com!

 

A 'Taggy' for Nikhil

I heard about 'Taggies' for the first time when Sufi was little. Never actually managed to make one for the little girl. Then I saw a friend of Sufi's hanging on to hers, especially at bed time. So I thought of getting one done for Nikhil for Christmas. Actually its quite a clever concept, and so appropriate for a little one trying to put everything into his mouth. I hope Nikhil likes his one and it keeps him comforted! I found patterns on the net, but decided I would make it bigger and withy many more tags!
 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hobbes for Nafisa!

Nafisa gave me this pattern a couple of years ago! Finally it got made for her 29 th birthday a few days ago! The way she squealed and jumped around when she got it, made me smile and feel happy that I had hit a winner for a birthday present! I wonder if kids ever actually grow upon the eyes of their parents! Possibly never, which in a way is a good thing,but the also a bad thing, as one never stops worrying that their lives will be good, they will be safe and happy, and most of all contented! A tall order I guess!
Anyway here is Nafisa and her Hobbes!


The pattern if free from the net. I need to find the name of the creator and not only acknowledge her here, but also thank her! It was really easy and well written!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nikhil's Quilt....almost done!

I have one block left to make...thinking maybe it should be bees. The rest  have come out well, and I am so excited, so am sharing them here. Its been some experience, trying to use fabrics that are not the same weight....but complete fun! Viveck has kept me focused in that I don't make boring animals, but ones with character!!!! If Nikhil will be anything like his sister Sufi, he too will have an amazing imagination, and will appreciate the characters as he grows, and possibly build stories around them too!!!!


 Not sure why this peacock has uploaded on its side!

Close ups of some of the details. I think I like hand applique so much as there is so much scope for creativity and using one's imagination!



Finally couldn't resist laying out all the blocks!!!!
 

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Secret Tote Challenge

My machine was set up after a 3 month break!!!! I never thought I would actually do it!!!! The first WIP to finish was the tote for the DQ secret tote challenge. There were 20 of us who participated. It started with each of us putting together a mood board which we sent to Tina. She allocated a mood board to each of us, and based on that we made a tote. At the end there was a guessing session when we tried to guess who had made which tote! With all this travelling, I have only just managed to finish mine. The receiver is in Dubai! I decided to make as much of it as I could by hand, which I like doing anyway....so here is the finished product! Indian Summer !


I used a Warli print for the base with a handloom fabric for the lining and handles. I have put in 2 pockets as well!. I added the signature at the back as a personal touch....Lets hope she likes it.
The following 2 bags were sent to me by my partner....and in her generosity she sent me 2! Nishka has promptly whisked off the second one for her holiday to Thailand!
This was my mood board, and the bags that came for me:




 

Monday, October 21, 2013

WIP continued!!

More blocks for Nikhil's quilt. I love the process...first decide on the animal, then look for a picture for reference, then draw it, choose the fabrics (this is a really cool bit), trace on interfacing, cut out all the bits and then applique it!!! Its fun to see it develop it as I sew, hence I don't plan the details too much ahead....rather like my water colours!



 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

WIP: Quilt for Nikhil

So many changes in our lives as we packed up our home of 12 years (40 odd years in Kolkata)  to relocate to Bangalore. What keeps me comfortable is the needlework that goes with me wherever I go....its a constant! I so enjoy working by hand, feel I have better control of my stitching!!

This is one of 11 blocks I am making for Nikhil's quilt. Hopefully will have it ready for his christening.
 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Finally a finish!

This is for Sudip and Pallavi's little miracle, just born! Luckily I had this fish fabric, which seemed to be just right for a little boy! I liked the lack of symmetry of the squares and enjoyed making them like that!




Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sufi's Cushions

So finally I am posting something again. Goodness knows where the time goes, but it flies and I suddenly realise there is a lot of sharing left to do!. So here goes
I wanted to make something special for Sufi as she started school, and entered another phase in her life, a mile stone! What does one give a little girl who seems to have everything...I thought of a backpack, but she has a favourite one, so that was out. Nitasha told me she had recently  introduced Sufi to Polly Dunbar's books called Tilly and her friends.   (www.tillyandfriends.com/‎). They are an amazing read and Sufi has totally identified herself with Tilly and the animal friends are all alive. So I decided to create them in fabric on a set of small 10 inch cushions. She was so delighted, and its reward enough to see her lining them all up and chatting with them, carrying them around....so much fun!
I didn't have the books so looked up the characters on the net...drew them on graph paper first and then transferred them on to soft interfacing and then on to fabric. I did all the detail  by hand in simple stem stitch and attached them on to the cushions in blanket stitch. I loved the soothing effect of sewing precisely by hand! I used a little bit of fabric paint for things like Hector's pink cheeks and Pretty Pru's eye shadow! The images are simple with not too much detail, and I can see why Sufi has related to the characters so well.  I am pleased with these as I seem to have got the image the way they are in the book.

Cant seem to straighten the pictures! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Tina's Blocks!

Finally Tina's 2 shoe blocks are ready! The sneakers for the Desi Bee and the juthi for the Africa Bee!  This is my last  block for the Desi Bee! I had fun making them both...and used 2 different techniques, which was fun! Applique is something I like to do so that was easy. I also got the chance to practice Karen's technique!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

And yet another bag!

Yet another bag....I liked the blue and red combination and followed a simple pattern. I used the cotton batting I had got for the quilts....and am not happy with it. It is too soft and ideal for quilts but not such a good idea for bags that need to stand on their own. Hmmmmm.....going to have to find something else! Anyway its a nice soft bag measuring 12" X 11".

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pocket bag!

To continue with my latest craze to make bags, here is another one with 6 pockets! The instructions were  clear and the bag worked out exactly! http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/projects-ideas/bags-pillows/free-bag-patterns_ss_a.html .It is smaller than I anticipated, but a great pattern as the pockets on both sides, 3 each, make it really convenient.



Saturday, June 22, 2013

bag no 2!

Here's another bag! This is for my mother! I had a whole lot of a border left over from some fabric....I cut them into strips ans then sewed them all together, and followed the same steps as the previous one!
This making of bags is becoming addictive!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bags and Totes, here I come!

I have been thinking of quick quilted presents, and have been looking at bags and totes! So I started by making one for myself from a link Sandhya sent me (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7i6Wrl4rZ8). Such an easy pattern!
The girls have immediately decided they want one each, in fact Nishka's message was.....'for yourself? Ahem'!!!!

The pattern asked for charm packs, but since I don't have those, I cut 5" squares from scraps and the bag was ready. Once I had cut my 'charm squares', the sewing took about 3 hours which really is a quick gift. I changed it a little and added an inside pocket and a button to close the top.
Lessons learnt:
1. If using handloom fabrics (which I use all the time and like it the best), then make sure they are well starched or they shift and lose shape, especially during the quilting process. As you can see in the picture,  some of the squares are a little up and down!
2. Make sure the lining is a slightly thick poplin of a close weave. This helps the bag to hold the shape, especially if you have added a pocket!
3. Use a slightly stiff batting as this too helps keep the shape. I used a synthetic batting I had got in Bangkok, and this worked well!
I think this blog is going to see a lot of Bags of various kinds!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Looking out of the window!

We were in Mumbai for Nikhil's birth, and Viveck started a chat with a set of crows who built a nest on her varandah!!  Started a photo essay when they laid eggs, got scratched in the process as well!!!! So this fabric seemed most appropriate and the idea of the quilt just popped up!
I bought this fabric from a friend and was thinking through what to make with it! I am glad I kept it for this special quilt. I  created the quilt as I went along. I had drawn out a picture, but while measuring realized I would run out of  the crow fabric and so decided to improvise! So instead of  little windows, which I realised would also cut up the crow fabric too much, I decided on large windows!  I have called it 'Looking out of the Window'.
I like crazy quilting, hand quilting and using embroidery stitches, hence this quilt has some of everything! All the bits that can't be seen has been joined by machine and the rest by hand!




I found an interesting printed fabric with a leaf pattern which I used for the lining! And a small black and white Rajasthani print for the Borders.

I have not given this quilt a woolen batting, but have mixed the concept of the Bengali kantha (which uses layers of cotton, often from old saries) and the american quilt, and used 3 layers of fabric....the top, the middle which is a sheet, and the backing which is a cotton print. Although there are 3 layers, it is not as heavy as a woolen quilt. Definitely more practical for an Indian climate, I think!
Making this quilt has also been a time when I think I have finally manged to set my 'style', as they say in painting lingo! I have never been drawn to too much symmetry or 'defined' spaces, in either my quilts or in my painting.....that's possibly why I so love my crazy quilting.  I paint pictures which are impressions and I think that's what my quilts are now going to be....impressionistic pictures !