Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Quilting Break in Chiang Mai (part 2)

The four days of my workshop was spent in learning an amazing technique, complex and complicated, on how to make pictures with fabric.  I have been quilting for a bit and have an understanding of some basic techniques, but this was very different. There were 2 of us doing the workshop which was great as so much learning takes place  by observing another work. Karen had a unique style of teaching, as, besides handouts and constant support and advice,  she also made a small quilt and modeled a lot of the skills we were being taught! 

I woke up really early on the first day of my four days workshop, excited and eager to start. I had been wanting to do this for such a long time! We started at 8 and worked till 5, with a short break for a quick lunch! This was the schedule we maintained for the entire duration and we soon realized why this was such hard work!

The first step was to draw a clear line drawing of the picture we wanted to make. Karen had asked me to choose a bird, or a fish as my first picture, as she felt this would be easier to do than a person as a first attempt. So I chose the picture Priya had sent me of her bad tempered cock….such a beautiful fellow though! So I made a sketch, and then made the line drawing.
Priya's rooster and my reference picture

The line drawing
The next step was to put a thinner paper on to the line drawing, take a ruler and pencil and trace and square all the curves into points, and thus have an angled version of the picture
The squared head
We then coloured each segment into separate coloured groups, as this second drawing was going to be our ‘map’ and what we would use as reference once we started piecing so it had to also be totally accurate. 
Colouring the picture
Once the colouring was done we decided how we would divide the picture into segments for piecing.
We then divided the picture into large working segments, numbered all the pieces in each segment and used a high lighter to mark these segments. 


Numbered segments
We then traced another copy of the design onto another sheet of paper, and this became the piece on which we would create the colours of our picture by auditioning the right fabric! Such a super process!

Finally the drawing was traced onto freezer paper and the pieces marked with little coloured ticks, so that we would be able to match them while piecing! Since the marking would have to be on the wrong side, everything had to be done in reverse!!!

Finally on the last day we started putting it together! Not to mention that sustenance was always great!

4 days later


  1. How interesting, Brinda! And right up your alley. Now you can take some of your paintings (also beautiful!) and make your very own masterpieces out of them.

  2. oh what a great skill to learn, and its looking really good

  3. WOW.. all those drawing and scaling looks so complicated, but the result is stunning!!

  4. Thank you for showing how you did this. I've just been admiring your cockerel in your post above and it's really interesting to learn how you got from the photo to the finished picture :)

  5. This is beautiful! And what a lovely place!

  6. Dear Brinda, I read the feature article about you while I was looking on line for Indian block patterns. Carol wrote back and said she would email you my comment. She gave me this link to your blog. I will repeat my comment here and hope that you or someone who blogs here will be able to give me advice.

    I enjoyed reading about you and your quilting. I'm a beginner, having made only two quilts in my life. I want to make a traditional Indian quilt (wall hanging) from fabrics our son, Tim, brought us from Inida. First I must tell you why.

    Tim was a Hari Krishna here in the U.S. He lived in Vrindavan, India for a few months and loved it. Tim graduated in piano performance but turned his interests to classical Indian music and kirtan. He was killed at age 30 when broadsided by a speeding semi tractor trailer in Florida. In December 2012 our entire family brought his ashes to India and spent a month there learning about what he believed. There was a beautiful ashes ceremony in Mayapur. We spent a week in your area, the most special part of which was in the Sunderbans. I, like my Tim, fell in love with India.

    I want to make a quilt that will remind me of India and Tim's beliefs, but I would need patterns for the squares. I'm just not experienced or imaginative enough to make my own design. I found a book of traditional Indian quilt patterns on Amazon, but the cost was over $200!

    If you have any advice for me I will much appreciate it. I could post a picture of the fabrics I have if that would help. Do you know of a website where I could order patterns?

    Thank you