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! .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 ( 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 !

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Times past!

We spent a couple of days with Aunty Pam in Pune. For those of you who don't know Aunty Pam, she is Viveck's only surviving aunt, 90 years old, and still an amazing needle woman. She is crocheting a blanket for Viveck and me at the moment!!! Anyway, she said she had been making pot holders with all the bits of wool that she had, and gave me a few!
They are beautiful!
She had a bag full of them and said she had been using up her wool scraps! It brought home to me the fact that as a generation today, we have forgotten how to save and not waste, how to make do with whatever we have. A lot of the bits of wool used here was also recycled wool, and of course all the tiny bits that get left over from the huge amount of crochet and knitting she has done over the years. I remember Granny, Aunty Pam's mother, teaching me how to unravel  and refresh old wool! You had to unravel the wool into hanks. Then it had to be soaked in a solution of  mild detergent and washed. In the last rinse a cap full of liquid glycerin was added and the wool left to soak for a while. Granny said this added the oil back into the wool. Once the wool was dried, it did have a lot of its 'bounce' back.  A lesson well learnt. So many memories!!!