Monday, October 13, 2014

Around the world blog hop

It’s been a crazy year as we relocated from Kolkata, in eastern India to Bangalore in South India after having lived in Kolkata for nearly 40 years. I have been living in and out of suitcases this past year and haven’t really been able to sit down to uninterrupted ‘me’ time! So many changes and with that a lot of excitement, but also a fair share of challenges! Especially since  our home is not in the city proper, but a fair distance away!

Anyway Madhu’s idea of participating in this blog hop was just the incentive I needed to get back to looking at my sewing. Madhu ( ) is an amazingly talented person, as not only does she quilt, she paints and writes too. I love her ideas and her use of themes and combination of colours! She is a perfectionist as you can see from her quilts and I think has a liking for really complex designs which require precision and accuracy! I really admire her work. She is a patient and kind teacher and her year long QAL that she is hosting presently, is encouraging and challenging all of us to take our skills, as quilters, to another level!   Thanks Madhu!

I saw the questions asked and see that it doesn’t necessarily restrict me to talk only about quilting, so I am going to share some of the other stuff I do. I can’t sit still, or rather my hands cant, and this has been a huge joke in my family!

1. What am I working on? 
Lots of bits and pieces!

I rediscovered patchwork quilting a few years ago….the kids were grown and I had some time on my hands….So I finally started using all the scraps of fabric I had collected over the years. 
My daughter was delighted with it as some of the bits were from dresses I had sewn for her when she was this was a bonus!

As I have quilted I have realized that I am not really too keen on anything that is too symmetrical or regular, hence crazy patchwork appeals to me best. The concept of creating as you go is a challenge also a situation full of surprises, as the quilt unfolds as you go along.

At the moment I am in the process of completing a quilt for a young friend who has just had his first baby…the theme is owls! No pictures...but will post once its done!
I also have an art quilt which I have planned in my head and am beginning to design it! It will be in the same style of the one I made using the Ruth McDowell technique. I learnt the technique at a workshop in Thailand, from a very talented quilter Karen Sengel. 

I have been doing a lot of crochet as it is easier to carry around crochet thread! I love crochet, it is relaxing and soothes me! Having grandchildren makes it easy for me to crochet stuff for them! Just finished Peppa pig for Sufi and a crazy lion for Nikhil, my 2 grandchildren.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I think everyone has their own style. I love our Indian fabrics, the traditional prints and the cottons that vary so much in texture and weight and very often prove to be a very real challenge! But they work for me. I have finally realized that I love to applique, again not in any planned manner, but to create as I go. I find I prefer hand sewing, so have come to a compromise and use both in my quilts. I often do the joining of the blocks with a machine, but most of the quilting by hand!
It’s a nice mixture.

3. Why do I write/create what I do? 
I guess because it fills my soul, gives me joy and a sense of achievement! It also serves as a way of recording something special, an incident or a memory! The colours of a lifetime...a present for my mom for her 80th birthday!

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
I don’t really think there is any system. I like making things, especially for my family, and that is possibly the greatest trigger. For me it is an expression of love, of caring that I have spent energy and time in making something. I get inspired by things I see around me, especially in nature and feel I would like to create it, either in a painting or in a quilt or in a crochet toy!

I am delighted to introduce 2 artists
Chumkie Mukherjee is a very talented quilter who lives in Canada. I love the way she uses traditional blocks and stamps them with her very own individual and unique sense of colour and design.  Having been friends since school, then losing touch and coming together again in this discovery of a shared passion, makes it all so special. 

The second is my daughter Nafisa,   a creative illustrator and also an avid crocheter (is there such a word?!!) I look at her work an am filled with pride and a sense of awe at her creative process and what she produces!