Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Cockeral is finally done!

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!!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Creating something new part 2

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!

Dino for Nikhil

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!

Sewing for Rafa!

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.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Back to quilting!

My new year started in a most amazing manner....a 3 day workshop with the wonderfully talented Nirmala Akka who taught us how to quilt in her traditional Uttar Kanada style. Three full days of working without rulers as we learnt to measure use our 'haath' (hand and palm) and 'ungli' (finger) and make totally accurate corners and motifs! A new understanding of colours and a unique variety of  combinations and so much more. Akka is a generous and natural teacher and shares her skills with ease! Nirmalla Akka can't read or write as she is from a remote tribal village in North Karnataka! But what a talented lady! 
Using an old sari for the base, working without rulers or precise measurements, no pinning, using thick cotton thread and a very big needle to sew, very sore fingers, was all part of the experience! I looked with some awe and a great deal of respect as Nirmala akka put together a beautiful piece of sewing, tearing strips of cloth, old and new, making the traditional motifs for the chariot, or kites, or the 'ramjhula'. Her sewing lines were exact as were the size of the stitches as she placed and fixed small pieces of fabrics one on top of the other. My quilt is 5 layers thick! 

There is a system and science to this as can be seen from the back of the quilt! My stitches are nowhere as even as Akka's! This is a traditional form of quilting from North Karnataka.
There are special motifs that symbolize everyday things from the village, like a swing, a gate a chariot, kites flying in he sky and so on! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas cushions!

I made these cushions for Christmas. Love the bright colours, besides the fact that I used up many of my extra balls of yarn. 
Mummy died recently and I find crocheting quietly on my own, in the peace and comfort of my wonderful home, gives me space to come to terms with the grief of losing my mother. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Lots of Crochet!

Yet another attempt at trying to update my blog! I have been crocheting a lot...keeps me satisfied as things get completed! We've been travelling a lot so I carry it where I go! Great to do waiting for flights at airports!!
Christmas gifts ready for the family
Rupenzel for  Sufi

Peep for Nikhil

Giorgio the gekko for Sujoy!