Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Learning from Quilters

I was looking at Karen Musgrave's blog, Connections and she has a few posts up about Donna Sue - a woman who painted quilt squares on barns in rural America. The story is beautiful and you must watch the video: A Patchwork of Hope.

There is something wonderful about quilters. If you read their blogs they are woman of strength, and generosity, and love, and passion, and creativity and warmth... just like a quilt! I haven't met any of them but over the past few months - since this has become a bit of an obsession - I have been reading so many blogs and looking at so many flickr photos and their work reveals their personality... and their stories. Life breathes in their quilts.

I am drawn to the quilts and to the quilt makers. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fabric Fabric Fabric

I have been ripping out some old clothes and cushion covers that barely got used so I can use them to practice piecing. I had bought some material earlier to do some sewing. They won’t work for quilts I think – its cotton casement in solid colours but the colours run and the cloth needs to be washed several times to lose its starchiness. So I’m going to stick to kid wall-art with that fabric. I need to find good, affordable fabric. I went to DS lane in Chikpet but did not find anything. I need to try Seppings street but I’m sure they’re going to rip me off… sigh.
There’s another place near Maleshwaram that I need to check out as well.

Anyway here's what I got on my last trip. Some of it will show up here I'm sure.

So much to learn

Every day I read a little more about quilting and I am simply amazed at what goes on in this world of fabric, needles, threads, metal, glass, embroidery, pressed flowers, photographs… and much more. It’s a different world and it is breathtaking! There are traditional quilts, and heritage quilts, and art quilts, and crazy quilts, and applique quilts, and patchwork quilts, and rag quilts. You can get university degrees in quilt making, you can research quilts and quilt making…it’s really a field like any other. I suppose my wonder comes from not being exposed to the tradition of quilt making like one might be exposed in the West. So I may sound a bit na├»ve I know…still, I can’t get over what quilters are doing with their quilts! It’s fantastic!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Quilt Spot

These days I think I can spot a quilt from a mile away!

I saw one today in a construction site. It was something that was put together with what the quilter could find... very bright and colourful and mostly squares and rectangles.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Found someone else who quilts!

So my husband is talking to a really old friend yesterday and he asks about me. B tells him that I'm really interested in quilting at some point in the conversation and he says that his wife has been quilting for years!!! Apparently the whole family uses the quilts she makes and she does this regularly. So I need to catch up with this lady!

Starting off!

I started thinking about quilting about five years ago. My fascination for quilts probably comes from the warm, comforting feeling of my aunt's razai. She used to make them with old bedsheets. Hand sewn mind you. They had no embellishments or snazzy patchwork. They were functional and so wonderful to sleep under on a cold night. Then somewhere in the movies I saw some patchwork quilts and I remember watching a little bit of How to Make an American Quilt - the 1995 Wynona Rider movie. I didn't watch the whole thing (true to my incessant need to change channels) but I remember the older women sewing fabric from their own lives... like a lovely white and red floral print that was part of a dress. And then when its over they cover her with it. That part of the movie has stayed with me and I can't help thinking how wonderful it must feel to be covered by a quilt hand sewn by women who love you.

So sometime in 2005/6 I looked up patchwork quilting on the Internet, read a little and got overwhelmed! It seemed way too complicated. So I only looked at images of quilts from then on.

A few years later the bug bit me again. I went to the Internet once more and read. This time it didn't seem too bad. I still couldn't figure what a 1/4th inch scant seam was, or what it meant to baste or bind, but I just kept reading and taking notes. I came up with all kinds of designs in a notebook and decided that I would start quilting once I quit my job. I quit my job and I hand sewed a couple of blocks... not very well I might add... and then I took on another job. And the dream got smothered again.

Now... I see patterns when I close my eyes. I am constantly reading up on quilts and watching tutorials on youtube... I can't get enough. I feel like I will be consumed if I do not quilt! So, I am going to.