Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Quilting Workshop is Back!

Greetings from buDa !! 

Would you like something colourful and bright for your home that you could create on your own ?
If yes , then you should come along for the quilting workshop organised by buDa folklore foundation.

Through this workshop, buDa foundation would like to bring to light the traditional art form of women of Haliyal Village in Uttar Kannada. Women folk here patch pieces of cloth collected over a period of time from near and dear ones to form a quilt. The quilt that is finally put together is gifted by the mother to her daughter during the wedding as a token to remind her of her maternal home.

To know this unique form of creative expression, all you need to know is how to threadle a needle and have the enthusiasm to learn and create. Leave the rest to our master artisans. 

In this workshop, our master artisan Nirmalakka will teach you how to put together your old tailoring bits, laces, sarees and duppatas to use.  She will take you through a step by step process on the simple stitches that you could use to make a nice collage of all the fabric that you have. At the end of the 3 day workshop you would have created a neat and colourful quilt for yourself that you could use to brighten up your living room or perhaps gift it to someone :) 

The details of the workshop are given below:
3 days Workshop: The Art of Quilt making
Date: Jan26th to Jan28th
Time: 10am - 5pm
Venue: #117, Vakil Garden City, Near Talagattapura Police Station,
Kanakpura Road, Bangalore 
Please call us or drop us an email if you are interested.
Contact: 08026968117 || 9986372338
Email: budaevents@gmail.com

To know more about the age old art form Quilting:

Experience of a participant at one of our earlier quilting workshops.

Monday, July 4, 2011

New home for Happy Turtle

I've decided to move all Happy Turtle stuff to an exclusive Happy Turtle blog. I will continue to blog here about my discoveries and challenges with regards to being a quilter in India but my work will mostly feature on Happy Turtle. So do come by there. Would love to keep the conversation going. :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sewing for and with

My niece and nephew are in town and my niece wanted to do some sewing. She'd learnt how to sew at school so can handle a sewing machine quite nicely. She started off by attaching some 3 and half inch blocks that I had already cut up and later moved to making a mini-quilt. She chose and did most of the work herself. I only had to show her how to do the binding. Here it is.
A 12 inch square mini. She did a really good job on her very first one!
My nephew wanted me to make a shirt for his teddy. I haven't really made clothes before so I was not too sure. Anyway managed something basic... I guess you can call it a vest. And a bandana. :) He was happy with both. Chose the fabric himself.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hello Kitty Quilt

I feel like this looks like picture frames... or windows. Either way, I think its pretty :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mondays can be great too

The last time I went fabric shopping I didn't have much luck. This time I prayed and channeled all the positive energy I could find into the trip. :) I so needed to get good fabric. Thankfully the guy I know at the shop was there and my spirits lifted instantly! Gosh... how we depend on people whose names we don't even know. I should ask him the next time. So I came away with lots of good stuff.
Then I went looking for muslin and found something close to it in another shop. A girl was also looking at fabric there and asked me if I was making a quilt. I don't know what gave me away... I was only asking for 10 meters of cloth that was similar to muslin. We got talking and I found that she had read my blog and was now looking to buy fabric for her very first quilt! I get really excited when I meet another quilter (even if they are just starting off) and someone who has read my blog!
Isn't this way better than spending Monday at an office?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fabric Tuesday

Fresh Poppy Design
Linking up to Fabric Tuesday over at Quilt Story. I don't think I can manage to link up to Fabric Tuesday and WiP in one week! Not yet at least.

So I decided to drop the peppermint looking pink fabric for the Hello Kitty Quilt and found some lovely solid pastel pink that goes quite well with the pink of the Hello Kitty fabric. The solid was one of my earliest buys from Okalipuram. I'm always thrilled with something you buy waits on the shelf for a while and then much later becomes the perfect fit for a quilt. A little like life don't you think?

I love this fabric. The flowers just pop out at you! I made this as a Thank You for my friend Nidhi who designed my Happy Turtle logo for me. She loved it and I think her daughter has already stolen the bag from her... or is at least trying to. :)


And this little wall hanging is also for Nidhi. She's got it up on her board at work she tells me. :) My first try at some free motion quilting.

Ok. After Susan's comment I guess I must say that I did practice on scrap cloth before I took this on. :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wednesday WiP

WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedWiP is at Don't Call Me Betsy this week.  

I finished a quilt this week for Anagha. I've realized that the quilt tops that need to be quilted are stacking up. Mostly because I need to find good backing fabric. If you read my blog you will know the trouble I have with finding good fabric. Anyway, must press on!

I want to finish these banners which have been ready for a few weeks now. Had a bit of a sewing break in May with teaching VBS at church. I was hoping to come home and sew but after dealing with 30 college kids in my class in the summer... that wasn't going to happen.

These are for my naughty nephews. Mark only talked about dinosaurs some time ago. I hope he hasn't grown out of them already.

Working on a quilt for a baby girl. Gosh there's so much pink in my life these days! Was happy to chance upon the Hello Kitty fabric.

And I want to get this non-pink/blue baby quilt quilted this week. I'm not sure if you can actually see it too well. The fabrics are all rather pale but they're quite lovely together. 

Pinwheels for Anagha

This is for a one year old baby girl.

My happy little turtle :)
That's the back

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Jordan's quilt

I forgot (can you believe it!) to take pictures of Jordan's completed quilt so got my friend Sherin to take some. Many thanks to her and Christabel (Jordan's mum) for doing this.
The front held up by Jordan's mum.

And that's him. Isn't he the cutest? And he seems to be happy with it. :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Disappointing day at Okalipuram

I was really looking forward to fabric shopping today but didn't get much at all! :( I feel so bad. I went to my regular shop but the guy who I normally deal with was not there. So that was the first thing. Then I managed to find four fabrics that I think will go together for baby quilt and I kept looking for more but somehow... nothing worked. Then I asked for muslin which I normally buy from them and they said they didn't have it and don't keep it!I think that put me off! So I just bought what I had put aside and came away. I guess I could have stayed and kept looking but I don't know... just didn't work.
I went to the other shops as well today. But they are more expensive that my regular... and nothing seemed to catch my attention. The trouble is having to match the fabrics... if I could just keep buying and stocking and waiting for things to fall into place it would all work out. But I need fabric that goes together now. Grr. 
Sigh. Anyway... let's hope for a better trip next time. I really need to find an alternative to this. Buying fabric online doesn't work out for me. And I really want to work locally...SIGH SIGH SIGH!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Nirmala akka's quilts

All handmade and painstakingly done. These quilts are just gorgeous. So vibrant and full of good energy. If you'd like to purchase or place an order please email Savita Uday at folkloreindia@gmail.com.

Motifs in Nirmala akka's quilts

There should be a full post on the motifs of the quilts on buDa folklore soon. I'll link up when it comes out. These are some of the motifs akka uses. Some she says have been handed down but many she has worked out herself. I don't know all the names unfortunately and there are many many more motifs.

They seem to like the Indian Flag a fair bit.
This is the Ratha or the Chariot

Making a quilt – the traditional way

No rotary cutters. No rulers. No ironing. Nirmala akka’s method of quilting makes use of what is freely available to her. Her hands, needles, thread, and lots of cloth. Don’t be deceived though… this method takes work and  if you’re a beginner at this be sure you’ll come away with blisters and aching fingers.

Lots of beautiful silks used here by Poornima
For the workshop we worked on a 24X24 inch mini-quilt. We were asked to bring a cotton sari or dupatta with a border, a metre of plain white cloth, colorful scraps for the top, and, an old sari or dupatta for the batting (inside layers). You can use all cotton fabrics or mix them up. Nirmala akka uses all kinds of fabrics in her quilts and they turn out just beautifully. A couple of the participants had gorgeous silks and their quilts were striking. Silk is harder to work with, especially if you’re starting off, but hey, what’s wrong with a little ambition?

This one is Chandini's. Lovely fabrics.
We began by separating the border from the sari cutting an inch away from the inside of the border. Our teacher only uses scissors to nip the cloth and then tears it. This is a fun and fast way to do it and can be quite therapeutic. Then we measured the fabric for the back with a tape measure providing an allowance of an inch. The inside layers were measured  to the same size as the back. The thickness is up to the preference of the quilter. We used about three to four layers for our quilts but be warned that the thicker the quilt is the harder your fingers have to work.

The back of the quilt is laid on the floor and the inside layers on top of it so the inside faces the quilter. Akka taught us how to use our feet to give us a better grip when we sew. First the border is attached with short running stitches. Akka’s stitches look like they’re straight out of a machine. They are equal in size and equidistant from each other and the lines all run straight. This will come only with practice. After all she’s been doing this for 20 years now.
This was a smaller piece that one of the participants started. But you see how the border gets sewn first.
Once the border is done the patches are attached. Akka uses white for the four corners of the quilt where she does her motifs. So we cut out four squares of the same size from the white cloth and attached the first one to one of the corners. This is done by folding in about half an inch of two sides of the patches and starting the line of running stitches on the patch. Another patch of color is added when you come to the end of the white patch and the running stitch goes on. Each time the patch is added a back stitch is taken to secure the patch.

Once we went all round the quilt we had to begin with the motifs. The motifs need to be thought of earlier on as the entire quilt is sewed inwards in lines that go round the quilt – like concentric squares. So on each line a part of the motif is brought in. You need to remember that a certain piece of cloth needs to appear on the opposite corner when you get there. We decided to stick with the easy ones. Some of us made corners and kites and others tried their hands at a turtle. All turned out beautifully under the watchful eye of akka.
That's how the corner motif starts out.
You can have as many of the corner lines as you like. This is Meena's quilt.  

This is mid-way with the addition of a kite. 
When we were done with stitching the motifs and covered the first round of patches with stitches we moved on to the inner square. Here too we followed the same method of attaching the patches but now we could run the stitches from the left to right instead of going round the quilt. Here we needed to keep an eye on the balance of the rows of stitches.
The first row of patches with the motifs being sewn as we move inwards.
Coming to the center of the quilt and adding more patches.
In this manner we come to the centre of the quilt and here akka has a beautiful way of finishing off the quilt. She says that traditionally when you finish a quilt it is like closing the mouth of the quilt. The quilt has life and must not be hungry. So they always put in a little cooked food – rice or roti – anything to feed the quilt. She also said that if a pregnant woman is making a quilt she should not finish it. Somebody else must or her womb will be closed as well.
Feeding the quilt with rice.

So we fed our quilts too and the finishing stitches were added. And we returned, with new friends, new skills, and much joy and pride with our very own handmade, traditional, mini-quilts.
All done! :)
This post can also be found on Savita's blog buDa folklore. (When she puts it up) Savita organized the workshop and very generously opened her home to us for four days. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Blisters and my first handstitched mini-quilt

I've just finished with a 3-day (extended to 4 days) quilt making workshop and I'm thrilled! :) Waited for so long to be able to go learn from a person rather than the Internet and to spend time with other quilt enthusiasts. We learned to make a traditional hand sewn quilt from the regions of North Karnataka. Our fine trainer Nirmala (fondly called Nirmalaakka) makes beautiful quilts and is a great teacher. Many thanks to Nirmalaakka and to Savita Uday from buDa- folklore for giving us this wonderful opportunity. More to report soon.
And yes, my fingers hurt and I have blisters on my thumb but it was worth it. So worth it! :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

W.i.P. wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. Been wanting to for a while now and I made sure I got a post in this week. I have one quilt that needs binding and two quilt tops that need to be quilted. I began piecing for another double quilt but realized I need to bring in another fabric to lift it a little. The colors are too dark. Don't have a picture for that one though. Anyway, here they are.

Baby quilt. Ordered by a friend.

I love the print on this one. Has a nice summery feel to it. 

This one I saw hanging on the wall on one of Jenny's tutorials
at the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Love the pattern