Friday, January 17

A New Year and a New Decade

I had meant to post at the beginning of the year but it was not meant to be. Better late than never. Let me wish all those who follow or chance upon this blog, a happy new year and the beginning of a marvellous new decade. I hope there will be innumerable occasions for you and your family to be grateful for the blessings showered on you. Stay blessed.

Saturday, November 23

A Second Panel for #25millionstitches

Here's the second panel I've completed for the #25 million stitches public engagement art installation.
Unlike the first panel I just began stitching. There was no concept. It just evolved one line of embroidery after another. 
Safari, the cat at my mum's place was witness to the creation of this panel, so it seemed only right to have him in most of the photographs.
I find the back pretty interesting. 
25 Million Stitches has a brand new website Learn more about the project and you might consider creating a panel. I've got my mum interested and she has started work on a panel.
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 13

The Crafties - Blogger Awards Nominee

At the end of October while checking my mail on my phone I was surprised to receive a mail from Love Crafts to say my blog Million Little Stitches had been nominated for a Craftie.
I was simply blown away, it took time to sink in but now I'm plain delighted.   

Million Little Stitches has been nominated for the Stylish Stitching Blog 2019 and I'm requesting all those who follow this blog or happen to visit to take a few minutes to cast their vote for Million Little Stitches.
Voting can be completed in a few simple steps

1. Click on this link.

2.  Go to the catergory - Stylish Stitching Blog 2019
     Million Little Stitches - Vote for Maya is the third blog listed and click to choose.

3. Complete the form with your name and email address and click done.  

Thank you for taking the time to vote. I really appreciate it.

Voting closes on 18th November 2019.

Announcements will be made on 2nd December 2019.

Thank you once more.

Friday, November 8

#Why I Make

From time to time I get asked why I make what I make and how I came about it all.
This time I'm being asked by Love Crafts.

I have been surrounded with expressions of embroidery as I grew up. The sampler above was embroidered by my great great grandmother - Sarah K. in 1879. In fact my name is also Sara and the name has been handed down thorough successive generation to my paternal grandmother and then to me.
Therefore I feel a great connection to these pieces of embroidery.
They have inspired me to create my own sampler.
 For Sarah K. motifs of her religion and the tree of life motif dominate the sampler.
The altar, the tabernacle and the host for holy communion. She probably loved plants and flowers and embroidered the floral motifs.
Red must have been her favourite colour I'd like to believe because it dominates the sampler. So when I began my alphabet sampler I decided to limit my palette to red and two blues. It so happens that red is my favourite colour.
I almost feel it's a genetic compulsion because the women on both my paternal and maternal sides of the family have done a lot of handwork. Sewing and dress making, tatting, crochet, knitting and different forms of embroidery. Clothes were monogrammed and embellished with embroidery. Cushion covers, table linen and tea cosies to tray cloths and bed covers were all embroidered.
I learnt from my mother who is extremely creative.
Blogging opened up a whole new world of creativity and connections with other creative people around the globe.
 Inspired by the natural dyeing and rust dyeing I have created garments and scarves.

Currently Instagram has also helped to keep me connected with the creative world of fiber arts. It has got me involved in projects like the #25 Million Stitches public art installation. Sitting in a small town high up in the Western Ghats of India the internet and social media keeps me connected and helps me participate in such events. 
 My blogging has brought me commissions such as this piece. A favourite poem entitled Anyway which was for a retirement gift. Read more about it here.

 Blogging has got me involved in quite a few challenges such as the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge run by Sharon Boggon at Pintangle. Which  in turn got me making fiber books such the one above - Monsoon - A Fiber Book. 
Doing the Take A Stitch Tuesday challenge I created two fiber books which I use as teaching aids 
when I teach embroidery and Traditional Indian Textiles to students in design schools.
Blogging and blog friends presented me with the opportunity to have my work published in the book Textileart Around the World.
People around the world are generous with their and knowledge and happy to collaborate.
I have many a fiber book created through  fiber book page swaps.

My blog is my online journal of my journaling on paper and fabric. It's been a joy sharing my work and getting acknowledged with comments, collaborations and commissions, all of this goes a long to way in keeping me motivated to do what I do. That's why I make.

Thursday, October 31

A second panel for 25 Million Stitches

I've begun work on my second panel for the 25 Million Stitches public art engagement installation.

I stitch while helping my parents pack and move to an assisted living facility. It's a big move and a big change. I hope I can try and make the transition as smooth and easy for them as possible.

Progress on the panel. Working from one end to the other.

Change is not easy. 
Mamma is choosing photographs to take with her from albums that contain photographs of individuals from five generations. 
It's lovely to look back in time and remember. Then one realises how we've changed with the passage of time.
And so it is. Ever changing never stopping.
The seasons are changing too, the North East monsoons have begun and the rain has turned parched garden green. It's a welcome sight to gaze at while one sits on the verandah and sips tea.

How are you handling change? What's your mantra?

Saturday, October 12

25 Million Stitches - A Public Engagement Art Installation

 I came across the 25 million stitches project on the Instagram feed of @jennifercoynequdeen and that's how I decided to get involved. I hope you will too.
Conflict whether economic or political causes people to move and it is usually on foot. On a map lines for each person or group of people would disperse from one point and congregate at another . It was a visual depiction of this exodus and criss crossing of humanity across the globe which I wanted to represent in my panel.
While working on the panel I came across a special issue of the National Geographic - World On The Move 08.2019 which is dedicated to migrants, refugees, a world on the move for so many different reasons.  There is Paul Salopek who 'is chronicling a story for the ages: the mass migrations in which millions of people are searching for a better place.'

An excerpt from the article A World on the Move : ' The United Nations estimates  that more than a billion people - one in seven humans alive today - are voting with their feet, migrating within their countries or across international borders. Millions  are fleeing violence: war, persecution, criminality, political chaos. Many more, suffocated by poverty, are seeking economic relief beyond their horizons. The roots of this colossal new exodus include a globalised market system that tears apart social safety nets, a pollutant  - warped climate, and human yearnings supercharged by distant media. In sheer numbers, this is the largest diaspora in the long history of our species.
I worked the panel with Feather Stitch. it's one of my favourite stitches.

 The other publication with a story on human migration was The Taj Volume 46 No.1. Archiving Material Memory. When memory is across the border that can never be home again ... Aanchal Malhotra writes of the memories of migration buried within "things", sometimes mundane, utilitarian and occasionally intensely personal.
In August 1947 when the British Raj over India came to an end the sub continent was partitioned into India and Pakistan and later Bangladesh. People fled their homes with little or nothing but the clothes on their backs.
An excerpt : 'As I contemplated the notion of home and what it might have felt like to flee from it hastily, I pictured an arduous journey to a future one couldn't foresee. I tried to imagine emptying out one's whole abode, an entire life, every single belonging, and hoping to take it with you. Alternatively, I tried toimagine leaving every single thing behind. And in doing so, I thought of all that refugees brought with them: the objects that became their companions on the way to a new citizenship - from things as banal as household items to those of precious value. Such artifact would be a reservoir of memory and experience, its physical weight outweighed by the emotional weight cached into over the years. It would,in a way, occupy the weight of the past.'

My maternal grandmother and seven children fled Burma at the end of WW2 and boarded a ship back to India. She was always known as Burma Amachy and we have all developed a taste for khow swey and learned to cook it from our mothers. I'm sure most people have a migration story which they can relate to and have first hand experience of it or are just a generation away.

That's the complete panel. I spent time in a safe and secure environment doing the embroidery on this piece. I hope the 25 million refugees will find safety and security for themselves and their families.
I intend to start my second panel along with my mother in a months time.I'm hoping to hear about her childhood in Burma and the move to India while we embroider the panels together. I want to write down her stories, she's the only surviving sibling.
Have a good weekend.

Thursday, August 15

Urban Camouflage

My resolution or rather resolve this year was to go after the things I wanted to do.
One of the things I've meant to participate in is the Hand and Lock prize.

I toyed with the idea of creating an embroidered fiber book or a scarf and finally settled on a scarf. My theme was Urban Camouflage. The intention was to create a reversable stole/scarf. 
My inspiration was the torn posters on walls and graffiti.  
My attempt at fashion illustration!
The idea was to create two faces, one a bolder brighter side and the other a more quiet, subtle   surface. One can choose which side to wear the stole, turn it around and in a jiffy you can sport a different look a bit like camouflage, you can decide to blend in with what the occasion demands.
A portion of the scarf I began work on. It's a work in progress.Need to add some sparkle.
 I didn't make it as one of the finalists.
 Hoping to enter the finished stole in another show and I'll try again next year.