Tuesday, December 15

Blooming in my Garden

My first quilt ever - Blooming in my Garden is  completed and ready to submit to the India Quilt Festival 2021.
That's the quilt. 3' x 4'  entirely hand stitched except for the binding which was machine stitched by Govindraj, the friendly tailor at Darlington Bridge.
I started the quilt during the lockdown, so apart from designing the quilt I decided to make it an exploration of thrift and sustainability.
So the rules I set myself was to use what I had in my stash  be it fabric, embroidery thread etc. 
The only things I had to buy were a metre of unbleached cotton fabric and iron on paper fusing which I ran out of.
The lovely vivid colored cotton fabric are those I got from a friend who makes garments, the fabric cutoffs from her garment collections.
My garden which has different flowers in bloom as the seasons changed were the inspiration for my motifs.
Every little bit of appliquĂ©,  quilting and joining of blocks was done by hand. I don't have a sewing machine and I couldn't justify buying one just for this project.
All traditional quilts in India are hand sewn be it the Kanthas of Bengal, the Kaudis and Kawandis of Karnataka. A unique artistic expression of the women who make them. Embroidered motifs of flora and fauna found in their environment. They use what they have - give old or torn clothes a new lease of life, a sustainable way of life.
My quilting too is to hold the many layers together so it's simple free-form quilting. The quilt Police will have a lot to say I'm sure.

I used the cartons of Monsoon Harvest  to cut out the paper foundation for the English paper piecing method of patchwork.
For the batting and the back of the quilt I used old bedsheets. Sheets with use and washing have become soft.
It's been a labour of love a project with so much to learn from.
The last big project for 2020.
I'm completing smaller projects for the festive season. A nativity garland to add a Christmas touch to my mum's home. Making batches of easy white chocolate fudge and sending in an application to a gallery which I hope will represent me.

Stay safe and well this holiday season.

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