Tuesday, June 22

Infinite Hope

Infinite Hope - a mini quilt and my entry to the Great British Quilter, Hope Mini Quilt Challenge.   
I began with a nine patch hand pieced base.
On the center patch I embroidered a Martin Luther King Jr quote.
The central square is white surrounded by dark squares and this is a metaphor for light at the end of the tunnel signifying hope.
A spiral composed of appliqued circles, Buttonhole wheels and French knots.
The spiral is a metaphor for growth and therefore hope.
Ready to start quilting.
I decided to quilt the mini quilt the same way kantha quilts are quilted - an all over running stitch which creates these soft rippling texture.
For the binding I decided to use white.
Another metaphor for Hope - Every cloud has a silver lining.
Infinite Hope quilted and ready to be bound.
Like the rest of the quilt, I was going to hand sew it. 
This was a first for me but I managed to do it thanks to YouTube videos this one by Missouri Star and this one without which it would not have been possible. The binding is not perfect but it's not bad for a first attempt. Encouraged to try again when I make the next quilt which is going to be a crazy quilt.
Traditional Indian quilts don't have a binding.
We must accept finite disappointment, 
but never lose Infinite hope.
12" × 12", entirely hand stitched, hand embroidered, hand quilted and hand bound.
We are in lockdown so all the materials used are from my stash. All the fabrics are upcycled. The batting and backing are old bedsheets. Similar to traditional kanthas which use layers of cotton saris. 

Waiting to hear from the Great British Quilter.

Friday, June 11

The Second Wave and in Lockdown

The second wave has hit India hard. The numbers of infected individuals are on the rise in our mountain district.
In our little lockdown bubble we got our vegetable garden going. We've got beetroot, radish, carrot and beans. Some chilly plants and two passion fruit creepers. Will be adding a Chow Chow creeper.
Lopped off branches of trees in preparation for Aadi maasam when the winds blow and there's the danger of trees branches snapping and breaking. There will be enough firewood for the fire places in winter.
The monkeys have been making regular forays to the house in search of food.
They are a delight to watch.
We put out fruit and vegetable peels for them.
Social media keeps me connected with the world. @tenaciousbeehive had a giveaway of marigold seeds and postcards and these pictures of  happy bees gathering nectar won me a package. The marigold flowers should make the bees very happy. I suspect they come from the hives my neighbours have.
Walks in the garden to discover what's blooming. The Monstera bloomed, that was a first. The Angel's trumpet bloomed profusely and perfumed the air with the most beautiful fragrance early in the morning and at dusk. The garden is a delightful place to be in at this time of the year.
Small trucks with fresh produce drive up to our gate so we get to buy fruit and vegetables. We haven't faced any shortages.
A kind neighbour brought a roast chicken one evening and another day we ate pieces of delicious honeycomb when they were extracting honey.
Learnt a way to use slightly burnt rice. Made vadagam.
Beat up the rice with cumin, pepper , chilli powder and salt and pressed out some murukkus which was sun dried and stored in a container. The vadagam is fried and makes a crunchy accompaniment to a South Indian meal.
I completed the commission to embroider two pieces of the same poem. These two embroidered poems are 90th birthday gifts for twin sisters. 
There will a post about this commission sometime soon.

I've entered my quilt - Blooming in my Garden in the Festival of Quilts and I made this mini quilt for the Great British Quilter competition. The theme was Hope. Entirely handmade with materials from my stash. There will be a more detailed post  to follow. 

These are difficult times. Restrictions mean we can't visit family. We are lucky to be able to speak every evening. We live in hope. 
We've been viewing movies and serials on Netflix, Amazon prime and a few other OTT platforms. Watched the Undoing and The Mauritanian. At present we're watching the new season of Lupin and there's a new documentary which released on Netflix today - Skater Girl which I hope to see over the weekend.

I hope you and your family are well and safe. I hope your weekend has something for you to celebrate. Take care folks.