Friday, April 27, 2018

You May Never Know

Where those tea-time conversations will lead you!

On one morning of October of 2017, over a cup of tea, my husband out of nowhere said, "You have never made a quilt from primary colors."
I looked at him in amusement because he rarely talks about colors. That one sentence made me think little hard. I almost never start a quilt with color scheme in mind. Most of the time it is the mood, some memory of the past triggers the start of a new quilt. 

He was right. I had never made a quilt with primary colors. That afternoon I decided to start a quilt just to honor our conversation. I looked in my stash that was available to use. Knowing it was his thought I was honoring, I wanted to work with solids and keep it clean. I had to look really hard for few scraps of these three colors. 

I found few shades of yellow to get started. Red was not a problem but I also wanted to use less red since t would be easy for reds to take over in my quilts. Blues were real issue since I don't work with that color much. I found one of his shirts he had put in a pile to discard. That made the cut. That old denim shirt was reversible.. I got to work with two shades of blue. I wasn't trying to create  a masterpiece but it still needed that jazz. Something was a miss.

In came the navy blue! I was happy. It now had the contrast I like and definition. 

I basted that quilt right away. I was headed to Houston for the IQA cruise to the Caribbean and needed a project to work on in my spare time.

And so it began. I thought I will hand quilt about an inch apart and turn it into a quick finish.  

It was interesting to find the colors of my quilt as we boarded on the ship.

 I got plenty of spare time on the cruise. Did you notice my idea of quilting lines an inch apart did not have a chance. I quickly realized that for a quilts made with just solids needed more texture to be interesting. So I went to my normal heavy stitching.

On the way back from the cruise, I couldn't help taking this shot.

During next few months, this quilt got lot of stitch love. I made sure to stitch on it the day son and daughter in law shared their good news.

It has come a long way. Slowly but steadily it is inching towards the edges.

Sometimes these stitches remind me of the sad in the Caribbean and oher times it reminds me of all the chain of events that happened in past few months.

I have overcome my fear of blues. No guarantee I will start using them more anytime soon though unless they are men's shirts.

 Uneven lines and stitches remain a reminder of constant change we go through, whether it is our creativity or life in general.

Hand quilting keeps me focused through it all and I wouldn't give it up unless I absolutely have to. 

Now I have two quilts with blues.. 

Some day when it is finished (hopefully soon), it will serve as a nice backdrop in our apartment in San Diego.

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

I am still here!

This morning as I was sipping my tea I thought of this blog once again. Well, I often do but today I feel like writing a few words. Six months is long enough break.. I think.

Looking back at past six months..

Amy and I had the best time in India. If you follow either of us on IG @therootconnection you must have seen many pictures of our amazing trip to India. I took hundreds of pictures but here are few just for today.

Trip to the local market

City Place - Lord Krishna Room

Sharing our life stories with new friends and making art

Traditional henna designs with local artist

At the end of a shopping day

A birthday celebration

I love this girl!

Evening light at the fort
Tie -Die Turbans on our stunningly beautiful models

life stories wrapped on mala beads in one afternoon

At a textile museum - I want to go back to this moment!

Friends reunited

A photo I could not resist

we gained friendships of kind and sweet staff

and were touched by their generosity

we experienced kindness

unforgettable moments were captured when least expected

our emotional goodbyes

I am sitting here in our rather empty San Diego apartment. We have pretty much every basic things we need to get by. Sometimes it makes you wonder how little we really need on day to day bases.

Among few basic things, a plant and a quilt made the list.

A good start of a new life
I started this quilt in fall of 2017. I was hoping to finish it before leaving for India but glad it was unfinished. Now I get to stitch down our move to this southern most city of the west coast.

Most important news of last few months - On Thanksgiving day my daughter in law gave us the best news yet. We are going to welcome our first grandchild soon!
It's time to make the baby quilt and I feel I am already running out of time!


That's all for today.

I hope you all are sewing something good.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Good News, Bad News

Life is full of all kinds of news. We must navigate through times, both good and bad and somehow make it on the other side. I don't know how many times I have reminded myself with "This too shall pass".. it always does.

Early this year my husband lost his job due to a big buy out of his company. His department was shut down and you get the picture.

The change happened just before we went to India and Thailand. The trips were planned well in advance and we thought a little vacation doesn't hurt anyone. And it didn't!

We had a great time and after coming back I got right into my teaching trips. Numerous workshops and lectures kept me busy all throughout this year. My husband on the other hand had busy months filled with searching for a new job. Our primary goal was to find a job right here in the bay area, where we feel very much at home and hope to be for rest of our lives. The idea of another move just didn't sound appealing. We have done this "move thing" few times and I rather not even think about it.

In May, our younger son, Shail graduated from Berkeley with his graduate degree and found a job right here in San Francisco and my daughter, Kavita graduated from Emerson college and started working in Boston. In August as you all know, our first-born got married in August and life couldn't be any perfect.

Sometimes even the best of the things can be over shadowed by that one, only negative thing in life but those good things in life work as fuel to help us carry on.

Here are some good news! After months of searching, my husband has a new job. A job that is just right, in fact it started out with a trip overseas. That only means there will be some traveling in future for him and may be for me?

Well... let's talk about my travels later.  

At the same time Kavita has a new job..where you ask?

Right here in San Francisco! She arrived just a couple of days ago.

Life is now perfect! 

Not so fast!

My husband's job is in San Diego! Eight hours away from home.

Yes, we are on the move again. 

So, after all these years of me wishing for my family to be on the same coast, We managed to reach that goal.

I am not sure what's in hold for us but for now, I am preparing for my upcoming cruise to the Caribbean with World of Quilt Travels. I am excited to meet everyone and teach on my first ever quilting cruise.

My husband is moving to San Diego soon and I will join him in few months after few of my travel plans including my Handmade India tour with Amy Butler.

Yes, it is true. Life gives with all its mighty, good and bad, we must accept. You never know what it could turn into.

For now, everyone in the family is employed and these two started their new job on the same day!

Life is Good!

Monday, October 9, 2017

PNQF Museum

This past weekend I had the opportunity to teach a workshop at the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber  Arts Museum, previousely known as the La Conner Quilt Museum. The love and kindness I see in quilters is always overwhelming and makes me want to continue in this direction. We worked on Endless Mountains and the results were as fun as ever.
Here are some pictures from the workshop.
I also got to see few of the quilts made by my lovely friends from previous workshop. They are my biggest rewards of teaching.

This is also my first time blogging from an iPad. Let's see if I do it right.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Paper Beads and Simply Moderne #10 Giveaway

This is a scenario, I know we all have gone through.

You have worked on numerous quilts and are left with all sorts of scraps. Your baskets and bins are spilling over and no matter what you do to organize them, they seem to overflow. Sometimes literally follow you wherever in your quilty life you go. 

Those strings and scraps..

Is it worth saving them?

Do you ever want to see THAT piece of fabric ever again after having used in more than three quilts?

Have you ever asked that question to yourself?

What do you do with those, now ugly and old to you scraps? Do you give them away or do you save them?

I don't think anyone wants bits and pieces of my scraps so I piece them together in hopes of some day making a scrap quilt.

Paper Beads started out something like that. Tons of ugly scraps overflowing the scrap baskets, finally saw the light of day and graced the cover of a beautiful magazine!

There are so many inspiring string quilts out there but I wanted to make mine just a little different.

I made blocks in all different sizes. It's easier when you have no end result in mind. Then came the designing stage. How was I going to use my string blocks into a quilt?

During that time I had bought a necklace made out of magazine paper by women in Africa. Bowls and baskets made from magazine papers were in almost every home stores. I was not only intrigued by the texture and shapes of those beads but also the idea that they were made with recycled material.

It made sense to try my hand at that. Except, mine were going to be made from fabrics.

For the background, I used a brown Indian shot cotton purchased on my trip to India. Those beads jump right off of it, don't you think?

Couple of years back I was approached by Quiltmania Editions to submit a quilt or two for Simply Moderne magazine. Paper Beads made the cut!

When I worked at the quilt shop, Quiltmania was one of my favorite magazines and it is an honor to see my quilt on the cover of its sister magazine.

I am excited to share this news. Now you can put all your scraps and strings to a good use and make this quilt too!

Quiltmania editions is giving away a copy of Simply Moderne to one lucky winner from my instagram feed!

I improvised my quilt as it progressed but you can make this quilt with the instructions provided by the magazine.

To win a copy of the Simply Moderne #10, all you have to do is subscribe to this blog and follow me on Instagram @therootconnection

I will pick a winner on Monday, October 8th. 

Good luck!