Monday, January 16, 2017

2017

Beginning of the new year has always made me wonder about time. How I measure it, how I use it and how I remember it. Year 2016 brought so many changes, series of exciting events and unfortunate events, some until the last day of the year and also at the beginning of this year. 

I have missed blogging this past year. Blogging keeps me on track, writing keeps in line with my thoughts and creative process. Writing a blog post most often worked as soul searching. I wrote most when I felt connected with my friends in this blogsphere. It also kept things exciting as I shared stories of my life, my garden and occasionally my family and kitchen. 

In 2016 I wrote very little on this blog due to time constraints and found myself relying a lot more on Instagram and Facebook.  

Speaking of Facebook, recently someone used my picture for promoting her website. I was first puzzled, upset and disappointed on why a quilter would choose not to use her own image for her business. I sent her a message and she removed it instantly but it left me sad for her. Why would she not be proud enough of her own work to use as new year's greetings to sell her website? It prompted me to write on my fb page this message - Be proud of your own work because if you wouldn't, nobody else will.

And that brings me back to blogging. I was proud of writing my stories on my blog. I took a lot of time taking pictures and making sure that work I was doing was inspiring at least some people out there. As I continue to teach, I should be here sharing my stories about my travels and teaching.. but I am not. Why? I wondered. I have searched answers for this questions many times in the past. 

Some of which are -
Not enough time - This is true
I am not making any new quilts - True, just starting them
Just starting a project and not finishing it - It takes a long time for one to finish, we know that.
Who wants to know about three blocks I made last week? Hmm..
Who cares about who I meet and what I am doing next? Hmm..

I needed to do a lot of soul searching. I am no different from that girl who used my picture. I should be proud of what I do. It is no longer just a hobby but also a job. Teaching at various guilds and organizations, giving talk about my personal story as a quilter is something to be proud of. Don't get me wrong, I am very proud but it feels too much of bragging when I talk about it here. 

You see, I had always used this space as a meeting and gathering place, a place for friendships to grow and ideas to share. This is where I found friends from around the world, with whom I am still connected to. So I am not being true to myself if I don't stay true to this space. 

So here I am..
Sharing my stories once again.

I started this quilt almost two years ago. I wanted a different version of Lattice Quilt for my collection. One that would tell my story. Colors were inspired from the book, Unconventional and Unexpected Quilts. The only person I shared the picture of this quilt was with my friend Kate, who needed some colorful distraction and inspiration. I shared a picture in a private message to her, I wanted to have it finished for a magazine but it was never picked up (talk about feeling rejected). 

Kate and I talked about this quilt and related topic for a while on messenger (I had forgotten about that day until this moment as I write this). The top stayed in the pile for a long time until I pulled it out this past November just before leaving for India on a family emergency. My mom suffered from a stroke in mid October and I had planned to stay with her for a month to help with her recovery. At very last minute, on the morning of my flight, I decided to baste it and take along with me.

This quilt has recorded every conversation I had with my mom. Time I spent with her as well as time I spent alone inside my head, all the worries and frustrations that come along taking care of a loved one is well documented. 

My mom is doing well with her recovery. I am thankful for the time I have had the chance to spend with her in India.

You see, time can be measured in so many ways. I measure it in stitches, sometime perfectly and other times not so much.


I do know one thing; this right here and right now is time well spent. 

Happy New Year!
Sujata

Thursday, October 20, 2016

and the winner is...

Thank you all for participating in Cindy's book Artful Improve and taking the time to read and share your thoughts. I enjoyed reading how you all look at your quilting style.   

The lucky winner for this book is comment #18

 Mary Ellen wrote, " I would say that I am an intermediate level quilter. I have made traditional quilts but today I am more into the modern movement."

Congratulations Mary Ellen!

Please email me your snail mail address so I can forward that to Cindy for your book. 

I am off to visit my quilt group soon. Hope you are having a fun day too!
Sujata

Friday, October 14, 2016

Artful Improv by Cindy Grisdela - Review and Giveaway

Few months ago I went to C&T Publishing to drop off some quilts for an upcoming show. While I was there, I saw the wall of meeting room full of covers of soon to be released books. The one that caught my eye was Artful Improv by Cindy Grisdela.

I responded to the cover right away. No Surprise there! Colors! Colors! Colors!
After reviewing the book, I can tell you it is not just about the colors.

So what is it about?
Think design elements and process of making an improv quilt. There are no patterns but ideas to explore - Ideas on colors, making blocks, building blocks and adding textures with machine and hand quilting. 



It is a guide for beginning quilters as well as anyone who wants to let loose, try something different without a specific plan and make art quilts. 

There are lots on inspirational photographs of completed quilts by the author as well as her students.








Visit Cindy Grisdela on her website to learn more about her book as well as her many accomplishments.

You can win a copy of Cindy's book. I would love to know if you are a traditional quilter or a modern quilter, a beginning quilter or a pro. Leave a comment with an answer. I will pick a winner on 10/19/2016
 
For more than one chance to win, follow the blog tour!

October 10: C&T Publishing
October 11: Maria Shell
October 12: Rayna Gillman
October 13: Yvonne Fuchs
October 14: Sujata Shah
October 17: Heather Kojan
October 18: Generation Q Magazine
October 19: Cindy Grisdela 

You can purchase this book from Cindy’s website , at C&T Publishing, and Amazon .

Good Luck!

Monday, October 10, 2016

My Visit on the Beaver Island with Gwen Marston and Lynn Harris

Where was I?
Last time, almost two and a half months back I was here and somehow summer months took over. 

From Gwen's book and collection "37 Sketches"
Lynn Harris, a good friend of Gwen, a prolific quilt artist was kind to come along. Lynn has participated in Gwen's retreats since 1998 or so! Lucky Lynn! I am forever thankful for her generosity for taking the time out of her already busy life and agreeing to accompany me to the island.

We started our road trip the day after my second workshop at the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild. As we got closer to the lake Michigan, I found out Michigan is another state famous for producing cherries. The orchards were loaded with fruit. On our way to Charlevoix airport we had a great time talking quilts, families, books and being a first time author. Those of you who don't know, the only access to the island is a ferry or a flight. We decided the flight would be extra fun and will save time.


We were like kids in a candy store!

Our ride to the island
Gwen came to pick us up at the airport in her red truck! This picture alone tells how happy we all were to see each other.

Gwen and Lynn
Next two days we spent talking, sharing and more talking. Gwen was so generous to show us both her antique quilts, textiles from around the world and her own quilts from her numerous books. We spent time in her studio looking at her collections of antique blocks and many laughs.
 
Gwen's Liberated Log Cabin

She is all smiles!
One of my favorites!

Stack of Sketches

A Sunset to Remember!

Moments I will never forget!

The Cover Girl
Lynn and I slept in Gwen's guest house covered in quilts made by her. I am still in disbelief when I think of the time I spent on Beaver Island. Gwen is a gem. Not that we all don't already know it.

Those of you who have had chance to attend her workshops are fortunate. As Gwen wraps up her teaching years, I am going to continue studying liberated quilting through her books. I wonder what is next for Gwen. We often talk about - What next.. I sure hope she continues writing and inspired us all.

Speaking of which, Have you got Gwen's latest book A Common Thread? I highly recommend this book. It is a collection of quilts from many years, takes you on a journey through her entire quilting life. You must visit here to read more reviews of this book. 

   
There is a little bit of sewing going on my kitchen table inspired by this book. Hopefully there will be enough progress to post it here soon.

Hope you all are enjoying early days of fall. I am stitching away my Square in Square quilt from the book. It is an after thought I love very much!

Happy Stitching,
Sujata





 

 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Trip to Ann Arbor - Part One


The Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild contacted me early last year in May. The guild program director Lottie Parker did a great job staying in touch throughout the year and made sure my stay there was comfortable.

I taught two classes - Windmill class was scheduled the day before the guild meeting and Peppermint Pinwheels was scheduled on the day after the meeting. Here are some of the pictures of guild members' work from the Windmills class..


Speaking of Winmills, I also have some pictures from class at Sisters to share.

Jodena's quilt top is stunning. You can find her work on Instagram @jodenab

And this is the picture of one of my favorite students from Sisters. She is 12 years old, a terrific quilter already. You can follow her work on Instagram @mycraftyclub

Sue Nikiel wanted pop of colors on the walls of her log cabin house. I think she got that pop!

It was so nice to finally meet Lori from Humble Quilts.
She worked her magic in the class and had her top ready before even leaving the class.

As I was setting up my quilts on the stage and catching my breath before the talk (as I always do since my first experience) people were trickling in the auditorium.


I spotted those two members with Julie Sefton's book, Build A Barn!
I was thrilled to see it and had to take this picture.


 Sunday's Peppermint Pinwheel class was also as much fun and as colorful as ever.  


We had some very prolific group of quilters! They all ended up making at least four or more blocks on the day of the class. I loved the variety of fabrics in the class.

Thank you Sonya, Lottie, Judy, Carol and everyone at Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild for your warm hospitality. You made my experience memorable!

After the classes I visited a dear friend on Beaver island. I can't wait to share the story about that in a day or two. Stay tuned!

Sujata