Monday, June 28, 2010

Amish Impressions

 Perfect Storm (Zigzag/Lightening)

My fascination with Amish life had started way before I began quilting. Back in the spring of 1986, when I moved to the United States, I arrived in a little town called New Holland in Lancaster county, PA.  I spent my first few days in the U.S. with my brother-in-law and his family. They were very gracious to introduce my husband and I to the famous points of interest in and around the state of Pennsylvania. The tours included visits to the New York, Washington D.C.and the Niagara Falls. I was in another word! Literally!

We did not go to a single quilt museum nor did I know the connection between the Amish community and quilting. At the time I had just graduated as a graphic designer from an art school and had no interest in sewing. But, I had spent many summers in country sides of India as a child and needless to say that I fell in love with the corn fields, the horse drawn carriages and beautiful barns in Pennsylvania.

My husband and I stayed in Ithaca, New York while he continued  his education at Cornell university. During our time there, we visited Lancaster many times before moving to the west coast. The Amish country had a very special place in my heart. Simple life and beautiful scenery was quite an attraction to visit Lancaster over and over.

In 1996, a dear friend introduced me to this extraordinary style of quilting. It did not take long for me to recognize the gift I had just received. I have always been drawn to culturally expressive forms of art.  I like to create with my bare hands and have great respect and appreciation for artists who create with the perfect marriage of their emotions, talents and raw materials combined with their heritage.

The Amish are blessed with simplicity of life. While we go out of our ways to buy that perfect shade of red or the last fat quarter 'needed' to finish a quilt, they made quilts with the most minimalistic approach and only with what they had. Scraps from the cloths they sewed and the good fabric saved from the worn out wool coat were their primary materials for making a quilt.

Through out my years of quilting, like many of you, I have accumulated a lot of fabric.. I love fabric!  These days, I am intuitively restricting myself and making more quilts out of the used shirts and solids and loving the creativity that pours when I see scraps.

I must thank Tonya R. and her liberated quilt along to provide yet another playground. I had absolute fun creating this quilt. I am not sure if I will make words for this quilt. It speaks a whole lot to me than any words can describe!

The process had started way back when I made my first quilt.


Bought my first book on Amish quilts in 1996


Few more!



A blend of my Indian heritage and Amish impression. 
My first quilt entered in APNQ with the encouragement of my friends got an honorable mention in 2004.
Kavita's Garden
 
A blend of Amish and African impressions!
As I write my thoughts down today, It has been fun stroll down the memory lane..
Hope you take a moment and walk down the path you have already been!





Friday, June 25, 2010

Our Family Portrait

I picked up our graduate son from the airport on Wednesday. 
As soon as we all entered the family room my daughter, who is the youngest uttered, "I am so glad everyone is in the same room." 
She had to wait almost six months for her brothers to arrive home from school. That was not easy! 

Yes, the whole family is here!

This was her rendition of the family back in first grade. 
I turned that into a little fabric collage.
("Refrigerator Art Quilts" by Jennifer Paulson)

Big brother had short hair. Younger brother had big ears.
According to her, I was really skinny! 
  Who am I to argue with that?
Dad wore lot of plaids.. He is wearing scrap of one of those shirts!
And, she was just a little mouse then.

Oh.. the years have gone by! 

Here are her two big brothers enjoying yesterday's storm. 

 I think she looks beautiful twirling my Amish Quilt. 

My sewing room has been stormy too.


Between numerous meals and piles of laundry, piecing of the Amish Quilt goes on.


Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Perfect Storm!

Few months back I signed up to participate in Lazy gal Liberated Amish Quilts 2010 Get Together.
 I thought it was perfect challenge for me since I love both, Amish quilts and liberated quilting.

I added another element to that challenge and  restricted my self from buying new fabrics for the quilt. 

I looked through the Brown Collection of Amish quilts to get inspired. I also looked through few books in my library for the challenge. 

I think I am set. 
 "Broken Dishes" pattern has caught my attention. 

I have not worked with triangles in a long time.

This is like a recipe for perfect storm!

An Amish liberated pattern with favorite kind of fabrics and a very short time to work on it.

The temperatures are going to be very high tomorrow.

It is going to be stormy in my sewing room...since I am starting it just a week before it is due.

I picked a really old Indian woven fabric from my stash and any and all the solids I can get my hands on.

Cut  few pieces of fabrics today. Made some blocks and this is what my design wall looks like right now.



I am not sure if I am going to be able to finish this quilt in time. 

But, I am having fun and enjoying the process. 



Thursday, June 17, 2010

Past week


             
  

My son graduated from the University of Washington as an aeronautical engineer!


We are so proud!

And that also meant we got to visit that beautiful Northwest we once called home.




Walked on this beautiful trail again.


Walked with some good old friends.

Had long lunch with some of my best quilting friends.

Wish I could have met them all!



Watched the sunsets from up in the air.

One of my favorite things to do!




And now it is time to get back to sewing again!
I have not even started my Lazy Gal Liberated Amish Quilt Challenge yet!
This is what I am thinking.


It is my liberated Zigzag/Lightning! I made this quilt in 2009!

The deadline is June 30.

Hehe...

It is time to make another one from solids.

 Can't wait!

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's here!

Look what arrived today from Victoria @ Bumble Beans

I love my quilt! 
So bright, happy and cheerful!

Don't you think it is gorgeous?


Look at all the applique she did!
Yup! That's all hand stitching!
Wow!
And did you see the corners? She mitered them! 
That green stripe looks so dramatic!


Thanks, Victoria!
I can not tell you how much fun this was!
Since I took this pledge just a few days ago, this will be the perfect opportunity to walk through the process of this quilt.

  Victoria's block

My block

I played with the orientation of the block for a while.
Blue and Green were the two colors that caught my attention so I stuck with them!


Kept playing  and working on it until I was somewhat satisfied.

All the while I was working on this quilt, Victoria was on my mind.
She had just blogged about her fishing trip to the cabin. 
It wasn't long before those things blended in to the quilt

Now I had a definite direction for this quilt.


 I had achieved what I was looking for.... I thought!
Kept the piece on the design wall for next couple of days. 

Still not completely happy, I kept going back and forth. 
Did not know when to call it a quits!
You know with a 'housetop' quilts, you can go on forever!
But something was missing!

Did I say House Top?

That is just what it needed!

Using the same scraps from the logs of my house block, I hand appliqued the roof top and it all made sense!
The lake, the cabin, and blue sky and even the lush green open fields. 
It all came together!
Little green stripe in her block became the chimney and the pink wavy strips became road to the vacation home!
I even managed to insert a tall building of New York city on the left!



Added some more blue for the design balance. Quilted it with waves... My favorite way of quilting! 
It represents the gentle breeze by the lake side!

Does anyone recognize the binding? 

Yes, It is the same binding from the 'Flower Pot'!
You guessed it! It is the back of the quilt!


 Here is the quilt on my mantle hanging with the help of masking tape.

 

And the back....

 

I hope you liked it, Victoria!



Monday, June 7, 2010

Mood Quilting


Through out the history of quilting, artists have documented stories, lives of  family and friends and various interests in their quilts. 

Have you ever tried documenting your moods through the process of quilting during a certain stretch of time period in your life?  Sounds like a great idea! Isn't it?

Well, my friend Sherri has come up with a fun way of documenting moods during this summer. 

I know I am somewhat a moody quilter. 

In the past, I have noticed that my process of quilting changes through out the year.

It would be interesting to see what happens during just one summer.

If you are interested in this little experiment, go check out her site and her beautiful quilts .

By the way,
Mr. Root Connection and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary yesterday!
Feeling pretty happy about that.

Have a fun day!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tasty leftovers


Flower Pot quilted and bound! 

I used an old Alexander Henry fabric for the flower motif. Yes, that is not appliqued!
The pot was a leftover patch from the Ferris Wheel Quilt.
Patched the background with Kona Black to 'match' the flower print.

Binding was made from the leftover scraps of
 
Magic Carpet
 
The Kite Festival
and

Crater Lake

Aren't the leftovers yummy?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Flower Pot

 I took a little break from sewing yesterday and was looking for inspirations on line.  
I am always inspired when I visit Geninne's Art Blog. She uses her magic along with ink pen and watercolors and two of my favorite elements in her drawings... Flowers and Birds!


 I was so inspired that the break did not last that long!
After looking at Geninne's blog I decided to grow my own flowers in  a pot. 
It was like an instant garden to brighten up the day!


Does anyone know what are these? I bought this basket at our local produce-plant center. 

I love the salmon colored flowers. They  cheer me up every time I step out of the house.
I do that very often.....
Just to take a peek at them.

Happy Sewing!



Thursday, June 3, 2010

Progress report on mini quilt swap

Okay, I have had this beautiful block on my design wall for a while.  
Victoria sent this to me last week and I have had plenty time to ponder over what I would do with it. 
Just look at that skinny little horizontal curvy strip!!!
You are so good  Victoria!


I, on the other hand have been little slow on sending her my block. So, I thought to wait before posting any progress related to this swap.

Sorry, Victoria! Couldn't wait any longer!!!

Now the question is, what will I do with this block?


Better yet,

What story am I going to stitch with needle and thread on this canvas?
 

Something more to think about!

Have a great day!