Friday, September 20, 2013

Human Hands

Do you ever wonder about why you like certain kind of quilts?

We all know we can not make every quilt that inspires us. There are certain ones that always catch our attention more than the others.

I am still reminiscing my trip to the Brooklyn Museum. Thinking about the quilts and also the exhibit of Egyptian artifacts.

I may have been in a quilting state of mind then and was 'seeing' things. 


This almost 10-12 feet tall carving of a King in the Garden on the wall looked impressive.

But then I got a little closer...


Even more amazing, right? Doesn't it look like hand stitching on a quilt? Like an overall running stitch pattern of quilts from India.


This is neither a kantha quilt as it's widely misrepresented nor a Ralli quilt. I am sure it is a leftover or rejected sample of an export order. I bought this one while I was in Rajasthan last year. Love the colors and all those stitches!


Back of that quilt is so muted, it was a surprise to me. But then how would these stitches show if it was as bright as the front? Do you see those with minds of their own going every which way?

Notice the edge of the quilt? It has no batting and it's finished with some sort of blanket stitch.

I like hand work on a quilt. Whether it is an applique or hand quilting, hand stitching for embelishing the quilt or just for fun. More time I spend on a piece, more of my life lives in it.

I saw this applique quilt at the museum and was immediately drawn to it.



These beautiful blocks with birds alone were enough to take me back home!


I stood there and smiled thinking - With mismatched corners and not so 'perfect' applique, in the eyes of today's judges this quilt may not even make it in top 10. Yet, it's in the museum! Teaching us history!

Human hands - That's what's important to me when I see a quilt. Slight imperfect and mismatched seams here and there, a trace of distracted mind in those uneven stitches and worn look of being loved to threads. I  have come to admire that in a quilt. No matter what style, colors or age they are.. They all have some personal stories behind them. 

I took pictures of  four different blocks with the circles in the center.





















Each one has it's own personality!

No templates, no pre-cut plastic circles when it was made. Just two hands, a needle and thread! May be few friends by her side and lots of laughter!

I like that!

Something to think about, right?

What do you like in a quilt and why?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Anna Williams at the Brooklyn Museum

''Work by Hand'': Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts

Visiting the museum and see Anna Williams quilt was on my list to do for so long. Finally I got to see it from up close before it ended today. Although I was slightly disappointed that there was only one of her quilts in the exhibit, I was happy to see many other that were equally beautiful and inspiring.

Love the colors!

Nilesh needed a closer look. 
I am sure he wishes I made traditional quilts.


I needed my own closer look. Absolutely amazing! Don't you think?


This one here, I tell you, if I stared at it long enough, it felt like it was radiating like one of those flashy billboards at Times Square!




Lot of these quilts reminded me of my blogging friends from all over.


It was nice to take them along with me. I am sure they will know who they are when they see these pictures. :0



After seeing these quilts I came to my favorite spot in the exhibit and stood their staring for a long time.


Flash photography was obviously not allowed and I struggled with the lighting at first but after few clicks I think I got it right.


Doesn't it look like there is a party going on in this quilt? I spotted bandana, African print, calico, shirtings, civil war prints and some retro modern prints.

Here is the close up of a block. Check out the upper left corner of the block :0


And it is less than 6'' x 6''! Amazing!

Quilts were not the only thing that made me think of my friends. Antique tiles, mosaics and paintings you name it!






Magazine from 1972
I think the craze has turned into passion for many of us. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't be here talking about this day.

Have a wonderful week!
Sujata



Monday, September 9, 2013

Let me introduce myself

I don't even know where to begin!

It has been so long, I have forgotten how to blog! You all know how difficult it is to come back after a long break from posting. Well, it has been a busy summer but that goes without saying since I have been absent from it all.

Now is the time to restart, re-energize this blog, more importantly, reconnect with all of you and re-introduce myself as newly crowned 50 years old, empty-nester!

Yes, I turned 50 in August. My husband planned the biggest surprise of my life. I am not much of a party girl. This was huge for me. Both my sons showed up in the morning of my birthday and both sisters drove from Toronto with their families. By the evening, there were 37 family members from both sides in the house ranging from 4 months to 85 years of age! I truly feel blessed and loved.

It was Shail's 22nd birthday too. We share the same birthday! It was wonderful to have all three of them in the house at the same time after almost two years.

They all came and left! built more memories before Kavita left for college.









The house is empty and quiet for little over two weeks now. We have only lived here for about six years but it is amazing how quickly memories are made. I miss her but not crying my eyeballs out. And, that is a good thing. That only means that we are trusting her abilities of being on her own and feeling rather happy that everyone is where they are supposed to be.

Summer is over and it's time to change gears - quilt more, sew more, have friends come over for visits and sleep over and take weekend trips to near by cities. Life is good!

I pulled out my Sunday Paper and started quilting outdoors in the evenings just to hold on to these last few long days of summer. 


I have decided to keep it simple, in the ditch quilting and complete the quilt before the cooler days of fall arrive.


Next in the line is this old Zigzag Quilt. A huge quilt, definitely going on the machine.   



Looking forward to working on many old and new projects this fall. Can't wait to share it all again from this corner!

It's good to be back!