Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Countdown to Quilter's Affair


I have had good three weeks of cooling period from the whirlwind of traveling and hosting friends and relatives in the month of May. I got so much done during this time but most importantly, I feel well rested and rejuvenated.

This Sunday I will be flying up north to Sisters, Oregon. Just look at the picture above! It is gorgeous little town nestled in picturesque central Oregon. Lucky me, it is only a short and direct flight from San Francisco to Redmond, WA. On a clear day, which normally it is at this time of the year, the vistas are amazing!  Oh I can hardly wait for Sunday.

I will be meeting some of the instructors for the first time and excited to see new friends from last year. The week is packed with all kinds of amazing classes.

Check the class listing here, some incredibly gifted artists are on the instructor's list.
http://quiltersaffair.net/ 

It is also my honor to be invited to present on Thursday night. I am excited to be standing there in front of such talented crowd. Hundreds of quilters will be under one roof and I get to share my story! Just between you and I, a little bit nervous at this point but I have learned to accept that about myself. Keeping my fingers crossed not to dissonant myself and everyone else! :)

The show!
I have to post some pictures of the last year's show while the firefighters were hanging the quilts. It is quite the sight. Have you ever been there 7:00 am when they start hanging the quilts on all four sides of the Stitchin' Post?

https://stitchinpost.com/




It is quite the sight!

You know what else is great about Sisters? The Shop!

These are my favorite memories of last year. You must click on the picture to realize the size of this shop!

Jean Wells making sure everything is just right!


Valori Wells sharing her magic of block Printing.

The Annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show draws thousands of people from all over the country and world. You never know who you might run into on the streets of Sisters.

If you go, make sure to visit the teachers Tent. It is where you will see all the instructors' work under one roof.

I still have fond memories of last year's group of quilters in my classroom. Looking forward to seeing some of them again as well as friends arrivng from all over the country!

Did I say, I am excited? If you are going to be there, come say hello!


Monday, April 17, 2017

Back to Quilting, Traveling and Teaching

Finally it seems I have been back at the kitchen table. It's been only a month since I got back from India but with all the teaching trips, it seems like India trip is long forgotten.

These days my kitchen table is a constant mess and that's the way I like it. There has been so much going on, be warned, this is going to be a long post. 
 
Two weeks after I arrived, I went to Santa Cruz, CA for a Windmill/Winter workshop. Members of the South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild were so creative and prolific.

  
By the end of the day, all the design walls were full of windmills blocks. Thank you SBAQG for inviting me. I had a great time visiting you.

The lecture was schedule for the next day at the Monterey Peninsula Quilters guild one hour south in Monterey, CA.

Kathrin came to the lecture with her finished quilt top for the show and tell. I was pretty impressed! I am looking forward to seeing more quilts from this workshop at some point.

The next day I spent the morning walking around at the beach, signed some books at Back Porch Fabrics. There was a special exhibit in their gallery of Gwen's quilts. They were so inspiring, I wanted to sew right there and then. Unfortunately, I don't travel with my machine and there was no time to sew. I came back home that afternoon. The drive on 101 north was beautiful! The mountains and farms were lush green thanks to our rainy spring weather! As I got closer to home, I saw the rolling hills covered with mustard flowers. Unfortunately I was on the highway, there was no way to take pictures. 

The next day I started a quilt. I am going to have to post about it in near future.

Here is my most recent finish that I can show you today. 


My Windmills quilt workshop is high in demand so I thought to make a new sample from the "Possibilities" section of the book. This way, I can see for myself how it turns out and gives my students ideas they can see in reality rather than in an illustration.


I quilted it on my Viking using the walking foot. I do like simple lines in my quilts, hand quilted or otherwise. So at first I thought horizontal lines would do. But then I realized, the solids in the quilt and those large blocks could use some extra texture so I turned that into waffle quilting.

Ooops.. Do you see on the lower right corner the batting and backing was not enough?  There were some not so fun moments that evening while I was machine quilting and I rather not talk about it.


I finished the quilt with pieced polka dot binding to make it look like the paint was peeling off the edges. I had to send the sample to the guild the day after I arrived from Monterey so there was no time to take a good picture. I guess this will have to do.

I have started many projects at the same time. People ask me if I have multiple quilts in the works.. My answer is always, YES!

Interestingly enough, I am having fun working on all of them at the same time.

Tomorrow evening I will be presenting at the San Francisco Quilters guild. If you are in the area, please stop by to say hello.

Sujata








Saturday, April 15, 2017

Juhu Beach

Small fragments of fabrics from projects here and there took me back to Mumbai. I can not believe it has been exact two months since I wrote anything here.

Juhu Beach is my latest little quilt. I had no plans of making this quilt but the scraps on the table were calling to be used in something. 

Juhu Beach 12"x12'

When I was in India in November, mom expressed her wish to go to the beach some day. It isn't that is is far from the home I grew up in but with her limited ability to walk the distance, and being able to get in and out of a vehicle, it seemed like a major task. There was no way it seemed possible.

When I went the second time around, I realized she was moving around much better. My brother and his wife and both of us decided that we needed to take mom to the beach.

It turned out to be the most memorable morning. 

You wouldn't find a single person at the Juhu beach in a bikini, instead colorful saris, dupattas and scarves float against the warm sand and grayish, blue water of the Arabian Sea.

Can you see the warmth?

We had a great time that day drinking the coconut water and people watching.

I got to watch my mom walk on the beach!

Mom and us at the Juhu beach


I am not sure if I had any memories of her walking at the beach from any of past visits.

Now I do.

I hope you all have a wonderful time with your families this weekend!
Sujata



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Life in Mumbai

I could write a long post today but all I want to do is share some pictures. We have been busy, way busy to notice that two weeks have gone by. It is nice to be back with my family here and also being the tourist.
One hting about being here, it never gets old. I am constantly surrounded by colors and textures. Here are some pictures I took in past few days.

Strawberries are in season and women here like wearing that color.

Yesterday on the train; women, perfect strangers to each other were wearing coordinated clothes. Pretty interesting, wouldn't you agree? Something my college friends and I used to do all the time!


Early morning of last weekend, we went to the beach. it was a perfect morning for some soccer for local peeps.


They reminded me of my kids. They all love going to the beach here and have a taste of fresh coconut water.


Yum!


Mmm... Good!


There was a photography class going on too. I was part of this clan many years ago!


Childhood! Oh I love sibling-hood! Is that a word?

Nurseries on the Wheels are all over the town. Winter is wrapping up and temps are getting into 90s. I love occasional lazy afternoon naps here but have no time to catch a snooze. I am busy shopping for my son's wedding. Love visiting the sari shops. You may not be able to see as much color as I do when I go there but here is a picture.


And here is a picture with my favorite color!


Have a great week!
Sujata
 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Progress Report, 2017 Schedule and A New Friend

Time sure travels fast when you are not looking. It's been almost two weeks, I thought I would give an update before I travel again.
On the quilting front -
Hand stitching on "Mom and I" quilt is coming along. I am inching towards a finish at a snail's speed but as I have always said, I am in no hurry. Eventually I will get there.


Each stitch has a place of its own, rainbow of threads have been quite entertaining to see how they react to the background.


 Initially I had thought of adding meandering lines with just enough stitching to bind the layers. 


But it didn't seem enough, so I continued adding more texture to it.

Was it a right decision?

I will know once I bind this quilt.

In other news -
My husband and I are leaving for India in a few days. I am excited to be able to see my mom again but this time around I will also be hitting the markets to shop for the wedding. We will also be traveling to visit extended family and some friends. Last couple of weeks we will be spending in Thailand before returning home. This will be our first ever trip to one of the eastern countries and I can hardly wait! Look for the #traveldiary on IG and FB @therootconnection

I will be coming back to a busy schedule for 2017

April
Class
South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild Santa Cruz, CA
Lecture
Monterey Peninsula Quilters Guild, Pacific Grove, CA
Workshops and Presentation
Tompkins County Quilters Guild, Ithaca, NY
Presentation
San Francisco Quilters Guild San Francisco, CA 

May 
Presentation and Workshops My first time teaching at Quilted Straight! I have heard great things about the shop and excited to be teaching two day classes.
Quilted Straight  Port Gamble, WA
http://quiltedstrait.com/classes

June:
Presentation and Workshop
Napa Valley Quilters  Napa, CA
Napa Valley Quilters

July: So excited about teaching at Sisters again! I will also be presenting this year and sharing my story. Will I see you there?
Classes and Lecture
Sisters, OR
http://www.quiltersaffair.com/

September:
Lecture and Workshop
EBHQ Berkeley, CA
Mount Vernon
Quilting Retreat - Details coming soon

November: YES! I am going on a quilting cruise right after International Quilt Show in Houston. 
November 5-12
Quilt Cruise to the Caribbean
http://iqacruise.com/ 

Yes, it is going to be a busy year but all I want to focus on right now is my trip!

A New Friend 

This past December I met an incredible quilter in my home town, India. She visited her family here in late 90s. During her visit, she came across some quilt shows on TV and got inspired to make one! Her brother bought her basic rotary cutting tools and gifted her with a book on quilting. Almost 20 years later, she has quite a few quilts in her collection and she is still making them as we speak!
All of them are mostly hand sewn and hand quilted.




Her quilts are just like any other quilts in India, made with materials on hand and using fewer tools. She uses all kinds of material and the results are stunning. Blades dull out faster than she can keep up so she gave up on the rotary cutting and started using her cutting mat as a guide to cut her squares and triangles. She also used hand cut cardboard templates for her quilts.

I absolutely fell in love with her. Can you blame me?

When I asked if she ever gets tired of hand piecing such large quilts, she responded, "Not really, I pray as I sew these pieces and somehow it all works in harmony."

It was a humbling experience to see her soulful quilts.

Cotton and Polyester

cotton and blend

 The ones on the couch behind her are also bed size quilts

Hand stitched all the way

and the front


And what does she do with all these quilts, you ask?
She gives them away as gifts.
I can not wait to meet her again and continue this friendship for years to come.

Happy Quilting!

Sujata

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