Friday, September 4, 2020

Free Access to The Quilt Show - Episode 2705

As promised in my last post, I am here to give you an update on my show. Grab a cup of tea this weekend and watch it for free. The quilt show is offering one week of free access!

http://thequiltshow.com/watch/show-list/video/latest/show-2705-sujata-shah-freddy-moran?artist_coupon=27050830
 
Click on the link and it will take you right where you need to be. Alex Anderson and Ricky Tim's bring you the friendliest interactive online community for quilters worldwide. Join today to learn, share create, connect and watch Alex and Ricky in brand new episodes of  "The Quilt Show"
 
My show is available to watch for free from September 2-13, 2020 


 
Watch the show and learn what memories this quilt holds for me.
 
There is so much packed in it, you really do not want to miss it. It is an honor to be in the same episode as my dear friend Freddy! She shares her philosophy on creating, living, and her beautiful, inspiring home!

I would love to hear what you think of the show.

Have a great weekend!

Sujata

 


Monday, July 20, 2020

The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson


Hi friends!

Last week I went to Alex Anderson's home for the taping of the Quilt Show! You know, nothing ever happens overnight and there is always a story behind any event in life.



So here is the story.

I was scheduled to tape a show last year but as you all know, that wasn't meant to be. Sometimes what doesn't materialize turns out to be the best thing ever because life always has a way of turning things around for you when you are not looking.

Early this year, soon after I returned from India, we all went in to stay-at-home order. With a complete shut down, I knew for sure there wasn't going to be any taping of the show in 2020 either.

I was wrong. As the restrictions lifted to certain extent, The Quilt Show decided to tape the shows at two different locations. With keeping all social distancing guidelines in mind, Alex Anderson opened up her home to tape few shows with local artists in the area and I was one of them.

It was a fun day for sure. I was little nervous about choosing the right quilts that would convey my story and the demos that would be right for the time frame we were given.

The day of the taping approached faster than I thought. Just a couple of days before the show, I got a call from Alex, (who is also in my quilt group) telling me that she and her husband got tested for Covid-19 and both had tested negative. I couldn't be happier. Knowing that, and the fact that I do not go anywhere, I felt safe for the taping of the show.

The Quilt Show crew was great to work with.  Although, I must say, if I ever were to run into them on the street, I wouldn't recognize them at all as their faces were covered with the masks during the entire session.

If there is anything I would change about the day, I would wear a mask not just before but also during the taping of the show. Alex and I both discussed in length over this past weekend. We both agreed, the times we are living in, it is crucial to convey the importance of wearing a mask ourselves.

Here we are, under the tent in Alex's backyard. Freddy Moran had just called Alex and I was talking with her in this moment.

Here are two nicest cameramen setting up the room for shooting.

They all were wearing the funniest smiling masks. I could tell they were really smiling from their eyes.

Producer Shelly explaining the step by step instructions to me. This all was so new to me, I was listening to every single word.

Here we are at the demo table. For the first time, I realized how much work goes into taping of an hour long show. They were all so professional and courteous! The best part of taping was, I never had to drive or fly out of the state.

Alex doesn't know this but I had heard of her just as I was starting out as a quilter and now we are in the same quilt group. Life is full of full circle moments! It was a treat to meet her husband and work with her crew.
  
I am not sure when the show will air but I think pretty soon. Stay tuned, I will keep you all posted.

Sujata






Friday, June 5, 2020

Playing Catch Up

Can I pick up where I left off a little over a year back?

Probably not. I did try though! Just a couple of weeks back I drafted a post about my past year but in this moment, it just feels like the personal storm that passed through and life has brought new challenges. Not just for me but the entire world. I look at it as a message to me  - Just keep going, be better at living your life, be more aware, more compassionate and kind.  

Most importantly living in the moment, just this moment.

So I have been doing just that, being in the moment and sewing away. Busy with my hands and my mind, stitching down everything that is going on in my life.


It has been time for self evaluation - of my strengths as well as weaknesses. Working with little scraps has allowed me to be in the moment. Most of my fabrics are still in the garage. So I remain content with whatever I see right in front of me. Although the other day, I did bring out some "new" fabrics from the garage and added them to my basket.


These few months of stay at home has allowed me to be good to my indoor plats. They have never looked so healthy! House plants are another thing that keeps me focused. Taking care of them, watching them grow has become a second nature since I was a little girl. My father taught me that and I am forever grateful for that. 


I have loved watching this pothos one grow since last year. It used to live on the bathroom window until Kai pulled it down. Poor plant was shocked but with enough care and love it is back again! Well, that and the fact that it is very easy to grow plant.


On a personal note - It has been quite a year but I can not complain. Having traveled to Toronto, Pennsylvania, Seattle and India in between cancer treatment and Covid 19 Stay at home order I feel pretty fortunate.

I intend to hang on to that feeling.

Have a good day you all!
Sujata

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Winds of Change

I started this quilt in October of 2018. I was hoping to gift this to my daughter Kavita as a Christmas present but as you can tell, it is still here.

This quilt has gone through many changes. It evolved from a plain and simple Kawandi quilt to what it is right now.

Winds of Change 23" X 41"
I made the background from pale fabrics because I wanted to challenge myself with light and soft shades. Well that did not work out as a quilt in itself but they worked very well as a background.



I used every shade of red plaid I had in my stash to make the "table" for the pot of flowers.


They were layered and stitched like a Kawandi quilt. 


The pot was little difficult to stitch because that grey fabric is a piece of my pants. I machine pieced the rectangle pot and then hand stitched on the background. 


I love the use of large prints for the applique. It makes it easier to have a great impact with simple and bold design. One piece applique takes out all the trouble of registration of patterns. Gwen used to say, "Folk art applique used to be simple and then they made it complicated." I love simple so here it is!

I did use the freezer paper to make sure the leaves fit the background. I also wanted an oversized, organic shapes. The only way to get that was to not worry about prints, patterns and where the branches and leaves end up on the back ground. Because it was spontaneous, it evolved throughout with every step of stitching. 

  
Last step was deciding the shape and color of the flower. My basic instinct was to go for red and teal blue solids. 


This is what I had in mind but the fabrics were too thin and somehow for the first time in my life I thought, solids are not working. They were overpowering the entire quilt design. I chose blue and red prints in the end and changed the shape of the flower. I think the flower could have been the same as here but you learn as you go. 


This was another option but somehow I decided to go with the flower. I added lots of extra stitching for the feeling of winds of change that is blowing through my life. 

The quilt measures 23" X 41". It has layers of fabric as batting. It is stitched entirely by hand other than the construction for the pot. 


I will continue adding the "wind" for a while until it all settles down. 
I am also adding this quilt as a workshop sample for future workshops and retreats.

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend and have a great week!

Sujata


Friday, May 3, 2019

Have you?

Have you been wondering where did I disappear?

I was hoping to post all the pictures from both, Santa Cruz and San Francisco shows. Write about my wonderful experience with all the people I got to interact. All I can say is, the shows were a fantastic way to mark over four years period of publishing the book and traveling as a quilt teacher.

This is the latest quilt I finished just before the show in San Francisco. I have not made many quilts with pink fabrics but for some reason here it is!


My all organic pink quilt! It has bits and pieces from previous projects but also has pieces of my skirt from 1992 and my husband's shirt that also was used in Primary Colors Quilt. All organically cut with scissors and hand quilted!

When I was posting process pictures of this quilt on instagram, I would tag it as #pinkisnotmycolor but that was about to change.

On the morning of Tuesday, March 19th, I had all my quilts out for selection for the Q_U_I_L_T San Francisco show. I was busy picking and choosing but at some point I decided to take a break from it and shower instead. 

While I was taking a shower, I found a lump in my breast.

"No, it can't be!" I just had a mammogram!

At first I thought I imagined it. I tried to feel it couple of times and then rushed out of the shower. I got dressed but that fear had already made a home in my mind.

I kept working but I could not stop thinking about that lump and feeling it. My hand would just reach in to confirm what I now already knew as a fact. I guess I was hoping over and over that it wasn't true.

I had a show to hang on Thursday, 21st March. I thought for the time being I will put it aside. Keep working and make the appointment on Monday after the show.

Next three hours, I found myself just focused on that lump than anything else. I even went back in the bathroom, undressed to check if it was a mistake.

It was not a mistake!

I called the doctor's office to make an appointment. I continued packing my quilts in bags making sure that everything I needed for the show was in right order.

The next day, after a physical and a mammogram I came home expecting a call for an ultrasound.

I remember feeling exhausted after the appointment. They were nice to take me in so quickly but surprisingly enough, the doctor thought both my breasts were the same and there was nothing abnormal. I asked, "Don't you feel the lump?" I had to hold her hand and put her finger on the lump so she would feel it. She ordered the mammogram, told me not to worry, "Not every lump ends up being cancer." I came home and crashed on the couch. It wasn't even half an hour, I got a phone call to get an ultrasound done. I made the appointment for Monday, 25th March.

For next three days, I boxed away all my worries and concerns and had a really great time at the show. It was just lovely to be able to talk about my quilts and their stories. The whole time I was thinking, "What a great way to end this journey as a traveling teacher if that is what it will be!"  

On Monday, 25th March, my husband and I went to the hospital for the ultrasound which obviously followed by a core biopsy. We both came back home, again with - "Don't worry, not every lump is cancer. It will be okay. Someone will call you with the results in 3 to 5 days."

Somehow those words were meaningless to me. Deep down in my gut I knew.

The next day around noon I received a phone call. Not 3-5 days... the very next day.

"You have breast cancer."

Four words and my life changed!

It is important to me to share my experience with all of you, my friends who are scattered all over the globe.

I had my routine mammogram early this year on 30 January 2019.

The result of that mammogram was negative.

Exactly six weeks after that I found a lump.

I am thankful for the day I found it. I have a long road ahead of me but I am going to be fine. Thankfully, it is a stage one cancer.

So the reason for the title of this post? 

HAVE YOU?

HAVE YOU had your mammogram in past year?

HAVE YOU done a self breast exam in past month?

HAVE YOU put your health on the back burner for whatever reason?

Life changes in a flash.

After I shared my news, I have already heard from women in my family and friends who do not do a self exam. They will now. 

All you have to do is close your eyes and feel your breasts as if your life depends on it.  IT DOES!

This pink quilt is now my healing quilt. 

I will be carrying it with me to every chemo treatment and cuddle under whenever I feel like it. Yes! pink is my new favorite color! 

Today I am a breast cancer patient and in six months I will be a breast cancer survivor. 

Make that appointment. Don't just stop there. Do your life good by following through at home.