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.