Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New Quilt with Primary Colors

I must be in the zone! It has been three days of non stop sewing. The pink quilt is still relatively pink.

I haven't changed it much since you saw it here in the previous post but I found another project in the "Lost and Found" bin.

It is calling for attention but it will have to wait because I started a new quilt just yesterday. 

In the morning over the cup of tea, my husband asked, if I have made a quilt with primary colors.

Did he mean with yellow, blue and red?

Yes, that's what he meant!

Silly me!

After thinking for a bit I realized, I hadn't... made a quilt with primary colors.

It sounded like a good idea to take on as a challenge. So I went looking for three colors in my stash of solids. Guess what? I have literally used up most of the bright colors from my stash. 

I did find some pieces of yellow and red and little yardage of blue, decided to throw couple of pieces of his old shirts and that was enough to get me going.

humble pieces making powerful statement in unity

As you can see, I am not doing a great job on keeping it straight or flat. I also want to acknowledge that none of that is important to me. What I do want is to focus on colors and composition of this piece. As I continue to work, it is making me pause and think about the gentle curves and the movement they create. I am also making a mental note of every decision I make. Do you ever do that? I mean something like why you choose one shade of color over the other?

I love the simplicity of this housetop block. It is still a work in progress.

At this point, I am also very curious on where it ends up. 

Talk about a morning conversations! You never know where they will lead you.  The truth is, you don't need much of a push when you mind is already charged.

I am definitely in the zone. Hope you are too!


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Last Workshops of 2017 in the East Bay and Seattle Area

2017 has been a busy year for me and my family. I have had a great time teaching all over the country. Apart from teaching, there were two graduations in the family and a wedding! Not to mention my trips to India for my mom. We have had many guests from India and here visiting us. We have played tourist guide for them and in the process visited places we used to love when we lived here several times.

The year is not quite over but I am feeling as far as classes go, I am wrapping up soon. I will be teaching at East Bay Heritage Quilters in couple of weeks but that will be my last local workshops based on freeform blocks. My book, Cultural Fusion Quilts has been so good for me. It has made me grow in the best possible way. From what I hear from my students for last three years, it has also made a difference in how they see the beauty in imperfections.

I still have few unfinished projects needing my attention. Last few quiet weeks and this new scrap quilt I started, have given me much to think about as far as what to do next.

 Yes, so much for making a Pink quilt! The red made its way into it and I didn't even know it!

I am having fun. These nine blocks are making me think of what I could do next. Little sketchy on what that may be, but for now, they excite me and I want to continue being immersed in unknowns.

So, here is the list of places I will be. If you are in the bay area, this is the last call!  Come take a class with me! There are few more spots available at ebhq (open for non members) and Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Art Museum. 

Last of this year's workshops include -
Freeform Blocks in Berkeley, CA at ebhq 
Crossroads- ebhq
Endless Mountains in Washington at
Rail Fence workshop at Calico Creations, Mount Vernon, WA - FULL
Three workshops on IQA cruise to the Caribbean - Registration Closed -

It feels good to be sewing again. While I do, I can't stop thinking about all the catastrophic events happening all over the country as well as in the world. People in the path of hurricanes, fires and floods here at home, and in India and Bangladesh are on my mind.

Keeping them in my thoughts as I continue to be who I am.



Thursday, August 31, 2017

Scrappy Quilt

People share all the time how they store their scraps. I have no particular way of storing them. Mostly because I am always on the go. Between sewing, cooking, keeping up with the house and all house guests and then traveling to many different corners of this country, there is only so much organizing that could happen.
So I dump them in plastic boxes. Sometimes they get sorted out and other times they are ignored.

This morning I dumped all the the scraps from two of my boxes and look what I found? Pinks!

I thought I never make quilts with pinks! I must have used some at some points if I had these in the pile. Alongside pinks, I found some shirting and it was enough to drop the sorting and start sewing. I made few blocks and have a good idea on what to do next.

But first this collection of blocks need to grow. Off I go to sew more.

Happy sewing you all!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Gautam and Kim's Wedding

My heart melts when I see this picture.

On August 5th, Gautam and Kim tied the knots!

It was magical!

Younger siblings couldn't be happier for their brother on his big day.

Indian wedding events can stretch for a few days with pre-wedding festivities. This one was no different.

First day was the henna ceremony for the bride. Here are Kim and Gautam just before the henna artist arrived.

This was a true test of her patience. It took many hours and a lot of patience on her part to get that done on her hands and feet. 

The next morning, Gautam got a traditional and classic turmeric scrub known as "Pithi". It is a mixture of turmeric, fragrant sandle-wood powder and rose water. All the aunts and sisters, sister -in-laws got a chance to rub some turmeric for good luck. Once the "Pithi" is done, bride and groom can not see each other until the wedding day. We broke some rules since we are all about that ;)

He was happily surprised at how good his skin felt after that.

Nilesh and I were both thrilled to have most of our family members with us for this occasion.

In the evening we gathered at my niece's home for the henna celebration.       

Henna plant is grown as hedges all over India. The leaves are ground into a thin paste. In old days, henna artist would use a thin twig with sharp tip dipped in henna paste to design the patterns. Finer the paste, more intricate the design can be. For many years now the paste is filled in a small plastic cone just like icing for the cake. After it is applied on the hands, a nice spray of lemon and sugar water helps adhere for some time.To get good coloring, it needs to set for few hours then It can be scraped off and washed off. Rich rusty to deep maroon red remains for few days like a temporary tattoo and eventually fades off .

The morning of the wedding was a bit hectic. Please tell me that is normal. Trying to blend two cultures, have two ceremonies performed was little tricky.

Indian ceremonies by default are known to go on for longer than planned but the day was just perfect!

Just perfect!


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. 

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?

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.


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!

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.


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!

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

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

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

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

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 

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!