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

Thursday, October 20, 2016

and the winner is...

Thank you all for participating in Cindy's book Artful Improve and taking the time to read and share your thoughts. I enjoyed reading how you all look at your quilting style.   

The lucky winner for this book is comment #18

 Mary Ellen wrote, " I would say that I am an intermediate level quilter. I have made traditional quilts but today I am more into the modern movement."

Congratulations Mary Ellen!

Please email me your snail mail address so I can forward that to Cindy for your book. 

I am off to visit my quilt group soon. Hope you are having a fun day too!
Sujata

Friday, October 14, 2016

Artful Improv by Cindy Grisdela - Review and Giveaway

Few months ago I went to C&T Publishing to drop off some quilts for an upcoming show. While I was there, I saw the wall of meeting room full of covers of soon to be released books. The one that caught my eye was Artful Improv by Cindy Grisdela.

I responded to the cover right away. No Surprise there! Colors! Colors! Colors!
After reviewing the book, I can tell you it is not just about the colors.

So what is it about?
Think design elements and process of making an improv quilt. There are no patterns but ideas to explore - Ideas on colors, making blocks, building blocks and adding textures with machine and hand quilting. 



It is a guide for beginning quilters as well as anyone who wants to let loose, try something different without a specific plan and make art quilts. 

There are lots on inspirational photographs of completed quilts by the author as well as her students.








Visit Cindy Grisdela on her website to learn more about her book as well as her many accomplishments.

You can win a copy of Cindy's book. I would love to know if you are a traditional quilter or a modern quilter, a beginning quilter or a pro. Leave a comment with an answer. I will pick a winner on 10/19/2016
 
For more than one chance to win, follow the blog tour!

October 10: C&T Publishing
October 11: Maria Shell
October 12: Rayna Gillman
October 13: Yvonne Fuchs
October 14: Sujata Shah
October 17: Heather Kojan
October 18: Generation Q Magazine
October 19: Cindy Grisdela 

You can purchase this book from Cindy’s website , at C&T Publishing, and Amazon .

Good Luck!