Monday, October 30, 2017

Good News, Bad News

Life is full of all kinds of news. We must navigate through times, both good and bad and somehow make it on the other side. I don't know how many times I have reminded myself with "This too shall pass".. it always does.

Early this year my husband lost his job due to a big buy out of his company. His department was shut down and you get the picture.

The change happened just before we went to India and Thailand. The trips were planned well in advance and we thought a little vacation doesn't hurt anyone. And it didn't!

We had a great time and after coming back I got right into my teaching trips. Numerous workshops and lectures kept me busy all throughout this year. My husband on the other hand had busy months filled with searching for a new job. Our primary goal was to find a job right here in the bay area, where we feel very much at home and hope to be for rest of our lives. The idea of another move just didn't sound appealing. We have done this "move thing" few times and I rather not even think about it.

In May, our younger son, Shail graduated from Berkeley with his graduate degree and found a job right here in San Francisco and my daughter, Kavita graduated from Emerson college and started working in Boston. In August as you all know, our first-born got married in August and life couldn't be any perfect.

Sometimes even the best of the things can be over shadowed by that one, only negative thing in life but those good things in life work as fuel to help us carry on.

Here are some good news! After months of searching, my husband has a new job. A job that is just right, in fact it started out with a trip overseas. That only means there will be some traveling in future for him and may be for me?

Well... let's talk about my travels later.  

At the same time Kavita has a new job..where you ask?

Right here in San Francisco! She arrived just a couple of days ago.

Life is now perfect! 

Not so fast!

My husband's job is in San Diego! Eight hours away from home.

Yes, we are on the move again. 

So, after all these years of me wishing for my family to be on the same coast, We managed to reach that goal.

I am not sure what's in hold for us but for now, I am preparing for my upcoming cruise to the Caribbean with World of Quilt Travels. I am excited to meet everyone and teach on my first ever quilting cruise.


My husband is moving to San Diego soon and I will join him in few months after few of my travel plans including my Handmade India tour with Amy Butler.



Yes, it is true. Life gives with all its mighty, good and bad, we must accept. You never know what it could turn into.

For now, everyone in the family is employed and these two started their new job on the same day!


Life is Good!



Monday, October 9, 2017

PNQF Museum

This past weekend I had the opportunity to teach a workshop at the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber  Arts Museum, previousely known as the La Conner Quilt Museum. The love and kindness I see in quilters is always overwhelming and makes me want to continue in this direction. We worked on Endless Mountains and the results were as fun as ever.
Here are some pictures from the workshop.
I also got to see few of the quilts made by my lovely friends from previous workshop. They are my biggest rewards of teaching.



This is also my first time blogging from an iPad. Let's see if I do it right.









Monday, October 2, 2017

Paper Beads and Simply Moderne #10 Giveaway

This is a scenario, I know we all have gone through.

You have worked on numerous quilts and are left with all sorts of scraps. Your baskets and bins are spilling over and no matter what you do to organize them, they seem to overflow. Sometimes literally follow you wherever in your quilty life you go. 

Those strings and scraps..

Is it worth saving them?

Do you ever want to see THAT piece of fabric ever again after having used in more than three quilts?

Have you ever asked that question to yourself?

What do you do with those, now ugly and old to you scraps? Do you give them away or do you save them?

I don't think anyone wants bits and pieces of my scraps so I piece them together in hopes of some day making a scrap quilt.

Paper Beads started out something like that. Tons of ugly scraps overflowing the scrap baskets, finally saw the light of day and graced the cover of a beautiful magazine!



There are so many inspiring string quilts out there but I wanted to make mine just a little different.

I made blocks in all different sizes. It's easier when you have no end result in mind. Then came the designing stage. How was I going to use my string blocks into a quilt?

During that time I had bought a necklace made out of magazine paper by women in Africa. Bowls and baskets made from magazine papers were in almost every home stores. I was not only intrigued by the texture and shapes of those beads but also the idea that they were made with recycled material.

It made sense to try my hand at that. Except, mine were going to be made from fabrics.

For the background, I used a brown Indian shot cotton purchased on my trip to India. Those beads jump right off of it, don't you think?

Couple of years back I was approached by Quiltmania Editions to submit a quilt or two for Simply Moderne magazine. Paper Beads made the cut!


When I worked at the quilt shop, Quiltmania was one of my favorite magazines and it is an honor to see my quilt on the cover of its sister magazine.

I am excited to share this news. Now you can put all your scraps and strings to a good use and make this quilt too!

Quiltmania editions is giving away a copy of Simply Moderne to one lucky winner from my instagram feed!

I improvised my quilt as it progressed but you can make this quilt with the instructions provided by the magazine.

To win a copy of the Simply Moderne #10, all you have to do is subscribe to this blog and follow me on Instagram @therootconnection

I will pick a winner on Monday, October 8th. 

Good luck! 



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!
Sujata


 

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 http://www.qfamuseum.org/
Rail Fence workshop at Calico Creations, Mount Vernon, WA - FULL
Three workshops on IQA cruise to the Caribbean - Registration Closed - http://iqacruise.com/


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.

Sujata

 
 

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!
Sujata


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.
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