Tuesday, October 15, 2013

About weeping willows, Pujo and quilting.


After a pre vacation post, I thought I would write a post about the vacation… Nah! Or a post about Pujo… Nah! Here I go and start writing about the quilt I completed. But, this post will have glimpses about my travel and Pujos may also just about get a mention.

Remember how I had started making a quilt for Ri centuries ago, I finally finished it. I had written about it here. And it had a mention here. (The second link is irrelevant, but hey, mera blog meri marzi, so well... :D)



Making the quilt was a fun experience. In the last update I had completed the quilt top and then it had been lying forlorn for quite a while in my ‘to do’ heap of fabrics. Yes, it’s quite a heap. Every time I promise myself that I will complete one before I begun something new, the fabrics and new project ideas stare at me with ‘puppy eyes’ and I can’t stop myself.

During my vacation to UK, I went quite bonkers at the sewing shops in Bedford. It was like getting lost in some magical land. Had it been my way, I would have liked to spend the entire holiday at the sewing and fabric shops. Okay, that's an exaggeration. Actually, it's not an exaggeration. I would have loved to spend my entire holiday in Bedford at the river side, reading and cycling, and at the sewing shop.
Yes, I am a weird kind of a traveller.


The sewing shop is filled with fabrics of various colours, shades, prints, textures and material. Threads- cotton and silk, and every colour ever imagined adorn the walls. It's one of the most vibrant places one could come across. It is what I imagine paradise to look like.

Two things that I carried back from the holiday were the memories of the sewing shops and the weeping willows by the embankment in Bedford.


Weeping willows - I recognised them the moment I set my eyes on them. And how couldn’t I. I mean, anyone, who has grown up on Enid Blyton would recognise the weeping willows. And I not just recognised them, but I grew ecstatic the moment I saw them. Weeping willows by the river side and BAM! I knew I loved the place.

So, well, when I got back to Kolkata, to Pujo in the air, to the almost ready pandals, to the vinyl hoardings for Pujo all over the city, people asked me, how was UK? – I replied, I loved Bedford. When they asked me, what did I get from there? – I replied, loads of fabric and sewing stuff. When they asked me, tell us about the trip. - I replied, Oh, Bedford is an awesome place. I simple loved it, lovely houses, river side and weeping willows. Oh, and it also has some awesome sewing shops. Finally they stopped asking me.

When I got back, the jet-lag actually helped. I spent the night peacefully, arranging my sewing cupboard with all the stuff I got.

And once that was done, the bug got me. I couldn’t wait to lay my hands on the sewing machine. It lured me with all the sensuality that it possessed but I needed peace and time to give both of us that satisfying experience. Four days, four long days is what we will have to wait for before the Pujo holidays began –  I explained, it understood.
 

Pujo holiday – sewing on my mind – I had decided to complete Ri’s quilt. The top was done. The backing I had not decided on. The batting is what I had got from the wonderful shop in Bedford.

So on day one of Pujo holidays – Saptami – I got all the fabrics out, racking my brains for the backing. I came across this one really old project I had started. The plan was to make a dotty appliqué quilt. I never really got my self to complete it. I didn’t like the way it had turned out and I had been meaning to use the seam-ripper on it for a while. So it was there lying shoved in a corner.

And then I had the brainwave (I am super smart at times) to use that as a backing. I tried it, it didn’t look too bad. I had to extend it from the sides and I used the fabric remaining from SSM’s quilt – the one you saw in the redundant link in the beginning. (It wasn’t really redundant, huh? – there I told you I am super smart.)I pieced the quilt together with the batting and left them for the day to get acquainted with each other.


Next day – Ashtami – I got the machine out first thing in the morning. Believe me; I could feel it tremble out of excitement as I touched it or maybe it was me... I set it up on the table before I went about the morning chores. I then got about completing the backing patchwork. Realisation - there is a certain thrill in making love to the sewing machine to the dhaak beats in the background.



I took a break only to not miss the awesome ashtami bhog. And then I began binding the quilt after having fixed it with tons of quilting pins. Let me tell you, batting is definitely not the best behaved thing in the universe. It did give me some trouble shuffling itself around. Slapping some stitches around did keep it quiet, though. And it was quite late when I finally finished sandwiching it between the top and the backing.
 

Navami – what was left now was to finish the edges off. I again rummaged around my stack and got leftover of the fabric I had used to make a dress for my younger niece. It was a lovely orange floral print over a grey background. Here I shall also be a show off and attach a picture of her wearing the dress (in Bedford).  Bwahahahaha! So, I had scraps of the fabric remaining and I decided to go ahead with it.


I made the bias strips with the fabric before I went downstairs to play Antakshri (which I won, in spite of the host (SSM) deliberately making it difficult for me) and divulging into a scrumptious lunch of pulav and mutton.

Back to the quilt, I had extra bit of the backing left toward the top and bottom end of the quilt, which I folded to cover up the quilt. I used the bias tape for the sides, and voila! we were done.
 

I was super happy with the way it turned out. Ri was very happy with it. The zigzags became a path for his cars and dotty that he is, he loved the dots. I was super duper happy that Ri was happy about it. And we ended having a happy, cuddly time inside it.

 

 

 

Idea for the dotty backing - here
Idea for the zig-zag quilt - here






14 comments:

  1. Love! Love! Love! the weeping willows, the fabric shop description, and most of all, the quilt! We will make Vi's quilt when I come down for the next Pujo (always always the next Pujo :'( ... sob!).
    By the way, you shd try selling your stuff on Etsy... :)

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    1. :D the fabric shop was awesome. Yes, Vi's spaceship quilt. Do come we will make it together. Etsy has been on my mind for long. Lets see.

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  2. Replies
    1. I know, I stone and pebble too. :D

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  3. A profound, delightful, relevant post that changed the meaning of my life. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. You are welcome. You should try joining some sewing classes. It will give greater depth to your life. :D

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  4. You are so talented and this quilt looks so cute and cozy.. You should start sending such quilts as a gift to your commentators. ;-)

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    1. :D Thanks. Okay, I declare a free quilt to all my regular commentators when my blog reaches its 10th year. :D

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  5. your ideas and executions continue to surprise me! b

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    1. Thanks, Disha. Welcome to my blog.

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  6. Hi.. Awesome inspiration, for a long time I've been wanting to make a quilt. But where do you get the batting material for quilt making. What's it called?

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    1. Thanks, Megs. For this quilt I have used batting that i got from UK. but otherwise I use fleece blankets. They are quite well behaved. Also the good old cotton saris work well for me.

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  7. that's happy zigzag quilt and how did you manage to bring the batting from UK ? ^_^

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    Replies
    1. My sister packed it in a bag and got it over... It was the lightest that the bag ever traveled.

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