Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Kurta Quilt

One year and one month ago, during a quiet spell between Christmas and New Year, I felt the need to make a quilt.    Old kurtas (tunics) worn on my travels in India were chopped up (prepared), and the stash of bits and pieces of block printed fabrics hauled out of various boxes and bags.    Hmmmm, quite a pile!   For the sashing, a beautiful soft calico from Rajasthan.

The block consists of a square on point and four triangles to make a square.    Quite a common block in the West, and also in India (with embellishments).   This quilt has been in my head for years, time to make it a reality!

The idea was to put the blocks together by machine.   Simple machine quilting and, a voila,
it would be finished.    The Indian Stitching fairies had other ideas.

the finished quilt top, wadding and backing
(held together with the wonderful 505 spray)
27 January 2013

I have to admit to attacking the making of this quilt in a rather haphazard way!   No starting in the middle and working my way to the edges, the quilting fairies were having fun, and I was getting excited as the quilt slowly came to life.

The shape of one of the applique flowers did not please me.  Perhaps a little stitching around the edge might help?  It looked fabulous.  Ah, there are one or two of these on the quilt, and what about the squares?

A little stitching in the ditch around a few blocks, then the compulsion to hand stitch.
Back to machine quilting which meant there were a few more blocks to stitch, and so on.

The centre of the blocks quilted in the ditch were now crying out for a little something.
Out with the needle and thread again.

And so the year passed with the quilt never far away.    It kept me warm during the cold winter of 2013, indeed this year too.   It kept me company if I happened to be somewhere with time to spare - stitch, stitch.   Five blocks are dedicated to Annalise my chiropractor.
After my 'sports injury' I spent many a happy hour listening to Radio 4 and, yes, stitching.
It was three weeks before I could walk comfortably, let alone drive.

Ben became interested in my mad obsession.  What was I knitting?   His other Grandma does a lot of this.   We discussed 'sewing'.   He 'helped' me with straightening the border.


detail of Indian applique squares, stitching and border
I used the odds and ends of my hand dyed threads for
quilting and embroidery    any thread left on the
needle was used up in the border

sashing with applique squares and applique flower with tiny shisha

the label

So, it's done.    Already twitchy fingers. This was possibly the longest time I have spent making and finishing a  quilt.

One or two things to catch up with, then I can delve into my boxes of odds and ends again. 
Do you find the volume of scrap/recyclable fabric never seems to diminish?   Does it secretly multiply?!!


Radka said...

Oh, Tiggy, it is BEAUTIFUL!
I know it is a little old fashioned these days, but I still think that hand quilting makes a quilt, and personally, I get so much more satisfaction if I finish quilt by hand. I like the way you quilted the borders, simple, but different.
Love it :-)

Debbie said...

This is beautiful, high praise coming from someone not really into colour.

Tiggy Rawling said...

To Radka and Debbie - thank you for your comments.
The quilt started off as a little light relief from the festive season, and it grew and grew. There's a lot of "me" in there!

magsramsay said...

Fabulous!!! Hand stitching brings such a different feel and look to a quilt and you'll always remember the process of making it

Penny said...

Such a wonderful quilt, I love hand stitching but dont think I could ever tackle anything as big as this.

reensstitcher said...

This is wonderful! I particularly like the kanta style stitching which means it positively looks soft! You are inspiring me to do hand quilting on the lap quilt I started about the time you started this. It has big squares which need something in them but would I have the patience to hand stitch these days, I ask myself. I do love hand quilting, though.