Monthly Archives: January 2015

‘Kantha’

 

Sari quilt (Tribes & Nations)

Sari quilt (Tribes & Nations)

Just finished reading ‘The Lowland’ by Jhumpa Lahiri, my local book club title for February. Without giving details of the story, the setting is Calcutta (now called ‘Kolkata’), mainly during the beginnings of the ‘Naxalites’. One cultural tradition caught my attention – the use of colour for saris to denote a woman’s status, in particular the wearing of white upon widowhood.

Colour plays a role in all societies and meaning changes accordingly. Patchwork quilters are always playing with colour in their unique creations, –  even when stitching the same pattern, the use of different colours appeals to different perspectives.

Sari blankets are summer quilts made from recycled saris by ‘the young women from the slums of Kolkata’ …who… ‘are empowered to begin to improve the quality of their lives’. (Tribes & Nations: Fair Trade Store & Resources – Empowering Lives) They use an allover running stitch called the ‘Kantha’ stitch, to stitch two or more layers of saris together, making reversible light weight cotton quilts.

So from old ‘Calcutta’ to modern ‘Kolkata’, linked by colour and cotton!

‘Celtic’ is complete!

Celtic table runner

Celtic table runner

The first in the series for 2015 Table Runners, at the monthly class with the PP group at ‘Patchworks Unlimited’. This one is designed by Zoe Clifton. Once again the background colour does not photograph correctly, the greenish tinge at the left is the closest to it’s actual shade. What I enjoyed with this project was the challenge of making my own bias, and actually finishing it!

Pastel Tessa talks about ‘procrastination’ in her latest blog post, I know I certainly procrastinate when it becomes report writing time, I wonder if not finishing projects is a form of procrastination?

Native what …?

What Australian native is this?

What Australian native is this?

Every year DS and I venture off to spend the day at the Royal Melbourne Show to check out the Arts and Crafts Pavilion along with all the boutique foods and produce. A few years ago I brought home and potted up two Australian natives – one the black pepper bush and this one. Unfortunately I lost the tag for this plant, so I don’t know  what it is. This is the first year it has flowered, and profusely! It is so delicate with a very soft and light, yet sweet, perfume.

I think that last year’s massive 45 degree heat wave on top of the effects of the ten year drought, has impeded this plant’s progress. As a native of the eastern highlands, it needs more water than drier plains area plants, so perhaps this summer’s more temperate weather and watering has made it blossom.

Do you know what it is, let me know!

‘Salamander’

'Salamander' fabric selection

‘Salamander’ fabric selection

A current hand piecing project – a Lucy Boston ‘Patchwork of the Crosses’. The bright colours caught my eye, saying ‘Take me home!’ So begins this small project.

'Salamander' preparation.

‘Salamander’ preparation.

Fabric is cut, and the honeycomb hexagons are piled up ready to start stitching. Just wish this hot humid summer weather would tone down just a notch to make hand sewing comfortable.