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Archive for the ‘quilts’ Category

In the last few weeks we have had exactly two days of some respite from heat–we were almost delirious with joy due to this event. But now it’s gone and summer continues apace in our part of the world. A few weeks ago, I finished a dress I started for N way back when, and then put aside because of other more immediate demands. I wasn’t sure how much wear she would get out of this, this year, but by the looks of it, she might be able to wear it for at least another month.DSC_0026

DSC_0017The highlight here for me is the fabric. It’s a unusual shade of brown, somewhere between brown and yellow ochre. The golden polka dots are on the duller side, not too bright but you can see them in certain light. I had a different red lace in mind but unfortunately didn’t have enough and so settled for red rickrack to go with the red buttons. The fabric comes from the Kilol shop in Greater Kailash II market. (For those of you interested and having access to Kilol- did you know it sells fabric by the metre? Not all of its branches, but apparently some.) It wasn’t very cheap, but they do have some lovely block printed stuff. The slightly annoying downside is that despite a few washes the colour continues to run, which means it requires hand washing. DSC_0036The pattern is something I have used before (yes, happens often in my case, I know!) and comes from Happy Homemade vol 2. It’s a simple unfussy dress that’s lovely to wear and easy to make. The book itself, as I have said many times before is fantastic. It’s perhaps the one that I have used the most, and is on my highly recommended list. DSC_0016N quite likes it, and is here lounging on our bed atop a quilt that I finished recently. It has been impossible to photograph, but I am glad to be done with two more WIPs – the dress and a very long term quilt. Will try to get more photos of it soon!DSC_0003Dasara is around the corner and then Diwali. We have some travel planned, and I have some serious house cleaning on my mind. We shall see!

Asmita/xx

 

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a quilt

I am the kind of person who loves embarking on quilts, but then, when I am about half way done interest wavers, I feel unsure about the design I have chosen, my fabric choices feel too boring, and it all feels too unwieldy both in terms of time and size. Needless to say,  I give up.

What follows in a long period of this half-done-thing, not yet really a quilt, sitting in my cupboard, taking up space. Until one day, I am out of my hibernating period and I start work on it like a mad woman. The funny thing is: I am usually, very very pleased with the results–well, its been sitting around for so long that practically everything about it feels brand new!

Well, something similar happened to this one here. dsc_0004dsc_0011The story of this goes all the way back around 2010 (ok, this is one of my oldest). I bought the wool pieces while still living in Brooklyn, smitten as I was by this free tutorial and the idea of entirely hand sewing it. It was a big investment. The felted wool came from here (originally from Australia, a fact that I am discovering only now); it is incredibly lovely and soft, and I believe, hand dyed. Oh yes, and all that also means expensive. Still I jumped into it, with plans of finishing it and making a winter quilt for Ms. N, all in 2010. The cutting happened first and fast. It’s really a whole bunch of 4″squares (225 in all, to be precise). Then came the layout, all still easy. And then began the sewing. The tutorial instructions are great, with very detailed photos of how to put the two pieces together. But once you get that, it’s really just a whole lot of hand sewing. To say that it went slowly, verrry slowly, is an understatement. Because while it is one of those projects that one can carry with oneself wherever goes, and the process itself is relaxing (maybe even meditative), truth be told, it’s also quite boring.dsc_0025dsc_0013The pattern, if one may call it that, doesn’t call for a binding. There is only one layer, so technically there is nothing to “bind,” but with two kids and possibility of play, I decided to add one anyway to give it some more stability. The stitching is done with cotton embroidery thread which is sturdy enough, but I didn’t want to take any chances of unraveling at its edges. And, just because the wool is so lovely to begin with, I decided that border would be in lovely Liberty, of which I had a tiny amount of. The final quilt is about a 60″ square (with 15 pieces in one row).dsc_0015Of course, I love *love* the end result. We all do! There is just something so beautiful about the colours, and there is tremendous appeal in a design as simple as this. In the end, it really is just all about the wool, and I do think that the hand sewing does add its own bit of charm. Even my sometimes impatient stitches such as these.dsc_0019Having finally finished it, Ms. N cannot believe that it was meant for her to sleep under at one point (It just about barely covers her head to toe now.) It’s too large for Baby M, and so for now we have had to put it away. Come winter we will use it to keep warm during daytime, or for extra warmth on cold nights.

I really do wish I had finished this one sooner. But, I suppose there is a time for everything, and its now time to cherish it. And as embarrassed as I am to admit it, I should mention here that what really got me going this year was the fact that late November last year I discovered that the moths had gotten to it. If you look closely, you will notice extra small pieces of wool sewn over in places. dsc_0017dsc_0001Well yes, they, the industrial moths ate away tiny bits of the wool. So what you see, is the remedial work that had to be done to save the piece. Basically I had to cut smaller pieces of wool in the same colour (I no longer had larger pieces to entire replace the damaged squares) and sew them to the damaged part like attaching a bandaid. It looks fine–a good reminder in fact to not let things linger too long–and I was very very lucky to have caught this at the right moment.

So, that’s that. Finished, finally, a full seven years later after it started. I am happy to report that I have yet another WIP close to finish, and I will be able to show you that soon too. What are you working on these days? I would love to hear.

Asmita/xx

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January for some reason never feels like a start of the new year to me. Maybe because sometime at the end of the year we are in Pune and by the first week we are back in Delhi. Then it’s school, Delhi winter temperatures and the trying to get back into things. So this means I usually come around to the idea of a new year by the first week of February.

So, on that note, happy 2016 friends! I hope it is a happy, good lucky year for everyone.

I got a tiny bit of sewing done last month and here it is:DSC_0533A good friend’s sister-in-law had a baby and my friend wanted me to make a baby quilt for her. Specifically she wanted something that would be good for the first six months or so, so I made a tiny blanket with patchwork pieces on the front and one single piece of fabric on the back. I put a few layers of an old saree in between the front and the back pieces of fabric to give it some thickness and used a satin stitch in place of tying it. The whole thing measures 30″X30″. DSC_0537As you can see above I sewed it shut with my current favourite way, the blanket stitch. And I embroidered the baby’s initial on the back.DSC_0565It was a quick fun project and it got me back into my sewing groove so I enjoyed it immensely.DSC_0561 What has your new year been like so far? And what projects are you working on? Any resolutions? I have a few to share here, and I will be back soon to share them.

And before I forget, Happy Chinese New year to everyone! We are celebrating with friends; I hope you are doing something nice too.

Asmita/xx

 

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start of a new year

Because I have all but disappeared from blog land, it is bit awkward to come back and suddenly pick up where I left off. Kind of like a good friend that you have been wanting to write to but somehow just not being able to.

Of course, all the usual reasons exist (baby, child, housework: overwhelmed….) but this time a few more added themselves to these few. Most importantly we moved houses again and more weeks that I would like to count have gone in the packing then the unpacking. Now we are all thoroughly sick of this activity.

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This thing that  N made back in December actually is a good reminder of this time. She is totally over making these paper flowers, and when I told her that I was thinking of posting this on my blog she told me that she made much better things now, suggesting that this little light holder is ancient. Meaning last year.

So welcome 2015, it’s been a month since the new year has arrived!

Amidst the moving I finished a few left over projects, of which one was a very large long pending quilt.

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Phew!

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It has been adorning N’s bed for the last whole month, and both she and I are delighted with it. DSC_0010DSC_0006

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It’s my largest project to date, and I am glad of how all those little pieces found their place and came together eventually. The squares and the whole thing measures roughly 90″X60″. The back ended up being a bit frustrating requiring more pieces and cutting than what I had anticipated, but it has some of N’s favourite prints and more scraps so it makes me quite happy.

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One of the nice things about this new house that it gets a lot more light than the old one, so I am looking forward to photographing more in her room (and thereby show you more of our lovely new house :-).

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Besides the quilt there are few things here and there finished and not yet photographed, so I hope to show them soon. Sadly in this boy sewing has totally been ignored. In fact I am yet to make anything yet for baby M, but things are already on the cutting table for him. So amends will be made. In the meantime here is a photo of mister cutie.

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I promise promise promise promise to be back soon!

xo/asmita

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a gift

N quilt in progress 1For the last few months now I have been working on this project that can only be called as insane. I have procrastinated for months while working on it, then worked like  a mad woman at it, and am finally this close to finishing it. Now I can’t wait for it to be done.

Here are a few random photos of the-thing.  N quilt 1 N quilt in progress N quilt 2N quilt in progress 2

And here is N patiently keeping me coming while the baby is sleeping and when I am sewing. N in Nov

In the midst of all this, I sadly forgot to show you the most wonderful gift we received for the new baby a couple of weeks ago.martas elephant

I mean look at this. Isn’t it adorable? It is a small little elephant to go in in our ‘study’ where I sew and the two babies play 🙂

The story behind it is this: more than a month ago, my blog friend Marta emailed me to tell me that her parents were visiting India. I ‘met’ Marta perhaps a year ago through her lovely blog (you should visit it to see the beautiful clothes she makes for her two daughters) and was more than happy to give her recommendations for fabric shops in Delhi. To my great surprise when I met Marta’s parents (two lovely people) they handed us a bag with goodies. Inside it was this elephant made by Marta! gift 2

And these most beautiful buttons with a note.

Thank you Marta! I love the elephant and the buttons, and am happy to report that the elephant is being played with everyday and I am saving the buttons to be used with some special fabric 🙂

Asmita/xoxmartas elephant 1

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happy diwali 2014

Happy Diwali dear friends! Hope it brings your way lots of good and joyous things in the year to come.

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We have had a relatively quiet one here. N played with a few sparklers, a few close friends visited us, my cousin arrived late last night to spend a few days with us and see the new baby and her niece (and of course us :-), and the boy turned three months old.

I have done such little sewing as you all well know but managed a pant the night before. I am happy to say that it took all of twenty minutes and the pattern is the free one from Made by Rae. It’s super quick, took very little fabric, but is a wee bit tight, so the next one will have to be larger.

madhav blue pants

I am however excited to day to show you something else too.

mini quilt 1mini quilt 3It’s a mini quilt. I am planning to put up on the wall behind baby M’s cot which currently sits in our bedroom.

You see, M does not have anything like a nursery, and will most probably move into N’s room when he moves out of ours. The walls were kind of bare…and I had been wanting to put something up for him to look at. (Well, there is always the ceiling fan….but still…)

And, I had been dying to make these mini quilts from the purl bee series. The pattern is from here, and comes with excellent instructions. It took me almost two weeks to make, but it was fun adding the layer after layer.

I hope baby M will take a look at it once in a while when he decides to take a break from staring at the fan. 🙂

mini quilt 2The fabrics are all scraps from here. Many  are remnants of things I made for N, so seeing them again makes her happy too.

And for the final photo, here’s me holding it up. 🙂mini quilt 4

So what have you been sewing. I believe kcw is in full force and there is incredible amount of loveliness to be seen and admired. Have you participating?

Asmita/xox

 

 

 

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many many weeks

through the window

Hello hello! The days have indeed been going by, haven’t they? For one, things are looking good on the weather front (can’t crib about that any more), and the baby is growing at a rapid rate.

Little feet

I can’t believe that it’s been a month since I posted, since that, even for me that is a seriously long break. That to September which is also marks the second birthday of my blog. But more on that soon…

N's dupata

So as it goes….I thought I could hit the ground running, you know be sewing and cooking, cleaning and organizing (my favourite activity around here often…) and doing all the usual things till the last day, then go to the hospital four hours, pop the baby out, walk from the labour room back to my room (totally unnecessary if you ask me now) and then get back to things again despite sleepless nights, tiredness that accompanies it and STILL be sewing. Of course it was the sewing that kept me going, but I mean this plan of going on as-if-nothing-had-happened was bound to fail.

Total exhaustion, and I realised it was not working. So first thing to do was recover the sleep. Then some time to you know step out a bit get some excercise that kind of thing. And lo and behold its been five, no seven weeks since I stopped by here.

But, of course I have missed blogging, and so I wanted to drop by to say hello, and share a few things from around our here. And so here we go…

solar crystals

earrings

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And of course, another picture of the fast growing baby M, without whom we cannot imagine life anymore.

a rare smile

I do have a few things to share of what I made and what we received, so more in this coming week.

So bye for now, and more from me VERY soon.

Asmita/xox

P.S. Credit for baby photos here goes to my very talented friend who has been taking countless photos of the little boy.

P.P.S. If you visited the blog yesterday or today, I had accidently posted an unfinished post (oops). This one here is the completed one 🙂

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