Monday, April 20, 2009

Wrapped in Fabric!

We quilters dream of being wrapped in fabric. And quilters are used to handling fabric...lots of it! But to wrap 6 yards of fabric around your body in a graceful manner and then be able to walk, sit, dance, and tackle all manner of chores, as well, is truly an art. Due to my long time friendship with Tehruna Patel and her generosity, my closet has quite a selection of ethnic saris and shalwar khemis. So of course whenever I attend an Indian celebration, I am appropriately attired.

Tehruna is a member of the Parsi community in India and her sari reflects her heritage. Her sari, which shimmers in the light as she moves, is a Tanchoi sari which is a silk twill weave and is the sari she first wore for her wedding reception, when she married.

I am wearing a plain black silk sari and my choli or blouse is hand embroidered with Parsi designs.

Underneath the sari is a long petticoat, with a drawstring waist which is tied very tightly. One end of the sari is pleated and tucked inside the waist of the petticoat, the balance is wrapped around and the pallu, or end of the sari, is then either draped over your arm (as Tehruna is wearing hers) or brought over the shoulder and allowed to drape down the back (as I am wearing mine) to show off any design on the pallu. The trick to walking gracefully in a sari is to kick the pleats ahead of you as you glide forward.

In the second picture, Tehruna is wearing an antique, traditional red Garo which is heavily hand embroidered with Parsi designs of Chinese influence which include birds, flowers, and figurines. This time her pallu is brought from the back over her shoulder and the corner tucked into her petticoat to show off the fabulous embroidery on the pallu.

Thrity, second from left, is wearing a silk sari with a hand embroidered Parsi border or kor.

Never will you feel more elegant or more like royalty than when you are dressed and glide in a sari!

Like quilts, these traditional saris are an investment and an art form that are used and handed down from generation to generation.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Fabric Tester

There is only one living creature that spends as much time as I do in my Quilt Studio and that is Henry Morton Stanley, aka Stan the Man, Yoda, Grumpy, and Fuzz Butt. We named him after the great explorer because he was born in South Africa, was sent to the United Arab Emirates where we adopted him, and he will surely continue his world travels living with us.

Though he's a petite dude, we thought for sure he would grow into those ears but they still remain his most distinguishing feature. He is my constant companion and is good about giving his opinion on fabric choices. Ears up... it's definitely a good consideration. Ears down...maybe we should reconsider.

His favorite foods are chicken and fish and though he demands regular treats, he gives thanks with a handshake.

Who knew that a 5-pound piece of fluff could add so much life, love, and laughter to our house!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Quilts from Paradise

Watch for the release of "Quilts from Paradise"! Coming to you late summer/early Fall 2009

You can dream of escape to a tropical isle, with the projects in "Quilts from Paradise". Smell the flowers, splash in the waterfalls, collect treasures the sea has to offer, watch the sun rise, let the butterflies tickle your nose, and hear the birds sing. It's all possible when you immerse yourself in "Quilts from Paradise". Embellishments galore! A tropical adventure!

More of my Studio

As you can see I like lots of lights! Quilters ask if I use a design wall. Actually, I don't. In all my years of quilting, I have never had space for one. In my old studio I did not have wall space for one, but I had a white Berber carpet floor where I would lay out the quilt as I worked on it. This studio also has a white floor so as I sew I can just swivel around and lay the pieces where I want them and adjust them accordingly. It's all what you get used to doing. Or need to do out of necessity!

Of course I have a large stash! More fabric than I can ever sew in this life time. Each shelf holds two rows of fabrics. Like you, I dream of one day owning the perfect studio with built in cupboards and a perfect place for everything. Gosh, when we lived on our boat, I only had two lockers located under our bed mattress. I had to remove the queen size mattress to get to the lockers, remove the locker tops, and crawl down into the lockers to get to my fabric. Boy was it dark in there! My husband said I was not allowed to complain as two of the largest lockers on the boat were dedicated to my quilting supplies. This is a major improvement. I am already half way to perfection!

My Studio

Whenever I meet a quilter I always wonder where she creates and what her studio looks like, so I thought I would share mine with you! We recently moved from an apartment that we had lived in for 14 years to our current location. I am thrilled because now my studio is more than twice as big, with floor to ceiling windows, so I get lots of light and have a lot more space. It's a little messy at the moment with fabrics pulled for my fifth book that I am starting work on, fabric that has not been pressed, fabrics that won't fit in my stash, etc. etc. but I love being surrounded by all that inspiration. The tall cabinet in the far right corner holds 3 rods at varying heights over which I drape quilts. There are probably over 60 quilts in there (lots more are stored in my office). To the left, bookcases hold reference books and miscellaneous goodies. My cutting table is in front of the window, at waist height, where I have lots of light, a great view over the tunnel on Airport Road, the Cultural Foundation and the old Fort. Under the table in the foreground is where I store all my batting.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I was named Cynthia which means Goddess of the Moon. There are many pictures of the Moon Goddess but I think this one is especially nice. I also answer to lots of other names...Cindy, Mom, Gizzard, Sweets, Boobie. I'm sure you have lots nicknames as well. It's fun to check a book of names to see what your name means and if it suits your personality. If you could choose any name for yourself, what would it be?