Wednesday, July 13, 2011


After traveling for an extended time, it is taking me a while to get caught up on my sewing and blogging. I will catch you up as quickly as I can. I hate being behind schedule!

We quilters and lovers of textiles enjoy every aspect of our craft and I especially enjoyed seeing in India how differently things are done. A lot of work is done on the street and it was exciting to see and appreciate the similarities and the differences.

This gentleman was a local tailor. Whenever my studio becomes disorganized or I think it is way too messy, I just need to look at this photo to remind myself that productivity can take place anywhere, under some extreme circumstances!  His sewing machine sat about two feet from the street curb. Push and shove was his storage technique! I could relate. I use that technique at times too in my studio.

This gentleman was dying a piece of red silk fabric.
 To dry it, he waved it up and down in the wind and sunshine. Lovely!
This group of gentlemen were beading designs on the this lovely green silk. It reminded me of an old quilting bee, as they sat together around a frame chatting and seeming to enjoy their work and each others company.
I don't like to iron clothes but I do enjoy ironing my quilt fabric because it is during the ironing process that I get a lot of good ideas. It's rhythmic, soothing, and peaceful, conducive to letting your mind wander and dream of wonderful designs. This woman was the local ironing shop and she set up her workspace in front of her home on the street. Her iron was an antique model that was heated with coals placed inside the iron. Very effective for getting out those stubborn wrinkles. Notice the lovely flower designs carved in the wall behind her. She was so friendly and happy to chat with us once she knew we all appreciated the work she was doing and our fascination with her iron.

For my May Journal Block, which is my 3rd circle block, I took inspiration from the flowers that fill India. They are everywhere. From the real blooms...
 to the drawn and painted blooms.

Flowers grace the homes, the hotels, the palaces and shops.

Especially lovely is the floral embroidery that is incorporated in so many of the textiles of India.

When you think of India, these stylized flowers immediately come to mind.

My May Journal Block, the 3rd circle block, was done in all hand dyed fabrics and hand quilted. The flowers were done using traditional applique and the leaves were done in fusible applique, with a hand feather stitch edging the leaves. The stems of the leaves are done in a Stem Stitch using a Size 8 embroidery thread.   To set off the colors of the flowers, I used a two color binding and introduced a third color by Stem Stitching along the seam line of the two color binding with a purple Size 8 embroidery thread.

 The flower centers are fusible applique, sewn in position using irregular long stitches, using 2 strands of a 6-strand embroidery floss. Small beads were sewn randomly to the threads.

1 comment:

Notjustnat said...

Cynthia these are photos. I would love to go back to India again. Textiles are everywhere in India specially hanging on the back of motorbike! Your block is so cooool! I can see the dyed fabric are featured very nicely on it - Always Love your work - xoxo