hand quilting


Lucknow is the chikankari capital of India and I have been wanting to visit the city for a very long time.Family moving to Lucknow just gave me the right opportunity to pay the seat of nawabs a visit.So last Saturday, the kid and I set off on a journey to discover nawabi culture and tehjeeb. We boarded the flight from mumbai and en-route ordered all that there was in the menu to order, and then, some more…People around must have thought it was our first interaction with airline food, but then people don’t know the amount of kiddie fun that mom and kiddo can have on a flight.

cherry tree
Welcomed by the local cherry tree…ha ha nah! just lovely flowers in the backyard.

Once in Lucknow, we just spent time lazying around, playing, chatting with mom and sis and enjoying the hospitality. On the first day didi(elder sister) took us to Dastarkhwan for dinner, a Lonely Planet suggestion and a restaurant of repute in the city. The little munchkin never stopped mentioning it all through the trip(and later)…and wanted to go there for dinner everyday. Now, what can make a mom happier than a place where the kid enjoys the food( kebabs and roomali roti included), is taken care of(so I get some leisure time) and is pampered by his grandmom. So we went to Dastarkhwan as often as possible (read that as’Everyday’ :) ), with a trip to Ameenabad and Tundey Kebab as well.

Dastarkhwan

Tundey Kababi

The crew at Tundey kabab when asked to click a snap was more comfortable with the advanced iphones than we were:)
India going digital!

But it was not just a food trail, we discovered nawabi culture at the Bara and Chota Imambara, the Bhool Bhulaiya(labyrinth), the remnants at Residency-a living tale of The Revolt of 1857, the chowk where traditional chikankari workers hand embroider and sell their wares and other places…That, of which we had read in school books came alive. Some pictures below:

Bara imambara and the walls of the labyrinth

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Chota Imambara

Chota Imambara

I loved the Hazratganj area and the way all shops are standardized in black and white. The eye keeps searching for familiar colours in the logos one is so used to—say the banks or retail stores and multiple shopping options for the wonderful chikankari.

Banks with standardized B&W Logo

Banks with standardized B&W Logo

No holiday is complete without some fabric shopping and quilt inspiration. Got some fabric from ccccccccc, hand embroideery inspiration from this beautiful bedspread and hand quilted kasuthi quilt on a fence somewhere in Lucknow.

Makhan lal Ganeriwal

Makhan lal Ganeriwal

Hand embroidery

Hand embroidery


hand quilting

hand quilting

A few days back India completed its 65th Republic Day celebration and true to the colours I wanted to complete a project in saffron, white and green, some blue added… When I saw these lovely polka dotted hexies, Anjeanette’s hexie tables runner came to mind. I promptly got the hexies and started the project. But then, a long weekend and trip out of town didn’t do any good to the project(the tone sounds like  I am sulking but I love a holiday).

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This Saturday morning I sat down for some hand-sewing and completed the EPP hexies. Wanted a table runner with no holes so while I followed Anjeannet’s idea, ensured I took a whole cloth and fixed the hexie lace on top. It required so many pins, I almost died cursing myself for not making additional white hexies and attaching them in the rear.

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Here is the completed table topper.And like everything else in the house, needs a good press on a hot iron.What I would do differently the next time is that I would definitely add some batting,how, I still have no clue as turning around the hexies becomes extremely difficult. But this one, sure can do with a bit if loft.

This quilt top, first in a series of large quilts(anything larger than a baby quilt is a milestone for me) almost broke my back completing. But I am glad its done…

Mosaic quilt

Now, for the quilting. I am wondering, if I should just hand quilt it!
I have a small standard home sewing machine and a quilt the size of my double bed may not fit into it.

I have a few excess blocks left from the quilt. Hope I am able to make a pair of cushion covers to go with the quilt :)

Mosaic quilt 2

Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Last evening a friend, Kausalya made a wonderful pouch with ribbon embroidery. I absolutely loved the pouch she made and on being appreciated she set me up for a healthy challenge: If I made a bag in a day then the pouch would be mine :)
I pounced at the opportunity but what could I possibly make in a day!!

First was of course, a choice of fabric and I decided to use the red fabric that I had won in another challenge from her. Very appropriate for the occasion…

Mosaic Tile A

Then the bag construction per se…

Recently I seem to be obsessing over the quilt block from the Mosaic Block Quilt along. First I made this quilt top, then I made some cushions from the left over quilt blocks and in the same week I tried some more cushions(more on that later!) and now a tote :)

Its made of basic blocks of 8X8″ in red and 8X4″ with 15.5X4″ of grey.

Mosaic Tile B

The bright red is just right for the Valentine’s week!

Mosaic Tile C

The bag is hand quilted with running stitch in Anchor Perl 8- Red and quilted with thin batting which I bought from another friend Shanaz for the quilt top…

Linking it to the Mosaic quilt Along !

Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along

ok ok I get it…this is not a rug ! I am just generally fond of alliterations!

As part of a quilting challenge, I decided to use different fabrics and I thought a crazy quilt patch work would suit fine. All I planned was an assorted variety of fabric including velvet, brasso, upholstery fabric, synthetic material, cotton and embroidered cotton fabric. Quilting is done by hand using simple running stitch that moved inside with each concentric rectangle towards the center starting with the perimeter. The border is a contrasting lace from canada that I received as part of a trim swap. A heartfelt thank you to my swap partner…the contrasting lace makes the crazy quilt block all the more gorgeous.
It is 12″ X18″ in size.

Hubby says it looks rich and kid has already taken it off as a quilt for his spider man toy :)

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Learnings from the project:
A hand quilted crazy quilt patchwork piece takes double the time anticipated but is also twice as beautiful :D I was always scared of crazy-quilt thinking I will never get the combination right, but the end result is far more beautiful than what I thought it would be. Feels great !

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Linking it to WIP Wednesday !
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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As my househelp asked for a cloth for dusting, I quickly conjured up a dusting cloth by hand stitching bright hexies into a fat quarter and side stitching the fabric :)
Love the brightness and contrast of colours.

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Next, I tried out a back pattern at it turned out just perfect with some machine embroidery in the handles.!
Its my sewing machine in the background…

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And then, a quilted laptop sleeve from a christmas-y fabric that my friend Shahnaz gifted me :)

Quite a productive week I must say !

Tagging to WIP Wednesday !

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

My hot pad is ready…a day after the actual event, after removing the machine quilting and redoing it completely in small stitches by hand and learning some bias binding method in the process of completion as well!
But the important thing is that its complete and I love it. I tried hand quilting for the first time and it turned out really awesome.


Used one of the tutorials off the net to make bias binding…was always to scared too try it but one fat quarter of fabric gave me 5.3m of bias tape…if thats not magic then what is!!
My little tip here is that I used a plastic ruler(scale) to wrap the tape as I went ahead with the pressing (to shape). This has an advantage over the spindles I have seen the tape being rolled over on, it stays and doesn’t roll out the already pressed tape.

A lot is left to be desired in terms of neatness of work and making the bias tape corners look good. But am HAPPY with the output !!

Linking it to FNSI at Handmade with Heidi.

Handmade by Heidi

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