Thursday, December 06, 2012

A story about a quilt

This entry doesn't have anything to do with garment sewing. 

Chennai, where I grew up, is hot and dusty. Our floors were mosaic, and they were swept and mopped twice a day to keep the endless dust at bay.

Once the sweeping and mopping of the inside of the house was done, attention would be transferred to the veranda. It would also be swept and washed down, and then, while the concrete was still wet, a small kolam would be quickly drawn at the entryway to the house.

With a small handful of rice flour, the dots that acted as the grid would be laid out. Then, depending on the mood of the kolam maker, either a simple monochrome kolam would emerge, or a complex multi-coloured work of art. It was the most transient of art forms - people would walk on the kolam, disrupting the pattern, and even if we all avoided smearing the kolam, the veranda would be washed and the kolam redrawn the next morning or afternoon.


When I started quilting, I fantasized about a 'kolam' quilt, and wanted to replicate the patterns I'd seen as a child. This thought has remained in the back of my mind for many years, and I'm pleased to say, I've finally brought this to life.

For the last few months, I've been drawing kolam patterns on a grid, trying to map it out into a quilt pattern. About a week ago, I sent a completed set of instructions to my mother, my cousin and my aunt - and asked them to test the instructions for me.

Et voila! My aunt, who is a speedy and experienced quilter sent me these pictures this morning.


I'm beyond thrilled.

My mom's working on her quilt right now - her quilt is in the more traditional black & white. If all goes well with the two versions, I'll upload the quilt pattern for sale in Etsy as a downloadable pattern.

Now, if you've read the entire bit, I've a request. I need a name for this quilt pattern. Any suggestions? Please leave me a comment! (I'll sweeten the pot a wee bit - if I pick your name, I'll send you the downloadable pattern. I'll also select 2 other random comments to send a free pattern to.)


4 comments:

Kay said...

Nice kolam, Reethi! What a wonderful quilt!

Lets see what names I can come up with:

- No start, no end (as in once a kolam is done, nobody can tell where it started and where it ended)

- Lost in a maze OR No way out (as in once you start travelling through the lines of this kolam, you can keep going on and on without)

Jean C. said...

Gentle connection... that's the first thing that came to mind for me. It's lovely.

Kay said...

A few more:

Nostalgia
Reminiscence

sophie (monbouton) said...

It's a beautiful quilt! And I'm not usually fond of quilts :) I'd love to try making it if its not too hard. Could you let me know when you have it available?
As for the name I'm thinking about "pathways"