Saturday, June 16, 2012

Needle and ThREAD #3: The Sari Bari quilt

The work has begun on our Saribari quilt.  I mentioned it in my last Needle and ThREAD post and now I have more to show and tell.

Together with a few friends, we have begun the quilt.  I decided after talking with a woman at the quilt shop at the beach about this project, that we should stabilize the sari fabric before cutting and sewing it.  It is quite thin, quite fragile fabric.  I want this quilt to last for whoever gets it, so last week we began the preparatory process of ironing fusible interfacing to back to lengths of fabric before we cut.  At first, I thought this might be rather tedious, but I have enjoyed every moment standing at the ironing board, smoothing fabric, feeling the texture, discovering the little inconsistencies in block printed designs and dying, getting to know our material.

After the interfacing is fused, we cut strips in a variety of widths, from 1 1/2 to 3 inches.  From our neutral fabric, a lovely light brown with white strands of thread woven throughout and squares of gold thread in sections, we cut 17 1/2 inch squares.  The squares are cut diagonally to yield two triangles of fabric.

Kristin cutting strips.  The gridded mat, ruler, and rotary cutter are indispensable tools.

Once we have our triangles and strips, we begin piecing.  Strips are sewn to the triangle, starting at the long edge and chosen at random.  It has been fun for me to see how each of the women working with me proceeds with this process.  One is more intuitive, another slowly examines color and pattern and carefully eyes the combinations.  I sit at the machine, waiting to be handed the pieces, which I stitch together.  Seams are ironed, more strips added, and soon we have a finished square.  

First one finished!

Thursday we had a quilt work day.  Carla came, with Noelle.

and Amber, with James and Elijah, who fell asleep on the sewing room floor!

We have completed 11 of 36 squares so far and have a design decision to make.

Chevrons ...

 Diamonds ...

or something else?  

We're going to finish the squares and then play with the possibilities!

 The sewing room looks rather like a sari bomb exploded, with lengths of fabric, scraps and trimmed edges of squares everywhere and snipped threads on the floor.  As Amber sat in the corner chair nursing Elijah, while Krisin and I stitched, she said, "This is a happy room."


Since this is a Needle and ThREAD post, I must tell you what I'm reading:

Stories, Essays, and Memoir by Eudora Welty

Bioethics: A Primer for Christians by Gilbert Meilaender

Beauty Will Save the World by Brian Zahnd

and a couple of lovely library books on shade gardening.

Those are the books I'm dipping into ... but truth to tell ... mostly, I'm sewing!

needle and thREAD


Kelly Keller said...

WOW! It looks great. The patterns are so pretty.

I perked up at your bioethics choice...was just listening to Sara Groves this morning, and her newest album has a song about bioethics on it. It just urges Christians to be part of the conversation. It begins with the words, "scientists in Japan are building a robot to take your job."

Beth said...

One of our Core Seminars right now is on Bioethics and that's the book we're using. We've had the book for awhile since it was one that Thomas read for a class at Covenant. Haven't heard that Sara Groves album. I'll have to take a listen.

It's interesting to me that these artists are connecting with questions of science and ethics through their art. Mako Fujimura brought up some of these questions in his talk at the Childlight conference.

Beth said...

Oh, and thanks! The quilt fabrics are just incredible. We are loving working with them.

Bonnie said...

I can start sewing and rug hooking and knitting NOW too. So lovely this Sari quilt. Very inspiring to watch the process with all those lovely women!