Friday, 28 September 2012

Desi Quilters meet in Poona...........

Friday the 28th of September  2012

Within a few minutes of arriving, this was the scene !

At 1030 the first DQ arrived followed in quick succession by the other five. One by one WIPs, completed projects , UFO's got pulled out of bags and the buzz began.....
Kausalya showed us her ever-so-neat hand quilted cushion covers, her first quilted project

Then after all the oohs and aahs Charu got her UFOs out....another round of ooh-ing and aah-ing, because she had made large log cabin blocks in single coloured solids so the seams were the focal point. Interesting, almost architectural pictures. Charu also showed us a UFO that her daughter had started with really beautiful fabric !! Pratibha asked them to put away their professional looking projects so she could take out what she called amateurish work. Amateurish it most certainly was not ! An almost complete, beautiful, complicated 9 square block bedspread in pastel aquas and yellows, prints and solids. And of course her patchwork totes....those were smart and complete. And another set of blocks she had 'stringed' to make a bedspread. Pratibha is self taught and doesn't have the tools or know quilting terminology yet, but she has produced such lovely work !
Tanuja had brought her crochet evening bags, since she had no quilting projects with her....naturally all of us were totally 'diggin' those !
Riddhi's whole cloth quilt project for the DQ September challenge arrived just then...Its so much prettier in real life ! And her shoe bags and make up pouches were a brilliant 'gift' idea especially now with the festive season beginning soon.
Out of Kalindi's big bag of completed work came out magic ! Exquisite Japanese style purses, key holders, handbags and totes all painstakingly hand pieced and quilted...they have to be seen to be believed ! Oh yes, she did have one WIP, and that was not hand quilted but she was doing machine embroidery and FMQ. Its a wall hanging..a piece of art. We found out that she's an art student. Figures :)
( L to R) Kalindi,Pratibha, Kausalya and Tanuja

Riddhi, Charu, Pratibha and Kalindi

Tanuja about to pop in a kheer kadam before rushing to catch her flight !

By this time everyone was hungry and thirsty so we broke for tea....pretty mini cupcakes made by Riddhi, stuffed mushrooms made by Tanuja, kheer kadams that Kalindi had brought along and .....

Once we were done eating we went back to our chatting about quilting tips, ideas, tools and plans.
Four hours later we stopped but only after deciding that this was going to be a regular 'once a month' meeting, that we'd plan the next one so we had some sort of structure and learned something new or polished what we already knew. Kausalya had showed us how to cut 'whirly gig blocks the easy way and Kalindi showed us how to tie a 'posh' knot when hand quilting :) Very essential.

What was really nice was that everyone got on famously and was very willing to share and that I think is what quilting is all about.
All in all it was a fun morning and the DQs left happy and with a small needlebook to remind them of our first meet !

Any regrets ?? Just wish I'd taken more pictures !! Ah well there's always a 'next time' :)

Monday, 24 September 2012

Why our prams were special !!

Prams fit for a Princess. Lovely to look at... Lovely to be seen with... The Prestige by Pedigree £15.12.6 - All the best babies have a Pedigree...
I can see now why my mother thought the pram was special :)  I wonder how she managed to get one ? Post Independence I'm not sure it was easy.
But she'll be happy to know, wherever she watching from, that her great grand daughters are wheeled in a BugABoo which is for todays Princesses who don't need a pedigree !!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Serendipity and what I found the other day....

Serendipity. I've loved that word ever since I first learnt what it meant. If like me, you are untidy and forget where you've put things, you're a lucky person. Often you start out looking for some important paper that DH has to have right away......
and you discover something totally delightful that gets you daydreaming.....
Well this morning it was sheer coincidence that I found not one but two connected things that took me down memory lane.
I found 2 small b & w photos of my sister and me in our prams and a pram cover in organdie,  hand embroidered by our mother. Its single thread shadow work. For those who don't do embroidery I'll explain : only one strand of thread from the six that make up an embroidery skein, is used to work on a design from the back of the fabric so that you can 'see' the colour through on the front. And those that do embroider will appreciate the intricate work that went into it.
The elves are just over an inch tall !!
Of course I don't remember it being used as my pram cover but what I do remember is the cover being used at all our birthday parties, to cover the eats. And thats probably how its got a few stains :)

And the perambulators...ah those were something special as we were always reminded.  Sadly my only memory of the one my sister had, was when my mother's young cousin, Ajit and I, aged four, took turns  sitting in it and wheeling each other around the driveway till the springs broke ! All this while our mothers were busy playing bridge. Of course there was hell to pay later but being so little I was let off...can't say the same for Ajit !  Even today I recall the discussions on how it was impossible to fix the springs and how naughty and destructive we were and how my poor sister who was a BIG baby would now have to be carried in her ayah's arms. That would tire poor Seshamma who, to me, was already old and tired anyway !

Orchids !!! And more orchids !!!

My friend Tanu grows the most amazing orchids !!! The first time I went to her old house, it was like entering a magical garden....there were orchids everywhere. In the new house they have assigned spots :)
Now I don't know too many people who  grow orchids, just Tanu and Laxmi ( who's abandoned her poor babies while she's gone to see her grandsons ). Tanu's blooms look so healthy and perfectly formed one is tempted to reach out and touch them just to make sure they're real ! And they're not the usual purple or white ones either !! Not that the purple and white ones aren't nice...these are just way prettier.......

I'm not a good photographer but I had to share the pics I took this morning.....

Now I'll wait for Tanu to identify and name them in the 'Comments'

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Golf, Fingerprints and Immigration. Is there a connection ?!

Strange but true...there's a definite connection there. I had to go to Bombay today to get 'finger printed' at the American Consulate so my new visa could be processed. I'm sure they know what they're doing.
But it got me thinking about something that happened in June this year when I was at Heathrow on my way back home. I had a few hours in transit and so had decided to meet my cousins for lunch close by.
Since I have a multiple entry long term visa that was no problem , or so I thought !
I was thrilled to be the first in line at Immigration ( those who go through Immigration at Heathrow will understand what a big deal that is ! ) and the officers had just come in on duty so their nerves weren't frazzled yet....
Well, when my finger prints were being checked, they didn't match !! The young man at the desk got more and more suspicious especially when I told him I was going out for just a few hours and had a flight home that evening. Of course he wouldn't tell me anything.
He just began to behave like a pompous, powerful 'gatekeeper' to Her Majesty's Kingdom !! Really !
Another senior officer came over and after asking me the same routine questions, stamped my passport and I was through. Phew !
When I got home and was chatting about this with my friend Laxmi she told me something quite interesting. She couldn't open the front door to her house where she has a 'finger print recognition' electronic lock so she called the manufacturer to complain. The reason her finger prints were not readable was....because of golf the skin had become too smooth on her forefinger !!
So there you are...blame it on golf !! And see the connection ?

Monday, 10 September 2012

The View today from the Belvedere

 Its been a year since we moved to this apartment. Many thought we were crazy. Moving out of a beautiful old stone house with an enormous garden, beautiful and rare trees, flowers, green grass and memories. But just look at the views we have from the roof here !! On a rainy day like today, this is what I saw....the hills in the distance, the bright orange-red of the coral trees and green tree tops.  Parrots, yes I know I keep on about them, but they are so, so beautiful, in the Eucalyptus memories will be created. Flowers in pots on the terrace look as pretty as they did in the ground. I even found some cherry tomatoes that had managed to grow, sharing a pot with an Anthurium ! So a steady supply was available through summer...

My Adenium that actually has seed pods and looks like a pink bull with powerful horns.

I won't talk about the time the Solar heating system blew,  spewing 600 litres of boiling hot water into the neighbor's terrace ! Or the look DH gave me when I suggested he tell them to quickly pour some detergent so they could give the terrace floor a good cleaning. 
Those are tales for another day......                                                         

Monday, 3 September 2012

A new quilting pattern or is it a different style ?

At a 'farewell' coffee morning today for Laxmi ( who's off to see her children and grandsons ), amidst gorging on delicious chocolate truffle cake and flaky pastry savouries ,  I learnt something new ! Our hostess, Veena, showed us a fabric mat / trivet her friend had made.
It was several layers of cotton sewed in a pattern of parallel diagonal lines. Then all the layers of fabric barring the bottom most were cut between the parallel lines and they sort of ruffled up and looked really pretty ......

The pictures show much better what I'm trying so hard to describe !

the front

the back

close up of the layers

Parrots and fabric that match !!

I was in my terrace taking pictures of some gorgeous shaded silk I'd bought when I heard a real racket outside DH's study. Parrots, at least six or seven of them, were having a chat session in his window. For a change I didn't have to go running to get my camera and could take a picture....but of course they saw me and all but two flew away !! The shades of green and turquoise in my silk were exactly the same as the feathers of the parrots.....I hadn't, until then, noticed that parrots had blue feathers on their tails. You can see that bright blue if you're above the flying parrot. Maybe parrots inspired the dyer of my silk....

And, yes, it is just one piece of silk with all those colours.
The mesh in the window spoils my pic but it also stopped all those parrots from flying into the Study ! 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

On a Sunday morning....

I had to do it some day !! Its been buzzing around in my ' oh so congested ' head for months. At night when I'm in bed its bzzzz, in the day its bzzzz, on a rainy day its bzzzz, on a special day its bzzzz, on the day of the Blue Moon it went bzzzz.....
What did ? My decision to start my blog !!! I know its really simple for most but for a computer challenged person like me it was a daunting task.  I often had these 'moments' when I'd draft a whole post in my head but by the time I opened the 'create your blog' page I'd chicken out.
Well today's the day and I now have my own blog where I can put stuff and make room in my head for other stuff.
I'll write about my current passion: quilting, my existing passion: golfing and of course life !!