Sunday, 5 February 2012

BuDa workshop -Part II-Eye Candy

Like I said in my previous post, I just HAD to do another post on the BuDa Folklore Quilting Workshop. But first, lets feast our eyes on some eye candy..

In one of my earlier posts, I had mentioned that India is a non-quilting country. That is not true. What I really meant was that India has no history in the Western style of quilting. However, there are many traditional styles unique to various parts of the country. The Jaipuri Razais, The Bengali Kantha, The Himachali Khind, The Kannadiga Kaudhis, and many more. The sad thing is that these styles are fast dying as commercially mass made quilts become easily available and we are losing precious indigenous knowledge of these crafts in the bargain. 

All traditional Indian quilts (whatever the style) were hand quilted and made primarily with the object of using up every square inch of spare/used fabric and converting them into highly functional bedding. The craft was passed down from mothers to daughters and motifs were drawn from their daily lives and folklore. 

At the BuDa workshop we were taught to make a 'Kaudhi' (quilt) and all the rules, conventions, etc. that normally apply to the Western style of quilting had to be left at the door. The differences in the two styles were alarmingly glaring! Exact opposites, in fact!! To mention a few...
1.First off, no scissors, no rotary cutters! Fabric is snipped and then ripped along the grain turning the scraps square or rectangle shaped. Not an inch of fabric is wasted.
2.No rulers, no measuring! In western styles, precision cutting of fabric is recommended along with agonizing decisions on design and colour. Here, the design keeps evolving depending on the size/shape/colour of available scraps. Eyeballing is good enough for alignment and symmentry in design.
3.In western styles, the top is pieced first, then assembled with the backing and batting. Here, the backing and batting are first laid, and then the top is simultaneously pieced, sandwiched and quilted!
4.Quilting lines are not stitched from the inside out. In fact, the border is first bound and quilted all around and then the quilting progresses inwards!
5.In western styles, the motifs are first appliqued/pieced and then the quilt assembled. Here, the motifs are also appliqued simultaneously along with piecing, sandwiching and quilting!!

Whoa! That was a lot of 'unlearning' and 'relearning' I had to do. Lucky I did it all at the perfect spot on Earth - Savita's house :-) !! Savita, the inspiring lady behind BuDa Folklore, graciously opened up not just her beautiful home to us for the workshop for 3 days, but also her lovely guest room for the outstation participant - ME !! Ah bliss! More eye candy, take a look...

Hats off to you Savita! (pic above) May the Force be with you!!

(Oh yes, I'll do one more post on the workshop :-))


  1. Beautiful quilts.....what an interesting workshop. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lovely informative post. Its good to explore other quilting forms.

  3. Wow! I love Savitha's house. It's such a beautiful space and how lucky for you! You got to hang out with Nirmala Akka for the full 3 days! Did she make some good food? She's a great cook too!

  4. Stunning quilts!!! I love the runner and the cushion covers.

  5. Thanks for all the info Tina. I am so in awe of these wonderful artisans, who don't need to do to a school to learn their amazing crafts! It seems to flow effortlessly from within their selves!

  6. Eye candy indeed! Keep it coming.

  7. How are the rough edges covered Tina. this is so colourful. Did you take old sarees and tear them up there?