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Journal Quilts& Me

Theme Based  and Miniature Quilts

Journal quilts are not new to the rest of the quilting world and to  the international group.We  here  too had done few  theme based small group projects of different sizes over the years .

But some times as in life lots of things which you think as every day activity may not be so in some parts of the world.That is the story of Journal quilts in our group of local quilters.

But recently I have started developing a great liking to this miniature ,theme based ,art quilts.

locals  and new entries into  the quilt group consists  of   a few  excellent artists , and their artistic thinking is amazing ,but they are just beginners in art quilting or in quilting.   Their interest is to produce only utility quilts like big bed quilts. I wanted their artistic, imaginative side to come out and make them think out of the box.That is when I got the ladies to sign up for a Journal quilt group under the umbrella of our Q8quilters. It is a nice group with  few experts and  lots of novice together.

The most difficult thing was to make them accept to do this small A4 size quilts .We were fifteen in the group though many did not make it to the deadline we had enough pieces to exhibit and the feed back was great when they asked me what is the next topic:} Some of  the JQ’s  from here are  chosen and going to see light in a bigger size in another exhibition soon.

So there we are  as a group into Journal quilting and will keep going further.

DSC04466.JPGFour Elements-Earth

From Top Left-Amal,Wafa’a,Ann,Suhaila,Ranju,Shyamala,Najeeba,Nidha


Four Elements-Water
From top left-Najeeba,Shyamala,Suhaila,Wafa’a,Ann ,Ranju.

P1160785.JPGFour Elements-Fire
From top left-Wafa’a, Najeeba,Ranju,Shyamala ,Suhaila,Ann


Four elements -Air

From top Left -Ranju,Najeeba,Shyamala,Wafa’a,Suhaila and Ann.

It was interesting how each one approaches a theme and I felt our exposure and our environment influences our thoughts.

Artists statements

Wafa’a Ali Al-Kandari Earth-The beauty of the earth is depicted in paper piecing techniques Water-I used small pieces of fabric to show how the wonderful colors and life under the water Fire- I imagine the fire is like a horse and it is difficult to catch it when it is on the run. Air-Air has different mode .Some time calm and some time angry. I am trying to show that by quilting

Ann Dennis Global Warming. A day in the life of a tree. Earth,Water,Fire Air effects the tree in different ways

Suhaila Hussain Al Ateiyah The nature is all around us and we have to interact with positive way. A happy nature results in a happy body and soul. Earth,Water,Fire and Air pieces are depicted with using different quilt techniques and hand quilting.

Najeeba Hasan Earth- Earth means life for people, plants and animals Water-Water is calm reminds of travels and means of transport Fire- Fire is scary and not friendly Air- Air the life line of every one and it can be friendly or dangerous.

Amal Sadek Earth- This is inspired by the desert in our region. I was reminded how hard it is to grow plants and trees in this part of the world.

Nida Khan Earth -Earth is a mixture of good and bad. Hate, war, can be overcome by kindness, love, prayer and lead to a peaceful earth.

Ranju GandhiEarth,Water,Fire ,Air are essential to life .Let us save our elements. Earth- Roots depicting the anchorage of life. Water –Our waters are so polluted that soon will be more plastic than fish in the seas Fire-Fires fueled by warming climate are increasing around the world and havoc in our forests Air- Air is vital for survival without it life would perish but pollution levels are raising and creating life threatening situations

Shyamala Rao I believe in positive thinking and believe the elements will respond positively. Earth- Holding roots deep in its soil the earth will help the trees grow bringing with it all life. The good earth is meant to do this and not to produce earthquakes. Water- It is the calm sea where the mermaids sing as they fetch pearls to the pearl divers .No more tsunami. Fire- The fire with all his grandeur and colors is cool within. Forest fires are not for him to create. Air- The cool breeze, the life line of all humans is colorful. Tornados and destruction is not the nature of air.


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Fusible Applique Basics

This method is also known as Raw edge Appliqué. In this method top fabric   is fused to the base fabric. A fusible web binds both the  top and base fabric by ironing. once the design is traced on the paper side of the  fusible web, cut it to the exact shape, iron it on to the chosen fabric and  peel off the  backing paper exposing the glue, iron it on to the base fabric.


The most popular brand of fusible web is Heat N Bond available in quilt shops. This has a paper backing and easy to use.You can also buy the fusible web in roles called Vaseline  without paper  backing . The ones without backing can be used by placing them in between baking parchment. If you cannot get this webbing you can use a fabric glue or glue stick which may not be perfect but can work. A special iron is another added tool but normal iron can do the same task.



Chose a design.

Choose a design and convert it  to line drawing.Number each of the pieces starting from outer edge to inner edge or left to right or vise versa.



Using a fabric carbon trace the pattern to the base fabric.You can use a fabric pencil to strengthen the lines.

P1070921Now make a reverse copy of the pattern  and trace it to the dull side of fusible web. Dull side is the paper side and the back of it is the fusible side with glue.

P1070926Choose your fabrics for appliqué

P1070975Cut out the shapes from the  traced  design on fusible web and iron it on to the  back side of the selected fabric.  Cut out all the  fused shapes with one side exact and other side a scant 1/4 inch eye measurement. The idea is to fit each piece like jigsaw puzzle.

P1070982Remove the backing paper, arrange all the pieces to recreate the design  on the base fabric and iron it on.

P1070990 Stitch around all the edges with straight stitch. If you don’t like the raw edge look you can statin stitch around the edges.Once the process of fusing and stitching is finished thread painting it with matching  thread is an option

P1080007Join the finished block to other pieces to create a table mat. Back it with batting and back fabric and quilt as desired.Bind with black fabric.

;Mittu' the Macaw.J

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Images To Quilts-Art quilts

I have started quilting  about 14 yeas ago, what still holds my interest is turning real photographs into quilted treasures.This is what I call as ‘Images to quilts’. Every ones life is full of memories.Some good some bad.Some you want to treasure some you want to forget.I am a person who likes to keep my memories alive for ever  by clicking photographs. If I can turn at least a few of them into an art work  nothing better than that for me. I love this workshop which I do as it helps me and my students to relive their memories turning  them into a  quilted treasure.


My VillageGangothri

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Quilting Stress!

What is an Indian wedding with out pomp and show and months of preparations? That is exactly what kept me busy for last few months. My sons wedding.  Quilting was the least of my thoughts in last several months and now when all is settled  and with an addition to the family in the form  of a daughter in law, I am all mentally physically settled now and   yes! back into quilting.

A few months before I even had a thought of selling my sewing machines and umpteen loads of fabric , notions and every thing quilt related  to lead a more peaceful stress free life. But then I realized that there is no such thing as ‘stress free life’ unless I become another ‘Buddha’ and leave my    quilting empire and head to forest.

But then I realized I may need to make one more last quilt to cover my self in the forest,then there were a few students waiting, a competition just announced, a group of friends from the quilt club motivating, I realized  it is  less stress quilting than being enlightened.

So now  I am back into  the same rut of folding and unfolding fabric scarps ,cutting tiny squares and rectangles  and restitching them into one piece again, rewinding the unruly spools  of thread  that run marathons in my small studio,picking and unpicking the seems from two inch squares, ironing the fusible web  to later find out that the iron just transferred   the residue   to the  front of finished quilt ,making new designs and hoping no one will copy it  without giving me credit or no one would have thought of it  earlier than me, finding no time for exercise.

But I am not stressed! I am quilting.!


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Jamal 2“Jamal”(Camel) is known as the ship of the desert. The quilt depicts an image from a photograph taken by myself of a camel ride in Palmyra Syria. The carved limestone structures standing on the sand show the example of Roman architecture. Tea dyed fabrics, hand and machine appliquéd, raw edge appliqué, thread painting,layering,embellished ,machine quilted and pieced.”
and used authentic Arabic
 embellishments to decorate the camel.

Jamal won second place in Art quilt category  in the recently held Kuwait Textile Arts Annual exhibition.


my quilts

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Images to quilts

‘ Images to quilts’  that is what is keeping my thoughts  and hands busy.


I have been busy last few weeks. I have been updating all my albums stored in my computer, sorting them out.Starting of the new group ‘Images to quilts’ was  close to my heart  as  that is what is really me as a quilter, I like sharing my thoughts with like minded people. I did not take much time to pick this name to my group or the workshop as ‘that is me’ all along . I am a photographer first and quilter later.   As I pulled piece after after piece of my old quilts  I realized they all had some image inspiration  from my own travels  and  my photographs.

That is what I really like as a quilter and hobby photographer combined together. The workshops i did on images to quilts -landscapes was the best for me as a teacher  I enjoyed doing them. I do paper piecing too. But that is an existing technique and the creative juice flow is limited where as in images to quilts I  involved techniques which I invented, and modified with each quilt, and that is fun part.

Jamal 2my quiltsP1020566-001

The scores of tours I did all over the world with my family  has yielded in loads of photographs.The Great Wall of China, the  sunsets of Scandinavia , Russia, Petra,Dead sea in Jordan, Machu Pichu in Peru, the snow peaks of Kashmir,Pyramids of Egypt,Tajmahal in Agra,Leaning tower of Pisa,the skyscraper in New york, lake Titicaca,  the Niagara falls, the rocky mountains in Oman,   landscapes in India,the list can go and on. As I sit back and look at the images from this travels I wonder is this life time enough to convert them into quilts.

But the few I am doing now is giving me such immense pleasure. I don’t mind how many I do but it makes me happy and takes me back in time to my travels and the beautiful time I spent with my family.

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3D quilts

Zinnia Garden-Mixed Media