Friday, December 28, 2012

A Story about a Quilt

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. A few weeks 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 this picture.

I'm beyond thrilled.

I'll soon upload the quilt pattern for sale in Etsy as a downloadable pattern.

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