Today we begin our wonderful tour with ‘Craft tours’. As I write this its 4.00 am and in just four hours the first of our tour participants will arrive. The rest arrive this afternoon.
I’ve been here just over 24 hours and I have to tell you, the tour organizers Mr Jim West and his team sure know how to create an amazing experience.
Our first hotel is the TAJ Palace. It’s a spectacular hotel and the attention to detail is outstanding. Yesterday, with a roll of quilts under my arm and a package of teaching supplies I was waiting for my driver in the lobby. Suddenly the quilts were whisked out of my arms and onto the counter of the porter…. In alarm I kept an eye on them as they began to wrap my quilts very neatly in Newspaper!!!!!! Ohhhh. They then presented the parcel with a small handle tie and expression of complete happiness. “Please don’t rub the newsprint off on my precious quilts “I thought, and the end of the story was that they were just fine. I gave a small class to some friends here in Delhi and we had a wonderful day talking, eating, listening and sharing ideas on quilting as they completed a small project.
Its something we all love to do as Quilters/Textile artists. For some its an addiction, for me its a tool and an absolute delight.
My friend Anju, knows just where to go. I explained my ideas, and mid afternoon the driver took us to a market close by.
Oh my goodness, I love the crowds, the noise and the ambience. People were selling everything from snacks to underwear. The main road was incredibly crowded with cars parked three deep on the sides of the road. Each small road that led off the main street held delicious surprises and we venture down one of the streets to a Sari shop.
Each small road that led off the main street held delicious surprises and we ventured down one of the streets past the wedding outfitter with the sparking displays of silk and embroidery… and not just for women, for men too, to a Sari shop. (I’m not too sure what they are actually called.)
The fabric I was sourcing is a very fine cotton used the short blouses that are worn with a Sari and today in the light of day I can’t remember the name of the fabric. It’s a fine, tight weave and the saturation of color is incredible. We just don’t see it at home or in the USA.
I use it for applique and it doesn’t fray when I use it raw edge. It’s also very fine and I can layer it to create different shades. I was so excited to buy a huge bundle of ‘skin tone’ fabric too.
Fabric at home costs on an average of $24 a meter. The fabric I share with you today costs a little less than $2.00. per meter. I bought fabric like this some 3 years ago in Dubai when I was visiting my sister. I actually didn’t buy any cotton fabric for art on that trip to India, so I came armed with ideas and the fabric flowed.
And this is what I use it for. With the exception of the background fabric and the Kaffe flowers all of the above is created with this fabric.
My heart skips a beat at seeing this fabric and I tell you it’s not really a stash in my mind its my tool and its well researched and thought out.
Of course Anju and I will introduce it to other members of the tour… This is not your average tour folks… we are going to create and design as we go. Save your pennies ladies and gents we have more of these amazing tours to share.
How, you say?
I did the sketch above this morning on my ipad. It will be put into the “Capture and Create” folder for future use.
I have an ipad pro and I can use a photo I’ve taken in the ipad and sketch over it. OK, so it’s not that easy, you need to be able to draw a little, learn about perspective and story telling to do that, but that’s what I’m going to do on the 12 days we have here. The ladies in the group can use my Ipad, but I know most of them have the Ipad pro along with them.
This sketch above is done specifically with a quilt in mind. I have drawn it somewhat simply and in single line so that I can stitch it free motion with a fine black thread, either silk or cotton on fabric.This is the idea for the Quilt illustration quilts and I did this on three pieces of sheer cotton I purchased in Nepal.
The next journey is to source a fabric for the background and I have 12 days to work through that.
I bought $46 yards for just on $100. The black for instance I bought quite a few yards instead of the 1 yard pieces. That’s 46 different colors in all.
These are petticoats, in a range of colors made from the same fabric and they go under the sari. It just makes your heart leap.
These are silks and they are so much cheaper that the Thai silk.
This is ‘Kantha’ embroidered silk by the meter. $20… and yes, I will have a jacket made from some of this fabric, but I was too overwhelmed to buy it yesterday. I go back with new ideas today.
Our day was full of color, movement and exciting vision. I do try my best to share it with those of you at home and on my Social Media pages. I know I won’t be able to do it every day.
It’s 6.00 am and time to work the body, so off for my 10000 steps today.