The Wonderful World of ‘ Quilting ’

When you look closely, you will find that most of the hobbies of today have their roots in a necessity of ‘a long time ago’.

The same holds true for the hobby of Quilting. You will find quilting to be a very big part of the ancient European world where it was very cold and staying warm was important.

Making quilts was time consuming and required a lot of patience – something the women who took care of their families and homes had a lot of.

Recycling and using scraps of old and worn out clothes, they would create beautiful patterns and designs and make quilts and several other things of daily use.

These women were skilled to make all sorts of garments for their families and themselves. At that time these activities were considered to be as essential as cooking for the family.

As the Europeans started to move out of Europe and settle in different continents, their skill of sewing and quilting became extremely useful for their comfort and well-being.

With the industrial revolution and the improvement in the quality of life, thanks to modernisation, even when it was no longer a necessity, Quilting survived and prospered as a much loved hobby in several countries.

Anything that is made with fabrics, that is not clothing or furnishing comes under the Umbrella of ‘The World of Quilting’ – be it a small pin cushion, coasters, an apron, a pouch, a bag, a cushion/ pillow, table runners or a quilt of any size, or just about any other item made with fabrics.

When the three layers of a quilt are assembled and stitched together, this process too, is known as the ‘quilting’ of a quilt.

There are several levels in quilting, starting from the beginners to the very advanced, depending on the extent to which a quilter is experienced and comfortable on working with it.

A sewing machine is one of the most important equipment that a quilter needs to work with, besides a whole world of amazing tools and notions.

So often, a layperson, who has no clue of this wonderful world, will call every other fabric related project – sewing, and just the making of a quilt to be quilting.

Yes, there is an overlap, between the quilting world and the garment making world. As the foundation of both stems from the same fabrics, techniques, tools and notions and so are the required skill sets. However, not every quilter can make garments and vice versa.

We at Simply Beautiful Always are doing our part in bringing and reviving the wonderful world of hobbies – Quilting is a big part of it and we are doing our best to suggest some easy projects and kits to begin with.

We hope that many discover the joys of creating beautiful and useful things with their own hands, giving them the satisfaction and the thrill to touch, feel and enjoy their creations for many years to come.

ABOUT SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL ALWAYS JOURNEY

My ‘ Simply Beautiful ‘ journey began in January 2013. After living in St Petersburg, Florida for over 4 years, my husband Alok and I decided to relocate to Mumbai. I wanted an ‘ American Take Away’ for myself – something that could become a part of me forever. This earnest quest of mine landed me to discover the amazing world of quilting. In one year, thanks to Alok’s frequent travels to different cities in the US, I visited about 100 quilt shops all over the US and everywhere I found very happy quilters who were very committed and passionate about their hobby.

Once we returned to Mumbai and settled down, I started to yearn for two things. I started missing the fabulous quilting community of the US and I began to get a strong urge to give back to society in my own capacity. It is then that I got the idea of sourcing and sharing wonderful Indian fabrics with American quilters and decided that if I ever succeeded then I would use my personal earnings to make a difference in the right direction.

I have started to learn about the types of yarns and fabrics, the dyes used, the different processes used to make different fabrics etc. I travel to different parts of India to source fabrics and build my network of suppliers and manufacturers. To my utter shock, even at my age, I encounter a lot of resistance from the businessmen primarily because I am a woman and an intelligent one, who is not willing to take ‘ no ‘ for an answer!

I have been regularly going back to the US with Alok and ever since my start up, I do land up traveling to the US on my own too. I often say, that my work related trips take me to the real America. These are not only the big and famous cities but very small and tiny towns, like Paducah, Kentucky and La Veta, Colorado. The size of the quilt shows and exhibitions that take place in such small cities and all over the US, all-round the year is mind boggling!

The visitors to these shows include very successful practicing doctors, engineers, lawyers, bankers and people from all walks of life. For them, the 2 to 3 days of the exhibition is their ‘Retreat’ – time to reboot themselves, an opportunity to learn various new concepts and techniques and to discover all the different types of new merchandise available for helping them with their hobby. Many come alone, while several come in bus loads. There are so many beautiful ever lasting friendships that have blossomed there. When I look around, I find everyone so happy and enjoying every moment at the show.

This has made me understand that if you have the passion, then you can balance your families, careers, social commitments and still manage to have time for yourself and for your favorite hobbies and pastimes. When time is scarce, you never let even a minute go wasted. You live up the moments when you are just having fun with your loved ones making it very memorable and satisfying all the way.

My ‘ Simply Beautiful ‘ journey began in January 2013. After living in St Petersburg, Florida for over 4 years, my husband Alok and I decided to relocate to Mumbai. I wanted an ‘ American Take Away’ for myself – something that could become a part of me forever. This earnest quest of mine landed me to discover the amazing world of quilting. In one year, thanks to Alok’s frequent travels to different cities in the US, I visited about 100 quilt shops all over the US and everywhere I found very happy quilters who were very committed and passionate about their hobby.

Once we returned to Mumbai and settled down, I started to yearn for two things. I started missing the fabulous quilting community of the US and I began to get a strong urge to give back to society in my own capacity. It is then that I got the idea of sourcing and sharing wonderful Indian fabrics with American quilters and decided that if I ever succeeded then I would use my personal earnings to make a difference in the right direction.

I have started to learn about the types of yarns and fabrics, the dyes used, the different processes used to make different fabrics etc. I travel to different parts of India to source fabrics and build my network of suppliers and manufacturers. To my utter shock, even at my age, I encounter a lot of resistance from the businessmen primarily because I am a woman and an intelligent one, who is not willing to take ‘ no ‘ for an answer!

I have been regularly going back to the US with Alok and ever since my start up, I do land up traveling to the US on my own too. I often say, that my work related trips take me to the real America. These are not only the big and famous cities but very small and tiny towns, like Paducah, Kentucky and La Veta, Colorado. The size of the quilt shows and exhibitions that take place in such small cities and all over the US, all-round the year is mind boggling!

The visitors to these shows include very successful practicing doctors, engineers, lawyers, bankers and people from all walks of life. For them, the 2 to 3 days of the exhibition is their ‘Retreat’ – time to reboot themselves, an opportunity to learn various new concepts and techniques and to discover all the different types of new merchandise available for helping them with their hobby. Many come alone, while several come in bus loads. There are so many beautiful ever lasting friendships that have blossomed there. When I look around, I find everyone so happy and enjoying every moment at the show.

This has made me understand that if you have the passion, then you can balance your families, careers, social commitments and still manage to have time for yourself and for your favorite hobbies and pastimes. When time is scarce, you never let even a minute go wasted. You live up the moments when you are just having fun with your loved ones making it very memorable and satisfying all the way.

I have understood the importance & necessity of creative pursuits as these help you in your growth and development and complete you as an individual. It is only once I immersed myself with this venture, that I started to understand my goal and purpose of Simply Beautiful. It is important that we stay in a positive and happy place and to achieve this our minds should never be idle. It should always be occupied with ideas that make us look ahead in life. Only if we are happy can we inspire our loved ones to be happy too.

‘Happily busy hands and a busy mind, always make joy and bliss so easy to find.
‘Now is the time that we make our life and our world around ‘ Simply Beautiful Always ‘

मेरी ‘ सिम्प्ली ब्यूटिफ़ुल ‘ की यात्रा जनवरी २०१३ में शुरू हुई। ४ साल से अधिक समय तक सेंट पीटर्सबर्ग, फ्लोरिडा में रहने के बाद, मेरे पति आलोक और मैंने मुंबई में स्थानांतरित करने का फैसला किया। मैं अपने लिए एक ‘ अमेरिकन टेक अवे ‘ ( यादगार ) चाहती थी – ऐसा कुछ जो मेरी आने वाली ज़िंदगी का पर्मनेंट हिस्सा बन सके। मेरी इस खोज ने मुझे क्विल्टिंग की अद्भुत दुनिया से परिचय करवाया। एक वर्ष में, अमेरिका में जिस शहर में भी आलोक अपने ऑफ़िस के काम से जाते थे , में उस शहर की क्विल्ट की दुकानो का दौरा करने में जुट जाती थी । इस कारण मैंने एक वर्ष में तक़रीबन १०० दुकानो का दौरा कर लिया था। हर जगह मुझे बहुत खुश क्विल्टर्ज़ मिलते थे, जो अपने शौक ( हॉबी) के बारे में बहुत प्रतिबद्ध और भावुक थे।

एक साल बाद, जब हम मुंबई लौट आए और फिर से बस गए। अब मैंने दो चीजों के लिए उत्सुक होना शुरू कर दिया। मैंने अमेरिका के शानदार क्विल्टिंग समुदाय को याद करना शुरू कर दिया और में अपनी क्षमता के अनुसार समाज के लिए कुछ करने के लिए प्रेरित होने लगी। तब मुझे अमेरिकी क्विल्टर्ज़ के साथ हमारे अद्भुत भारतीय कपड़े ( फ़ाब्रिक्स ) साझा करने का विचार आया और फैसला किया कि यदि मैं कभी सफल हुयी तो मैं सही दिशा में बदलाव लाने के लिए अपनी निजी कमाई का उपयोग करूँगी।

तबसे मैंने यार्न और कपड़ों के विभिन प्रकार, अलग-अलग कपड़े बनाने वाली विभिन्न प्रक्रियायें, रंगनेवाले डाइज़ जो अनेक तरेके से इस्तेमाल किए जाते हैं, इन सब चीज़ों के बारे में जानना और सिखना शुरू कर दिया है। मैं अक्सर भारत के विभिन्न हिस्सों में कपड़ों के व्यापारियों और निर्माताओं से डिरेक्ट कपड़ा ख़रीदने के लिए यात्रा करती हूं। मेरी उम्र में भी मुझे कपड़ों के व्यवसायियों से बहुत अधिक प्रतिरोध का सामना करना पड़ता है, क्योंकि मैं एक बुद्धिमान महिला हूं, जो ‘ नहीं ‘ को जवाबस्वीकार करने के लिए तैयार नहीं है!

मैं नियमित रूप से आलोक के साथ अमेरिका वापस जाती रहती हूं और जब से ‘ सिम्प्ली ब्यूटिफ़ुल ‘ की शुरुआत हुई है , तबसे तो मुझे अपने काम के सीसिले के कारण वहाँ अकेले भी जाना पड़ता है। मैं अक्सर कहती हूं, कि मेरे काम से संबंधित यतराए मुझे असली अमेरिका में ले जाती है। ये न केवल बड़े और प्रसिद्ध शहर हैं, बल्कि और भी बहुतसी छोटी छोटी जगहाए भी हैं, जैसे पदूकहा – केंटकी और ला वेता – कोलोराडो। इस तरह के छोटे और बड़े अमरीकी शहरों में साल भर के ‘ क्विल्टिंग ‘ के शोस और प्रदर्शनिया बिलकुल आश्चर्य जनक होती हैं।

इन शोस में भाग लेने वाले आगंतुकों ( विज़िटर्ज़ ) में डॉक्टर, इंजीनियर, वकील, बैंकर और जीवन के सभी क्षेत्रों के लोगों से मुलाक़ात होती हैं । उनके लिए, प्रदर्शनी के २ से ३ दिन उनका ‘ रिट्रीट ‘ है – खुद को ‘ रिबूट ‘ करने का समय, विभिन्न नई अवधारणाओं और तकनीकों को सीखने का अवसर और अपने शौक के साथ उनकी मदद के लिए उपलब्ध विभिन्न प्रकार के नए व्यापारों को खोजने का अवसर। कई अकेले आते हैं, जबकि कई एक समूह में बसों में पिकनिक मनाते हुए आते हैं। इतनी खूबसूरत दोस्तीयां हैं जो एसी प्रदर्शिनयो की वजह से बनी हैं, और बहुत अछे से और सालों साल निभ रही हैं। जब मैं चारों ओर देखती हूं, तो मुझे यहाँ पर हर कोई बहुत ख़ुश और आनंदमय मिलता है।

इससे मुझे समझ में आया है कि यदि आपके अंदर जुनून है, तो आप अपने परिवार, करियर, सामाजिक प्रतिबद्धताओं को संतुलित कर सकते हैं और अभी भी अपने लिए और अपने पसंदीदा शौक और होब्बियों के लिए समय निकाल सकते हैं। जब समय दुर्लभ होता है, तो आप कभी भी एक भी मिनट बर्बाद नहीं होने देते हैं। आप अपने हर एक क्षण को जी भरके जीते हैं।आप अपने प्रियजनों के साथ बिताया हुए समय का भी पूरा आनंद ले रहे होते हैं जिससे वो सभी क्षण बहुत ही यादगार बन जाते हैं और आपका मन संतुष्ट हो जाता है।

अब मैंने रचनात्मक गतिविधियों के महत्व और आवश्यकता को समझ लिया है। इनसे आप अपने उन्नति और अपने विकास कर सकते हैं और अपना ख़ुद का एक अस्तित्व बना सकते हैं। जबसे मैंने सच्ही
लगन से ‘ सिम्प्ली ब्यूटिफ़ुल ‘ की शुरुआत करी हैं, तभिसे मुझे मेरे काम का लक्ष्य और उद्देश्य समझ आया हैं। यह महत्वपूर्ण है कि हम एक सकारात्मक और खुशहाल जगह पर रहें और इसे प्राप्त करने के लिए हमारा दिमाग कभी निष्क्रिय न हों। हमारि सोच हमेशा सकारात्मक होनी चाहिए जो हमें जीवन में हरपल आगे बड़हाए। जब हम स्वयं खुश होंगे तभी ही हम अपने प्रियजनों को भी खुश होने के लिए प्रोत्साहित कर पाएँगे।

अस्त तक ख़ुशी से व्यस्त और हमेशा हमेशा के लिए मस्त!

ये सही समय है जब हम साथ मिलकर अपने जीवन और हमारी दुनिया को ‘ सिम्प्ली ब्यूटिफ़ुल ‘ बना सकते हैं।

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