Shreedevi Poduval grew up in a household where they used to sew their own clothes. She describes her mother who is also her inspiration as ‘versatile with machine embroidery’. She remembers her mother sewing rugs out of sarees and bedsheets and making baby clothes and wraps for the newborns in the family. This family gift that was bestowed upon her makes her hopeful that one day she will achieve her dream of putting together ‘SHREEQUILTSCAPE:- a landscape of Shree’s quilts’.
It was while studying child psychology in college that she was exposed to the various textile approaches in India. For someone who loved sewing since her younger days, Shreedevi finds it ironic that she did not sew for 30 years. Like most of us, she too enjoyed buying readymade goods, but that changed when she decided to take a sabbatical from her busy career and follow her heart’s calling. It was her younger sister Devaki, a fellow quilter, who encouraged her to start quilting, organic gardening, and running. It was after joining the ‘Mumbai meri Jaan’ joint quilt submission for the 1st India International Quilt festival in Chennai in 2019, that she developed an understanding of different quilting techniques. Visiting the exhibition made her realise the depth and immense potential it had.
As a self-taught quilter, she emphasises that YouTube and Pinterest were her biggest saviours. “We are blessed to live in times where information is accessible online”, she says. She also made the same mistakes that most of us quilters make, but her dedication and passion helped her find new techniques to achieve her desired goal.
She started her journey by making custom memory quilts and recently started experimenting with incorporating various Indian art forms like Madhubani in an attempt to discover her unique style.
“It’s been incredible. I found my passion and maybe my calling. It’s been an evolution… a discovery of one’s potential by challenging oneself.” wrote Shreedevi when asked about her journey as a quilter.