Siddi or Kawandi quilts come from the western part of India and are made by people of African descent who came to India through enslavement by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century. Made to be slept on in hot weather, or under in the cooler monsoon season they are traditionally made using a sari base with appliqued patches of fabric built up on top, from a corner, the outside edges or the centre. The patches are held down with a running stitch and the overlapping patches are built up to cover the base cloth. Traditionally they are finished with a folded fabric square at each corner, known as a phula or flower, and some consider the Kawandi unfinished or undressed without it.
In this workshop we willl be making a mini quilt of approximately 19" x 25" to explore this technique using scraps of patchwork weight fabrics, personal cloth, labels or embroidery snippets. Essentially it is a quilt as you go technique as we will be sewing the patches to a backing and lining with the quilting stitches.
You need to bring:
- Backing: Carolyn suggests a tea towel (loosely woven, washed and clean!) as the edge is already finished and ready to work with. If you wish to use a piece of patchwork fabric, cut 19.5" x 25.5" and we can turn the hem in the workshop.
- Lining: Thin cotton wadding or cotton flannel work well, you need a piece 19.5" x 25.5". There will be some available to purchase on the day if you need it.
- Top, fabric scraps: Bring fabrics you want to use for the top, scraps, jelly rolls or pieces that you are happy to cut up. The corner 'flowers' can be made from one fabric or different ones. The more fabrics you use the more interesting the quilt will be.
- Thread: Valdani cotton perle no 12, Aurifil 12wt, Wonderfil Spaghetti or equivalent. You can use a variegated thread, or solids and different colours to add interest. You will also need tacking thread.
- Needles: Embroidery or Betweens no 6 is Carolyn's preferred option but please bring whatever you find easy to handle and can thread.
- Thimbles if you use them when quilting.
- Pinning: Fine patchwork pins, short applique pins or flat headed pins to hold scraps in place or a fabric glue stick
- Finger Pressing: The scraps need to have a hem folded under, this can be done by finger pressing or by using a wooden or plastic seam iron or a seam roller.
- Basic hand sewing kit: Including fabric scissors and thread scissors.