Monday, December 3, 2012

A Gift of Love and Hope

It is a tradition among Bengali women to make quilts from old cotton fabrics (saris) for new born babies in the family. So,when my brother and sister-in-law announced that they were expecting their second baby sometime in October, my mother gathered all her old cotton saris, softened through years of wear and wash, and set about making a quilt. She soon realized that given her weakening eye sight, it was too difficult a task for her. Always eager to try a new craft, I decided to take it up.

Over the last few months, I spent most of my time hunched over my Bernina (Bernette 10) making my first attempt at sewing a quilt. It was also the first time I was using a sewing machine, and the first time I was doing applique.

By the first week of October, the quilt was done but our baby was in no condition to receive her special gift. Right after her birth she had to undergo a major operation which kept her in the nursing home for the entire month. Every day we came so close to losing her but she survived—by the grace of God and I believe by the strength of the hopes, good wishes, and love that her grandmoms, aunts, and sisters had sent her as they toiled at making her first bedclothes. I realized that the quilts were so much more than an art project. They were an expression of love and hope. The quilts, imperfect, as they may be, brought our baby safely home.

Friday, August 31, 2012


I couldn't wait to use my new Derwent Inktense Pencils again.  So, here's Azul, with her brilliant blue hair and her headdress of emeralds and peacock feathers.