BENGALURU : Quilt art, also known as art quilting is an art form that uses traditional and modern techniques to create art objects. This piece of art is used as a wall hanging or could also be mounted as a sculpture. One such quilt artist, Kalindhi Hambir, found her calling in quilt making after working with colour and paint on canvas. She has painted potraits and has also done sewing on different fabrics. Mythili Bhat
A graduate from Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya in Pune, Kalindhi chose to study fine arts and specialised in portrait painting. In addition to being passionate about painting and sewing, she has been exposed to fine arts at an early age. Post marriage, along with the potrait paintings that she previously did, she saw these quilts and different fabrics as another medium of expression. She says, she’s always been attracted to the colourful and warm nature of quilts. “I would hug the quilts that my grandmother had sewn for me because I believed that she put all her love into making it.”
She made her first quilts for her children. These were made without using fine tools. “Before I knew more about quilts, I would use scissors to cut the fabrics for making quilts. I drew the shapes on the fabric with a pencil and then proceeded to cut it. I had to make a template.” But now Kalindhi can cut fabrics with more precision and speed using finer tools like rotary cutters and self-healing cutting mats, which allows her to cut multiple fabrics at the same time without damaging the workspace. Thereafter, she went on to make quilted cushions, purses and other items.
Kalindhi believes that the play of light and shadow are important in making a piece of art. “When you juggle around with light and shadows in paintings, it provides dimensions to the work.”
During her stay in China, Kalindhi trained in patchwork and quilting from the Japanese Quilt Association. She has tried out almost every quilting technique so far – traditional patchwork, raw edge applique, thread painting and so on.
In the pictorial art technique, Kalindhi shows how to blend the various fabrics of different colours together to get the final quilt. “We use freeze paper here. The image is edited using photoshop and then we convert the amount of colour into different values. After taking a printout of this, we decide the colours needed based on the values. Then I teach how to cut the fabric and weave the different pieces of the image onto the quilt,” she explains.
In the future she has plans of conducting other workshops on the concepts of raw edge applique and portrait paintings.Kalindhi will be conducting a workshop on the weaving of pictorial art on quilts from May 18 to May 20 at Tsala studio, where she will be focusing on weaving the maple leaf design on to quilts.