Friday, January 30, 2015

Indian Fabric Series - Bandhani

I generally blog about things I make. With this post I am starting a series on unique indigenous fabrics. India is a fabric gold mine!
We don't easily get cute designer prints(which I covet so much).  I am always on the look out for people travelling from USA to bring some for me. Also we don't have any fabric stores online in India yet. I struggle to find new modern printed fabric in India. Isn't it strange because a lot of things sold abroad are made in India! Those designs look so chic and trendy! Well the grass always greener on the other side of the fence!

In my search for getting the right fabric for things I want to sew, I realised that "my own" fabric is pretty darn good too! There is so much variety. Sure a lot of prints are very ethnic, but that's what makes it so one of a kind. This is my journey on an exploration of things around me.

Lately I have been seeing SOoooooo many posts on Japanese Shibori tie-dye techniques. These are signature indigo and white fabrics. Very beautiful and elegant. Everytime I see a new post on Shibori I can't help thinking that we have such a rich tradition of tie-dye in India itself! I am partly Rajasthani, so it is only befitting that I start off the series with bandhani fabrics. This is the original tie-dye from the states of Rajasthan and Gujrat.

I didn’t have to go far, I had a closet full of them!

India is the land of colour riot! Everything is vibrant and alive.
The fabrics here are mostly chiffon, cotton and silks.

A lot of the tie-dye fabric come with an exquisite embroidery of sequins and golden/silver ribbon called gota. This work is called "Gota Patti".

I will try my best to incorporate this pretty fabric in my sewing this year.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Going Yachting Quilt

I fell in love with this print!  The moment I saw it, I had to have it. My first reaction was this would make a nice quilt for bu-bu.
Actually I was shopping to make a baby quilt for a friend's yet to be born baby. Evolet has her yachting blanket already, hopefully she's snuggling up with her's!
I have made a few baby blankets before and those go by easy now.

For Adrika's quilt I wanted to go big. This one is 58 inches by 62 inches. Hopefully it would last a good amount of time!

The top layer is flannel. I have used a polyester batting which was quite a high loft. It gives this quilt a big puffy feeling and also lends warmth. The backing of the quilt is plain old baby friendly - muslin.

This one is not perfect. The quilting lines don’t go all parallel, the binding was not all even throughout. In fact I had to rip apart so many seams that its not even funny! Whatever the case maybe, I am still proud of this one. I have sewn a full quilt! I have learnt a few lessons and hopefully things would turn out better the next time I try it.

Hopefully next time I would have the fortitude to piece together a more fancy quilt top. Would love to try some beautiful triangles or hexagons.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Thai Red Curry

A trip to a friend's farm yielded in a lot of fresh bounty! The inspiration for this curry came from the bunch of lemon grass in the goodies basket. This curry is made from scratch.

Red Curry Paste

Ingredients -

15 odd dry red chillies
10 peppercorns
1 tbspn dry roasted coriander seeds
1 tspn dry roasted cumin seeds
3 stalks of lemon grass(6 inches long)
1/4 cup coriander stems and leaves
1/4 cup onion or shallot
2 tbspn garlic
1 tbspn ginger or galangal
1 tspn minced lemon peel
3 kafir lime leaves or normal lime leaves

Procedure -

Soak the red chillies in warm water for 20 mins. Grind to a spice powder - peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds. Chop lemongrass finely and add to a blender. Add the red chillies and spice powder. Add coriander leaves and stems, onion, garlic, ginger, lemon peel, lime leaves, salt to taste. Grind to a fine paste with very little water.
This curry paste can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Thai Red Curry

Ingredients -

3 tbspn red curry paste
1 tbspn oil
Vegetables of choice - carrots, bell peppers, babycorn, broccoli
1 cup thick coconut milk
2 cups thin coconut milk
salt to taste
juice of lemon

Procedure -

Heat oil in a wok, add the curry paste and fry well. Add the vegetables of choice and cook till done. Vegetables should still retain some crunch. Add salt and a small piece of jaggery. Add the thick and thin coconut milk and bring to a boil. Take it off the heat. Add the juice of a lemon. Serve with steamed rice.