Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Wonderful Wednesday - TSC22 - The Kawandi Experiment

Welcome to another edition of Wonderful Wednesday!!  The project I'm sharing today has been in the works for more than a month.  The fabric pull had been sitting of the cutting table for inspiration to strike, as a gift needed to be made for a special thank you.  Since Angela called for AQUA/TEAL as the February Color of the Month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I was pretty excited.  So much so that I got a wild hair a few weeks ago and I've been holding out on you.  Truth be told, though, I actually laid out the design on New Year's Day:

The idea came about after seeing THIS project by Linda @ Flourishing Palms, one of MANY she has done in the kawandi style since that time.  Traditional kawandi are sewn by hand from the outside into the center.  Her India Meets Ohio series (not necessarily her name for the series, but it's how I think of them) particularly appealed to me because of their fabric source.  Her grandmother's scrap bag, if I recall correctly.

The project waited...

And it waited...

Finally, after presenting the 2022 Guild Challenge to the board at Monday (2/6the board meeting...

I prepped the backing:

And began to sew:

As per usual, I didn't review the technique before jumping in with both feet.  There just wasn't any way (that I could see) to do the stitching in concentric rings with the sewing machine.  The piece was Kawandi-inspired, none the less:

Trying on the completed mug rug/mini quilt for size...

I like it:

Here's the flip side:

This photo shows the quilting/applique that was done:


This isn't FOR me and this (solid) space was driving me crazy.

Enter a quilt consult with Needleb...

I lamented:

Seems like it needs something else... But what???

She suggested...

One of the brighter fabrics in the center?

Followed by...

Are you trying to stay traditional Kawandi?  Or would you consider something figurative added, or a little bit of bright color big stitch?

My response???

LOL!  If I was trying to keep traditional, I would have done it by hand.  I thought about looking for more of the flamingo fabric, but hadn't considered big stitch quilting.  Not a bad idea!  Just not my style!

The next day...

I ripped a scrap paper and determined what margins would fit best and filled in the rest with one BIG, loopy "A" to fill the space:

That looks SEW good, but can I quilt it???

Personalized, although not exactly curvy as I'd hoped:

Wait a minute!!!

I noticed a raw edged seam and sent the following photo to Britt:

Her response was priceless!!!

Raw edge?  Um, who cares? The piece is held in place, you just added a bit of texture!

Me: You sure?

B: If you need someone else's opinion, ask Ms. (Deborah) Boschert ;)

B: She'd agree with me.

I guess that seals it.  (We took a class with Deborah a number of years ago and she is indeed for of raw edges for added texture in her work.)

Fingers crossed!  Hoping "A" thinks it's SEW perfect for her.

You may want to check out the following links...

In preparing this post, I watched a fabulous interview with Margaret Fabrizio.  Thanks to Joe the Quilter on YouTube.  That video ended with a fascinating demonstration by Margaret on how to make a kawandi.

I also found THIS fast speed Kawandi demo, as well as some of the footage that Margaret referred to filming of the Siddi women in India.  Don't miss this fabulous exhibit video!

I'm guessing I really SHOULD have reviewed, instead of doing my own thing based on what I remember Linda doing.  Alas, that is not always how I roll and the traditional way wouldn't have lent itself to my "modernized" technique of a machine made kawandi... Simply to see IF it could be done. I approached it in a different manner than some might.  From memory.  Not from studying the technique to make my quilt authentic.  I'm OK with that.

Best of all...

This little quilt is the epitome of AQUA/TEAL for February's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Every single fabric scrap and thread used in this project was the Color of the Month.  I am SEW pleased to have finally brought this project to fruition.

Sharing with Kelly
for her

Until next time...


  1. Wow, this is so neat!!! I had never heard of kawandi. Sewing from the outside to the center seems strange, but I just may have to try it. Thanks for educating me! ~Jeanne

  2. Wow! What a neat technique and what a great array of teals you were able to play with. Now is the A for a first name or a last name?

  3. Very pretty and I like the addition of the monogram!

  4. The Kawandi technique has intrigued me from the first time I saw it and now I'm even more inspired seeing you use the format with a sewing machine. It's all about the pedal to the metal for me! Thanks for the links to get me started and informed on the traditional ways. Heck, I may even have to find me a thimble! :)

  5. You not only used the RSC color of the month. but I'd called this an improv version of Kawandi, so you've also done a Table Scraps project. I've seen a lot of posts about this technique, but haven't tried it myself yet.

  6. I just learned about Kawandi earlier this month. You did well considering you were winging it.;

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  8. Oh my! :-) You made me smile. I'm glad that seeing my Kawandi was a bit of inspiration for you. And yes, I used my grandmother's vintage fabric scraps to make seven hand-stitched Kawandi. Not a one of them was for me, rather I made them as keepsakes for my cousins. I have Grandma's scraps! I've seen Kawandi done on the sewing machine, and I'm glad you worked out how to do it. Personally, I love the texture created by hand stitching with perle cotton. But to each her own, right? That's what makes quilting so attractive to a wide range of sewist/quilters. Your little piece turned out adorable! And yes, a bit of raw edge is perfectly acceptable. You simply added personality and character to your Kawandi!

  9. This is fun! I like your just do it approach and the way you fixed the bothersome square. Quite perfect for a TSC project.

  10. Well, I know who that's for and I love it!!!I'm calling the color, turquoise, because that is one of my most favorite colors. I have been following Margaret Fabrizio (and Joe), for years and knew the minute I opened it that was the inspiration. And the "A"... icing on the quilt (mug rug)! Thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity.


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