February 3, 2012

Quilts of Goa : The Making of a Godhadi (traditional Goan Quilt)

The traditional Godhadi is actually quite simple in its design, but like most crafts, it takes time, effort and attention to details to get it right.

Old saris and leftover pieces of cloth are reused to make soft adult and baby-sized quilts. In the demos at the workshop, we saw different kinds of techniques and patterns.

Here, a single 6-yard sari is folded into half. There should be no ‘fall’ on the bottom edge as that will double the thickness of the quilt in that area leaving the other side a bit lop-sided.

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To make a thicker quilt, two saris can be used together. Here, the green sari was folded into half, then opened out so that only one green layer was on the table. The white sari was then folded and kept on that green layer. The other half of the green sari was then put on top, making it look like a delicious green coriander chutney sandwich. The saris are smoothed again and again with both hands to ensure that no creasing or puckering happens. It is easier if two or more people are doing this at either ends of the table. 

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This method of using little squares or triangles to create a design on the quilt involves a template and lots of cutting! The squares are then individually stitched to one another and then onto the larger fabric.

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Once the saris are in place, a simple running stitch in white thread along the border holds the two folded halves together. Additional stitches running horizontally and vertically make the quilt stronger, as do designs with thread along the border (flowers, semi-circles etc). The women at the workshop prefer to work with sewing machines as the output is quicker and the strain on the eyes and body is reduced. They still do hand-stitching, though, but the sewing machine is fast gaining popularity in this tiny group of women who are keeping the craft alive.

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Many hands make light work.

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All images by me.

4 comments:

Designwali said...

Wow..what a great initiative. Very cool that you are quilting!

billie said...

Have you heard about the new movie, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel?" It looks so charming and your colors reminded me of the preview online.

peggy braswell said...

How interesting + beautiful your blog is...coming over to your blog because of Paris Apartment. Greetings from LA CA xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

Veena said...

My mother has been traditionally machine-sewing Godhadi's for many years.Even her grand-children fondly snuggle up in them in USA and New Zealand. Cherished memories.
Please find me on www.walktomarket.wordpress.com
I have a page on quilting.

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