September 18, 2010

Wrap Youself in a Ralli Quilt!

Appliqued Ralli Quilt available on Rayela

Quilts captured my heart a couple of decades ago.  I love the traditional ones found all over the United States, contemporary ones made by fiber artists, and cultural ones found in Central Asia and other regions.  I've made quite a few myself and although I have a lot of patience, I don't have enough to translate time into a masterpiece of perfection.  In fact, I prefer rugged, uneven stitching in all textiles.  If I remember correctly, there is a Chinese tradition of making a purposeful mistake in an embroidery to keep the maker from getting a big head.  I wouldn't have to worry about that!  My quilts would probably fail most quilt show guidelines, although more and more, other fiber artists like me are pushing the boundaries to include rough handwork as a technique in surface design.

I sell textiles from around the world in my Etsy Shop.  Most are remnants or pieces which can be incorporated into new work.  But, I also sell finished, vintage pieces and of these, ralli quilts from India and Pakistan are my favorite.  The quilt above is an extraordinary piece which shows applique cutwork techniques also found in the work of the Hmong, the Kuna, and in Hawaiian quilts.  More common are patchwork quilts like the one below:

Patchwork Ralli Quilt available on Rayela

The backs often show signs of wear and tear:

 Damaged detail of a ralli quilt's back.

Does that look familiar to you?  I loved it so much that I used this thumbnail as the background texture for our TAFA Team blog.  I manipulated the color and hue to make it dark, but it is the same piece.

I have written several posts on my personal blog about ralli quilts and you can find them by clicking here.

To see my current stock of ralli quilts, visit my Etsy shop.

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