Life & Style

Quilting it up

Karnataka, Bengaluru: 15/03/2017: Products at Vatsala studio of Vatsala Kamath, Quilt maker in Bengaluru on March 15, 2017. Photo : K. Bhagya Prakash.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

Vatsala Kamath is not interested in commercial ventures. In fact, the 59-year-old is passionate about teaching people stitching and quilting. To fulfil her desire, she started the Tsala Studio in 2015. “Tsala is a space for women, who share the same passion as me - quilting and stitching,” starts Vatsala, who conducts regular classes at Tsala and teaches interested people crafts such as sewing, patchwork, appliqué, quilting and embroidery. “Most women find it cumbersome to come for a one-or-two hour class because of the traffic and the distance in this city, so I generally have a full-day class for them. Everything here is flexible,” she smiles and talks about the genesis of Tsala.

“When we were young, we had no TV or Internet. So my mother would make us sit down on our sofa and teach us embroidery and stitching. We would sit together and work on our saris and create designs and patterns with needles and threads. I would give away mine as gifts to friends and family. This went on for years. I always had a desire to learn quilting too. A few years ago we went to Singapore for some work and lived there for three months. There I met a lady who designed quilts. So in all my free time, I learnt as much as I could and also completed 18 projects there,” recalls Vatsala.

Post return, she wanted to share that knowledge with women here. “I never had an idea to start a studio nor was I tech-savvy. I even had no idea about who would come for my classes. So I took a dealership of imported quilting machines and displayed them at the studio, hoping that people would come to at least see them. Gradually the number grew and the classes started,” beams Vatsala.

It is only now that she has started customising quilts. She also creates anything from hand-made appliquéd quilted bag, table cloths, pillow covers, cushion covers, quilts, wall hangings portraits etc. “They are not just for sale. People can just walk and point out to anything and I am willing to teach them that technique,” assures Vatsala.

She explains that quilting involves various techniques -- we have the Indian way and the Western style. “I am trained in the latter. Even that includes various techniques and cuts.”

About customising stuff, she says the challenge is in the pricing. “So much work goes into each piece. People feel that a stitched piece in cotton is priced high. They fail to look at the technique, the stitches and the works. But hope that changes too. And, I am happy just teaching so selling is the last thing on my mind,” adds the quilt maker.

(Vatsala can be contacted on 9880162266 or her FB page facebook.com/tsalastudio)


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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 6:13:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/quilting-it-up/article17574838.ece

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