About

This is my blog and its mostly about my new venture – Shruti’s – the ‘up’cycle shop. Although you’ll find other posts like my poetry and a few personal moments too.

About Shruti’s : There is a lovely story behind this venture. It starts in 2007. After the birth of my son, I was left with tonnes of ill-fitting clothes. I did what normal Indian women would do. Selected a few and gave them away to my maids. But still I was left with three bagful of them. I gave them to a ‘boharin’ – a Maharashtrain woman, who goes from door to door collecting old clothes and giving stainless steel utensils in return.

Prema – that was her name – told me then that with the dropping prices of new clothes and an awareness about looking good, people were not buying these old clothes as much as they did earlier. All that she could give me, in return of 3 bagful of clothes was a small ‘dabba’.

The thoughts lingered in my mind for quite a longer time than I thought it would. The next time, i had a few old clothes left – and this time there were just a couple of dresses, i decided to make something creative out of them. I ended up using the dupattas to make these lovely pillow covers.

They were just wonderful and my friends didn’t believe i had used my old clothes to do them.

I was happy. But still was left with the dresses of those dupattas. My mind got racing again. What could i make out of them?

My living room was being renovated at the time. Complete with a wooden trussed roof and a warli painting on one wall, it was a complete traditional looking. I was looking for a good seating to be kept there. My husband, Rohit, and I both liked the idea of having a ‘bajla’ a woven cot mostly foundon indian ‘dhaba’s, in our living room.

Then another idea struck me.Instead of buying a woven cot, why dont i weave one out of my old clothes? I got my carpenter to make a frame using leftover wood and got to work. I cut up strips of my dresses and made them into a stool. Both of us were happy with the result. And we made 3 more.  (I gave away one to my brother)

As a part of project at work, i had to visit the slums in the city. Meeting the women there really changed the way i thought. I felt i had to do something for them. But at that time, i did not know what.

It was in November 2009, when i thought of ‘up’cycling old clothes as a business venture. I started off with just a couple of women doing the sewing. But soon the idea grew to a larger scale and today i have about a 50 women who work for me.

I am happy to say that, these women earn a decent INR 200, working from home. And since i teach them to sew new things, they increase their skill also.

My future blogs will give you an idea of what we manufacture. The range of products is from doormats to bedspreads and cushion covers to mobile pouches.

We also came up with the idea of making grocery bags from old newspaper. Currently we can manufacture about 50,000 to 1,00,000 bags a month.

Shruti’s – the ‘up’cycle shop, was started as something that I could occupy myself with during the break that i took from my work, following a short illness. But soon, it has been a very successful enterprise with an ever-increasing list of clients.

I’m Shifting…

No guys, not physically… I’m shifting my blog permanently to blogger… I find it easier to handle…
You can find at

http://13woodhouseroad.blogspot.com

A giveaway with a difference

As I had already told all of you, I was going to shift all my stuff into my out-house… But while cleaning it I realized that not only was the roof leaking, but there were a few mice in it!!!

I just cannot stay in a place like that… So back to my old sewing room I came… But the stuff just wont fit in… What do I do now… Hold a huge giveaway…

But there’s a small cliche… Its not exactly a giveaway… Its a kid of swap… I’ll send you the item you win, but you have to send me a Fat Quarter from your stash which you like the least… It’ll help you get rid of at least one item from your stash that you are not a fan of… And it’ll help me retrive the cost of shipping all these items internationally…

So here’s the list…


First is a set of 7 Kitchen Napkins… They’re made from Blue and White denim and have been hand appliquéd… They’re adorable…. I have only one of these…



Next is a set of 7 white kitchen napkins with different colored borders… I have 4 such sets to give away…



Next is a pencil case… I have 5 of these…3


Then, I have these bottle warmers… I have 10 of these…


Next is about 20 of these coin purses…


And the bumper item, A silk saree bedspread…


How can you qualify for the giveaway… Its simple JUST LEAVE A COMMENT STATING WHATS THE BEST THING YOU’VE LIKED ABOUT MY BLOG

This can include things from my old blog also…


Be a follower and get a 2nd entry…


Blog about it and you win 2 more entries…

Join the Spread the Cheer group and win another 1 entry!

Just dont forget to leave a comment about it…


Giveaway ends Midnight IST Sunday 27th June 2010.


Spread the word…

Win, Exchange… Enjoy…


Dont forget to take a peep at this post. If you can help me complete my 40 quilts for charity, I’ll be very happy indeed…


Thanks a lot…



As I said two posts back, I’m planning to donate 40 baby quilts to an orphanage here in Sangli. I’d like to tell you all a little about the organisation…

This is an excerpt taken from the website of the organisation. You can read more about it here

Lighting the Lamp of Love – BSSK:

“All children are beautiful when they are loved”

Bertha ‘Grandma’ Holt

Look into the eyes of a helpless child and you see your whole world fall apart…. Hear the haunting cry of a baby and listen to your heart beating with pain. Touch the fingers of a newborn and hold on to all the humanity you can msuter… Here is the story of an organization called BSSK.

In 1979 an Institution of love was born in Pune, India, when Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra (BSSK) was founded as an Indian Charitable Trust and registered under the Bombay Public Trust Act of 1950. The aim was to provide welfare services to families and children in need, irrespective of caste, creed, community or religion. This non-political, non-profit making organization is licensed as a “Fit Institution” by the Commissionerate of Women and Child Welfare, Maharashtra.

To secure the basic right of every child to family life, BSSK was established in Pune. October 21, 1979 marked the formal inauguration and beginning of BSSK from a rented stone bungalow on Koregaon Road.

In 1980 Educational sponsorship was initiated to help children from poor families thereby strengthening the family unit of the child. BSSK helps deserving students pursue their education for improving their future prospects, preventing school drop outs, and preventing destitution, child labour, institutionalization and delinquency.

In 1981 Indian adoptions took a leap forward with BSSK’s first child being adopted by an Indian family. Adoption process is based on rules, regulations and norms based on Guidelines, Court directives and experience of the agency. Every child has a right to have his/her own family. Adoption is one form of building a family.

The story of BSSK continues where abundant love works the magic of transformation, where care gives childhood another chance and where integrity makes it all worth while! Come, journey into a different world with us…

Founder Trustees:

Dr. (Late) (Mrs.) Banoo J. Coyaji

Mrs. Usha Modak
(Late) Mr. A. D. Gadkari

Location:

BSSK is headquartered in Pune (Maharashtra, India). We also have branches in Aurangabad, Sangli and Chiplun (Maharashtra).

______________________________________

This is an institute which I’ve been a part of in more than one ways. I was a member of the team that designed the building for the organisation. Also, through my MIL I’ve been sponsoring students here. But I was most deeply moved by the children here. I have seen premature babies brought here from dustbins around the city… people have left them near temples… Karna(the Sangli branch of BSSK) has provided them with a home to this children… I wish to provide them the warmth that every child deserves…

I once again appeal to all you generous hearts out there to help me in any way you can…

A few more things,
1. The organization will give me a certificate stating the donation that I’ll make, I’ll be scanning and sending them to all those who donate generously.

2. I’ll be making 42 quilts instead of 40. I’ll get the orphanage children to pick 2 names from amongst those who donate who will win the giveaway on the day of Diwali – November 5

3. Donations shall not include Cash

4. You can donate anything of the following

Fabric (Scraps are welcome)
Batting (Scraps are welcome)
Blocks that you’ve stowed away
Incomplete works
Binding strips left over
Anything else that you can find relevant

5. If you’re interested in sending full made quilts you’re more than welcome.

6. Please mail me for any queries.

7. Join the Flickr Pool for this charity, I’m calling it Spread the Cheer!!!

Thank you all!!!

Baby Quilts for the Orphanage

Hello All,
I’m doing my first charity quilting. I’m gifting the local orphanage baby quilts with the names of the babies appliqued on them. These are really tiny babies, say about 2-6 months old (I hate to think why their parents would give them up). So the quilts will be about 36″ x 36″
I wanted to ask you all if you would donate anything for it… Blocks, spare binding, fabric, spare batting… absolutely anything…. You can even make lovely labels for them… There will be about 40 quilts to make… The names will be the last ones to be appliqued… And since they want them to be done in Marathi (our local language) I cannot ask you all to help me there…
The target is diwali (somewhere around november) for the completion of these quilts…

If you’re interested, please leave me a comment with your email address and I’ll contact you right away!!!
Thanks a lot!!!

I’m back!!!

It has been a tiring week! First was the issue with the internet connection back at my mother’s place. And I came back home on Monday only to find my PC not working either!! When it came back from the service center (which by the way is run by my dear husband) we realized that the broadband connection was not working.

It took 2 days for the engineer just to create a short-cut for it. And that was when we realized we had lost the username and password!! Wow!!!

After another 2 days of searching for it in vain. I ultimately decided to try it myself. I deleted all the “new connections” that the engineer had made and restarted the PC! And guess what!!! It started running absolutely smoothly…

:))

So all of you must be wondering why aren’t there any updates about my products. Well Shruti’s – the ‘up’cycle shop is having a vacation! We’ll reopen on the 1st of June… Till then enjoy my quilting!!!

My Favorite Blogger # 3 : John Adams

The first thing that struck me when I saw John’s blog was that HE WAS A MAN WHO QUILTED!!! I got curious and went through his archives. Every page brought forth the exceptinal talent that he has. He is so lively, you can feel his excitement even through his words. Be it participating in the Doll Quilt Swap or the hundreds of quilting bees that he’s a part of. He has taken the female dominated quilting world by a storm and created a place for himself! His work is so inspiring. He makes it all look so easy. Do you think I’d have dared to attempt making string blocks for a table runner if it hadn’t been for his great tutorial on Moda Bake Shop?

He recently hosted a MEGA GIVEAWAY to celebrate his 2nd Blogiversary! I am glad that I was a part of it.

All the best to you, John. Thanks for all the help & the inspiration!

My Favorite Blogger # 2 : Elizabeth Hartman

I came across Elizabeth’s’ site, http://www.ohfransson.com, during my search for a sewing machine. I was completely  smitten by her work. Firstly, Its SO NEAT!!! I mean, straight lines are PERFECTLY straight! Seam allowances are even. The quilt blocks lie flat!! At that time, my only intention of buying a sewing machine was for routine household sewing. I could not resist going through her blog. When I saw the beautiful quilts she had made I thought, What the heck! I can try my hand at this.

I followed her directions for the mod sampler quilt religiously and made my first quilt. I totally enjoyed the process. And then there was no looking back. I made 4-5 quilts using the quilting basics that are so beautifully illustrated on her site. I even went on and did the free motion quilting, something that I had completely dreaded.

I have been asking her thousands of questions right from the beginning. And she has answered each one of them with a lot of patience. The impression that her mails gave me were that of a very warm lady. She sure knows her job the best and yet she’s always ready to share her knowledge with everyone else.

In course of my search for tutorials on the www, hers was the blog with the maximum tutorials. All of them are so neatly drafted. There is little doubt in our minds after going through them.

The final moment came, when I attempted the paintbox quilt-along. It was fun to do it at a decent pace of 8 blocks a week. I’m looking forward to her next quilt along.

She’s also finished writing her first book.

The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker (Paperback)

You can find the link here.

Wish you all the best with your book, Elizabeth. You’ve been one of my favorite teachers. (The others are mostly my primary school teachers)

So all my dear friends, do have a look at her website. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

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