Stitches of Western India -Quilting tour

An 11 day guided tour through the Western Ghats of Maharashtra and North Karnataka with Shruti Dandekar.

 We’re super excited to bring to you the “Stitches of Western India” Quilting tour. This 11 day tour will take you through the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka actually bringing you to the homes of the Godhadi and Siddi Quilt makers from the two states. These are the humble homes of the simple people who rarely are aware that what they are making as a domestic item is a work of art. You can interact with them, talk to them and if they’re willing, even buy stuff from them. Not just that it will have ample opportunities to meet contemporary quilters as well as good Samaritans who are working hard to conserve, promote and celebrate this dying art.

Throughout your journey, you will be joined by Shruti Dandekar as your guide. Shruti, an architect who took up quilting on a sabbatical and is now totally in love with it, is well known equally for her modern as well as art quilts. She has conducted numerous workshops teaching the different techniques she uses to make her quilts. She has also been a speaker at international conferences where she has taken the humble Godhadi to a global platform.

The trip will not just include visits to Godhadi makers, but also visits to local fabric (and other) markets, a little bit of sight-seeing and interactions with the contemporary quilters in town.

The tour will end with a two day holiday at Goa with an option to return to Mumbai or, if you purchase an add-on package, heading over to Chennai to attend the first ever India International Quilt Festival (25th to 29th January)

Here’s the plan for all the 11 days.

Jan 13: The tour starts with a wonderful day in Mumbai. It includes a lot of fabric shopping & sightseeing. Plus in the evening we visit the Bernina Creative Center and spend some time with the local quilters of Mumbai. We stay in Mumbai so that we can be ready for the next day too.

Jan 14: We spend another glorious day in Mumbai. We visit a local quilt making unit which provides employment opportunities to women in the city. We also spend some time visiting the Discovery of India exhibit to know about the cultural heritage of India throughout the ages. We spend another night at Mumbai before we head south in the morning.

Jan 15: We travel to Lonavala, trending into the smaller villages to meet the local Godhadi makers at their door step. We actually see their lifestyle and interact with them directly. We stay the night in Lonavala and enjoy a cool evening at the most favorite summer destination of the British Raj.

Jan 16: We head over to Pune in the morning and visit the local Godhadi makers while visiting their lovely little homes in the outskirts of this IT hub of the state. But our adventures here don’t end. We stay the night geared up for another day in town.

Jan 17: This morning we head over to the local market and go fabric shopping. You will love petting the gorgeous block prints and silks and the shot cottons and the soft thin mulls.  We will also visit the Kelkar Museum where you will get to know more about the history of the state. Late in the evening, we head over to Mahabaleshwar and get rested before another fun day awaits us.

Jan 18: We spend the day visiting local Godhadi makers of the Wai-Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar region. We will also spend some time at a few tourist ‘points’ and then stroll through the local market before calling it a day.

Jan 19: We travel to Sangli and visit Shruti’s studio - 13 Woodhouse Road. You get to see her quilts and also enjoy the sights and the simple joys that this little town brings. We stay in Sangli and get ready to head even more southwards.

Jan 20: We travel to Ichalkaranji – a local textile hub with a lot of spinning mills and visit local Godhadi makers here. We travel further south post lunch, cross the Maharashtra – Karnataka border and call it an early evening at Hubali.

Jan 21:  This is the day we get ready to explore the Siddi communities. We travel to Mundgod and visit two different Siddi settlements – as diverse as they can be. Once again, we spend time interacting directly with the quilt makers themselves and knowing their stories. At the end of the day we go westwards and prepare ourselves for a typical holiday in South Goa.

Jan 22:  We spend the day visiting the local attractions that this little state is famous for. At dinner we have a little goodbye party at the hotel. We’re sure it will be filled with lots of fun and laughter.

Jan 23:  This day will also be spent sightseeing in Goa. You will be heading back in the evening, either to Chennai to enjoy the quilt show (if you buy an add-on package) or to Mumbai.

Those who choose to buy the add-on package, will be provided Goa-Chennai (23rd January) and Chennai-Mumbai (30th January) flight arrangements, hotel accommodation in Chennai (23rd Jan – 30th Jan) as well as breakfast and dinner at the hotel. We are not including lunch because we’re sure you will want to have that at the Quilt Show.