Sari Bari

I can’t remember how and when I came across with Sari Bari but since then I really liked what they do. They recycle old sari and rescue women in India.

When I saw they are looking for donations of quilts for fundraising auction, I signed up. The mission was to make a quilt with recycled sari. Well interesting challenge I thought.

And a bag of sari arrived. Some are huge prints, some are very worn out and some are bit stained. All were still holding nice waxy smell.

It took me a long time to get enough encouragement to start because I knew these fabrics don’t behave anything like quilting cotton. It would drive me mad if I tried to rotary cut because straight lines won’t stay straight even for a second. The reason is they are all made with really fine yarn and loosely woven. So, instead of rotary cutting I just ripped which will happen along on the grain more or less.

Yes I could use some stabiliser but that will lose nice soft texture which I didn’t want to happen at all.

In order to mix up large prints, I chose improv piecing for this quilt and I worked mainly purple and green fabric within the given ones.

All straight ripped fabrics were stitched as straight as possible. I didn’t trim excess fabric in order to avoid pieced parts to become smaller and they were just folded over.

It didn’t end up in a bad shape. The top was well over two meters on all sides which I measured against my body very roughly.

Finished top. Yes it's very wavy.

Since there were quite few more sari left after finishing the top, I made backing as well. The picture below is a fully stretched backing, ready for quilt sandwich which took me a good few hours to make each seam straight.

Baking made with sari

Sari is so soft and I didn’t spoil it.For that reason quilting was quite loose.

The first thing I did was stitch in ditch so the seams would stay straight as I wanted. After that was done, each space was small enough not to make too much shifting/puckering.

Since sari cotton was so light, entire quilt was so light too. It felt like a half of weight of previous quilt.

I added those small hexagon applique to cover some torn parts I found after I finished the top and added more as decoration.

I quilted along the prints on some parts. Not much geometric shape but more doodling.

After trimming super uneven edges and binding with a perfect match of green and purple fabric, this quilt became a good king size. I haven’t done proper measurement yet but it fitted on our bed perfectly.

Finished quilt

As a result of quilting, all the seam on the backing became wiggly naturally but only minor puckering happened which was a relief.

The back of quilt





4o shades of green.
May 4, 2019 10:15 pm

Hi Tomomi, I am also making a Sari Bari quilt. Would you consider exhibiting your quilt along side mine at the River of Dreams quilt exhibition and we could tell the Sari Bari’s story.

May 5, 2019 7:59 pm

Hi Amanda, yes that will be interesting!