Quilt Stats :
693 hours of applique
41 hours of quilting by Manisha Iyer of Studio Baani (Pune)
288 shades of fabric
Why did I make this quilt?
Ever since I started making portrait quilts, I had always dreamt of making something larger than life. This project is my attempt at making my dream a reality!
Why this picture?
My home town is Satara, the city which has a rich history. I spent my holidays hiking up the Ajinkyatara - one of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's forts with my cousins and friends. I grew up listening to stories of bravery and righteousness of this great warrior king. And my young mind was influenced by his many qualities.
A little bit about Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He is considered to be one of the greatest warriors of his time and even today, stories of his exploits are narrated as a part of the folklore.He had an inspiring and endearing personality which spontaneously commanded respect, loyalty and the highest sacrifices from his devoted soldiers and peasants. He was also the staunch promoter of secularism and roused the sleeping conscience of the nation. He was the ultimate man of the father of freedom movement in Maharashtra and source of inspiration to the Hindu throughout India.
Chatrapati Shivaji has influenced people for generations. There is just so much to learn from just reading his stories. Artists around me, before me and even today, have used their medium to express their respect and paid tribute to this inspirational hero. There are many films, books, paintings, songs even rangolis that have been created to pay homage to Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. I am using my medium - quilts- to do just that.
I chose this specific image because it is the most glorious moment in his life, where the dream that he saw since the age of 16 was finally realized. The coronation ceremony in itself was an iconic event that spoke of the grandeur and strength of the Maratha empire and Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj himself.
Making this quilt taught me a lot of things - patience, consistency, priorities, and skills. It also gave me a glimpse into people’s minds and what they thought about me. I believe after a 10 month effort, I have emerged on the other side as a better person!!!