Laxmi Devi quilt

Here’s what I’ve been working on the past couple weeks:

Yep that’s “Laxmi” from Sita Sings the Blues. Cotton fabric, polyester batting, polyester thread. 52″ wide by 72″ high – twice as big as any of my 4 Elements panels. I might sew some shiny gold sequin things coming out of Her open hand to symbolize the gold coins that are often shown pouring out of it.

I again used my “Trapplique” technique, combining trapunto and applique by quilting pieces first, then applying them to the background with a satin stitch. It makes a nice sculptural bas-relief effect.

Don’t worry, this Devi is now hanging on my wall. The floor is no place for a goddess, but it was the only area in my apartment large enough to position the pieces, trim the edges, and photograph the results. (The wall she’s hanging on now doesn’t have enough light or space around it to get a decent photo.)

It took a long time, just over 2 weeks during which I didn’t do much else. Here’s the back:

Notice the hanging sleeve at the top, and the signature tag I accidentally sewed on sideways.

Oops, right? Whatever, it still works.

Here’s the work-in-progress on the AMAZING used sewing cabinet I scored on Craigslist. This thing is the shizzle. Here’s an awful yet informative corporate video for it, which is basically porn for sewists.  I love this thing, because when I’m done with a project…

…it folds up like this. What a sewing nerd I’ve turned into.

Anyway, I’m guessing nobody can afford to buy the “Laxmi” quilt since it took almost 200 hours to make, and at a reasonable hourly rate we shudder to estimate the price tag. But unlike most quilts you can get a cloisonne pin or necklace of the same design for much much less, because we just happen to have said merch for Sita Sings the Blues.

Laxmi Pin


Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

16 thoughts on “Laxmi Devi quilt”

  1. I’d love to own one of these, but there’s no way I could afford a fair payment for the hours and love you put into this piece. Amazing work, as always!

  2. Your Laxmi quilt is gorgeous! I loved Sita Sings the Blues. Parijat Desai shared it with us. We happen to be her parents.

  3. Your work and your words about property and art have been so my teacher these past two years. The last quilt already made me gasp, the one with just form and no color; this is so beautiful.

  4. Dear Nina,
    Simply beautiful.
    I have shared the movie with so many people. You are amazing

    Dont know if you remember me.. ? We had corresponded in 2008 when you sent me the DVDs of Sita sings the blues for my conference Ramayana in performing arts, in Chennai India

    All the best

  5. Don’t know if you remember me, I used to live in Trina’s lower flat with Tom. I followed a link from Leanne Franson on the Facebook to this page. Your quilt is amazing and I’m in awe that you did this in only 2 weeks. Your technique brings a sculptural aspect to it. The background quilting really makes the piece work beautifully. I adored the movie, which showed up inexplicably on public access cable one morning here in Portland. It was a great story and had my favorite kind of music.

  6. Just gorgeous! I can’t believe you finished this in 2 weeks! I’m so jealous, I don’t think I’ve ever finished a quilt that quickly!

    Off to treat myself to the pin and necklace,


  7. The advantage to living alone and having an obsessive personality combined with few obligations, is one can finish a quilt in less than 20 days (and an animated feature in 3 years). Many people would prefer to have relationships and stuff, but it works for me!

  8. Hi Nina! What a lovely piece. I had always wanted to own a quilt that I could frame up in my house. Do u happen to have some old piece lying about in your attic that you dont mind parting with…..for a fee please?

  9. Seriously, are any of your quilts for sale? I’m not a dealer or even an “art lover” (the most I’ve ever bought just for my wall is a couple of posters of cartoon characters, now lost) and it would take me forever to save up for but your quilts have been amongst the most beautiful artworks that I have seen and I would love to be able to cover a wall in my house with one 🙂

    If not, I might print some pinups with the photos…..

  10. I have been in Utah worshiping mountains and away from the blog and the emails…..oh this is so sensual, spirited, and the perfect color choices. Once again rollicking proof of a master artist with all her consciousness at work. Bravo!

  11. You never cease to amaze me, Neens. Such incredible focus and masterful artistry, not to mention technical acumen! I’ve grown up a wee bit and will refrain from wanting to immediately nibble on your brainlobes. Bravo, Wunderkind! 🙂 xoxoxox

  12. So beautiful! I was going to suggest to you (jokingly – I understand it would probably take many lifetimes) that you combine your phenomenal talents and make a quilt animation. I was right anyway that there is some relation – your animated characters translate into beautiful quilt patterns…

    I don’t know if you remember me. I invited you to my website which you visited; and I sent you a copy of my CD.

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