TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Six New Ralli Quilts on Etsy!

Ralli with an unusual black background.

If you have been following this blog for awhile, you will know that I really love ralli quilts! Partly, I suppose, it is because I, too, make quilts so I can appreciate all the time and effort that goes into them. But, I think that what I really like is the organic quality most of these quilts have in their design. Completely hand sewn, one piece might have had several different women working on it. That might translate into inconsistencies in the stitching and even choice of fabrics used. Normally, one woman will make the top, but the quilting will be done by several women who will in turn get help in finishing their tops.

While many ralli quilts may have simple designs as in the one above, the color choices can be very interesting. The colors in that one remind me of Amish quilts, although the border is a signature for ralli quilts. Patterns are handed down by experience, from mother to daughter. While simplicity worked beautifully in the quilt above, the one below is an example of complex patchwork construction. Hundreds (thousands?) of tiny triangles show that the flying geese patterns are also found in Asia.

Ralli quilt with intricate flying geese pattern.

Again, the border, traditional to ralli quilts, places these geese firmly in the minds of Sindhi women. Sindhi women seem to be drawn mostly towards bright fabric colors and bold contrasts. The black fabric in the first quilt of this post is an unusual departure from the more common color palettes. The two quilts below show more common block and color choices. Both have become soft and worn with use.

Finally, some villages specialize in cutwork applique. The quilt below is a simple example of this technique, probably made by a young girl or older woman. Appliqued designs can be exquisitely detailed and fill the whole surface of the broad cloth used as a background.

Ralli quilts are wonderful as wall textiles or draped over a bed. I have kept several for myself and am happy to share these with you!

Visit my Etsy store to see my current selection. I have written several posts in this blog about these quilts, so if you would like to learn more and see more photos, click here.



  1. Hah, just looking up Ralli quilts and rlise it is your blog...do like your taste in textiles- nameste
    Fiona, Pushkar

  2. Love these quilts, they are so fun. I like that they are wonky and wobbly. It really adds to their charm.


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