Creative articles about quilting

Unpicked – International Pictogram Project




When I opened my package from Bernina India that contained my Pictogram Project supplies, I was delighted! I loved the colours. But I really did not know where to start and what to do.


Inspiration came a few days back when I was listening to the news about the imbalance in the male:female ratio because of rising female foeticide cases. Yes, it is a practice where people do not let a girl child be born. Right now, the Government of India is working really hard to propagate the #betibachao (Save the Girl Child) mentality.

Here is the quilt I made. I am calling it ‘Unpicked



The girl child is ‘unpicked’ in the womb, while the boy child not just survives, but is glorified!

I have also unpicked the ‘fe’ to leave the male to show the same symbolism.



I have also used my mother tongue – Marathi – and our national language – Hindi – in the quilt.


Making this quilt was more an emotional process than an artistic one. But I am very happy that I made this quilt. It gave me an opportunity to express my thoughts about an issue of national relevance.

Thank you, Bernina for giving me this opportunity. Special thanks to Jutta Hellbach for organizing this project! And for Ajay Gupta (Bernina India) for encouraging us to participate!


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  • kalindihambir

    Dear Shruti, Very touchy & emotional topic.Your unpicked stitches shows how the girls birth is denying by the society. well done Shruti, I love your work!!

  • roscro

    This is a work that made me think as well as respond emotionally. Thank you. It is an impressive piece.

  • Birthe Grautmann

    Dear Shruti, I’m moved as well. I can feel your emotions in each sentence and of course in your artwork. Thank you so much for taking part in this project! Regards, Birthe

    • Shruti Dandekar

      I never thought a quilt could make me cry! But this one did. As I unpicked the stitches, I thought about those girls who were denied existence, and wept for them. It was a very emotional process and something that took me off guard!

  • Hilary Gooding

    Shruti, I am touched by the thought and meaning behind your piece. Sad to think we live in a day and age where gender inequalities still dominate.

    • Shruti Dandekar

      Thank you, Hillary. I am glad that though I come from a society where these practices exist, I have been brought up by my parents with a sense of pride and integrity. I was never denied any opportunities, even after marriage, because of my gender! Full marks to both my families for that!

  • Jutta Hellbach

    Dear Shruti,
    I am so touched about your work, difficult to find words.
    Lots of people will be moved, I can assure you.
    Thank you for your courage!

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