The inspiration for the “Amish Impressions Zig Zag” quilt by Sujata Shah came on a stormy day in the summer of 2010. The original idea for the technique used in this quilt was developed back in 2004 after the Gee’s Bend quilts became popular and Sujata was inspired to explore Improv quilting. Sujata’s quest for making organic and fluid quilts led her to develop this unique Improv technique. In 2009 she made the first version of this quilt made with prints.
In the summer of 2010, with both her boys home from college, Sujata and her family experienced a severe and memorable thunderstorm. On that afternoon as the day turned into night, the storms got so bad that the power went out. The lightening was intense and the rain was pouring as if the sky had fallen apart. The storm that night inspired the colors and pattern of the “Amish Impressions Zig Zag” quilt.
If Sujata had to put a title to herself as a quilter, it would definitely be an Improv Quilter. Most of her inspiration and influence comes from antique quilts and cultures from around the world. She finds a lot of similarities in Amish and Indian style of quilting. They both are bold, colorful and simple. She is originally from India and it was natural for her to combine the two cultures that used very few tools to create this art. Her quilts are also heavily influenced by African art and textiles.