Sarika Doppalapudi: Preliminary Research and Preparations

My project centers around textile arts as a space for meaning-making, and often resilience. Over the course of my project, I will conduct multiple oral history interviews with textile artists, and I am planning for my research to culminate in a series of mini-quilts that can be buttoned into either a book or larger quilt. During the first week of June, I had the pleasure of visiting the Pacific Northwest with my partner, who was speaking at a conference there. While there, I was able to visit a store called SCRAP! which sells second hand arts and crafts supplies. I spent what was, frankly, an embarrassing amount of time perusing the textile arts section, and picked up multiple 50 cent rolls of scrap fabric that will definitely be making an appearance in my end quilt. After my trip to the PNW, I went back to my hometown, Chicago, to visit family. Since returning, I have been extremely lucky to have received a multitude of tips from friends and family regarding using a sewing machine, especially for quilting. While I would consider myself fairly experienced in sewing by hand, my experience using a sewing machine is pretty limited, and I have only ever quilted by hand before, so I am extremely grateful to all the help I have received! I have also scheduled a few interviews to conduct with textile artists in Chicago, which I am looking forward to completing in the next few weeks. After meeting with Rae and thinking about the feasibility of my project, I have begun to rethink the amount of interviews I want to conduct, and how I would like to go about conducting them. I had originally planned to conduct nine interviews, and due to the lack of time I would have to conduct, transcribe, and edit all nine interviews, I had planned to reuse a list of questions. However, I am now planning to conduct three interviews, which will last longer and have questions specifically tailored to the interviewee, which I hope will provide more productive research!

Some of my quilting materials!
Some vintage patterns I picked up while in the PNW, partially for research (and partially just for me to try out – I’ve already started knitting the dog sweater)
A book recommended to me by Professor Sara Franklin, which has been incredibly helpful in thinking through my research.