Saturday, 31 December 2011

First among Equals

Thats what I'm calling this quilt designed by my 9 yr old.

Ok, thats weird quilt and thats a weird name for a quilt.

First, the name. In early January 2011, when I was charting out a design I quite fancied for a quilt for my sister (I was still a beginner, remember?), my lil one, then 8, whipped up a handmade calender for me with dates of the month on one side and a blank sheet on the facing side. For my quilt designs, she said. I decided then and there that I was going to try and make at least one quilt a month. Am happy to say that I have indeed managed to make a quilt a month. And as the year came to a close, I wanted to make her a special thankyou quilt for giving me that slight prod that I seemed to so badly need.

Now the twist. When your 9 yr old has 2 cousins the same age, you can't obviously make just your kid a quilt. No, you make three! And mine is the oldest by a month or two, so she's the 'First among Equals', see?

And now the design. Well, what d'ya expect?!..its designed by a 9 yr old!! I told her I was going to make her a bug jar quilt and she could choose what she wanted to put in it. And she said, cool..and chose the creepiest  fabric I we have slime, and eyeballs, and berries and cupcakes, and rabbits and fish, and frogs and crabs, and bugs and butterflies..

..and circuit boards (she loves pulling things apart and trying to fix(?!) them)..

..and did I mention snorkelling frogs?..

And then she says, "Ma, put Didi (older sister) and Akka (again older sister, referring to her cousin) in a jar and throw away their hairbrushes and phones". How do you refuse a 9 yr old with puppy dog eyes??...

So the jars are done and now she wants a wolf..a howling wolf !! (I suspect Didi's 'Twilight' obsession may have had something to do with it). And a wolf howling at the moon from behind a shelf of jars makes perfect sense to a 9 yr old..what can you say?

She drew the wolf...

..and I drew the moon..

..both of which I appliqued with a silver metallic thread and quilted some echoing lines around the shapes.

The back had to be pieced. She likes it.

For the quilting, I just stuck to some good old quilting in the ditch around the jars and shelves and some free hand waves for the sky.

Didn't add binding. Just folded over the fabric from the front.

So thats my last quilt for 2011. I have learnt a lot along the way, quilting some, blogging some; and I hope to learn a lot more in 2012, especially some FMQ and some cool blogging tricks! Also hope to open an online store for quilts and supplies.

Wish you all a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year! Have a wonderful 2012!!

Love. Peace. Joy.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

The secret and the elusive foot

I have stumbled upon the quilting world's best kept secret...Quilting is only a measly one-fifth part of QUILTING!! Who would've thought that to be a good quilter involves :
a) One-fifth Math. Yes, even if you are a very free-spirited crazy-quilting (no pun intended) kinda quilter.
b) One-fifth Photography. Yes, even if it is with a miserable 2 MP phone camera. You just HAVE to shoot your work (again no pun intended) as it progresses.
c) One-fifth Screen-Staring. Yes, even if its called blogging, blog-hopping, pinteresting, flick(r)ing (nope, no pun) ideas off the web.
d) One-fifth Ironing. Yes, very very pressing matter (No really, no pun intended at all).

So I guess if I just spruce up on that minor one-fifth bit that is quilting, I shall be well on my way to being a great quilter :-).

Well, the thing is, I'm basically a straight line walking foot kinda quilter. Not out of choice really, but because I don't yet know how to FMQ. Again, not out of choice, but because I couldn't get my hands on a compatible FMQ foot for my machine !! Most elusive, that foot. After days, nah, months of looking, I finally convinced a retailer that he HAD to get me these fancy feet. And he did! And I bought them all!! So here's my progress at FMQing:

Day 1: I just admire my feet and can't get enough of looking at them:

Day 2: I have no idea what I am doing, but boy, am I happy doing it !

Day 3: Ok, I plan a bit. The sandwich has no intention of listening to me though:

Day 4: I watch a few videos of Leah Day from The free motion quilting project and try again:

Ah well, hope floats. Some day I shall be good. For now I'm just glad I still wanna keep learning something new.

Happy learning, people! Hope you had/have a great Christmas!!

P.S.: My stumbling on the secret may not have had anything to do with the elusive foot.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Purple Parrots Eating Carrots

Its strange how sometimes you find yourself favouring certain colours repeatedly for a few days/weeks/months and how that morphs into a fondness for a totally different set of colours over a period of time. I seem to be going thru my's what my current WIPs look like..

..PURRRPLE !! My tastes are becoming very ROYALE, I guess! :-)

Have a Royal day !

P.S.: In case you're wondering about the title of the post, it was the title of a lovely, colourful and very entertaining book that my daughters had when they were little and for some reason 'purple parrots eating carrots' kept repeating in my head like a chant every time I'd be working on these WIPs! Like the time I was sitting for my class 12 boards, and the (very) irritating jingle 'Mango Frooty...fresh and juicy..' kept playing over and over and over and over in my head all thru the Math exam !

P.P.S.: Yeah, I made it thru the exam! With royal colours!!

Monday, 12 December 2011


Two pieces of fabric and doodles on the back of a shopping list..

Where can it take me?


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Bundle of Joy

Finished my first QAYG quilt. Dedicating it to Marianne, the queen of QAYG. Calling it 'Bundle of Joy'. Its for a coming-soon-granchild (grand/great niece/nephew in the West?). No, am not yet the grandmomma age, but we have large families in India. At least we used to. My parents' generation typically had anywhere between 4 to 8 siblings and for my grandparents' generation 6 to 12 was the norm. The number reduced to 2-3 by the time my generation was..well, produced. And now, single-child families are more common than not. Still, families are close knit and many a times live together. So its not at all strange to find cousins, neices and nephews and sometimes grandchildren all being born simultaneously! Especially if one comes from a long line of middle-born ancestors. Like me. Results in middle aged folks having 5 year old Uncles/Aunts and a young 39 year ol' like me having 5 year old grandchildren!! Love it :-).

Anyways, here's the finished quilt. The design was inspired by a photo I happened to see for a couple of seconds of somebody's stall at a quilt market while flipping thru pics online. It is not an exact replica but if I knew whose original design it was, I'd thank them from the bottom of my heart. It lent itself very well to the QAYG technique, and the parents-to-be looove it.

Every bundle needs a ribbon and a bow, right?

Quilted with a 3-stitch zig-zag in straight rows, two rows for each colour.

Straight line stitching on the ribbon part :

And here's the back :

Heh heh, the quilting lines on the bow are not perfect I see..

I used the same colour threads for the front and back so the coloured zig-zags  on the back give it a cute baby look:

All bundled with love..

One last look before it goes to its new family..

 Can't wait for the newest addition to the family. I meant my grandchild-to-come :-). And a new quilt, of course :-).

Happy waiting !

Friday, 9 December 2011

Gratitude of another kind

Gratitude is not always for the things one has. It's also good to be thankful for what one doesn't have. Saw a list of 'Things I don't have and don't want' on somebody's blog (I forget whose. But if you are reading this,  then thanks for the nudge) and that set me off on my own list :

Things I'm glad I don't have:
1.Interfering in-laws
2.Talent for sports
5.Love for cooking
6.Fondness for anything stronger than wine
7.Need to stay out of trouble
8.Supreme patience
9.Mistrust of people
10.Spin n span n sterile home
11.A thong

I suggest everyone make a list of what they don't have, don't want, and are glad about it. Puts life in perspective.

On the quilting front, am trying my hand at some QAYG after some pretty heavy inspiration from MariQuilts of The Quilting Edge. She has a lovely tutorial or two on QAYGs.

Happy list making !

Friday, 2 December 2011

Oh I'm so new to all this !

Blog-hopping seems to be my latest addiction and this is what I came across on Lily's Quilts :

It said - link up, grab a button, blog-hop. Or something to that effect.

The linking-up was easy, grabbing the button, not so much coz I still have no clue how these things work, and, blogland was heaven ! I just looove them quilting blogs out there and I have sooo much to learn. This is India you know, and we do not have a quilting history out here, and my foray into this quilting world is nothing less than an adventure in uncharted territory. Love it !!

Anyways, I understand one needs to make a mosaic (no clue how to do that :-)) to showcase the month's achievements (!). Am gonna try and do that a lil later and get back here and edit this post to include it. If successful.

Off to hop-hop-hop :-)

Edited to add:
1. I figured out the whole button grabbing business
2. I found this made-just-for-me FMQ 2012 challenge AND I grabbed the button. Look, look --->
3. I tried this mosaic of the 3 quilts I made in November (on Picasa) (this was BEFORE I saw the lovely tip given by Leanne. Thank you Leanne, shall try that next month :-)

All in a day's work !

A picture, they say, speaks a thousand words. I give you, lovely people,  four thousand ! :-)

Have a lovely weekend !

Friday, 25 November 2011

Murphy's Quilting Laws

Yes, they exist. Murphy's Laws of Quilting. And you experience quite a variety of them if you are a novice quilter seeking the path of greater quiltdom. Like, for instance, 'If there is a better way of doing something, you will learn of it only when you are already halfway thru your project'. I learnt today (yeah, halfway thru my project) that if I am making snowballs by attaching little square pieces to the corners, I do not, nay, I must not snip off both layers on piecing them (pic on left). Snipping just the small square after a seam allowance and then folding it open leaves the block nicer, firmer and unskewed (pic on right).

Oh well, better late than never I guess.

W.I.P. progresses despite Murphy and his laws:

Bug jars!! With lots of non-bugsy stuff too :-).

Happy weekend !

Monday, 21 November 2011

My progress to Level II

Once upon a time I used to occasionally design and sew clothes for self and kids. And neighbours and friends. Then their neighbours and friends. And friends of neighbours and neighbours of friends. And...well, you get the picture.

Then came a time when I stopping sewing clothes but picked up the scraps instead. Which, of course, I had saved over the years, fabric-hoarder that I am. Picked them up and started sewing them together into scrappy quilts (or at least my version of what I thought were quilts!) purely with the intention of finishing my unintentionally built up stash.  

Ha! Ha! Ha!

As if.

This is what happened yday when I went to buy one piece of fabric....

I realize two things:
1. I should NOT be allowed within a few hundred feet of fresh fabric. I just may end up like this:

2 .Now that I have begun to BUY and hoard fabric, I am now a LEVEL II Quilter !

Yay!! :-)

Oh, here's my W.I.P.

Can't tell you yet what its going to be :-).

Have a great day y'all !

Friday, 18 November 2011


What sorta quilt do you make for a friend who is a self-confessed Romantic? Why, a Heart Quilt, of course!

This is my first string quilt; inspiration from here. (The heartstrings quilt project is an online (mostly) group that makes heartstring quilts for charity. Absolutely admirable.) Did think of an alternate name for this quilt -  'The Romantics', what with one pink heart (hers) and one blue (his), and, bits of each others hearts enclosed within theirs, and... and I'm getting all sappy I think, so shall stop describing it and post pics instead:

For the romantically challenged, here's the pink heart (with a wedge of his blue), saying, "you'll always be in my heart"..

..and the blue one saying, "ditto"..

Hope my friend, allergic to any kind of wadding, partial to turquoise blue and fuschia pink, and, a hopeless romantic, will like this as much as I do. Since there was no wadding, quilting lines were kept to the minimum. And since the strings are pieced on a foundation, it is still cozy enough.

This view of the foundation is only for hardcore quilt-ers/lovers :-) :

Lots of love.