Friday, 31 August 2012

Bee Desi

In case anybody's missed me, I've been a bit caught up with my fabulous quilting group, Desi Quilters. By some lucky happenstance, a group of highly talkative excited and talented women have found each other through the world wide web and there's been a lot of sharing and caring, both quilting and otherwise. The action happens in our 'drawing room', the Desi Quilters' facebook page. The group has a lot of activities going on and  one of them is the BEE DESI. Its a bee of 12 members and I am one of them. Have enjoyed making blocks for my fellow Desi Bees the last 2 months.

For Vidya2

For Veena

The popularity of the BEE DESI can be inferred from the fact that even the 2nd one is full and registrations are now on for the 3rd Bee. Do join our group if you'd like to participate in a quilting bee.

Btw. here's a block I made for my very first bee elsewhere, but unfortunately, that hive didnt last:

So, life'great..everything's buzzzzing ! Enjoy !

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Happy Independence Day !

In commemoration of India's 66th Independence Day, the rules for the August challenge on the 'funnest' quilting group Desi Quilters were:

- Make a mini not larger than 12"x12" in the tricolours of the Indian Flag, using pieces not larger than 1.5" finished.

Ever since  fellow DQ Madhu has been showing off her miniature blocks, I've been wanting to try out a mini.  Also been wanting to try out her (supposedly) easy method of making multiple HSTs in one shot. This then was the perfect opportunity to do both. Madhu also very generously shared tips for first time mini-makers like moi :

1.Rough calculation: 12x12 block =144sq inches.
1.5 " maximum size piece if square =2.25sqinches.
Therefore, minimum 64 pieces in a 12x12 block. If the pieces are not square, numbers go up!
Therefore: Plan your block size accordingly, ladies!
Therefore: Don't think, " It is only a mini"

2.Stitch big, cut down to size! can trim your seams to less than 1/4" before pressing. Reduces bulk.

4.Very very important to press ( just press, not move your iron along the pieces, beginner quilters) before joining the next piece. It is difficult to press later - can distort the block.

5.Do not use soft, limp fabrics. Very difficult to work with. Edges fray. Use starched fabric.

6.Very accurate measurements are a big blessing. In small pieces, small errors in measurement look huge! The beauty of a mini- quilt is its perfection

7.Take your time over it! Go slow! Challenge yourself! Even if you have to join a 100 pieces in 30 days, it is less than 4 pieces in a day!

8.‎6x6 is doable - it is just 36 sq inches. 7x7 becomes 49 and 12x12 is 144! Another thing I should have added: you'll be cutting your pieces bigger and trimming them down to size, right? Press them BEFORE you trim them down, not after. So that any distortion during pressing is taken care of.

9.English paper piecing works great with miniatures. As does paper foundation piecing. Perfect blocks every time!

10.Btw, true miniature artists use a trick for accurate length of seams: they count the number stitches! So 14 stitches may be the length of a particular seam! 

So, armed with her tips and a blank clear head, I pull out some pieces of saffron, white and green fabric. I do not yet have an idea of what I am going to make, but then, when has that ever stopped me from doing anything? 96 pieces and each li'l square of 2 HSTs not more than 1.5"...after some this-ing and that-ing, here's what I came up with for my entry for the DQ August '12 Independence day Challenge..

Started with a 2" grid on fusible paper fused to 3 pieces of roughly 6"x12" fabric..

Paired them and sewed on either sides of the diagonals..

And chopped them up..

And I have still have no idea where this is going. I know I need to sew back all those li'l HSTs, but how? Random piecing or planned? Random? Or planned? Random? Planned? Aaargh..!!

I try a li'l random..

A li'l planned..

Then settle for this..I love it btw

Some straight line quilting around the pinwheels and some fancy stitches along the diagonals..

Some hand sewn binding..

And I'm all done !

I chose the lotus design for some of the quilting lines, lotus being our national flower and all..didn't think it'd end up looking like the BJP flag!

Love it all the same. So does Max.

Happy Independence Day folks! Jai Hind !!