Friday, June 8, 2018

The Quilt of Pi

Ever since I got into quilting, finding time to read has been difficult.  When I am not working or running errands, I am mostly sewing and by the time I get to bed, I can barely keep my eyes open.  Therefore the discovery of audiobooks has been an absolute joy.  I can listen while I sew!!!

It is a finish

My last audiobook was "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel.  It is a fantastic book and I loved every word of it. Here is my favorite quote from the book.

"Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat-wearing Muslims."

Oh, I wish I could convey how much I love these words.
Whereas we too often focus on our differences and let those difference divide us, this one sentence in a funny, simple, and heart-warming way says that we are all the same in our capacity for love, devotion and surrender to God.

These words make me want to go hug the world and everyone in it.  So, I made a quilt.

Fabric Scraps (from the free table at the guild meeting)
They say that one man's meat is another man's poison. Fabrics scraps abandoned by one quilter are a goldmine for me. Thanks to the free table at the guild meetings.

These turquoise and red scraps (left at the free table) beckoned to me. I added some fabric from my own stash and tried to construct 5" squares and 5" by 2.5" rectangles from the scraps.

Piecing into 5" squares

I used this pattern from Elizabeth Hartmann to make a baby quilt. The dark teal/aqua solid came from my stash.

Finished at 41" by 43"

...and back

The backing is so adorable.  Recently acquired this piece from a friend who is destashing. The wavy lines made for a fast and easy quilting.

Winnie the Pooh as a Fire Chief
Turquoise & Red
Striped Binding is my favorite
The red and white striped binding works beautifully with both the front and the back.

Did I forget the label?
Can you see it?

Do you see it now?

There it is :-)

Love this shot!
And then Paul began to read the post from behind my shoulder.

Paul: Does the book "Life of Pi" have anything to do with this quilt?
Me: Dunno. Maybe Pi could have used a quilt to comfort him.
Paul: Maybe.
Me: Maybe the turquoise blue of the quilt represents the ocean, the pink and the red represent the life (life of Pi and also Richard Parker's) and the cream could represent the boat that carried them both for almost seven months.
Paul: I know that you can quilt, but boy can you spin a yarn!
Me: You can call me a Quilter or a Spinner of Yarn. But I am calling this the Quilt of Pi.

Quilt of Pi

Paul: But what do these words - hairless Christians, bearded Hindus, and hat wearing Muslims - have anything to do with this quilt?
Me: Don't you agree that the overarching themes of the book are survival and belief in God?
Paul: I agree.
Me: So you see my point.
Paul: I don't.
Me: Well, Pi could neither see Jesus or Allah. Yet, he was a believer.
Paul: I still don't get the connection to the quilt.
Me: Well, do you like the quilt?
Paul: It is nice.
Me: Did you like the book - Life of Pi?
Paul: I only saw the movie. 
Me: That is why you don't get it. Aren't you getting late for your game?
Paul: Oh yes. Gotta go.

That was how that discussion ended. But our discussion has just begun. I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas, as always.  I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Stash Statement Blog Hop - Fire Pit

 Welcome to my turn on the Stash Statement Blog Hop.  Here is my version of Fire Pit.

Finished Quilt
I was thrilled when Kelly asked me to be a part of the blog hop. That was the easy part. But it was tricky to pick just one because there are several pretty quilts in this book.

Finished Flimsy

I picked Fire Pit, because it is such a striking pattern. This pattern requires Tri-Rec rulers. I have had these rulers for a while but had not used them and this was the perfect opportunity.

Secondary Pattern - the Star

Kelly's new book - Stash Statement Quilts is all about Structured Improvisational Piecing. This means two things in this order (just my opinion)
1. Go crazy with your scraps (all shapes/sizes) and experiment with improv piecing
2. Rein it in with Kelly's techniques of structure (block creation methods)

Warm Chaos

Cool Strips

THEN we get to the patchwork, followed by quilting and binding. 
I spent a whole month just making the blocks.  Why is that?
1. I chose a finer grain (smaller scraps)
2. I chose to make a twin bed size quilt instead of the lap size in the book.

Shall we start at the beginning?  I started with warm colors for the square blocks.


I made four blocks. I stepped away from the design wall to admire my handiwork. Looked good, but the block looked chunky.

So, I cut them up, and re-stitched to end up with a finer grain, so that the block was made up of several smaller pieces than a few large pieces.


A more cohesive look

I like this look much better. And the tone was set.

I was having so much fun that I ended up with way more blocks than required.

Needed 25, Got 42!!!

Is that a problem? Of course not.
I'll just make a larger quilt.

Next came the cool blocks, the triangles that required the tri recs ruler. Since this was my first time, I figured - let me make a couple of test blocks. When I placed the ruler/template on the improv slab, I realized that the ruler is bigger than the slab, by just a smidge.

Slightly bigger than 6.5"

A smidgen more than 6.5"


See, that is why you make audition blocks. I chose to cut the next slab a 1/4" larger, allowing some wiggle room.

Cool Slab

Cool Triangles

42 blocks were arranged in a 6 by 7 grid, resulting in a flimsy that measured 72" by 84".

Design Wall

This is when I stretched the quilt (a little imagination and lots of scraps) by 3" on top and bottom to get a top measuring 72" by 90".

Finished Top - About 72" by 90"

This was now a perfect size for a twin bed.   I chose this green wide backing to speed things up.

Quilted it simply with my walking foot and wavy line quilting. For binding I chose a striped brown fabric.

Does the striped binding on green background remind you of a snake in the grass?  Don't worry, I have tamed the beast :-)

Who is the boss now?

In the end, what you get out of it (life, school, workout etc.) depends on what you put into it. And for the six weeks that I put into making Fire Pit, I am thrilled about it.

Setting the Fountain ablaze

It was a gorgeous sunny day and I got carried away. So here are a few more pictures.

My sunshine
bee happy, stunned owls, and dancing stick figures (can you find them)
Since my stash includes a lot of cute fabrics, you can see a glimpse of them in the picture above.

Getting Close
smiling snails

sheep and chick - deep in conversation

Stay Still
Loving it


But I am dying to know what you think. Only honest opinions, however brutal they may be...
I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties.  See sidebar.

Every week, two quilters showcase one quilt from the book.  Here is the entire line-up. 

Stash Statement Blog Tour Schedule-

4/16- Grand Bazaar    Shelley @ Cora's Quilts
                                    Connie @ Freemotion by the River

                           Diann @ Little Penguin Quilts

4/30- Precarious  Jess @ Quilty Habit                       
                             Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
5/7- Beach Retreat  Sarah @ Sarah Goer Quilts                               
                                 Liz @ Savor Every Stitch 
5/14- Fire Pit   Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts                                          
                         Preeti @ Sew Preeti Quilts (you are here)
5/21- Detour    Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts                         
                         Shelley @ The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts
5/28- Murrina    Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl             
                            Leanne @ Devoted Quilter
6/4- Scattered    Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal                      
                           Christine @ Triangles and Squares 
6/11- Bloom Chicka Boom   Chris @ made by ChrissieD            
                                               Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
6/18- Regatta   Susan @ Quilt Fabrication                             
                          Debbie @ A Quilter's Table    
                          Christa @ Christa Quilts
6/25- Catch a Falling Star  Cynthia @ Quilting is More Fun Than Housework        
                                              Anja @ Anja Quilts
7/2- College Prep   Hilary @ by Hilary Jordan                 
                                Lori @ Crossquilt
7/9- Take Flight (bonus digital pattern)  Kelli @ Seriously, I Think It Needs Stitches 
                                                                 Paula @ The Sassy Quilter

Stash Statement is available from the following:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Timeless and Lesstime

Some quilts are timeless, like the one in the picture below.  This apple core quilt is displayed in the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery.  Hand quilted with Baptist fans, it is definitely beautiful and impressive.

Display from the Portrait Gallery, Washington DC 

Someone must have used a cardboard template and a ball point pen to trace and cut each piece. That sure took a lot of time. The fact that it is displayed in a museum qualifies it as a timeless piece.

Of course, I was there!

I, on the other hand, make lesstime quilts. Here is the story of a lesstime quilt.

Paul: I saw our neighbor with a baby.
Me: Suzie (not her real name)???
Paul: Yea.
Me: How old was the baby?
Paul: a couple of months, I guess

Now, this house has three occupants. An elderly father and his two grown children. No spouses. I have chatted with Suzie on a few occasions. I have seen the father once or twice. The brother is shy, rarely makes eye contact, and he may have nodded to me when he was out walking the dog.
So a baby was a big news and an unexpected one.
There was only one way to find out. I called Suzie. Yes, direct approach is the best approach.

Me: Paul tells me there is a new baby in the house. Are you baby-sitting for someone?
Suzie: No, it is my brother's baby boy.
Me: I did not know he was married. I have never seen his wife.
Suzie: When we travelled to (home country), he got married. His wife just got the visa and came last week.
Me: Oh, that is wonderful news. What is the boy's name?
Suzie: Michael (not his real name)
Me: Let me know when I can see the baby. I have a quilt for him.
Suzie: Oh that is so sweet. How is Saturday?
Me: Perfect.

I recounted our conversation to Paul. Then went looking for the quilt - Snowmen Express (plaid front, flannel snowmen on the back) would be perfect.

Oh no, I exclaimed aloud in shock and horror.
Paul: What happened?
Me: I gave the quilt to Jeanne in the quilt guild.
Paul: Huh?
Me: Jeanne had been asking for baby quilts for her charity for single mothers. So I gave her two quilts - the Charlie's Birds and the Snowmen Express.
Paul: Don't you have any other quilts?
Me: Yes, I do, but they are not fit for a baby.
Paul gave up and walked away to read the news or play his games.

For the baby next door

It was Thursday night and I needed a quilt by Saturday. Friday was a working day (I do have a day job). It was time to figure out a lesstime quilt.

Cheater Fabric

An hour of rummaging in my fabric room, I found a cheater fabric and the ubercute and kid-friendly farm animal backing.


A few furious hours of layering, basting, quilting, trimming, binding and labeling stretched into Saturday morning, resulting in a lesstime quilt. PHEW!!!

When I met the baby, he had just woken up from a nap. He was in no mood to be social. Fortunately, the pink pigs and cute cows seemed interesting to him. He reached out his tiny fingers to touch the animals.

Pink Pigs & Cute Cows

My job was done.
Moral of the Story - it is a good idea to have a few cheater fabrics to make lesstime quilts.

May be some of my quilts will eventually become timeless - Esmerlada or the Queen's Necklace. These are the quilts I will make painstakingly, over several weeks, even months, choosing fabrics carefully, cutting diligently, measuring and re-measuring, sewing slowly, matching points meticulously and agonizing over every detail.

Drop Everything and Make a Lesstime Quilt
And in between, the lesstime quilts will just squeeze their way in...whether I like it or not. What has been occupying your attention? I'd love to hear from you. I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties (see full list on the sidebar).

This quilt for Michael also became my Dreami (Drop everything and make it) and therefore I will be linking with Sandra's Dreami Linky party.

For now, let's get back to the Fire Pit Quilt from Stash Statement. The blog hop has already begun and my turn is May 14, 2018 and there is much to do before that.
Blocks in the works

And one last thing. 

Captiva from Connecting Threads

Do you remember that I had been drooling over the Captiva line at Connecting Threads? So I went ahead and bought a few of those yummy fabrics. Look, don't you love these sunny and beachy hues.

These colors are so droolworthy


Yes, they are 30% off. It is too late for me, but you can get these fab fabrics at a discount, but hurry the flash sale closes on 4/26/18.

Wide Backing under $9 per yard

I also got the Captiva wide backing. All wide backing is 25% off till 4/30/18.

This blogpost contains affiliate links.