Friday, April 21, 2017

Kind and Strong

Hope you had a great Easter!

Me: If I had to describe you in one word, then that word would be KIND.
Paul: Awww... you are so sweet
Me: Your turn.
Paul: My turn?
Me: Yes. If you had to describe me in just one word, what would that be?
Paul: Hmm... STRONG
Me: STRONG?
Paul: Yes. You are STRONG.
Me: But that can be good or bad.
Paul: Yep.

There was nothing left for me to say?  I am glad he did not say headstrong. 

Little does Paul know that this month I have been anything but strong in resisting fabric.
First, there was the fabric shopping spree at the Mook Fabric Store in Amish Country.

Then I found some amazing deals on Etsy - materialgirlchic. She has a sale section with FREE shipping at $75.
50% off Layer Cakes - Yes, I have a plan for these!!!

And finally, I went to Joann Fabrics and splurged only because the premium brand fabrics were half-off PLUS there was a coupon.


Love these florals and paisleys

Ooh Shiny!!!

Spring has sprung
I was all but done at this point, when I choose to chase these cute hedgehogs.  But I was completely seduced by the deep dark red, with just a hint of mint!!!


Cuteness & Passionate Red
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I do have a finish to share. Surrounded by scraps, a scrap vortex quilt is always in the works.

Design Wall
But since the scraps do not need to be in any particular order or layout, the final quilt often looks different from the design wall version.  Blocks moved, slabs turned, rows trimmed - but finished.

Trust me, it is the same as the one on the design wall above.
Paul - the quilt model!

I quilted this with straight lines, spaced two inches.  Thanks to painters tape.


And then, I quilted gentle curves in between those straight lines. It was fast and easy!!!
Since all my scrap vortex quilts look kinds similar, the best way to tell them apart is by the backing. So let's see the backing on this one.


No, let's get closer.

Two out of these three fabrics came to me in a scrap bag and I was not too fond of them.  Combined with another orange/fall fabric from my stash and a bright orange near-solid, resulted in this pieced backing.

Here is the funny part - Paul thought that the backing was the front :-)



I used the same bright orange for the binding.


What shall I call this one?  Already have Side Effects and Whatever Works.  I may be getting low on names for my scrap vortex quilts.



Since it has fall colors on the back, what do you think of "Falling For You"?
I know I am so full of it :-D



Actually, I see leaves and some fall colors on the front as well.  So it is settled - Falling For You.



Falling For You finished at 40" by 44" and it is my seventh finish of 2017. Yay!!!
But that is not all.

Remember this scrap vortex in the works picture from my last post?

I finished this flimsy!!!
This is a separate quilt from Falling From You.  Yes, they all look the same.

Here is Paul holding it up.

Flimsy Finish - To be Named

This is what he had to say.


Why are you photographing this?
It is not even finished. 
No batting. No backing. No binding.
It is just patchwork.

It is a flimsy finish, I clarified.  And I was laughing and rolling my eyes at the same time.


With a finished quilt and a finished flimsy I am declaring that I have achieved my April OMG!!!
And here they are both side by side, to prove that they are indeed two separate pieces.


I will be linking with Elm Street Quilts for the April OMG completion and all my favorite linky parties.

I wish that you are surrounded by kindness and hope you stay strong through tumultuous times.  I look forward to you thoughts.



Friday, April 7, 2017

Color Wheel of Emotions

I know several planners, doctors, engineers, and now quilters.  And I have decided that quilters are the best people - even when you have not met them.  Once you meet them, it only gets better.



This blogpost is about three quilters.

1. GrammaBabs - Her name is Barbara and she lives in Massachusetts.  We know each other through the M* quilting forum. Therefore it came as a surprise to me when she asked me the following:

"is that little baby here yet??? Just wondering... can't wait to send something for HE or SHE...:))"

GrammaBabs was asking about Harry and Sally's baby.  When I told her that Leah was born on February 23, 2017, she sent me the loveliest little pink sweater.


Leah is the new-born daughter of Harry (and Sally) who is the brother of my friend Manveen.  I have met Harry only thrice. Have not met Leah yet. Of course GrammaBabs has not met anyone - not even me. So what prompted her to make something for Leah? A quilters heart!!!


2. Sylvia - Also met Sylvia on the M* quilting forum. We have met a few times. I try to meet with her whenever I travel to Pennsylvania.


Sometimes our schedules do not match up. So when I saw her this time, it had been about six months. Sylvia had been dealing with some stuff, which meant little sewing and no fabric shopping. Come time for our rendezvous, she raided her stash to find the loudest, brightest, wildly happiest fat quarter. For me. Guess, my reputation precedes me.




We devoured chips and guacamole, talked about politics and other taboo topics (yes those ones), and split a flan :-)




3. Mari - Mari is the quilter/blogger who blogs at Academic Quilter. She has supported and comforted me with her wise words. We think alike in several ways but then our fabric choices are markedly different. That works, because I'd hate to battle over a bolt with Mari. We agreed to meet at the AQS show in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.



Lots and lots of eye candy at the show. Mostly awe-inspiring.


So many times we squinted our eyes - how did she do that?


This quilt was my favorite. It was so festive and reminded me of bridal outfits from India.



But that was before I saw this one. 


I saw the tear in her eye. Mari noticed the churn dash blocks in the background, even when they were faded. That is when I noticed the words on each of the scales. I got goosebumps.

Respect, Generosity, Kindness, Service, Tolerance, Love, Compassion, Responsibility

Just then another viewer was trying to read the words, but it was hard. The text was subtle and we were behind the rope.  So, I took a picture on my phone and zoomed in.  As I read aloud the words, on both scales (for the viewer's benefit), I felt hot tears roll down my cheeks.

Anger, Incivility, Selfishness, Greed, Intolerance, Fear, Hate, Willfulness

At that moment, we all knew. No more words were required. Mari hugged me.
The viewer tried to comfort me - "Oh there are more of us than them."  And I knew, in my heart, that we will be fine. Eventually.

With such an amazing community of creators, who feel so deeply, think so freely and give so selflessly, how can we not?

We ended the evening with a fabric shopping spree at Mook Fabric Store.



Wish I had taken pictures in the store.  But I was so bewildered by the bolts and the low prices.


Remnants were $3.99 per yard. Oh, I bought more fabric than this, but let's save that for the next Sunday Stash.



I came home to the April Honey Pot Bee and there it was - more inspiration, colors, fabric and pattern.  Here is my interpretation of the Stripey Stripe Block.




The Starry Sky Block required paper piecing. UGH!!! I printed out templates and followed the instructions. Mostly.





And yes, there was waste - both paper and fabric waste.



In just one weekend, I experienced enough joy, sadness, hope, excitement, inspiration, kindness and comfort to last me the entire month - a whole color wheel of emotions. I think that is April's goal accomplished.

Do I have a quilty goal for April?  May be I will finish a quilt or two. There are at least two scrap vortex quilts in the making.



Linking with April OMG at Elm Street Quilts and all my favorite linky parties. As always, I'd love to hear about your emotional experiences.





Friday, March 31, 2017

Jack and Jill

Hurray!!! I met all my March goals. Even if it is on the very last day.
Taxes were done AND I delivered twins.  Meet Jack and Jill.

Jack
Jill

What started as a Dreami moment in December, resulted in Twins (pun intended - meant especially for the former English teacher) in March.  They were conceived on a weekend afternoon, but took a couple of months to deliver :-D

Jelly Roll Strips for Jack
Jelly Roll Strips for Jill

It was a super simple Fat Quarter Shop Tutorial - Jelly Roll Twist. That is easy. I can do that and do it quickly, I said aloud.  There were two problems.

1. Too much white.  The quilt needs more color.
2. Too wasteful. The tutorial suggests using 34 strips to make 42 blocks. Actually, you can make 42 blocks from just 28 strips.

Solids for Jack

First Blocks - Jack

I chose to use one jelly roll to make two quilts. 20 strips will yield 30 blocks, enough for a crib quilt measuring 43" by 52". The best part was choosing solids to match the jelly roll fabrics.

Solids for Jill
Did you notice there is only one color difference between Jack and Jill?
Jack has navy and Jill has pink.

Jill - First Blocks

I blogged about these flimsies in this blogpost.

Jack on the Design Wall

Both quilts use the same block, with common fabrics - grey, white, green and turquoise solids.
The layout of the blocks is random.

I wanted to make sure that the solid white square did not fall along the outer edge of the quilt.  That gives the impression (to me) that someone took a bite out of the quilt and left a hole in there.

Jill - Finished Flimsy

This brings me to backing. I had  been hoarding that blue print for a couple of years.  The navy blue binding for Jack was an easy choice.
Backing for Jack

The scooter print for Jill's backing is a recent acquisition from Hancocks. It is adorable :-)
Backing for Jill
After auditioning several fabrics, I chose a gray striped fabric for Jill's binding.  It works well with both the front and the back.

Jill - A finish
Jack - Finished and Labelled
With the completion of Jack and Jill, the total tally comes to six quilts in 2017.

The twins
This is an easy pattern and if you are a beginner, this may be a good pattern to start.

Quilting Close-up

Jill - Love the texture
 Both Jack and Jill were quilted using walking foot and gentle curves quilting.

In the early morning light

Jack and Jill

Me: Six quilts in three months.
Paul: Babe, you may want to slow down.
Me: Slow down? Whatever for?
Paul: I am hungry and you may want to cook for me.
Me: Or I may want to take you out to brunch. Treat you like royalty :-)
Paul: Uh huh.


He knows I am ignoring chores for the love of sewing.  But he can neither decline an offer of brunch nor argue about my love of sewing.

I win this round.

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As much as I would like to end this post with my win, there are a few other important things happening in the blogland such as Bernie's expanded Etsy store.

Vintage Sheet Fat Quarters

Bernie of Needle & Foot expanded her Etsy Shop and a few of my favorite bloggers were promoting her with a 20% coupon.  I wasted no time in ordering a couple of fat quarters and two supercute panels.  I ordered on Sunday, and received my package on Wednesday. Supercute fabric and superfast shipping. I was happy.

Super cute Panel

Then Bernie asked me if I had a project in mind.
Project? Yes, I only buy fabric when I have a specific project in mind :-D
Hmmm...well, imagine a flying goose on top of each of those panel squares, like a little house.
Aw... that is cute, she said.

Now, I had to make it. At least one audition block. So here it is.

Audition Block


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Some quilters enjoy making pieced backings. I have done it. It can be a fun design exercise, for smaller quilts. But if it is a queen size quilt, I'd much rather use a wide backing.  If you are with me, then there is some terrific news for you.

Connecting Threads (affiliate link) is having a 25% off sale on wide backing fabrics. That means you can get 104" wide fabric for under $9/yard.  Yay!!! Doing a happy dance.

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I will be linking with Elm Street Quilts for March OMG and all may favorite linky parties. 

Did you meet your March goals? Did you file your tax returns yet?
And most important - what project do you have in mind for your latest fabric purchase :-p