Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Women of Color

Yesterday I had an appointment with six sisters.  They all wanted pink gowns with matching headdresses. I was ready. Here are the six complete outfits (in the show window) I had chosen.

Fishes, Florals and Spools

Imagine my surprise when not six but eight sisters showed up.  I was prepared for six.
Now I needed two more complete outfits.

Paul: Do you have enough for eight?
Me: I think so.
Paul: Do you need my help?
Me: May we get pizza for dinner?
Paul: Consider it done.

I busied myself with the task at hand, one sister at a time.

Sister #1

Sister #2

Sister #3

Sister #4

Sister #5

Sister #6

Sister 7: What do you have for me?
Me: (pointing to the show window) Do you like any of these?
Sister 7: I was hoping you'd have something different for me.
Me: What would you like?
Sister 7: Something with a geometric design.
Me: I'll see what I can do.

Geometric Design
Sister 7: Ooh this is perfect.

Sister #7

Sister 8: Do you have anything else?
Me: Floral or Geometric?
Sister 8: Floral but unlike anything my sisters are wearing.
Me: Of course. Because you are unique.

This is what Sister #8 chose.
Sister #8

All eight sisters stood in front of full-length mirrors, admiring their new dresses, laughing and giggling, while I gathered the pins, the fabric bits, loose threads etc.  Just then the front door opened with a bang and Sister #9 tumbled in - hot and disheveled .

Sister #2 - What happened?
Sister # 4 - Oh poor baby
Sister #1 - Did you get lost?
Sister #6 - Did you miss the train?
Sister #9 - I was listening to this podcast and I got so engrossed that I missed my stop.
Had to wait for the train and then I power walked from the stop here.
Sister #3 - I am so glad you made it here.

Someone offered her a glass of water and another one fanned her face.
Someone helped her out of her shoes and another one massaged her feet.
And all of us (eight sisters and me) gathered around her to find her the most perfect gown and headdress.

Sister #9

What do you think?

All nine sisters left my showroom/studio feeling happy and looking beautiful.
I will be sharing with Angela's linky party this Saturday.

Women of Color - in Pink

Of all the ways I identify myself, my identity as a woman is the strongest.  So when two (or three) more sisters showed up, I could only do one thing - open the door wider!!!

Every complexion is different but all palms are open. And whereas the open palms initially signified a willingness to dance, it also means that I welcome you with an open heart. Because whatever affects you affects me too and if you are being attacked, I am under attack as well.

It does not matter whether your name is Alexandria, Ilhan, Ayanna or Rashida, I stand in solidarity with you and my house is always open for you.

Purple Dress Materials for the next visit

The sisters promised to be back and this time they want purple gowns and matching headdresses.  I had so much fun dressing them up that I am looking forward to their next visit :-)

These traveling sisters may visit your studio too. Consider yourself warned, they may say that they need three outfits but then five will show up. CathyKaholly and KiwiKid had similar experiences. Do let me know if you encounter the traveling International Sisters (link to the tutorial).

I finished!!!

In other news, I just received my Finisher's Pin for the Trinket Sew Along.  I will be showing off my completed Trinket quilt in the next blogpost.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.
As usual, I'd love to hear from you - my quilty sisters in the blogland!!!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Poco Loco

Growing up in India my earliest memory of skull and crossbones was Danger.
It can be seen on poisonous substances, high voltage equipments, near railway crossings and anything deemed hazardous. In my mind the skull was evil, indicative of death and danger.

On location

Fancy meeting you here

Coming to America was a culture shock in so many ways.
The whole concept of Halloween was bizarre and mind-boggling. How can scary be fun?
Gouged out eyes, blood and scars are disgusting.  Why would anyone purposely want to be hideous?
It was completely revolting to see skulls on fabric. But when I saw skulls with flowers in the eye-sockets (sugar skulls), it was the ultimate nausea.

Flimsy Finished

Over a period of time, I came to accept these bizarre symbols even when I did not understand them.
Fast forward a few years.  I watched the movie Coco. The movie has been described as "a loving tribute to Mexican culture".

Solid scraps 

Sewn and Cut

Backing fabrics

Backing Design

Finished Back

If you have not seen this movie, you are missing out.  It is on Netflix and I highly recommend it watching it a few times before it is gone.
The basic premise of the movie is this - after we die, we continue to live in the memories of our loved ones.  When we are forgotten, when no one living remembers us, that is when we truly disappear.  Once a year, those who have passed (but are still remembered) get to visit their loved ones in the living world. The skeletal forms are used to depict those who have left their bodily forms.

Poco Loco

Love this!!!

This quilt - Poco Loco is a celebration of the movie Coco, which changed my perceptions.
Poco Loco is one of the several fantastic songs from the movie.

Walking Foot Quilting

Multicolored striped fabric was inserted between solid rectangles.  Slivers of solids leftover were then sewn together and inserted between black and white prints to make the pieced back.

Composite Solids Strip

Walking foot quilting is my refuge. I wanted a black binding just to frame all the bright colors but a black thread (to secure the binding to the front) on black fabric is pure torture on my eyes.

Faux piped binding

I used a faux piped binding with a sliver of white.  White thread on white fabric worked just fine and overall frame is still black. Love it :-)


And a few more pictures on location.

Color is energy

Lots of energy

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties.
What changed your perceptions? As usual, I'd love to hear your thoughts.


This week I have an upcoming appointment with six of the International Sisters.  They all want pink gowns with matching headdresses. I am ready. Here are the six complete outfits I have chosen.

July is Pink - RSC 2019

These International Sisters have been visiting several studios in the blogland including CathyKaholly and KiwiKid. Have you heard from them?  I'd love to know.
I have linked with Angela's linky party where you can see other rosy and pink blocks.

Sunday, June 23, 2019


Meet Sonika.
Mom's name + baby daughter's name = Sonika.


It started with sparkly white squares and some jelly roll strips.

half log cabin block

setting triangles

But the magic comes from the on-point setting.


I chose a bright turquoise and purple butterfly backing.
Warm front and cool backing :-) I had a good feeling about this one.

Butterfly Backing

Quilted it simply with my walking foot and a zig-zag stitch, following the piecing.

Zig Zag quilting

For binding I used a dark purple fabric. It is not solid but reads like one.

Purple Binding

And I did not forget the label. Also important because it includes care instructions for the quilt.


Here are some more pictures of Sonika. She finished at 46" square - perfect for the baby and should be good for at least a couple of years.

46" square

Warm and Cool

Brightly yours

Sending hugs

No, I have not seen the baby yet. And I am not sure when we will be able to make the trip.
But that does not mean that the baby should be deprived of quilty hugs.

Sonika has reached her destination and was very well-received. The mom even promised to send me some pictures with the baby on the quilt. But you know how that works - new moms are super busy and promises are like babies - easy to make and difficult to deliver :-D

I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar. As usual, I'd love to hear from you.


One of my favorite quilt designers is Maryline Collioud-Roberts. I follow her blog, her Etsy shop and her Instagram feed.  Love her work and her daily photograph inspirations.  If I could I would take her class. Alas, she lives in Switzerland :-(
So I did the next best thing.
I bought two of her patterns - Blue Ducks and Carnavale - from her Etsy shop.
To make the Blue Ducks pattern, I would need 40 solid fabrics in warm colors and 30 solid fabrics in cool colors.

Then I saw that Bluprint had 40% off sale on all supplies and this box of Boundless Fat Quarters could be mine. Well, Happy Birthday to me.  It has 90 FQs and I should be able to pick out 40 warm and 30 cool fabrics, after I discard the ones that are too dark or too light.

Boundless Collage Fat Quarter Box

Full Disclosure - Although I am an affiliate, I am not a fan of Bluprint's subscription service because I believe if I had the choice to watch any class at any time, it would be a huge distraction. So I stick to the old model wherein I buy the class I need and have it forever.  However I still like their Boundless and Lily and Loom fabrics.

So some time later this year, after I have petted these beauties to my heart's content, I will cut them up for the Blue Ducks pattern :-)


Thank you for the love you have shown to the International Sister Quilt Block.
Here is a shout out to all my quilty sisters who have made this block.
Little Penguin Quilts

You make me happy :-)

Monday, June 10, 2019

Quilters Unlimited Show 2019

The Quilt show was May 30 through June1, 2019.
I went to the quilt show with two of my non-quilty friends - Patsy and Sandy.  I know them from yoga classes and they are not quilters. This fact is important to the story that follows.

When we got to the "Trees of Life" quilt, I requested Patsy to take a picture of me with the quilt.
You know because a selfie would just not do it.

As I handed off my phone to Patsy, I noticed a couple of women walking towards us.
I went to stand next to the quilt and Patsy turned around and remarked to these women - My friend made this gorgeous quilt.
I blushed. The woman smiled, nodded and moved on.
My color deepened when I realized that Patsy had just addressed Jinny Beyer. It was just another day at the Quilt Show.

There is  something magical about the show.
I have made the quilt, photographed it and blogged about it but when I see it at the show, my heart skips a beat. Does this happen to you?

Here I am beaming with the "Fire Pit" quilt.

Here I am with "Mixed Feelings", happily reporting that all feelings are upbeat now.  The pain has receded into the dim caverns of my memory.

And lastly with Lo and Behold. Princess Bonniebella can be seen just over my shoulder and the Christmas tree plugged into the sunflower is just northeast of the princess.

If you have not, you have to see the full quilt and read the whole story here.

Here are some of my favorites from the show. The credits immediately follow the quilt picture

This looks so Indian to me with red and yellow which are considered auspicious colors and are used to clothe the Goddess, as well as the patchwork design reminiscent of the Rangoli patterns.

I love the bicyclist and the teddy bear in the doorway. Fun details.

Susan is in my guild and her work never fails to impress.

Delicate flowers to depict the mighty elephant - who would have thought?

So cute. Made me smile.

Spectacular. How do they make everything fit?  I am sure it is the magic of paper-piecing. Well-behaved paper-piecing, I guess.

I have seen this pattern before but not in solids.  I believe it is the black/white bands that add extra oomph.

The simplicity and straightforwardness of this quilt was very attractive to me. Fabric choices are important.

This intrigued me. I remember standing and staring it for a while to find all the embellishments she used.

And this small quilt was the show-stopper (in my opinion)

I returned from the show super happy and super exhausted.

Paul: Babe, are you ok?
Me: Yeah, why?
Paul: You seem subdued.
Me: The quilt show was fabulous.
Paul: And that has depressed you?
Me: No. Yes, in a way.
Paul: How so?
Me: Well, there are so many quilts to make and so little time
Paul: Ah OK. Well, are you going to finish this (pointing to the Trinket flimsy) one?
Me: I am not feeling it.
Paul: Whoa, What, Why?
Me: I completed every step, posted on Instagram religiously, sent an email for the finished top...
Paul: And?
Me: And I did not win.
Paul: Nothing?
Me: Absolutely nothing. I got oohs and aahs, nods and appreciation from other quilters but I wish I had also won something.
Paul: Was this like a lottery or a competition?
Me: Both. Well, first it was a weekly lottery and then it was the Grand Prize.
Paul: So who won?
Me: Bunch of people won. Not me.
Paul: Who won the grand prize?
Me: One very spectacular quilt - monochrome of blue and white. And another one had this very special layout where she made a picture or a landscape with these blocks.
Paul: So better quilts won.
Me: Some were better than mine. But mine is up there with the rest of the fancy ones.
Paul: Don't you have to finish this?
Me: Yes, but not this minute. It is not like I will get a prize for finishing it.
Paul: How about I give you a prize for finishing it.
Me: I am listening.
Paul: Gift Card to the Spa.
Me: I promise to complete it before the end of the month. But I want to play with my sisters now. They will cheer me up.
Paul: Good. Because I do not want a grumpy date. 

The rest of the exchange between Paul and me is redacted :-)

The new month had begun. The RSC's color for June is blue and I dived into my blue stash/scrap pile to make my blocks.

Blues for June

in the works

Almost there
 And here they are - International sisters for the month of June

Her face glows and the dress too

Perfectly placed rose in the headdress

Oh yes I will dance

Me too

Did someone say dance?

Princess of Whimsical Seas

Wait for me

Oh yes, I must finish the Trinket quilt so that I can get the gift card to get the massage that I can definitely use :-)

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the side bar.
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts.