Friday, January 14, 2022

Synergy in Make Modern #44

I have news!!!

My pattern Synergy is in the Make Modern Magazine, Issue 44.

Synergy in Make Modern #44

Meet Synergy. Measuring 56" by 70", Synergy is made entirely with Island Batik Solids, provided to me free of charge by Island Batik. It is good to be an ambassador :-)

Orange Foliage, Rainbow Quilt

My favorite :-)

Breeze was a Brat

More Fall Foliage

Oh my beauty!

The quilt was completed in November 2021. The  pictures were taken on November 14, 2021. All instructions and pictures were sent on November 20, 2021. And then I had to sit tight till NOW.  

Sitting Tight?

Sunny Side Up

You have no idea how hard these last few months have been for me. This is a very big deal to keep bottled for this long a time. Therefore I am relieved (thrilled and giddy with happiness too) that I can now share this news with you.

Forgive me if I got a little trigger-happy :-)




I highly recommend the Make Modern magazine. Whereas a single pattern may cost about $12, you can get the entire issue (with 10 terrific patterns) for just $12. The 105 pages are chock full of quilty goodness with detailed patterns, features and articles!!!

But there is more. Isn't there always?

I wanted to see Synergy pattern in different colorways. Using EQ8, I modeled Synergy in Tantalizing Teals. But got stuck on the choice of background color. White was too plain, Black was too dark and Grey was too dull. But Yellow was perfect.

There was just one problem. I had about 12" of Island Batik Solid Yellow.  I needed 2.5 yards. I reached out to Maryellen, a fellow IB ambassador who owns the Etsy store MaryMackMadeMine. Maryellen rushed the fabric to me. I recommend her Etsy store for all your Island Batik needs.

Synergy in Island Batik Tantalizing Teals

Thanks to Maryellen, I was able to complete the quilt and shoot pictures to time this blogpost with the publication of the Make Modern, Issue 44. 

Frozen Pond = Poor Reflection

Hello Yellow!!!

Synergy Goes Wild!

Lighting up the Urban Landscape

Fire on Ice!!!

Paul: Is this your January challenge quilt for Island Batik?
Me: It can be.
Paul: But?
Me: But I made another quilt as my response to the challenge.
Paul: You could've killed two birds with one stone.
Me: But I have so many stones...
Paul: And you like throwing stones?
Me: I like playing with fabric, especially such gorgeous fabric.
Paul: Why stop at one when you can make two?
Me: Exactly!!! You totally get me :-)

Cold Weather, Hot Quilt!!!

Although Synergy (in Island Batik Tantalizing Teals with Yellow background) fulfills all requirements of the January IB challenge (Step by Step), I am sharing it here as a Synergy pattern.  All fabrics were provided by Island Batiks.

Upcoming Posts 
January 21, 2022 - Unboxing Video and Post
January 28, 2022 - Step by Step Challenge 

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar. But I'd like to hear from you. Which Synergy do you prefer - Rainbow Synergy or Teals Synergy? 

Saturday, January 8, 2022


Happy New Year to you! Hope you are staying warm, safe and sane.  Hey, two out of three ain't bad :-D

Looks beautiful, feels horrible

I have a new finish!

First finish of 2022.

Meet my first finish of 2022 - Mabern, a combination of Mari and Bernie :-) 

Paul, the model

Mermaids Backing

Sunny Day

Mabern is so named because all the background fabric came from Mari and several of the focus fabrics came from Bernie.  Mabern finished at 40" by 48".
I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar. 

Walking Foot Quilting

Light Grey Binding


The block in Mabern is not new. I had seen it a few times but hadn't given it a second thought. 

But on a particularly depressing day I was watching youtube, as I was on hold for a very long time with X&%$ airlines trying to cancel my flight. One video led to another and autoplay brought me to this one.  Just then Expedia called. I disconnected the existing call and took the incoming call, as I paused the video. 

While I talked to the Expedia representative, the shapes on the screen danced and twisted and turned before my eyes. By the time the phone call ended, I had a new idea. I had to try it. I dived into newly acquired scraps from Mari and Bernie.


I DISCOVERED something - a new way to make an old block. I have been so excited to share it with you, but decided to wait till I completed the quilt.

This method has its limitations. If all you have are 2.5" strips, then you cannot use this method. If your block is made up of three fabrics (two focus fabrics plus the background), it won't work either.

But if you like it and use it and share it, please do include a link to this page. 


In other news, I received an email from Island Batik. It was a tough choice, they wrote. They could only pick 25 ambassadors for the year 2022. 

I am one of them :-)

I have already received my first shipment, loaded with gorgeous fabrics. The unboxing blogpost and video will be published on January 21, 2022. The challenge for January is Step by Step - make a lap size (or larger) quilt using the Gradations Fat Quarter Bundle. Mine is Tantalizing Teals :-)

Tantalizing Teals by Island Batik

Sneak Peek

I will be sharing my Step by Step finish next week, I think. Photoshoot is contingent on model availability (trying to bribe Paul to brave the cold) and weather conditions (praying for a non-rainy and non-windy day).


I will be playing along once again with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. RSC 2022 has been announced and January is red. Here are my blocks. 

I am not sure if I should just leave them as such now and then set them on point in the flimsy. Or add corners to each block. Hmmm... what do you think?

On-point setting

Added Corners

Sharing with Angela's Linky Party. Love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

I wish I was a bird...

Then I could fly on my own. I won't need a plane or a boarding pass. I could certainly bypass the visa requirements and security checks.

I would not have to deal with unnecessary and cumbersome regulations. Stifling laws and changing policies would not ground me. 

Too chunky?

Alas I am not a bird. And we are in the middle of a pandemic...which is not going away anywhere for a long time. So here I am, in spite of doing all the things I thought I had to do, still grounded.

On Sunday, December 19, 2021, after Paul dropped me at the airport and I had been in the check-your-bags line for an hour, some official checked my passport/visa only to tell me that my visa is no longer valid. I could not fly home to see my mom.

Me: I have a multiple entry visa that is valid till 2026.
Official: All those visas have been suspended.
Me: What can I do?
Official: You have to apply for an e-visa. You could get it in two days if you hurry and fly out on Wednesday. Of course there will be charges.
Me: I understand there will be visa application fees.
Official: Yes, but also flight rescheduling charges.

Fighting tears and suppressing rising sobs, I called Paul to pick me up.  Then I called mom to cancel the taxi she had ordered to pick me up from the New Delhi airport. 

Once home, I called the airline to reschedule the flight for the following Sunday, adding few days to be on the safe side.  While on hold I navigated to the e-visa application site and began filling out the online form. While I heard Covid safety guidelines on the phone in a loop, the e-visa site rejected my application because my passport validity was less than six months.

Forget the visa and the flight, I must apply for Passport renewal first. Of course rapid services are available by telephone appointments only - Monday to Friday, 8:00AM to who the hell cares by now!!!

Even if I got a rapid passport renewal, followed by a rapid e-visa, and a rescheduled flight (with charges of course), will all those things come together magically by Sunday?  Further, I would have to adjust my return date too, which had its own ramifications for work. 

It was still mid-morning and Paul was taking a necessary nap after two unnecessary airport trips. 

In that moment, I felt alone and wept. If only I was a bird...

Too flat?

Adding insult to injury, the airline kept me on hold so long that the call timed out. THRICE!!!  Finally, Expedia called confirming the cancellation and refund minus cancellation charges. It may take 8-12 weeks, she added. But I bought Travel Protection, I insisted. I should not have to pay cancellation charges. The Expedia representative was kind and supportive. She suggested that I reach out to the Travel Protection agency to file a claim against cancellation charges.  

That was Sundaze. Welcome to Mondoom.

On Monday, I tried to make an appointment for an expedited passport renewal. 
Agent: When are you traveling?
Me: As soon as I can after my passport is renewed and I can get a visa.
Agent: I need an itinerary number, confirmation number or ticket number.
Me: But how can I book my flight if I don't have a valid passport or a visa.
Agent: Those are the rules ma'am. Please call us back once you have a booking.

So I make a booking, buy travel protection, cross my fingers (and toes) and call back, all in the next 20 minutes.
Agent: When are you traveling?
Me: December 28, 2021
Agent: I need an itinerary number, confirmation number or ticket number.
I do as asked.
Agent: The next available appointment is January 3, 2021.


It took me two hours to cancel the just-booked December 28, 2021 flight.  
Eventually I accepted the fact that the universe did not want me to travel to India at this time.  
Why could I not be a bird?

I like this color

Paul: You should unpack, babe.
Me: That is difficult - like taking apart my dreams
Paul: Then just take out the cake and cookies.

I eat too many cookies.

Wednesduh :-(
I go to CVS for a new passport picture.  
The first one was horrible - I looked murderous. 
I tried to barely smile in the second one. It was barely acceptable. 
I showed it to Paul. He laughed. 

Paul: You look pissed but trying to hide it.
Me: You know me so well.
Paul: So what is next?
Me: I apply for passport renewal tomorrow.
Paul: Perfect. That's my girl.
Me: I love you.
Paul: I love you too.

Fly home, little birds

And here I am Thursday morning... writing this blogpost.   Thank you to everyone who wished me safe travels and a fun trip. I wish you an "uneventful" holiday season and a happy new year.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Goodbye 2021

I have a new finish!!!  Let me show you a few process pictures before the final reveal.


A Grizzly and a Polar Bear walked into a quilt!!! 

Quilting Slowly

And here is the finished quilt. Hanging from Mari's Balcony. We got together for lunch and quilty chitchat last weekend.

We make these RSC blocks a few every month and then set them aside. On one hand it is not a surprise or a grand finale because we have been seeing these blocks come together throughout the year. But (and this is a big one) the visual impact of seeing all those blocks all at once is just Wowzers!!!

Oops - it is sideways

Much Better :-) 

When Mari laughed at something, I had to forget the quilt and take her picture, instead. 

Thank you Mari :-)

Quilt Models - Mari and Larry. Yes it needs two!!!

Treading on Stars

Oh my!!!

Oh those colors sing!!!

Mari's Favorite

Stark Background - Sharp Colors

Floral Backing

Love the Backing, Island Batik Aqua Binding

My former co-worker Maureen has claimed this quilt and I have named it Maureen's Stars. Maureen's Stars finished at about 78" by 93".  This is my last finish of the year and I am thrilled for two reasons.

1. It is a gorgeous finish and has been already claimed.
2. RSC 2021 was successfully completed in 2021. 

I am exploring ideas for 2022 RSC now. Are you in? I will be sharing with all  my favorite linky parties including Angela's Linky Party. See full list on the sidebar.

I leave for India on Sunday, returning early next year. That is why this blogpost is a twofer - RSC finish and Best of 2021.

A large part of my life is made up of quilting and related activities. A very large part of my quilting life this year was dedicated to Island Batik. I made 20 quilts including one tree skirt and two table runners using Island Batik fabrics. I also made a set of placemats, one backpack and several zippered pouches.

Backpack using Island Batik Fabrics. Pattern byAnnie

Playful Placemats, Island Batik Fabrics

Clearly, my Island Batik efforts this year could keep a large household warm (with quilts), organized (with zippered pouches) and ready to entertain (with table runners and placemats). 

Zippered Pouches, Island Batik Fabrics

I can hardly say the same for my own. It is messy (read creative) but cozy, because there are quilts everywhere. Here are  my top five projects this year.

5. Gul Mohar - I am glad I tore myself away (thanks to some scathing comments from Paul) for this workshop with Gloria Loughman. I am thrilled with the results. I recommend Gloria's class. She is an amazing artist and an excellent teacher. I will try my hand at this technique again - just unsure when :-)

4. Konark - Working with a limited number of fabrics I chose to create the gradation from the lightest in the center to the darkest in the corners. The challenge was to make sure that within each block there was sufficient contrast between the star fabric and the background fabric.  The resulting quilt seems to glow. I am glowing too :-)

3. Spring Broken - Spring Broken happened because my plans to see the Cherry Blossoms were dashed and I vented my disappointment on fabric using improvisational piecing. She was my problem child that blossomed (pun intended) into a fine young woman. I love her. According to Kelly, it is the prettiest pout she has ever seen :-) Rebecca gets the credit for the beautiful quilting.  Read her post here, with absolutely gorgeous pictures.

2. Iberian Lynx - This was the toughest challenge of the year. And therefore the most gratifying. Sponsored by Aurifil Threads, we had to create a piece inspired by an endangered animal. Mine was Iberian Lynx - an absolutely majestic cat. We want to belong and we want to stand out. With this project I felt I managed to do both as a member of the Island Batik Ambassadors Group.

1. Remembering RBG - The legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will live forever and no quilt can do justice to her legacy.  I started making this quilt on September 19, 2020, the day after her passing.  If I did not occupy my hands, my heart would've exploded with grief. Justice RBG was the true champion of gender equality in our country. Much work remains. Inequality (racial or gender) hurts everyone. The freedoms we take for granted are hard won and those freedoms are now at stake. Let's remember that when we go to the polls in 11 months.

But wait there is more!!!

My Our (Bernie's and mine) first QAL (for Mercyful Quilts) was a success. It started here

This post with block tutorials captured maximum views this year. The last time I checked Bernie had received about 22 quilts. This does not include the quilts made in other countries that were donated to local causes. Here is a glimpse.

By Janine

By Mary

By Roseanne

By Sylvia

"Let's do it again, Bernie", I said. "I am in", Bernie said. 

It is official. Positivity 2.0 is coming.  I will provide the free tutorial/pattern with a lazy schedule. Bernie will coordinate sponsors and we hope that you will join in the QAL.


When I was down in the dumps, burning with rage, you soothed me. You restore my faith in humanity again and again. I asked for a hug and I received so much love, kindness, encouragement, affirmation, support and hugs.

Courage (quilted by Rebecca)

This was the longest and tightest squeeze ever!!!  My Personal Favorite Blogpost of 2021. No contest!!! Also notable for maximum number of comments for a post without a giveaway. I am thinking of you, Kate and Kelly


In 2021, I started an Etsy Store. Thank you for your love, likes and supports.  80 sales is nothing to frown upon, I was told. Also sold two quilts. Animal House has found a new home, waiting to bring joy to a new baby boy.  

Wild and Mild traveled across the ocean to reach its new home.


New Patterns are coming!!!


And one last update - 2021 was also the year when I bought EQ8. I have so much to learn but I am enjoying playing with it. Last week I discovered the "Swap Color" feature and I am beside myself with exhilaration. Rebecca and Kathleen - it is all because of you.

Paul: Good morning babe
Me: uh huh
Paul: You ok?
Me: In a zone. Leave me alone.
Paul: EQ?
Me: YES. I am hooked. Look at this.
Paul (viewing my latest attempt): Impressive. 
Me: Sorry, you are not getting any breakfast today.
Paul: I made myself a sandwich...
Me: Love you, bye.
Paul: What will you do in India?
Me: hmm...
Paul: Without your EQ and your machine and your fabric, you will be miserable.
Me: YIKES!!! Guess, I must play some more before I leave.

I heard Paul's laughter as he left me to my devices.


It has been a difficult year beginning with a deadly attack on the very heart of our democracy.  While many Americans resist vaccines, masks and distancing guidelines, the virus continues to evolve with strains that are deadlier and more contagious, resulting in an increasing number of breakthrough infections. The assault on our democracy, our voting rights and our bodies continues. It seems like a helpless situation and I don't have any answers. But we do have choices.

In every situation we have a choice - to speak the truth and do what is right. I promise to do both.

As I put 2021 in the rear view mirror and the road ahead seems unclear, I pray for goodness to overcome evil, wherever it may be.  I hope you will join me.