Saturday, October 10, 2020

Caterpillar in My Curry

The fear of an unfinished object is real.  It is not that the UFO will physically attack me but the passive aggressive nature of the silent taunts can be pretty traumatic.

A new finish

Therefore the leftover strip sets from "Playing with Fire" had to be quickly repurposed.  

Repurposing Leftover Strips

Paul: Very Halloween
Me: I am calling it Caterpillar in my Curry
Paul: WHAT!!!
Me: If you can have a wasp in your hat then why can I not have a caterpillar in my curry?
Paul: You mean "a bee in your bonnet"?
Me: Yup, that's what I said.

Simple Rail Fence Blocks

Paul: But why is there a caterpillar in your curry?
Me: Because the orange curry has yellow/black caterpillar in it...
Paul: You make it sound yummy.
Me: Well, it is what it is.

Caterpillar in My Curry

Paul: What happens to this one?
Me: I can give it to Jeanne for her charity quilt drive or save it for Nancy's baby boy due in December. Plenty of babies in need of quilts.
Paul: Isn't it kinda dull for a baby quilt?


Me: It is. That is why I chose this Charlie Brown backing.
Paul: Now that is cute.


Caterpillar in My Curry finished at 40" by 48".  A few more pictures.

Warm and Cool

Close-up Quilting


I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.


After months of waiting, it was finally time for sunshine - Sunny Papayas to Curried Bananas.


Here are my Picket Star Quilt Blocks in gold, butter, honey, lemon, pineapple and butterscotch...or Yellow by any other name :-)

Corn and Curry

Sew Something Spicy

Light & Dark

Floral and Paisley

Butterscotch Juice Boxes

Floral & Geometric

And here are the blocks for RSC Project#2.  


There were a total of 104 comments on the blogpost Diamond Star Quilts - Book Review & Giveaway.  Thank you so much - you are the best :-)

 The lucky winner of the giveaway is #5. Congratulations SandyPA.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Diamond Star Quilts - Book Review + Giveaway

For some time I had this voice inside me goading me, chiding me.
Shouldn't you try something more advanced?
Isn't it time to add to your skills?
How about attempting something that actually challenges you?

And every time I banished it. Shoo away.
It was comfortable. I am enjoying the popularity of the sisters, basking in the adulation of the Picket Star Blocks and relishing the warmth of comments for Mercyful Quilts.

Then I got an email. The voice had evolved. It was harder to ignore.
Barbara Cline asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing her upcoming book - Diamond Star Quilts.

Barbara Cline

WHOA!!! WHAT??? Who is Barbara Cline? A quilter, teacher, designer and author of six books.
Yes, I said yes. Immediately. I chose to make Twirling and A-Swirling Star from the book.

My choice

Oh boy, and yes it was a challenge. 
After 7+ years and 150+ quilts I do not consider myself a beginner but I am not an expert. Further I had never made a lone star type quilt before which makes me Lone Star newbie, but a confident newbie :-)

Step 1 Choosing Fabric - Of course I wanted brighter fabrics than the purple, gray and navy. But just three colors? And one of them is the background.

Paul: You can use all random colors.
Me: You mean scrappy.
Paul: Yes, that.
Me: I worry that using many colors may lose the impact.
Paul: What impact?
Me: I love the movement.
Paul: It has that energy about it.
Me: It looks like a fancy firework and the transparency of the background between the swirls gives it the sparkling effect.
Paul: So make it in warm colors


Step 2 - Cutting Fabric - This was easy.
Step 3 - Piecing the Strip Sets

Piecing Strips

Strip Sets

The biggest challenge is the accurate 1/4" seam.  I chose to proceed very slowly and check after every step. In fact, I decided to make just one strip set per day.

There was some seam ripping in the beginning. By the time I perfected my 1/4"seam the sets were all done.

Step 4 - Cutting. This wasn't difficult either.


Step 5 - Piecing the diamonds. This is the heart of the pattern and if you got Step 3 right, this should be not too difficult, although I was prepared to do some seam-ripping, if required.

The first one

This is not a lazy daisy quilt. This is not a scrappy improv quilt. Even the slightest bit of wonky would derail it. Very precise, very careful and double check everything.

Design Wall

I completed the first quadrant and then the second. I showed them to Paul. He merely nodded.
When the four quadrants were completed (final seams pending), I placed all four on the design wall, admired my handiwork and left for work. 


See what Paul had to say...

Paul: You should call it "gender reveal party"
Me: WHAT??? WHY??? 
Paul: Because it looks like someone started a fire...
Me: I am calling it "Playing with Fire"
Paul: That works too.
Me: Your humor though topical is horrible, at least in this instance.

The book, on the other hand, is marvelous. 12 fantastic patterns and many tips and tricks.
If you are up to the challenge, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy.

Just then I noticed an error - a piecing error.  Two strips were oriented incorrectly. I could rip them out and re-sew. But leaving it in seemed more valuable a lesson - what happens when you don't pay attention at every step. So there it is - my mistake immortalized in fabric and thread. 

Finished Flimsy

If you can find it, smile, for we are all human.
If you cannot find it then don't bother. The star still shimmers just as bright.


Quilting in Progress

I added a skinny border to protect the vulnerable star points from the encroachment of the binding. 
Binding is the same fabric as the background.  

Paul, the model


Playing with Fire


Paul: So what is the word, hummingbird?
Me: I have been weighed and measured and have been found wanting...
Paul: What does that mean?
Me: It means that there is room for improvement in my work.
Paul: And how will you improve?
Me: By making more of such quilts...
Paul: Good thing you have the book
Me: Lucky Me!!!

Walking Foot Quilting

Matched Seams :-)

A touch of Wonkiness

Looking Good!!!

Paul: But what is your book review verdict?
Me: It is an excellent resource with 12 terrific patterns
Paul: But...
Me: But there are many little things that a new quilter may not know or follow leading to a finished product that is less than perfect.
Paul: I don't understand.
Me: It is like writing a recipe.  If I am sharing the recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala with someone who is familiar with Indian cooking, the recipe will be 5-6 lines. If the same recipe is written for someone who is new to Indian cooking the recipe will be a page and a half.
Paul: Why so?
Me: Because I will have to explain the ingredients and use additional pictures to show the exact color of the sautéed onions - things the Indian cook already knows.
Paul: So what do you suggest?
Me: A Quilt Along. This is when several quilters make the same pattern together, 1-2 steps every week and share tips and lessons learned.
Paul: You are so wise.
Me: You are so kind.

One last look...

You may be so lucky so as to win a free copy of the Diamond Star Quilts. Please leave a comment for a chance to win. If you are a no-reply blogger, please include your email. I will announce the winner on Saturday, October 10, 2020. And if you do not respond by Saturday, October 17, 2020, you will forfeit the prize and I will pick another person.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.

The pattern did not use the entire strip sets. What happened to the leftovers? 
I will show in the next blogpost :-)

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Nine Lives

Nine Lives finished at 46" by 56"

Paul the model

Nine Lives - 46" by 56"

Of course I have Jonesie (he passed away last month) on my mind and this quilt has become of a reflection of my emotions.

A Sloth and a Cat with Fiery Red Eyes

An Owl and Smiley Cats

Black & White Cats from Bernie

A Llama, a Turtle and Purple Cats too

There are at least nine different cat fabrics and hence the name.
Can you find them all?

There is more than one here

Cattily Yours

Purrfectly Poised

Peeking Panda and Cats Packed Tight

My favorite cat

I am sure this cat is so happy because he is about to pounce on the duck next door.  Oh yum!

It may be a cat party but the quilt (not our house) has an open door policy for all other animals. 

Raccoons and a tiny horse

Can you find the baby monkeys?  Do you see the toucan?

Happy Memories

The pieced backing is reminiscent of an old world television set, complete with quaint shutters.  Of course, there is no show. Just static - another reflection of my inability to process these horrible times.

Future is Blurry


A dark blue binding matches the fabrics and the current times.

Paul: Dark AND Blue. Very sad and intense feelings, babe.
Me: I can eat my feelings or quilt my feelings.
Paul (eyes twinkling): I got you a bottle of water. It goes well with both.
Me (smiling): Thank you and I love you
Paul: Love you too.

Dark & Blue

Wish you were here

And one last one...cause we miss you so much.


And one more because it is impossible to let go.

Good bye Jonesie

In other news, I am reviewing "Diamond Star Quilts" by Barbara Cline for an upcoming blog tour
The flimsy is finished and basted. The binding is made, ironed and rolled. But I could not find the will to quilt. Also my eyes hurt too much from all the onions I have been chopping.

Blogpost coming on October 1, 2020

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on Friday. Her frail body could not take it any more. Even as her strength waned her thoughts remained on the future of our country. Her last message read "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

Now if only I could find the mountain of chopped onions, I will make some soup for my soul...
I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties; see full list on the sidebar.