Sunday, August 24, 2014

Paul's Quilt - Week One (Happy Interruption)

Quilt-Making in Theory - Pick a Pattern, Buy the Fabrics, Cut the Fabric, Make the Blocks, More Blocks, Many more Blocks, Piece, Border, Batting, Backing, Quilting, Binding, Label

Paul's Quilt - First Block

Quilt-Making in Reality - Buy the Fabrics, Fight over the Pattern, Cut the Fabric, Make the Blocks, Interruption, Make More Blocks, Distraction, More Blocks, Weekend Trip, More Blocks, Frustration, More Blocks, Boredom...Give yourself a pep talk "Finish it already"...

Once again, Paul and I had a conversation. It went like this:

Me: I have been invited to a birthday. Will you come with me?
Paul: No, babe. I got stuff to do. You should go.
Me: I am not sure.
Paul: Why not?
Me: I don't know them well. And I have not figured out a present either.

That is a lie. A quilt works for every purpose.

Paul: Whose birthday is it?
Me: One year old girl.
Paul: Aww. Why can't you give her one of your quilts?
Me:  I could. But I need to make one. And quickly. The birthday is next week.
Paul: Well then, make a quick quilt.
Me: How can I make anything else? I am still working on the blocks of your quilt.
Paul: Fine, make a quick baby quilt and then come back to my quilt.
Me: Thank you!!! You know I did not want to stop your quilt and work on anything else (mischievous grin)
Paul: Uh Huh. Brat!!!

When Paul calls me a brat, then I know I have achieved my purpose in life!!!

Was I manipulative?
Absolutely Yes.

Did I mind working on the bright happy colors in the middle of the dark blues and blacks?
Absolutely Not.

The Birthday Baby Quilt
I did have to go to a birthday. I chose to make a bright, colorful D9P. Here are the pictures.
Bright Happy Colors

Disappearing Nine Patch

Backing - Birds, Buntings and Alphabet Blocks :-)

Used a Wide Decorative Stitch to Secure the Binding to Quilt Front

Rich Red & Gold Binding adds a Royal Touch!!!

The quilt finished at 42" square. Quilted it about 6.5" apart on my Janome. Since I used Warm & Natural Batting, I can quilt up to 10" apart. Yay!!! This is my 12th quilt in 2014. I hope the baby and her parents like the quilt.

I have several reasons to love this quilt - the bright happy colors, the welcome break it provided from the dark blues/blacks, the super cute backing, and the red and gold binding is really the best part. What do you like the most about this quilt?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Picky Paul Picks a Pattern

In my process of Americanization, this is just one of the things that Paul taught me
You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose.
But you cannot pick your friend's nose.

One day when I got home from work, Paul and I had the following conversation

Paul: You have to pick something
Me: Your nose?
Paul: Yes. Because you are that kind of friend
Me: The one with benefits?
Paul: Yes
Me: But you are the one with Buggers :-D

To celebrate his 10th year work anniversary, his company was giving him a free gift. He could choose anyone from a Christmas-style catalog. The darling that Paul is, he wanted me to do the choosing - whatever you want babe, he said.

I have no room for stuff. I do not want any new gadget. And I have so much jewelry that I sometimes forget what I have. You pick, it is your anniversary. And speaking of picking, you must also pick a pattern for your quilt!!!

Statement - Paul wanted a rail fence quilt similar to his Mom's but in blue and black. I wanted to try a new pattern. I suggested that I will show him a few patterns and he can choose what he likes best. He agreed. Little does he know that what may look good as a design concept may not look great as a quilt. However, I kept my mouth shut and proceeded to audition the patterns for him.

Pattern # 1
Pattern # 1 - It is sort of similar to the "Hole in Wall" pattern.  But this one will require partial seams. I do want to try new things. But it is also a lovely pattern, in my opinion.

Paul - Hmmm. I don't like the grey.

Me - You have the blue and the black. Trust me, the grey will bring out the dark blues and blacks.

Paul - Can I have no grey, please.

Me - Fine (gritting my teeth).

Pattern # 2
Pattern # 2 - So I replaced the grey with the black. And then chose to stagger the blocks to add a little more interest - to make up for the loss of grey (rolling my eyes).

Me - What do you think of this one?

Paul - That is too much black.

Me - Let me work on the next one.

Pattern # 3
Pattern # 3 - I reduced the black on the sides. And then to reduce my headaches (of course, I have a headache by now!!!), I decided to change the pattern ever so slightly to get rid of the partial seams.

Me: What do you think of this one?

Paul: Oh, it is OK. But I like the previous blocks, with the four way strips.

Me: Of course, you do.

Pattern # 4
Pattern # 4 - Going back to the original design, with the grey replaced with black.

Me: Is this what you want? (Please say yes...before I stop loving you completely!!!)

Paul: I like these blocks, but...


Paul: There is still too much black.

Me: You don't want the grey, you don't want the black. If all you want is blue, then that is not much of a pattern. Is it?

Pattern # 5
Pattern # 5 - To reduce the black, I got rid of the sashing and to maintain the quilt width, I added wider borders. Hope fifth time is a charm.

Me: OK, Paul. This is the final iteration. The blocks are the same but I have removed the black sashing.
If you don't like this, you can forget about a quilt. Gosh! you are so PICKY.

Paul: Yes, I am picky and I pick you.

And I fell in love with him all over again. That he liked and approved this pattern was a big help!!!

The word pattern has been used loosely here. In my opinion, they are variations of the same pattern. In any case, I am glad that we HAVE a pattern!!! Which one do you like?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

One thing leads to...

It was difficult to escape "Christmas in July" offerings. Even if I did not buy anything, I did look. How could I not? It was everywhere - all online stores, brick-mortar stores, blogland - everyone was talking about getting a head start on Christmas projects. The following few lines (an internal conversation) show how my thought process works...

Christmas - hmm. What are we doing for Christmas this year?
We are traveling.
Oh, so when do we see my sister's family?
Hmm, may be at New Years Day/Weekend.

New Year. New Year 2015.
Oh yeah...
What about New Year Resolutions?
Well, what about Old Year Resolutions?


I came to the realization that I may be seriously lagging behind in fulfilling the resolutions/promises I made in 2014. No, I am not allowed any new resolutions till I deliver on the old ones.

1. Make a Charity Quilt
2. Make Paul's Quilt
3. Make Joyce's Quilt

Step1 - Prioritize. Yes, the charity quilt should be first. But, I have to live with Paul. If he got his quilt first, my life (and the completion of other quilting projects) would get EASIER :-D

Picture this (this actually happened) - I am at my sewing machine, finishing the blocks for the Giraffes quilt. I place the blocks on the design wall, step away and admire. Then I turn to Paul and ask him - what do you think?
Paul - Is that my quilt?
Me - No.
Paul - If it is not mine, I don't have anything to say.
Granted that there was a mischievous hint of a grin there, but I get the point.

Flashback Paul's Quilt - This discussion started as soon as I completed my mother-in-law's quilt.
Paul - I want the same quilt but in shades of blue
Preeti - Not the same design. I want to make something different.
Paul - But it is for me. I should approve it.
Preeti - Yes, I will make sure that you approve of the design.
Paul - And also the fabrics.
Preeti - You want to go fabric shopping with me?
Paul - Not necessarily. As long as you choose blue and navy, I should be fine.

So, here are the fabrics/colors for Paul's Quilt.

The two strips - blue batik and the dark navy batik are his choices + black. Such a DARK quilt!!! I have decided to add the 6 square accent pieces (varying from light turquoise and light grey to midnight blue) so that the eyes have a place to rest in the dark quilt. I know what you are thinking - I have already cut up the fabric without a pattern.

That is not true. I have a pattern - but that I will reveal in the next blogpost :-)

P.S. Joyce's Quilt will be her Christmas gift. Therefore moved it to the bottom of the list. But there is another reason. Paul's Quilt will be a Twin Size and Joyce wants a Queen Size. So, it is perfect to sandwich (get the pun!!!) the smaller Charity Quilt in between of those two projects.