Saturday, October 4, 2014


The quilt is for Paul and he makes me tick. Is it any surprise that I decided to call it Paulitiks?
Further, the fact that there were so many debates (some heated), diversions (some pleasant) and mistakes (who cares), makes it a lot like politics.

Backyard Paulitiks ;-)

The quilt was completed last Sunday. Burying the knots took the rest of the time. Well, since it was not a "very fun" part of the quilt-making process, I kept getting distracted too. In any case, it is done. And here are some more pictures.

Yes, Paul is standing on the chair and holding it.

 The finished quilt measures 66" by 86". It has 48 blocks (10" each), arranged 6 by 8 and the borders are about 3" wide. I used my favorite Warm and Natural batting and the backing is flannel.

Flannel Backing
I chose black binding, that is the same fabric as the borders. That way no mistakes will be visible :-D
Ahem, I chose black binding to match the borders and to keep the focus on the main design of the quilt.

Stitch over the Ditch Quilting

I used a meandering decorative stitch on my Janome and stitched over the ditch. The "Warm & Natural" batting allows me to quilt up to 10 inches apart which is perfect since the blocks finished at 10 inches. Therefore, once I went 7 times down the quilt and 9 times across, I was pretty much done - Minimal Quilting!!! Then, I decided to make my life complicated. In a fit of unexplained love, I decided to frame each inner square with a decorative leaf stitch. That took forever, not to mention all the maneuvering of the quilt sandwich made my neck hurt!!!

But all that pain was worth it - it is pretty and I like the delicate touch.

Decorative Quilting around the inner squares

The Leaf Stitch echoes the batik fabric in the square
"Come snuggle with me"
Fall is here. If you have any doubts, take a look at my yard. It is a mess, BUT it makes a perfect backdrop for Paulitiks...

Paulitiks = Grabbing the Chair

This is my 13th finish of this year and I am very happy with the way it turned out. In the end, this is the best design - Paul gets the credit for picking this one. 

As soon as we finished taking pictures, Paul asked. Can I have the quilt now?
Yes, but wash it first. 

Not that he was lavish in his praise, but he did say this - "I like it and it does what it is supposed to do."
Aha, I said, will you put that in writing? On my Blog, please.

I am sure, Paul has seen my blog but I will have to wait a very long time for his comment.

Fortunately, I won't make you wait for the Paulitiks tutorial. Here it is.


Fabric Requirements (for the Quilt Top & Binding)
1. Light Blue Batik - 1.5 yards
2. Dark Blue Batik - 1.5 yards
3. Solid Black - 3 yards
4. Assorted Batik Prints - 6 fat quarters (or use scraps)

Cutting Instructions
1. Light Blue Batik - Cut 20 strips 2.5" by WOF. Sub cut into 7.5" sections. We need 96.
2. Dark Blue Batik - Cut 20 strips 2.5" by WOF. Sub cut into 7.5" sections. We need 96.
3. Solid Black - Cut 40 strips 1.5" by WOF. Cut 8 strips 3" by WOF for borders. Cut 8 strips 2.5" by WOF for binding.
4. Assorted Batik Prints - Cut 48 squares of 4.5" side.

LB strips (7.5" by 2.5") and matching squares                                     DB strips and matching squares

Getting Sorted
1. Separate the squares into two piles - ones that go well with the light batik (LB) and those that go well with the dark batik (DB). See picture above.
2. Take the solid black strip (1.5" wide) and place one LB strip on top right sides together (RST), carefully matching the edge and stitch along the matched edge using a scant 1/4" seam. Without cutting, add the next LB strip and stitch. Repeat till all 96 LB strips and 96 DB strips are used up.

DB strip placed next to 1.5" black strip

DB strip placed on top of the long black strip, RST

After stitching one DB strip, add the second one and continue stitching.

3. Separate the batik+black strips into 7.5" sections. Each black solid+batik composite strip rectangle should measure 3.5” by 7.5”. Keep them in two separate piles – light batik and dark batik.

Making the Block
1. Lay out the center square and the matching composite strips around it.
Block Layout (strips going clockwise)

2. First, we will make the partial seam - partially stitch the square to the strip on the right. 
Turn the right strip on to the square

 Flip the two pieces so that the square is on the top. Take to the sewing machine and stitch from the center to the edge. If you start stitching from the center of the square, you will not need a leader.
Start stitching (using a scant 1/4" seam) from the center to the edge

Iron to the dark side and place it back in the layout

It is important to bring back the stitched piece back to the layout so that you can make sure, you are staying on track. See the half stitched square-strip? That is what we want. 

2. Now, we will add the top strip. Flip the top strip on to the piece you just finished sewing and stitch from end to end using a scant 1/4" seam.  Iron and open. Bring it back to the layout position.
Second strip added

3. We will now add the third strip on the left. It magically matches (in length) the piece we just finished sewing!!! Once again, use a scant 1/4" seam, iron and open

Ready to add the third strip to the left
Third strip added, time to add the last one...

4. Always bring back the stitched piece to the original layout position. Now we are ready to add the fourth strip.

Fourth strip placed on the bottom, still following the original layout

Lift the "partially stitched" first strip away from the block and stitch the fourth strip on the bottom of the block, using a scant 1/4" seam. Start stitching from the square side out to the edge. Once again, iron and open

5. We are almost done.
All strips added

See the picture above. We have added all strips around the center square. Now, we can complete that partial seam. Fold the block so that the center square piece is on the top of the right strip. 

Take it to the sewing machine and continue stitching from the center of the square (allow for a small overlap of stitches) to the edge of the block, using the same scant 1/4" seam. Iron and open.

Phew!!! no it is not complicated.  Just follow the layout.

Here are two tips I learned while I was immersed in Paulitiks :-)
1. Work on at least two blocks at a time. That way you will not need leaders. When you do the first partial seam of one block (working from the center to the edge), chain stitch the second strip of the second block. Alternate between one light and one dark block.
2. Make sure that all blocks are oriented the same way. All strips are going clockwise or all going anti-clockwise. That way when you put the blocks next to each other the black strips will be offset from each other. See below.

All Clockwise Blocks - Black Strips Offset

If you have one clockwise block placed next to an anti-clockwise block, the strips will actually match. And that is fine too, if you prefer that look. Just make sure you know what end result you want and proceed accordingly. See picture below - the LB blocks have anti-clockwise strips and the DB block has clockwise strips. And that leads to the matching black strips pattern.

Mixed Blocks - Anti-Clockwise light blocks and Clockwise dark blocks

What did I do? Well, I was experimenting. So, I ended up with three blocks that do not match the rest of the quilt in the orientation of the black strips. No big whoop!!! Firstly, no one notices. And even if they did - they should know, that is my signature move - HA HA HA.

Once you finish all 48 blocks, please square them. It is important. Lay out the quilt blocks 6 by 8 in a pleasing fashion. Stitch the blocks into rows and rows into columns. Add borders. 
Add batting and backing (I used flannel). Baste, quilt, bind and enjoy!!!

And one last thing, please tell me if you like this quilt/tutorial. After all, what is Paulitiks without the voice of the people!!!!


  1. Love your quilt and your tutorial. I like the name too. And, I love batiks. It really looks like there is a light behind the lighter batiks, making them glow. It has been fun reading about your journey in making this quilt. - Sylvia H

  2. Preeti, you do such beautiful work. Stylish yet masculine and clean design. I'm going to bookmark this pattern/tutorial for future reference. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. I always look forward to seeing your latest work. Every time you post a link on M* I have to read it right away. It came out beautiful and great play on the name. - Joanne

  4. It turned out gorgeous! The leaf stitch around the centre sure was worth all the shifting around of the quilt!

    And thanks for the tutorial! One more on my ever-growing list...:)

  5. wnjbaj101@comcast.netOctober 5, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Someone is a very lucky guy! Not only for the fabulous quilt,,but for the careful time and consideration to it's structure, pattern and fabric choice..I'm a fan of yours from M* and look forward to all your work..I'm GrammaBabs,,the gal that flies by the seat of her pants, but has such fun in all creative outlets..Thanks for what you've brought to the fourm! :)

  6. Oh, Preeti - Your Paulitiks quilt turned out gorgeous! I have a lot of batik material and this quilt is going onto my queue for using up some batik. Thank you so much for including a tutorial on the quilt.

  7. this is brilliant because of your fabric choices. Lucky Paul. LeeAnna at not afraid of color

  8. Bravo! It's all finished and looks GREAT! And the name of it is oh-so-clever. I love your sense of humor.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog again. Renee' had chemo again today. She's having a rough time of it. But she takes our quilt to every hospitalization. Loves how long it is that she can tuck it into her hospital bed and it feels like a real bed to her. She loves having something beautiful and comforting in a sterile, ugly situation.

  9. Hi! I love the quilt, the tutorial, and your blog!!! Thanks so much for sharing with us!!! The quilt is beautiful!!! I of course want one just like day!! Chris

  10. Nice to see decorative stitches included in a quilt! Nice quilt!

  11. I want to make a quilt just like this on in teal or turquoise batiks. I hope I can find some great batiks in Chennai, India. Hard to find good quality printed cottons here. Go figure?!

    1. Radhika,
      You are a no-reply blogger. Hope you come back and read this response. I checked but they have slim pickings when it comes to quilting fabric and they carry no batiks. I recommend you use Madras cottons. We call them south cottons in Delhi. They will be easily available in Chennai with a quality that is more reliable. Send me an email at if you wish to discuss further.

  12. This quilt is drop-alive GORGEOUS. Totally clever too. Plus your tutorial is just what I'd need to make my own Purples version. Thank you so much for sharing it!!

    Only one thing could make it better -- a pdf download to make it easier to make. Lol, still a Gorgeous piece of usable art.

  13. I have been looking for the right pattern for my grandson for two years and now I can finally do his quilt. Love this one. Thanks.

  14. This is so beautiful, and your tutorial is excellent. Thank you

  15. I ❤️ This quilt. It is simply stunning a minimalist’s dream quilt. You know this would be amazing as a shawl/wrap over a black dress and amazing done in gold ribbons not the colour yellow gold fabric if you understand what I was meaning .

  16. Your instructions are so great even for a new quiter like me..Love the color selection

  17. merci pour le tutoriel de ce joli quilt, les tissus sont superbes

  18. Great tutorial. Had to look for your 3 blocks, very hard to find but I do see what the deal with orientation is about now. Beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing.

  19. This quilt is gorgeous! I have been "saving and petting" my assortment of batiks for so long, just waiting for the right quilt to find me. Thank you for the clear directions, will share pictures when I make it."When you are ready to learn a teacher will appear."

  20. I have been looking for the perfect quilt for my grandson, he is 22 and i wanted to make sure it was nothing girly. I believe this is the perfect quilt. I will just have to add an extra roll and maybe an added border to make it fit his bed.

  21. Love it too!!
    ~Diana from Toronto

  22. I am in the UK. Love this quilt. I am a beginner and really do think taking it nice and slow will get me a lovely result. Have most of my fabrics and have made a start. Surprisingly going well so far. My grandson should love it. Thank you

  23. Just Beautiful ... as soon as I finish all of my w.i.p.s, this is absolutely a "to do"! Great tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing your story and doing this tutorial for all of us!

  24. Just Beauitful!! Thank you for the tutorial. I will try this one!

  25. Preeti!!What a great quilt! Thank you for sending the link. I love how different proportions change the quilt--this is lovely.

  26. Hi Amy! This is only my 2nd quilt, so my confidence is shaky. REALLY shaky. I'm confused about the 40 1.5" strips. I know I have to cut them, are they also 7.5" in length? Thanks!

  27. Preeti, I'm sorry. I saw the name Amy somewhere on the page and....The harder I think, the more air-headed I please answer me as you would a 10 yr. old. Thank you!

    1. KItty, Yes. Since the skinny (1.5") black strip is stitched to the 2.5" batik strip they both have to be 7.5" long. Make a trial block using scraps. You will do just fine. Lots of Love & Hugs.
      P.S. You are a no-reply blogger that is why replying here.

  28. Can I use greens instead of blues?

    1. Yes, Lesa. You can use greens but make sure that there is sufficient contrast; inner light square with the outer dark strips. I suggest using dark brown instead of black to better complement the greens.
      P.S. You are a no-reply blogger that is why replying here.

  29. Just completed my blocks for this quilt. Getting ready to square and join. It was a fun one to piece and super easy too, considering I am making 4 completely different quilts as Christmas gifts for my grandchildren. This one is for my "one day" grandson. Sure hope he likes it.Thanks for sharing. I will definitely keep this one for later.

  30. "I like it and it does what it is supposed to do."
    There is a movie "The Cheyenne Social Club" from 1970, Peter Fonda and Henry Fonda, who remind me of your Paul. (Light funny movie Western) The Kings of Understatement. This quilt is remarkable and quite sophisicated! Love it!
    But back to quilting: I have never buried my knots. What is this? So many great tips. Thanks

    1. Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts explains beautifully with many pictures.

  31. Beautiful! Paul is very lucky!

  32. here - what a great tutorial! I have always really disliked partial seams, and when I saw the quilt I could immediately tell that it involved a partial seam, so I was already thinking I would not want to make the quilt. But I went ahead and read your tutorial and you made it seem so straightforward and easy that I might have completely changed my mind. I think the tip about making two blocks at the same time is perhaps the best idea of all. I’m really into chain-piecing when possible - which is one reason I don’t like partial seams. But if you’re doing two blocks, it seems like it’s probable more doable.
    Thank you, once again, for your brilliance! XOXO 😘 Charlotta