Thursday, December 31, 2015

Terrace Garden and more...

Terrace Garden is the last quilt from the Sugarland Fall Festival Series.

Terrace Garden
As soon as I saw the Hello March pattern, I knew I had to make it.  It is layer cake and FQ friendly.

Terrace Garden is definitely "inspired" by Hello March.  I say inspired because in the frenzy of making 14 quilts in the 4-week period, instructions and directions may have been overlooked...AHEM!!!

The actual pattern looks a bit different than my version of it.  However, I am acknowledging the source/inspiration for Terrace Garden. Thank you Allison Harris (Cluck Cluck Sew).

I used the Lili-fied layer cake squares for making Terrace Garden.

Lili-fied Fabric

Just a gorgeous fabric line. Alas it is all gone now.
I used the pink and orange squares from Lili-fied in Candyland and just loved it.

The blocks are not square but rectangles, which gives the elongated look to the layout.  The original pattern is uniform, whereas my version is go-with-the-flow.  Or you can say fly-by-the-seat-of-my pants :-D

The batting my usual Warm & Natural.  For the backing I chose a very rich, dark and deep poinsettia fabric. The flowers are so densely packed that you can hardly see the background.

What a gorgeous fabric, indeed!!!

The quilting is a C-stitch. Once mirror imaged, it looks like puffy clouds.  I chose a dark purple for the binding, giving it a royal look - in my opinion.

Bound & Labelled
Oh how I love these colors together.

The finished quilt is 40" by 45"  and I am sure it will make a little girl very happy...someday.
For now, I keep it waiting for the right recipient.

You make me happy...
Terrace Garden is my 28th quilt of 2015.  It has been a roller-coaster of a ride!!!
I will be linking with my favorite linky parties.
I love hearing from you because your comments brighten my day!!!

Before I say goodbye to 2015 and wish you a very Happy New Year, I have one last thing to say...
I made three quilts for the Stillborn Bereavement Group.  They were each 32" square.

Making these quilts was a very sobering experience for me.  It definitely helped me get back on track after the supreme disappointment of the Sugarland Fall Festival.

Small quilts were quick and easy to put together.
Labelling them was the hard part.

We have a saying in India.  When you give, make sure that the left hand knows not what the right hand gives. Translation - giving should be anonymous, without any desire for recognition. 

Since all quilts must be labelled, I was definitely torn between the Indian in me and the quilter me.  I turned to the M* Forum for sage advice.  

Here is one of the replies I received.
SewLucky from Alberta said - "I label my charity quilts and sign them. One of the places I make for asks for a label with at least the quilter's first name and city. I say sign it, because it is very likely the recipient will never meet you, but the family will be very grateful to a donor named Preeti."

Thank you so much, SewLucky. 
Following the advice, I ditched my professional labels and made three handwritten labels.

Kiss Me Quick
Hug Me Now
Keep Me Close

The quilts were mailed to Sue in New York.  Thank you for all that you do for grieving parents.

Ready to mail
I honestly hope that no parent would ever be in the need of one of these quilts.  But if they do, I also hope that these quilts can bring some comfort to them.  

Few days later, I received this card in the mail.
I was tearful and speechless.
I have chosen to not add these three quilts to my 2015 Quilts page. I am sure you understand. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Have a Minty Day & Pre-K Quilts

Serendipity is one of my most popular posts/tutorials.  Therefore, it is a crying shame that I have not used those blocks in any quilt.

That changes right now. Meet "Have a Minty Day"

Have a Minty Day!
I wanted to use some of the blocks from the original tutorial in a quilt. How do I pick which ones to use and which ones to save?  Eventually, I decided to pick out the non-blues. Just so the quilt was gender-neutral.

On the Design Wall

I used some of the fat quarters from the Horizons FQ bundle to add prints/interest.
It is amazing how closely these colors match.


The Serendipity blocks are on the bias and that was a bit of a challenge. Starch helped and squaring helped some more. But there are no seams to match!!! And that is why this pattern is a winner!!!

In the end, I love how these colors, prints and solids, all play so beautifully with each other.  It had a very summery feel to it but I was at a loss for a name. Paul came to the rescue.  He said that it looked like mints. Hence, I chose the name - "Have a Minty Day"

Quilted and Bound
The fall fabric was leftover from Curry Favor and I have been very protective of it.  With summer on the front, I was ready to put fall on the back.

For quilting, I used a serpentine stitch over the seams.  Since the blocks were about 6", I added some diagonal lines that also emphasized the Serendipity blocks.

Summer & Fall - Together

The black/white dotty binding works well with both the front and the back.  The finished quilt is about 42" square.
Have a Minty Day is Quilt#12 from the Sugarland Series, and it is still available.  If you want it, please send me an email -

Remember Playschool?
This was just such a simple concept (random 9-patch blocks) that had amazing possibilities. I wanted to replicate that concept with a little more pizzaz.

Meet Pre-K.
More animals, objects, themes etc. Scraps from themed/novelty fabrics was the perfect choice. Some were cut from yardage and some from FQs.  Some came from remnants, but all from my stash.

Bees, Puppies and Monsters!

Giraffe, Pumpkins and a Hot Air Balloon
 The blocks finish at 9" and the sashing is 1".

Kites, Stripes and Swirls!

When I was putting together the 9-patch blocks, I made sure that all fabrics in the 9-patch were different. In the quilt layout, I agonized over distributing the blocks, so that same fabrics were not adjacent to each other.

Rich, Dark and Bright!!!
The borders are 1.5".  Yes, the borders are on the skinny side.  Because I did not want the quilt to be wider than 42". Any wider than 42" would require a pieced backing.

Pieced backings add interest but they also add time. I was still trying to make 14 quilts in 4 weeks.

Look at this Owls backing fabric.  Isn't it cute?

In my opinion, the pretty fabric makes a gorgeous quilt and I take all the credit :-D

I chose two orange fabrics for the scrappy binding. There is definitely a Halloween touch to it!!!
Orange Binding
And here is the label!!!  You can see the second orange fabric in the binding below.
Pre-K can definitely be an I-Spy quilt. Making Pre-K was a lot of fun and I could keep it. 
And yet, the best part was giving it to Nancy for she is going to be a grandma in March!!! YAY!!!

When I get pictures of the baby + quilt, I will surely come back and update this post!!!  For now, here is one more picture.

I will be linking with all of my favorite linky parties.  

Pretty Fabric+Simple Patterns = Gorgeous Quilts. That is my mantra.
What is yours?  I'd love to hear from you!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

100-Acre Woods and a Bonus!!!

This is quilt #11 from the Sugarland Fall Festival.

100-Acre Woods
Some quilts have short stories behind them.  This 100-Acre Woods story is a little circuitous.

When Nancy asked me to make a quilt for an upcoming baby shower, I was excited.  She is my biggest fan and I looked forward to an opportunity to make something for her.

Nancy: The theme is Winnie the Pooh.  Are you familiar with Winnie the Pooh?
Since I did not grow up here in the US, this was a valid question.
Me: Somewhat. I can always look it up.
Nancy: I want the quilt to have those colors - muted red, yellow, blue etc.
Me: Let me research and see what I can find.

I wanted a child-friendly fun pattern in bright colors, inspired by Winnie-the-Pooh.
As I trolled the internet for ideas, I came across a fabric panel with Winnie-the-Pooh and friends too!!!

Winnie-the-Pooh Panel

and also this - Winnie-the-Pooh fabric!!!
Winnie-the Pooh Fabric
Yes, I could just use the panel and the backing and call it a day.  But first, I want to check with Nancy.
As soon as she saw the panel, she squealed in delight.

Nancy: That would be perfect for the nursery.
Me: Did you want this backing too.
Nancy: Not sure
Me: Might be too much of Winnie.
Nancy: Love the front, though.

I got the hint. I used the panel for Nancy's quilt and decided to save the backing for another Winnie-Inspired quilt.  Here are the pictures of Nancy's quilt - Winnie the Pooh.


The leaves are so pretty!

The quilting is simple curvy lines, one direction only - simple and fast too. YAY!!!

I chose a light blue/teal chevron print for the backing. It was for a boy.
The striped fabric for the binding just so beautifully brings it all together.

I am in LOVE with this binding


and here is my reward - a beaming Nancy with the quilt.
Now, that I had a finished quilt, delivered and a very satisfied customer, it was time to tidy up the fabric mess that happens after every quilt. (You know that is true).

Oh, look at this beautiful Winnie the Pooh backing fabric.
Initially, I was going to make a quilt in these colors.
Well, I still can.
Let's do it.

So, I chose to make a Whirligig quilt in Winnie the Pooh colors.  I had made such a quilt  before and it was fun to revisit that pattern.

You are my sunshine!

Random charms miraculously came together to make this brightness

More whirligigs

Quilted simply with a zig zag stitch going over the seams.

I chose a deep red for the binding and I love it :-)
And here is the backing
Winnie-thePooh and friends too!

And one more picture showing the front and the back together

I know I am supposed to be a grown woman. But there is something about these quilts which evokes the child in me and makes me want to giggle with joy.

Is there a quilt or a quilt pattern that makes you feel like a child?  I'd love to hear from you.
As usual, I will be linking with my favorite link parties.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Jenny Doan's Double Square Star

I love Jenny.
Jenny is a very accomplished quilter.
I am sure half of us who quilt can blame it on Jenny and her tutorials.

When I saw the newest tutorial - Double Square Star, I fell in love with it. The star was lovely and even lovelier was the secondary pattern it created.  here is the link for your viewing pleasure.

There is only one problem. I hate snowballing.
Yes, I know it is a very strong word but really those little 2.5" squares on the corners move too much. The whole effort of creasing or drawing a line on each one seems too much.  It is not for me.

I love the pattern but hate the method of creating that block.  Has to be another way.

Yes there is. Here it is:

Fabric Requirements - One 7.5" square, one 3.5" square, one 2.5" strip

The rest of the story is in the following pictures
Purple Square - 7", Pink Square -3.5", White Strip - 2.5" by WOF
Keep the large square aside.  

Use the 2.5" strip to frame the small pink square.

Stitch using a scant 1/4" seam

Here is the result

Are you with me so far?

Now, all you have to do is make half square triangles from these two squares.

I drew two diagonal lines (stitch lines) on the back of the purple fabric. It is a bit hard to see.
But I did not want to deal with drawing lines over the pink/white seams.

Stitched on the lines, 1/4" from the diagonal center.

And then cut :-)

There you have not one but two blocks, without dealing with any little squares (UGH)

I know it looks different from Jenny's squares. If you use the same fabric for the large and the small squares, it will look exactly like Jenny's block.

I used different squares to be able to show you better.

Trim the little corners, press and enjoy.

Once again, I want to reiterate that I love Jenny and she has brought immense joy to the lives of millions of quilters all over the world. This is just my attempt to show a different way (easier for some) to do the same block.

If you like this, please let me know.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Colorful Life & Lickety Split

Colorful Life and Lickety Split are my homage to the wonderful teachers in Blogland.  These are also Quilts # 9 and #10 from the Sugarland Fall Festival.

When I look back on my quilting journey, I am amazed.  I learned to thread my machine on Labor Day in 2012.  How did I go from 0 to 60 quilts in three years?  There is one big reason - the inspiration and guidance in Blogland. There is also one small reason - I am crazy!!!

Colorful Life is a result of my admiration for Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts.  It is inspired by her Birch quilt pattern.

Colorful Life

I used very bright solids to showcase the scrappy bits.  I say "inspired" because I did not quite follow the directions; the squares were not all the same size.  Oh well, I hope the colors will distract from pattern imperfections.

Keeping it Simple

Celebrating every Sliver
I chose a solid black border, because nothing else would work with that brightness overload!!!

Thank you Amanda Jean!!!
I quilted around each square (Stitch Across the Ditch) using a decorative stitch.  I added a couple of gentle curves in between.

Happy Turtles
The super bright, happy turtles on the backing fabric makes this my most favorite quilt out of the 14 total.  May be that is the reason I have not been able to part with it.  The colorful dancing dots on black fabric makes the perfect binding.

Colorful Finish!!!
The finished quilt is about 40" by 50". Here are a few more pictures showing details.

No Scrap Left Behind

Green, Orange, Blue & Purple - YAY!!!

It is also fun to see/identify those fabrics from quilts past.

The inspiration for Lickety Split came from Unruly by Kelly Young of My Quilt Infatuation. I highly recommend this pattern.

Lickety Split

It looks complicated but is super easy. Makes you want to make three quilts even when you need just one.  It came together so quickly that Lickety Split was the perfect name for it.

Decorative Stitch Quilting

The quilting is straight line using a decorative stitch.  Once again, I chose a solid black border to contain/contrast all the brightness.

In direct sun!!!

I used the leftover fabrics from the top to add interest to the back. Kelly does it all the time. If I was going to use her pattern, why not go all out?

Quilted, Bound & Labelled!
Since it is a baby quilt, I would have picked out a bright, colorful fabric for the back.  But in this case, to highlight the colorful fabric, I went with a solid charcoal fabric.

Pieced Backing
I used black jelly roll strips also for the binding to super speed up the effort.  Lickety Split finished at 40" square.  Lickety Split was gifted to Roma for her newborn baby boy.

I will be linking with my favorite link parties, as usual.  And as usual, please let me know if this post has brightened your day.

Let me tell you what brightened mine - Just Jane sent me an email saying that she was inspired by my Candyland quilt (Blush!!!). And she also sent a picture.  I also love that her quilt is not an exact same design, but inspired by it!!!
Thank you, Just Jane - you brightened my day.

Candyland by Just Jane!!!
Just when I am gushing about BEING inspired by Amanda Jean and Kelly in Blogland, my work is inspiring someone else.  My life is complete!!!