Friday, December 9, 2016

Angel's Midnight Garden

We cannot appreciate light unless we have known darkness.  It is the contrasts that heighten our experiences.

I like contrast. I like big, bold patterns that stand out. I am a big believer in - if you have to do something, make it bold.

Meet Midnight Garden.

This quilt is for Anju, and yes that is her real name :-D But I call her Angel.
Angel went to medical school with my sister. We have known each other for the last 25+ years.

Angel, at my wedding
Angel is the eldest of five siblings - four sisters and a brother.  The year was 1995. When Angel came down with rheumatoid arthritis, it was severe. She was in a lot of pain.  But when she turned to her mother and said -  "You should get Vee (her younger sister) married", it became clear that she did not think that she would make it.  (Traditionally, sisters get married in order, with the eldest first.)

Initial Fabric Pull (discarded)

Kaffe Fabric
This works
This will shine against a charcoal background
Some practitioners of SahajaYoga meditation heard about Angel's situation.  They visited her in the hospital and gave her realization (initiated her into meditation). Slowly, Angel's entire family started following Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (founder of SahajaYoga meditation) and practicing meditation. I was living in Mumbai at that time. When I returned home for a visit, Angel rode her cute scooter and came to see me. I was dumbfounded. I asked her - what are you doing?  The evidence of RA was still there but she was mobile and managing well. The best part - her spirits were buoyant.

Enjoying the process
Staying organized

Angel introduced me to SahajaYoga meditation and I have been a follower ever since.
The first block

Loving it!

Added drama in the middle

Angel had lost a year of medical school due to her illness. But she went back and finished school. Vee got married and I remember being at her wedding, while I was struggling with my marriage. 

Backing from Connecting Threads

Angel went to work at the SahajaYoga hospital in Navi Mumbai, about two hours away from me.  We visited each other as often as we could. Angel went to Aurangabad to study Pathology, while continually battling the debilitating disease. That is where she met Dr. S and they fell in love.  I have asked her several times to share the details about how they met, how they fell in love...who said what and when. But Angel does not kiss and tell.

Quilting the Beast
Thank goodness for Walking Foot
Getting there - slowly

My dad passed away in1998. In 2001, I walked out of  my troubled marriage and moved into a working women's hostel in Mumbai.  It was then that I received the invitation to Angel's wedding. I was at the lowest point in my life and it was nearly impossible to go.  I sent word that I would not be able to attend.

Quilted and Trimmed

I will never forget the expression on Angel's face - a mixture of joy and disbelief - when I slowly emerged from behind my mom to look at Angel - the beautiful bride in her wedding finery.  We hugged and cried.  I wished her all the best. I took a train back to Mumbai the next morning.

Bound too!!!

We met off and on over the years, whenever I visited home.  Paul and I got married in 2007 but went to India in 2008 to remarry with Hindu rites.  My mom was just relieved that finally her daughter was no longer a divorcee, that Paul was willing to take me off her hands (figuratively speaking).

Paul - such a natural!!!
It was my second marriage so things were rather low-key. Mom had arranged for someone to apply my henna.  As the design developed, I felt depressed. It was pretty but it was too plain and simple and not fit for a bride. I started crying and called Angel.  She came and picked me up and got my henna done at a professional's. And then she bought me bangles - the most beautiful, glittering red bangles, arranged in a design, fit for a bride.

All the guests brought gifts for me. None for Paul. It is the tradition that bride's guests bring gifts for her, whereas the groom's party would give gifts to him.  Since there was no one to represent Paul's side, he got no gifts. It was only Angel & Dr. S who brought gifts for Paul.

So Bright - Love it!

Wine Flower on Orange - WOW!!!

Eye-Popping Colors
Angel continues to deal with pain, deformities, and other health complications as RA takes a toll on her.  One day it will be over but till then Angel does what she has to do. She gets up every morning and goes to work, socializes, inspires, cares, treats, meditates, inspires and gives thanks for all the love, joys and blessings in her life. Did I mention inspire?

Charcoal Fabric - Background and Binding too!

All done!

Thank you Kaffe!

Shining all the way

This quilt is a celebration of Angel and her indomitable spirit, of her love and thoughtfulness.  How she keeps the faith, and not only shines through the darkest of times, but brings joy and hope to all those around her. 
That is Paul - modeling it

I will be seeing Angel at Christmas when I will give her this quilt.  I can hardly wait to see that expression on her face. And a few more because there is no such thing as too many pictures.

Wishing you a joyful holiday season and a flurry of happiness!!!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Best Gift Ever!!!

Paul: Your mind is so full of fabric thoughts that you cannot pay attention to anything else.
Me: Thank you for that diagnosis. Now you know why I am ignoring you.

Friday - 11/18/2016

Last Friday I received a quilt as a gift.  I knew that a gift was on its way, but nothing could prepare me for what emerged from the neatly wrapped package. Let's take a closer look.

If you are awestruck, can you imagine what happened to me?

A personalized, quilted, wall hanging in rainbow colors!!! See the words are so inadequate to describe this gorgeous, incomparable, piece of quilted art.  Made for ME!!!

The surrounding blocks are improv rail fence. Each rainbow colored letter has trapunto quilting!!! And it is quilted with matching thread.

And it spells my name - PREETI.

Is there a Cloud 999?  Yes there is, because I am looking down on it.

I flipped the picture above, so that the letters were not mirror-images.

This gift is hands down the best gift I have EVER received!!! And it came from Jayne of Twiggy and Opal.  Jayne also included this card and cute little coin purse.

I am so giddy with joy!!!

Saturday 11/19/2016

On my trip to see my sister (delivering Erica's quilt), I stopped by to have lunch with Sylvia in Pennsylvania.  We ate Mexican food, laughed, hugged and chatted. Look what she brought for me.

Sylvia knows that I am sucker for cute fabric. Whenever she finds something adorable, she saves me a fat quarter or more.  I also received chalk pencils, tools (keep together spools and bobbins) and more cute FQs.

Sunday 11/20/2016

On my return trip, I stopped in Delaware to meet Mari of Academic Quilter.  It was like meeting an old friend. There was never a dull moment.  We talked about Theology, Politics and Art.  Mari is a professor and I felt that I got smarter just by being in her presence. Osmosis!!!

Last week when I was despondent, Mari suggested - Go sew something colorful. I heeded her advice and started to put together a love child of Chinese Coins and Rail Fence, using charm squares.

WIP - A Love Child of Chinese Coins & Rail Fence

Of course, I felt better. I am sure we are meeting again soon.  Here is more fabric I received as a gift.  Thank you, Mari.

The camaraderie of my quilter friends and the friendship of fellow bloggers has enriched my life in ways that I could not have foreseen.  It exceeds all my expectations. I may have said it before but I will say it again - My cup runneth over...again!!!

Christmas is next month. But I have already received everything I wished for and so much more!!!

Now, if you have not yet received the fabric of your choice, it is time to take the matter into your own hands. Welcome to Craftsy's Black Friday Sales.  Here are a few things that caught my eye.

Cotton + Steel - 40 FQs for $35

Boundless Batiks - 90 FQs for less than $180

Starlight Sampler Quilt Kit with PDF pattern and 19+ yards of fabric at 65% off

Shooting Stars Quilt Kit - Includes PDF pattern and 9+ yards of fabric at 50% off

Boundless Batiks Rainbow Precuts - 20FQs for $44

Prismatic Star - Paper Pattern(from Quiltworx) and 8+ yards of fabric at 55% off

And if you have no need for more fabric...may be there is a class that you have been eyeing. And it is now on sale!!!

I have a few (ok several) projects in the pipeline. However, my one goal for December is to finish Angel's quilt. Linking with Elm Street Quilts OMG Linky Party.

I know I was supposed to finish it in November...but I am glad I spent the weekend meeting Sylvia and Mari. Stop pushing me now!!! Here is a sneak peek.

Droolworthy Kaffe 

Keeping the blocks in order!!!

Wide Backing - Too cute!!!

What are you working on? Do share and Have a Happy Turkey Day.  I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties.

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