Friday, March 25, 2016

How to become an Honorary Indian + A Dozen Finishes

Usually, I plan my blogposts.
Normally, I write about one project at a time - the entire process, from start to finish.
I believe that keeps the entire project in one place.  Easy to locate, without having to go through several posts.

Card from Sandra
But there is nothing NORMAL (or usual) about this post. It is not planned. It discusses something that is not even my work.  Therefore, I have divided this post into two parts - GUSHES and FINISHES.

Let me GUSH first.  I have to write this post to get it out of my system.

Fabric FQs from Sandra
A few weeks ago I (along with a few other quilters) participated in a Blog Hop. Several emails were exchanged about the schedule, the order of things, the correct links and so on.  At the end of the blog hop, Sandra (Musings of a Menopausal Melon) and Julie (Pink Doxies) sent to all the participants a small carefully put together fabric goodies bag - hand dyed fabric, 5" squares and a few other things.

Knowing her love for all things Indian, I sent to Sandra a bar of sandalwood soap, four spools of variegated thread and a mug rug made from left over and discarded strips from the Sun City.
It filled a small greeting card box.

My Thank you to Sandra (Picture from her blog)

My Thank you to Julie (Picture from her Instagram)

They organized.
I participated.
They sent the goodies.
I thanked them for the goodies.
Normally, you'd think that the process is over.

But then Sandra did this. EXTRAORDINARY!!!

OM Mini Mini
Love the colors, the star, the OM in the quilting, the bright pop of green and the off-center placement creates so much interest.  It is an art quilt. In a miniature form!!!

You can read about the creative process of making this mini mini quilt on Sandra's blog, including how she agonized over 1/16".
Bright Orange Star, with OM quilting

So much precision in a tiny piece

That is OM written in Hindi/Sanskrit.  And Sandra not only knows this, she replicated it beautifully WITH Quilting. I cannot stop gushing!!!

Radiating Quilting Lines

for me!!!

Metallic Thread - It shines and shimmers

The dark binding brings everything together

I love this mini mini for so many reasons!!!
1. Just last week, I was gushing about the color orange.  I love orange.
2. Blue is the opposite color on the color wheel - maximum contrast. I love contrast. I hated it when there was not enough contrast in American Hustle.
3. The OM in the quilting - Left me speechless.
4. The off-center placement - So much interest.

OM Mini, Card and the Stripes FQs - So much Love in one envelope!!!
When something is very pithy, we Indians have a saying for it - "Like an ocean in the pitcher."
That is what Sandra did in making this mini. She captured the universe in a small circle of fabric!!!

This is so me and I did not even know it till I got it. We have not met. Yet, she knows EXACTLY what I want???

You, Sandra, just became an honorary Indian!!!

Speaking of honorary Indian, let me share with you a short story about how Paul, my very American husband, became an honorary Indian.

With Paul (in his Indian outfit) at the temple near Toronto, 2010

I keep in our house, at the main altar, a coconut. (A coconut placed over a copper pot with water absorbs negative energies). When the water in the coconut dries (I check it every other week), it should be discarded (in a river/ocean) and replaced with a new coconut with water.

This incident dates back to January 2012.  Paul's car had died the previous week. We needed a new car.  I knew that the credit check, test drive, bank loan, insurance, registration etc. would take most of the day.  So I took the day off to buy the car and take care of the paperwork etc.

It was almost 10:00 in the morning.  Paul was slowly tying his shoelaces as I was impatiently fidgeting at the door, with the keys and all the papers etc. I remembered that the coconut had to be discarded too.

Impatient Me: Let's go to the dealership first.  It is going to take all day.  Please hurry up.  And we can discard the coconut on our way back.
Calm, Cool & Collected Paul: Should we not get rid of the negativity before bringing a new object into the house?

He was right!!! And I was stunned.
With that one statement, he had made it absolutely clear to me, that he got it.
He understood the whole concept of auspiciousness.

Normally, I would argue and try to prove my point. This time, I did not have a leg to stand on.  Because an American man had just taught his very Indian wife the Indian way to do things.


Well, normal is boring. So here I am - Saluting the very extraordinary and honorary Indians in my life.

Congratulations, Sandra! To say that I love my OM mini is an understatement.
There is only one problem - how shall I use it?

I considered putting it on the altar under the copper pot with coconut. Although that would be perfectly appropriate, it would cover the beauty. And I have the NEED to see it everyday.

I decided to place it just over the smaller altar in my office, where I can look at it every morning when I meditate.

Now that I am done GUSHING, I am ready to talk about FINISHES!!!

Do I have a finish? How about a dozen plus finishes?

Zippered Pouches

Yes, I have been making zippered pouches between quilts. Small flat ones in the picture above, and larger with boxy bottoms in the pictures below.

This pattern for the bags below came from Connecting Threads.

Jeanie's Bags
Jeanie requested three bags - one for each of her two daughters and one for herself. I was only too happy to make them!!!

Yellow, Red & Orange = Brightness

Bright Green Lining

Spacious & Pretty

The following zippered pouches are about 6" by 10" and even though they seem flat and small are large enough to fit my iPad mini.
Whales that smile

Blue Dots Lining

Princess & the Castle
 This is the fabric left over from  "Fit for a Princess" quilt. Perfect use.

Red Chevron Lining
 And all the fabrics that are just blah, can find purpose in the bag linings.

Monsters, with light purple lining
 Not all zippered pouches were made for kids. My grandma may like this one with roses!!!
Granny's Choice

More Roses

Orange Lining

If you make these small pouches, I suggest that you make two at a time. If one takes 45 minutes, adding a second on will only take an extra 15 minutes.  I make the quilt sandwich for two bags together and then cut in half.

And two more larger ones (Connecting Threads pattern) in pretty fall colors.  The bright orange-green-yellow-black fabric is left over from the border of the Curry Favor quilt.

Fabric left over from Curry Favor

Two must be better than one

One green and one yellow zipper

And they are large enough to fit six small zippered pouches each!!!

We are so stuffed :-)

Figured I could make a few for the Boutique at the Quilt Show.  Some of them will get to the boutique but I am sure others will be claimed by friends and family.
That is fine. I can always make more :-)

OK, I was saving the best ones for the last.  This Kaffe fabric was in a pathetic state, abandoned at the free table at our Guild meeting.


I picked up the long, oddly cut strips and almost nursed it back to health. Ironed with starch, cut it into usable sections, made panels using the dark blue solid and then used SF101 interfacing to give it some body before it could be fashioned into these two pouches.

Look at the BEFORE and AFTER pictures. I wish the person who abandoned this fabric could see the potential in it.
I am afraid that I like these two so much that I won't be able to part with them.

My favorite zippered pouches!!!

Which one is your favorite? I'd love to hear from you.
Linking up with Fort Worth Fabrics, Crazy Mom Quilts, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Blossom Heart Quilts, Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday, and Oh Scrap! among others. See the full Linky Party list on the sidebar.


  1. Great work!! Love, love the bags! ALL of them because I can't decide which one is best. :^D
    Thanks for explaining about "OM". I wouldn't have catch that. She did an excellent work. Beautifully done. ;^)

  2. Great post and all of your finishes! How productive!

  3. Loved reading this post, thanks for sharing. Love your pouches. The mini that Sandra made was made with you in mind and she nailed it. WTG Sandra.

  4. Don't blame you for gushing, Sandra's mini is wonderful. Lovely bright and colourful pouches too. I loved reading your blog, maybe you should post more unplanned posts.
    Smiles from

  5. lovely story, lovely touch, Om is also important to me. I have been trying to come up with such a quilting design but I have to keep practicing and practicing before I can get it right....I love your red and orange ones....

  6. Thanks for the insights into your Indian beliefs and practices.
    I had read about the swap pieces on Sandra's blog-how wonderful for you both. You have been very productive with pouch making Preeti and what a wonderful save of the pieces of Kaffe fabric.

  7. Preeti your description of receiving Sandra's surprise has made my day! Also I love your story about how she and Paul have become honorary Indians.
    It's so amazing to see how you've managed to sew so many beautiful pouches! I love the Kaffe rescue at the tend too! Wonderful work!

  8. Isn't it just so great when someone "GETS" you? Even someone you don't know. I believe that means you are doing a great job with your blog. I enjoy your stories too. Those pouches are to die for. I love pouches too. I must have 200 tutorials for them-now to find the time to make all my favorites.

  9. Oh and I need one of those coconut altars.

  10. Your posts are so inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  11. In reverse order: my favourite is the rescued Kaffe fabric pouch. What you did with those orphan triangles and the blue ;-) is magic. I will be checking out CT's bag pattern; I want to run and make one, no TWO (great advice) NOW, but I have a binding to finish on my Friday finish...not sure I"ll make it in time. I have never heard of the coconut and water, but you can be sure I will be investigating. I love the photo of you and Paul in front of the temple near Toronto.. Um that is only 4 hours north of my house...if you're ever contemplating heading there again in the future, you will let me know, right?! Wow, how profound that he made that statement too before getting the car. I am a firm believer in energy, positives vibes, and thoughts become things. Bravo, Paul. Thank you for naming me an honorary Indian; I am very humbled and honoured that you did so. Authors often say that a character writes the book, and the author is just the medium; I kind of felt that with creating this mini for you, in that it dictated its direction, and I merely was the sewist. "Like an ocean in the pitcher" such an apt description and one I will remember, like the Hindi word for the sound that many glass bracelets make. :-)

  12. You ar a busy and fortunate lady!! Good job!!

  13. That is awesome of Paul! Mthe story about the cocnut....sooooo something that would happen with John! I cant wait to see you this year! May be sooner than you think if things go well!

  14. Does the coconut and water work for non indians? My favourite pouch has to be the rescue Kaffe ones, but they are all lovely. I'm glad you found a place to put Sandra's lovely mini.

  15. It is always a pleasure to read your posts, Preeti. Friends and family are what makes life such a blessing. And the pretty fabrics used in all these projects is the icing on the cake!

  16. What an fun post! Thanks so much for sharing and the pictures are wonderful. I have a small question...what pattern did you use for the flat pouches? Knowing you, I'll bet you just did a couple of calculations and totally figured it out.

  17. I was over at Sandra's and read her post on the process she went thru to make your mini. I knew I had to come right over here and read your response. What a sweet story from both sides.

  18. What a heart warming post at every stage and oh how wonderful the mini quilt from Sandra is - thanks so much for linking up at Sew Cute Tuesday today - Chris (guest host) :D

  19. Preeti,
    What a beautiful post - I love the story about the coconut - we so often jump and act without thinking. I realize that in a good marriage - the best of each partner can rub off on the other making two better people. It definitely happened to me. The coconut over water is a wonderful spiritual act. I love the way it is renewed every two weeks or so… just like life. The bags are gorgeous - especially the blue one with the rescued fabric. I need to relook at my stash to see if there are orphans that I can use so effectively. Love the photo in front of the temple in Toronto - I have seen the temple - it is beautiful Great blog.

  20. First, I love the story about your husband. What a sweetie! Second, your OM mini really is amazing. And last, your pouches are pretty awesome. What a great way to use scraps.

  21. WOW! What a great post. So many wonderful things to read (yea Hubby!) and see. What an amazing OM art piece. And, thanks for the reminder that little pouches will sell at a quilt show's $10 and under. (That's what ours is called and I think I'll grab some fabric and make would be wonderful if it could take an hour to do two!)

  22. Very interesting and informative post! Thanks for sharing!