Sunday, August 28, 2016

OMG, this is post 101!!! Mia's Quilt + Giveaways

It was Mia's birthday last week.  She turned one.

For Mia

About two months ago, her mom reached out to me to make a quilt from her old baby clothes.  She gave me a large bag of baby clothes.  Those little clothes are so cute. A monkey, a kitty, a bird and adorable phrases like - "Cute like Mommy" or "I make Mommy Smile" and more.

Cuteness - Cut up :-(

The bag had several onesies, one skirt, one cap and few jumpsuits. The cap had very beautiful pink roses.  To get any usable fabric out of it, I had to unpick the seams.  Cutting it out would leave a very skinny strip. The best piece was a pink and white striped skirt - definitely lot of usable fabric came out of it.

There was a large cat on one of the t-shirts. If I cut away the seams, a sliver of the cat's body would end up in the seam allowance.  Once again, I unpicked the seams on the stretchy fabric.  The t-shirt with the Disney princess was definitely going to be the focus of the quilt.


Too close to the seam

Seam Ripped

Done, Phew!!!

Three nights in a row, I sat in front of the television, cutting perfect baby clothes into squares and rectangles.  To not focus on the destruction, I watched a sweet, romantic comedy - Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.  Next night, I watched an uplifting Bollywood comedy - Rocket Singh - Salesman of the Year. Third night, I watched "The Kids are All Right"

Now that I had destroyed so many clothes, it was time to interface them.  I knew it would be a tedious exercise but it took such a long time.  I spent almost 20 hours in just cutting and interfacing, even before I could begin piecing.  I was frustrated and it had begun to show.

Interfaced. Ready for Piecing

I could not have put this together without a Design Wall because all pieces were different sizes.  I started placing squares and rectangles on the wall, framing focus pieces. I sent a picture to Mia's mom and she was thrilled with it. In fact, Mia's mom is the best person I have ever worked with.  She had a couple of requests - including Mia's picture and the choice of the backing fabric.  After that, I had full-on control of the patchwork, layout, quilting, binding etc.

Design Wall

When I started piecing, I realized that all seams had to be pressed open. UGH...extra work.  Paul noticed my less than happy state.


Paul: What is the matter babe? You don't look too happy.
Me: I am not enjoying making this quilt.
Paul: Why not? 
Me: It is a lot of work, it is tedious and I feel that my creativity is limited.
Paul: I think that monkey is really cute

Paul's favorite monkey

Me: I really like the pink roses

May favorite pink roses

Paul: What does the mom think?
Me: Oh she loves it. She has been very happy with the process.
Paul: Well, not all projects can be fun.
Me: Hmmmm...
Paul: Try to think about the little girl and the mom. And how much they will love it.
Me: OK.
Paul: It is not ALWAYS about you, silly girl!!!
I rolled my eyes.

Coming Together

I can always trust Paul to help me see the light.  With my maladjutsed attitude now corrected, I set to finish the quilt top.  The top finished at 47" wide and about 58" long. This meant that the backing would have to pieced.

Flimsy - Almost Finished

For the backing Mia's mom chose this Disney princess print. Yes, it is only 43" wide and  yes the print is directional.  So, I cut the excess length and then cut it into strips.   The strips were then joined end to end.

Maintaining Correct Orientation

I could not just add the cut length to increase width because then the princesses would become sleeping beauties.  Some creative rearranging solved the problem.

It works!!!

Chose a simple quilting pattern due to the bulk (knit+interfacing).  Almost there.

Quilted & Bound

For binding, I cut strips that were 2.75" wide instead of the usual 2.5" because I wanted to make sure that the bulk could be contained in the binding.  This also meant that when the two ends of binding are connected at the end, the overlap had to be 2.75"

I am the focus - Look at me

In the end, I am so glad I made this memory quilt, not just for Mia and her mom but also because I learned so many things about making Memory Quilts.

Cute & Cuddly

No, I did not forget to add the label.


Some of you asked about the label. When I was designing the label, I included care instructions on the back.  See picture below.

Label with Care Instructions

There were still a few scraps leftover.  And one of them - the yellow bird (duck/chick) was insistent that she be included in the party.

Hi there!

So, I made a large pillow - as my gift for Mia on her birthday.

Big Pillow

I have never had a better response to my quilt. As soon as Mia saw the quilt, she was on it, touching the bird and the kitty, and then moving to the next object that caught her eye. Mia's mom gushed and I beamed. Mission Accomplished!!!

Pillow Back

With Mia's quilt, I have completed the two monthly goals for August.  When you get the Blues was done earlier this month.  Did you accomplish your goals?   Do let me know.

I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties including One Monthly Goal.

This is Post # 101.  I was so excited about my California trip that I forgot that the last post was Post #100.  Silly me!!! Time to set things right. With a Giveaway!!!

First Prize (1) - Craftsy Class
Second Prize (2) - FQ Bundle (5 FQs)
FQ Bundles
Third Prize (3) - Charm Pack
Charm Pack from Connecting Threads
There are a total of six prizes. You have two ways to win.
1. Since Craftsy is sponsoring the First Prize, do poke around their site and let me know in a comment what Craftsy class you'd like to win and why.
2. If you are a follower, you get an extra entry.  Just let me know in a separate comment, how you follow me.

It is important that I can reach you. If you are a no-reply blogger, please include your email in the comment. Or you can stop being a no-reply blogger. Check this out

This giveaway is closed.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

When you get the blues...

On my way to California, in the 6-hour long plane ride, I tried to engage my co-passenger in a conversation.  Five times.  But I could barely get a word out of him.

Always take the window seat

1. I asked him - Do you live on the east or the west coast.   I live here, he said and then nothing. 

2. I saw that his nose was about to drip, so I offered him a tissue. He accepted the tissue and said thank you but nothing more.

3. Do you have allergies, I asked. Something like that, he said and then nothing.  

4. Would you like some Allegra. I have it in my purse. No, that is okay, he said and then nothing.

5. I saw his laptop with a website saying Justice, so I asked him - Are you a lawyer?  He replied yes and then nothing.

I gave up and returned to my book. 
I finished my book.  Still one hour to go.  I looked out of the window and squealed at the sight below.

“Do you know what lake that is?

Salt Lake in Utah

Oh. Let's see, we are flying over Utah.  Look this is our location. He was showing me a map with an icon of a tiny plane indicating our location in flight.  Thanks to the blue lake, we finally engaged in a conversation!!!

California was beautiful.  We went to a balsamic vinegar/olive oil tasting in Sonoma.

Winery in Sonoma

Since I don't drink, I was not interested in the Wine Tasting but the olive oils and the flavored vinegars were oh so delectable.

Olive Oils & Balsamic Vinegars

The Golden Gate Bridge is iconic.  How can I not go there? We did and I am slightly proud of this picture where you can see the bridge in the side mirror.

Driving on the Golden Gate Bridge

Elle took me to Muir Woods.  It was a bit cool and here we are in our light jackets.  It was so good to see her.
with Elle in Muir Woods

And I also saw this.  Elle had placed the quilt on the guest bed, so that I could enjoy it while I was there.

To Greener Pastures

Here I am enjoying my last hours in California, the only way I should - dipping my feet in a lovely pool.
On a warm afternoon

I know I am supposed to be talking about my finished quilt, not gush about the older one.  Well, here it is.  I completed my Blues Scrappy Quilt.

When you get the Blues

When the design just evolves, as it does when I am piecing scraps, often it gets wider than 42" and requires a pieced (or wide) backing.  I am loving this backing with a strip of aqua adding some pizzaz.

Blues Backing

Normally, I would have asked Paul to hold up the quilt for pictures, but he could not.  I will tell you why, in a minute. But first let's see a few more pictures of this "When you get the Blues..." quilt.

adding label

I stitch the label to the quilt back, using a basting stitch.  Then, bind as usual. Love these fancy labels :-)  Did you know that they have care instructions on the back?  Adds a nice touch and I hope that folks read them before washing/drying the quilt.


I think this binding really works well with the back too :-)   
Here is a close-up showing the quilting detail.

Quilting Detail

Yes, that is my shiny new bright red car in the background.

Photo Shoot

I see fabrics in here from quilts I made for Paul, Alex, Divik. and Ishaan.  Fond memories :-)

Front & Back

And just then I realized that my bright red car would be a perfect backdrop for the blue quilt.

Am I showing off my label? Yes, a little bit :-D

The day before I left for California, Paul had surgery on his left wrist.   The surgery went well.

A very groggy Paul
His dear friends - Dan, Lindsay, Walt and Tamara took care of him, by which I mean they spoiled him rotten with movies, board games and food.

I am trying to keep up with his loftier than usual expectations now, which include (but are not limited to) helping him shower, cutting his meat, and not calling him during the day, lest he may be sleeping.

The doctor took an x-ray last week and declared that everything looks fine.  Paul got a new cast.  He chose his favorite color.
Blue Cast

And since his left wrist is in a cast, he can no longer serve as the Quilt Model (holder upper).

Speaking of blues, I made a Becca bag.  My last Craftsy class was - Zippered Bags with a Twist by Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs.

My first Becca

I love love love this class.  If you are even slightly interested in making zippered bags, I highly recommend this class.

Joan's instructions are the very best.  She explains every step in great detail. But never dawdles or lingers, quickly moving from one step to the next.  
I did not have the recommended size zipper for the large Becca or the small Becca.  So, I just used Joan's guidelines to make a medium Becca, because that was the zipper I had.

So neat 

I have made over 50 zippered bags by now.  You want a neat bag that is fully lined, with all hidden seams - it takes a long time.  You can make a quick bag but it won't be fancy.  With Joan's class, you can make a fancy looking bag in the time it takes you to make a simple bag.  The trick is her one-zipper technique. 

So, I have only made one Becca bag but I have started using some of her awesome techniques (zipper tape loop) in other zippered bags.  To me, that is the real value of the class - that you can apply techniques acquired in one place in other places.

So what do you do when you get the blues...Turn to Black Friday. Yes, Black Friday sales at Craftsy.

Now there are so many fabulous items on sale, but I will only tell you about a couple of those that are 50% or more off. Best. Deals. Ever.

1.Cotton+Steel FQ boxes, each on of them is 65% off. Marked down from $110 to $38.  That is a steal. You pay less than a $1 per FQ.
Cotton + Steel Collection at 65% off

Cotton +Steel FQ Box at 65% off

2. If you are a Jinny Beyer fan, you know that her fabric is on the expensive side.  Therefore, when it is 55% off, you have to have it. Check out RJR Delhi by Jinny Beyer

But that is not all. Jinny Beyer Batiks FQ bundles are now at 60% off.

3. RJR Handspray Jewel Box - Such rich colors at such a great price. What a great stash builder at 55% off. YAY!!!  

4. Robert Kaufman Fusions Bloom FQ bundles. - Just look at the pictures. Words do not describe the richness of these colors.  And at 50% or more off, they jump into your cart so easily!!!

Fusions Bloom Cool FQ Bundle

Fusions Bloom Warm FQ Bundle

Fusions Meadow Cool FQ Bundle

I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties and I'd love to hear your thoughts on all things blue. 

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