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.

This blogpost contains affiliate links.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Swirl a Twirl (Free Pattern/Tutorial)

Good News. I won!!!

Thanks to Molli Sparkles who hosted the fabulous international giveaway and Intrepid Thread who sponsored the fat quarter bundle.

There are not 6 or 12 but 24 fat quarters in the full spectrum colors!!! I am so lucky.

The package came very quickly and neatly wrapped.  I recommend you check out Intrepid Thread. Yes, they have fabric (some of it is on clearance), thread, buttons, ribbons, patterns and zippers too.

I impatiently opened the package to caress the beauties!

I know some of you are thinking - you won, that is great.  How is that good news for me?

Well, I have good news for you too.  I have a finish to share and a free tutorial.
Meet Swirl a Twirl.

A simple yet pretty pattern that you can put together in one day.  Let's get started.

Swirl a Twirl (Finished quilt 40.5” by 40.5”). All seams are ¼”
Fabric Requirements 
  • Main - 8 assorted fabrics, 6” by WOF
  • Background fabric – 30” (or 11 jelly roll strips)

Cutting Instructions
  • Main Fabrics - Subcut each 6” strip into 6” sections, four per fabric. We need 32 squares of 6” side. 
  • Background - Cut the background fabric into 2.5” strips. We need 11 strips. Jellyroll strips can be used.
  • Subcut each 2.5” strip into three 6” sections (need 32) and three 8” sections (need 32).

Block Assembly
  1. Stitch the background strips to the main fabric squares, (6” strip first, followed by the 8” strip) making an L-shape. See picture below.

  2. Once you have constructed all four L-shaped blocks from one fabric, square them to 8”.

  3. STARCH and iron.
  4. Cut on the diagonal (through the background corner) as shown in the picture. Repeat for the remaining three blocks.

  5. You will get two types of blocks – a left block and a right (mirror image) block. Separate left blocks into a stack and the right blocks into a second stack. See picture below.
  6.  Take one stack and arrange them as shown below.

  7. Sew in pairs. Iron towards the background fabric.

  8. To sew the final block together, pin the two halves together, to nest seams. Start sewing from near the center, just above the pin, to the end. Cut thread. 

  9. Turn the block over and finish the seam beginning from the middle (slight overlap with stitches) to the end of the block. Cut threads.

  10. Iron and trim to 10 ½”
  11. Repeat with the other stack.
  12. Make all the blocks, using one fabric at a time. You will have 16 blocks.

Quilt Assembly
  1. Arrange blocks into four rows by four columns.

  2. Piece into rows and then piece the rows together.
  3. Layer and quilt.  Square the quilted sandwich.
  4. Bind and enjoy.

And if you make this pattern, please let me know. I'd love to see your interpretation of Swirl a Twirl.

Here are a few more pictures of Swirl a Twirl.
I chose this pretty paisley backing. The colors - pink and coral match the front beautifully.

Quilted it simply with a decorative stitch that looks like Cs. 

A green binding makes the quilt pop and matches the backing too. Yay!!!

No, I did not forget the label

The finished quilt is about 40 inches square - perfect for a baby. And if you brought this as a baby shower gift, you will be the instant favorite guest.

Do you like the pattern?  Do you have questions? Ask away and I'll respond in the comments.
I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties.

Have a great Thanksgiving and be safe.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

A prayer for my country

The last few days have been very difficult for me.  I have not been able to stop crying.
After a lot of introspection - why do I feel this heart-broken, I have come to the following understanding.

It was not about who won or who lost. Politicians will come and politicians will go.
This was not about party affiliation. The pendulum swings and it will swing the other way.
I know that personally, I will be fine, eventually.  And I have nothing to fear, either.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

This election has fed the wolf symbolic of hate, racism, sexism, misogyny, bigotry and xenophobia. And that is what is killing me.

To those who will come into power, I have just this to say - Take my country but please do not tear it apart. May good judgment prevail upon you.  May you govern with the principles of liberty, justice and equality for all. I honestly wish you all the very best.