Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hello 2017!!!

Just got back from India.  OK, it was last week but the jet lag and the exhaustion distorts time perception.

Christmas tree in the background

In general, the weather was pleasant, Mom is mobile and road rage is unchanged.

Sunny Days

Specifically, we threw a Christmas Party - for Paul.

See the Santa?

Mom got a little tree with small decorations.

Lalit, (our dedicated driver) decorated a larger live tree with lights.  Paul made the star using aluminum foil, a pencil and some cardboard.

with Nishant

Meetu, my sister's friend, brought the food - vegetarian and non-vegetarian, plus ice-cream.
Kababs, Fish, Shahi Paneer, Butter Chicken and Dal Makhani

Anju and her husband brought cake - black forest cake, which is my favorite.
Paul was the guest of honor

I had brought homemade cookies.

Paul also received a gift card for Outback Steakhouse. Since he cannot get any beef in India, I wanted to give him - a promise of beef! It was a bittersweet moment. The man loves cow and he got a gift card for it - sweet.  That he could not get any beef for days together - bitter.

Anju and Dr. S loved the quilt.

Everybody fawns over Paul.  The friends, relatives and neighbors - all trying to please him.  Tarun (the teenage boy next door) invited Paul to his house for dinner.

with Tarun
Paul still only speaks five phrases in Hindi, can hardly eat any Indian food (with the exception of alu paratha - potato stuffed flatbread) and struggles with the culture that has no concept of privacy.

Alu Paratha (with butter) at Tarun's house
Kids took pictures with Paul, which were quickly posted on FB and shared on Whatsapp and they were thrilled when there were tons of likes and comments.

Of course, I brought back some fabric.  I paid about $3 per meter.
100% Cotton Fabrics from India

Someday inspiration will strike and I will cut up these beauties. Petting only for now.

I am sure Paul lost over 10 lbs. in two weeks. We went to Outback Steakhouse at the first opportunity to set things right.

The urge to begin something new is so much stronger than the need to finish an incomplete project.
Do you ever have that problem?
I have zero desire to quilt. But I want to cut and sew :-D

Fortunately, there is plenty of temptation in the blogland. Thank you Molli for the Honey Pot Bee.

Light, Dark and Medium too

It was fun (and a bit messy) to dive into my scrap basket.

Totally Scrappy

Pink Strawberry Squares

If one is good, two must be better.
Red Strawberry - in process

The tutorial tells you to press seams. Whether you should press them open or press to alternate sides, it does not say. I chose to press seams open when stitching the little 2" suckers squares together.

stem and leaf

I followed the tutorial - mostly. But, instead of using two 2" squares for the stem, I used one 2" by 3.5" rectangle.

completed rows

When I said aloud - I am making these strawberry blocks and I cannot stop, Paul gave me a raspberry!!!

My Strawberries - Dignified Red and Outta Control Fat Juicy Pink

Here is my warning to all the impatient quilters in the world - these blocks are pretty but they are not quick. If you are in the habit of scant quarter inch seams, you must trim after each seam. If not, you end up with a juicy fat strawberry, like the pink one on the right.

I made the pink one first.  Then I made the red one - so much more dignified.

There is an orange one in the making.

Orange Strawberry in process

Where are my purple scraps?
Purple Strawberry Squares

Also, I decided to make the Jelly Roll Twist quilt (tops only for now) from the Fat Quarter Shop tutorial.  Here are my fabric choices.

Color Theory by Moda

I have had this jelly roll (Color Theory by Vanessa Christenson by Moda) for over two years now. The Jelly Roll Twist seemed to be the perfect pattern for it. But (there is always a but), the white charm pack did not seem to work with most of these fabrics.  Too dull, in my opinion.

So, I picked out a few solids from my stash to add a dash of color and pizzaz.

A dash of matching solids

Also, in my opinion, the FQ shop's patterns are a bit wasteful. The tutorial suggests using 34 strips to make 42 blocks. Actually, you can make 42 blocks from just 28 strips.

Blocks in Motion

I went a step further. I divided the jelly roll in half and made two smaller quilt tops. I used 20 strips to make 30 blocks and arranged them into 5 by 6 layout.

Finished Flimsy

The finished flimsy measures about 43" by 51.5".  That is a crib size and I am darn pleased with it.
Now, a sane person would have proceeded to find suitable backing and then layer, baste and quilt.

Since this is my year of doing whatever pleases me, I picked up the rest of the 20 jelly roll strips and proceeded to make the second flimsy.

I chose my solids for the 5" squares.
Matching Solids

I cut up my jelly roll pairs judiciously, so that each strip set would give me three blocks.
5" and 9" sections

 I am loving these colors.
Color Theory by Moda

I matched the jelly roll pairs with the solid squares, allowing for some variety.
Playing matchmaker

And here are my first few blocks.
Second Flimsy, First Blocks

And here is the finished flimsy.
Finished Flimsy

I don't think using all white charms would have created this brightness.  What do you think?
Blue Green Teal and Navy Party

Blue, Green, Teal and Navy went to a party.  Guess what, even gray and white decided to come out of their shells and enjoy the merry-making.
Oh so bright and happy!

Since I am linking with Elm Street Quilt's One Monthly Goal, you must be wondering - Do I even have a monthly goal for January?
Well, staying warm is really high on my priority list.

And if I can turn any of the above two flimsies into a finished quilt, that will do very nicely too!!!

When many quilter/bloggers are setting goals and priorities for 2017, I am throwing all caution to the winds. No resolutions, no goals and absolutely no to-do lists. This is my year of living dangerously.  Let's see what happens.  Are you with me?


  1. Welcome back....glad you had such a good trip!!

  2. Welcome back, friend. Have you seen the Postcards from Sweden quilt? You could do Postcards from India with that gorgeous fabric.

    I love Paul's Red Shirt!

  3. Here's to a year of doing whatever you please! You're off to a great start. I agree, plain white would not have made the Jelly Roll Twists sing as your colors did. Well done! And I am NOT going to make even one strawberry. They look way too addictive!

  4. Welcome home! Paul is such a good sport. He deserved a steak dinner! I can't decide which of the jelly roll quilts I like better because they're both so pretty. Maybe someone you know will have twins! Hope you stay warm!

  5. Oh, Preeti, you have such a wonderful sense of what goes together joyfully! I love what you did with that pattern. Do throw caution to the wind. I am definitely with you there. Just doing my thing. I'm to-do list averse. Had too much of that in my previous life. Thanks for sharing your holiday with us. I'm looking forward to seeing what strikes your fancy in the new year.

  6. Lovely fabrics. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal.

  7. You are off to a good start creating whatever pleases you! Beautiful quilts.

  8. Sounds like you had a beautiful fun trip. And have been a cutting piecing fool and that is good. Someday you be inspired to quilt and you will fly through those tops.

  9. Beautiful quilts. I love that you are doing what pleases you.

  10. I am definitely in the camp of "would rather cut and sew than finish!" So I enjoy having projects in many states of completion to work on, depending on my mood! (And it sounds like you do too!). I enjoyed the story of your trip to India!

  11. I should've read this post in mid-December and jumped on your band...make that IN your rickshaw!!! I like throwing caution to the winds Preeti-style especially when A. you get not one but TWO quilt tops where a pattern said there'd be just one (and NO WASTE your way!) and B. you've made a bunch of strawberry blocks and what, FOUR flimsies?! Definitely a big fat YES on not all white centre squares. Clearly India was good for your creative soul, oh all right, sew-l (wink) since I'm in a punning mood,

  12. Sounds like you had a wonderful, very relaxing trip. I'm totally with you on the "No resolutions, no goals and absolutely no to-do lists", as it's great to be free and just do whatever strikes our fancy! Which has been working well for you, with all that you've created lately - lot's more than I. Still waiting for the mojo to return...

  13. It looks like your trip was great! I'm glad Paul got to have some cow when you came home. I'm glad the beautiful quilt was a hit and I love the strawberries.

  14. Sounds like a wonderful trip. :) I am excited to see what you do this year. While I normally make one quilt at a time, I sometimes go through phases where I make multiple quilt tops. Love your strawberries!

  15. Glad you had a very good holiday. Sounds like you have a very fun year planned (umm, maybe that's unplanned?). The strawberry blocks are fun and your two new projects are very bright and colorful. Looking forward to checking out what comes out of your sewing room this year.

  16. Those strawberries are cute! I might have to make some. Looked like a fun trip and looks like someone got the royal treatment!

  17. There is so much happening at your place. Love those delicious strawberries.....they look good enough to eat.

  18. Love the fabric you got in India. Your strawberries turned out great. I haven't pulled fabric for mine yet.

  19. Aren't you the rebel!! No goals? No lists? Nothing to keep you in line!?! Yikes, this will be the year to follow along with you Preeti. :-) I love the bits about your visit home. What a hard thing it must be to live so far from your family.

    That second flimsy is wonderful. You were absolutely right to add those solids to the mix. Lovely.

  20. Throwing caution to the wind sounds like a lot of fun! It's certainly working for you so far. I love the second flimsy, with all the blue and green mixed in with a bit of mustardy yellow.

  21. What a fun trip! I'm so glad your friends loved their quilt! I made two strawberries and, yes they are time consuming but cute as can be! The FQ patterns is a good way to use jelly rolls that have lingered on a shelf...thanks for sharing the tip on saving fabric!

  22. I do love this new free spirited take for 2017. Anything goes! You 100% made the right call on leaving out some of the white. This top is full of color and so much fun. And how extremely cool that you were able to get two tops for the price of one! Glad you guys had a great visit home and a wonderful holiday.

  23. Wonderful visit home for both of you but especially for you, Preeti, since it seems that your visit garnered you so much more than a bit of fabric and love from the family. Isn't it special to see your family dote on Paul. It's comforting to know that they love him so. (My family treats Richard very much like that.)

    The quilt tops are gorgeous: your sense of color is spot on as always. I guessing you found inspiration in India as you always do. Can't wait to see what you come up with next!

  24. Love those strawberries! And your new flimsy! Bravo on getting so much done and I love your unplanned attitude to 2017! Thanks for linking up to #scraptastictuesday!

  25. Thanks for sharing your new flimsy. I hadn't seen that use of a jelly roll and I like it a lot. Yes, your colors make the jelly roll fabrics shine. Looks like you enjoyed your time in India. I've pretty well given up on beef but every once in a while I love a good hamburger or even, gasp, a steak!

  26. Love the quilt tops. They are really fun?
    Cathy Odle

  27. Sounds like a great and interesting trip to India! Your quilts look lovely and they will definitely keep your warm!! Happy New Year :)

  28. I must be with you! I have about 4 or 5 tops made and starting another. I really need to get to quilting and actually finish something but I keep buying fabric and start planning and wanting to cut and sew. Love your blog-1ST time visting. The color choices above are yummy! Thanks for sharing!