Monday, May 29, 2017

Elephant Under My Needle

Growing up in India, we learned very little about world happenings.  Even after the advent of the internet, we were all about local events, local/national news and Bollywood celebrity gossip.

And now, I can hardly believe that I am the same person.
with Melanie

I heaved a massive sigh of relief following the news about the French elections' outcome.  I danced with joy after I heard the news about the release of the Chibook girls by Bokko Haram. I fell in love again with Justin Trudeau as he stood up to the American government's unreasonable demands.

Melanie taking pictures at the Ethiopian Restaurant

And earlier this month, I ate Ethiopian food with Melanie - a quilter blogger from Germany!!!

My Sew Together Bag - Gift from Melanie

Look what she brought for me - a Sew Together Bag in yummy rainbow colors.  I love it!!! There are little surprises inside like the bright zippers, a bug, and a fabric that Melanie herself designed.

Bright Zippers, Fun Fabric

The fabric is hilarious. It has literal English translations of German sayings.

and a bug!!!

Check Melanie's blog to read about the process.

May was a rollercoaster month for me with friends, travels and looming deadlines.  That is why I am particularly thrilled with my OMG finish.

Mayflower Finished!!!

This quilt is for my cousin brother and his wife.  They live in India not far from my Mom and are there for her, whenever she needs them.  They are quietly supportive and completely dependable. 
I make it a point to visit them whenever I go back to India. 

Moda Paradiso - the inspiration
Cutting fabric
I am unlikely to travel to India any time soon. Therefore this quilt will travel with my sister who visits India in June. The deadline on completion for this quilt is/was Memorial Day.  Since I just returned from my trip after successfully delivering the finished quilt to my sister, I can heave a big sigh of relief and share the story, the process and the pictures.

Finished Flimsy

This quilt uses a modified rail fence block showcasing Moda Paradiso fabrics combined with a dark blue yardage. Each block is 10" and the finished quilt is 80" by 100". 

On my bed

At this time, let’s take a side trip 
One morning, a few years ago, I was traveling to Washington DC in the Metro.  I was sitting next to a woman who was knitting a scarf. Naturally, we engaged in a conversation. She told me that wherever there is a mistake, it results in a knot like appearance on the knitted surface.  She showed me a couple. But here is where it becomes fun – she said that each knot shows that the recipient is loved. So the grandkids receiving the scarves LOOK for those knots and whoever has the most knots wins because he/she is the most loved.

Can you spot the two mistakes?

So when I discovered the two mistakes in this quilt, I chose to leave them there – one showing my love for my cousin brother and one for his wife.

Wide Backing

I chose a wide backing from ConnectingThreads.  The batting is White & Natural.

Quilted the Beast

The quilting is ...well, quilting a queen size quilt is a pain.

Quilting Detail

The plan was to quilt two straight lines an inch apart and then quilt a gentle curve between them.
At some point, the flimsy developed a mind of her own - she moved and writhed and was determined to escape from under the presser foot as I struggled to keep the elephant under control.

Ooh the play of light and shade

I could still quilt it but there was severe distortion, several tucks and infinite frustration. I left the room to check emails and then drifted off to Facebook before landing on Pinterest. Time passed.
I heard a knock. Paul was at the door.

Paul: What happened babe?
Me: What do you mean?
Paul: You left your sewing machine on?
Me: Well, I got distracted and then I got sidetracked before I took off at a tangent.

Are we there yet?

Knots to Bury

By now Paul is rolling on the floor laughing

Me: But thanks for checking. 
Paul: Don't you have a deadline.
Me: I hate this beast of a quilt.
Paul: But you must finish it.
Me: Hate it
Paul: Finish it
Me: Hate
Paul: Finish
Paul: Finish it and put it away.
Me: OK.

Mayflower - Photoshoot

This is my May OMG FINISHED!!!  Time to reward myself with some fabric :-) 

Since Connecting Threads is having a Memorial Day sale, I just might get something from there.

Of course Craftsy is having a sale too. Some classes are $10.

This one caught my eye. I guess Indian food is becoming more mainstream.

Hope you had a relaxing long weekend.
As usual, I'd love to hear from you about your distractions, side trips and finishes!


  1. It is lovely, Preeti. Sorry we couldn't get together this trip.

  2. You always have great blog posts. Love the give and take between hubby and you. And, great finish. I used a CT wide backing fabric on my quilt but forgot to take a picture of it. Oh well. Great finish.

  3. What are these mistakes you speak of? I only see a gorgeous quilt. :) I love the blue background! Your cousin and his wife are sure to love this beauty! And lucky you, to meet up with another quilty friend!

  4. It's a gorgeous quilt! Congrats on finishing it up by your deadline. Now you can find some non-deadline projects to work on and have some fun.

  5. Beautiful quilt, I had to look really hard to find the "design changes". Really nice colour combinations as usual and set off so well with the dark background!

  6. Beautiful quilt! A queen is a beast to quilt on a domestic,it looks great to me.

  7. Wonderful quilt that will make a lovely gift. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your finish.

  8. Much as I love your quilt stories, I think you have another one here to tell: how did you manage to meet up with Melanie?! Love stuff like that. Love love (but you know this) Paradiso, and no I didn't spot the 2 mistakes...and you aren't telling! As for Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron (oh those Frenchmen, oui! oui!) I too am so pleased, as well as for the release of those poor innocent girls, and for Julian Assange's release as well! One day, I know you and I will share some Indian food together, right? :-)

  9. I think you have created a perfectly wonderful gift quilt that is full of your love.

  10. I think you tamed that beast and showed it who's boss! Sometimes quilts just have a mind of their own and take over the process, but I'm in LOVE with those slightly curvy lines. I'm also head over heals for Paradiso with the dark blue fabric. Congrats on your deadline finish. I'm sure this quilt will be well loved.

  11. Congrats on your finish, it is beautiful! I have used those fabrics too and love them. What pattern did you use for the quilt-I like it.

  12. Hi Preeti,
    I think your brother and sister-in-law will absolutely love the quilt. I love the navy with the other colors - it certainly highlights them perfectly. Good for you for getting it finished with time to spare (thanks to Paul)! That is also a lovely bag from your friend - how sweet of her to bring it for you. ~smile~

  13. Congratulations on the finish. I think it means more when you make yourself finish a quilt you don't really like. Give yourself a big pat on the back for perseverance.

  14. Honey, it came out gorgeous! I actually love the quilting! I had to look really hard to see the 'love knots'...hardly noticeable! Aren't you the lucky one to receive such a nice gift! I've made three of them, and not only are they not easy, they don't get any easier the more you make! But I love them, and bet I make more when I need a gift or two again! Enjoy your evening!

  15. I love that story about the mistakes showing love in the project--made me smile. I did spot your two mistakes but only AFTER you mentioned there were mistakes. The quilt is so lovely and will be treasured, I'm sure.

  16. That is such a lovely quilt and the quilting really enhances it - I would probably have used a navy (since I'm a bit chicken about how the quilting will show) but yours looks so good using a colour that contrasts. A beautiful gift.

  17. Queen quilts are a royal pain to quilt on a domestic machine! But I love what you did. Going with curves was a very good choice. I'm sure your brother will love it and isn't it lucky your sister is going to India and she can take it!!

  18. Love your OMG finish. I always find a navy blue makes a wonderful, soft looking background. I also bought a nice big piece of that extra wide and I so AGREE about our current american leadership!! I wish I still had my Canadian immigration status. I.d be moving. Have a great day!

  19. The quilting is perfect. I need to try these curvy lines someday. And I had to really search for your "design enhancements". If you hadn't told us, no one would have known. Angela Walters says pointing out mistakes is one of the five things quilters should STOP doing. I think she is right, but it's really hard, especially if you are a perfectonist.

  20. What a beautiful quilt and an amazing gift! Congratulations on your finish, Preeti! I always enjoy the stories you tell in your posts; thanks for sharing them with us.

  21. I love the quilt for your May OMG, simple but stunning!

  22. Oh dear! If I gave myself a fabric reward after every finish, I'd have nowhere to sleep. But, after wrestling this quilt under a domestic machine, you do deserve some fabric - several yards! Congrats on a marvelous finish - the quilt is beautiful, and the soft wiggly lines add to charm. Thank you so much for sharing this finish at Midweek Makers!

  23. I have only done one queen size quilt on my domestic machine. It was so difficult. I totally get your frustration. But you persevered!! Great finish.

    Yay for meeting up with another quilty friend. Lucky you. :-)

  24. Wow, Preeti, you have many opportunities to meet quilters, bloggers and friends. Aren't you lucky!

    Before getting the long-arm, I made several queen quilts on my Bernina. It was hard! Oddly almost all the quilts I made before the long-arm were large. Now I'm okay with mixing it up and making more of the smaller quilts. You were very smart about pushing through and meeting the deadline: sending that quilt via mail would have cost a small fortune. It makes sense that the small fortune you saved could go toward new fabric. Now doesn't that work out well?

  25. It's really neat to read your story of the quilt - I love the idea of the mistakes being extra love for the recipients! Congratulations on getting it done! I often fall out of love with a quilt when I am quilting it, but usually like it again as I finish the binding! I am sure it will be loved!

  26. Lovely! I commend you for quilting this beast on your home machine and above all, for finishing it!!

  27. Your quilt is lovely. I am so impressed you actually quilted it on your sewing machine! You are a brave woman and isn't the thrill of being finished a wonderful feeling! Happy sewing on your next project.

  28. A lovely design accentuated by your great fabric choices. I think I spotted the mistakes, they took some searching for though and I'm sure only you would have noticed. It's a wonderful gift.

  29. Your quilt is going to be a wonderful gift. I am sure it's going to be loved and appreciated. As for your mistake--big woo, it's artistic license. I love the quilting. And I have a rule for machine quilting, twin size is my limit and thankfully have a long arm quilters who does a wonderful job and is not expensive.

  30. What an amazing bag. With custom-made fabric--that's really special (and fun to read)! About the mistakes? If you do it twice, it's a design element. Or even if you do it once. :) I understand your (temporary, I hope) hatred of your quilt. I get to that point at some time with almost every large quilt I make as a gift. I don't know why. Well, maybe I do. I think I suddenly start doubting myself--and then if there are challenges, that intensifies the feeling and I think the recipient won't like it. I never have that feeling with quilts I give to unknown recipients. Those are always pure joy. Strange, isn't it? I like the lesson of the knots.

  31. Good for you for getting through that quilt! I know how it is when you fall out of love with a project. That's when quilting feels like work.

  32. Yes, it gives me heart to see people turn against the hateful views of the current Republican administration. I keep reminding myself that most Americans don't support them either.
    Your quilt and its quilting is lovely. Congratulations on a charming gift.

  33. Yes, it was sooo fun to meet! I am proud you made the deadline and I guess you are really happy :) I like the quilting, especially your idea of how to do it(straight lines apart and then wiggle in between) Ingenious in my opinion. Will probably copy that on day...

  34. you;re so fun! I'm sending notice of a challenge I believe you'll like, LeeAnna

  35. It's a beautiful quilt, and I LOVE the idea that mistakes show you are loved! What a great story!

  36. What a beautiful quilt and I love your story about the mistakes showing someone is loved! I'll remember that. Thanks so much for sharing.

  37. I think it's beautiful. The colors on that navy blue background are so lovely. And the idea of mistakes showing love is grand.

  38. What a great pattern to show off those pretty fabrics. Great job!

  39. This is such a great quilt! I love how the navy background really makes the prints shine in all their prettiness.