Monday, September 17, 2018


Meet Aurora. She is my entry to this year's Bloggers Quilt Festival.

Aurora - Finished at 80" by 96"

The story of this quilt follows below.

We work in the same company but in two different offices. Her bridal shower was at 3:00 PM. 

I was busy trying to wrap up work for a meeting on Monday. I got there just after 5:00 PM.
The party was over and people had returned to their cubes.  Some had already left for the weekend. There was still some leftover cake in the office kitchen.
I congratulated the bride-to-be and gave her the little gift I had put together - something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

Me: When is the wedding?
Bride to be (BTB): In two weeks.
Me: Wow!!!
BTB: It is all happening so quickly.
Me: I understand.
BTB: We feel so rushed.
Me: You know, Paul and I got married in a hurry. His parents were visiting for his graduation and we decided to save them a trip. We were married by the justice of peace at Paul's friend's house. With just eight guests, it was a very small ceremony.
BTB: Oh so you understand.
Me: Don't worry about the wedding. The marriage is more important. 
BTB: Would you like to come to the wedding?
Me (speechless for a moment): We'd be honored.
BTB: I will send you the invitation. Make sure you get some cake on the way out.
Me: We will be there.
BTB: Make sure you get some cake on the way out.
Me: Oh yes. In fact, I am taking a piece for Paul as well.

10" squares

Back at home, I told Paul about the wedding invitation.
Me: I want to make a quilt.  
Paul: Do you have enough time to make a wedding quilt? 
Me: Not sure.
Paul: You can give one of the many quilts that you already have.
Me: I have only one queen-size quilt - Esmeralda. I cannot part with her. 
Paul: Why not give one of the other quilts?
Me: Fire Pit is twin size. Most everything else is lap size. Cannot give a lap size quilt to newly weds.
Paul (eyes twinkling): So you want to give them a baby-maker? 
Me: Yes.
Paul: What if you start but cannot finish it in time for the wedding?
Me: In that case, I will give it to her when I finish it.

(Paul was making reference to the movie Proposal, wherein Betty White gives the quilt, she calls baby-maker, to the couple played by Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock.

Selecting fabrics

Work in Progress


I had a Kate Spain Layer Cake - Latitude.  But I did not like all the squares in the layer cake.  So I cut up some fat quarters.
I chose turquoise, blue, green, orange and pink, trying to match the colors in the layer cake but picking out brighter fabrics.

The fact that Monday was a holiday, resulting in a long weekend, was an absolute godsend.
My nose to the machine (cutting mat, ruler, cutter) I ignored everything (and everyone) else.

Numbered Blocks

I numbered every block. I was scared that any mistake would cost me dearly.

Finished Flimsy

The flimsy was finished. I took it out for a few pictures.

Looking good

Big Blocks

I chose Carrie Bloomston's newspaper print for the backing. I used black strips for binding. The black would match the piecing, frame the quilt and would be speedy too. 

Basting the beast

The large blocks ensured a speedy finish.  The quilting of a queen size quilt is a whole another matter. As I quilted long wavy lines using my walking foot, I had began to think of a name. Little did I know that I had started speaking aloud.

Walking foot quilting

Me: I love how the bright batiks glow against the black solids but cannot call it Midnight Garden. Already taken.


Wide backing by Windham Fabrics
Paul: Call it Afterglow.
Me: What???
Paul: It is a wedding quilt. Afterglow is fitting.
Me: You sound snappy. Are you feeling neglected?
Paul: Maybe. I could use some afterglow myself.

Black Binding


Brightness = Happiness

I had been ignoring him.  I must spend some quality time with Paul.


Me: What is that phenomenon called when the night sky lights up?
Paul: Meteor Shower?
Me: No. You have to go to one of those Scandinavian countries to see it.
Paul: Northern Lights?
Me: Yes, I think. Doesn't it have a more scientific name?
Paul: Aurora Borealis.
Me: AURORA. Yes, that it is.

You are my sunshine
The wedding was beautiful. The bride glowed and the groom was handsome and confident. No nervousness, just excitement and smiles.

At the wedding

I am glad that Paul and I could be there for the celebration.  We wish them all the love and happiness.

Love & Happiness to the new couple

I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties, see full list on the sidebar.  Do check out other quilts at the Bloggers Quilt Festival.

I'd love to hear from you, as always.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

My Quilty Journey

Welcome to my spot on the Quilters Meet and Greet. I want to thank Benita for this meet and greet, quilters social on the web.

It is a big party and ther are big prizes to be won!!! The best part - you don't even have to get dressed or comb your hair. Ready? Here I go...

The quilt for my MIL (Paul's mom)
How did I begin this quilty journey?
I watched a documentary on quilts/quilting when a friend invited me to her guild meeting.  She also taught me to thread my machine. We made a grocery bag from a t-shirt, one afternoon. That was 2012. The rest is history.

Vera - my first quilting teacher

What was my first quilt?
It was like a mini trip around the world with three fabrics - yellow, green and a floral print.  I quilted it on my very basic Brother machine. It was so wonky - about 1.5" difference in sides.

My first Quilt

How many quilts have I made?
Just over 100, but who is counting :-D

What is my most memorable quilt?
So many quilts, so many memories. The quilt I made for my mom - The Queen's Necklace - is very special.  I wanted to impress her which is a tall order because she is an accomplished sewist herself. The fact that she took pride in my work made it the most memorable quilt.

For my mom

The Queen's Necklace

My Twitter Feed is a close second. This was so much fun to make. I wanted to make the next bird and then another one.  I received so many comments on that post and it was well-loved at the quilt show too.
My Twitter Feed

Birds of all Colors

What do I like best about quilting?
It is heartening and life-affirming to see that total strangers come together to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by tragedy and misfortune.
Sue (MSQC member) started a Stillborn Bereavement Comfort Quilts group so that parents of stillborn babies have a small memento to hold and cherish.

Earlier this year, Ventura Modern Quilt Guild led the effort to make relief quilts for those affected by the Thomas Fire in California. The suggested quilt block was designed by one of the guild members.

Perkiomen Valley Quilt Block
Finished Quilt - Savanna

I participated and when the quilt reached its destination, Annie found it, posed with it and posted it on her blog.

Alycia is another quilter/blogger who regularly makes quilts for veterans while inspiring others to do the same.
When Montreal Modern Quilt Guild requested house blocks so that they could be made into quilts for the victims of the Quebec City mosque shooting, many of us responded. These are the house blocks I made for the effort.

My contribution for those affected by the Quebec City Mosque shooting

My friend Sandra donates to a seniors' residence inner town and to the Windsor Sexual Assault Centre in Canada.
Sandra and me from our recent trip to NY and Canada
Sarah Craig coordinates the Hands2Help charity quilts with many quilters and bloggers supporting the effort.

After hurricane Harvey, KaHolly sent out a request. She wanted Doggone Cute blocks (free tutorial by Lorna of Sew FreshQuilts) so that they could be made into a wall hanging for auction to help the pets/pet-owners affected by Harvey. Of course, I responded.

Doggone Cute blocks sent to KaHolly

Bernie brought our attention to A Doll Like Me. I too made a few doll quilts.

Doll quilts for A Doll Like Me
The response was so overwhelming that it exceeded all expectations. Read about it here.

When Amy Gerlich requested for support for her superhero boy Axel, I reached out to Bonnie Hunter.
Bonnie Hunter, the superstar
What happened next is nothing short of a miracle. Thanks to Bonnie's shoutout, the quilting community responded with such an outpouring of love and support that the goal was met and exceeded in just one day. March 27, 2018 was the best day ever!!!

But it is not just about charities and worthy causes.  It is also about inspiration and guidance. I have learned so much from other quilters and bloggers. My friend Jennifer taught me how to bury knots and even got me some cheater needles. It is a small thing but I had no idea. I think of her every time I bury knots.

Mari of Academic Quilter shares these Block of the Month tutorials - all free.  And she made me the cutest mini quilt.
Mari and me - at the Lancaster Quilt Show

from Mari for me

I love Jayne of Twiggy and Opal. Her work is so refreshing. I am always inspired by her. This personalized trapunto quilt was her gift to me. Lucky me :-)

Personalized (for me) Trapunto by Jayne of Twiggy & Opal

When Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation asked me if I'd like to participate in the bloghop to promote her new book (Stash Statement Quilts) I was thrilled to bits, because I already loved her quilts and her tutorials.

I not only enjoyed making making Fire Pit but also learned a lot about improvisation.

Fire Pit (designed by Kelly Young)

Julie of QuiltDivaJulie is another prolific quilter and teacher. I recently discovered her Free Pieced Barn Project. I just got the book and I am looking forward to explore it. Do check out her work, you will be impressed.

There are so many other quilters/bloggers who inspire me that this list could go on for ever. But when my work inspires someone, oh my goodness, that is such an intoxicating feeling. I can almost jump with joy.

partial seams (Paulitiks tutorial)

Recently I received an email from Gill Fraser who followed the tutorial for Paulitiks (a quilt I made for Paul) and made this quilt. She hand quilted this beauty. Love the quilt!!!

By Gill Fraser

My readers celebrated with me when I bought a new machine.
My new Elna

When my mom underwent surgery, I was a mess of emotions, but I received an overwhelming outpouring of support, with many readers' experiences echoing my own. When I share funny conversations with Paul, it amuses so many.

With Paul

When I shared a personal story of love and longing, I could feel the love and warmth in the many comments that followed. Being aware of this common thread - that whatever affects me, affects someone else too, that we are so inextricably connected with each other through our varied experiences - is the essence of the community. And that is what I love the most,

Any disappointments?
Yes. There have been times when I have made articles to sell at a craft show. They don't sell well enough, even the small and inexpensive items. Last year, I teamed up with my friend, Cynthia, who makes jewelry. We jointly paid for a spot at the local high school craft show.
Pouches and Baskets at the Sterling Fest

Baby blankets and quilts for sale

It took us a couple of hours to set up shop. We had lots of interests but not many sales. I am just glad that we made the cost of the table and a small profit. It took us over an hour to dismantle everything, pack and bring everything back.

Pencil Cases & peapods

It was an exhausting day and not very fulfilling. Now I make things to give and if/when someone wants to pay for them, it is a pleasant surprise.

The second source of disappointment is folks who do not appreciate quilts. This does not happen often but there have been times when I gave a quilt as a gift at a baby shower or a birthday, and heard nothing. Absolutely nothing. Forget a thank you note or an email, not even an acknowledgement. That indifference is most disappointing. I know I should give with complete detachment, but I am not there yet.

Where do I see myself in 20 years?
I have often joked that my day job gets in the way of quilting.  In 20 years, I expect to be retired and be quilting full time. I hope to share my love of quilting with others, maybe through teaching.

Why do I quilt?
I made a quilt to celebrate our new house.

When Paul and I had a fight, I was distraught, and I made a quilt.

Side Effects

I made a quilt to deal with feelings of jealousy.
How I conquered the green-eyed monster

I made a quilt to honor a friend.
Midnight Garden for Angel

I made a quilt to thank a co-worker.
To Greener Pastures

I made a quilt as a retirement gift for a boss.
Respectfully Yours

But mostly, I make a quilt because I am inspired.
Shadow of Light

And right now I am making a quilt to gift to a co-worker as her wedding gift.
A work in progress

Enough about me. What is your most loved quilt? What do you like about quilting?

Did you enter for the grand prize yet?

I'd love to hear from you.
I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties.  See full list on the sidebar.