Friday, December 20, 2019

Rainy Day

Once upon a time...when I was still new to this country, I went shopping in WalMart.
I came across a pair of orange flip-flops with nylon mesh fibers. When I slipped my foot into them the fibers were pressed and I felt like I stepped on a cushion. It was cloud heaven for my feet at a bargain price of $3.99.  Naturally I bought a second pair and took it to my mom on my next visit to India.

Oh yes, I have a finish!

Several months later when I asked her if she liked her new flip-flops, she replied that they were too nice and she was saving them.

Oh no!!!


There is this constant struggle between "saving for a rainy day" and "living in the moment"

Earlier this year I received a phone call from a college friend. Let's call her Kay (a short form of her name). Her rainy day was here.

She had been diagnosed with lymphoma.
What can I do for you, I asked.
Pray for me, said she.
I will. But tell me your favorite color, I asked
I like all bright colors, she replied.

As soon as I hung up, the thought process began.

What do I want most  on a cloudy, dreary and rainy day?
Fried foods, of course.
But what do I long to see?
A splash of colors - as bright as can be.

I chose to make a tulips quilt for Kay.  Time to sketch.

Rough Sketch

I pulled out the newest, brightest and boldest fabric to make the most colorful quilt for her.
This was the time to open my "saving for a special project" fabrics.  Now.

Recently acquired Boundless Fabrics

I opened up the FQ bundles of Boundless Awaken and Boundless Spark fabrics.

For the Leaves

For the flowers

As I began measuring and cutting fabric, my mind wandered to the past.

We had met in college.  Kay joined the masters program in Geology/Geo-technology while I was pursuing an undergraduate degree in Architecture.

First Block
HSTs to leaves

I was immediately struck by her warmth and simplicity.  We became friends but did not spend a lot of time together because we were in separate programs.
Everyone loved Kay. She was elected to the student body council.

Design Wall
Tulips grow

Do you notice that there is one stem (in the picture below) that is unlike others?
No, it is not random.
It has a very specific purpose. To find out, keep reading.

All the Blocks
As the tulips were made, there were little triangle discards from the snowballed corners (stitch & flip).  I collected them on a separate design wall.

Too pretty to discard

This can become something

Banishing the distraction of little triangles, I turned my attention to the main quilt that needed sashings.

Sashings added

Kay and I graduated and drifted apart.
We fought our battles, lost some, conquered a few and settled in the US - one on each coast.
Facebook helped us reconnect.

In 2016 when I visited Elle, I met Kay. Elle and I went to her husband's restaurant in Walnut Creek - Babalou's Mediterranean - and had the best falafel ever. That garlic sauce changed my life.

In 2016 at Babalou's Mediterranean
The happy couple!!!

The original layout had  included a border. I had envisioned the bright fabrics leftover from tulips to form a pieced border. However, that idea did not work.

The border clashes with the tulips

I auditioned a few other fabrics for border.

May be this could work

I don't think so

And chose this - a splash of color, LITERALLY.

With the border decided, I began to think of the backing. It should be something meaningful. When I saw this fabric, I knew this was the one.

Backing for a Mom's (and a Dad's) Heart

This fabric would remind Kay of her two boys (now 13 and 15) who had seemingly grown-up overnight, but would remain her little darlings.

Apple Green Binding

An apple green binding is just the perfect match for both sides.

Rainy Day Quilt finished at 63" by 70".  Here are a few pictures of the finished quilt.
I have a new model and she is a delight.

Thank you Amanda

Modeling could be her second career!


Rainy Day Quilt

A Field of Tulips
Apple Green Binding

Do you see the moon over my shoulder? Like the universe is sending blessings for Kay.
Sun-kissed and Moon-blessed

Oh joy!!!

Color is Happiness

Brightness Galore

Tightly Hugged

Pop & Sparkle


Label & Love Letter

Close up

I wanted to include a secret love note to Kay, hidden in the quilt.
Hidden in plain sight. And this is where that different stem plays a role.

Do you see it?
This brown fabric strip was left over from the Meet Cute quilt and it was just perfect.  Four brown circles for four characters P <3 K :-)

Now, do you see it?
It is the shortest love-letter.

There it is :-)

Will she notice? Should I tell her?
No, let her find it. It should be a surprise.

I told her to look for it. Did she find it?
Well, this is her response.

I LOVE love love the fact that Kay's boys became part of the process of finding the love note hidden in plain sight.

Maybe some of you think I am kind and generous.  But let me tell you a little secret.
I saved something for me.


All those little triangles left over from the stitch and flip tulips were converted into this little zippered pouch - which I am keeping for myself.  See I am not so selfless.

Keeping this beauty!

Selfishly for me :-)

Holiday season is a time for sharing and caring.  Make sure it includes self-care too.
I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. They bring joy and cheer to me, just as this quilt does to Kay.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A Quilt for Eva

I met Eva for the first time about two years ago.  She is married to Bill who started out as a co-worker but ended up being a friend.  Since his retirement, they live in New Jersey.

On the Design Wall

Eva and I connected over our love of spicy food and gold jewelry.  When I showed her the first of the International Sister Quilt Blocks, her response was immediate. She loved them.

Setting Triangles

This was the first year I participated in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and the International Sister Quilt Block was a perfect block for the purpose.

Piecing the Sisters

After 10 months of block-making I had enough blocks for making two quilts. Of course, I would give one to Eva and make the other for display in the Quilt Show (Quilters Unlimited) in summer of 2020.
The plan was to piece and quilt them over the Christmas break.

32 Sisters
So colorful

If you want God to smile, tell him your plans.

On November 19th, I received the news that Eva had a stroke and that she was in a rehab facility. And I knew that I had to drop everything to complete her quilt. Because she needs it now.

Kristi with Completed Flimsy

Walking Foot Quilting

Christmas inspired backing

The backing was pieced with a Christmas inspired backing and green floral fabrics.
I chose a yellow striped fabric for the binding.

Binding in process
Eva's quilt finished at 57" by 72".

But there was a small problem.
One sister's headdress almost blended/merged with the background so much so that it looked like that a part of her head was missing - at least from a distance.

No, I did not notice it before quilting

BEFORE - Not enough contrast (see left side of the headdress)

I had to think outside the sewing box.  Fortunately, orange fabric marker provided the ideal solution.
I started using the marker on the headdress and then realized that I should take a before picture.

Permanent Fabric Markers

Here is what it looked like after it was touched up.

AFTER - Light Orange Headdress

I love the fact that the marker-enhanced print is absolutely perfect and no one would know unless I told them. Of course I am telling you because this is totally worth sharing with my quilty sisters.


I even found a young model to show it off.

Christmas is in the air

The completed quilt was delivered to Eva the day after Thanksgiving. She was overwhelmed to receive the quilt and I felt overcome to see her.

Sisters in the Sunshine

Love each one

Pieced Backing



The quilt waits for Eva on her bed in the rehab center where she will stay for the next several weeks.

Quilt for Eva

I just want God to smile kindly on Eva and help her make a complete recovery.
And if she ever feels tired or disheartened in her journey, she has 32 sisters cheering her on.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties including Sandra's Dreami.  As usual, I'd love to hear from you.


Remember the baby-maker quilt?  This is the baby that the baby-maker made.  I met him for the first time on Thanksgiving day.

I am still tickled to think (believe) that I made the quilt that made this baby - the cutest baby ever!!!