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.


  1. Lovely, fun quilt. Fabulous border print and backing.

  2. Super way to include a love note hidden in plain sight! Lovely all the way around and for all the right reasons.

  3. what a fabulous quilt and I love the story that goes with it. the fun note in the quilt is so nice too. I love the little bag that you made from the leftovers. The fabric is all so nice and happy. Merry Christmas to you

  4. Oh goodness, I almost can't finish reading this post for the tears in my eyes. Preeti, you are a precious gem. And that little pouch you made for yourself? Not selfish, at all. That keeps you connected with Kay too; each time you use that pouch, you will think of her. What a wonderful post. I hope all the best for Kay and her family, and will send up prayers for them.

  5. The quilt is so lovely, and so is your beautiful warm heart.

  6. So that one needed a tissue alert - but I am SO glad to see that you are not that selfless... ha ha ha!! you made my day with that comment!! What an absolute sweet gift to someone who clearly will adore the quilt and understands all the love you are sending ... Hugs and Love to yoU!!!

  7. What a great quilt for someone who's not have the best holiday season. Love the brights in the tulips, the border and the backing, plus a special message. Absolutely gorgeous and meaningful. Wish Kay a full return to health in 2020 and Happy Holidays to you and Your Guy.

  8. Oh, such a delightful quilt, Preeti. It is sure to do more than all the treatments in the world to bring health back for Kay. I love the little surprise note on it. And then, of course, the little pouch—the perfect treat for yourself and to keep you connected to Kay.

  9. Oh my. Another masterpiece! Everything from the choice of pattern, to the colors and fabrics, to the Secret Love Message, is all so perfect! I can’t think of a more heartfelt or generous gift for a friend. You are amazing. And the zip pouch is darling too!!

  10. I always love reading your stories of the quilts you make and the people you make them for. Your tulips quilt is so pretty and full of joy and love! Perfect for your friend!

  11. Another beautiful quilt made from the heart, and of course, a wonderful story to go with it. Thank you Preeti, for sharing your quilts and your wonderful writing.

  12. The quilt is very lovely and bright. Words can't describe the quilt and its purpose, I guess that is why we quilt. I am so thrilled that Kay was full of joy with the quilt. Super job, Preeti!

  13. I always know I’m going to read a good story when I’m notified that you’ve posted. You never disappoint! Ka... is a lucky girl to have you for a friend. I will keep her in my thoughts.

  14. Preeti, another beautiful quilt you have gifted. I love your quilts and always enjoy the story and details that go into each quilt! I love the stem, glad you told us about it, because I strained my eyes trying to find it.

  15. One can't help but smile and feel hopeful when one sees this bright, colorful and cheery quilt! Absolutely love it! :)

  16. This is such a great quilt. I am sure Kay loves wrapping it, and your love, around her.

  17. Oh Preeti, such a beautiful quilt and so much love you send with each one you make, love the secret message, so special! I really enjoyed the story with the quilt. You have a very special gift Preeti. I hooe your Mum weare her sandals and enjoys them. Love your zipper pouch too, that will bring you many happy thoughts.

  18. You always manage to tell such lovely stories about the people who receive your quilts. Your mom sounds like mine. She came to live with me in 1991 when she was 83. She brought a damask tablecloth and matching napkins she received at her bridal shower in 1936. They were always too good to use. When I opened the cellophane package, the acid from the glue on the lovely gold labels on the damask had discolored the napkins beyond repair. The cellophane turned into dusty pieces on the floor. I was sad that no one ever used them. I try to remember that lesson and use the things I love daily.

  19. Hi Preeti! I am sorry that Kay has to fight lymphoma. What a blessing that the two of you were able to reconnect - one very good side effect of FB. This quilt is so bright, cheerful, and happy looking - she cannot help but have her spirits lifted each time she gazes upon it. And all the love that was stitched into it - she's covered in your love each time she uses it. Nothing could be better or more helpful. Plus to have salvaged the triangle toss aways and made a nifty pouch for yourself - well, you are a gem and so worth it. I do think you are kind and generous, and you can't help but be. I'll add Kay to my prayers and I'll look forward to hearing an update about her. {{Hugs}} Merry Christmas to you and your family. ~smile~ Roseanne

  20. Preeti, you've done it again. A guilt full of sunshine to brighten a firend's day and bring comfort when it is needed most. My best to you and your hubby this holiday season. I hope you convinced your mother to wear the flip flops.

  21. The love sewn into this quilt just radiates. Beautiful finish and you are a beautiful friend!

  22. Well, every quilt does indeed tell a story... and your post was beautiful! And the quilt is lovely! I really like how you added that secret message.

  23. I'd nonetheless (again) tell you you are so kind and generous. Keeping that small pouch is not chaning that. Laughing. I am glad your project is loved and appreciated and hope it will help her through her rainy days! Have a merry Christmas xo

  24. Yes, you most certainly are kind and generous, what a wonderful gift for a friend going through a terrible time. You put so much thought and care into the quilt, just lovely, and your secret message is something to cherish.

  25. WOW! Preeti what a wonderful quilt for your friend, the love is clearly stitched in it and the secret message how special. I love the bonus pouch!

  26. Gorgeous quilt! I love how you made the tulips from 4 different fabrics with the darker fabrics on the bottom and the leaves of different fabrics on each side - really gives the flowers a lot of depth.
    Also love the story that goes with the quilt. Your friend is lucky to have you as a friend! And keeping the little bag for yourself is not selfish - every time you see it you will be reminded of your friend and will send thoughts and prayers her way, so it's just extending the gift into the future. Great job Preeti!

  27. It's not selfish to keep the scraps for yourself, especially after you've made such a wonderful gift for a friend. This is such a great, happy quilt that I'm sure has cheered her during treatment. I love the tulips, the secret message, and the border fabric. As always, your story enhances the quilt, too. All the best to you for the holidays, and happy 2020!

  28. Beautiful and colorful all around. Especially fun with the hidden message. I love that idea so much. Enjoy the little extra gift to yourself too. Wishing the best for your friend.

  29. What a beautiful quilt for a soulful present...hugs, Julierose

  30. What a wonderful, heartfelt gift full of sunshine and good thoughts for your friend Kay. I love that you selfishly kept a piece of it - I think it is a way of having Kay with you when you can't be with her during this tough time. I am using that border fabric on a benefit quilt - you should see it in a month. That made me smile and feel connected to this process so as I handle it, I will send positive thoughts to Kay. I am so glad we are at the solstice, and there is more light soon, even if ever so slightly. May you feel the extra light in your life as the sun spends more and more time in our midst.

  31. Beautiful fabrics, beautiful words, beautiful sentiment....and of course, beautiful quilt! This is such a burst of spring - love it! And I think it's totally proper for you to keep those bonus triangles in pouch form, as a place to store the leftover sunshine. And anyway, quilting is like starter dough; ya gotta keep some inspiration and leavening from the last batch in order to start the next one. That way you're never starting from scratch! :)

  32. The quilt is beautiful, made me smile to see how bright and cheerful it is. Your little bag will make you smile too. Happy Stitching!

  33. What a beautiful gift! You are so kind, Preeti! I will pray for your friend.

  34. Your quilt is beautiful. Colorful and Happy.

  35. I adore your stories about your quilts and all the beautiful photos. How happy you made your friend! Truly you add light to so many friends' lives. I will add my wishes for her health and happiness.

  36. A beautiful quilt for a dear friend. I love the idea of the secret message in the quilt.

  37. Gorgeous. Special. And a small reminder for you too. Perfect.

  38. What a beautiful garden for a rainy day! This is so beautiful, Preeti, both the quilt itself and the purpose behind it. The hidden message is especially wonderful. I love that you used fabric you were saving--perfect reason to use it!

  39. Beautiful. Cheerful. Colorful. Loving. Thanks for sharing your quilt story and love. Merry Christmas, Preeti!

  40. Again a wonderful bright and joy-filled, joy-bringing quilt for your friend. I firmly believe that our quilts hold and give tangible emotions of love, healing and care. You're like me with the secret messages for the recipient to find, and the saving and making something new with, leftovers -- great little pouch!

  41. ARE generous and selfless...keeping the triangles and making a zippered pouch doesn't nullify your sweet, loving and generous effort in designing and making Kay's quilt. Thank you for sharing this heartwarming story. I hope the new year bring generosity and love to you.

  42. A very lovely quilt you have made for a special friend - I hope she recovers from lymphoma. And your little pouch will bring you fond memories of the joy you brought to her.

  43. Oh, Preeti -- what a loving and lovely gift for your dear friend. May her recovery be swift and complete. Hugs to you. (And the pouch is the perfect connection....much better than a heap of scraps that you'd use eventually but scattered among projects....this way they're concentrated.)

  44. I had several things from my childhood that were far too special to use and I would get them out and admire them and put them away again. Sadly the perfume went off and the colouring books, I outgrew. I often remember and tell this story to remind myself and my children to get use out of something special rather than stowing it away for a rainy day. Enjoy it while you can. What a fabulous quilt and story, Preeti. I love that you kept a little something for yourself - with its connection to Kay's quilt, it is the perfect keepsake. Happy New Year!

  45. Such a beautiful quilt! It will bring joy to Kay whenever she looks at it, and those spring flowers are the perfect symbol for a happy recovery. The secret message is perfect; nothing like a good treasure hunt to find a gift. Thanks for sharing the story. And yes, it's time to enjoy what you love best.

  46. What a great gift for your friend. I love the secret message.

  47. Oh my darling Preeti! You are selfless and kind and giving and just wonderful. The secret message is the very best! I love, love, LOVE it! All of it! Every thing: the colors, the simplicity, the beauty, the secret message, the friendship (ours included)

  48. What a gorgeous and thoughtful quilt! The secret message is awesome. You are a selfless quilter Preeti!

  49. Gorgeous quilt, story and pouch for you too, why not?

  50. I love the gorgeous quilt, I love the story, I love the secret note... what a great idea that was!