Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Mermaids on Wings

It started with this fabric - cute and sweet. It is a complete escape from reality. Just perfect.


The concept was to frame the cute fabric and then alternate the resulting block with four-patch blocks. The four patch blocks were made from Lily and Loom charm squares.

Depressed :-(

I loved the mermaids and I loved the deep/rich 4-patch blocks but together they did not seem to work. It seemed dull and sad.

Something had to change.
I chose the colors from the mermaid fabric, cut up some 5" squares and put them up on the design wall.


Much better.  Completed 4-patch blocks were alternated with the framed mermaids and the flimsy came together quickly.

Finished Flimsy

Each block finished at 9". A layout of 5 by 5 resulted in a flimsy of about 45" square.  The possibility of a quick quilt is exciting, I thought.

Backing Fabric

But the backing at about 42" needed a little help. A dark blue border worked.

45" square

This backing fabric came from Sonja. On first glance the backing was fuchsia and turquoise. Once the blue borders were added, the little blue flowers popped up magically.

Hello Mermaid!!!

A yellow binding brightened the somber gray.  Here are a few more pictures - so that you can see the mermaids up close.

Flaming Orange & Pink Hair

Bright and Happy

2 Drink Umbrellas = Mermaid Bodice

Of course the Octopus is my friend

Simple Quilting



Ready to Snuggle

One last shot

Of course, the discarded 4-patch blocks needled me.  But I needed a break so I went out for a walk.

After a walk...

And I received a cute surprise :-)

Good Morning Bunny

Back to the task at hand - the discarded 4-patch blocks. How could I best showcase them?

I had bought a panel (Winged by Kim Shaefer) a few years ago and these birds and bugs was just the perfect solution.

Design Wall

Backing Fabric - Thank you Julie

This backing fabric came from Julie.  Once again the backing needed a little help and once again I used the dark blue fabric to frame the backing.

45" square

Multicolored Striped Binding

I love these birds and bugs :-)

Winged Delight

And here are a few more pictures because these little critters are adorable.

Yellow Bird

Pink Bird

Dancing Together

Bright and Joyful

Butterflies too!!!

Little Bird with Big Attitude


And one last look...

What started as one simple idea resulted in two quilts. I will take that :-)

If you wish to use this idea here is a short recipe.

Block A - Use a 5.5" square of focus fabric, framed with 2.5" wide strips. Square to 9.5"
Block B - Use four 5" squares to make a 4-patch block. Square to 9.5"

25 blocks (5 by 5 layout) will make a baby quilt measuring about 45" by 45".
For a Mercyful quilt, you will need 63 blocks (7 by 9 layout), measuring about 63" by 81".

The quilt with orange stars (you saw a sneak peek last time) is all done and ready for a photshoot.
I promise to share soon.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Hope you are staying safe.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Colors of Change

Ever since Angela announced the RSC color for June, I started noticing pink everywhere.

Hot Pink Blooms

Kid Bike on a front yard

Even the Garbage was Pink

A lone blossom

It was as if these blooms and bicycle were not there before. They were gentle reminders to me - work on your RSC blocks, Preeti.  But it was difficult to look at fabric with swollen and teary eyes.

Me: I cannot stop thinking about those 9 minutes.
Paul: Babe!!!
Me: It wasn't just an impulsive decision. It wasn't the pulling of a trigger that happens in a fraction of a second. It wasn't the misstep of the moment. It was nine minutes of constant, deliberate pressure. What was he thinking in the third minute, fifth minute???
Paul: Will you please consider taking a break from the news?
Me: I don't want to forget it. I want to focus on it.
Paul: I understand. I am asking you to spend a few minutes with the news switched off and then when you have gathered yourself somewhat, think about what you can do to help the movement.
Me: OK.


I gathered my pinks, but continued listening to the news. I heard how the outrage and the protests spread to 700 cities in all 50 states and all over the world.  There were protests in UK, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and Canada where thousands condemned racism and carried signs reading "Black Lives Matter". This was new.

There was something remarkably different about this time. May be it was the brutality of George Floyd's killing that came shortly after Ahmaud Arbery's murder and Breonna Taylor's shooting in her own home, or that the American people were frustrated due to the pandemic and it was time to step out of their comfort zones and do something, or perhaps it was a combination of several causes and George Floyd's brutal death was just the last straw.

For RSC Project #2
I was horrified to see the excessive use of force by the police on peaceful protestors. The current administration reacted and poorly. That reaction was condemned by senior military leaders and former presidents. This condemnation was definitely unprecedented.

Doing the easy part first

There were calls to defund the police. I didn't think that would ever happen. But 9 out of 13 council members in Minneapolis decided that previous attempts at police reforms had failed and that they would not just defund the police department but completely disband it and replace it with something else. This is revolutionary!!!

Love how the contrast brightens everything!!!

I have seen what our combined energies have achieved in ten days. Worldwide protests were followed by several authorities announcing policy changes.  Other police atrocities came under a spotlight leading to dismissals, arrests and charges. Several cities and states are revisiting their policies, banning chokeholds,  requiring other cops to intervene when one is using excessive force, and insisting on accountability. Jurisdictions are pledging to divert funds from policing to education, neighborhoods and healthcare. Confederate statues are coming down. NASCAR prohibits the display of Confederate flags at all racetracks.

Using Paintbrush Studio fabric

A touch of gold

There is much hope and light at this moment.  It has reaffirmed my faith in America. I am aware that this journey towards Equality and Justice has only just begun. We have ways to go and I promise to do my part.

I promise to stay engaged and vote. I have also set up a monthly recurring donation to the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit legal practice set up by Bryan Stevenson in Alabama, dedicated to challenging racial injustice and defending the wrongly condemned.

Fish & Bubbles

Dark and Intense

Bryan Stevenson's book, Just Mercy was made into a motion picture starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx. Just Mercy is streaming for free (YouTube, Google Play and Amazon) in June 2020, so that we can learn about systemic racism.
Here are some other ways to learn about Bryan Stevenson and his extraordinary work.
Preet Bharara's podcast with Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson TED talk

Soothing Pinks

Floral Pinks

We all have work to do. If you feel uncomfortable about race and racism, it is time to self-examine.
I recommend the book "White Fragility -  Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Dr. Robin DiAngelo. This book has been so popular that it is currently out of stock on Amazon. Fortunately, you don't have to read the book - she has several lectures and presentations available on youtube. Start with this video, just under 4 minutes. My favorite is this one -  What it means to be white in a society that proclaims race is meaningless.

Picket Star Quilt - June Blocks

And finally, I encourage you to read this article about how protests in America sparked policy change in New Zealand!!!  Yes we can and yes we did :-)

Baby Quilt - Almost Done

A new quilt - coming soon

If you came just for the pictures and skimmed over the text, I thank you.
If you read every word, I love you and I am thrilled that you are with me in this journey.

And so on...

I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties including Angela's So Scrappy, see full list on the sidebar.
As always I welcome your comments - be they about my pink blocks or my thoughts on matters black and white.