Friday, February 26, 2021

This is (mostly) a rant!!!

Warning - this is a rant. Proceed at your own risk.

I had neither the time nor the desire to write this post. But I had to because I was so seething with anger and disgust. And if not here then where else?

Let's call her Auntie Marilyn. I am so tempted to use her full name, but I am not going to. Because I am better than that.

Let's start at the very beginning. The year was 2015 when Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company shared this tutorial on youtube.  You can buy the pattern Double Square Star on Missouri Star Quilt Company's online store.

When I saw the tutorial, I thought - I don't care for all that snowballing so I came up with another method to make the same pattern and shared it here, acknowledging Jenny.

A few years passed.  In December 2019, over the Christmas break, I started contemplating the Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks for 2020.  

I considered my take on the Double Square Star tutorial. In the post "Best of 2019" dated January 1, 2020, I shared my audition block for RSC 2020.  It was a variation of the Double Square Star - as I wrote it.

Reversed Colors and Background

The block looked heavy and dense like a fruitcake. The block was then refined with snowballed corners :-D  Guess, I had evolved over the years. Moreover I had received the diagonal seam tape (as a Christmas present from Mari), which made the snowballing less painful. I shared it in this post dated January 12, 2020.

From January through October in 2020 I made these blocks in colors of the rainbow as suggested by Angela. 

Based on readers' request for a pattern/tutorial for the block, I shared rough instructions here and then the full blown tutorial here

When I completed the quilts Serenity and Courage and shared on one of the FB quilting groups, I received so much love and comments. And then Auntie Marilyn appeared.  A little knowledge and absolute power - what could go wrong?

Auntie Marilyn accused me of "taking credit for someone else's work", reprimanded me for using the Trellis pattern designed by Cluck Cluck Sew all because my post said "I designed and pieced this quilt".

I tried to explain to her that our patterns only "looked" similar. Specifically I pointed out

1. Trellis uses jelly roll strips. Picket Star does not. In fact, Picket Star carefully chooses two fabrics that are different in value by a few shades. The construction processes of the two patterns is completely different.

2. In Trellis, the Picket Star is created as a secondary pattern. In Leela, Serenity and Courage, the Picket Star is the focus pattern and it creates a totally different secondary pattern - a fat starry shape (quilted beautifully by Rebecca), see below.

Image from Rebecca Grace Quilting, used with permission

3. The secondary blocks created in Trellis have a solid center. Picket Star has a light and airy center. 

Auntie Marilyn was so understanding. NOT.  

If she could see the differences, or if she could read/understand my explanations, I would not be writing this rant now. Would I ?

She responded "a log cabin is a log cabin even if you change the setting. I will not argue this point". 

This was too stupid to dignify with a response.

Somebody please tell Auntie Marilyn - There is a wide variation in log cabins and their design possibilities are endless. See the two log cabin quilts below. 

Sonika (Log Cabin Baby Quilt) 2019

Sun City (Log Cabin Challenge Quilt), 2016

Speaking of variations, take a look at this Modern Flower Quilt pattern from Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts. Do you see the similarity with the Picket Star Block? It even has the same secondary block shape. It is similar but not same. Therefore I am not attacking her or insinuating that she stole my pattern (or Jenny's pattern or Trellis pattern) and then sold it!!!

Not only Auntie Marilyn wrongfully accused me of something I did not do, she grew all preachy on the entire group posting "I will not tolerate..." 

Auntie Marilyn deleted all the comments/conversations where I tried to point out the differences in the two patterns and then Auntie Marilyn deleted me. I don't know if the original posts showing Serenity and Courage were deleted too, because I am no longer part of the group. 

Most importantly, I must ask - what credit did I take?  What profit did I make?

Even if the pattern was same (which it is not), all I had done was share my finished quilt pictures. There were no links to my blog.  No mention of the free tutorial on my blog. I was not self-promoting. I was not trying to sell anything. 

So, Auntie Marilyn, Shame on you. You are a bully and you are ignorant and you disgust me.  You can take your FB group and put it where...

Paul: Babe?
Me: Yeah?
Paul: How was your day?
Me: Awful. Some bleeping know-it-all rained all over my parade.
Paul: I am so sorry.
Me: In fact it has been so awful that it can only get better.
Paul: That is my girl!!! Would some dinner cheer you up?
Me: Not any dinner. I want smoked salmon.
Paul: So you want to go to Sweetwater?
Me: Yes.
Paul: You know I am getting a Drunken Ribeye.
Me (eyes rolling): Yes. 
Paul (naughtily): I love when you say YES to me.
Me (smiling): I always say YES to you.
Paul: When can we leave?
Me: Give me 10 minutes to wrap this up.

Trust Paul to rescue me - Every. Single. Time.

In spite of the negative reasons that prompted this blogpost, I have to end it on a positive and uplifting one...even if I must borrow the goodness from elsewhere.  

1. Read Rebecca's post about quilting Courage. What she wrote felt like the first raindrops on parched earth, especially today. Do read my comment too. I hold nothing back.

2. Read Tanuja's poem - Have you ever hugged a tree?

3. Read this very touching story (you may need a tissue) from Bernie about the impact of Mercyful Quilts.

In the end, I am glad that the Rebeccas, Tanujas and Bernies (Cathy, Maya, Sylvia, Mell, Mari and Emily too) in my life way outnumber the bleeping know-it-alls.

Work in Progress

Island Batik March Project in progress

I won't be sharing this post with any linky parties. But you are welcome to do so.

And now I have a quilt to finish and a real blogpost to write. If this blog has ever brightened your day or made you smile, please send me a hug.  I will return it with interest :-)

Monday, February 22, 2021

Serenity and Courage

For some time, I wanted to make a trilogy of quilts - Serenity, Courage and Wisdom, inspired by the Serenity Prayer written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.  A little research revealed that Niebuhr's prayer originally asked for courage first, and specifically for changing things that must be changed, not things that simply can be changed.

Quilting Serenity

Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other. 

Of course I sleep with polar bears

Blues and Greens

I also feel that way about Life's Journey. Courage is what defines our youth.  Middle years bring Serenity and Acceptance. And it is only in old age that one can claim to be wise, with the knowledge of hindsight.

Warming the Frozen Plant

Aliens are welcome :-)

I am sure that I have exhibited far more courage than serenity in my life aptly reflected by the size of these two quilts.


Icy Blue, Cozy Quilt

Serenity is made up of 20 Picket Star Quilt Blocks, with 1.5" borders. 

Purple Binding

Traditional & Modern Prints live happily together

Quilt Rose?

Layered Quiltyness

I chose a sparkly purple binding. Serenity finished at about 69" by 86"and will be sent to Bernie for Mercyful Quilts.

Serenity 69" by 86"

Courage is made up of 30 Picket Star Quilt Blocks, with a 2" border and finished at 85" by 103". At "that" size I could quilt it. After all I had quilted Aurora and Esmeralda both of which are 80" by 96".

Dwarfed by the Large Flimsy

Impressionist 108" Wide Backing from Connecting Threads

But indulgence swept over me and I decided to treat myself to some longarm quilting expertise bestowed lovingly by Rebecca Grace. I sent the finished flimsy and the Impressionist Wide Backing (Connecting Threads) to Rebecca.

Oh baby, I am never letting you go!

Be Mine

Quilty Goodness

Red  Binding 

Meet me in the corner...

Warmth & Heat - I want it all

When I received the quilt, it was neatly packed, beautifully, nay exquisitely quilted and came with a letter and a poem.  Yes, a POEM!!! Paul is glad that she did not ask me to marry her with that poem because I would have said YES.

Quilting Detail

Rebecca says that she is thankful for giving her the opportunity to quilt for me and I am so overcome with joy for the love and beauty she showered upon my flimsy.

Beautiful Quilting

And although I can be serene all by my lonesome self, I could not have been this courageous without Rebecca in my corner :-)

Breeze was no help

I don't have three hands. Paul helped.

With Serenity and Courage completed (Leela was finished earlier), I am done with all the Picket Star Quilts.

Courage and Serenity

Are you wondering - where is the Wisdom quilt? Well, when I feel wise enough, I just might make it. For now wisdom eludes me, and I have a quilt to prove it.  Oh yes, I will be posting about "my lack of wisdom" quilt  soon.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties (see full list on the sidebar) as well as Angela's Linky Party. How do you feel today? Serene or Courageous? I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Thursday, February 11, 2021


It started with Bernie.  She held a contest and a giveaway. I did not win. Emily did. 
But then Emily forfeited her prize so it came to me. A charm pack of Moda Wovens.

A charm pack of seemingly plain (black, white and gray) fabrics did not match anything in my stash. I should've just set it aside to be addressed at a later date because January was hugely busy month for me. There was the IB Unboxing Video and post (nerve-racking), making of placemats (first IB project) and the challenge of being the first in the IB Create for a Cause Blog Hop.

"Set it aside" or "Pass it Along"would be the logical approach. And therefore, in my completely illogical quilty way,  I chose to chase this squirrel. I dropped everything to make this quilt. 

A New Finish

I am blaming it on Bernie and Emily. With friends like these who needs enemies :-D I love you both.

There is not much you can do with a single charm pack. However a free pattern by Elizabeth Hartmann is perfect. I know because I have used it to make Finger Lakes.

Started here

I started with wide strips of yellow and started inserting slashed and whole squares. But gosh - it looked so bland. Aren't these the Pantone colors of the year - Ultimate Gray and Illuminating?

What was ultimately illuminating to me was this - I was suffocated. Goodness, this quilt needed color like I needed to breathe.

A touch of color

I inserted a few narrow strips of solid green and solid purple.  Although it is still a far cry from my overly cheerful style, these strips of color provided the respite my eyes craved.  Of course, addition of these strips skewed the pattern but nothing I could not handle. 

Solid Green Slivers

Spicy Backing

I chose a spicy backing to make up for the rather bland front :-) A yellow binding seems to fit.


If this yellow-gray quilt is a metaphor for our Covid-suffocated lives, the strips of green and purple are symbolic of my quilty friends. Their connections provide the oxygen and the virtual hugs I need to get past these trying times.  


Yellow Binding

This Dreami quilt finished at 33.5" by 41". It is named Oxygen and is dedicated to Bernie and Emily.  I will be linking with Sandra's Dreami Linky.

Colorful Backing

And a few more pictures...

Oxygen 33.5" by 41"

Walking Foot Quilting

Green & Purple = Happiness

I can breathe...

A Breezy Day

But wait there is more. A few charm squares were still left over. Time for some scrappy improvisational piecing. A few solids (colorful please) were added to the mix.

Using up all the scraps

After all the Moda Wovens were used up there were some solids left over. Oh my, this was the classic cookies and milk dilemma.

Zippers and Lining

I am loving these :-)

Contrasting Zipper Pulls

Finished three Zipper pouches

Color = Joy

Three fine finishes!!!


Here are my completed Sister's Choice Blocks in Yellow for the February 2021 RSC. Will be linking with Angela's RSC Linky

Smiling Flower

Focus Panda

Speaking of RSC, I am basting the second quilt (Leela was first) from last year's RSC, using the Picket Star Quilt Block.


I am in love :-)


The two winners from the Create for a Cause Bloghop Giveaway are Comments #25 (Patti) and #58 (Susie H).  Emails have been sent to the winners. If I do not hear from you in a week, you will forfeit your prize and I will pick someone else. 

If you did not win, there is still a chance to win the grand prize by Island Batik

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar. As usual, I 'd love to hear about you. Did you already get vaccinated? Are you holding your breath for the vaccine? What is your oxygen in these suffocating times?