Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Honoring RBG

The date was September 18, 2020. Paul and I were eating dinner while watching TV as we do most evenings. My phone buzzed. 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87

"Oh no", I exclaimed. "Mitch McConnell will fill her seat." 

As the country grappled with grief and shock, the Senate republicans did just that. Swooped in for a power grab in record time, during an election year, while flouting their own precedent as the pandemic ravaged the country. The Supreme Court now tilted firmly conservative with a 6-3 majority.

2020 will forever be the year of the Covid-19 pandemic. Add to it the racial terror of George Floyd's brutal murder and the unrest that followed. An administration that ignored the pandemic, pushed questionable remedies, silenced medical experts and spread lies and hatred while ignoring scientific guidance. The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the last straw.

My grief and shock was replaced with anger and disgust followed by fear. All the progress that we had made towards women's rights, marriage equality and gender equality was now at risk as were the efforts made against voter suppression. 

The first block

If I did not channel my roiling emotions into quilting, I would be devastated. And yet this was not about me. I turned my thoughts to the memory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Sisters waiting to be armed

If you are one of those who believe that RBG was against pro-life (you are misinformed) and may want to read about how RBG's decision helped end forced abortions in the military.

I made the International Sister Block and added the lace collar.  And then there were more.



Work in Progress


When asked how many of the nine judges on the US Supreme Court should be female — and at what point there would be enough women on the bench, Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a simple answer: "When there are nine."

Honoring RBG

All complexions

Many colors

Jelly fish and elephants

Blues and Yellows

We Dissent

Inspired by RBG

All colors are welcome

Striving for Equality

I love you all

And nine wore lace collars to symbolize the nine Supreme Court Justices, as envisioned by RBG.  

The quilt was completed on October 18, 2020, as the nation geared for an election that would decide the fate of not just one nation or a continent, but the fate of the planet. 

In a year that was historic for a hundred horrible reasons, there was hope and positivity in the nomination of Senator Kamala Devi Harris, the first woman, the first woman of color and the first woman of Asian origin for national office by a major political party.

In broad daylight

Reflected in dark waters

From a bridge

While battling the breeze


Through twists and turns

Backing that Glows

At Home

I took lots of pictures, added a hanging sleeve and on October 20, 2020, I mailed the completed quilt to Senator Kamala Harris' office in California. It was my homage to RBG. It was also my hope in Kamala Harris' candidacy and it was my dream for a better, more equitable future for all women.

Can you find all the nine Sisters wearing the lace collars?


In Royal Blue

Turquoise is mine

Ultramarine Glow

Resplendent in Red

Abstract Prints

Geometric Designs

Fancy Florals 

Embracing my Freckles and Age Spots

In November 2020, the Biden-Harris ticket won. The world heaved a huge sigh of relief. 

I was sure that the quilt had reached its destination. I had the tracking. But did she get it or someone else receive it on her behalf. Did she see it? What did she think? Hope she likes it? Will she put it on her bed? Of course not. She will hang it in a prominent place.

I knew I would get a response but did not know what or when.  I imagined getting a lovely letter of praise and gratitude followed by an invitation to meet. I imagined myself in the office of Madam Vice President, discussing women's education, microlending and Bollywood music over steaming cups of chai and hot samosas.

Hoping for the Best

I was sure a letter was on its way. Instead I got a text...from Paul (he was working from home). There is a package for you.

This did not seem right. I hurried home. I saw the package and recognized it immediately. It was the same package that I had sent. No, no, no. This was not happening. 

The quilt was returned to me from the Senator's Washington DC address with a short note saying that the ethics rules prevent them from accepting gifts.

Paul: I am so sorry.
Me: It is fine. I have my RBG quilt to comfort me.
Paul: It is a good thing that ethics rules are followed.
Me: I understand.
Paul: But you seem so deflated.
Me: I feel like a fool.
Paul: You are not a fool. You are passionate and wiser for the experience.
Me: Thank you.

Serenity, Courage and now finally Wisdom. The trilogy is complete.

Closed Doors

Turned Away

The sisters were gently turned away.  Understandably. 

But the journey does not end just because we encounter one closed door.

In December 2020, Birgitta (member of the Swedish National Guild called Rikstäcket) reached out to me inquiring about the block and asking permission to transform the International Sister by giving her a Swedish folk costume.  I did not even have to think before saying YES!!!

Sister Reimagined by Birgitta

Sister in Sverigedräkten, by Birgitta

Many email exchanges later, the Sisters made their way into the Swedish Quilting Magazine - Rikstacket. I am still waiting for the physical copy of the magazine, but Birgitta was kind enough to send me a picture of the article.

 Read Birgitta's words below:

I saw that ”the International Sister” quite easily could be transformed into a woman with a folkloric/traditional costume. I started with the ”Sverigedräkten” and then with a traditional costume. It worked out well. I took contact with Preeti and Gail by e-mail to get the stories behind the block and to ask permission to use it. They answered that they were happy to give their permission. Preeti wrote like this: ”It warms my heart that you have taken the International sister block and changed it to suit you. You have made it even more international which is the whole purpose of making and sharing quilt blocks”. Gail gave her blessing too, she wrote: ” I love the idea of turning the block into a Scandinavian beauty. I hope that you will have a good response from the Rikstäckets members.” The idea was presented for
the board of Rikstäcket, and they liked it.

So the International sister walks on, in her third version, to spread happiness, a sense of
community and to show female diversity in all its forms and colours.

When I was photographing the second sister quilt, I was approached by someone who bought it.  
The third has returned to me. These sisters will stay with me.

You Stay With Me!!!

March is Women's History Month. Here is how women were celebrated in the "evolved" West:

March 3, 2021 - 33 year old Sara Everard was kidnapped and murdered as she walked home in South London.

March 16, 2021 - A mass shooting killed six women in Atlanta.

And if you think the crimes and atrocities against women are horrible let's see how the law in this great country of "law and order" is lately doing for women.

March 2021 - South Dakota governor bans transgender girls from sports teams by executive order.

March 2021 - A Maple Grove man's rape conviction was overturned by the Minnesota Supreme Court because the victim willingly consumed alcohol and therefore cannot claim to be incapacitated. 

February 2021 - In an effort to further restrict abortion in Tennessee, two state  lawmakers have introduced legislation that would allow a father to deny an abortion without the pregnant woman's consent, with no exception for rape and incest.

Imagine being raped and impregnated by the heinous act, the rapist then gets to further control your body even if it is from behind bars. 

The reasons may change but my disgust and anger remain. I am also fearful for those who will be victimized twice - once by the perpetrator and then by the law. Where are the laws that protect us? 

I cling tightly to the progress made by the efforts of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and hope that we do not slide back.

Through the darkness...

We soldier on

I speak out...I quilt on...I vote. 

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties (see full list on the sidebar). Should you add your voice to the mix, I'd feel ever so hopeful.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Island Batik March Challenge - Scrapbuster

The March 2021 Island Batik Challenge is to make a Scrapbuster Quilt.  

Being a new ambassador I do not have a lot of Island Batik fabrics.

Me: How do I make a scrapbuster without scraps?
Paul: You have no scraps?
Me: How do I make an Island Batik scrapbuster quilt without Island Batik scraps?
Paul: Did you not get a big box of fabric?
Me: Well, yes, I did. However, some of that fabric has been used in previous projects and some is earmarked for later projects. Whatever is left is a bit limiting.
Paul: So what did you do?
Me: I had to think outside the proverbial box. 
Paul: And what did that entail?
Me: I begged, borrowed and bartered.
Paul: Not steal? I am relieved.

I have a FINISH!!!

Meet "Beg, Borrow and Barter" - My response to the Island Batik Scrapbuster Challenge.  I bartered with Claudia, borrowed from Bernie and begged Emily to build the perfect scrappy stash of varied Island Batik fabrics to make this quilt.

Beauty in my Bed :-D

I had a specific pattern in mind but the size would depend upon the amount of scraps I could gather.




Thanks to my generous friends, I had enough to make a large quilt.  I used Hobbs Cotton Batting. It quilts beautifully.

I used Schmetz Microtex Needle 70/12 for piecing and Schmetz Needle 90/14 for quilting and binding.
"Beg, Borrow and Barter" finished at 72" by 84".  

In the Breeze :-)

It is so bright that the fire hydrant pales in comparison :-p

I love Island Batik

Island Batik has such rich and saturated colors - they are a joy to work with.  I am in love with this bright and spicy finish. The binding is Yolk.

Speaking of binding, it is amazing how much my binding has improved after 150+ quilts :-D

Binding Detail

Scrappy Yumminess

Ready to Snuggle

A joyful celebration!

Color = Happiness :-)

One last look!

Once a quilt is completed, it is time to tidy up. Put away the fabric scraps. Put away the batting bits. Find the errant pins under the sewing machine. Sweep the floor. Vacuum the carpet (or ask Paul to do it) etc. You know - the usual...unless there is a squirrel lurking in there somewhere.  

Chasing Squirrels

Oh Design Wall - what would I do without you?

As I was putting away the scraps, I noticed some odd shaped triangles of a very pretty fabric. What if?
And I forgot about cleaning and started playing. 

What else was I supposed to do when it was bitterly cold and frozen outside?

Playing with Scraps

I had already completed my challenge quilt so there was no need to make another.  But but but that bright fabric was so tantalizing to just set aside. So here we are...

Zany Triangles

These triangles are zany, Paul proclaimed.  I rest my case.
"Zany Triangles" finished at 39" by 42".  

So much fun!!!

As much as I love "Beg, Borrow & Barter" I am tickled by "Zany Triangles" because it was just so much fun to play with random scraps and a totally unexpected finish!!!  It is my Dreami (drop everything and make it) for March 2021.

Quilting Detail

I quilted gently waving lines using my walking foot. It took me just one afternoon to complete the quilting and I am loving the texture. 

Texture :-D

Paul: So you did not have enough scraps and you made two scrappy quilts?
Me: I am magical...
Paul (huge eye roll): Uh Huh
Me: It is the magic of the scraps...they multiplied :-D

Oh but wait there is more.  Even the scraps have leftovers, which I dutifully turned into a boxed bottom zippered pouch.

Zippered Pouch

Neon Zipper, Purple Tab

Bursting with Color!!!

Disclosure: The fabrics and needles used in making this project were generously supplied by the following companies:

Paul: It is cold outside.  
Me: OK, I will stay indoors and play with fabric.
Paul: It is very windy outside. 
Me: I know. I will stay home and sew.
Paul: It is rainy outside. 
Me: I should stay home and quilt.
Paul: Babe, it is a beautiful day outside.  
Me: Oh perfect, you can help me with quilt pictures.
Paul: BRAT!!!

What is the weather like in your neck of the woods?  I'd love to hear.  I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties and Sandra's Dreami. See full list on the sidebar.