Thursday, April 22, 2021

Positivity Plus

April is almost over. Did I forget my RSC blocks? Of course not. Meet my light/bright blues.

Light/Medium Blues

Bright Blues

Sharing with Angela's Linky Party.


I am happy to share my newest finish with you. I have named it - "The Positivity Quilt"

Strangers in a Park - Happily Helped Me :-)

Blues to Beat the Blues

Green Grass - Bright Red Binding

Positivity means Affirmative Willingness. Yes, it is so AND I am willing to do something about it.

Lately positivity and positivity rates have been associated with Covid-19 infections. The overwhelming feelings of loss, sadness, helplessness and negativity abound. 

Step 1 - I accept those circumstances and acknowledge those feelings.
Step 2 - I am going to do something about them.

Positivity Quilt - 60" by 80"

What is Life without Whimsy?

Love in Low Volume

On location

As a quilter, I quilt my feelings. (Some of us eat our feelings but that is a separate blogpost.)

The Positivity Quilt is headed west to Bernie for the Mercyful Quilts initiative. 

Walking Foot Quilting

Ballerinas in pink :-)

As I buried the knots and trimmed the threads, I pictured a family receiving a Mercyful quilt. To a dying person and their family a quilt is such a small thing and yet it can mean so much. I was then reminded of the card I received from them earlier this year.

Three brain clicks later, I had an idea - a quilt along to make Mercyful quilts. Bernie completely supported my recklessness :-) Rebecca, Alycia, Cathy, Joy, Cynthia, and Vasudha have egged me on. 
Mari and Joe in PA heartily agreed to join in the QAL.

Fueled by all this positivity, I am announcing the Mercyful Positivity Quilt Along!!!

What is a Mercyful Quilt?
The Palliative Care Unit in the Mercy Hospital gives quilts to their terminally ill patients to bring some measure of comfort to the person and their family as they go through the difficult process of dying. The family then keeps the quilt in the memory of the person who passed away. The need for such quilts is never ending. With a raging pandemic and limited family visits, these quilts have become even more meaningful for a sense of home and peace.
  • Suggested size - 60" by 80"
  • Suggested Colors - Gender Neutral colors (avoid/limit pink)
  • Quilting - Avoid dense quilting
  • Fabrics - 100% Cotton (avoid/limit juvenile fabrics) 

What is the purpose of the QAL?
To make Mercyful Quilts because the need is ongoing. If you have wanted to make a Mercyful Quilt but life got in the way, here is an opportunity to participate and stitch some love, along with others. 

The Beginning of Mercyful Quilts Initiative

Thank you from Mercy Hospital

Mercyful Quilts Update

Wrapped with Kindness (may need tissues)

A Note from Mercy Hospital

What does it cost?
There is no cost to participate. The simple block pattern and layout options are provided free of charge. 

How much fabric do I need? 
For a simple Plus Quilt, you will need 16 strips (2.5" by WOF) of focus fabric and about 4 yards of background fabric (I used low volume scraps). 

What is the QAL schedule?
The QAL will begin on Sunday, May 30, 2021 (Memorial Day Weekend) and will end on Sunday, September 5, 2021 (Labor Day Weekend). 

Ask away and I will respond in the comments.

In the next couple of weeks, I will be working on the block instructions, layout options and other logistics for the QAL. Bernie and I are also organizing some prizes for the QAL. 

My Favorite Picture - Greasy Hair and Wrinkled Tee notwithstanding :-D

If you are a pattern-designer or a fabric shop and would like to sponsor a prize for the Mercyful Positivity Quilt Along, please reach out to Bernie or me.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties, see full list on the sidebar.  If you have a thought about positivity, do share. If you are burdened by negativity, don't hold it in; let it out. We are in this together. 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Island Batik - April Challenge

Me: How is it?
Paul (mildly irritated): What?
Me (irritated): Your breakfast...that I just brought you, my lord.
Paul: I am still alive, am I not?
Me (through gritted teeth): In that case, let me get you another serving.
Paul (calmly): It is good to have goals.
Me: If you want me to cook for you then you need to tell me that you LIKE my cooking.
Paul: I will...AFTER I finish eating it.

Let's ignore Paul for now. 

April 2021 is a free month which means that it is all up to me - any project, any size, any theme and any technique. 

First things first - start with a sketch/concept. When you translate a concept/idea into fabric, the end results are rarely what you expect. There have been times when what seemed brilliant as a concept fell flat in fabric :-( 

With the Autumn Sunset collection in mind, I started with a rough sketch.  But picking fabric pairs to achieve the right degree of contrast (within each block) and gradation (from the adjacent block) was a huge challenge.  

The Concept

I took many many pictures and converted each to grayscale to determine value gradation. Changes were made and often. I was happy with some choices and I settled with others.  It was time to start making the blocks.

Starting here

These look fine

But will they work together?

Going from concept/design to flimsy was a gut-wrenching journey. What if this does not turn out according to my vision?  What if something just stands out too much or something just fades into nothingness?

The light blocks

The medium and dark blocks

Setting aside all my anxieties, it was time to piece the top.  No more thinking and no overthinking.

Piecing the Top

Once the flimsy was completed, I placed it on the design wall, turned and walked away about 12 feet. 
When I turned to look at it, I knew that my gamble had worked!!!


No more hesitation now. Time to baste and quilt!!!


In the end it did work out according to my expectations :-) What do you think?

Suns in the Sun

Konark Quilt

I have named this quilt Konark, meaning the "angle of the sun". Konark is also the name of the temple dedicated to the Sun God in India. The town where the temple is located is also called Konark.

Konark Quilt finished at 60" by 84".

Autumn Glow

Burning Hot

Light Suns and Dark Suns

But I have more pictures to please humor me.

Cascade of Suns

Walking Foot Quilting

Hot and Spicy :-)

I used Hobbs Cotton Batting. Thank you Hobbs.

I used Schmetz Microtex Needle 70/12 for piecing and Schmetz Needle 90/14 for quilting and binding. Love Schmetz.

I used Aurifil Thread 50wt for piecing and 40wt for quilting. 

Disclosure: The fabrics, thread, batting and needles were generously supplied by the following companies:

But wait there is more... The odd cuts leftover from Dawn were fashioned into a zippered pouch.

These colors are so yummy

Love the Autumn Sunset collection

Hugs and Kisses inside :-)

Paul: Thank you for breakfast. It was yummy.
Me: Umm Hmmm.

Whether you like your eggs poached or scrambled, here is hoping your weekend is sunny side up :-) 

One last look - Sun in the Shadows

The next Island Batik Challenge is "Make it Modern" with a Blog Hop. I am working on it right now and I will be posting on May 3, 2021.  Sorry no sneak peeks. 
According to Angela, April is light and bright blue.  Here are my fabric picks. 

I will be sharing with Angela's Rainbow Scrap Challenge linky party and all my favorite linky parties, see full list on the sidebar.
I have a new finish and an exciting announcement - all in the next blogpost!!!