Friday, December 30, 2022

2022 In Review

As I sat writing about the year 2022, I wondered - what did I say about 2020? Unexpected. 
What did I say about 2021? It was a year marked by assault on democracy, our voting rights and our bodies. 

What can I say about 2022? The most significant world event has to be the unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
The most significant events in the US would include anti-LGBTQ policies and violence, continuing gun violence, and the monumental decision to overturn the landmark ruling Roe v. Wade.

Sadly (or appropriately) I made a quilt inspired (or disgusted) by each of those events.

1. Quilt for Ukraine - In March, I made this quilt to memorialize Zelenkyy's famous words - "I need ammunition, not a ride." It was my attempt to salute the courage of a nation and her leader in the face of most adverse circumstances.

Improv base of yellow

On October 16, I participated in a small local craft fair. I had set up the displays showing off cute zippered pouches, a table runner and some quilted placements. The Ukraine quilt was also displayed - because it just made the perfect focal point. I did not expect to sell it because it is something so specific that unless you are personally aligned with the cause, it is not for you.

Vale Club Craft Fair

That is when I met Luda. Acting the smiling/engaging salesperson, I said Good Morning. Luda mentioned the deep meaning of the words on the Ukraine quilt. Realization dawned on me as I noticed her blue/yellow t-shirt, blue/yellow earrings and a blue/yellow plume in her hair - Luda is UKRAINIAN!!! She, along with others, was representing US Ukrainian Activists, selling post cards, tree ornaments and jewelry to raise money to support Ukraine. I unpinned the Ukraine quilt, handed it to her and said, "this belongs with you." 

US Ukrainian Activists

When Luda asked me to pose at her booth with other activists, I agreed. I hugged each one of them. If I had tears in my eyes during the shot, so be it.

2. Harmony (supporting LGBTQ folks) - In 2022, at least 320 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were pushed through state legislatures. Lawmakers in statehouses nationwide sought to ban transgender youth from participating in sports; criminalize medically necessary, life-saving healthcare for transgender youth; and ban discussion of LGBTQ+ youth and families in classrooms.  I channeled my disgust into a rainbow colored runner.


Continuing my support of LGBTQ youth, I donated Synergy Quilt to GSAFE (for a Silent Auction). Thanks to Lisa who pointed me to GSAFE. 


3. Father's Day (processing grief) - The shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas was gut wrenching. As details emerged, it only got worse and worse.  How the law enforcement failed the community, how the politicians continued to offer empty platitudes, while making sure their interests are protected and pockets well-lined. The world condemned the shooting, the nation grieved, and most of us moved on. I made a quilt. 

Father's Day

4. We Persist (continuing the fight) - The monumental decision to overturn the landmark ruling Roe v. Wade is the most controversial in American history. 

The partisan nature of the decision is particularly distressing. There is no concern for women's health or popular opinion, or any acknowledgement of changing times. When Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 it was a 7-2 decision, with several Conservative judges siding with the majority opinion. Not today. The decision was split along party lines. 

According to the dissenting justices "young women today will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers." Indeed, they said the court's opinion means that "from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A state can force her to bring a pregnancy to term even at the steepest personal and familial costs." "With sorrow — for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection — we dissent," they wrote.

The following image (from the New Yorker magazine) showing the burden of an unwanted pregnancy that many will be forced to carry in a post-Roe America aptly captures what is difficult to put into words.

From the New Yorker Magazine

"Nevertheless she persisted" was the slogan of choice. I chose to make it more inclusive in this mini quit where all women wear green, the color symbolic of abortion rights.

We Persist

While there is so much upheaval in the world, in our country, and in our lives, we continued to live and love and hope for a better tomorrow. Here are my favorite quilts that convey love and joy.

1. Innamorato (In Love) - Made as a response to the Island Batik and Aurifil challenge, I celebrated my love for Paul in this mini quilt.

Paul and me - In love

2. Pobody's Nerfect - A row by row quilt made for the Island Batik challenge and blog hop. This quilt just makes me so happy. Every row has a mistake - on purpose!!! It does not have to be perfect to be joyful.

Pobody's Nerfect

3. Bollywood Beats - Made in response to the Island Batik & Studio 180 Design Tool challenge and Blog Hop, I am thrilled with this quilt. 

Thank you Paul - the best model ever!

Bernie supported me in the second Positivity QAL. I was disappointed because the responses did not meet my expectations, initially. Then there was more. I was thrilled and humbled.  

Naman for Mercyful Quilts


2022 was also the year I got published! Here is a list of the quilts/projects that were published in three different publications - Quiltmaker (Golden Peak Media), Quilters World (Annie's Publishing) and Make Modern.

1. Make Modern #44 - Synergy

Fall Foliage, Rainbow Colors

2. Make Modern #47 - Topsy Turvy.  Also featured as "Meet the Maker"

Topsy Turvy

3. Make Modern #48 - Frolicking Fish (scroll down)

Frolicking Fish. Location Courtesy - Raj & Manveen

4. Annie's Publishing - Stars & Swirls

Stars & Swirls

5. Quiltmaker Nov/Dec 2022 - Diwali Lights. Also featured in "Designer Spotlight"

Diwali Lights. Picture by Quiltmaker Magazine

Designer Spotlight in Quiltmaker Magazine


And one last thing.

I work as a transportation planner in the DC Metro region. For the last 7+ years I have been working on the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, connecting downtown DC to the Dulles Airport through Metrorail. This project has been in the making for 60 years, when the right of way (in the median of the toll road 267) was dedicated to a future transit line. The project was so large and so ambitious that it was split into two Phases. Phase 1 consisted of five new stations and was opened to the public in 2014. Phase 2 (six new stations and a maintenance yard for the trains) connects the end of Phase 1 to the Dulles Airport was opened for revenue service on November 15, 2022. 

I was there to witness the ribbon cutting and take the inaugural ride. It was a momentous occasion and I was thrilled. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was the guest of honor.  

Here is the NBC news clip. I am in it at 1:34, wearing a hat. Yes, it was freezing. Don't blink, or you'll miss it.

From my seat, I walked up towards the stage, as far as I could, without getting into a scuffle with security.  Handed my phone to a random stranger and shamelessly asked them to take a picture making sure that "Pete and I are in the same frame".  I took off my hat, ran quick fingers through my hair, and beamed 1000 watts into the camera.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

Beaming me!!!

In retrospect, 2022 has been a rollercoaster year with a complete spectrum of emotions - love, loss, grief, anger, disgust, joy, hope and more. But if I have to choose just one theme to end this blogpost, it will be gratitude. 

Thanks to friends (Manveen, MellConnie, Bernie and Mari) who kept me sane. Thanks to Island Batik for the opportunities to play with fabric, to push me beyond my comfort zone, and for their support in my publication projects.  Most importantly, thanks to Paul! You love me when I am unlovable.

Wishing you joy, peace and creativity in the new year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Tutorial - Mini Stocking Ornaments

As promised here is the tutorial to make mini stocking ornaments.

This tutorial will make three ornaments. Please read the entire tutorial before proceeding.

  • Batting Scrap -  5" by 9.5"
  • Assorted Fabric Strings - 1.5" wide
  • Backing Fabric - Three rectangles 3.5" by 5"
  • Zipper Tape/ Ribbon/ Ric Rac - Three 3" sections
  • Fabric Scraps for covering the slits
  • Steam A Seam 2 Lite

1. Print the stocking template file at 100%.  Trace on to a light cardboard (cereal box works fine) and cut out the template. Set aside.

Mini Stocking Template

2. On the batting scrap, in the center, lay out the first string at an angle. Place the second string on top of the first, right sides together. Stitch using a 1/4" seam. Open and press. Similarly add other strips till the batting scrap is full covered. See picture below.

3. Using a pen/pencil and the cardboard template, trace three stocking outlines on the quilted piece. Cut out on the traced outlines. See picture below.

4. Add the hanging loops. Fold the zipper tapes in half, pin the two ends to the middle of the top of the stocking. Stitch in place. See pictures below.

5. Add backing. Place each stocking, face down on a fabric rectangle 3.5" by 5". See picture below.
Pin in place and stitch 1/4" inside from the edge of the stocking shape.  Trim away the excess fabric.

6. Carefully lift the backing and cut a slit (1" - 1½") as shown in the picture below. Turn the stocking inside out, pushing out the corners, using a blunt point. Press. See pictures below.

7. Cover the slit. Choose a suitable fabric (size and shape) to cover the slit. Rough cut around the shape. Press the appliqué stabilizer (Steam A Seam 2) on the wrong side of the fabric.  I prefer Steam a Seam 2, because it does not require sewing, especially for something that will not be washed or rough used. 

Steam A Seam 2 

Following manufacturer's instructions, cut neatly along the edges of the desired shape, peel off the paper, place on the slit, making sure it is fully covered, and iron in place.

Repeat for the other two stocking ornaments. Enjoy your double-sided mini stocking tree ornaments.

If you have questions, please ask in comments. I will respond here for all to see.

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

Make sure to check out Melanie's Advent Calendar with all sorts of goodies (cookie recipes, Christmas cartoons and free patterns) for the entire month of December.

Our Mini Christmas Tree

Happy Holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

December Challenge and Blog Hop

I firmly believe that anyone who has a voice can sing. Whether their singing is pleasant to hear or not is another story altogether.  Similarly, I can make a quilt with any group of colors. Will that grouping be aesthetically appealing? That depends on the design.

December Challenge!

Four times a year when the challenge is combined with a blog hop, we the Island Batik ambassadors are required to use one of the new fabric collections, assigned to us. Further we are directed to use as many fabrics (from the collection) as possible.

I was assigned the Chickadee Fabric Collection for the December Challenge. Chickadee is a Signature Collection designed by Kathy Engle for Heidi Pridemore of The Whimsical Workshop.

I like every fabric in this collection!

The challenge - Use as many fabrics as possible from your assigned Summer’22 collection to create a striking Lone Star quilt! 

I waited for inspiration but in vain. 

I could pick the blues and greens for a cool Lone Star. I might consider reds and greens for a seasonally appropriate Christmas version. But it was tricky to come up with a cohesive design using blues, aquas, greens, reds and oranges (even if I did not use all the fabrics). 

I turned to EQ8 and mocked several different options. 

Two fabrics at a time

All the fabrics at the same time

I even followed an EQ8 tutorial for a modern twist on the traditional Lone Star.


But none of these options appealed to me. I decided not to use all fabrics. I chose blues, aquas, and reds.

This might work

The blue, aqua and red combination was singing.  But it did not have the wow factor. What if I could step away from "use as many fabrics as possible" directive? 

Oh wow!!!

The song was loud and clear. It had the harmony that I was seeking. 
This is a song that I can listen to again and again. This was it!

There were just two problems.
1. It uses only four fabrics from the collection. 
2. It was not lap size, which was another requirement of the challenge.. 

A pieced border using all the reds and the remaining blues was the answer.

Final Design

Once the design was finalized, things moved quickly.

Strip Sets

I used the 2.5" strip die and the Accuquilt Go Cutter to cut the 2.5" strips. I used Aurifil Thread
(50 wt) to piece the strips. I used 70/12 Microtex Schmetz needle for piecing. The neutral in the above picture is Fondant.

The first pieced diamonds

On the design wall

I used the remaining blues and aquas plus all the reds to make a pieced border. I used two neutrals - Fondant in the Star and Rice in the background. 

The batting is Thermore by Hobbs. I used 40wt Aurifil Thread and 90/14 Schmetz Needle for quilting. The binding is Fondant. I cut the binding strips the same time as the strips for the star, using the Accuquilt 2.5" strip die. 

And here is the finished quilt. I have named her Selma. Selma finished at 45" square and uses 12 out of the 20 fabrics from the Chickadee collection.

Hello Selma!

It was a windy day and shooting decent pictures was also a challenge. 

Quilting Texture

The finished quilt certainly has a Quilt of Valor vibe to it.  
Well, if we can celebrate Christmas in July then, Independence Day in December isn't unthinkable at all.

Independence Day in December!

Even after the quilt was completed my thought process continued. Trying to twist and turn the diamonds into a modern layout. I have a few ideas humming in my head. Will see if a song comes together.  I will let you know :-)


Red, White and Beautiful :-)

Paul has injured his wrist and is unable to perform his modeling role. He claims it is domestic abuse (insert eye roll here).  Here is a short convo between us, for all the fans of Paul-Preeti banter.

Me: Yogurt in America tastes nothing like the yogurt in India.
Paul: Well, of course, it is a completely different culture.

Is there a giveaway? Absolutely, there are several. Here is mine, a mystery, with a bit of explanation.

I applied to become an Island Batik ambassador because I love batiks. I was accepted to the program and I made a commitment to use only Island Batik fabrics. 

As an avid batik lover I have a stash of great batiks from other manufacturers, from my pre-ambassador days. I decided to share my stash as giveaways for this challenge. This giveaway includes two mystery scrap packs of batiks that can be yours, if you do the following:

1. Follow me on Instagram @sewpreetiquilts.
2. Leave a comment on this blogpost, telling me your favorite color combinations.
3. Provide your email. If I do not have your email, you will not be entered into the drawing.

As these are mystery prizes, I won't be showing pictures of the scraps to honor my commitment to Island Batik. However, if you are the winner, I will reach out to you to ask for your favorite colors, before creating the scrap pack just for you.

I will announce the winners on 12/14/22. 
Giveaway Update - Lori and Maya are the lucky winners. Emails have been sent.

I will be sharing this post with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar. This is the last challenge and blog hop for the year 2022. I encourage you to visit the Island Batik Blog for gorgeous giveaways. 

Bye Selma!

Please visit other Island Batik ambassadors blogs. See full schedule below. Not only they have spectacular quilts to show off, they may also have giveaways of their own ;-)


December 5

Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine

Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail

December 6

Megan Best, Bestquilter

Brenda Alburl, Songbird Designs

December 7

Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts (You are here)

Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood

December 8

Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations

December 9

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 1 and Giveaway


December 12

Reed Johnson, Blue Bear Quilts

Suzy Webster, Websterquilt

December 13

Gail Renna, Quilt Haven Threads

Jennifer Fulton, Inquiring Quilter

December 14

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia

December 15

Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights

Andi Stanfield, True Blue Quilts

December 16

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 2 and Giveaway


December 19

Mania Hatziioannidi, Mania for Quilts

Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde Gifts

December 20

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts

Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs

Sandra Starley, Textile Time Travels

December 21

Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting

Lisa Pickering, Lisa’s Quilting Passion

December 22

Brianna Roberts, Sew Cute and Quirky

Anorina Morris, Samelia’s Mum

Elizabeth DeCroos, Epida Studio

December 23

End of Blog Hop + Final Round Up