Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Island Batik Row by Row Challenge

Paul: There is a new restaurant in Ashburn.
Me: Uh huh.
Paul: Take a look. They have alligator.
Me: Cajun?
Paul: Yes. They have andouille sausage, shrimp and grits, jambalaya and also beignets.
Me: They sure look authentic.
Paul: Let's go.
Me: Happily.
Paul: Valentine's Day?
Me: Absolutely NOT.
Paul: Oh come on.
Me: Every place is overpriced, overhyped and overcrowded.
Paul: They cannot be any more overpriced than they already are.
Me: I did not come to America because I was missing crowds. 

I won the argument. We will go another day.  
In my opinion, the perfect Valentine's Day is spent at home with takeout while watching a favorite movie.

An imperfect quilt

A perfect quilt (in my opinion) does not exist. Anything can be made better and that quest for perfection is a recipe for unhappiness. To make this point, I made a quilt - Pobody's Nerfect.

The Island Batik February Challenge (and Blog Hop) requirement was simple. Using the Fall 2021 Fabric Bundle, make a row by row quilt, lap size (or larger), using any technique(s).

I received Lace and Grace. It is a Signature Collection for Chris Hoover of Whirligig Designs designed by Kathy Engle. It is a beautiful collection and I love it.  Lace and Grace should be shipping to your local quilt stores now.

I used Island Batik Solid White for the background. I believe it best shows off the spring colors of the collection.

I had begun thinking about this challenge in December 2021, while I was still nursing the pain of my failed travel plans. Naturally, the bird block was first.

Designed in EQ8

Bird Blocks

Birds needs trees to nest. So trees were added. I had first designed this twin tree block in 2020 for the quilt tops made for the Australian Bush Fires Relief.

Twin Trees

Of course I would like to live in a place with lots of trees and birds chirping nearby. So houses were added. 

House Block

The flowers are aspirational.  My yard is a mess but there is some green growth, when it is not covered with snow. 

Grassy Border on the Bottom

The grass formed a natural border on the bottom. I wanted to add a similar element on the top. Paul suggested sky or clouds. Too tame, I thought. It needs festoons or buntings, like celebrations.

Festoons Border on the Top

Although I designed the quilt in EQ8, some changes were made in the process, adding what I liked and removing what did not seem to work.

Mock up in EQ8

Every row has a mistake, intentionally added, to justify the slogan - Pobody's Nerfect. 
Find every mistake, smile and then say aloud. "I am not perfect and I don't have to be."

Pobody's Perfect

I used 80/20 Cotton Bleached batting by Hobbs
I used Aurifil Thread for both sewing (50 wt) and quilting (40 wt)
I used 80/12 Microtex Schmetz Needle for sewing and 90/14 Schmetz needle for quilting.

Having spent all my passion in patchwork, I quilted simple squiggly lines using my walking foot.  The binding is Island Batik Neutral Cream.

Gorgeous Fabrics

Picnic Ready!

You make me happy...

Pobody's Nerfect finished at about 60" by 70" and I am perfectly happy with all its imperfections :-)

Happily Imperfect :-)

Island Batik is giving away some gorgeous fabrics to celebrate these new releases. You don't want to miss it. And speaking of things you do not want to miss, here is a complete listing of all the Island Batik ambassadors and the links to their blogs. Some are cute, some are beautiful and some are so handsome (I want to sleep with them). 

January 31:

Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations
Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese 

February 1:

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts
Andi Stanfield, True Blue Quilts

February 2:

Megan Best, Bestquilter

February 3:

Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine
Brenda Alburl, Songbird Designs

February 7:

Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood
Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights

February 8:

Suzy Webster, Websterquilt
Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs

February 9:

Reed Johnson, Blue Bear Quilts

February 10:

Brianna Roberts, Sew Cute and Quirky
Sandra Starley, Textile Time Travels

February 14:

Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde
Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting

February 15:

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia

February 16:

Anorina Morris, Samelia’s Mum
Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts (this is me)

February 17:

Elizabeth DeCroos, Epida Studio
Gail Renna, Quilt Haven Threads

February 21:

Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail
Jennifer Fulton, Inquiring Quilter

February 22:

Mania Hatzioannidi, Mania for Quilts
Lisa Pickering, Lisa’s Quilting Passion

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar. And if you tell me about your battle (or skirmish) with the pursuit of perfection, I will enter you in a giveaway of my own.  

For readers in the US - A scrap pack of assorted fabrics (2 prizes). For international readers - a pattern from my Etsy Shop (2 prizes). The giveaway is open till February 28, 2022. I will announce the winners on March 2, 2022.

Paul: Can we go now?
Me: I thought you'd never ask.
Paul: BRAT!!! You have been so busy...
Me: Well, I have some time before the next challenge...

Disclosure: The fabrics, batting, thread and needles were generously supplied by the following companies: Island Batik   Aurifil Thread   Hobbs Batting & Schmetz Needles !!


  1. Pretty quilt that proves a point. Taken way to long to make my first quilt and to get a sewing machine. First quilt is a hand pieced reversible queen size. Cutting blocks the wrong size. Trying to learn a scant quarter inch on a sewing machine. Are some of the issues over the years.

  2. I just love your "Pobody's" quilt--You really did a fantastic piece of work on this one --love all the rows...hugs, Julierose

  3. Hilarious, and so typical of your sense of humor. Well done!!

  4. This is my favorite quilt of yours ever. (I think I say that about every one, though!) Just nerfect!

  5. I've never made a row by row quilt, but I think yours is fantastic, especially those birds! The find the mistakes is a cool feature too. Are you putting a reference to that on your label? And my perfection predicament involves a guild BOM that we did 10 years ago... my version has been hanging unfinished because it involves a scalloped binding which I've only done once before. I don't want be lumpy or wonky...

  6. I love Pobody's Nerfect what a great idea for a quilt. I agree - on not going out on Valentines Day - too busy you can barely even go grocery shopping that day as the parking lots are full of people running in to buy flowers and chocolates and balloons!

  7. A delightful quilt and great reminder. My favorite is the house with the upside down doorway.

  8. I chuckled as I found the 'mistakes' in each row. What a great quilt! I also love the colors of the Lace and Grace line. Thanks for sharing your quilting journey and you conversations with your hubby. I enjoy your blog.

  9. What a great quilt, Preeti! I loved reading about its evolution. Really pretty fabrics, too - they really say Spring! Quilting is definitely not a hobby for perfectionists, especially since we need and use our seam rippers pretty often. How many times have I sewn a block wrong - let me count the ways!

  10. I hope you'll let us know how the new restaurant in Ashburn was ... sounded so delicious to Mom & me! I agree with the other commenters -- your Pobody's Nerfect quilt so FUN!!! Quite the challenge to spy the "accidents" in every single row. Great job and the quilting was the perfect way to finish it off. As f10or my own mistake, I made a wool pillow that needed a strip of gold 20 inches long. I folded my only skinny piece of wool in half, measured up 10" and cut. OOPS! I measured from the cut end and now had 2 pieces 10" instead of one 20" piece AND no extra wool. What to do? I sewed it down and there is a split in the middle for all eternity to remind me to double check before cutting! Ha!

  11. I love this! All of it! When you said every row has an error, I, of course, went looking. I stopped at the houses with a big grin on my face. Both of my hubby's grandpas were living when I met him, and they lived close enough that visiting was easy (my one remaining grandma was 800 miles away, in a home due to Alzheimer's, so not an easy visit). I loved that. Both of his grandpas were great guys, but different. One never went further than the hubby's parents (two doors down) and the other ran the roads like a teenager. But at first I had trouble remembering which one belonged to which side of the family. Well, the grandpa that belonged to his mom's side of the family, the one who ran the roads, liked to use the expression "God damned" to describe about everything. Upon visiting the hubby's house (he purchased a bachelor pad shortly before he met me), he wanted the full tour, coming in the side/back door, that probably at some point had a deck or steps up to it. Without those, it was a fairly big step. Grandpa was probably 5'6", so doable, but he commented about the "God damned big step you have there" and forever after, or at least until I could remember which grandpa was which, earned him the nickname "God damned grandpa". He was a great guy, feisty as all get out, smart as could be and didn't take crap from anyone. But if he liked you, he'd go down swinging for you. end this long ramble, the house with the door going the wrong way made me think of that "God damned big step" at that house and grandpa and while he has been gone many years, makes me smile and miss him, too. (We moved to our current house a few years later and I will always remember waking up a few weeks after moving in to find him on the front lawn in his lawn chair, waiting for the roofers to show up. The house was in dire need of a new roof and was job #1 upon moving in. He wouldn't change his mind about their being late, despite the fact that it was still dark out. He also claimed to not be hungry, but when the hubby came back with an egg mcmuffin for him, he ate it happily!)

  12. wow your quilt is gorgeous and so inspiring. when our son was in high school, i guess he had enough of me complaining how imperfect i am in sewing/quilting. he finally said to me: mom perfection is Gods department. wow out of the mouths of babes right? and honestly I don't want that responsibility so I have been embracing my imperfection. Smile

  13. I love everything about this quilt. And I didn't notice any "mistakes" until you pointed out their existence. The birds and twin pine trees are my favorite rows. Beautiful job!

  14. My personal battle with perfection has to do with seeing ripples where things should lie flat. And losing the points on stars if my cutting and sewing isn't accurate. But I don't fret too much about my quilts being perfect.

  15. You never disappoint, and that shows in this quilt as well. I love the selections for the row by row. Mistakes, certainly there are none, not every tree has a trunk, not every flower a stem, not all birds fly in the same direction, and not every door is grounded to the bottom of a house. Not every banner has equally distributed sections. And for the grass - well, I just don't know how to describe it. But it is a "perfectly beautiful" quilt.

  16. Lovely quilt! I love your birds especially. I am a machine quilter (domestic) and always hesitate before quilting anything because I don't want to 'ruin' it with the 'wrong choice' of a machine quilting....always stressful for me to the point where I have lots of tops now waiting to get quilted...sigh!

  17. This quilt is just so adorable. And also beautiful with those lovely fabrics. I love the birds. I honestly didn't see any mistakes until you pointed them out. But who doesn't make them? My imperfections have to do with trying to make my Star points. I seem to lose a lot of the points no matter how hard I try to make them perfect. But I know I am not perfect so I just try to do the best I can. Thank you for sharing your wonderful quilt.

  18. Beautiful quilt and a wonderful sentiment! I do like my piecing to be accurate but usually if I have tried to get things to match 3 times and it hasn't worked then I just let it be and assume it wants to be that way. Ha Ha. I do use paper piecing often to make things more accurate and likely to come out right the first time.

  19. I am new to the quilting world, so I don't think I will ever get close to perfect.I will be glad to
    at least finish one.

  20. I had pieced a large quilt for belated wedding gift for my son & his wife. A friend was over when I was laying it out over the backing and batting to prepare for quilting. She said "Maybe I shouldn't mention but ...." "What?" I had one block rotated 90 degrees! Fortunately it was on an outside row, so not a big deal to rip out the stitching to fix. So glad it was discovered before I quilted it!
    Love the fabrics in your creative quilt!

  21. Beautiful and very clever quilt Preeti.

  22. Oh, where to start?!? Pobody’s Nerfect is the best quilt ever! Heck, the only thing I noticed at first was that the “c” was backwards! Then I READ it and chuckled! BTW, Bruce and I are already scheduled for our first eye exams in 4 years (since before I went to Africa!!) It was fun searching for every “misssssssnake”, as I like to call them. I think this quilt even tops the creativity of the Lynx quilt. And the colors are gorgeous - I’m going to be watching for this fabric line to show up at one of my LQS’s.

    My missssssnakes are legion if not legend; cut off points, backwards fabric, imperfect binding corners. I have the most well-worn seam rippers (plural) in town! But I keep sewing happily away because in the grand scheme of things the mistakes are minor. They don’t deserve any more time than the minimum necessary to fix them. And if they can’t be fixed, we’ll, they can be forgotten!!!

  23. I am in love with your quilt. I never do perfect, not my thing. I just love making quilts and giving them away.

  24. Imperfectly perfect!!! The door on the roof and the flower without a stem made me laugh! I like the colors of Lace & Grace. And enjoyed your story behind it all, Preeti!

  25. What a perfectly imperfect quilt. I could tell right away that the letters were intentionally imperfect, but when I read that each row had an imperfection, I was doubtful. What fun to go searching each row for something just a bit off. This proves that probably no one else will see the mistakes until you tell them about it! Great job Preeti!

  26. Cute quilt with appropriate saying - I am always finding some unintended piecing in my quilts - just makes them special!!!

  27. Love this and all its perfect imperfections! I will have to look harder to see them, or just imagine where they may be. Did you get to the new restaurant? Always love your posts and conversations!

  28. Your quilt made me laugh! I loved reading the post about your conversation and about your creative process! In everything I sew, there is inevitably one or two blocks that are upside down or sideways and I have learned to embrace the imperfections as design choices. Thanks for sharing this delightful quilt!

  29. hmm, my battle with the pursuit of perfection most often is in making up my mind - colors and pattern, lol.

  30. Your quilt it just the neatest idea!

    I bet that restaurant does well if they cook the food right. Come on down here to Louisiana, and you can have that stuff all of the time.

  31. I try to get my binding perfect with perfectly mitered corners. Far from it usually :)

  32. Hi Preeti! Perfectly fabulous use of the perfectly pretty fabrics. I adore the birdies, especially the one bucking the flock. Your houses look welcoming and I would enjoy living in this neighborhood, making many non-perfect quilts. {{Hugs}} a bunch for you! Love these IB fabrics. ~smile~ Roseanne

  33. Oh, Preeti!! This is just a perfectly imperfect quilt!! LOVE IT!! Love the bird block, especially! I think it's the Amish?? that always have an imperfection in their quilts. Mine usually have a lot of them! LOL

  34. Love this quilt! It was fun to search for what was different in each row. I came across a quote that I really like - Comparison is the thief of joy. So true! It's fine if something isn't perfect - why compare to perfect!?!

  35. My battle with perfection is my OCD... I can usually spot mistakes in quilts and I point them out. Some people do not like that. Others are grateful that it was pointed out before they have it quilted so they can fix it.

  36. I recently have put together a top of kaleidoscope blocks that I made 25 years ago. They just sat because I was never happy with the centers. They weren't anywhere near perfect. I figures I would just put it together and give it away. Well, when deciding how to set it together I decided that it needed sashing. I found a great choice at my LQS. I was starting to really like it. It needed setting triangles and it really wasn't happy with my first thought. I ended up piecing the setting triangles with inserts of the fabric used for the kaleidoscopes. No border fabric, so a trip to another LQS was made an border fabric acquired. Now, you guessed it, I am in love with the quilt. I am not giving it away and I am even going to pay for custom quilting. The quilt looks great and I doubt that anyone will even notice the slightly imperfect centers.

  37. I love this quilt and had fun finding the imperfections in each row! It's a lovely fabric range too. Funny how our minds work - when I first opened this post I initially saw the upside down C but my brain read 'Nobody's Perfect'...until I realised it wasn't! Great quilt.

  38. What a delightful quilt!
    I see imperfections in every quilt I make - seams that don't quite line up, tiny puckers where quilting lines cross, you name it. But quilting seems to be about the only area of my life where the imperfections do NOT bother me (at least not much or often). I always need to lose weight, my house is never clean, I feel like every work project is sub-par, etc etc, but every finished quilt makes me happy. I think that's why I keep quilting.

  39. Wonderful and fun quilt! Making a mistake on purpose in every row is such a creative idea!
    I am lucky that perfectionism has not ever seemed appealing to me, so I haven't had a struggle with it... nothing I do is anywhere close to being perfect, but I work hard and that is my superpower!

  40. What a lovely quilt. And the fabrics are gorgeous, of course.

  41. Pobody’s Nerfect is “positively perfect in every way”! The colors of Lace & Grace are not my usual choice but absolutely perfect for you! Such a ray of sunshine and happiness, you are! I too did not notice a single imperfection except the switched first letters and the backwards C. Proof that our mistakes are often overlooked by
    others. I think every time I sit at my machine I’m trying for the perfect scant 1/4” seam. I’ve redone more than I care to admit and tried every hint and trick I can read. Sometimes it’s there and sometimes it is not!
    Anyway, your quilt is wonderful!

  42. Ha, I loved looking for the "mistakes". I did not see one when taking in the overall picture! Such a great idea. xo

  43. Your quilt is beautiful and a wonderful reminder to all quilters not to get too hung up on trying to be perfect. Too many of us let the goal of perfection steal the joy from our quilting, when the truth is that most people won't notice our "horrible" mistakes. It's always a treat when you share your fantastic quilts and your positive attitude!

  44. Oh My!! I Love it!! it is like a quilters I Spy... find the mistake!! its wonderful ( and dare I say perfect for this challenge?)

  45. This new chalenge is a success! Fabulous quilt, and it's fun to look for the mistakes! Fun to look for them too, as they do not stand out, you made it: mistakes are part of a quilt, and they are not mistakes ;)
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful inspirational quilt, and linking up!

  46. I love the whimsy of your perfectly imperfect quilt, Preeti! So much fun looking at each row and spotting the thing that is different. So wonderfully imaginative and creative!

  47. Well, this is brilliant. It's such fun to see you enjoying yourself! I don't have nice conversations with myself when I make mistakes. I hold myself to a high standard I rarely achieve. I'm actually able to admit that now - haha!

  48. haha, love it all - the sentiment, the literal manifestations (can they be called mistakes if you meant to do them?), the fabric collection, the quilt, and the quilter!

  49. Hi,
    Beautiful "perfect" quilt...I don't see any boo boo's. And I agree, there isn't a perfect always have a mistake when making quilts. And I'm not a beginning quilter, I've been making quilts for 30+ years. And I can honestly say everyone of the quilts I made have boo boo's in them. Hope you have a great day!

  50. I learn something with every quilt I make. Thanks for sharing your journey with Wednesday Wait Loss.

  51. I love this quilt! Love the stories behind it too, and the colors... so pretty! xx

  52. Oh, and I forgot to add.. I don't do perfection, it is far too stressful! xx

  53. Such a fun quilt! I'm not sure I could deliberately leave a mistake in a quilt, it's a fun idea and had to take some bravery to make it that way.

  54. You’re a genius! Of all the wonderful things you’ve made, this is, by far, my very all time favorite. What a witty and beautiful quilt!

  55. I believe this is my favorite jilt(?) quilt of all time! The designs in each row, the “mistakes” and the colors are fabulous. I do love your blog. I like your conversations with Paul and your descriptions as you create.

  56. As everyone else says .... It's Poifect!! I've been looking at it and keep wanting to write so here I am ... I need this quilt as a reminder to me ... If it's ever available, let me know!! Fun to do and make, I'm sure!!