Sunday, October 23, 2022

Diwali Lights

Diwali Lights designed, pieced and quilted by me is in the November/December issue of the Quiltmaker Magazine.

Picture by Quiltmaker

The journey of this quilt began in January of this year, when I submitted the pattern to the Quiltmaker magazine. When I received the acceptance email, I was thrilled but realized that I won't be able to meet the March deadline (for publication in the September/October issue) due to other engagements. 

Mock-up in EQ8

Quiltmaker honored my request and agreed to delay the publication to November/December issue and I had until May to make and send the quilt.

Picture by Quiltmaker

This just works beautifully because the magazine is published shortly before the Diwali festival. Since Diwali is based on the lunar calendar, the date is not fixed.  This year Diwali falls on October 24. 

Faux piped binding & Quilting detail

It was a joy working with bright yellows and radiant oranges. All fabrics were provided free of charge by Island Batik.  It is good to be an ambassador :-)

Diwali Lights

Celebrated on a moonless night, Diwali or Deepavali is the festival of lights. The outward celebration focuses on lights and decorations, food and gifts, joy and merriment, but the true spiritual significance of Diwali is about the enlightenment of the soul, celebrating the inner awakening that can dispel the darkness of evil and ignorance.

Let it shine

In the quilt, Diwali Lights, I have tried to capture the concept of "inner light dispelling the darkness". 

Paul is the model

If you like the pattern, you can get it here for under $8. Better still get the whole issue for just under $10. The November/December issue includes several other gorgeous quilt patterns for Hanukkah, Festivus and Christmas. The November/December issue also includes a "Meet the Designer" feature on yours truly. I am so tickled :-)

From the Quiltmaker Magazine, November/December Issue

As Paul and I celebrate the festival of lights, we wish that this Diwali brings joy and happiness to all humanity by dispelling the darkness of ignorance and evil everywhere in the world.

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

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

The Ultimate Travel Bag


The Ultimate Travel Bag

The October 2022 Island Batik Challenge is "Its in the Bag", sponsored by Patterns by Annie.

I chose the bag, I chose the fabrics and everything was sent to me. Gosh, I am spoiled!!!

Soft & Stable - For Bags that Stand Tall

Pattern and the Hardware

I chose fabrics from the Spring 2022 Sunset Plains Collection. It is a beautiful collection with bright greens, reds and maroons designed by Kathy Engle. I love the Cactus print.

Flowers on my morning walk - Collection Inspiration?


On second thoughts, I should have chosen a non-directional print.  Keeping the cactus print upright was an additional challenge in making the bag. 

Annie's patterns are extremely detailed. This means that they require total attention and complete concentration. Unlike my usual cutting/sewing/quilting, I could not listen to the radio or an audiobook. Proceeding one step at a time, I checked each box as I completed that step.

Quilting the Pieces

Completed Shoulder Comfort Pad

Binding the Shoulder Comfort Pad was a challenge but the Add-On Video was really helpful.

For the bottom of the bag, I chose to use a non-directional fabric, also from the Sunset Plains collection, leftover from making the Stars and Swirls quilt.

Buttons to limit wear and tear

Straps and Handles

Front and Back, Top and Bottom - Ready to Assemble

I used Schmetz 90/14 needle to make the bag. Going through several layers of fabrics and Soft & Stable is tricky and a lesser needle will cause you to skip stitches. 

Once the four parts - Front, Top, Bottom and Back were assembled,  I turned the bag inside out and attached the handles. Admired my handiwork and felt supremely pleased.

Paul: Looks fantastic.
Me: Um Hmm.
Paul: It is finished, right?
Me: Mostly
Paul: What is the matter? 
Me: It is ready for pictures. And I have other things to do. I have been working on this for two weeks. 
Paul: Oh, I know. You did not finish the insides.
Me: I am done.
Paul: Don't you need to protect the seams.
Me: No. That inside binding step is purely cosmetic.
Paul: So you have an ugly bag inside.
Me: Possibly, but no one needs to know.
Paul: You know it.

Damn the man.


It took me two days to hand bind the insides and my index finger hurt for two days after the bag was completely finished. But I can proudly share the inside pictures.

Large Inside Pocket

Neat on the Inside :-)

Speaking of  inside, the design includes a sleeve to hold an acrylic stabilizer (also provided) in the bottom for added stability.

Sewing the Sleeve for Acrylic Stabilizer

Inserting the Stabilizer in the Sleeve

Annie has taken care of every detail and the design includes every step from making the zipper pulls and bias binding to the shoulder pads and trolley sleeve.  I cannot recommend this Ultimate Travel Bag 2.0 enough. Many thanks to Annie and Island Batik.

And now it is time for the photoshoot!

Bottom Buttons

Big & Beautiful

Is that my plane?

Hey good-looking!


So Happy!

I like Big Bags

Beautiful on the Inside

Side Pocket

Top View

Back with Trolley Sleeve

When are we leaving?

Do you like my choice of green and maroon. What colors would you choose, if you made this bag? I'd love to hear from you.

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

Did you see the latest issue of Quiltmaker Magazine? Not only does it include my quilt, I am also featured in it :-)  That blogpost is next.