Friday, October 13, 2023


Mom asked me to make a quilt for a young girl. Of course I said yes.

What is her name, I asked. She did not know. 

How old, I enquired. Not sure, she replied.

Orange, Pink and Sparkly

At this point, I gave up. There is only so much eye-rolling I can do. I set about picking fabrics. Since I knew nothing about the recipient, my aim was to please my mother.

I chose a simple block using cream, pink and orange fabrics.

Design Wall

25 blocks

Ruby Star and Alison Glass Fabrics

Paul: Who is this for?

Me: Some little girl in India...
Paul: Do you know her?
Me: All I know is that her father helped mom with some hard to find medications.
Paul: That is it?
Me: Mom wants to express her gratitude.
Paul: So she asked you...
Me: From across the Atlantic Ocean...
Paul: Are you going to mail it to India?
Me: No, just to Pennsylvania.
Paul: Your sister is going to India?
Me: Yes. End of October.

Festive Elephants Backing

I have been hoarding this elephant fabric since 2016, I think. I know Mom will love it. In fact, Paul loves it too and has asked me to make him a pillow (he already has mug rugs and zippered pouches) from the remaining 16". That is a separate project and blogpost.  Insert eye-roll here.

Here is the finished quilt.


I have named her Tesu.  Tesu is the Hindi name for the Butea Monosperma flower. Tesu finished at 43" square. The block is made up of 5" squares framed with 2.5" strips. 

Flame of the Forest :-)

Sunny and Warm

Here are some close-up shots.

Hello Birdie!

Pink and Orange? Well, yes!


Love the Striped Binding

Tesu was a fun and fast quilt. 
I especially enjoyed working on her after completing the much complicated Radiance.

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

The next Island Batik project is sponsored by Bags by Annie.  I am making Room with a View in three sizes. 

I will be using the Morris Mist collection. I will post on November 9. 


Paul: We are hosting our next gaming session. Right?
Me: Yes.
Paul: What are you making?
Me: Chicken Biryani
Paul: Will I be able to eat it?
Me: Yes. I will adjust the ingredients. 
Paul: Do you use a rotisserie chicken?
Me: No, I will use drumsticks.
Paul: Bone-in?
Me: Yes. Very much so. The bone keeps the meat moist. Also, dark meat is more flavorful. I never cook with breasts.
Paul (smiling naughtily): Babe, you always cook with breasts!!!

Sunday, October 1, 2023


Meet Radiance. She is my response to the October challenge.


Let's start from the beginning.

October's Challenge is sponsored by Accuquilt. In our Island Batik Ambassador Box, we received the Accuquilt Block on Board Die - North Carolina Star.

Accuquilt Die for North Carolina Star

Star of North Carolina is a traditional block made with paper-piecing AND partial seams - two of my absolute nemeses ganged up against me!!!

Star of North Carolina in EQ8 Block Library

Fortunately, Accuquilt has simplified the block such that there are no partial seams. However, in doing so the number of fabric pieces per block increased from 28 (in the original) to 56, resulting in 55 seams per block. Read Rebecca's blogpost, for a detailed analysis. 

Here is the "challenge" - there are 55 ways to mess up this block. 55 pitfalls. How many could I avoid?

I was supremely apprehensive about this challenge. When in doubt, go back and read the instructions.

"Get ready for an exciting quilting challenge that will leave you feeling inspired and creative! AccuQuilt is thrilled to present the GO! North Carolina Star as the die for the October challenge, a fantastic opportunity to showcase your quilting skills and creativity.

Throughout the month of October, we invite you to create a stunning quilt using the GO! North Carolina Star Die from AccuQuilt. This quilt block is complex when paper piecing, but with their die, it’s never been easier to make!

This die features precise cuts and effortless fabric alignment, plus it’s fat quarter friendly.

You don’t have to make a North Carolina Star block, feel free to come up with a new block design using the pieces of this die! There is no requirement to what kind of project you make: table runner, wall hanging, throw quilt, sleeping bag, tote bag - let your imagination run wild!"

Wild? This was wild enough.

I needed to tame this beast. 

This sentence jumped out - You don’t have to make a North Carolina Star block, feel free to come up with a new block design using the pieces of this die!

I had  to simplify this complicated block, while maintaining the spirit of the challenge. See my audition block below.

Audition Block

Each of the aqua squares was a quarter square triangle in the original/traditional block. Changing the QST into a simple square definitely simplified the block, reduced the number of seams (fewer mistakes/mismatched seams), while still keeping the overall look of the block.

Time to design. I turned to EQ8.

I chose the fabric line - Modern Opulence, Original Collection by Deb Tucker of Studio 180 Designs.  I absolutely love this collection. It is warm and beautiful with all the values from the lightest yellow (almost white) to the darkest brown.

Here are some of the initial EQ8 designs that were discarded.

Four Blocks = Runner = Blah!

Four Blocks on Point - Its alright :-(

Five Blocks + Four Alternate/Filler Blocks - Kinda Busy

This didn't work as well as I had expected

Five + Four (Changed Alternate Block) - NAH!

Five + Four - On the right path...

Four + Four + One - Keep going...

I think we are there!

This was my final design. WAS. I loved the illusion of intersecting circles. 

Illusion! Of Circle!!! 

Oh yes, I knew what to do. 

Oh yes! This is it!!!

Removing the four corners reinforced the illusion of circle. I had found the holy grail following the trail of the Star of North Carolina.

Full steam ahead!

Block on Board - All pieces cut at once

First Block

I am a little fuzzy about what happened next. I was in a dazed frenzy. 

Woman on a mission... but it ended here.

All blocks done! 

Finished Flimsy!!!

Although I could die and go to heaven at this point, it still needed quilting and binding and photoshoot and this blogpost.  

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

Aurifil Thread and Quilting Detail

Radiance finished at 40" square. The blocks are 12" and the borders are 2". I used Schmetz Needle for piecing (80/12) and quilting (90/14). I used Hobbs 80/20 Batting. The border and binding are Island Batik Solid Black. I used my walking foot to quilt wavy lines. 

Here are pictures from the photoshoot.

Inner Glow

Warm and Inviting

Rough Backdrop, Smooth Finish

Gold Bloom?

Cloudy Skies and Sunny Quilt

Hanging Out at a Winery!

I LOVE these colors!!!

Here are some close-up shots.

Cream, Caramel, Orange, Honey, Cinnamon and Cocoa - I could eat you up!!!

Shimmering against the Black Background

Grid Quilting


I could apologize for the very long, process-heavy, picture-laden post, but I am not sorry :-)

I would have NEVER attempted this block, if it was not for the Island Batik challenge.  I was flung into the rough seas so far out that my comfort zone was not even visible on the horizon. But I am thrilled at the outcome and humbled by the experience

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties, see full list on the sidebar. Your glowing comments  make me glow too. And if you have any words of wisdom or criticisms, I welcome them, for they keep me grounded!

One last look!