Sunday, December 17, 2023

Celebrate Diwali

As the daylight hours decrease and the darkness envelops the northern hemisphere, Hindus all over the world celebrate Diwali - the festival of lights. You may have seen the newish British Prime Minister and his family celebrate Diwali at 10 Downing Street.

I have talked about my Diwali Memories and I made my first Diwali Quilt last year. 

This year when Island Batik gave us the choice to make a quilt project "celebrating" our favorite holiday, I knew instantly that I will be making a Diwali Quilt, using a fabric collection called Celebrate!!! Could there be a more appropriate fabric line to make this quilt? 

I started by making candles with two tone flames. All piecing was done using a 80/12 Schmetz Needle and 50 wt Aurifil Thread


Some height adjustments were made to create interest.

Tall and Short

The next step was adding text.  I marked the center and spaced the letters evenly. 

Marking the Center before placing the letters

I appliqued the letters and stitched them using a simple stitch without a break!  Check the picture below.


Once that was done, it was time to baste and quilt. I used Schmetz 90/14 Needle and Aurifil 40 wt thread for quilting. The batting is Thermore by Hobbs.

Quilting Lines Marked

And here is my completed Celebration quilt!!! Happy Diwali Mini Quilt finished at 14.5" by 20.5"

Happy Diwali Mini Quilt

Finished Mini Quilt - 20.5" by 14.5"

But wait there is more. Celebrations are always more than one thing and so is this post.  

I continued playing with these gorgeous fabrics and made this joyful quilt. I used my Accuquilt 8" GO QUBE to make the smaller half square triangles.  So. Many. Triangles!!! It is good to have an Accuquilt Cutter.

All piecing was done using a 80/12 Schmetz Needle and 50 wt Aurifil Thread

Koi Pond

Finishing at 60" square, I have named it Koi Pond.  Picture this - Colorful fish who ate lots of Diwali sweets (or Christmas cookies) and are now swimming in circles, chasing each other as they burn off their sugar high :-D

Let's get closer. Do you see the little swirls in the background fabric? These fish are creating some serious ripples :-D

Such happy fabrics

The background is Doughnut (Island Batik Neutrals) and the binding is Island Batik Solid Yellow.  I used Schmetz 90/14 Needle and Aurifil 40 wt thread for quilting. The batting is Thermore by Hobbs.

Kissing Fish

True Story - When I was arranging the quilt over the mailbox, prior to taking this picture, a woman stopped her car, rolled down her window and complemented me :-) I was so tickled. I smiled and thanked her. Then I continued smiling the whole day.

But enough about me. What is a celebration without sharing? So here is a free tutorial for you to make your own Scrappy Swirling Fish block. This may be a suitable block for Rainbow Scrap challenge next year. Let me know what you think.

May the holiday season bring you joy and peace that continues into the new year. I will treat every comment like a cherished holiday greeting. Big Squishy Hugs!!!

Swirling Fish Block Tutorial

This tutorial will make two identical fish blocks. 

Background Fabric  - Five squares 5"
Assorted Green Fabrics - One square 9", five squares 5"
Contrasting Solid (choose a color different from background fabric) - One square 9"

Make two large half square triangles - Cut size 8.5", Finished size 8"
On the wrong side of the contrasting solid square (9"), draw a line connecting two diagonal corners. Place the large green square (9") right sides together with the contrasting solid square (9").  Stitch 1/4" away from the drawn line, on both sides. Cut on the drawn line. Press and square both HSTs to 8.5". Set aside.

Make ten smaller half square triangles - Cut size 4.5". Finished size 4".
On the wrong side of a background square (5"), draw a line connecting two diagonal corners. Place a 5" green square right sides together with the 5" background square. Stitch 1/4" away from the drawn line, on both sides. Cut on the drawn line. Press and square both HSTs to 4.5". Similarly make the remaining eight HSTs. 

Arrange and stitch as shown.

STEP 1 - Stitch the four smaller HSTs in two pairs as shown by arrows

STEP 2 - Stitch the large HST to the top HST pair.  Stitch the lower HST pair to the fifth smaller HST.

STEP 3 - Stitch the two pieced units together to complete the block

STEP 4 - Press and square to 12.5"

Do a happy dance, much like the swirling fish :-D Complete the second fish block.

Now make more in all the colors of the rainbow. The smaller HSTs are a great way to use up leftover squares from charm packs. 

Here are a few more examples.

Yellow Fish

Red Fish

Orange Fish

Purple Fish

Nine blocks (arranged 3 by 3) will make a 36" square baby quilt. I recommend adding 2" borders (to protect your points) for a 40" finished quilt.

30 blocks (5 by 6) will make a Lap/Throw/Mercyful Quilt, measuring 60" by 84". Please make sure that you add borders to protect the points.

Questions? Ask away and I will answer here so that all can see. 

I will share this tutorial with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.

Sunday, December 10, 2023


Let me introduce you to Olivia.

Olivia likes the outdoors!

She is simple, layer-cake friendly, and suitable for beginners and advanced quilters alike. I used the Buds and Blooms Garden collection to make Olivia.

This is such a beautiful collection with a wide range of values from light yellow, through medium red and orange all the way to deep purple. I love these warm colors. Look for Buds and Blooms Layer Cake in your local quilt store.

Here are some more pictures.

Breezy Day

Glowing Fabrics

Gorgeous Fabrics

To make Olivia, you need one layer cake, one focus fabric and background. I am sure you have a layer cake that is (almost) too pretty to cut up.  Olivia makes sure that your fabric shines while you get a fun and fast quilt in the colors of your choice.

Quilting Detail

Backing, Binding & Label

Finishing at 60" by 84", Olivia is a perfect size for Mercyful Quilts as well as Quilt of Valor. 

Here are a couple of mock-ups in Red, White and Blue. 

Olivia in "Porcelain Blue" Collection with Red (Island Batik Blender) 

Olivia in "Red, White & Blooms" Collection with Blue (Island Batik Blender) 

My detailed instructions show how to distribute the fabrics evenly throughout the quilt, with no two blocks the same.  Olivia is now available in my Etsy Shop. Priced at $10, it is a steal but you can get it for just $8 till December 15, 2023.

Thank you, Paul

I will be by the river, enjoying a picnic with Paul and Olivia. But if you want to win a copy of Olivia quilt pattern, please leave me a comment on this post, mentioning your favorite colors to make this quilt. If you show up as Anonymous, please include your email address. 

I will pick one lucky winner next week. I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.

UPDATE: The two lucky winners are #18 and #39. Emails have been sent.