Thursday, December 15, 2011

'Peppermint' mug rugs


My boys are coming home soon! 
They love making their own peppermint mocha when they are together and,
this season will be no different!
I am ready for them to use these 'Peppermint Mug Rugs' 

Stitched with love and in lots of anticipation.

 I couldn't make just two or three...


They were so much fun to make.. 


 I made a whole bunch! 


They also made good tree ornaments. Don't know why this picture would not post itself straight.
But if you don't mind turning your head sideways,
here it is!


Have a wonderful weekend!





Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like...

House Top and Pine Forest


 A perfect beginning of the holiday season! 
I finished my very first Christmas quilt this year before I began decorating!
I made this quilt top last year and blogged about it here but had decided to hand quilt so it had to wait until the time was right. 
 
It is lightly hand quilted with white Perle Cotton, bound with pieced bias binding and hung in the hallway ready to greet the boys when they come home this holiday season!  


 This is how I decked the hall this year. 
Hanging in the far end is my 'Confetti' quilt.


I included my quilt 'Cranberry Sauce' for some photo fun!


  Scraps were from the basket. I was cleaning and sorting out the scraps and decided to make a red and green quilt, my way


Nine blocks include fabrics from so many quilts I made in the past.
It is a true scrap quilt.
It will brighten up the hallway for many more years to come.

Time to start a new quilt for next year!



Friday, December 2, 2011

An Indian Crazy Quilt


I don't even know how to begin writing this post.

My friend Terry Kramzar just returned from her trip to India. To welcome her back and hear all about her experiences, our friend Christine invited us 'quiltinies' to her house. I took some hand work with me so I could stitch while I chat with my friends.

Who was I kidding?

Every time we meet, we have show and tell of our current projects and share a new book, magazine or new ideas and sewing related gadgets. Not to mention sharing the stories of our lives.. What good is a circle of friends if you can't share your lives? With a group that is made of the author and teacher Cheryl Lynch, Award winning fiber artist Terry Kramzar (won the first prize at Houston this year) and gem of a soul and talented quilter and teacher, Kelly Meaninx and equally talented friends Christine (Who I think should have a blog) and Jane, we always have plenty to look forward to.

I must have taken as few as10 stitches on my quilt. Rest of the time was spent with my jaws wide open! Terry had so much to share! The goodies she brought back from India and the stories that went with each of them! The food she ate and the places she visited. I am not kidding, I felt as if I went with her on the trip and came back in a day with lots of colorful memories!

After lunch she went to her car and came back with five big heavy rolls in her arms. Each of them were personalized. She had carefully chosen appropriate color of the gift for each of us.

 

This is what she brought back for me! Isn't it beautiful? It is an Indian crazy quilt made of embroidered patchwork.

India is a very diverse country. The handicraft and clothing is no exception. This one quilt alone is made of many embroidered patchworks from different states and regions. Here are a few of the close up shots I took of this quilt.

I hope you enjoy these pictures and please visit Cheryl and Kelly's blog to see other beautiful pieces on their blogs.























 Most of the embroidery is done by hand. All of these patches are either the remnants of a dress or a sari,
There are even some wool pieces. They are stitched on a light weight canvas and each of the patches are edged with very light weight white rope. This is strictly for decoration. I don't think anyone would like to cuddle up in canvas:)

While I was growing up, I never had any interest in embroidery but I know why I love to hand quilt. There is something about the textures that draws me to it. I was also very much into wearing ethnic clothing. This quilt reminds me of oh so many cloths I used to wear from different regions. If only I had saved them, I would make a crazy quilt and treasure it forever!



Terry, If you are reading this, I have found a perfect spot for this gift. Thank you so much! 
Christine, thank you for opening your home, for that wonderful food and most of all, being the person that you are!
I learn so much from each of my friends every time we meet. I hope you all are also blessed with friends who make your lives better.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

National Corduroy Day!

It is finally here! 
The excitement has been building on for months! 
I think Nifty did a great job being the ringleader of this celebration. Wouldn't you agree?
I decided to make a small quilt and use up an old unfinished project. 

I am so glad I did!



Now the question is, how is it going to be used?


It is only 12 inches wide
 and
 a mile long!


 You would think as a table runner?


It is true to my style.

It is hand quilted with Perle cotton thread. My favorite! 

It is wonky!

It lays flat but it's 'organic' and 'fluid' just the way I like it!


I had so much fun taking pictures of this quilt.
K suggested I should take on a job of a window displayer ( is that a word?) 


In the hallway, with pillows from India!
K came home from school and asked, "Mom, are we getting a bit carried away? Who in the world lays pillows around in the hallway?"
She is right! I don't have those laying around on the floor.
Just today, for the pictures.



After few tries on where and how to use this long quilt, I found a perfect corner in the house!
Looks pretty artsy to me. It shows of it's curved binding very well.



This quilt got it's own special hanger.
It is made from a copper pipe wrapped with cotton rope. I tied extra rope at the end to make it look like a scroll.
All it look were two tiny holes at each end of the pipe to insert the hanger made of garden wire.
Pretty cool,  right?

And, since I have taken so many pictures, I might as well share them with you!






 I was not sure if there were any rules for this challenge so I took the liberty of using linen and used cotton dress for the zigzag. 

 I like to cut my binding 2 1/4" wide and for curvy edges I prefer bias binding. 
 Love how it snugs the edges. 

 Deb also talked about cutting up some long corduroyee food.. 

That gave me an idea!

If those project runway people can design cloths out of almost anything,  

Why can't I?

So here it is.

A quilt made out of corduroy food!


Few strips of zucchini, carrots and celery on my cutting board,
and it was delicious!

 Are you inspired?



Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Preview!

National Corduroy Day!

It is just around the corner! 

Deb Rowden and Nifty has got me excited about the National Corduroy Day on 11-11-11.

I finished my challenge quilt and thought you all should have a sneak peek!

Hope you come back for lot more pictures of the quilt and it's inspiration. 

 You might want to visit Nifty's blog to see the list bloggers who are participating in this fun challenge!


  See you on the 11th!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Medallion

It has been a while since I have worked on a new quilt. With my limited ability to use the rotary cutter and iron, I am doing anything I can to keep my creativity going. In an effort to feel accomplished I pulled out another one of those old projects. The goal is to finish as many of those UFOs as possible. Even if it means that I end up with more quilt tops in future.


Almost a year ago I had started playing with the scraps of my Ferris Wheel quilt. I did not think it was ever going to turn into anything at all but I liked the way it looked after I sewed the background so I wanted more!

I am going to post some versions of this quilt. As the quilt evolved on the design wall, it started changing. I am not sure how it will end up in the end. I am enjoying the process and who knows where it might lead itself.


Wheel surrounded with bold patches of strips. I think they make the wheel stand out on it's own no matter how crazy it gets. Love those bold strips!


The wheel with patches made from smaller bits.
I am looking for a horizontal quilt to hang in my hallway. Trying to find a focal point that is off center and still balance the quilt. Not really difficult thing to do but after a while of staring at this craziness, I feel like I am going blind!


Still growing!


And, evolving! 
I like the little slivers of black along the edges. I am going to leave it alone for few more days on the design wall and see what happens next.

My scrap bin is almost empty which can be a good thing! 

I am ready for some fresh new colors to work with and,
this 4'X6' quilt gives cleaning up the sewing room a new meaning! 
 
Have a great day!





Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Back to the sewing room!


It has been six weeks since my shoulder surgery.  About a week into the surgery, I started being restless.
As much as I would like to call myself ambidextrous, pressing and cutting the fabrics is not fun when I use my left hand. So I had to wait and be the good girl, listen to the therapists and follow the plan!

Those of you who have had to stay away from creative process know how difficult this waiting game can be!


Scraps from Zigzag 40" X 45"


Leftover scraps from the quilt, "Gridlock"  40" X 48"

At four weeks' mark, I decided to start sewing. I came up with enough scraps (already cut squares) to make three baby quilts. I am not sure when I will be able to quilt them but whenever they get done, they are going to keep some babies warm .

It feels good that I have used up most of those leftover squares. Now I can make more! Hopefully, of different colors!  Having finished some of the quilts just before the surgery, now I have enough confidence to machine quilt and find them good homes.

As far as the shoulder goes, you can see that it is recovering surprisingly well!
Thank you all for your emails and notes, comments and well wishes on my previous post. It is good to be back. I have missed being here and staying connected!







Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Show and Tell...



 Yes, I actually have finished quilts to talk about!

Not just one.. but four!

Remember this? 


Done!
 
and, this?
Finished!

Hand quilted and bound!

This one waited for two years to be machine quilted..

Done!


And finally, K's quilt is also machine quilted and on her bed.

I sat on my machine (on my chair) last week and kept repeating like that little engine that could.

I think, I can! I think, I can!

I was quite apprehensive about quilting these big quilts myself on the machine.
 But here is the truth...
The house does not get cleaned unless someone has those cleaning gloves on 
and...
I can not turn that tall pile of quilt tops into quilts unless I put on my quilting gloves!
So I did!
 I basted those quilts and got right to it.
Two out of four quilts were done last week.
I felt like a super woman!


I had some help from K and her friends capturing that feeling!


  I don't think they minded the heat!

That's what quilts do! Make you feel happy and forget about everything.

Don't your think these smiles make those quilts shine even more?

Well, I am ending this summer with a really great note!

It has been the most memorable summer in a long time and I am sad to end it with another long blogging break.

I have had rotator cuff injury for last two years.

Next Tuesday, I am going in for a surgery.

It has been bothering me for quite sometime and it is time to fix it!


I don't know how long this break will be but quite relieved that the pile has shrunk just a bit before the surgery and recovery..

Four down and 36 more to go!

I will be back with better shoulder and even more motivated to finish them all.

Look what two months of being away from the sewing room did!

All I had to do was, believe.

"Yes, I can!"

Hopefully, I will be back before you even have chance to miss me!

By the way,
 I can not tell you how appreciative I am of each of you visiting me and taking the time to leave a comment. If you are a no-reply blogger, please send me your email address so I can stay in touch with you. Thank you for being my blogging friends and sharing this journey.

Going back to the sewing room..

One more finish? 

Who knows!

You will have to wait and see :)