Monday, December 17, 2012

To the land of marigolds

Finally, the bags are packed and I am ready to take off and visit my mom. 

There will be no stringing of marigolds like you see here. 

This was back in 1987 just a day before my brother got married. 

 My baby sister and I sat with our brother in law and strung away the marigolds all day long. 

Don't we all look Vintage?  

There's been no sewing in last few weeks but I thought I would leave you with a picture of quilts from last couple of years.

Merry Christmas 
  Happy New year!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Excitement is in the air!

It has been busy here in this household. I don't even know where to start. Sewing has been on the back burner for some time due to many celebrations. "Diwali", also known as the Festival of Lights being one of them. It is the celebration of Hindu New Year. Just like Thanksgiving and Christmas, Diwali is also celebrated with family and friends. There were lots of parties and perfect occasion to be wrapped in silk saris.

It's a good thing that I have all my Indian clothes out because I have been busy making plans for some travels. We are going to visit India this winter. It has been only two and half years since my last visit but a long time for rest of the family. And it is quite special this time around because all my siblings are going to be together with my mom after at least 14 years at the same time.

Just can't wait!

While in India, we are going to travel to the state of Rajasthan, Partial home of Ralli Quilts and mind blowing embroidered work. I am looking forward to the opportunity of seeing those craftsmen/women work from up close. It's going to be a real treat.

Jaisalmer is a city known as The Golden City. Here is the link of Google Images for this place.  Total eye candy!

Jodhpur is another nearby city I am going to be walking the streets of. It is known as the Blue City!

Check these images out! I can hardly hold my excitement.
I think about being in the middle of it all and my heart stops a beat!

I wonder what kind of quilts I will be working on after this trip. It has been very slow around here as far as quilting goes but still keeping busy with lots of wonderful things.

Blue and Orange have got my attention this year. Check out my Pin boards on Pinterest and you will know exactly what I mean.

This is the quilt I had made in 2004 after a visit back home in 2002. It is still one of my favorites of all the quilts I have made.

Soooo looking forward to visit the land of colors and textures where lots of family and old friends eagerly await, many new and familiar sites to visit.

To show our kids the world so different from theirs is going to be an experience of a lifetime!

Just can't wait!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Handkerchief Quilt

I think I should call it Houses made of sticks and stones.
It is truly made out of what I would have otherwise discarded in a heartbeat if it wasn't for Bonnie Hunter's lecture at our guild couple of weeks ago.
I was so impressed by her quilts, all traditional and made from scraps cut in itty-bitty pieces and strings.
I bought one of her books for some inspirations. I was already feeling as if she was speaking my language. I have hard time throwing away scraps but I end up making mostly improv string quilts with them. So after hearing her talk, I came home and decided to organize my scraps the way she explained and give a traditional quilt a try.

Well, that didn't go as well as I imagined. Few squares cut out of scraps and I was done with that "cutting up my scraps and putting them away for later use" method.
I had to make something right away. So I started this project by cutting them up into 1 1/2" strings.

The only problem, I had mix of all kinds of scraps, dull and brights. To make things easier and since I had vowed to not take contents of the scrap bins back into the sewing room, I decided to make two of the same quilts at a time. A woman's handkerchief quilt and a man's handkerchief quilt.

My husband loves the version below.

Current size: 22"X 45"

Needless to say, I had more of dull and old looking strings from forever ago! These blocks are the same size as the bright ones. I like the contrast and real handkerchief look of these blocks. And, in a way they are made out of sticks and stones. Almost insignificant prints and colors compare to my current taste in fabrics. I wouldn't have given them a second look. But yet, here they are... Sitting pretty next to each other.At least that's what I think.

I can easily see these quilts as an ongoing project. I am not going to rush this one. I will make these blocks as I gather scraps from my other quilts. That way I will keep my bins under control and will know exactly which quilt they will go to.

I think it's great idea! Don't you? Choose a block or a pattern, and keep cutting away pieces for that quilt.Thanks, Bonnie!

Finished block 7.5" X 7.5"

Here is how the block is made.

Start with a 3" square. The numbers in the picture represent the cut size.
The strings are 1 1/2" wide. When I cut them from leftover scraps, tried to get two strings from the same piece. For example, 3 and 4 inch and paired them up. Longer strings were cut out of longer chunks. Little ones from the smaller pieces.

You get the idea.

No rhyme or reason where they all go as long as there is some what contrast in the piecing.
That's all!

Want to make one? It goes really fast once you have cut strings. Since I am not preplanning the quilts, it will be itneresting to see how the colors and prints of the blocks evolve with time and with scraps at hand.

I guess we all will have to wait and see!

I also cut more of my red and yellow hsts.

Keeping busy while not sewing with yummy food and company of friends.
Life is good!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Quilting Retreat in Poconos

Every year my friend Cheryl hosts a retreat at her mountain home in Poconos. This was my first time up there. I can't tell you how great it was to hang out with my friends and sew around the kitchen table for a few days.

I worked on hsts and came home with plenty of colorful scraps.

Kelly worked on her mostly blue quilt and I came home with her scraps too.  I am strangely fascinated by these two pictures above. The bowl sits pretty and makes me smile every time I look at it.

We went on a walk and this is where I took extra deep breaths. Lilies were all gone but floating carpet of it's foliage was pretty interesting.

Cheryl's dog Bailey was leading the way. I guess she knows her way around there very well. 

This was the views from my chair the whole time I was sewing and talking up a storm.

In her neighborhood, someone had this awesome driftwood sitting in their yard. Settled in it's spot, it fit right in as if it was meant to be there.

I came back home to this view from my front door.

I got really inspired and started working on not one, but three different projects. 

I started cleaning my scraps bins and decided it was time to make few mini four patches. This project may turn into an ongoing scrap buster project.The green background is my yoga mat. Hmmm.. I wonder if I should use green for the back ground! What do you think?

An old favorite pattern was perfect to use up those leftover strings. This too will be an ongoing project. These blocks are inspired from a picture of an old handkerchief quilt.

It is fall. I should be inspired by the colors of outdoors. But I rather work with what's in front of me.

My scraps!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A new project!

Just wanted to pop by and say hello!

 Scraps are back only at the kitchen table but it seems like I have taken over the whole house.

Lots of old and new fabrics are coming together.

I am loving these bright colors

Trying to stretch the summer as long as I can with these warm and happy fabrics.

Monday, August 20, 2012

An artist in the family

My sister-in-law's husband, Vilas recently picked up the paint brushes and look what happened!

He also loves nature photography. Back in the days when we all lived in India, he would occasionally have slide show for us to enjoy. Something I used to look forward to. His subject matters were always interesting.

You can check out more of his work here.

I know, this is a shameless plug but he is so modest. He didn't ask for this. He doesn't even know I am doing this! A very quiet yet funny guy. I like him and this is the least I can do.

Hope you enjoy visiting his art.

Oh and while you are here, don't miss the two lovely zigzag quilts made by the members of Rebels in the previous post. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

More zigzag quilts

  Made by Cindy Gilbrough
"Streak of Lightening" made by Dorothy Leboeuf AKA Buffy
Cindy made her quilt with repetition of one block. It creates the movement I illustrated in my earlier post. I love the feeling of wild and free in Cindy's quilt. I also love the muted and marbleized effect of thrift market shirts in Buffy's quilt. 

I still haven't made my last of the blocks for the quilt. Happily got a little side tracked with other important things in life. My sister visited from Canada and now my son is here to enjoy last few days of his summer break. Little sister can not be happier!

Soon they will be back to school and I will have all the time in the world to quilt. So I choose to be away from the sewing room at the moment and we are cooking and chatting up a storm around the kitchen table.

Between the meals and other breaks I try to see what everyone is up to in the blogland. I found Julia Wood of Green Quilts also working on her zigzag blocks. She makes one block a day. Don't you think it is a great idea? Something to work on everyday that is consistent and doesn't take much time. It also keeps you focused without having to think what to do when you enter the sewing room.

I found Kim and Beth working on their zigzag quilts too. They were inspired by LeeAnn's quilt you already may have seen.

Are you inspired? Want to join the fun?

My friend, Beth of Smazoochie started a QAL for streak of lightning just in time. Visit here and read all about it. There is a flickr group for those who are interested.

Have a great weekend!
I am going to see what's so funny in the family room.

I almost forgot!

Have you visited Rachael at Blue Mountain Daisy? She is one of my favorite Aussie bloggers. I love her spirit and funky personality and she is talking about me in her Fun Friday Feature.

Go check it out! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A summer garden story

When I was a little girl, we visited our grandmother's house every summer. She lived in Gokul, home of the Lord Krishna near the banks of the Yamuna river. The temperatures during those summer days in northern India used to be so high, we spent most of our time on the sandy beach of the river. Apart from digging the wells with our bare hands, making sand castles and picking wild berries from the bushes near by, we would attempt to catch baby frogs and turtles with our little hands. Occasionally we would be successful too. Those little frogs were so slimy we could hardly keep them in our hands more than few seconds. It was fun to watch them swim away when we released them back in the river.

The frog plays violin.
Well, I got little side tracked. This is not the story about my childhood but just wanted to share the roots of why I have frogs in my garden. They sit quietly and remind me of my childhood.

This is a story about a chipmunk and the frog who plays violin in my garden.

 Chipmunk found the frog
He wondered and wanted to ask the frog if he was lost but the frog continued playing his violin.
He stood there for a while listening to the music.
He looked around and saw a crowd gathering.
They were so happy they started singing along.
He begged and pleaded the frog to let him play a bit.

The frog said, "Yes!" After all, he was a music loving soul. They played the violin together!   

The End!

I took my little one to the very same sandy beach one summer when she was seven months old.
Oh the years have gone by! Here she is with my big sister.

A different type of garden is developing in my studio.
I will come back with more pictures.

Meanwhile, check out some ideas for scrap quilts on Basket Full of Scraps.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Few Answers for Painted Zigzag

If you missed my previous post, refer to it while reading this.

Just want to do a quick post and answer few of the questions I have been asked.

This illustration shows how your zigzag would look if all the blocks were made the same.
I kind of like it. It almost replicates the angle of lightning in stormy weather.

To make my hsts I used even 4" squares, cut them diagonally and after sewing the hsts, trimmed them down to 3.5". The square then finished at 3". The block measures Nine inch square.

I am going to the Hershey show today. If you are going to be there, please say hello. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Painted Zigzag

Oil Pastels come to mind when I see this quilt. 

It's made of total of 81 blocks, Nine HSTs per block. I made total 739 of them. 
Oh and the HSTs are finished 3".

This is how my design wall looks right now. 

Painted Zigzag
The quilt measures 81" X 81". I am debating whether to add another row at the bottom so it is long enough for the bed.
 Here is a close up of the quilt in progress. 

Click on the picture to see it in full screen. And, don't look for perfection.. You wont find it here. The fabrics varied in content and in counts. There is even one piece with polyester in it. 

After sewing first few blocks I figured out that this quilt required two different blocks. In other words,  a mirror image of the first block.

It is set with nine rows, each containing nine blocks. 
Row 1,3,5,7 and 9: made with block - A
Row 2,4,6 and 8: made with block - B

I drew out the illustration for those who might be interested.
Let me know if you are impressed with my high-tech drawing.
You may want to pay close attention to the direction of pressing the seams. 
It might make piecing of the quilt a lot easier later. 
Block - A

Press the seams in the direction of the arrows.
Once the rows are sewn, press the seams in one direction. Make total of 45 blocks. 

While setting the blocks, simply rotate alternating block upside down. 
Refer to the illustration or the close up of the quilt.
 (In the picture Block - B is on the top and bottom and block - A is in the middle)


Press the seams in the direction of the arrows. Once sewn in rows, press the seam in the same direction as Block - A
You will need 36 of Block - B
Again rotate each alternating block upside down. 

Super easy, simple and quite graphic.

I love my 'Painted Zigzag'. 

At first I though I should call it 'Summer Storms' 

The floral prints, all the thunderstorms in past week or two, sewing with the view of the garden and the original name in the book, Bold Improvisation "Streak of Lightening", all were pointing towards that name. But once I put the blocks on the design wall, all I could think of was old paint boards with paint chipping off. Layers and layers coming through those chiseled zigzag.. 

And so, 'Painted Zigzag' it is.

LeeAnn thought it would be a good idea to start a quilt-along. I think she already did. 
Wouldn't you agree?

I will be happy to answer any question you may have regarding this quilt. Just send me an email. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A quilt for someone very special

A quilt with sports theme.

Perfect for a little Nolan with soccer balls and bicycles on the front and football helmets and baseballs on the back.

I hope this keeps him warm and cozy this fall.

I have been sewing away these hsts still at the kitchen table, staying cool and having fun.

Enter to Win Bernina 455 QE Kaffe Edition

Hey everyone! It has been a while! I have to share some great news! I have some great giveaway announcement!     Alex and Ricky at TheQuiltS...