Thursday, October 1, 2015

A New Chapter - The Move

When things happen in your life, it happens in buckets.. Literally!!!
Good or bad, they are happening!

It is a full circle event for the two of us. We are moving to San Francisco Bay Area, where Nilesh and I first started our lives together in the US. Where I had all my three children and began my journey as a quilter. 

It's been less than two weeks since my husband accepted a new job. This could not have come at a better time in our lives. This means major downsizing of the space we occupy on this planet and I am okay with that.

I am simply excited!

I started this blog in January of 2010 with one simple thought, to stay in touch with my quilting friends in Seattle. In five years I have now made friends all over the world. I have had best of the best opportunities to connect with people and learn through these friendships. You all have been so supportive of this blog and to me.
I am forever grateful for each one of you for that.

There is a lot to do. I am packing my sewing room like there is no tomorrow. We are putting our house on the market soon. House hunting on the west coast is going to be an enormous task. I am still trying to wrap my head around this new development in our lives.

I may quiet down from here on for a while but will continue here as my journey through life and quilting moves forward through the unknowns. Hope you stick around!


Friday, September 4, 2015

Spots on Leaves

About a month or so ago my son living in Seattle called at 9:30 PM. I am always happy to hear his voice but we had already spoken earlier in the evening so I was a little surprised to hear back from him the same day.  

His cousin had given him a plant which she got from me when we moved from Seattle to Pennsylvania. She thought Gautam should also have a cutting of the same plant in his first home. 
Gautam had been taking care of it for few days and noticed some yellow spots appearing on his plants. Since I am the self appointed plant doctor in the family, he knew he will  get some answers. 

Our conversation went something like this.

Gautam-''I think I am killing this plant, it has yellow spots on it."

Me- ''You must be over-watering it."

Gautam- ''Mom it is in the water and it has lots of roots!''

Me- ''Oh! Send me the picture of your plant.''

And he did! It is the plant he grew up seeing his entire life.. Or should I say Not seeing? It has been in my home even before he was born! Philodendron! A tropical plant with natural variegation!

I couldn't help but laugh. He was adorable!

He then went on and on about plants and gardening and sent few more images of another plant he bought from a nursery. He asked for my help with plant selection for his yard when I visit him.
I happily agreed and we ended our conversation.

I hung up the phone and thought my aeronautical engineer, computer games playing son was talking plants! I was thrilled! This whole conversation had left me happily surprised. This had to be the first time ever he talked about plants. 

Later that month his sister visited him and reported to me that he wants to grow as many plants as he can in his home! And he is checking this plant every morning to see if it grew overnight!

I needed to memorize this conversation, this story of his life!

I chose the fabrics with spots and dark colors to mark the timing of our phone conversation. Yellow is the accent color in his house. I used free-form crazy quilt block for the background.

Needle-turn applique gave me something to do while I was recovering on the couch.

Limited colors kept it modern and not too cute. Star fabric was added for his love for space and the night sky. Wavy quilting lines are for the water in the vase.

New leaves to show the growth and airiness and lighter leaves on the other side to add dimensions.

I freehanded the vase to look like a rocket! Which by the way, he loves to build and fire!

I machine quilted the quilt and left the leaves untouched to be free of the background. I may add stitches while I am there but for now, just curious to know what he will think of this quilt.

It is ready with the sleeve on the back. I really hope he likes it. I wanted to give him something to remember that late evening when he and I talked plants.

It wasn't that long ago when I started this quilt. Remember this? It's good to have something done and give away.
Tomorrow I will be in Seattle! 
My class at Quiltworks Northwest Beads and Beyond is on the 12th has few spots left. Come join me for free-form Lattice, Hourglass and Railfence fun!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend!


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Winner of Cultural Fusion Quilts and Update on Lyme

My plan was to draw a winning number last night at midnight but time slipped away. 

Since I am over half a day late, without further due...

The winner of my book Cultural Fusion Quilts is PK Sews.

Here is what she said.

''Ohh. Your quilt is beautiful. I have an Amy Butter layer cake and a few fat quarters, and I haven't figured out what to do with them yet. I would love to make a quilt like this. I like the design decision you made about the quilting. Stippling in the background to give dimension to the lattice gives this quilt such a rich surface! I like Cap 1. Thanks for sharing this, and for the chance to win your beautiful book!''

Congratulations PK Sews!!!
Please send me an email with your address so I can send you a signed copy of my book.

Now the second good news!
My tests results came clear of Lyme infection. It has been long couple of months. I am relieved beyond explanation.

Thank you all for your sending good thoughts and wishes.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, August 24, 2015

A new quilt with Bright Heart by Amy Butler and a Giveaway!

This Giveaway is Now Closed!

The first time I ever used fabrics by Amy Butler was back in 2005. I wasn't so much into buying fabrics and definitely not aware of designers and manufacturers. I would see fabrics I like, buy in minimum yardage allowed by the fabric shops and mix them with my own stash (which was also minimal) at home. 

Few months after my Houston trip, Amy and I decided to do a little collaboration. I offered to make a quilt with her fabrics. When Bright Heart collection arrived in the mail, I was excited to show how floral prints would work with free-form blocks. I chose ''Lattice'' pattern from my book so the quilt would look like a view outside my windows during summer months. I decided to also add a few shot cottons to create the background for prints to spark.

Amy's Bright Heart Collection inspired by her visit to Mexico and people she connected with. Name of her fabric line pretty much describes her as I know her. Bright at heart and grounded.

Here is the quilt made with Bright Heart Quilting Cotton - Cap One ''grounded''

Outlining the lattice and filling in the background with simple stippling was a way to go for this quilt.

It allowed me to create enough texture and dimensions to the quilt and gave it see through effect.

Most of the fabrics in this colorway were medium tone, I wanted to keep the quilt as soft as possible so instead of adding darker solids I went with light and medium tones of shot cottons. 

First time I ever used Amy Butler's fabrics was for my Wagon Wheel quilt. Although the whole quilt was not exclusively made with her fabrics, they gave me a great start. One of my first ''not so straight'' quilt was made using Denise Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy. It was made with wonky squares and few tiny triangles tossed all over the quilt. I called that pattern Box of Candies. I think that quilt gives a nice contrast to Amy's lush fabrics.

Here is some photo fun!

August is my birthday month. I would like to end this month on a happy note by giving away a copy of my book Cultural Fusion Quilts. If you win it you can not only make the Lattice Quilt but 14 other fun, free-form quilts from the book!

All you have to do is tell a friend about the giveaway and leave a comment after you visit Amy Butler's website.

Answer one of the following questions.
What was one of the designing decisions for this quilt?
Which one is your favorite Cap from Bright Heart Collection?
I will ship a signed copy anywhere in the world so everyone is welcome to enter. If you already have my book (I hope you do!) I am sure your sister or a friend would love a copy!

If you haven't heard of my book... WHAT??? Well then, grab a cup of tea and spend some time here, you have a lot to catch up!

I will announce a winner next Monday. Make sure I have your email I can't reach you if you are a no-reply blogger!

Good Luck!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Recap of visit to St. Louis and Lyme Disease

I had a wonderful time in St. Louis presenting and teaching this past weekend. The guild members were generous with their time and turnout was quite flattering. Total of 120 quilt enthusiasts including non members showed up for the lecture. I enjoyed showing my slides from India and sharing the stories behind them.

Thank you Thimble and Thread Quilt Guild for the invite and your hospitality! Mary Ellen did an amazing job taking care of me! Thank you Mary Ellen for spending time with me.

Julie Sefton of Me and My Quilts - Exploring the Possibilities also drove from Tennessee to attend the lecture and workshop. It is always nice to meet my blogger friends when I travel, it makes me feel like I am surrounded by family members. Julie also brought some of her quilts she has been making from my book. It was a pleasure to see them in person! 

In the workshop on Saturday we had some rail fence fun! We explored different possibilities with the rail fence units.

While some blocks were definitely intentional,

Layout shown in the book Explored by Jezalle
zigzagging rail fence by Mary Ellen
Layout shown in the book - Blocks made by participants in the class
There was one that was all about exploring the possibilities. Or as we call it a  happy accident!

This was made by Louis. She described herself as a very much of a straight line quilter, a perfectionist. She decided to take the class after my presentation wanting to try something new!

Fabulous ''mistake'' made by Louis
All of us liked it so much so that some decided to repeat the ''mistake''!

Most of my students ended up making at least four blocks. At the end of the class there were enough blocks to make a queen size quilt!

Photograph by Jaya Parker
Here is me in action! I decided to dress Indian for the presentation. I thought it would fit the theme better ;-) I also met up with couple of Indian quilting friends I know.

Here are my two helpers showing the difference between traditional and free-form half square triangles. Julie brought her dazzling hst quilt for comparison. Thank you Julie!

Quilts made by Julie Sefton and Sujata Shah
 Did I say it was a full house?
Five minutes before the lights went off
One of the things I always like to do when I am up in the air is to stare at the clouds. They calm me down, help me focus before and after the events. 

Somewhere over Washington D.C.
How about this shot? I had never seen the Washington Monument from this angle.

It's nice to be home. I definitely need to take it easy for next couple of weeks or as much as I can.

Something I don't believe I had mentioned here earlier. When I was in Maryland for MAQ, I had noticed a rash on my body. After coming home I rushed to the doctor and was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. I have had four weeks of antibiotics in my system and still have plenty of lingering effects. All in all, I work when I can and rest most of the time. That's also the reason I have been slow at responding to your emails, making quilts and starting new projects. Hopefully these symptoms will go away soon. Until then, I am dreaming of quilts and working on few bits of fabrics at a time.

Have a great rest of the week sewing, gardening, traveling and lazying.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Birthdays and upcoming classes in St. Loius and Seattle area

and all sorts of randomness...

On Monday night I received a text from an old friend/neighbor which I have to share today.

Unfortunately, I have not gone to many quilt shops and book stores to check if they are carrying my book so it is always nice to see when someone mentions seeing it at a shop.

She was visiting a quilt shop in McMinneville, Oregon and spotted my book!

There it is! Just sitting happily!

Speaking of quilt shops, In addition to Organized Chaos I have added another class while I am in Seattle. For those of you who have asked, here is the link to the website for the class at Quiltworks Northwest in Bellevue, WA. This is the place I worked and taught classes before moving to PA. I can not wait to go back and teach there.

I hope to see you there!

We just got back from visiting Toronto for few days. My sister surprised her husband for his 60th birthday.  All of his close friends were there along with most of the family members. His party happened to be the day before Shail and my birthday. It was nice to be able to see my son on our birthday. We needed to have our selfie to mark his 24th and my 52nd birthday don't you agree?

Kavita joined us from her month long trip on the west coast. She spent volunteering on farms in Oregon and Washington state as her summer experience. I am pretty proud of her.

At the end of the trip she visited her brother Gautam, who sent me this cutest little elephant for a birthday gift.. He printed it on his 3D printer! I am still baffled and impressed by it! This thing came out of a printer!!!

I think he is a yogi!

and a kid at heart!

 A new quilt is in the making!

Last week I made a little quilt for my younger sister. Like me, she loves house plants and gardening. Last time I visited her, she had asked me to bring something small to put under her planter on the fireplace.

All the scraps came out of this quilt. Now bits and pieces of Daffodils and Winter quilts live at my sister's house.

Speaking of Daffodils, I have hired backyard birds to keep an eye on my garden this year.  


I am off to St. Louis to speak at Thimbles and Thread quilt guild for the weekend. We are making Rail Fence quilt. Can't wait!

Have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend!

Monday, August 3, 2015

This and That

I am working through my stash to pick out the fabrics for the Rail Fence QAL.
Got a bit distracted!

I had a draw just few lines.

This morning I was looking for some old pictures and spotted this image of a very loved antique quilt. Check out the triangles.

Freeform blocks!

They were 3/4 inch small! Amazing, right?

I so admire the patience of quilt-makers of that generation!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Introducing Rail Fence Quilt Along

Few of you have asked to start a quilt-along based on free-form block from my book. At the moment, rail fence is the quilt that's getting all of your attention. I think it is a great quilt to make. Considering what I went through while choosing the layout, I am hoping you all will go through the same dilemma.

Here is when I first showed my quilt in process. I titled that post - Productive days are happy days. 
At first fabric selection was the most fun part.. So I thought!

Making blocks was as much fun and that was just the beginning of my happiness. Once the blocks were ready, there was me and my design wall. There were so many possibilities to choose from!

So when you all suggested a quilt along, this became a first choice.

There are no specific requirements to be part of this. All you need is my book. I hope you have it already!

If you are a blogger, you can blog about it. If you are not, you can send me the pictures and I will share them on the blog.

I made a button for the QAL. Hooray!!!

You can grab it (if you like) and post it on your blog.

Here is the code for the QAL button.

Cultural Fusion Quilts

Add it to your layout under 

Configure HTML/JavaScript and you will have the button on your sidebar.

Are you a member of Cultural Fusion Quilts Blog? Would you like to be? Just send me an email and I will send you an invite to join.

There are no deadlines but sometime before Christmas, let's see some blocks in the making. I will leave rest to the process. I know once you start, you would want to make more than one or two.

Just ask Lynne at

I am also going to start my own version of this quilt. I am beyond excited to show you what this simple block can do.

Check out Cultural Fusion Quilts blog for more layouts and inspiration for this quilt.

Come join the fun! Oh and invite your friends too!

Spring Kawandi 2023

  Seems like it has been a slow start to this year when it comes to creating new works. I have hardly worked in the studio lately. It has be...