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!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

My Presentation at MAQ

It's been already a week since my speech at MAQ. Friday the 10th was a long day! I was scheduled to teach a full day class followed by the presentation in the evening in front of a large audience. There were 270 quilters that gathered at the seminar. It was a successful event for the organizers and teachers. I taught three classes during the weekend.

I don't consider myself as an expert at public speaking. Some people are just natural at it. When I was in grade school, I loved participating in dance programs, which also involved annual presentations at an auditorium. I remember those days very well. Participating in more than two or three numbers,  being on the stage wearing makeup and costumes, I would become someone else. I do not remember fear or anxiety from that time of my life. But when you are older and not in your costumes - things can be different.
In 2005, I was asked to teach at such an event in Seattle area for the first time. I was a beginning teacher but my store manager had faith in my abilities to offer me that option. I was not sure if I shared the same confidence at the time, I respectfully declined that offer.
I was also invited to a guild in Seattle by my good friends to give a presentation. Which I had reluctantly accepted. It was fun to see all the quilters admiring my quilts but did I deserve to be one the stage? Hmmm... Not sure about that.

But ten years is a long time for personal growth. As I wrote in previous post,  six months ago I accepted both speaking and teaching opportunities at MAQ.

Back to the long day -

I taught Windmills on Friday. Any teacher will tell you that the most gratifying thing about teaching is to see that sparkle in the eyes and faces of both, experienced and non experienced quilters in your classroom. I not only saw that but they made me forget about my anxiety for most of the day about my speech. My classroom was colorful no mater which direction I looked at.

It would be pretentious of me to say that I wasn't nervous. As soon as the class was over I started preparing for my speech - physically and mentally. Before this event, I had presented at only two guilds. This was a big deal! I did not want to fail myself or disappoint those who came to listen and see.

A really nice, young woman helped me set up the power point. I was introduced by the president of MAQ. I took the stage and introduced myself. I asked the lights to be turned off and there was completely dark! I could sense the eager eyes and ears but saw nothing.

From there on, everything happened as expected. By that, I mean nothing went as I had planned. I was nervous and I forgot my words. In that moment I decided to be true to who I am. In that moment I thought of nothing better than being honest and up front. I told my audience that I was nervous standing in front of them and I needed a moment or two to gather my thoughts. They were kinder than I can ever imagine. It took a sip or water and less than 10 seconds to recover. From that point on, I enjoyed speaking about my home country, my journey through colors and textiles of India.

Next two days of classes were spent in making connections with people at personal level. I made many friends and hope to continue being friends and see them again.

MAQ - An organization I knew nothing about up until six months ago!  It is a quilters' retreat for Mid Appalachian states of Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Each year in July, it is held at Mount St. Mary's University in Maryland. It's spans to a three days' weekend where quilters and teachers gather to teach and learn. There is an open studio space with an instructor available to help those who need it. Classes can range anywhere from one to three days. Everyone boards in the dorm rooms. Having three kids through college I have seen plenty and these dorm rooms were better than any other dorm rooms I had seen in the past. 

I later found out, MAQ does not do any advertizing for their programs. It is a great volunteer based organization which attracts many regulars for years to teach and learn. Check out their blog and website here.

Now you are wondering about the photos.. right?

Well, that was also one of those planned thing that did not happen. I had planned to take the picture of my audience.. I forgot!

I had thought I would ask my friends to take a picture of me on the stage - I forgot. But that's why we call them friends - They remembered! Thank you!

Here I am during the presentation talking about unpredictability and negative and positive space of free-form blocks. 

I had planned to post the pictures of classes in session - I did not connect my phone Wi-Fi on time. So here I am almost a week later with few shots from the MAQ workshops and lecture.

Click below to see some pictures of my classes.

Saturday night was the general meeting where students got to show their work from past two days of classes and teachers had an opportunity to propose for their future classes.

Here are few pictures of students showing off their work. 

As you can see, there was something for every kind of quilter and designer. And there were total of 27 teachers. This was just a glimpse of what was being offered.

Thanks everyone for participating and making the time to see my presentation.

Ann Giglio and everyone at MAQ - Thank you for that nice email and invite. I had a great time!

I learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses over the weekend. I had forgotten how much I enjoy teaching. It brought back many memories of my days in Seattle. When I published the book, I was unsure if I was willing to travel, speak and teach but this weekend was a true eye opener. My friends then kept reminding me that at some point I will have to decide if I was willing to do all that because the guild will start asking. Now I know. I do want to travel, speak and teach. 

I will be in St. Louis MO in August. They have requested to teach Rail Fence class. I can not wait!
14 August - Presentation - Thimble and Thread Quilt Guild of Greater St. Louis
15 August - Workshop - Thimble and Thread Quilt Guild of Greater St. Louis

If you are in the area, I would love to see you there! I believe there are some spots left for the workshop.

I will be visiting Seattle in early September and teaching Organized Chaos. You all know how much I love that place. It's going to be fun!

Have a great weekend you all!                     

Monday, July 6, 2015

Creative Christine and her Quilts

My friend Christine stopped by today with a great show and tell. She just pulled off the driveway, but I can hardly wait to show you what we did. (With her permission)

Christine's version of Peppermint Pinwheels. A generous queen size quilt.

Here is the detailed picture of her blocks. She chose to mix and match her colors within the block. I LOVE how they look! It makes them sparkle even without the sun!

Her machine quilted rainbow borders looked even more perfect in person.

Here she is! Here she was ''complaining'' how heavy this quilt was after being machine quilted.  Christine loves working with home-Dec fabrics.

She makes the best of all kinds of fabrics and loves the challenge of creatively using pre-cut fabrics.  

We hung her quilts on the line for pictures.

Are you seeing double?

Good! That's because she made not one but two quilts for her guest rooms and that's not all!

There is more! Just look at the next picture!

Like I said earlier, she loves working with pre-cut squares. Don't you love this quilt in the middle?

Check out the details on it. She hand quilted the quilt with perle cotton and embellished it with ... Guess what?

Paper clips!!!

Yes, you read it right - Paper clips! How clever is that? Who needs beads when you have got some fancy clips?

Christine also made these runners for my book before it was published. Unfortunately, it could not get included in the book due to the space restrictions. If you have my book you know how tightly the pages are filled. But now I get to share them with you. I wish she was a blogger, she would have hundreds of ideas for us all to try out.

Time flew by quickly as it always does. Christine, I am so glad you stopped by. As always, it was great time spent with you exchanging ideas and sharing stories.

I hope you are inspired by Christine's colors, textures and creativity. I am!

Thank you, Christine!

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