Archive | August 2014

A Royal (Blue) Finish on a Grey Monsoon Day!

This is a first anniversary present for my son and daughter in law, both great fans of grey and royal blue.

Cambric print in royal blue for the backing and lime green for the binding

Cambric print in royal blue for the backing and lime green for the binding

I made it with the blocks from my Block Party on Bee Desi, my virtual quilting bee from the Desi Quilters group.

Before I show you the full quilt, I must show you the beautiful Mod Mosaic by Elizabeth Hartman  blocks made by the Desi Quilters!

Mod Mosaic by Elizabeth Hartman block

Tina’s block in muted grey, blue and aqua

Mod Mosaic Block by Elizabeth Hartman

Brinda’s Block with an ethnic Indian touch

Elizabeth Hartman Mod Mosaic Quilt block

Vidya’s stunning finish in navy and lime

Mod Mosaic quilt block by Elizabeth Hartman

Elvira’s ‘reindeer’ block

Mod Mosaic quilt block by Elizabeth Hartman

Veena’s stripes and polka dots…

Mod Mosaic quilt block by Elizabeth Hartman

Sandhya’s perfect finish

Mod Mosaic quilt block by Elizabeth Hartman

Nirmala’s lovely blues with a hint of lime

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The champagne block! By Shalini

There is something so fascinating about bee blocks! My son had got engaged at the time these blocks were being sewn. How appropriate that they should go into a quilt for him and his wife on their anniversary! I thought about the difficult time our family was going through with my daughter critically ill, around the same time. Somewhere, the love and care that each quilter poured into each of these blocks reached out to me and my family… As for the blocks themselves, as I quilted them I wondered about the story behind  each print. I thought of a quilter generously cutting up some favourite new fabric to put into her block. Or were they scraps left over from a dress made for a daughter or a grand daughter? A much loved cushion? Or even a quilt? Who was using them now ? The child scraps, travelling miles away from their home to be made into a quilt which will now go all the way across the oceans to America…How very special bee blocks are!

I had a total of 9 blocks, all of different sizes and putting them together to make a whole quilt was impossible. To cut a long story short, I decided to put the blocks together in a horizontal row of 30″ with grey above and royal blue below! Then began the calculations as I wanted a straight line across where blue met grey! I worked on the free quilt design software, QuiltAssistant  and came up with this!

9 Blocks arranged in a 30" row

9 Blocks arranged in a 30″ row

Each giant block was a different width and quilt as you go (qayg) seemed to be the only option for putting it together! I used a great tute at the Quilting Edge, but I hated the qayg! The quilt came together in 3 panels, finally.

I used a cambric print in royal blue for the backing, joining up the qayg blocks and panels with narrow strips of a blue and lime green fabric. The batting was a thin 120gsm polyfibre.

The 46″ wide grey was quilted with a giant spiral covering almost the width of the panel, in a variegated grey thread in the centre and lime green on the outer circles. The rest of the panel was majorly filled up with a boxy version of the “etch and sketch”” filler stitch by Leah Day, petering out into wavy lines ending in tiny spirals on the left edge. To do this, I drew lines 1″ apart on the top and worked on that. Here, the quilting was in lime green thread near the spiral and a dark grey matching the fabric in the rest.

The ‘windows’ in the Mod Mosaic blocks were filled with different designs from Leah Day’s 365 days free motion quilting project and a few motifs from Lori Kennedy’s The Inbox Jaunt!

For the royal blue, I used Leah Day’s ‘cubic ripples’ as an inspiration, but gave them more structure and developed it into a ‘Tetris’ game like pattern. I drew lines at 2″ apart vertically on the 16″ row and  quilted 2″ and 4″ squares and 2″x 4″ rectangles. This was a fun design, as I challenged myself not to stack up similar ’tiles’ in close proximity.

For the binding I chose a lime green to brighten up the drab grey which made up half the quilt. I cut the binding the wrong width – just 1.5″ but there was no way I was going to waste 400″ inches of binding. And I had already sewn half a side before it struck me what I was doing! So I decided to go ahead with it;  I do want to think the 1/4″ binding adds a touch of elegance to the quilt – so “not over the top”!

All the quilting was done on my Husqavarna Viking Topaz 20 with its inbuilt auto sensor system for fabric thickness. I had some problems initially when using the spring action fmq foot, but when I switched to the echo quilting foot, I soon got the hang of the right rhythm and everything went smoothly – like a dream!

So here are the pictures, I’ll shut up and let them do the talking…

Mod Mosaic blocks in a row - the rightmost is the ninth - made by Sandhya S!

Mod Mosaic blocks in a row – the rightmost is the ninth – made by Sandhya S!

A giant spiral 38" in  diameter to offset and soften the rectangular blocks. The lines were added to accentuate the horizontal panels.

A giant spiral 38″ in diameter to offset and soften the rectangular blocks. The lines were added to accentuate the horizontal panels.

Mod Mosaic block assembly

The quilted blocks being assembled through QAYG

Mod mosaic blocks by Elizabeth Hartman

A dash of lime to brighten up the proceedings

Quilting on the mod mosaic quilt

“Tetris” tiles quilted on the blue panel

The quilt is a square, may be used either way?

The quilt is a square, may be used either way?

The quilt is a square - can be used this way too?

The spiral circle spacing gradually increases from 1/2″ on inner circles  to 2″ outside

Now to pack it up!

Now to pack it up!

Ready for packing? Not before one last look at it!

With blessings and love, from Ma!

With blessings and love, from Ma!

Thank you, all you beautiful ladies, who made the blocks for this quilt!

So, what’s cooking? Apples!

My laptop is back at the service centre and it is really difficult to do a full blogpost on the iPad!
I decided to share a couple of photographs of a quilt I have started quilting today. I got the pattern The Big Apple from the ‘Love of Quilting’ magazine August 2012 issue. It is also available online on the Fons & Porter website.
I wanted a larger quilt, so decided to make it into a 10 x 11 grid which will measure up to a comfortable 89″x 99″. I used fabric from my stash, and that measured up to only 80 apple cores! So I had to add a plain white solid to build up the length.
Here it is all basted and ready for quilting.

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I thought a lot about the quilting I wanted to do in it as I do want to practice free motion quilting! After a lot of browsing, I zeroed in on this amazingly beautiful quilting by Joanne of Joanne.threadhead.blogspot
I know my quilting is nowhere half as pretty, but practice is the only way it will get better!

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Former banker that I am, I could not but calculate that it will take me more than 70 hours of quilting to finish this at the rate of 3 cores in 2 hours! Add to that 440″ of bias binding, fabric yet to be bought! I think I will end up doing the binding by hand …
If I don’t put it away, I have my work cut out for the next two months at three hours per day!

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What have you all been up to? Other than Block Two of the Round the Year quilt, that is?

Assembling the Evening at the Pond Block

I had posted the instructions for piecing the second block of my block of the month quilt, Round the Year, here
When I left you, this is where we were, 16 templates pieced and ready for assembly, using the master template as a guide.

Evening at the Pond templates ready to be assembled

Evening at the Pond templates ready to be assembled

 

Actually, with this picture, gasping in admiration at what you had put together!

Paper piecing done!

Paper piecing done!

So after you’ve finished admiring your templates, head back to the sewing machine. This will come up really fast, and before you know, your block will be ready!
The order of piecing will be
1. Template A to template I; B to J; C to K….H to P!
Place templates A and I right sides together and push pins to align them. Secure with pins along the seam line and remove the hanging pins.

Pond and flying geese template pinned together

Pond and flying geese template pinned together

Hanging pins removed

Hanging pins removed

Sew all the pairs, AI, BJ, CK…HP. Remove the paper from the seams and the paper pieces that do not have alignment markers.

Press seam line in alternate directions  – as in the corresponding pond template.

And then there were eight!

And then there were eight!

Join these eight segments in pairs to make quarter circles. AI to BJ, CK to DL, EM to FN and GO to HP. If you want you can remove the paper pieces on the pond templates now.

Align the two adjoining segments with pins. I need to be very careful at this stage, as I always end up joining the pairs along the wrong edges – pinning helps prevent that.

Two segments being aligned together with pins

Two segments being aligned together with pins

 

...the hanging pins on the other side

…the hanging pins on the other side

Secure the two sub blocks together with pins and remove the hanging pins. Ready to sew!

Ready to go under the needle

Ready to go under the needle

The quarters are finally ready to be joined to the respective background pieces.

Rainbow against a blue sky!

Rainbow against a blue sky!

The rainbow against a cloudy sky…

The next block is ready to be revealed on the first of the next month! While you get your second block ready, I’ll get my blogpost ready!  Do post pictures of your block on my facebook page Patchwork of My Life!

 

Rainbow Evening at the Pond – Block Two, Round the Year, Block of the Month Quilt

Evening at the Pond

This, EVENING AT THE POND, the second block in my Block of the Month quilt ‘Round the Year’ , is a favourite of mine! For those of you who came in late, this quilt is being made in two colourways. The first, Dusk is in blues, oranges and yellows of a  brilliant sunset, while the second, Rainbow is a more modern version with rainbow colours set against grey and sky blue.

This particular block went through several reincarnations before acquiring its present form, but that deserves its vey own blogpost!  It was tested for me by Nikhat Syeda Arshia and by Sobana Sundar, who has shared her adventure of testing an earlier version of the block on her blog.

Instructions

 These are instructions for the “Rainbow ” colourway,  including the paper piecing templates, fabric requirement and cutting instructions. These instructions can also be downloaded in a printable .pdf format from the link at the end of this post.

The fabric requirement for the Dusk colourway was posted a few days ago.

The block is paper foundation pieced before being assembled. The finished block size is 18″ square with an inset circle of 15″ diameter.

Fabric Requirement and Cutting Instructions

.

Cut the 2″ X50″ grey strip for the pond into 12 rectangles – 4 strips each of 5″, 4.5″ and 3.5″.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Take a print out of the template.pdf file at with printer setting at 100% or actual size. You  have the following templates:
  • 8 arc templates numbered I to P for the outer ring of flying geese
  • 8 templates A to H for the inner ‘pond’
  • Template S in 2 pieces S1 and S2 for one quarter of the outside square.

2. Piecing

  • Piece the templates A to H
  • Piece the flying geese templates I to P

3. Assembly

  • Join A to I, B to J, C to K …H to P
  • Join AI to BJ to get quarter circle AIBJ; similarly assemble CKDL, EMFN and GOHP
  • Join the quarter circles to Q, R, S and T respectively to get four quarters of your final block.
  • Assemble the 4 squares; square up the block to 18.5″ – we are done!

Refer to the Master template below as a guide when assembling the paper pieced templates.

You can also use it to try out your own colour schemes; use colour pencils!

I would love to see  pictures of your completed blocks on my facebook page “Patchwork of My Life”  –  a link is on the sidebar!

Downloadable files:

1. Paper piecing template – Rainbow Evening at the Pond , Block Two of  Round the Year Quilt

Instructions -Rainbow Evening at the Pond , Block Two of  Round the Year Quilt

 

Evening at the Pond – Step by Step Piecing Instructions

This post seems to be jinxed! I wrote the whole post, to find that I had overwritten the assembly instructions. Those will follow in another post!

My laptop is back from the service centre with a new hard disk, but I am not able to locate all the pictures! So here are the step by step instructions for piecing the Evening at the Pond block, ( the second block in the Round the Year Block of the Month quilt) with the pictures for a few steps missing.

As you may recall, here also the finished block size is 18″ square with a 15″ inset circle. The block is paper foundation pieced before being assembled. This is a really easy block, though you may find piecing the flying geese a bit tedious! I know that I thought the Dahlia block was super easy to piece, not so easy to assemble. This one is really, really easy to assemble, it has no curves anywhere!

So here we go!

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Take print outs of the template.pdf file with your printer settings at 100% or actual size. Cut out the templates, leaving a little margin on all sides. You have the following templates:
  • 8 arc templates numbered I to P for the outer ring of flying geese
  • 8 triangular templates A to H for the inner ‘pond’
  • Template S in 2 pieces S1 and S2 for one quarter of the outside square.
  1. Take a print out of the Instructions File and keep it hand.
  2. Colour code the fabric you plan to use. Follow the instructions to cut the fabric. If your fabric is pre-starched, it gives a nice, crisp, neat finish to your final block!
  3. Pin the cut fabric pieces to each template
    using the colour code as a guide – I always do that or I get confused what goes where!!

    Fabric pieces pinned to each template for ease in piecing

     

  4. Piecing the Pond
  • The templates A, C, E and G are pieced from the outer edge to the centre and the alternate pieces B, D, F and H are pieced from the centre outwards.

    The adjoining seams facing opposite directions ensures a nice `fit’ when the pieces are finally assembled.

    Right sides together – ready to piece!

  • Unpin the two fabric pieces to be joined, place them on the wrong side of the template, keeping a seam allowance of ¼” approximately. The remaining two pieces are pinned back to the template so that they don’t get misplaced and mixed up!
  • I chain pieced the templates in alphabetical order, so that my chain looked something like this!

    Chain piecing the ‘pond’…

    My fabric pieces are not rectangles like yours will be – this is so that you do not make stupid mistakes like I did! Lesson learnt – Resist the temptation to trim the fabric pieces to size before you sew them!

    Oops what was that???

     

    Also remember to flip over your piece No 2 to ensure that it covers the entire section that it is supposed to! Or you may end up using the services of Jack the Ripper!

    The perils of not placing fabric pieces correctly 😦

    One way to ensure that is to lightly fold the fabric piece to find the centre and do the same for the paper template, and match them when sewing. ( However, this is unlikely to happen to you, because I have made the pieces really long, with a lot of margin of error!

  • Now that all the 8 pond templates have the sections 1 and 2 pieced, we clip apart the templates and head to the ironing table. Trim seam allowance to ¼” if needed. You can just eyeball it and use your scissors to trim the seam – not necessary to use the services of a rotary cutter.
  • Press open piece 2; if your fabric is well starched and crisp, you may just finger press.

    Seams trimmed to 1/4″ – pressing open the second strip

     

  • Similarly attach piece 3. Trim seam allowance to ¼” and press open the third piece.

    Strip 3 sewn and pressed open

     

  • Attach piece 4, trim seam allowance to ¼” press open. Trim the excess fabric from the sides and our pond pieces are ready! That was really easy, wasn’t it?!

    Hurrah! Pond pieced!

Do not get confused by this picture! I changed the pattern after I made this block, so your pond templates will add up to an octagon, not a circle!

  1. Piecing the flying geese

    The templates I to P will be pieced to make a ring of flying geese. Here chain piecing is not really possible, so this bit of piecing goes a bit slow!

  • Place the first rectangle for the goose (wrong side of fabric touching paper) so that the seam allowance between Goose 1 and Goose 2 extends about a ¼” beyond the seam line, like in the picture below.

     

    Hold up the paper against light to ensure correct placement – 1/4″ beyond seam line

  • Place the half square triangle for Piece 2 with the longest side (hypotenuse) aligned to the seam allowance. You can hold it against the light to see that the piece extends approximately ¼” beyond the seam line. You can pin it like I have done. These two pictures show the two sides…

    Piece 2 is also in order 🙂

    The other side! The triangular sky is placed with the long edge on the seam line

     

    Caution : The next few pictures are of a previous version of the block, so please do not get confused by the template numbers or order of piecing.

  • Sew on the seam line, extending your seam line to approximately ¼” beyond into the next section.

    The seam line 1/4″ extends beyond the centre

     

  • Flip over and trim the excess fabric to leave a seam allowance of ¼” , press open.

    Trim off excess fabric!

     

  • Similarly sew the other triangular `sky’ piece, going beyond the centre point, like was done for the previous piece. Now trim the seam allowance to ¼” and press open. The first goose is ready!

    Piece 3 sewn , ready for trimming and pressing open

     

    TIP – Before sewing the sky pieces, do remember to check the placement of the piece so that it covers the respective `sky’ section fully when pressed open. This is especially true of the sky pieces on the outer border of the ring.

  • Fold back the paper on the seam line between the just pieced section and the next – that would be the long line of Piece 4. You will need tear a bit of the paper here, to detach the top seam allowance from the paper. No worry!
  • Trim this seam allowance to ¼” on the just pieced portion.
  • Place the rectangle piece for the second goose, right side down on the just pieced section and sew. Press open. Continue to piece as in previous sections.
  • Here is a picture taken by Sobana, who tested the block!

    Sobana’s arc under construction!

    And here is a picture of the fully pieced template, trimmed to size

    One arc done!

    This is how it looks from the back! You can see how the seams extend into the adjoining section in the centre of the template.

    Final trimming!

    And here is the full ring of flying geese made by Sobana! Aren’t they pretty?

    Ring of flying geese! Love it!

So all our templates are pieced!

Using the master template as a guide, arrange your templates and admire them!

Ready for assembly!

The assembly instructions will be  online soon, while you get cracking on this!

You can download the instructions and templates files here.

1. Paper piecing templates – Evening at the Pond ( Block Two of Round the Year Quilt)

2. Instructions (Dusk version) -Evening at the Pond ( Block Two of Round the Year Quilt)

You can access the pattern for the first block, Dahlia here.

A Prayer to the Supremely Blissful One…

Today is Shri Krishna Janmashthami, a celebration of Lord Shri Krishna’s advent on earth. ( Much of India celebrated it yesterday!)
Growing up on tales of His mischievous childhood, I got to love Krishna almost as an elder brother who would hold my little finger and lead me through troubled times. He was the One to whom I poured out my heart , sharing my smallest joys and deepest sorrows! As I grew older, He continued to play that role, trying to guide me, through the Bhagvada Geeta, to become a better and happier human being in all ways.

Today, I wish to share with you a Sanskrit shloka dedicated to Him, which gives me so much hope and joy in times of deep despair! I pray to Him that it does the same for us all!

Mookam karoti vAchAlam
Pangu langhayate girim
Yat krpA tam-aham vande
ParamAnand MAdhavam

I offer my salutations
To that Supremely Blissful Madhav ( Sweet One)
Whose compassion gives eloquence to the dumb and
(Helps) the lame cross mountains.

An Evening at the Pond… Block Two of the Round the Year Quilt

IMG_0272.JPG This, the second block in my Block of the Month quilt ‘Round the Year’ , is a favourite of mine! For those of you who came in late, this quilt is being made in two colourways. The first, Dusk is in blues, oranges and yellows of a  brilliant sunset, while the second, Rainbow is a more modern version with rainbow colours set against grey and sky blue.

This particular block went through several reincarnations before acquiring its present form, but that deserves its vey own blogpost!  It was tested for me by Nikhat Syeda Arshia and by Sobana Sundar, who has shared her adventure of testing an earlier version of the block here. I am not including any photos in this post to help you along as you construct the block, as I do not have access to them at the moment – they are being extracted from a hard drive which developed “bad sectors”! If you are new to paper piecing, you may like to get your fabric and templates ready and wait for the post with pictures, which should come up in a few days.

But I do have the block pattern, including the paper piecing templates, fabric requirement and cutting instructions, right here… These instructions can also be downloaded in .pdf format from the link at the end of this post.

These are instructions for the “Dusk ” colourway. The fabric requirements for the Rainbow colourway will be shared in a couple of days! Finished Block size: 18″ square with 15″ inset circle The block is paper foundation pieced before being assembled.

Fabric Requirement and Cutting Instructions *

Corrigendum : Read Medium Blue Code 11 as Code 1 in chart above.

When cutting fabric for the background, add a margin of 1/2 ” to 1″ on the outer (straight) edge.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Take print outs of the .pdf Template file at 100% size. You have the following templates:
  • 8 arc templates numbered I to P for the outer ring of flying geese
  • 8 templates A to H for the inner ‘pond’
  • Template S in 2 pieces S1 and S2 for one quarter of the outside square.
  1. Piecing
  • Piece the templates A to H
  • Piece the flying geese templates I to P
  1. Assembly
  • Join A to I, B to J, C to K …H to P
  • Join AI to BJ to get quarter circle AIBJ; similarly assemble CKDL, EMFN and GOHP
  • Join the quarter circles to Q, R, S and T respectively to get four quarters of your final block.
  • Assemble the 4 squares; square up the block to 18.5″ – we are done!

Refer to the Master template below as a guide when assembling the paper pieced templates. You can also use it to try out your own colour schemes; use colour pencils!

Download files from here:

  1. Block02 Dusk-Evening at Pond Instructions File Revised– Block Two – Dusk – Evening at the Pond
  2. RtY02 Dusk-Evening at the pond Templates– Block Two – Dusk – Evening at the Pond