Cathedral Window Cushions

Traditional Cathedral Windows with a modern look!

I just realized that I had not shared my finishes for 2018 here! So here come the fitted box cushion covers I made for an ell-shaped bench at the entrance of my son’s house. My daughter-in-law had seen these cushions and loved them, so I thought of making similar ones for her.

The cushions were 15″x 24″and 15″ x 39″ and deciding the size of the windows posed a problem! I decided to make 4.5″ windows and add a 1.5″ strip along the back and side edge. The math worked perfectly and it turned out quite well, I think!

The cathedral window patchwork cushions find their final resting place.

You can see another of my cathedral window finishes here. And if you want to make your own windows, there is a tutorial I did in two parts. In yet another tutorial I discussed the cathedral window math.

As you can see, this is probably the only kind of patchwork I have done more than once! But, at the cost of repeating myself yet again, cathedral windows–no, never again!

The Dreamcatcher At Houston!

Felt amazing wearing this ribbon!
Would you believe that I forgot to take a picture of the quilt by itself?
Preening in front of my quilt!

Nearly Insane—One More Block!

This 6″ block of the Salinda Rupp quilt was fairly simple, as you can see! I opened the seam at the edge as I plan to eventually assemble the blocks by machine.

Incidentally my new machine has arrived, haven’t had a chance to open it yet. It sounded like a great buy–has ten feet, including walking foot and free motion quilting feet and an extension table too! All just for $140 from Brother– I think it is Model 3340.

Block 81

Vital Stats

Number of pieces: 44

Difficulty level: Easy

Technique used: EPP

Block 81 Nearly Insane

So Houston, here I come!

Nearly Insane Progress

There was finally some progress on my Nearly Insane blocks, thanks to the fact that I was without a sewing machine while visiting my son! I had printed out patterns for the first fifty blocks at home and had the sense to carry them with me along with the Summer Breeze III fabric by Moda that I am using for my quilt. With time on my hands, I sat for several hours and cut out the templates for foundation paper piecing ( hundreds of them!) before it struck me that I couldn’t use them without a sewing machine! Now what?

I could, of course cut out the fabric for the blocks. I had the pieces done for five random blocks, when it finally dawned on me that I could piece the blocks without the machine. English Paper piecing it was to be. But for that, the templates had to be cut again, into individual paper pieces. Not a happy thought, as the average number of pieces in each of the blocks must be around fifty.

It was certainly a tedious job, but I finally had the pieces ready for EPP.

Prepping the pieces for EPP

I started on this particular block, but gave up half way to do a really easy one–Block 2.

But before I show you Block 2, you must see my Block 1, completed on my sewing machine before I went to the US.

Block 1

Isn’t it pretty? I attempted some fussy cutting with this one.

Patchworkofmylife Nearly Insane Quilt Block 1
Block 1 of the Salinda Rupp ( Nearly Insane) Quilt

Vital Stats
Paper foundation pieced
No of pieces: 37
No of templates for fpp: 5
Level of difficulty: Moderate (because of the tiny square in squares in the centre).
Completed in August 2018

Block 2

The white floral fabric isfrom a charm square I had lying around for years!

Patchworkofmylife Nearly Insane Quilt Block 2
Block 2 of the Salinda Rupp quilt was English paper-pieced.

Vital Stats
English paper pieced
No of pieces: 21
Level of difficulty: Real easy–had I foundation paper pieced it!
Completed in November 2018

Block 3

This block was foundation paper pieced it came up quickly!

Patchworkofmylife Nearly Insane Quilt Block 3
Block 3 of the Salina Rupp (Nearly Insane) Quilt

Vital Stats
Foundation paper pieced
No. of pieces: 37
No. of templates for fpp: 9
Level of difficulty: Easy
Completed in March 2019

Block 7

This block had 10 templates, so I would call it moderately difficult! The 3″ centre portion within the yellow strips had to be pieced in six steps (templates)!

Patchworkofmylife Nearly Insane Quilt Block 7
Block 7 of the Salina Rupp (Nearly Insane) Quilt

Vital Stats
Foundation paper pieced
No of pieces: 36
No. of templates for FPP: 10
Level of difficulty: Moderately difficult
Completed in March 2019

Block 9

Here is another block I started while in the US.
The inner 4.5″ portion on this was English paper-pieced, it had 28 pieces!

Patchworkofmylife Nearly Insane Quilt Block 9
Block 9 of the Salina Rupp ( Nearly Insane) Quilt; 28 pieces here, 48 more to come to complete this 6” Block!

But wait – the outer 1″ ring had 48 more pieces coming up. Terrifying! There were 16 half square triangles, 1″ each, besides four 4-patches of 1″!

I thought it would be sensible to wait to foundation paper piece them on a sewing machine. I finally sewed the 4 remaining templates of the block last week, when back in India. I discovered that I had made a mistake when drafting the pattern and I ended up hand-piecing it partly!

Patchworkofmylife Nearly Insane Quilt Block 9
Block 9 of the Nearly Insane Quilt was partially English paper pieced!

Vital Stats
English paper-pieced, foundation paper pieced and hand-pieced.
No of pieces: 76
No. of templates( had it been foundation paper-pieced): 14
Difficulty level: Difficult!
Completed in March 2019

Find out more about Salinda Rupp’s Quilt, popularly known as the Nearly and my version of it here! To see more blocks from my quilt, link on the `Nearly Insane’ link in the page menu.

Seasons in the Sun – Quilt Framed!

I show you how to frame your finished quilt behind glass, even adding a border!

My quilt of my son…probably my dearest quilt!

My quilt Seasons in the Sun has been lying around in a shelf for over three years now! I live in a dusty place and it was necessary to put it behind a glass frame. In any case, it did not even have a hanging sleeve!

I was also not sure how to hang it behind glass and browsed the web for a solution. I finally decided to get a box frame made, fit it with a hanging rod and hang the quilt inside. The carpenter was ready with box frame a few days ago, but I could not get myself to stitch yet another quilting sleeve (after two on the Dreamcatcher and another on my son and daughter-in-law’s portrait quilt! That reminds me that I am yet to share pics of that portrait here).

So I was saying that adding hanging sleeves must be the most tedious part of quilting and I wanted to avoid it come what may! I decided I would mount it on board, like pictures are, but how? I did manage to work out something, and here is a mini-tute explaining what I did and why.

How to Display a Finished Quilt Behind Glass

Preparing your Quilt

1. Measure your quilt as accurately as you can, including the binding and then measure the finished binding. My quilt measured as follows

36.5″ x 50″ including binding. My binding was 1/2″ finished, so excluding the binding, my quilt finished at 35.5″ x 49″.

2. You need to decide if you want a border around the finished quilt. I had to add a 5″ border beyond my final quilt size, because I was working with a frame that was already made.

3. Once that is decided, you can calculate how much fabric you will need.

If adding border:

Fabric 1: Can be any solid ; I used inexpensive poplin. This has to be equal to the size of the quilt minus the binding plus total 1/2″ for two seams. I will call this the backing fabric.

Fabric 2: For the border. I could not decide what I wanted for the border. I would have liked a sky blue mitered border, but I did not have enough of the fabric in my stash. I also did not have enough green fabric in a single colour, so I pieced my border using whatever I had at hand.

To calculate the fabric needed for the (unmitered) border:

Width of border:

Width of border+ width of binding + 1/4″ for seam joining border to backing + 1.25″ to wrap to the back of the mounting board.

In my case this was 5″ + 1/2″+ 1/4″ + 1.25″ =7″

Length of border:

2 readied strips, width of border x length of backing ( for me 35.5″x7″)


2 strips of width of border x width of backing plus two widths of border minus 1/2″

( for me 7″x 49.5″ plus 14″ minus 1/2″, that is 7″x 73″)

If not adding border

Make a backing fabric equal to final size of quilt plus 1.25″ all around ( to wrap over and to the back of the mounting.

You may be tempted to skip the backing all together, but adding an additional backing protects your quilt, because it ensures that it does not come in direct contact with the board.

4. Prepare your backing by adding the borders. Spray starch and press all seams.

5. Sew the backing to the quilt:

Lay the prepared backing flat, right side facing up. Arrange the quilt, also facing up, on top of the backing. ( I spray basted the two layers together!)

Pin-baste these two together, so that the binding seam of the quilt falls exactly over the seam joining the border to the prepared backing. Now we are ready to sew.

You can machine sew, exactly at the inner edge of the binding, turning over frequently to check that you are not straying from the seam line on the fabric below. I did not feel confident about machine sewing, so I flipped over the pinned- basted layers. I folded the border back on the backing and slip-stitched the two layers together. I could ensure that the seam line on the backing fabric was joined to the seam line of the binding on the quilt exactly. That at the end of it I was left wishing I had stuck to a hanging sleeve, is quite another matter!

Border added to finished quilt!

Once this was done, I folded the border back and ironed it. Here you can see how it looks. The binding is free, not stitched down, and I like that ‘quilty look’.

If not adding a border, the mount has to be exactly the size of the quilt.

The Frame

I do not know any technical carpentry terms, so this is going to be written in a layman’s language!

I wanted teakwood for the 2.5″ wide frame, but the carpenter recommended pinewood, saying it was lighter. I did not want a simple frame, so I extended the bars beyond the frame. I designed the frame with the horizontal bars longer than the vertical ones to enhance the expansive feel the final picture would give.

The frame designed to give an expansive feel to the final picture.

The original plan, as I mentioned, was to affix a rod inside the frame and hang the quilt inside. But, with my change of plans, the hardboard that was screwed on to the back of the frame was removed and trimmed to fit inside!

– So, first the glass was fixed with strips of wood (1/2″ square section). I hunted across my city for plexi-glass, which would be non reflective, but it was not available anywhere. I then opted for the thinnest glass, 4 mm(?) thick.

– Next, the prepared quilt was stretched across the mount, the edges wrapped to the back and secured with painters tape.

We did think of gluing it to the back, but decided this was a better solution, as it would be easier to remove in case needed.

-The quilt was now placed inside the frame. Note that it does not touch the glass, because of the 1/2″ thick wooden strips between the quilt and the glass.

– The hardboard mounted with the quilt was secured with wooden strips nailed over it into the frame ( the way glass is). So no nail goes through the fabric anywhere.

– Ready!

I do believe this looks much neater than just hanging a quilt inside a glass box! I am now planning to frame more of my quilts to display them without fear of dust ruining them! And without harming the quilt in any way with glue or nails etc!!

Here are some more close-ups!

I love the way the binding acts as an inner frame to the main quilt.

I matched the add-on border to the binding!
I touched up the face with Derwent Inktense pencils before framing!

The Purple Dreamcatcher

I am so, so happy to present to you this gorgeous version of the Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt made by Vicki Trerotola.

I personally would have never have thought that the blocks would look so amazing in shades of a single colour.

Purple Dreamcatcher
I love that centre!

The lovely quilting by Mary Jane Wherle so beautifully complements the perfect piecing done by Vicki.

Purple Dreamcatcher
How lovely it is!
Purple Dreamcatcher
In all it’s purple on grey glory!
Purple Dreamcatcher
The quilting is lovely too!
Purple Dreamcatcher
Close up of the quilting and the blocks

Do notice the walls and the headboard – aren’t her colours just perfect for her room?

Purple Dreamcatcher
Aren’t those grey and deep purple borders lovely?

Do you want to make your own Dreamcatcher Quilt? The patterns for the blocks are free and can be accessed from here! Please do not forget to share pictures on my facebook page in case you do make something using my patterns! Thank you!

The Dreamcatcher at Dusk – IQA “A World of Beauty” Judged Show 2018 Finalist!

Woohoo! The Dreamcatcher is going to Houston, Texas and am I excited, or what!

I am on a vacation at the most gorgeous place, where I have no pics of the quilt to share with you. So I will share a pic of this lovely little lily pool here, instead!

Best of luck to all the finalists!

The Quilts of Love -II

I finished three more scrap quilts that I was making for the little girls of the Faith Aalingan in Jaipur! Such a warm, caring place it is! Do visit their website to see if you would like to help them in any way? Meanwhile, here are my quilts which found their new home and new owners today!

All are ‘bagged’ with 1.5 kilograms of carded cotton wool and big-stitch hand-quilted in the traditional North Indian ‘lihaaf‘ or ‘razai‘ style. The thickness of the quilt makes elaborate quilting difficult but provides adequate warmth in the cold season, in the absence of central heating.

Quilt #7/2018

This 48″ x 72″ quilt is made up of nine-patches, arranged around a square embroidered on my Husqavarna Topaz 20 – the only bit of embroidery I have done on the machine!

Quilt #8/ 2018

A four-patch quilt, finishing at 48″ x 72″. All the squares finish at 4″ just like in the other two quilts.

Quilt #9/ 2018

Four-patches in oranges and reds were sashed and cornerstoned to make this 56″ x 80″ quilt.

It is already too warm to use these thick quilts in Jaipur. I was planning to make one more quilt for these special recipients, but have postponed it till the next winters, while I get back to my various unfinished projects!

The Quilts of Love…

Five of my ‘sharing’ quilts are done! They all go to little girls who are very, very special. I will tell you more about them and perhaps even share their stories and pictures, once I have the requisite permission. Meanwhile, here are the quilts, the latest first! They are all bagged, stuffed with carded cottonwool and quilted by a traditional ‘tagai wala‘ – quilt maker. This kind of quilt is called a lihaaf  or razai in this part of the world.

You can read more about traditional North Indian quilts and quilt makers here!

Quilt#5/2018 Riddhi’s Quilt

I always wanted to make the Granny Square block but never got around to it! Here is a giant one, made with 9″ square pieces and framed in a chevron border made with alternating HSTs.

Quilts of love
The giant granny square in the centre finishes at 36″!
That pretty print is from a strip of fabric left over from a kurta I stitched for myself more than thirty years ago!

Quilt#4/2018 Sonali’s Quilt

…the one with the giant pinwheels. Again, I used fabric left over from dress-making!

Pink and green pinwheels, so perfect for a six-year old little girl!
I love the cuddly look the quilting gives it.

Quilt#3/2018 Annu’s quilt

This was the only one for which I cut up new fabric from my stash…
How pretty that soft mint green backing is!

is now with its owner! I already showed you pics of the top made with the double Disappearing Nine-Patch block. Here it is, all quilted!

Quilt#2 Mahima’s Quilt –

You have seen pictures of this quilt top too! I backed it with an old Ikat dupatta (stole) and the tagaiwala did the rest! Four year old Mahima absolutely loved it! I do wish I had made it slightly bigger, though!

An ikat dupatta from more than twenty years ago makes up the backing of this second finish of the year!
Fabric from my first ever quilt, made in 2008!

Quilt#1/2018 Siddhi’s Quilt

It made my day, week, month, year to see the happy surprise on the youngest child, Siddhi’s face, when she received her quilt! For me? she asked delightedly! This one is also backed with an Ikat dupatta.

Orphan blocks from my second ever quilt, also started in 2008!
For the backing, another ikat dupatta, so intricately hand-woven.

So those are the first five quilts! One is at the tagaiwala’s. I had planned to make a total of seven quilts originally. But I don’t wish to leave out any of the remaining four girls. So I need  now to decide how to use the scraps in my stash to make those extra quilts! Perhaps I will cut up an old saree?

Double Disappearing Four-Patch Quilt Top

This is the third of my giving-away quilt tops.

I wanted something which would come up quickly and use up some hand block- printed muslin lying around in my stash for years. The squares were cut at 16″ from the 44″ wide fabric, leaving a strip of just over 10″ ( after removing the selvedge) along the length. The solid blue is cambric.

The four-patch was made to ‘disappear’ twice over in making this block! The first cuts were at 2.75″ on either side of the centre seams. After rotating the strips and stitching them back together ( you can check on YouTube – there are plenty of great videos explaining how it is done) I went a step further.

I cut strips 3″ wide at the top and bottom edges, swapped them and sewed them back to the block. I then cut 3″ strips on either side of the block, swapped those and sewed them back! This makes a 29″ final block. Three of those blocks make the centre panel and I made half blocks for the side panels, using the 10″ strip. I ended up with a quilt top 50″x 87″ after adding a 2″ strip as a border on the sides – seems to be a reasonable size for a young teenager.

Here is another look at the top on my ironing board. The blue is more of a turquoise actually, but my iPad just doesn’t seem to pick up the correct shade!

Tomorrow will be a busy day otherwise, so the next top comes up on Thursday! Happy quilting to all you folks too.