small quilt

Thank you so much for showering all the love and kind words on our friends' quilt. I'm so glad you like it (: u :)
This week I’ve been working on a baby quilt to send to Japan through Quilter’s newsletter.

Wide eyed innocence of little boys and girls in this fabric is so sweet. And the playful puppy and kitten are just as adorable.

To keep with the subtlety of this fabric I made up a simple block and used soothing colors and prints. Then added linen for sashing. I mostly quilted it with stitch in the ditch.

These are the measurements I used to cut pieces for the block.

~Focus fabric is 'pipsqueeks' by Benatrex, probably an old line and the backing is something I had with me for a long time.
~This one measures 37.5” square.

I hope this small quilt brings comfort to someone who’s been through so much.
A bunch of thanks to Quilter’s newsletter for organizing ”Quilts for Japan”.

Have a Happy Easter! (='v'=)


trips around the world quilt

I had this pattern in mind when I got a fat quarter bundle of Aunt Grace “Friends around the world” a while ago. Then recently when I started thinking of ideas to make a quilt for one of our friends who travel quite a bit, I remembered having these fabrics.

I would've loved to share the progress of this quilt here but since it's a surprise present I was not able to do so.
It was intimidating to work with so many fabrics and to balance the colors while keeping with the theme, but the fabrics from this collection gave me a good starting point. I edited out lot of them which were either too busy or too bright and replaced them with various neutrals and prints. I took the longest time shuffling & editing the pieces.

For the solid squares in the quilt, I wanted to use a fabric which is somewhat delicate and finer than a regular quilting cotton. So, I got Berry Stripe in Taupe which is a cotton lawn. But I had to cut off the stripe and make use of the solid part which accounted in more yardage. And just for fun, I sprinkled Akiko dots here and there.

I love Atelier Akiko collections and was set on using this white dot on brown double gauze for the binding. I like how the weave makes the prints and colors look more sober and very soft to the touch. But I was unsure about how well it would withstand the wear and tear.

So I wrote to Kelly at Superbuzzy where I got this fabric from and Kelly assured me that double gauze is great to use for binding and they in fact carry a bias tape made from double gauze specifically designed to be used as binding. I can’t thank Kelly enough for the timely advice. It was really sweet of her to get back to me so quickly.

And I have to extend this thanks to Superbuzzy for all the super cute prints I was able to get for the quilt. I don’t think I could’ve dreamed up this quilt without their incredible choice of fabrics.

Backing is from ‘Grandma’s garden’ line. Our friends’ engagement story is a very sweet one and roses were a big part of it. So I thought something with roses would be perfect for the backing and when I saw this print, my heart skipped a beat.

I also included some of our friends’ favorite things on the back like scooters and poodles. It was Kalyan’s idea to add a row of scooters at the bottom.

For the quilting I decided to do straight lines in every other row and column and keep it simple as I wanted the prints to be the focus of this quilt.

~ It measures around 96” x 96”.
~ Each square is 2” cut and 1 ½” finished.
~ Pattern is based on “Fiesta wear” from the book “Quilts for all Seasons” by Sandy Klop.

If you've missed my earlier posts about this quilt you can see the close up pictures here and here.

After a day of rain and clouds, we are having a sunny day today. Hope you are enjoying a beautiful spring day too (' v ')


Alice's wonderland

Are you well rested and ready for the adventures with Alice?
But White Rabbit tells me that it is still winter down there and the landscape is covered in snow… ack, more snow! …time to put away our flip-flops and grab those snow boots.

King of hearts

pack of cards

one route leads to Russia and another to Paris

Alice trapped in the hall and Alice talking to the Cheshire cat

but the tea-party is nowhere to be seen when we are dreadfully needing a hot cup of tea…sigh

I wanted to use Atelier Akiko stripe as a border but I didn't had enough and couldn't find it online anymore. Then I suddenly remembered having a piece of Alice fabric and thought it would be fun to weave the routes in the rabbit hole with lines in the border to accommodate for the wanderings of under land creatures. I enjoyed fussy cutting the pieces and putting them back like a puzzle.

This quilt is loosely based on the pattern given in American Jane’s “Quilts for all seasons” book and is called "Fiesta wear". It uses strip-piecing method and also a very different way for joining the blocks which involves trimming for every two blocks that are being put together. It leaves a seam running diagonally through the solid brown blocks which I wasn’t keen about.

Instead, I drew the pattern on a grid paper to figure out how many blocks I could get in a row and divided it into 7 x7 squares per block with the last bock in each row being 8 x 7. I simply transferred one block at a time onto a small cork board and stitched those pieces carefully and pinned it back on the design wall. I continued like this for the rest of the blocks.

In the next step I sewed 2x2 blocks together to make bigger blocks. Then I sewed all these blocks together row by row. Finally, I joined the rows to make the quilt top.

The pattern in the book also suggested a pieced border with more squares but I opted for a simple border.

I like to share a tip if you are looking for temporary solutions to a design wall. Until now I was only using the floor as my design wall and got away with it. For this quilt I felt it is impossible to keep track of so many pieces floating on the floor.

I do my sewing in our dining room and I was not comfortable putting nails in the wall or making permanent alterations to the space, so I got these transparent Command hooks and stuck them in a row on the wall. Then I fastened some old curtain ties to one edge of cotton batting with safety pins and hung the batting on the wall using the hooks.
After all the squares were up, the batting must have weighed like a ton, but the hooks didn't come off the wall at any point.

Thank you for joining me on this adventurous trip. Hope you weren’t disappointed about the Mad Hatter and his mates missing. We should have our own tea party sometime, don’t you think? ( " _ " )

I’ll be back tomorrow with rest of the pictures and details.


trips around the world

I had to travel to India unexpectedly at the end of February and just returned. I missed visiting my friends here in the blog land… hope you have been well and enjoying the slightly warmer temperatures while eagerly waiting for the spring buds to bloom.

To make up for my long absence, I wish to take you on another trip with me not just to India but to many beautiful places around the world.
Hope you’ll enjoy this ride (' v ')

Paris pastries, Eiffel tower, nosegay and parasols.

German cars, oak, beer mugs.

Indian maharaja (king), a cuddly bear, sparkling elephants and camels.
Chickens used to run wild in our neighborhood digging in everyone’s gardens, annoying elders & amusing kids… and Kashmiri apples that we loved so much!

Egyptian cats (wearing their best blue bows for the occasion), desert sky, urns, pyramids, gods & goddesses.

American baseball, snowman, empire state building, cowboys, Wizard of oz (did you spot Dorothy in her red dress?)
I had to include tulips too as they are one of the first flowers we see with the arrival of spring in Boston public gardens.

Russian ballerinas, matryoshka dolls, snowfall, St.Peters burg.

London eye, changing of the guard at Buckingham palace, cups of tea, English rose.

England is something I was able to portray as close to real life as possible as we lived there for a short time. It brings back memories of gray melancholy days which were perfect to cuddle up on the bed with Jane Austin novels, our day trips to London on weekends and Beatrix potter’s most famous characters, mother goose and Peter rabbit.

Dutch windmills, milkmaid, tulips, clogs.

Burro (donkey), Papel picado (Mexican folk art of paper-cutting), corn fields, cowboy boots and a farm.
(sorry for a blurry picture)

Italian tiles, Vatican, olive tree, pizzeria and leaning tower of Pisa.
I added these flowing purple bouquets to the block as they reminded me of fields of grape vines in the countryside.

Japanese Chrysanthemum, kimono clad women, lots of cats in the streets and side walks.
Japan = all things cute. So I was tempted to use this kawaii fabric with cute teddy bears on it.

Kalyan and I have many fond memories relating to Japan. Me, mostly through Japanese fabrics and craft books I so adore and stories of the land that I heard from Kalyan - he worked in Japan earlier in his career and is so touched by the kindness of Japanese people.

While I was in India this past month I got to admire Japanese dolls at my in-laws place again, which Kalyan brought back from Japan. Some of them were farewell gifts from his friends.
The delicateness that comes through in everything they do is only a reflection of their gentle souls. It is painful to think of the calamity surrounding them. We hope the dark clouds disperse soon and everyone feels safe.

Hawaiian gold fish, Hula dancers, ocean waves, pineapples and hibiscus flowers.

…there is one more secret place that I think we will have the most fun yet. But after all the globetrotting we did, Hawaii seems to be the perfect spot to rest our tired feet first… enjoy the ocean waves and tropical sun… see you tomorrow (' u ')