Happy holidays!

How are you holding up under holiday busyness? I hope trusty elves are readily helping in your last minute preparations :)

As it happened, I got distracted with tidying corners and doing some house keeping and rarely went near my sewing machine. Now that things have calmed down little bit, my attention is turned to making a lap quilt to use in the living room. The old saying about cobbler's son not having shoes, fits perfectly to our situation.. it is funny that we have one small size quilt on our daybed which gets us into constant grumbling and tugging wars and our toes always chilly! With long winter ahead, I need to pull up my socks for making a big enough quilt.

Slowly I looked through my fabrics and taken out the ones that I instantly liked for their innocence. Most of them are popular fairy tales but some seem to have fallen out of fairy dreams of their creators.

I drew an easy block to match with their simplicity. After testing a couple of sizes, I decided on a block with 3 3/4" center square and 2" squares for the corners. It will probably be a mostly white quilt with nosy characters popping up here and there.

I also worked on the last units for 'Scrapitude' mystery quilt and in January, we will get instructions to put everything together, I am curious to see what kind of pattern comes out of all these separate pieces.

Thank you for stopping by even in this rush hour! Wish you happiest of holidays and a very Merry Christmas!  ( * v * )


Diwali lights

Stephanie's new pattern Confetti  felt to me like Diwali lights twinkling in rows on a moonless night., while anticipating for the festival and making preparations in the house last week, I sat down to sew blocks for this quilt.

A bright Echino fabric in purple with mint dots looked perfect for the glowing star lights in the center of each block. I only had 2 fat quarters of this print but seemingly endless supply of scraps for the background. So to make the quilt a reasonable size, I had to divert a little from the original pattern and added a sashing of scrappy squares in between the blocks.

With chain piecing it didn't take long to prepare the blocks and put them together.

Every festival is exciting for kids but Diwali is a special time because along with new clothes to wear, they also get a packet of fire crackers to burn in the evening.. coincidentally I have a fabric with happy girls showing off their new dresses. There is also one naughty girl throwing tantrums on a pillow, may be for an extra share of Diwali sweets..  hehe. .  I added 2 1/2" wide strips of this fabric as border.

For the backing, I went through some of my long forgotten fabrics and got out a flower print that was purchased in a busy market place in Delhi, years ago. Without meaning to, a bit of Indian fragrance seeped into this baby quilt. It is 36" x 46".

I have always been in awe of Stephanie's creativity whether it is coming up with beautiful patterns reflecting a hint of old quilt traditions or making those designs come alive with playful dots and pop of brilliant colors. Now I am thrilled to hear that Stephanie's book Uncommonly Corduroy is about to come out in February.. I can barely contain my excitement for this book and fresh dose of inspiration waiting inside!

I also made progress with the 'Scrapitude' mystery quilt and completed units for the next step.. 128 big triangle patches and another 44 of the smaller triangle patches. According to the fabric suggestions, this quilt requires only medium and dark colored scraps, so I was able to put left over light scraps to good use with the Confetti  pattern. Thank you, Stephanie!

Have a happy week!  ( ' u ' )


country side

dry lands

rolling hills

gathering clouds

windswept trees

resting horses

wild flowers

showered in morning dew

Black sand beach was very peaceful with a lotus pond on one side and ocean on the opposite side. 

As we drove through Big island the terrain kept changing quickly without any caution. We didn't expect to see as many dry lands with shrubs and rolling hills of grass, as there are green forests. We also came across many kinds of tiny wildflowers that we haven't seen before.

Finally, my souvenirs from the trip. .  cotton fabrics from a Japanese shop called Dragon Mama in Hilo which had a great selection of teas and tea sets and small section of fabrics and other home goods from Japan. With so many pretty things around, I found it hard to limit my purchase to just these two cuties. ( ^ _ ^ )

Thank you for cheering me with your sweet comments! Kalyan and I are very happy to share our memories of this trip with you!



prickly leaves

velvety moss

crisscrossing bark

tickling sand

feathery fern

clusters of fruit

foaming waves

cat's whiskers

sun baked earth

melody of an evening

Kalyan took these pictures in Hawaii. I am taking advantage of his busy work schedule and imposing my voice on his vision. I hope he doesn't mind ;-) 

We went to a botanical garden near Hilo which is a must see for plant lovers. It resembled a rain forest with lush tropical trees, all kinds of mosses and exotic flowers.. in every direction we looked we were treated to a kaleidoscope of textures. It was overwhelmingly hard to commit even a drop of what we saw into memory as it kept getting overwritten by the next scene and the next sound. We felt very grateful for a chance to visit the garden and this magical Island. 

Thank you so much for indulging me with your visit. If I am not boring you, I would love to share one more post of pictures :) 

Have a Happy Halloween!  ( * W * )



We went on a much needed holiday to Hawaii earlier this month and just returned home feeling refreshed, already missing the scents of this beautiful island.

a glimpse into our days during this trip..

walking on lava rocks

sandy shores

surprising showers 

but mostly sunny skies

  dusty hikes and shaved ice cones

tropical flowers and friendly people at every turn..

Our old camera is reaching its retirement, so Kalyan took pictures on his iPhone.. more to share and write about our time on Big Island. Nice to be home before these autumn colors faded, hope you are enjoying pumpkin treats and snuggling warmly under cosy quilts ( ' v ' )


mystery quilt 2

It has been somewhat daunting to tackle a mountain of scraps, I felt like an ant dragging a crumb many times its size. After all the sorting and cutting though, I feel like I have my sugary treats in the form of usable sizes. 

I needed pieces ranging from 5 1/4" to 2 1/2" for the mystery quilt. Anything smaller than that, I cut them into 2" squares adding to a box of 2 inch squares left over from my ' Trip around the world quilt '. Any thin strings that seemed to be more suited for paper-piecing are also separated into another bag.

I realized I could easily avoid this situation in future by cutting the scraps and organizing them as they come, at the end of each project. 

I have 112 of these 4-patches pieced with the white fabric and prints. I am using a vintage sheet that I got at an antique market two years ago for the background along with Kona cotton. And there is another set of 25 four patches that are completely pieced with prints. I am eager to see how they come together in the quilt. 

With this I am done with the first step and have another week of free time before the next instructions are given. It feels good to have a clean sewing room once again and scraps are neatly contained in one place. 

Thank you for stopping by to see what this scraggily ant is up to! 
Have a warm and golden October!  (^ u ^)


mystery quilt

Beginning of a new quilt means lot of fun and happiness.. this time my cause for this excitement are little raggedy scraps. For a long time I was occupied with one project or other and couldn't really do anything about their growing population except for keeping one lazy eye on them and waiting.

I love looking at scrap quilts full of life and containing many fond memories and stories for their quilter. It is perfect timing that Sandy announced a mystery quilt along with scraps called 'Scrapitude'. This quilt pattern is created by Sandy's talented friend Charlotte. If you like to know more details, please visit her blog. Instructions are given once a month with a break in busy December, so it should be manageable to do.

I got to the point of sorting the scraps and cutting some squares.. still a looongggg way to go for this queen size quilt ;)
Along with other odd pieces that I have, I plan to use this adorable charm pack from Nanette to soften the color palette and add more variety. I am choosing a white background to bring a sense of calm to the quilt. It is my first time doing a mystery quilt, I hope I learn to be more flexible and go with the flow with this exercise. Flickr group for the quilt along is here.

Thank you Charlotte, Sandy for giving a purpose and a second life to my scraps ( ' v ' )
I have been admiring Sandy and her lighthearted Podcast 'Quilting for the rest of us' for sometime. Sandy's voice is warm and friendly and very comforting to listen to. I feel like she is one of the gifts that I got from this blogging community. 

Wish you a Happy Autumn, friends!


pencil case

When it comes to color pencils and crayons, Camel was the popular brand in our school days. Every year their watercolors box used to come out in the market with a new packaging and a colorful picture on the tin case. My old Camel box almost rusted but still cheerful, is the inspiration for the pencil case I made for the zakka along.

I paper pieced these pencils with the pattern in 'Patchwork please' book.  But I made some error while tracing the pattern and the outside pencils turned out wider than they should be. I used up the only scrap piece I had of this teal color dots which I really liked. So I just left it as it is. I am telling myself this is a variety pack  : /

The empty space in the center was calling for a label, so I stamped the letters with black ink and appliqued a heart with no. 5 that I found on a selvage. I wanted to imitate the happy pictures we usually see on packages, so I embroidered an apple with a tiny stem. The only thing left is to stamp the name of this Pencil case's owner next to the apple.

Camel of course is the mascot for Camel company. So I applique'd him on the back. It came from a Japanese fabric and the shawl on top of the camel has sparkly embellishments which is so cute! 

This camel looked somewhat lonely and lost and he was very much in need of a friend, so I added a tag on the side with 3 dots that almost form a face. In time I hope they will get to know each other and look much happier than they appear now..

Lining fabric is this blue striped yarn dyed fabric. It has a very organic feel to it. I used a fusible fleece inside for cushioning. 

I am sad to say this probably is my last project in the Zakka along. There are still few tempting projects like bags and quilts that I haven't made yet but I am feeling satisfied with the amazing versions of these projects I see in the Flickr group. If I get a chance anytime soon, I would love to attempt Ayumi's envelope quilt that I have been drooling over, ever since I got this book.

I feel incredibly lucky to take part in this sew along as I met so many new friends and learnt so much through them. Thanks so much for cheering me on and keeping me company all along. 
I cannot express in words how much I appreciate your encouragement and kindness ( ' v ' )

Thank you, Ayumi, Debbie and Lindsey for your selfless efforts and devotion to every part of this wonderful event and for bringing a spring in my step these past few months :)


pink and blue

How was your long weekend? We ended up with a ton of eggplants and tomatoes from our visit to a farm, so we tried some new recipes which luckily turned out well. We also had our fill of ice cream before it gets any more chilly here.

Cooking on a holiday is relaxing, isn't it?!  I wonder what these mom and daughter are planning for their menu? I see some yummy ingredients in their fridge!

Soup is simmering.. timer for the Casserole is set and a candle seems to be glowing brightly on their table, that means dinner is almost ready for this hungry bunny!

Watching the flowers grow taller and taller with each round was fun! Hiding a butterfly and bunny among the wilderness was thrilling! I wish our real kitchen resembled a little bit like this though!

On the back is this 30's print fabric. I used a Japanese linen for the center and the flower fabric is by Megumi Sakakibara. Binding fabric is a linen type gauze fabric by Ecrulat. This hexagon trivet is a paper piecing pattern and wasn't too hard to make. Even the instructions for the binding were very clear.

This week's Zakka project is a travel pouch, roomy and convenient to pack all the necessities for a trip. On the front and back is patchwork with triangles. I varied the layout slightly on each side but the fabrics are the same. Sticking with the theme, I picked some travel fabrics to make this pouch.

The tags on the side also have teeny tiny cars ;)

Inside is this bicycle fabric that Kalyan got me as a surprise present last year. He got a small packet of fabrics that are probably too cute for his taste and he said that the shop lady was very helpful too. I am thankful to both of them and couldn't be more happy with their combined efforts in choosing perfect fabrics!

These patterns are from Ayumi's book, Patchwork please.

I am excited that this is a short week and before we know Friday will be almost here! Have a happy week! (* v *)