Happy Holidays!

Make time for a cup of tea to rest and refresh during holiday rush.. 
Wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving and happiest of holidays! ( ' v ' )


Scrapitude mystery quilt

Here is the mystery scrap quilt in its completed state.. after patiently waiting for almost a year, it is suitably rewarded with quilting and binding.. I can almost hear its sigh of relief :)

The only reason I believe it got finished is due to a long arm quilting class I recently took. Quilting large quilts on my small sewing machine is getting bothersome. I could clearly sense the danger of quilt tops stacking up if the same situation continues.

I thought I will just take this class and see if I am up to any good. My first trial on a practice piece provided by our teacher was really hopeless. My hands were shaky and shoulders were tense and being watched by a number of friendly, equally anxious eyes in the class made me even more nervous. My quilting went all over the place except where it should be!

My second trial another day went a little better than I expected. Spending some lone time with the machine helped me to know it slightly better and having a cheerful teacher close by was a lovely bonus to loosen up.

Our teacher Laurena @ Laurena Longarm quilting is an amazing person, so sweet always with a ready smile and limitless patience. As I could guess from the few times I was there, she is very busy with quilting work she does for customers, but when someone happens to rent a Longarm machine to use, she puts all her personal work aside and gives priority to helping the quilter. She is really like a fairy with an invisible ring over her.

I did feel guilty to hog her time plenty of times but Laurena is always smiling with an encouraging word and makes us laugh with her sweet sense of humor soothing away any anxieties on our part. If you are around Boston, planning to learn Long arm quilting, I would highly recommend taking a class from her ( ' u ' )

I chose a butterfly design called Angel wings and picked a light yellow thread to hide my irregular quilting and beginner mistakes. On the whole, quilting went smoothly. After 3 or so rows, I became more comfortable with moving the long arm even if my quilting was only up to a low standard. Selecting a thread that blends into the background was a good idea ;)

My friend is a school teacher, she loves anything bright and cheery, so I pieced this apple print and a green chalk board print for the back. Quilt size is 83" x 83".  Her Birthday is next month, so I am excited to finish it just in time and mail it to her.

Charlotte who designed Scrapitude mystery quilt last year is planning another mystery called 'Scrap in a box ' to start in January. She already gave cutting instructions which are posted on her friend Sandy's blog if you are interested. Charlotte is a genius at making beautiful quilts with scraps.. on popular demand, she started a blog to share her delightful quilts and clever tricks to manage our own scraps. It is going to be a great chance to learn from her. Thank you, Charlotte!! 

A huge thanks to Sandy for organizing first round of mystery quilt along, introducing her dear friend Charlotte to us!! ( ' u ' )


Diwali friendship road / Corduroy road

A very pretty pink quilt arrived in Spring sweeping me off my feet with its beauty as well as the generous spirit of a friend it contained.. I still can't believe this sweetie has come to live with us and keeping us extra warm lately. Thank you very much Candace, I can only imagine the amount of care and affection that went into every stitch you put into it, not to mention hours of planning, plotting and sewing!!!

Knobs and grooves of corduroy, cotton candy colors, a gorgeous green print combined with Candace's incredible paisley quilting, this quilt has so many lovely layers both for the eyes and to the touch., too beautiful to describe but I am sorry that I failed to capture it in the pictures. 

When Candace explained the Diwali inspiration for this quilt and the Indian connection it has, I was deeply moved to the core. Please visit Squash house quilts to read about it in Candace's own words, since I know very well I won't be able to do proper justice if I attempt to spell out the special meaning behind it. 

I am falling short of words to express even my own emotions here.. to say the least, I am doubly flattered and humbled that this quilt evolved from the creativity and hard work of two friends I admire and cherish! 

Corduroy road quilt pattern is another of Stephanie's brilliant ideas. Being such a big block, it allows the prettiness of fabric to shine through, provides a playground to experiment with colors or show off stunning quilting designs like Candace did.

Stephanie is one of the first friends who nudged me gently towards starting a blog all those years ago and ever since then she stayed by my side with her unwavering encouragement. Soon after that, I was lucky to meet Candace and some wonderful friends who opened up my world to a much happier brighter spot. It warms my heart to think that by coincidence, the name of this quilt also reflects the friendship road I've taken ( ' u ' )

Thank you Stephanie, Candace for all the love you shower on us, Kalyan and I are going to be enjoying this quilt for many many years collecting nice memories along the way, thinking of you and what a blessing you have been in our lives!!!

Stephanie shared a mesmerizing green and blue version of this quilt on her blog, the colors she chose and the intricate quilting done by her very talented quilter are pure magic!!
Corduroy road quilt pattern is available on Connecting threads website.

Thank you to all my great friends, Love you soooo much!!!! ♥ ♥ 


scrappy strings

It's a growing problem to keep up with scraps that sneakily take over space in the sewing room. Most of the bigger pieces found a place in my Scrapitude quilt last year, but with strings I had no idea what to do with their odd sizes. 

After looking around for a simple mindless sort of project I came across String-X pattern by Bonnie Hunter on Quiltville blog and loved the concept of foundation piecing the strings. There are lot of tissue papers lying around the house, so I just cut them into 4.5" x 10.5" rectangles and started sewing the strings on to the paper. Tutorial is here, if you want to check it out :)

After string piecing, I have around 56 of these units. It's a content feeling to see the pile of strings getting smaller and smaller. There are still a bunch of leftovers but they happily fit in a ziplock bag, it won't be long before they are bulging out again, right! ;)

And there is this pesky linen which was bothering me. Though it looks innocent in the picture, it is somewhat stretchy and slippery and not at all suitable for precise piecing. I got it randomly online and was not very cheap. So I felt this might be a quilt that could welcome it openly.. keeping fingers crossed that the blocks will fit reasonably well ;)
I haven't cut the background pieces yet, maybe I will do some of this work today.

Thank you for stopping by, stay warm and have a great weekend! ( ' u ' )