Friday, October 7, 2016

Hello October!!!

I am thrilled, stoked, tickled pink and on Cloud Nine!!!  For two reasons.

1. Queen's Necklace was placed second in the Bloggers Quilt Festival - Large Category.

2. Sun City was placed second in the Bloggers Quilt Festival - Scrappy Category

For someone who has been quilting for less than four years, this is insanely fortunate.

Thank you to each one of you who voted for me, cheered for me, wished me well and commented on my posts!!!  I have found so much love, support and encouragement in the blogland - my cup overflows...

My first October goal is a visit to the spa.

I received (from Paul) on our anniversary (October 7)) a gift card to a spa  and once the festival is done, I will definitely let others take care of me.  Even the thought is yummy :-D

I am getting ready for Sterling Fest on October 8, 2016.

I have about 100 zippered bags, 20 baskets and 14 baby blanket+burp cloth sets.  Is that enough?

Sweet Pea Pods (before)

Sweet Pea Pods (after)

What I don't have enough of is deep breaths.
Taking a few of those as I write!!! I am a little crazy right now, but I promise to share more pictures after the festival.
You can find Sweet Pea Pods and the Joan Hawley class at Craftsy.


My one quilty October goal is to complete Erica's Quilt.  Here is a glimpse of the fabrics.

Sharing this post with Red Letter Quilts for OMG and all my favorite linky parties.
I promise that I will not look at another zipper or piece of interfacing in a long time.

And to end this blogpost, I am sharing a conversation between Paul and me.

Me: I have a free dessert coupon for Olive Garden.
Paul: We can go to Olive Garden. They brought back my favorite potatoes.
Me: I want Tiramisu.
Paul: Ooh that sounds yummy.
Me: I'll share it with you.
Paul: Well, thank you.
Me (grinning): It has mascarpone cheese in it. (Paul is allergic to cheese)
Paul: You are such a Brat!!!
Me: Mission accomplished. (I love it when he calls me a brat)
Paul: You are so thrilled that you got a brat outta me.
Me: I wish we could get a brat out of me.

Hope your weekend is full of love and joy...with minimal longings. I'd love to hear from you, as always.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bloggers Quilt Festival - Sun City (Scrappy Category)

Sun City is my second entry to the Bloggers Quilt Festival hosted by Amy of Amy's Creative Side.  I have entered Sun City in the in the Scrappy Category.

I made Sun City as my response to my Guild President's Challenge - Log Cabin Revisited. The rules were simple - no  more than 24" square, must use either black or white, and any variation of log cabin was acceptable.

Sun City is composed primarily of log cabin blocks. The strips are cut at 1", and finish at 1/2".  This small quilt was fraught with big challenges, which I have documented in an earlier blogpost - Mini Quilt, Major Challenges

Getting to Sun City was a long journey. There were wrong turns and several forks in the road.
In the end, I love how bright and cheerful it appears.  The densely packed, multi-storeyed houses, with bright windows and black chimneys was worth the long, arduous path.

How do you choose what category fits best?  Sun City is small, scrappy, art (since it is a wall quilt), modern (may be), and was quilted on a domestic machine.

I was struggling when I decided to look at the quilts in various categories. 
Those that are art quilts are way more artistic.  Sun City is not.
Those that are in the modern category do not suggest that they are modern - they scream it.   Sun city does not.
Those that are in the domestic machine quilted have exquisite quilting.  Sun City is quilted simply.

Small or Scrappy.

In the end, I chose to go with Scrappy since every fabric came from my stash and did not even make the tiniest dent in my stash. 

I quilted it from the back to follow the slanted lines of the backing. This was also my first time using faced binding.
All entires to the President's Challenge received a small gift.  There were no winners.

Honestly, I was bummed.  I was competing. I was really stretching myself and then to receive a participation gift was an anti-climax.  This time, I am just participating in the Bloggers festival.  No expectations.

However, if you vote for SUN City, I will be over the MOON.

Please take a look at all of the quilts and be wowed and inspired.  After all, that is the purpose of this festival.

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Queen's Necklace (Large Category)

If you are a quilter/blogger, you must have heard of the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side.  This year I decided to enter the Queen's Necklace Quilt in the Large Quilts category.

Finished Quilt - 70" by 86"

I made this quilt for my mother, who is recovering from back surgery.  I blogged about it earlier here and here.

I wanted the quilt to be visually stunning - a bold pattern that engages the eye and draws you in.

A Queen's Necklace

I realized that quilt blocks that make secondary patterns are the ones that make the eye travel along the pattern lines, till your eyes spot the secondary pattern and then there is this AHA moment.  Oh look circles!!!


Since I would visit and leave in ten days, I wanted her to engage with the quilt and may be, just maybe forget about her pain - even if for a little bit.

The choice of the colors was simple - pink and orange.  My mom likes warm and bright colors.
The choosing of 20 fabrics that were all bright and yet distinct from each other, while none of them stood out too much - that took a little (a lot of) agonizing.
Orange & Pink

Pink and Orange became Blush, Berry, Coral, Peach, Melon, Rose, Fuchsia, Azalea, Camellia...and so on.  You get the picture.

I chose a dark purple border and quilted it using my walking foot in gentle curves. Thanks to Jacquie Gering.  The choice of a striped fabric in candy colors for the binding, matched perfectly.

Purple Border, Candy Stripes Binding

My mom is a sewist (and a perfectionist).  She is the one who spot errors quickly.  I wanted this one to be perfect.  Since my mom loved the quilt, I believe it is.

That is why I chose to enter it in the festival.

Dimpled, after a wash

My dear friend Sandra (Musings of a Menopausal Melon) provided the necessary push.

Please take a look at all of the quilts.  They are a celebration of color and a feast for the eyes.
I do hope that you will vote for the Queen's Necklace.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Dip my Toes, Take a Plunge

This blogpost is so last minute but I wanted you to not miss out on this Craftsy Sale.

All sewing and quilting classes are under $20 through the weekend!!!

Bags & Matching Zippers - Audition
Since I am making bags and pouches and baskets for an upcoming festival, some of them (Becca Bags) based on Joan Hawley's class, I highly recommend that one.

This class by Anne Unrein was highly recommended by my M* forum member, Renate.

Did you see there are about six new classes in quilting?

Jacquie Gering is an all-time favorite of mine.

If you are interested in modern quilting, I recommend Elizabeth Hartmann.  She is very precise and she has a free class - Creative Quilt Backs.  Perfect to dip your toes, without having to take a plunge.

I know you are wondering which class did I get. I bought Debbie Caffrey's Clever Cuts for Efficient Quilting.  She teaches amazing piecing techniques. I have only explored it a bit but whatever I saw was all new!!! So much to learn.

Paul's cast is off and he will return to work this Sunday.  I am a bit concerned about him.
He may push himself to do the whole 10-hour shift, when his arm may need resting.  Being concerned without being a nag is a tightrope to walk! Any advice?

Ever since I returned from California, I have been wanting to make falafel.  I so enjoyed these at Babalou's Mediterranean Grill in Walnut Creek.  No, I have never made them before.

Me: I so want to make falafel.
Paul: I will stop preventing you from making them
Me: And I also want to make a flourless chocolate cake with a molten center
Paul: Go for it
Me: Yes, but I am so absorbed with the festival prep for now
Paul: Looks like you have plenty of bags and pouches
Me: How do I know it is enough?
Paul:  Why don't you make some baby blankets and bibs.  You can whip those up in an afternoon.
Me: Terrific Idea. There is a reason I keep you around.
Paul: Uh huh!!!

Maybe next weekend, I will dip my toes into Mediterranean cooking.  For now, I will plunge deep down into baby blanket making.  Oh look at these uber cute frogs and cows!

Farm Animals and Frogs

Soothing & Popping

Hope the buyers find them irresistible.  Are you dipping your toes?  Or taking  a plunge?
I'd love to hear from you.

This blogpost contains affiliate links.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Aquaculture & Addiction

Happy Friday to you all. I have a finish to share.

Friday Finish!!!

I chose to call this quilt Aquaculture - aqua for blue and culture for green (imagine growing a culture in a petri dish) Since it is growing, it is green.

Green Blocks

Blue too!

But it could also mean growing things in water.
Piecing in Progress

And the green blocks within blue outlines seems like green things growing in water. Therefore - Aquaculture.

I bought the charm pack (Pineapple Fabrics) from the Quilt Show in 2015.  Threw in a couple of other fabrics to match/make do.

Assembling Rows

OK, I admit, it was a UFO. But I am happy to announce it is  FINISHED  now.

No body in mind.
Just a quilt.

I am sure  a recipient will miraculously appear.

Quilting Detail

The batting is Warm & Natural.  I quilted it in a grid - horizontal and vertical lines, using my walking foot and a decorative stitch. on my Janome.

I chose the same teal blue for the binding to bring the quilt pattern together.  I think it works.
Backing and Binding

The backing is just so cute!!!  This is my September finish (one of them at least) and I will be linking with Heidi of Red Letter Quilts.

Friendly Animals :-)

Here is what the label looks like -  Name on one half, and care instructions on the other half.  I got it from ikaprints. 

My label
This is how the finished label looks.
Since my quilt holder-upper is still out of commission, the mail box will have to do for now.

What are you working on?

Let's talk about Addiction now.  Fabric addiction that is.
Let's admit that there is  no cure. We can manage it...or at east try.

I have allowed myself to buy new fabric in the following conditions
1. When I finish a UFO.
2. When a desired line goes on sale.
3. When I do a giveaway.

Amazingly, all three are true for right NOW.
I just finished Aquaculture.  I just completed my first giveaway. The packages in the mail today.
And look at all this yumminess on sale!!!

Here are a few of my favorite picks.

Cotton and Steel FQ box - Just over a dollar for a fat quarter, this needs no introduction.  Grab it before it is gone.

Andover Sun Print by Alison Glass - This is the fabric line that Molli Sparkles has been raving about.  Need I say more? Fine, it is also on sale!!!

Arabian Nights - Love the rich dark colors. And it is 50% off.  I probably won't use the kit for the pattern (I think it needs some lighter colors too for the eyes to rest), but boy do I love the fabric?

Moda Ombre Basic by V & Co. - Such a  great value for such versatile fabrics. Wow!!!

Which one of these caught your eye?  Do let me know because I love to hear from you!
I will be linking with all my favorite linky parties.

This blogpost contains affiliate links.