Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Captivated by Love

Sometimes there comes a project which will completely captivate you. Such was this project.

I had four quilts (Esmeralda, Parikrama, Shadow of Light and Animal House) to get show-ready - hand stitch the sleeves, labels, pillowcases and all. And I put that aside. Such was this project.

First Fabric Strips

When the on/off switch on my dear darling Janome broke last week, I dusted off the very basic, no frills, no walking foot, Kenmore machine and powered through. Such was this project.

Basic Kenmore

And today I am happy to share with you my finishes.  Let's meet Mira, Sia, Bella, Becca, Jaya, and Mohan.

Mira - Measures 24" square.
One of the many projects on my must-try-someday list is the Scrappy Trip Around the World. So, when Bernie announced this lovely project, I knew immediately that at least one quilt would serve as a practice for scrappy trip around the world blocks.

First Block - Trip Around the World


Mira taught me that an exact 1/4" seam is sacred for this block. Not a scant 1/4", not a generous 1/4", but absolutely exact 1/4". Mira was the perfect opportunity to practice and I love how she turned out. For backing I chose this princess/castle fabric.

Mira's Backing (I forgot the label)

The name Mira is meaningful in various cultures. In Indian culture, Mira is the name of a devotee to Lord Krishna.

Happy & Lovely

Sia - measures 20.5" square
Scraps left over from Mira turned into Sia. Four simple rail fence blocks, sashing and a skinny border.
 For the backing I chose this adorable and plump farm animals fabric.

Sia's Backing

Two strips - 2.5" by WOF are sufficient for binding this doll quilt.

Sia is the name of Goddess Sita, wife of Lord Rama.

I showed Mira and Sia to my friend Cynthia.
Cynthia: Mira is beautiful.
Me: I have been meaning to try that block for a while now. I am so glad I did.
Cynthia - And I love the simplicity of Sia.  
Me: What do you mean?
Cynthia - I would have overthought it.
Me: Hmmm. But I am not sure of the princess backing for Mira.
Cynthia: Why?
Me: It may not be relatable to the kid.
Cynthia: Now you are overthinking it.
Point taken :-)

Let's meet the twins - Becca and Bella.  I had Chinese coin strips leftover from a long time ago.

Thanks to this project, they became something meaningful.

Becca - Flower beds separated by grassy rows. Becca measures 19" by 21".
I have had this bird fabric for a while, about 12" of it. It did not seem to go with anything else. I cut it in half to make this pieced backing.

Becca's Birdie Backing

Bella - Bella resembles Becca because of the flower beds. But instead of grassy rows, she has bees and a leafy green border. Bella measures 19.5" by 20".

And here is the fun backing - plump animals, from the farm.

Backing & Label

A pink/grey houndstooth biding completes the quilt.

So cute!!!

Jaya - Jaya is made up of scrappy 4-patch blocks.  I am not sure when or why I made these blocks. But I am glad they were there.


This little quilt came together so quickly because I already had the 4-patch blocks. A leafy green border completed the top.

4-patch blocks - revived

I wanted an orange binding and this backing with turtles, giraffes, elephants and birds matched perfectly.

Cute Backing 
 Jaya means victory, but is also the name of a goddess.  Love the sunny and cheerful Jaya.


Amy mentioned that she does a boy doll about every third one. Fortunately, there were plenty of blue green 4-patch blocks. That brings us to Mohan.

Mohan - The word Mohan means attractive or captivating but is also one of the many names of Lord Krishna.

I love that the quilt Mohan is bright with a boyish charm.  A muted purple border completed the top.
For backing I chose this owl fabric - it is definitely boyish, I think.

Owl Backing for Mohan
 A teal/aqua backing matches both sides perfectly.

The universe works in mysterious ways. Can you see the pattern?

  • Mira led to Sia.
  • Becca and Bella came from the same leftover flower beds strips.
  • Jaya and Mohan are both made scrappy 4-patch blocks.

I was only going to make two, but two became four and four became six. Who am I to set goals if the quilts are just going to make themselves?

This became my Drop Everything and Make it project. I will be linking with Sandra's Dreami Party, and all my favorite linky parties. Won't you Share the Love?

My Janome may take more than a couple of weeks to be fully functional again.  Till then, I will be hand sewing the quilt labels and the sleeves to make the quilts show ready.  That will keep me grounded :-(

On the upside, three quilter friends (including Cynthia and Mari) have offered their spare machines to me so that I can continue sewing.  So much love - my cup runneth over.

On the down side, I am lusting for the new fabric collection from Connecting Threads. Speaking of things/ideas that captivate me, take a look at Captiva? It is crisp and modern and completely drool-worthy.
Captiva by Connecting Threads

Should I give in?

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Monday, January 29, 2018



I decided to do my part towards the effort of making relief quilts for those affected by the Thomas Fire in California.  The Perkiomen Valley Block pattern was suggested by the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild.

Perkiomen Valley Block
I wanted a soothing (but not dull) color palette.  I chose green for dark and white/neutrals for the light.

How green is my stash?

Once I dived into my stash, I realized that I had plenty of fabric to make not just a few blocks, but a whole quilt.

Design Wall

And why not? I had made one block and I really like it. I needed 42 blocks for a quilt measuring 72" by 84".

Piecing in Process

If thoughts on a single subject were a ball of yarn, my brain was playing with several different strands.
1. My thoughts kept drifting to those who lost their homes to the fire and were then devastated by the mudslides that followed. The mudslides would not have happened if the fire did not happen or if it was not as widespread.
2. What caused the fire? Can it be prevented? What can we do now to prevent these fires in the future or at least reduce their impact?
3. If I had to evacuate what items would I take with me?
4. What should I name this quilt?

Green and Greener

Naming the quilt yarn rose to the top.  Well, it is very green. California is famous for avocadoes. Should I call it Guacamole & Chips?
No, that sounds so cheesy.

Birds and Cactus

Cannot call it Greener Pastures. That name is already taken.
What else would you call a pasture? A meadow? A veld? Savanna?
Yes, Savanna sounds like a good name.
That yarn ball was now rolled and put away.

Sheep & Ladybugs

I was still thinking about the fires.  When I was in gradschool, we went on a site visit to the Tall Timbers facility. I remembered the discussion on Prescribed Burning that not only helped manage the undergrowth but also maintained the ecological balance of the system.
Why would California not follow these practices?

Sand Dollar Fabric
Enough mulling already.

I turned on the NPR radio. It was Reveal - the story of a Mountain Jane Doe.  I was so fascinated and gripped by this story, I decided to look up other episodes from the Reveal podcast. 
My eyes landed on an episode called America's Ring of Fire from October 2016.
How is it possible? Just when I am consumed by this very topic, I came across this podcast!!!


I listened to every word as if it was a raindrop on parched earth. When the presenter/interviewee said that a landscape like a Savanna is fire-safe, I almost dropped the ruler.
My choice of the name came from the green color, but the Savanna like landscape is also fire-safe???
Once again the universe communicates...are we listening.

Pop of Purple 

Please please please just listen to it. The Savanna is mentioned 40 minutes into the podcast.

Amish Village

I found the perfect fabric for backing. There was but one problem.  Since the fabric is directional, it would require five yards and I had just four.  And although I could make the backing from just four yards, the village would appear to be lying on its side. No, no, no - that is not a good metaphor. Not when I am trying to send a message of hope and life and revitalization.

Love Grows!!!

I auditioned other fabrics. My stash includes a few 4-yard cuts which are not directional and would work just fine. But but but I really want the village scene.   A few scribblings later, the design was finalized.

Backing Designed

What do you think?

Finished Back

Now the Amish village is framed by a florescent green (near) solid and then the "Love Grows" leafy green fabric. It is not be what I first intended. But that is fine.

"There is a divinity that shapes our ends. Rough hew them or how we will."  Shakespeare.

I chose a purple binding because it makes a nice contrast with the green.

Purple & Green - So bright

And a few more pictures...just because.

Wishing you comfort

and Joy

May this family have peace

and a bright future

Ooh Purple

Rolled Up

Ready to go places

One last look at the backyard

I have also urged my Quilt Guild members to contribute to the effort. I will be coordinating and sending all items to Superbuzzy in Ventura, California.

I wish I did not have to make this quilt.  I wish I never have to make a relief quilt again. I wish we can learn from our past and invest in more resilient and sustainable communities. I look forward to your thoughts.

I will be sharing this post with all my favorite linky parties (see sidebar) and also with Sandra's Dreami Linky Party.


I had plenty of temptations but I forced myself to focus on Savanna and make her first.