Golden Paradise is one of two quilts I sent to #quiltsforca to be donated to the survivors of the California wildfires. The quilt blocks are from my first quilt support group – the quilting forum at Houzz (formerly GardenWeb). These were my birthday blocks from 2011. A birthday block group is a group of 13 quilters. Each quilter specifies what kind of block she’d like and the other 12 quilters make and send her one during her birthday month. Each quilter in the group gets to make 12 different blocks and in return, she gets 12 blocks from others in her choice or colors or theme.
I had asked for Buckeye Beauty in greens and golds. For some reason, I got 16 blocks – some quilters in my group sent more than one. I made 4 more blocks and made the top. After adding three borders, the top finished at 60″x 72″ – a very respectable lap quilt/throw size.
I quilted an overall feathery design – a kind of hooked feathers that require no travel stitching, and therefore went very fast. I quilted the entire top in one stretch. It took me about 3 hours including loading the quilt on the frame and 4 bobbin changes.
The backing fabric is from a suitcase full of fabric I got from my aunt Jaya. See story in my Storied Dresden post. The selvage says Falling Leaves by Alexander Henry 1994. My aunt regularly volunteers at a consignment store for the American Cancer Society. They receive a great many donations and one of them was a huge collection of fabric that belonged to a quilter who passed away unexpectedly. Her family donated her entire stash to the store. My aunt picked out a large box full of fabric of different vintages, different sizes for me.
I’m blown away by the symbolism in the quilt. It’s going to someone who probably lost everything in the fire in California. My birthday blocks came from one Australian, one Canadian, and quilters from eight different states. The backing came from a quilter in Michigan. I hope it brings hope and warmth to someone.
The second #quiltsforca is Bisection – see top and tutorial. I quilted large feathers going up and down the quilt.
Also, this month I will be part of the Black & White Blog Hop organized by Carla of Creatin’ in the Sticks. The Blog hop runs Jan 21st-24th. Please come back to visit. This is a sneak peek of my finished quilt I will be sharing for the blog hop.The Blog hop runs Jan 21st-24th. Please come back to visit. This is a sneak peek of my finished quilt I will be sharing for the blog hop.
2018 was a definite winner on my quilting and quilt-blogging journey. It was the first year I had at least 5 blog posts to write this post on the 5 best blog posts/finishes of the year! 2018 is also the year I met some great quilters and quilt bloggers. I can say I even have personal friendships with few of them. It’s amazing how you feel a close kinship with some people after just a few blog comments, a few personal emails and a few phone conversations. 2018 was a turning point in my quilt “career” and there’s no going back! Linking Cheryl’s Best of 2018 Linky Party.
Spiral Nova quilt and tutorial was a super hit. I entered it in the Spring Tips and Techniques festival in June hosted by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs and Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl, and it was voted first place in the block/quilt tutorials category. I know at least one person that used the tutorial and made her own spiral nova!
2. Magic Triangles was a December 2017 finish but I’m going to include that in my 2018 list! I got some very interesting comments for this quilt that generated nice discussions with my non-quilting friends on op-art, math, 3D and other geeky stuff 🙂
3. Justice Everywhere was my entry to the QuiltCon two color challenge. It was not accepted but it is to date my “best” quilt in many ways – most of all because of what it means to me.
4. Serendipity was another favorite. I love everything about it!
5. Upcycle was made using my husband Srini’s shirts. Not the most glamorous quilt but it is cozy and comfy and perfect for spring/summer/fall nights when he is away from home 🙂
Meet “Justice Everywhere”. She spells out the famous Dr. Martin Luther King quote “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” using the Braille alphabet. This was my entry for the two-color challenge at QuiltCon 2019. It did not get selected for QuiltCon but it still remains my favorite quilt to date. I stare at it amazed that I designed and made something like this and, at the same time, finding ways to change or make it better.
The idea for a statement quilt came to me after I saw a Thomas Knauer exhibit at the Houston Quilt Festival in 2017. I had seen a plate in Braille at a museum, and found a certain visual rhythm and intrigue in Braille.
This quote by Dr. Martin Luther King has been one of my favorites for years. It is a constant reminder that, while we have come a long way in making the world a more just place, we are not done till there is justice everywhere and for everyone.
I picked hot pink and black to honor the countless courageous that have come out and talked about their harrowing experiences of sexual assault and sexual harassment as part of the #metoo movement. They have faced skepticism and hostility for coming out with their stories. I hope that the voices of these courageous #metoo women make the world a safe and just and better place for our daughters and granddaughters.
The pink pieces are 1.5″ squares finished. 0.5″ black strip between squares in a letter and 1″ black strips between letters in a word. I did Trapunto-style quilting to give extra body to the pink squares. I used two layers of a puffy wool batting and quilted around the outline of each square, and then cut out the batting from all but the pink squares. Then I quilted the entire quilt as usual using a black polyester batting.
I used the channel lock on my Grace Continuum frame to quilt closely spaced straight lines. When the lines hit a pink square, I quilted around the square and continued the straight line. When I got bored, I offset the lines by an inch or two to create small “ripples” in the pattern. Black backgrounds are notoriously hard to photograph. This quilt looks so rich and dynamic in person that the pictures. I found it so hard to get the nuances of color and texture with the black background. Any tips on photographing black is truly appreciated.
Fabric: Kona Cotton jet black Kona cotton pomegranate Batting: 100% wool – Hobbs Tuscany for Trapunto 100% polyester Quilters Dream in black Back: Kona cotton pomegranate Thread for quilting: Superior threads So Fine 50 wt in black
What are blocks from the past? Just an euphemism for UFOs – unfinished objects that have been long forgotten but have recently been put into a beautiful quilt. It’s also a reference to how my tastes in quilting have changed over the years. I have a number of UFOs that are based on more traditional blocks and traditional fabric that don’t appeal to me anymore. I’ve been taking them out and trying to finish them – sometimes as is but sometimes I try to change a few elements, add a wonky sashing or an off-grid layout. This quilt is one of them.
I’ve been part of an online quilting forum – formerly part of GardenWeb, but now part of Houzz.com – for many years. The wonderful quilters in the forum are responsible for almost everything I know about quilting but they are also responsible of most of my UFOs :-). The participation has dwindled over the years but I always find inspiration, suggestions and fresh new ideas in the group.
I won these blocks in a block lotto in 2009. Since then we went through a remodel and a move to a new home, and I had “lost” these blocks in the sewing room. The pattern is called hole in the barn door. The “hole” nicely frames various red floral prints. There were 20 blocks. I put them together 4×5 and added a border that echoes the “barn door” part of the block pattern.
I did an overall flowery, swirly design for the center and a swirl chain along the borders. I wanted the quilting to blend into the center flower fabric – so I used a red thread for quilting.
The quilt goes to my aunt, Kanaka. I was able to give it to her when I saw her last month on an unexpected trip to Chennai. My aunts were a big part of my childhood – each of them has influenced me and made me what I am today.