Thursday 29 November 2012

First Quilts - DQ Sudha

(Guest post by DQ Sudha, the 7th in our series of 'First Quilts')

Hey guys,

My experience with my first quilt..

Firsts are always special. First friend, first fight, first gift, first school, first kiss, first baby, first marriage.!! uh-oh....that didn't sound a wee bit right, did it. Keep shut and march ahead.! Which brings me to my first quilt.!

I have been eyeing the umpteen quilting tutes in the blogworld for the longest time possible. but then at any given point i have my eye on zillion diy/sewing tutes . same time i joined DQ was the Sept Dq monthly challenge. And there is this one persistent babe out there who kept sitting on my head on getting started on one.

And I got down to the business of starting. I had two first quilt, no three. But I was so happy that this particular one turned out be my first. It represents everything i am. Hell, it screams me. Its minimalistic in design, its vibrant, the Indian colours, the Indian fabrics, it shouts colours..!! It was plain and simple and yet a whole lot complex. It took me two weeks to complete this. Two weeks and two hundred zillion FB hours with you know who??? :) Yes Teens (thanks for tolerating me)

I took up hand quilting as my first quilting method. I don't know whether it was a risk or safe choice. I wanted to incorporate the kantha technique with a modern twist. So I read up some, looked up a few, and ended up doing squares. And no it wasn't a planned and organised approach. I drew line as i sewed each line. I am surprised how i managed such squares too.

Have I thoroughly enjoyed my first quilting experience? At times I thought I was mad taking on this challenge( I mean wholecloth quilt - what the heck was that..!!!)... the aching back while pinning, the aching neck while quilting, the layers not pinned evenly. However, the satisfaction I felt upon finishing each stage and the enormous sense of achievement seeing my quilt finished, was worth every minute of it!!! And that look on my kiddo's face - ah bliss..!!Yes, I'll be making more quilts. I'm hooked!!!

And the beauty, I guess having that first "done" makes me, officially, a quilter.


psst - I couldnt help but notice the order of my firsts..!! does it look weird to only me? ;)

Here are a few pics -

Thursday 22 November 2012

Yay! 200 and counting !!

Celebration time folks as we, at DQ, welcome our 200th member!!

Time for a group hug, a happy dance and a giveaway !

One lucky person gets a meter of this droolishious pre-patchworked animal print fabric. Just imagine the possibilities...Throw in some hot pink and fashion a cozy girl quilt...or mix in some earth colours and engineer a man quilt..or tumble in some brights or jungle prints and whip up an easy peekaboo block quilt for a young man or child...or...

If you are salivating by now, this is what you gotta do to qualify for the giveaway...
1.Be a follower of the DQ blog
2.Leave a comment telling us what you are likely to do with this fabric
3.To get a bonus entry, dedicate a song to DQ..make sure you leave us a link for the song :-)

Winner will be drawn in a week's time. Please do make sure you are not a no-reply-blogger. Or leave us your mail id so we can get in touch with you.

So, raise your glasses peeps...Dil Maange More !

Monday 19 November 2012

DQ Meet @ Bangalore

Mark your calenders folks, for the Funnest DQ Meet is gonna happen !~ @ Koramangala, Bangalore on 01.12.12. 
Time :1100-1400 hrs. 
Thanks to our lovely host Smita, and cool coordinator Sunita, this is going to be so sew fun !
Out of towners, please book your tickets today. YOU DONT WANNA MISS THIS !!

Watch this space for more details.

Saturday 17 November 2012

Sudha's Chevron Tote QAL - Gallery

After another very successful Desi QAL, here's the gallery of finished totes and WIPs as we offer our thanks to the vivacious DQ Sudha for her amazing QAL (Part 1 & Part 2)












Thank you Sudha !

Friday 16 November 2012

Sunny Bee Nikhat's Fiery Sun

Hello Sunny Bees,

My turn to be the QUEEN BEE :-)…well don't you worry, will not take you to task but will just 'Raise the bar' as Tina mentioned, a wee bit.

The theme SUN or SUNNY SIDE UP, for me  literally or figuratively is the fiery sun itself in all its glory.

Googled big time to see an apt image or tute for the image I had in mind and finally settled for this one…

 100% cotton- small prints of sunny colours, shades of red, orange and yellow only
 100% cotton- Black  (please test for colour fastness for all fabric)

 White sheets of paper or fusible web
 Scale and Protractor
 A pair of scissors

Cut out templates as shown

A - 4 nos.
B - 5 nos
C - 1 no.
D - 1 no.
E - 1 no. 

Place the templates A, C and D on the black fabric and stick them. Give a 1/4" seam allowance all over and cut the fabric.

Similarly, place templates B and E on the printed fabric, stick it and cut leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.

The link below will help you...

Sew the triangles together and then attach the centre arc.  Trim and iron.

 The radius of the arc should measure 13".


- Nikhat

Thursday 15 November 2012

First Quilts - DQ Manju

(Guest post by DQ Manju, the 6th in our series of 'First Quilts')

My First Quilt

My mother used to sew beautifully and do a lot of fine embroidery and I grew up seeing a lot of clothes being stitched and a lot of patchwork quilts being made. Sewing always fascinated me and I got a chance to play with it when I grew up. But the quilt bug caught me only after we landed in the USA about twelve years ago.

Quilting is big time over here and the different blocks that you can create just amazes me. The art quilts … ah! One of my big dreams is to make a half decent art quilt !

So a bit after settling down in our new home I visited a fabric store and they were starting a fresh quilt group for newbies…a block a month. You take a packet, they give you instructions to make the block, you show your completed block the next month and they give you the next block. So in twelve months we learnt to make 12 different blocks and they did give another class for binding and finishing the quilt, which I unfortunately missed!

So the first quilt I ever made was a sampler quilt with the American colours – red, white and blue. Adding my touch to the quilt I did a bit of satin ribbon embroidery on the border.

This quilt is gifted to my first born and I think it has been pretty well used. The quilting part is not well done on this one as I neither knew how to do it nor how and where to get it done so brought it back to ‘apanee Dilli’ and the local razai walla made a hash of it.

Though I did make it about 10 /11 years ago my quilting was lying dormant for a number of years and it has come out of hibernation only recently!

Also I love belonging to my Desi Quilters group and airing my quilting urge.


Monday 12 November 2012

DQ Oct'12 Challenge - Winner

The fact that there were a record 18 entries for the DQ October 2012 Challenge brought much joy to all Desi Quilters. Along with it, it brought much confusion and dilemma as it became increasingly difficult to choose and vote for only three entries for the final round. After much consideration, the votes were finally cast, and due to a tie, we have not three but four finalists !





And the winner picked by the random number generator is...(drumroll pls)..DQ Manju !

Congratulations Manju ! You get these lovely goodies from BERNINA India :

A BERNINA ' Pin Holder '...

... alongwith a BERNINA ' Magnetic Bobbin Holder '...

..and a current issue of the BERNINA ' Inspiration ' magazine, full of creative inspirational ideas and DIY projects..

Congrats once again, Manju ! Thank you Bernina !

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Sudha's Chevron Tote QAL - Part 2

(This is part 2 of the  Chevron Tote QAL presented by very talented Sudha. In Part 1, she teaches us how to make the chevrons from striped fabric.)

Alrighty. So I guess and hope you guys are ready for the Part 2 of the tote, what with one monthly challenge down. Ok.


-Use a sturdy Needle, because with the canvas it can get a bit bulky at the seams. I use a Number 18 when i sew bags.
-The key to getting the bag professional looking is Ironing the seams every time you sew. I cannot stress this point enough. Its a pain to shuttle between the sewing table and ironing board, but trust me, you will see a very neat finish if you follow this tip deligently. So remember SEW – IRON - SEW.
-Topstitch whenever mentioned.
-RS = Right Side WS = Wrong Side

Now my client wanted more of the Chev pattern than the panel. For that you can follow the measurements under the CUTTING header.

For people who do not want a panel at all, you should have your main fabrics the size of 20”X20” for a bag this size.

If you want more of the panel, then your panel pieces should measure 20X9” and you main should be 20X11.5” (including the seam allowance)

Lets get Toting:

So what I have is a 20”X15” Chevron fabric ready.

-Chevron for the front – 20”X15”
-Original Stripes for the back – 20”X15”
-Cut 2 pieces of Co-ordinating fabric for below panel (front and back) – 20”X6”
-Cut 2 pieces of Lining fabric (you can use the same fabric as the one you use for the panel or a third fabric) – 20”X20”

I was working with scraps for the lining, so don't get worried seeing panel pieces against my lining. My client wanted the same ditto piece I had made earlier.

-Canvas (bakram) – Cut 4 pieces for the outer and lining of the bag – 20”X20” (Its also called Interfacing in some places and bakram in our local markets. Lay your hands on the thickest canvas that you can find. Stress to the shopkeeper on the iron-on canvas, makes life so much more easier.)

-Scraps of fabrics and canvas for Pockets.

-Leather for handles. Or for cheapos like me use Belts. And to be a seasoned cheapo like me – look out for them during sales. Do not buy the road side “3 for jesht 100 Rs. Vonly” belts. Invest on a gud sturdy ones. They fray within no time. Been there, done that.

At the Sewing machine:

Take your Chevvy piece and one panel piece. With RS together, sew along the longer side (20” side). Open and Press seam flat. Topstitch. Like so.

Topstitch -

Repeat the above with the back Stripes piece and panel piece.

Now your finished fabric will be about 20X20. If you like/want your tote in this size/shape then omit the ahead instructions. I dont like it. So. Fold in half, crease. Now I dont like a straight square shape, so I am going to give a slight cut along the raw edge side. When folded, my top edge is 10. Measure 8.5” in the bottom. Join the 10” with the 8.5” in a straight line, and cut. So now my front main piece will be 20” on the top, 17” on the bottom and the height is going to be 20”. Hope the pic below helps -

You could also do another variation to this. Make the top narrower than the bottom. That will be a fabulous pattern too. For that keep your top edge 15” and bottom edge 20”. If anyone follows it, please do let me know. Dont just follow my tute to the T. This pattern will be fab.

Repeat this step for the back main fabric piece and the 2 lining pieces.

At the Ironing Board:

Fuse the canvas to the prepared front and back main fabric pieces. Iron the shiny side of the Canvas to the WS of the fabrics. It will not easily fuse. Put pressure and hold on for a couple of seconds for the canvas to fuse/stick to the fabric. And watch out, the fabric is piping hot..!! :)

See the shiny side?

Fuse canvas to the lining fabric pieces in the same above manner.

Prepare the Pockets:

Take a scrap bit of 10.5”X12” (OK it doesnt sound like a scrap bit..!!)
Fuse it with canvas. If you are using heavy canvas then only fuse 10.5”X6”.

Fold the raw edges(12” side) in and fold in half so your pocket piece is now 10.5”X6”. Place it 10” below the top edge of one of your lining pieces and sew. Flip it to cover the raw edges, topstitch and sew the outer two seams. Sew in two more vertical lines to create sections. Hope the following pics help you out.

Your lining pieces are ready.

Back at the Sewing Table:

Take the two main outer fabric pieces. With the RS together, sew the three sides together (the two slant sides and the bottom 17” side). It will look like this

Take the two lining pieces and sew the three sides together. Leave about 3-4” opening on one of the sides. I will tell you why later. You could leave either at the sides or at the bottom.

Turn them inside out so the RS faces you. Take a walk upto your ironing board and give those seams a good iron. Press the seam flat. Yes I will keep repeating the ironing part.

Boxing the edges:

Now we have to create some booty to this beauty.!, you dont have to scurry around hunting for boxing gloves.(Cheap attempt at PJ at this juncture..i know..!!)

Take the main fabric piece that you have sewn, so that the WS faces you. Now pinch those bottom edge so it becomes a triangle. Take time, this is vital so all your seams look like in one strt line. Meaning your horizontal seam should match your vertical. Pics should do the talking.

Match up the the two triangle corners to form perfect flat base.

A look inside to show what i mean by matching seams.

See? The horizontal seam (ur base) and the vertical seam(the main Chevvy) are in one line. Now mark 5 – 6” on that triangle, like so -

Repeat on the other corner. And sew along that line. Re-inforce on that line. Sew around a couple of times, as a lot of pressure is on these points when you start using it to carry stuff.

Trim edges to reduce bulk.

Now turn it inside out to see how you bag looks :). Your are 3/4th way to finishing it.!

This is how fugly it looks when you try to turn it ulta.

And the exterior..!!!!

See how the seam looks like one straight line. That was what I was talking about when i was talking about boxing the corners.

Now repeat the same process for the lining, remembering to leave about 4” gap on one of the sides. Now turn your Main Exterior fabric and turn it so WS faces you. Slide in the lining such that the RS of the Main and Lining are facing each other.

Match the side seams to get a perfectly lined seam.

Remember to match the pocket lining piece with the back piece, lest you will have the pockets attached to the front side. Nothin wrong with it, but thats how all bags are me thinks. :)

Now, sew around the top edge all around. Maybe even twice to re-inforce. Now go have a shot or two of Tequila, you will need it. This next step is the hardest part of the whole bag-making. Harder even than sewing. And I hope you took my suggestion and left that gap on the lining, else you are so so dead baby..!! :) Now from that gap turn the whole bag inside out. Do take my advice and down a shot. For non-drinkers, a bottle of Benedryl so should do the trick. :D

Start pulling out from that gap we left in the lining. Its a hard task, took me almost half an hour of swearing and cussing.! It will look a mess, pay no heed to that. You are going the right track.

Take a break after you are done. I came back to it only the next day, I was so done with it. Imagine I have 6 such bags to do. There that should make life easier for you. :) After all that pulling and reversing, you end up with this -

Iron that baby flat. Go slow and nice. Remove all that crease. Topstitch along the top edge so the lining stays in place. And you and I end up with THIS:

Yay...Congratualtions..!!!Naaicee..!!! Now take a belt, snap the edges, fold in half and cut into two equal pieces. That will be your straps. Now go onto the street and find that local chappla wala and ask him to rivet it. Two on either side in the front and two on the back. So that's 4 in the front and 4 in the back. I am heading out to my local mochi and getting it done. For those in the West, I think you can buy the rivet set available at your craft stores or find people who own one. And those who altogether want to skip leather straps, sew on fabric straps. Please to let me know if you need tute on that, maybe I can help with a few links.

Hope I have been elaborate enough. If there is anything, any section that bothers you, then please give me a shout. Everyone knows I am always around. I dont know how, I do manage to get a lot of work done and still hang around online. So here's hoping you all try it out. This is also the basic technique of making any bag and not just a Chevvy Tote. Pls do try out this tute and let me know. Its my first ever tute, and I am as nervous as you are in attempting it. Oh you arent nervous??.!!

Cheers, Happy Toteing.