Tuesday 18 December 2012

First Quilts - DQ Prajakta

(Guest post by DQ Prajakta, the 9th in our series of 'First Quilts')

A Tale of Four pillow covers and half a bedsheet 

As a kid I remember doing lots of things with my grandmother As her first grandchild I had all the liberty to do anything and everything in the house even as child. I vividly remember our first experiment, a cake (more mine then hers ) and also the look on our maid's face when she saw the kitchen. We moved on to knitting, embroidery and then stitching; but when it came to school craft projects it was always she who used finish them for me while I used to be out playing.

Vacations were always fun reading books and learning something new from my granny till one fine day just before my Class Ten exams my father picked up all my craft stuff ( other than the school stuff) and threw it all away since I was always seen either knitting or embroidering than studying, which in his eyes was a crime.

It has been a long time since then and it was only after moving to Bahrain that I again started indulging myself in my hobby with no job ( since i recently resigned) and 5 hours of metime in the mornings when my daughter goes to school and also due to "DESI QUILTERS" . It felt like "bliss" and to add that the October challenge rules which actually pushed me to do the quilt and to add to it my loving hubby's" katkat" Why have you bought so much fabric? Why do you want to buy more fabric ? We always have to pay excess baggage when coming back after holiday to India because of your fabric shopping?

My first quilt can be described well as " A tale of four pillow covers and a half a bedsheet" . When I started, I had no plan in mind, since it was to be a strip quilt and it could be hand quilted .I wanted a bright quilt as I was tired of the dominance of PINK in my daughter's bedroom so I choose her second favourite colours green and orange . It took me a week to finish the quilt and during that time my living room and the dining table looked like a battlefield , but the effort was worth it. I made a lot of mistakes as I did not plan the quilt layout, which I want to overcome in my next quilt ( for my brand new nephew). 

I did miss my grandma's critical comments on my first quilt since I lost her a few years back, but thanks to my first quilt I relived my childhood with a trip down the memory lane to enjoy those precious moments which I had with my grandmother. 

Happy Quilting DQs!

Monday 17 December 2012

Nima's Foundation Piecing QAL - Introduction

We are extremely happy to have with us Nima, an extremely talented and sweet lady, always generous in sharing her ideas and knowledge. You can check out her blog, Made to Treasure, to see a sampling of her stitchery, crochet, quilting, etc. Nima will be taking us step by step thru the basics of Foundation Piecing, a skill that every quilter needs to have in her kitty. Over to Nima..

Welcome to the world of Foundation Piecing. It is one of the simple piecing techniques. We are going to use paper foundation for this machine-piecing project. I will upload the foundation design files soon, so that you can take a copy of it for your use.

Foundation papers are available in different brands. From my experience regular printer paper can also be used. The difference in the branded foundation paper is, it is transparent. I can relate it to the newspaper print papers that we can cheaply available in India. I remember my college days when I use that kind of paper for practicing maths.

Here I’m using regular tracing paper…it is transparent enough and I got it in A4 size for my printer. Or you can trace out the design to a tracing paper and use it as foundation paper.

The above picture is for illustration. It is a 13” foundation pieced block with a 1” mitered corner border and a 1.5” foundation pieced border. It will be a 18” block when you finish it. You can finish this as a single piece into a cushion cover, table topper or small wall hanging. If you have enough patience to work on more blocks, you can finish it into a table runner or even a bigger size quilt. I will help you to finish the block, and will help you to fix the mitered corner… You can decide what size you want to finish it. I would love to see you choose your own colors for your blocks…

Fabric Needed:

I have used five different colors other than black for this project. You can choose five colors or even less or more. I have used Batiks and self-tone fabrics…it is not necessary that you should use only bolds for this project…you can use your creative mind to use printed fabrics too. Choose your favorite combinations and keep the fabric and paper ready to start the project. I’ll upload the design file soon.


Saturday 15 December 2012

200th member giveaway - winner

From 200, we are already at 212  ! And the winner of the giveaway to mark the 200th member milestone is newcomer Varsha Rai ! She wins a meter of this very striking pre-patchworked animal print fabric.

This is what she had to say on how she would use the fabric:

A quilted vest far my darling daughter. And a matching skirt to boot.

Congrats Varsha ! Now whip up the vest and skirt, coz your daughter's waiting. ..um ..and so are we :-). Mail us your contact details at desiquilters@gmail.com.

Cheers ! Here's to many many more milestones !

Thursday 13 December 2012

DQ Diwali (Nov '12) Challenge - Winner

The winner of the Bumper Diwali (Nov '12) Challenge is Finalist #2, Love Luck and Happiness, by Tina.

She has been refusing to do the announcement, so this is Veena here, doing the honours. She has already refused to take the prizes a few times earlier too whenever the lucky draw threw up her name. But this time I think I shall force her and am sure all my DQ friends will agree with my decision.

Thank you BERNINA India, for the awesome prize and all your support and encouragement.

Congrats Tina, on winning the Bernette 46 !

All participants will get an issue of  'BERNINA' - "Inspiration" magazine full of creative ideas for the passionate sewer, quilter and embroiderer

Congratulations all !

The evolution of the monthly challenge

(Post written by one of the DQ admins, Tina)

Hello peeps

DQ has reached a membership of 214 happy (or so I think) members in 5 short months and I thought it was time for a bit of a history lesson on the evolution of the oh-so-keenly-fought monthly challenges. At the outset let me put it on record that it has been an absolute pleasure for me to be conducting these challenges and seeing the amazing skill, creativity and variety in the entries that they throw up. It has been an extremely rewarding experience to see sewists take small baby steps and mature into confident and skillful quilters..a challenge at a time.

This is my 12th month conducting these monthly challenges. Eh? 12 monthly challenges in a 5 month old group?? Oh well, long story. I was doing this job earlier on another India based quilting forum, so I shall start the story of the evolution of the challenge from there.

Avatar 1 - In the beginning, the winner was decided only by votes. Rest of the participants would send a Fat Quarter to the winner. I won the first challenge btw :-)

Avatar 2 - By the second month, members voiced their reluctance and inhibitions at entering a challenge where there was such a wide spectrum of skill levels. So, in order to encourage newbies to participate too, the format was changed to the winner being chosen purely by a draw. In fact, that month's winner was a member based in Australia and I offered to collect everybody's Fat Quarter and send them to her. And did :-)

Avatar 3 - In a couple of months it was noticed that since voting was not required, non participating members didn't bother with taking the time to visit the challenge album and leave a word or two for the entries. So I introduced the concept of a 'buddy winner'. The winner was chosen by lots as before and she, in turn, had to choose a 'buddy winner' from among the comments left for her entry and send the buddy winner a Fat Quarter. This pepped up things and there was much more interaction among the members.

Avatar 4 - That forum..er..well, resulted in the birth of Desi Quilters, where the challenges were carried on as before with the buddy winner concept.

Avatar 5 -  BERNINA entered the scene and very kindly offered to sponsor the prizes for these challenges. With a lot more at stake, obviously the winner-by-lots format was no more viable. Also, the challenges were beginning to attract a higher level of skill and expertise and the quality of the entries was getting better by the month. But since there was neither a criteria based judging system in place, nor an external panel of judges, the judging/voting had to be done by fellow DQs based on a single (and often not very flattering) pic, including by people who have limited knowledge of the actual process involved and the skill it takes. So, in order to encourage participation and yet recognize the exceptional entries, an amalgam of the former formats was introduced. Members would vote for their 3 favourite entries and based on the number of votes, 3 finalists would be picked and then a draw of lots would decide the lucky winner. This has worked quite well the last 5 months, I dare say.

Avatar 6 - A few members suggested entries be put up anonymously so that voting could be unbiased and people would vote for the quilt rather than the quilter if they didn't know who the maker was. This suggestion has been vigorously supported by a majority of active members and will therefore, be put in place from January 2013. The voting methodology still needs to be worked out and suggestions from members are invited.

So, that, my dear DQs (I sometimes wonder if it stands for Drama Queens :-)!) is the history of the monthly challenges. May we see many many more entries in 2013. The good news is, the prizes get even more attractive !

Watch this space for more details.

(On an aside, I have participated in every single challenge and have been blessed enough to always find my entry among the finalists. Thank you peeps :-) 

Sunday 9 December 2012

DQ Diwali (Nov '12) Challenge - Finalists

OMG !! We have a tie again for the 3rd place ! So here are the four finalists as voted by DQs:

1.Vidya Joshi's 'Diwali Night Sky'

2.Tina Katwal's 'Love, Luck and Happiness'

3.Elvira's 'Rangoli'

4.Kalindi's 'Dawn of the festive lights'

Awesomeness, yes?

One lucky person among the four will win the lovely Bernette 46 from BERNINA India. Now, whom will lady luck smile upon tomorrow?

Friday 7 December 2012

First Quilts - DQ Sunita

(Guest post by DQ Sunita, the 8th in our series of 'First Quilts')

Dear DQs,

I am here today to share my very first quilt experience.The first quilt I made was for the second love of my life. (First one being obvious).

It is called "Spring Chick Cot Quilt" by Janet Goddard.

I must say that I was heavily inspired by the group "Desi Quilters". I watched what others were doing for a few days and then took a plunge. Even though I was an avid sewer and took sewing lessons for children, I had never quilted. Everyone at DQ is very encouraging and generous with their appreciations. I advice any new bees to participate, show their work and ask questions, take suggestions and there will be no looking back.

Anyway back to my first project. I made this on my Usha Janome 'Stitch Magic'. I used fabric from my stash. The original quilt was in bright yellow but since I did not have any, I used mustard instead. I did all the cutting with scissors as I did not own a mat and rotary cutter then. Plus I did want to know how it felt to do it with basic tools. Well to be honest it wasn't as hard as I had thought. ( I guess because I hadn't used the advanced tool then, its going back to basics that is difficult I think). There are six Chicks that are all machine appliqued. This is where I learnt my first machine appliqueing. It got better with each chick. A total of six blocks and the finished size is 38" by 52".

The top was pretty simple and took me just a few days time. I hand basted the quilt as I did not own good quality quilting pins. After the basting, I machine quilted with the regular foot since I do not own a walking foot as yet. I just did straight line quilting with no free motion quilting. In the end I added the 2.5" on fold binding with mitred corners.

This one will always be special as it will always remain my first. So here it is the "Chick quilt".

My advice to new bees is start with a small quilt, like a baby quilt. Big quilts in the first go can be daunting. Don't think that you can't quilt if you don't have rotary and a cutting mat and hordes of other expensive quilting items. Use left over fabric at home, do a project or two and figure out if you have the patience and the love for this craft to make further investments, both in terms of money and time.

Thank you for reading. You can get back to quilting now. Happy quilting folks.


Thursday 6 December 2012

Bee Desi with Elvira

December's Queen Bee is our very own DQ Elvira, a fab quilter and a fabuler person. To top it all she makes the fabulest stars !  Take a look...

 Desi Bee : DOUBLE STAR Block

Hello ladies…I’m so excited to be the queen bee of this month. I decided to make this Double Star block, which I really like. I’ll try to make the instruction as clear as possible.

Its quite simple to make. But first, here’s what I want:

1. Background color is BLACK
2. Star colors: 2 CONTRAST COLOR and use ONLY SOLID

So, here we go :


BLACK fabric:
- Cut 4 ½ “ x 4 ½ “ - 4 pcs
- Cut 4 ½ “ x 2 ½ “ - 8 pcs
- Cut 2 ½” x 2 ½” – 4 pcs

SOLID contrasting color:
- Color #1 : 2 ½” x 2 ½” – 7 pcs
- Color #2 : 2 ½” x 2 ½ “ – 7 pcs


1. Making flying geese:

Take 4 BLACK 4 ½” squares and take 4 pcs of each 2 ½” squares of solid and make into 4 flying geese .

2. Make the 1 ½ flying geese (umm that’s what I called the block, btw)

PLEASE REFER to the picture of the complete block for the placement of the color squares in this piece.

Like making the flying geese, place 2 SAME color of 2 ½” squares SOLID on one side of the 4 ½” BLACK squares and CONTRASTING color of 2 ½” squares SOLID on the other side.


3. Once you’re done, don’t forget to first IRON flat all the seam to the dark side. Then arrange all the pieces and accordingly stitch each row and then assemble the whole thing.

Tadddaaa…your double star block is ready. Easy peasy, isn’t it? ^_^

Happy Sewing ^_^

Wednesday 5 December 2012

DQ December '12 Challenge

Sorry the rules are a bit late folks. Am sure everybody's been gawking at the fab Diwali entries and probably didn't miss the Dec challenge rules terribly? Well, here they are:

1.Make any quilted item of any size
2.Use ONLY Black, White and ONE other colour. Fabric may be solids or prints.
3.Post your entries in the doc AS WELL as the challenge album on the DQ Facebook page. If you are the first one to post, please create an album and then upload.
4.REPEAT: For your entries to be valid, kindly upload BOTH in the doc as well as the album. The admins are finding it difficult to keep order and may result in entries being disqualified just for non-compliance with this simple request.
5.Post BEFORE 31st December 2012, 6 PM IST.

So, go ahead and show us what Black and White look like to you. All the very best. May we have a record number of entries to usher in the New Year !

The winner of the December 2012 challenge will win these yummy prizes from our lovely sponsors BERNINA India :

1.'Mettler' - ' Made in Germany ' Polysheen Thread Box containing 8 mix spools


2.'BERNINA' - "Inspiration" magazine full of creative ideas for the passionate sewer, quilter and embroiderer - 1 recent issue

Tuesday 4 December 2012

DQ Bumper (Nov'12) Diwali Challenge- Entries

To refresh your memories, to win the Black Beauty, the Bernette 46 from BERNINA, here's what had to be done for the Bumper DQ Nov'12 Diwali Challenge:

1.Make a quilted item not smaller that 18"x24"
2.Depict the theme 'Diwali'
3.Quilt by machine, not hand
4.Make sure you have participated in AT LEAST one other DQ monthly challenge apart from this one
5.Post your entry in the FB doc AS WELL AS the album (whoever finishes first opens the album)
6.Post it BEFORE 30th November 2012, 6 PM IST

(Please note, the prize will be shipped only within India. There are prizes for participation too !!)

Best of luck ! Let the battle of the bobbins begin !

There were 13 delightful entries :

1.Tina Katwal
Love, Luck and Happiness - 27"x24". More pics at .. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.507451289286493.117836.100000648790796&type=1

2.Nikhat (entry 1)
A Diwali Diwan Set

3.Nikhat (entry 2)
A Diwali Night

4.Manju Narain
Diwali Puja and the Night with Fireworks (18"x24")

Diwali-crackers,diyas,lantern etc

6.Agnes Wijayanti
Diwali Diya table runner or wall hanging can be both :) Size 18"x45" ... the story is here http://smurfing-time.blogspot.in/2012/11/happy-diwali-2012.html

7.Medha Devdas
Quilted lamps,akaash butti with kundan work,fire crackers made from thread spool n ear buds :D size:27'' by 23''. More pics at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=556006611081896&set=oa.298857360214906&type=1&theater

8.Vidya Joshi (entry1)
Diwali Night Sky 18" X 36"

9.Vidya Joshi (entry 2 )
Dark night sky..18" X 36' runner

10.Uma Srinivasan
Glittery and Pattaki

11. Elvira
inspired by rangoli

Akash deep and lamps 18"x24"

The Dawn of the Festive Lights

Now to wait for the voting for the three finalists and then the choosing of the one lucky person who gets the lovely Bernette 46.

May your lives be filled with light and joy !