Monday 22 July 2013

First Quilts - DQ Erika

(Guest post by Erika, the 14th in our series of 'First Quilts')

Geez, blogpost. No pressure guys…

Where to begin? I've been wanting to get quilting again ever since I made my first quilt, about 20 years ago… But you know, career, babies, teenager, the list goes on. Somehow, I never found the time. After moving to India, I no longer was able to work due to visa restrictions & finally had the time to follow any and all crafty (and some not-so-crafty) whims of my own choosing. No longer dedicated to designing for other people (I still had several clients I had to find new homes for - which is harder than you might think), I went at it with gusto. Sometimes, I wouldn't leave the flat for weeks. Around here, it's just create create create. Which, of course, I absolutely love.
During my working years, I always managed to find the time to make my own small projects (and a few big ones), but was intimidated by the whole 'quilting' thing. Somehow, it seemed like an awfully big commitment for something that I would never use in our home. OCD much? Yeah, guilty… It never occurred to me that I could make something I actually like. Duh.

In comes modern quilting… HELLO, QUILTIE! I pour over books, websites & anything & everything I can get my hands on, but still… No start. A year passes, no start. I was over committed client-wise &
realized that I was letting this awesome no-job opportunity slip through my fingers. Shame on me! So, with a bit of extra sari-lining left over from a previous softie-project, I decided to just go for it. For science, of course…
I didn't use a pattern, I just kinda made it up as I went along. The jury's still out on whether or not I would suggest the 'make it up as you go along' method to other new quilters, but it worked well for me… I'm a big fan of understanding the 'how & why' instead of just following directions. All problems with authority aside… I learned a TON making this quilt, and with the help of everyone here, I learn more every day.

A few things I learned along the way…
If you decide to use alternating thread colors in your quilting, don't lazy out of rethreading your machine as you quilt. Going in between already-quilted parts to fill in with an alternate color caused puckers & deformities in the quilt that I really could have lived without. Note to self: lazy doesn't work. Bummer, but true.

When they say, "You should really use a walking foot" … Listen. There's nothing worse than finally getting your quilt close to completion & then having bits of bunched fabric you have to rip out & redo… or not, if you're sick of working with sari lining. Which completely sucks, BTW. Don't be tempted by the cheap & colorful selections, it's a trap.

When they say, "Make sure the batting is bigger than the quilt top" … Listen. Due to the floppiness of the sari-lining & no walking foot, my quilt-top shifted. I was cutting it awfully close to the edge & would have appreciated the extra wiggle room a bit of extra batting would have given me… had I listened. Which, of course, I didn't. I'm sensing a theme here.

When they say, "Follow 'X' pattern for beginners" … Flip 'em the bird & do your own thing. You'll learn a lot more along the way, and feel like a rockstar-quilting-rebel while doing it.

All in all, it was a great experience. I've already got several quilts in the planning stages & another one to finish over the next day or so. It seems I've been bitten by the quilting bug & there's no stopping me now!



Tuesday 16 July 2013

DQ July-August '13 Challenge

Rules for the DQ July-August 2013 Challenge

1.Make a quilted item of any size incorporating liberal use of 'Negative Space' in the design. Entries will be judged on how well negative space has been used to enhance the design and concept.
2.Email 3 pics (1.of the full front, 2.of the full back, 3.close up of the quilting) of the finished item to Please do not send more than 3 pics as the admins do not want to have to choose.
3.Please include dimensions and a short description of your entry.
4.Please send in your entries by the midnight of August 30th, 2013

In an effort to keep the challenges interesting and alive, we are now trying out the bimonthly format, i.e., the challenge will extend over two months. This is in response to multiple requests from a reasonably large number of members who are interested in participating but find themselves unable to complete their entries in the earlier time span.
We are still following the anonymous entries format and for more details on the format, click here..

 The winner gets these goodies..

1.A gift voucher for Rs.1500 from Bernina India, redeemable against purchases of sewing, quilting, patchwork notions, thread, etc. from the 'Bernina Creative Center' (BCC) or Bernina or Bernette machines or accessories


2. A set of 4 co-ordinated Fat Quarters from Quilts of Love

 Best of luck peeps. Go ahead..get out of your comfort zone.

Thursday 4 July 2013

Bee Desi with Tina

So here we are.. June, the last month of the Desi month.

I am also part of an international bee called Star of Africa and have received some lovely blocks from them. I have just had a brainwave..I am going to ask for similar blocks from the Desi Bees also and add to my fun quilt. So here are my instructions..

Shoes! I want shoes ! I need shoes! I love shoes and I'd like blocks with shoes/sandals/slippers/any footwear..preferably typical of the place you are from..but even otherwise is fine ...pieced, appliequed, thread painted, embroidered..anything. The more whimsical the better..but am happy with realistic representations too. I'd like the finished block to be 12.5"x12.5".

Here are pics of the blocks that I have received from my Star of Africa Bees to give you folks an idea. ..

Please do remember to use good quality, bleed free cotton/poplin.

Happy quilting and thanks for being part of the bee.

Btw if non-bee members want to make and send me a block too I shall be overjoyed. As long as u dont ask for it back :-p