Friday 26 December 2014

MMDQ - Round the Year Quilt Update

These are the first eight blocks of the quilt! When are you starting on your quilt? The blocks are paper pieced and finish at 18" - free patterns and step by step instructions can be accessed here.
I hope you will join us in the New Year - the blocks are much easier to piece than looking at them would make you believe. Lots of DQs have been working on their blocks - do have a look!
 Before I sign off, would you like some Lollipop Candy?
Happy holidays and happy quilting to you all!

Monday 1 December 2014

New Blocks on The Quilt! Southward Bound and Spiked Dresden

This is Southward Bound, the seventh block of the #MMDQ quilt Round the World! This 18" block was tested by DQ Cindy Ellerbe. 
And here below is the Spiked Dresden quilt block, tested by DQ Caroline Nagar...
Block Eight - Spiked Dresden
The second of the blocks introduces you to a great technique - foundation paper piecing with freezer paper. It is, I assure you, much easier to piece than it looks! Check for yourself by clicking on this link!
Links for patterns and instructions for Block Seven and earlier blocks are to be found in one place - on this page on my blog! 
With this, we have finished half the proposed sixteen blocks in the quilt! Those of you who have not got cracking on it or are lagging behind on the blocks - the coming holidays may be a great time to jump in or to catch up! 
The next block comes up in a fortnight ; meanwhile, happy quilting! 

Monday 24 November 2014

Spread Some Cheer - Update

'Spread Some Cheer',Desi Quilters-The Square Inch initiative to help raise funds for Swanthana, a home for physically and mentally challenged girls, has generated quite a bit of interest and we have managed to raise close to Rs.8,000 so far with many more who have pledged their time.

The orders went faster than anticipated and we have run out of the big reindeer panels. All further contributors will be sent bundles consisting of FOUR of the smaller reindeer panels and the two coordinated snowflake fat quarters.

There seems to be some confusion about the second option which asked for quilted items to be sent for selling at school fairs by our volunteers and thus raising funds for Swanthana. To clarify, the said items do NOT have to be made out of these fabrics. These are for you to keep and use as you desire. You are welcome to use your stash for making the charity items.

New readers, please do check out the previous post for details on how to contribute towards this initiative.

Will keep you posted.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Spread Some Cheer

Now who wants these fabrics? Say Yes only if you are a large hearted Santa willing to spread some cheer among the less fortunate.

DQ Revathi Vas and The Square Inch, in collaboration with the coolest quilting group on Earth, 'Desi Quilters', would like to call on all quilting and non-quilting members and friends to help support 'Swanthana', located off of Sarjapur Road in Bangalore,  home to about 50 girls, mentally and physically challenged, aged 9 months -15 years of age. Run by a group of dedicated nuns, they are partly funded by the government. However, they rely on donations from individuals and corporates to help them sustain their service.

Do check out this video done by the harmony music foundation on the Swanthana Care Home..

Any contribution, big or small, will be much appreciated. So will volunteering your time if in Bangalore.

So what can a quilter do, you ask? And how do we get those yummy Christmas fabrics, you wanna know? Simple. Contribute, or, help raise contributions for 'Swanthana' through either/both of the following ways :

1. Purchase a bundle of the above fabrics for Rs.360. Each bundle consists of one big reindeer panel, two smaller reindeer panels and two snowflake fat quarters. You can purchase as many bundles as you like. The money can be transferred straight into the organisation's bank account and an email confirming the same, along with your address, needs to be sent to The bundle will be dispatched to you within two working days.

2.You can make and send a quilted table runner or table topper to the Home to be sold at school fairs. However, the article needs to reach Bangalore BEFORE December 12th. Once sent, please send an email confirming the same to and you will be sent a set of the two snowflake fat quarters OR the reindeer panels (1+2) as a token of appreciation. You may mention your preference.

For those of us who cannot volunteer our time a la DQ Revathi Vas, this is a wonderful opportunity to do our little bit while sitting in our corner of the world. May I request all DQs to come forth and help Swanthan in any way they can. The good karma is reward enough.The fabric is a bonus :-).

If you would like to contribute even otherwise, here are the bank details:

Account no.0416053000004822
South Indian Bank
Koramangala Branch, Bangalore
IFSC : SIBL0000416

Thank you.

Thursday 13 November 2014

DQ Sep-Oct '14 Challenge - Entries

The theme for the  DQ Sep-Oct '14 Challenge was 'Concentric' and the participants were required to make a quilted piece representing their interpretation of the theme.

There were 4 interesting entries that made it in time.

SepOct01 - . IN TIMES GONE BY, a 25"X19" quilted piece representing the theme 'CONCENTRIC', remembering the time we enjoyed dancing to music that poured out of shiny, black vinyl records played on a Turn Table. The ' CONCENTRIC' theme is expressed by the concentric quilting on the tracks of the Record on the Turn Table, echoed by the Shadow Quilting in the concentric Greek Key pattern on the back ground, the concentric swirl pattern hand embroidered on the lady's skirt, the Music Notes and Music Symbols. The Border with its Black and White printed fabric with the concentric pattern adds the appropriate finishing touch to this ORIGINAL piece.

SepOct02A - CONCENTRIC HEXAGONS, a quilted block, 19"X16", in Traditional English One- Shape Patchwork, initially hand-pieced with paper templates, whip-stitched together, then using the quilt-as-you-go method, machine stitching round each hexagon with a decorative zig-zag stitch, in contrast coloured thread that attached the quilt top, batting and backing fabric together all at once.

SepOct03 -  "Dresden a la India" ,  26.5"X 26.5"
An attempt at giving the dresden block an indian twist with kantha quilting/embroidery, mirror, sequins, kundan stones and some FMQ for a little drama.

SepOct04 - Indian garden in log cabin
Size : 14" x 14"

The DQs voted for their two favourite entries. They are:

SepOct03- Dresden a la India
SepOct04 - Indian garden in log cabin

We will be back with the winner's name soon.

We are taking a break from the bi monthly challenges and retiring them for a while. Instead, for the months of November and December 2014, we have a swap going on. To join, head over to the Facebook page of Desi Quilters and register your name in the Swap file.

Saturday 1 November 2014

Block Six of Round the Year BOM - Lollipop Candy!

The pattern for the sixth block is posted on my blog; that, above, is the rainbow version. And this here, is the Dusk version

Before you head there, see the versions of this candylicious block that DQ Sobana Sundar and DQ Jaya Parker  tested for me!

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Round the Year Quilt Block - Venus

This post is long delayed; I am sorry! This block was tested for me by DQ Anuradha Bahuguna. I love the fabric she used for the background - stars twinking against the darkening evening sky. The pattern and step by step instructions for foundation paper piecing and assembling this block can be found here. Like all the other blocks of the #MMDQ Block of the Month quilt, this also finishes at 18" square, with a 15" inset circle.
I have given you an optional colourway for the block.
This is inspired by a folded star I saw on pinterest and uses a black and white print to set off fluoroscent solids. The fabric requirements for this can be found on my blogpost here.
I am sure you are interested in seeing the blocks that the DQs have been making...

Jaya Parker...
Cindy Ellerbe

Anuradha Ramesh

Diptee Raut

Devi Nair
Revathi Sampat
Uma Srinivasan

Lots of inspiration there, right? Don't forget to check in for the sixth block to be posted on the fisrst of November, 2014.

Thursday 16 October 2014

Sunny Bee Caroline's DQ Web

Hi Sunny bees  :) 

Where do I begin? There’s so much on my mind……………Guess I was just simply fortunate  that I got the chance to be a part of the Sunny Bee in late July. Was very eager to be part of a bee and was told by the master administrator (big hug to her!)  that I would be considered for the next bee whenever there were a certain number of members interested to join a bee. And then………… my good luck couple of slots fell vacant :) :)  So here I am as the Sunny bee for October.

Am calling my block the DQ web.  A web to me represents everything about us DQs both as a group and also individually.

A web to a spider is a safe haven, and that’s exactly what DQ has been to me and am sure to many of you also. It’s my quilting home. A place where I’m growing and in many ways being nurtured into being a good quilter. It’s been a place where I have been able to share my silliest of doubts and fears without any hesitation whatsoever because I know I am not going to be judged, because I know that I will be guided and taught patiently. It’s a place where I’ve proudly shown off what I’ve made, because I know it will be appreciated and not considered bragging!

The spider patiently and diligently weaves its web and it does so even in the tiniest and the most obscure spaces. That’s how I see each one of us DQs. We are scattered all over the place – cities, towns, countries; weaving around us our quilts, making our individual webs larger and larger as we learn and grow. In terms of what I’ve called ‘obscure’ spaces, we DQs will quilt, will piece, will sew no matter how big or small, how  temporary or permanent our sewing spaces might be.

Lastly, we are all part of the DQ web. All of us connected, in sync and happy. And; the web is growing!! We’ve touched our 500 mark! My wish for DQ  is that the web be so big that it’s impossible to not notice it in the quilting world!

Now, coming to my block. Fell in love with the spider web block when I saw it! It is a fairly simple block and the results stunning!!

Dear Sunny Bees, for some reason i'm just not able to load the pictorial guide to making this block. However you will be able to access it by downloading it from this link here. Apologies for the inconvenience caused. 

A few links to the block in case you are struggling to figure my thesis in the link above. The size I have chosen is different from those in these tutorials. Also, would request you to follow the instructions I have given for the kite template.

God Bless and happy webbing ;)...........

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Sunny Bee Ashley's Gift Wrapped Sun

(Trying to catch up with posting the Bee Block instructions on the blog for the rest of the world. Here's Ashley's. )

I love this idea of these stars as my "sun". This quilt will be special as I am leaving India after almost 3 years. I want this to best express India for you through the fabrics, applique, etc in the star pattern. You can keep it plain or you can embellish.

Have fun and I look forward to the finished blocks.
Here is a view of mine:

Blocks are 10.5" finished (mine finished at 10.25).

Star  Crossed  Block  Tutorial, a  10  1/2"  block

2  contrasting  printed  fabrics
1  background  fabric

Cutting  Instructions

focus  fabric: two  2.5"  squares
one  2.5"  x  6.5"  rectangle

contrast  print: eight  2.5"  squares
two  4.25"  squares

background: four  2.5"  squares
two  4.25"  squares

Block Assembly

or you can download it from Craftsy:


Tuesday 14 October 2014

Sunny Bee Elvira's Marble Star

(Trying to catch up with posting the Bee Block instructions on the blog for the rest of the world. Here's Elvira's. )

Hello ladies.. I'm so glad to finally able to upload this tutorial for my Sunny Bee block.

I want something Blue, Yellow and Solid White.

The tutorials and details are in my blog:

I'm sorry for the delay and I hope you enjoy making my block ;)

Happy Quilting

Saturday 4 October 2014

Shadows, Clouds, Squircles and a Duet - Layout Options for thr Round the Year Quilt

My back is still bothering me - so I have not been doing any piecing or quilting for over 5 weeks now! Hence I decided to delay Block 5 of the quilt to October 15th and do some designing and calculations instead.
So this fortnight is being used to post layout options (with complete fabric requirements for each ) for the block of the month quilt. Two options are already up, and one on the way. This is the `Shadows' option for the Dusk version.
Here are the `Clouds' for the Rainbow Quilt.
The details for these options are posted on my blog.
And what then are squircles? You need to see this post to find out!
But I will not leave you without sharing with you one more picture...the Round the Year Quilt made in two colours,

As you can see, I have been trying out various borders on this option, inspired by the original Camelot quilt. I  am tentatively naming this two-colour option  Duet, unless you can suggest something more apt?
And I do urgently need some more testers for the quilt blocks and would be grateful to anyone who volunteers! Thanks in advance. 

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Round the Year BOM Quilt Block - Sapphire

This is Sapphire Rainbow, the fourth block of the #MMDQ Block of the Month Quilt, Round the Year. Like the previous three blocks, this one is also paper foundation pieced and finishes at 18" square with a 15" inset circle. The pattern, fabric requirement and piecing instructions can be downloaded from the links at the end of this post.Fellow Desi Quilter Anuradha Ramesh has been sweet enough to find the time to test the other colourway, Dusk, for me. This is the design for what I call the Sapphire Fire.
Sapphire Fire Quilt Block - Round the Year Quilt
Sapphire Fire Quilt Block
I am yet to make this block in this colourway. I plan to use 4 shades of blue fabric from deep to light in this block, contrasted with 4 fabrics ranging from deep orange through light orange and gold to yellow. The background is planned in 2 shades of grey. Here is a look at some of the fabric I have been auditioning for the block! It is Fossil Fern by Benartex - I just love that fabric!
Sapphire Fire Quilt Block
Fabric for the Sapphire Fire Block
Meanwhile, I  have also listed out of a few do's and don't's to keep in mind when paper piecing the blocks from this quilt. For example, 

  • I often have people ask me if they can increase the printer settings to, say, 120% if a larger block is needed. It does not work that way, if you have the ¼" seam allowance added on to the template ( as is the case with the Round the Year block templates). You will end up increasing the seam allowance also to 120%!
  • I like to cut the templates a bit larger on all sides and trim them after piecing. It may be just superstition, I don't know! I just like the thought of some margin in case things go wrong somewhere!
  •  After cutting the fabric pieces, I can save a lot of heartburn if I remember to pin the pieces to the respective templates! At this stage, I also get a chance to check if I have missed out on a piece or two. (If you look at the Rainbow Sapphire picture, you'll spot a missing piece!)
  • I like to sort out the templates shape wise unless specifically asked not to. There is a possibility you can chain piece them and why miss the opportunity?  
  • It may sound obvious, but please remember to begin with piece #1 and #2 when you start piecing a template!
  • Unlike in the case of piecing the templates, numbering or alphabetical order does not work when assembling the templates! So that it is not necessary that A is joined to B is joined to C etc...Follow the assembly instructions given in the pattern.

 You will find lots of more foundation paper piecing  tips on my blogpost which carries the Sapphire Fire pattern. So before I forget, here are the promised pattern downloads for the Sapphire Block for the two colourways. The files are huge, and may take time to download. You need Adobe Reader on your system(downloadable free online) to be able to view/ download these files. Happy piecing and quilting!
Pattern for Sapphire Fire, Block Four of Dusk Round the Year Quilt.
Pattern for Sapphire Rainbow Block Four of Dusk Round the Year Quilt.

Monday 8 September 2014

The DQ July-Aug '14 Challenge required participants to make a quilted item using curved seams in the Indian Tricolour.

So, without further ado, may I present our lovely entries...
(The descriptions are in the words of the quilters)

JulAug01 - The right accessory for an outing on the Republic day or Independence day. Angular pieces of tricolour joined up with curved seams came together easily. The curves themselves suggested a purse - for that compact, sunglasses or the ever-present mobile. Dont miss the finishing touch - a Chakra made of dark blue beadá¹£
Finished size - approximately 6" x 12"

JulAug02 - Bicycle chain (purchased pattern). It is somewhat symbolic of all the bicycles in India.100% Indian cotton and measures 72 x 90.

JulAug03 - My tiranga 55'X20" table runner. This is my first attempt at curved seams. This is also the first time that i have used a walking foot. The best thing about the DQ challenge is that it gives one a chance to try out and learn new techniques. I used the many tutes on the world wide web to learn this.

JulAug04 - "The Flight" - an original pattern 26.5"X26.5". The birds represent the ability of people to free rise above and beyond the reach for the skies.
A first time at curved seams...scrappy binding, kantha quilting on the birds,the borders and on the paisleys at the corners and some FMQ

JulAug05 - Title: India is my home 16"x14.5"
Description : I used cotton fabrics for the quilt. And it describes the night view since we got the freedom at night. This is my very first try on curved seam. Its my original work.

JulAug06 - Infant quilt 25"x 25" in the tricolour using drunkards path block.Tried curved seams and machine quilting for the first time. I have quilted 4 bows and the border.

JulAug07 - 'NEW BEGINNINGS' 24.5''X 21'' elliptical, satin and acrylic, original design, trying to arrange some 8'' CLAM SHELLS. It looks like a Christmas Tree Ornament to me so I guess it looks festive enough to celebrate 67 years of Indian Independence! I've backed and bound the piece in green to signify NEW BEGINNINGS which I hope will be forthcoming with the dynamic new leadership.

The DQs have voted and the top three favourite entries are:


We will come back with the name of the winner soon ! Until then, hop over to the album on our DQ Facebook page and try guessing who made what !

Wednesday 3 September 2014

DQ Sep-Oct 2014 Challenge

Rules for the DQ Sep-Oct 2014 Challenge:

These challenges are designed to push you to try your hand at styles and techniques that may not necessarily be your favourites but are definitely a necessary step in your growth as a quilter.
So roll up your sleeves and whip up your entries, DQs !

The theme for this challenge is 'Concentric'.
1.Make a quilted item of any size, incorporating the 'Concentric' theme in any fashion you choose to depict.

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. Or lesser. And please conform exactly to the pic requirements or you risk disqualification.

3.Please include title, dimensions and a short description of your entry and how you have depicted the theme.

4.Please mention if the entry is an original work or inspired. You can share your inspiration once the names are revealed after the voting.

5.Please send in your entries by the midnight of Oct 31st, 2014

Do NOT post on the Desi Quilters group facebook page since we are still following the anonymous entries format.

For more details on the format..

The winner gets
Rs.1500 voucher from Bernina India
Set of 4 coordinated FQs from The Square Inch

Best of luck !

Monday 1 September 2014

Round the Year Quilt - Block Three - Card Trick

Here it is - the third of the blocks of the month! DQ Cindy Ellerbe  was sweet enough to test it for me!
DQ Cindy Ellerbe's test block halves

This is a `complicated' version of the traditional card trick block, which has always fascinated me!
This test block was made by Desi Quilter, Manju Narain.
DQ Manju Narain made this test block
Isn't it lovely? And here are my templates for the `Dusk version' of the block, ready for assembly.

The block pattern, including fabric requirements and piecing instructions can be accessed from my blog!
Happy piecing!

Saturday 30 August 2014

Round the Year Quilt - Block Two -Evening at the Pond

The delay in posting the second block of the BOM quilt turned out to be much bigger than I thought!
The fabric requirement, templates and instructions for piecing and assembly are all up on my blog (links at the end of this post).
The original pattern for this block was tested for me by fellow Desi Quilter, Sobana Sundar, who blogged about it here! She suggested a number of changes in the block, which I incorporated in the final version.
Here is her test block.

Isn't it pretty -a winter evening at the pond!? What she finally did with the block is something truly creative - a stunner of a quilt.

Aren't you inspired to try out at least one block from this Block of the Month Quilt? You can build a whole quilt around a single block.
Like I said, I simplified the pattern - so that there was no curved piecing in the circle construction. Another Desi Quilter, Nikhat Arshia tested the pattern for me this time.
I also made the block in the rainbow colourway, the geese flying around the pond as the clouds clear to reveal a rainbow against the blue sky!
And here is a  really pretty block made by Vicki Trerotola in a purple colourway.

The next block is ready to be released on Monday, so one needs to get cracking on this now!
Here are the links-
Block 2 Evening at the Pond - Fabric Requirement, Cutting & Piecing Instructions and Paper PiecingTemplates
Block 2 Evening at the Pond  - Assembly Instructions