Wednesday 23 July 2014

Of Curves and Pins - Assembling the Dahlia Block

Okay ladies! The fun and games are over! You have the Dahlia arcs pieced? Now let us get down to some serious business!

Gather your tools - a small pair of scissors to trim the arcs to size, a box of pins to pin the arcs in pairs before you start sewing,  your (eyebrow?!) tweezers to help ease out the paper. Where is the Master Template? Refer to it to arrange your arcs.
Change the machine foot the ¼” piecing foot, set the stitch length at 1.5, set speed to “low” and needle position to “down” if you have the option. 
 Before you begin, it is reassuring to remember that all curves are straight as they go under the needle a stitch at a time! And that the slow and steady master the curves!
If you want more hints and tips on assembling the Dahlia, click here - the link takes you to my blog, where I have step by step instructions on pinning and sewing curves.
Looking forward to seeing your version of the yin and yang!

Friday 18 July 2014

The Dahlia Block - A Modern Twist!

The traditional Dahlia Block acquires a decidedly modern face-over with a geometric / graphic black and white print to set off solids in neon bright colours!

Before you head to my blog to download the instructions, here is a look at some fun I had with the the versatile Dahlia Block!
This is another option for the Rainbow modern block! The same block in just two colours coming up now!

I loved DQ Vidya Vartak Joshi,s profile pic - a pink lotus; so played around with the pattern to come up with this.

And here is a totally different looking dahlia, inspired by ( Hers is much prettier!) I love this, and am going to make this into a table topper!
The best part - these can all be stand alone blocks!
This will be all, till we are ready to assemble the pieced templates on July 22nd...

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Round the Year Quilt - Block One DAHLIA

I hope you have your fabric ready, for the pattern for the Dahlia Block has been posted today, with complete instructions for piecing!

This traditional “DAHLIA” block is the first in the Round the Year Quilt; it is paper foundation pieced . We are chain piecing strips to construct the block. The best part of this technique is that you are not handicapped if you do not have a rotary cutter or cutting mat. And believe you me, it takes just two-three hours to piece it from fabric to this stage!

You can download the pattern and instructions from my blog. There are a lot of pictures to guide you at every step of the piecing process. If you are attempting paper piecing for the first time, an introduction to the mysterious world of  templates, colour codes, `piece by number' et al is also available here.
Some of us ( including me!) are making the Rainbow version of the quilt -  please do check my blog tomorrow for a post with suggestions for more colour ways.
So, let the magic begin!!!

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Round the year Block of the Month Quilt - Fabric Requirement Update

No, no don't worry, there is no change in the fabric requirement! It is just that I have now worked out the fabric requirement for the more `modern' colourway of the 'Rainbow' Round the Year quilt - where the colours of the rainbow peep out from the midst of grey clouds against a bright blue sky!
I so love this, that I have decided to make both the quilts.

You can download the PDF file containing the fabric requirements here! Remember you need Adobe Reader on your laptop to be able to view the file.

Monday 7 July 2014

Time to dig into your stash ...or your pocket?

Fabric Requirement for the Block of the Month Quilt "Round the Year" has been posted!
You know, I used to be a banker! But I don’t remember checking and re-checking the accounts (in those days of manual banking) as many times as I have checked these figures. Each pattern will also be tested by at least one fellow quilter and me before I release it!  But please remember, this Block of the Month quilt is more in the form of a quilt along; the fabric requirements that I give you are extrapolated from the five blocks that have been tested. True to my training as a conservative banker, I tend to err towards buying less fabric for a project than needed. This time I have made a conscious attempt to make a more realistic estimate and yet, it may not be very accurate. I hope you will bear with me on that! Now that all this is off my chest, let us get back to the task at hand.

Here is another look at the fabrics that I dug out of my stash for my quilt!

Several blues, a few oranges, golds and a dash of yellow!  There are a few greys too, which I shall use in the background squares.
As you can see, I am using an assortment of fat quarters of Fossil Fern by Benartex and some batiks from The Square Inch. Basically, you need  a minimum of 4 shades of the main fabric ( blues here) and  at least 4 shades of the focus fabric ( ranging deep orange to bright yellow here), besides the background fabric ( at least two shades of grey here). 
There is a lot of flexibility in the choice of fabric and colours  in the pattern, as long as you use fabric with strong contrast within a block. I have even designed these blocks with just two colours!
In India, most fabric is available in 34” – 36” width and conversions can be very tedious, so I calculated that too for you!
So what are we waiting for? Let us head straight to where all the action is! My blog!
Addendum ( 8th July 2014) - A downlodable file containing the fabric requirements is also now available in the same place!

Sunday 6 July 2014

What colours and fabrics are you choosing?

As announced a week ago, I am hosting a Block of the Month 'Round the Year" quilt from the 15th of this month. The fabric requirements will be given tomorrow.
To help you choose your colours, here are a few options!
The first is Aliya's Dahlia - quite like the sound of that, don't you? - a block our very own Desi Quilter Aliya Mir tested! How very pretty she  has made it look in her choice of fabric.

Another Desi Quilter, Sobana Sunder, tested what was to be Block No. 6 'Evening at the Pond' in really soft, soothing colours. She has even written a lovely blogpost about it! (While there you must see what other lovely stuff she has been making.) Meanwhile, this is what Sobana saw that winter evening at the pond...
 I must have been at the pond at sunset during the monsoons, because what I found was a brilliant sunset in deep oranges, golds and yellows!

Based on Sobana's feedback, I revised the block pattern somewhat to make it simpler for beginners. Nikhat Syeda  ( another generous Desi Quilter) tested this revised block, which has no curved piecing at all. I am thinking of making this the first block!

Isn't it amazing how different the same block can look depending on your choice of fabric and colour? If you are not sufficiently confused, here is a look at a totally different ( more modern) look that I experimented with. This is the Block called "Hope" after the famous Blue Diamond.

So I leave you here, dreaming of the colours in which your very own "Round the Year" quilt will come to life! Don't forget to come back tomorrow to check on how much fabric you will need for your quilt!