Monday, April 23, 2012

Hurray! I've Been Awarded The Liebster Blog Award!

Celebrations are in order!  Thank you, Rashida Khanbhai, for awarding my blog the Liebster Blog Award.  I very much appreciate all the encouragement I receive from my fellow bloggers.  

The Liebster Blog Award (German for favorite) is for bloggers with 200 followers or less. As a recipient of the award, I now have the chance to thank and link back to the blogger who gave it to me as well as pass it along to five other deserving blogs.

The rules of engagement for this award are to:
·                     Thank the person who gave you this award and link back to them.
·                     Give the award to five other bloggers.
·                     Let them know via a comment on their blog.
·                     Post the award on your blog. 

I started quilting in 1991 and have made a number of traditional quilts in the last 20+ years.  Recently, my sister got me involved in the India Modern Quilt Guild which dragged me out of a rut and sent me on my way to the discovery of modern quilting.   I have not looked back since then.  I am a retired IT professional but it had not occurred to me that blogging was the way to go to share my work and techniques with other quilters.  This has opened up a whole new avenue to put to work all the skills I had been building during my working life.   Three useful interests have been ignited by joining the IMQG - my interest in quilting was revived, spurred by the monthly challenges and charity block of the month; my blogging skills are improving as I try to keep my blog updated; and I’ve learned to use my digital camera to document the progress of my quilts.  To learn more about the India Modern Quilt Guild, visit its blog

I award the Liebster Blog Award to:
·                     Shilpa Mirasdar at My Stitches
·                     Pearlin Jacob at   Knottyville
·                     Sandhya Karandikar at Pans & Needles
·                     Brinda Crishna at Moments of Quiet: Embroidering My Tale
·                     Carol Shatananda at Happy Turtle

Congratulations to all the new recipients of the Liebster Blog Award!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Block 3 of Cathedral Windows Sampler Quilt Using Colours of IMQG Logo

Here is the 3rd of 12 blocks in a sampler quilt of Cathedral Windows variations using the colours of the IMQG logo.

Block 3 of Cathedral Windows Sampler Quilt
This block was constructed with 2 Flying Geese units using the 1 seam method.  The Flying geese units were placed tip to tip and the dimensional sides of the two triangles were folded over and sewn down.

Block 1 and Block 2 were completed a couple of days ago.  

Here is a picture of the three blocks which comprise the first row of four total rows.

Row 1 - Placed horizontally

Row 1 - Placed vertically
Okay, so that's 3 down with 9 more blocks to go!!

Cheers, everyone!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Shorter Cut to Cathedral Windows

The components of a Cathedral Window block are the foundation or background fabric, the frame and the window pane.  Yesterday, I posted what I thought was a very nifty Shortcut to Cathedral Windows.  As I was falling asleep last night, it suddenly occurred to me that it would be even simpler to make this block if I used two Flying Geese blocks, using the 1-seam method, for the foundation and frame components.

It worked!  Here's the finished block.
Cathedral Windows block constructed with
2 Flying Geese blocks, each made with 1 seam.
Compare it to my previous block.
A Shortcut to Cathedral Windows block.
There's no difference between the two blocks except for the placement of the different fabrics and that the first block is much easier to construct.  Let me show you how.

To make a 12" finished block, make two Flying Geese blocks that each finish at 12" x 6".  Here are the fabrics.
Fabrics for Cathedral Windows block are cut and ready to piece
The rust and white squares will form the foundation, the grey rectangles the frame and the blue square will form the window pane.  The measurements for these pieces are:

2 rust squares 6-1/2" x 6-1/2"
2 white squares 6-1/2" x 6-1/2"
2 grey rectangles 6-1/2" x 12-1/2"
1 blue square 8" x 8"

Form two sandwiches as follows:
  1. Place 1 white square, facing up, on the work surface.
  2. Fold 1 grey rectangle in half, wrong sides together, and align the raw edges with the top of the white square.
  3. Place 1 rust square, face down, on top of the grey, folded rectangle.
Sandwich - make 2
Begin sewing from the raw edges all the way down the right side only.  Notice that the  folded edge of the rectangle is closest to you and is 1/4" shorter than the two squares.
Because of how the Flying Geese units will be placed,
the two sandwiches are sewn the same way.
Press both units flat.
Press both units.
Open up the center rectangle, aligning the raw edges with the bottom edge of the unit, making sure the points on the base meet the left and right edges of the unit.  Also make sure that the tip of the Flying Geese is 1/4" from the top edge. Place the base of the two Flying Geese units together and place the center pane in place to preview the block.
Preview the block.  Oops! the blue pane was too small.
Sew the base of the two Flying Geese blocks together and place the center pane over the window.
Place pane on the frame.
The pane should be 1/4-1/2"smaller than the frame.
Pin the bias or dimensional sides of the frame down over the window pane and pin.
Window is folded over pane and pinned.
Sew the frame in place and the Cathedral Windows block is complete.
The block is complete.
I'm so proud of myself to have succeeded in simplifying this block!

Cheers, everyone!

IMQG April Challenge - A Shortcut to Cathedral Windows

The rules for April's challenge are to
1) use the colours of the IMQG logo to make a quilt block that reflects what modern quilting means to you, and 2) plan an interesting composition that represents your own unique voice.

Take a look at the IMQG logo in the bar to the right of this post. The colours are blue, grey, rust and white. And here is the Cathedral Windows block I've made.

Cathedral Windows block
I picked out the fabrics and cut 

2 grey squares 6-1/2" x 6-1/2",
2 blue squares 6-1/2" x 6-1/2",
1 rust square 6-1/4",
4 white squares 5-1/2" x 5-1/2".

This will make a 12-1/2" finished block.

Fabrics are cut and ready to go!
Notice the white squares have been folded on the diagonal and pressed.

White squares are pressed on the diagonal.
It was now time to preview the block.  The grey and blue squares form the foundation, the white triangles the frame and the rust square forms the window pane of this Cathedral Windows block.

A preview of the block.
I need to make two sandwiches:

1st sandwich -
   1 grey square, face up
   2 white triangles with raw edges lined up with the bottom right corner
   1 blue square face down

2nd sandwich - 
   1 blue square, face up
   2 white triangles with raw edges lined up with the top right corner
   1 grey square face down.

The two sandwiches were chain-pieced on the right side and the seams were pressed towards the grey or darker fabrics. Then the seams were nestled together, and pinned.  The top and bottom units were sewn together and the sewn seam was pressed to one side.

Four units sewn and pressed.
The foundation and frame have been constructed.  Now it's time to insert the window pane.  The four dimensional or bias sides of the center square are folded down over the rust square and pinned in place.

Frame and window pane are pinned in place.
The frame is sewn to the window pane and the Cathedral Windows block is ready!

I love the Cathedral Windows block.
Having satisfied the first rule of the challenge, let me tell you what modern quilting and this guild (IMQG) means to me.

I now consider myself a modern quilter. I'm open to setting aside the tried and true, and traditional ways of constructing a quilt.  Modern quilting has opened up endless possibilities and encouraged me to 'step out of the box'.  That is so very liberating! 

This is what this guild means to me.

I stands for India, Innovation, Imagination and Inspiration.
M stands for Modern Members who are Marvelous and Merry.
Q stands for Quilt, Quality and Quantity.
G stands for a Guild that is Generous, Gregarious and downright Glorious!

How does this block represent my unique voice?

The technique that is used to construct any quilt block is what intrigues me the most.  I made a Cathedral Windows quilt (36" x 36") for the IMQG January challenge, using the tried and true, traditional method.  It's beautiful and I love it, but towards the end of the construction, I was very exhausted and my enthusiasm to make another Cathedral Windows quilt was somewhat dampened.  

Then I came across an Innovative way to make a Flying Geese block using just one seam on the internet  and decided to apply this Imaginative technique to the construction of a Cathedral Windows block.  It worked like a charm and that makes me feel Marvelous and Merry!  I'm also feeling Generous enough to share this technique with the other Modern Members of this Quilt Guild and hope the tutorial I've provided above meets the standards of Quality that so Inspires me every time I see the Glorious quilted projects that our Gregarious guild members have made and displayed on our Facebook group page.  

Cheers, everyone!   

Friday, April 13, 2012

The India Modern Quilt Guild Meet in April 2012

Lucky guild members in India (and some from abroad?) will be getting together in April.  What fun!  Wish I could attend :(

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

VAANI Flying Geese Block for April

The VAANI block of the month for April is the Flying Geese (FG) block. While browsing through the internet, I came across a very interesting technique for making these units which requires sewing just 1 seam per FG unit.  This technique produces a dimensional unit that is so easy to create.

I decided to make this 12-1/2" block.  To tie this block to last month's block, I used the same fabrics in the center of the block.

Flying Geese Block
The first thing I had to do was pick out fabrics from my stash.

For this block I need to make 8 FG units.  Each of the 8 units requires 2 background squares that are 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" and 1 rectangle that is 3-1/2" x 6-1/2", for a total of 16 squares and 8 rectangles.

16 squares and 8 rectangles
Form a sandwich as follows:
  1. Place 1 square, facing up, on the work surface.
  2. Fold 1 rectangle in half, wrong sides together, and align the raw edges with the top of the square.
  3. Place a 2nd square, face down, on top of the rectangle.
Assemble the sandwich
Begin sewing from the raw edges all the way down the right side only.  Notice that the  folded edge of the rectangle is closest to you and is 1/4" shorter than the two squares.

Sew the sandwich along the right side only
Chain sew all 8 sandwiches in this way.  Clip sewn units apart.

Chain sew all 8 sandwiches
Place sewn sandwich on the pressing table with the folded edge on top and open the top square along the sewn seam.
Open top flap
Press flat.

Open up the center rectangle, aligning the raw edges with the bottom edge of the unit, making sure the points on the base meet the left and right edges of the unit.  Also make sure that the tip of the FG is 1/4" from the top edge.

Open the center flap to form the Flying Geese unit
Press flat.

Completed Flying Geese unit
Do this to all 8 FG units and arrange as required.

Arrange units to form block
Sew units together and the block is complete!

Completed block
A nifty characteristic of this particular technique is that it is dimensional along the two sides of the triangle of the Flying Geese which can be folded down cathedral-window style during the quilting phase.  The other option is to sew down the two sides or just leave them as is!

Friday, April 6, 2012

IMQG - VAANI Block of the Month for April

The April block of the month is the Flying Geese.

I've put together a block using the leftover half-square triangles (HSTs) from the March Pinwheel block.

Flying Geese block made from 4 HSTs
Here are the blocks for March and April.

Pinwheel and Flying Geese blocks
There's a nifty technique out there for make Flying Geese blocks that I'd like to try.  Stay tuned for a tutorial on that in the next few days!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bablu's Fan Quilt

Twin Size Fan Quilt

I love blue and yellow quilts and found this lovely border fabric at JoAnn Fabrics.

Close-Up of Fan Block
Soon after I started making the quilt in mid-1999, my eldest brother was diagnosed with cancer.  Knowing how harrowing chemotherapy treatments can be, I decided that a fan quilt would be a 'cool' pattern to keep him warm.  He used this quilt till the last and I hope it brought him a whole lot of comfort.

The construction was amazingly simple.  The seven fabrics were all laid on top of each other and I used the acrylic template that accompanied the book from which the pattern was taken, to cut out the fan shapes.  Each set of fan shapes were sewn together in pairs of threes and the seventh unit was attached to the end.  Because the convex unit at the base of the fan was so small, it was sewn on with no problem at all.  The units were placed on point and there is a definite direction to the quilt.

The whole quilt came together in quite a short time.  It was machine pieced and quilted in the ditch.

My niece now has this quilt and you can tell she's taken good care of it, because it's been 12-1/2 years since I gifted it to her father.  She recently sent me these photographs so I could document the quilt here.

Thank you, Mimi!