Tuesday, 30 April 2013

300th Member Milestone - Winner

To celebrate DQ's 300th member milestone, Chumkie, who blogs at 'My favourite things' very kindly offered  a fabulous giveaway. One lucky winner gets these lovely fat quarters...

And the lucky person who gets these fat quarters is.....DQ Smita !

Congratulations Smita ! Do show us what you make with them.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A year and 300 !!

Its going to be a year since Desi Quilters came into existence and we have, today, reached the 300th member milestone! This calls for a jumbo celebration !

To double the celebrations of this double milestone, DQ Chumkie of 'My Favourite Things' is giving away these two fabulous fat quarters all the way from Michigan..

To enter the giveaway, here's what you have to do:

1.Hit the 'follow' button on Chumkie's blog
2.Hit the 'follow' button on the DQ blog (look here ---->)
3.Leave us a comment below saying you've done both

Easy as pie. So don't just drool at the FQs, ...enter the giveaway and lets clink glasses ! Yayyy!!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Bee Desi with Shalini

Materials needed : scraps in various colours with matching/contrasting  solids

8 pieces of  4.5"   squares in various prints
8 pieces of  5.25" squares in various prints
8 pieces of  5.25" squares in  solids

1. Draw a diagonal line on the back of the solid squares.(5.25 inches)  These will be used to create half-square triangles.  Then, match up each solid square with a printed square.(5.25 inches) Face the right sides together with the line you have drawn facing you.

2. Stitch across the line that has been drawn leaving a seam of 1/4 inch. Then make a cut along the line to create two half-square triangles (HSTs). (4.5 inches)

3. Press the HSTs and trim down to 4.5 inches.

4. Lay out the squares and HSTs as for a patchwork wheel block. Put the other blocks together in pairs to create the four rows for this block.

5. Then stitch the squares in place taking care that the solids in the HST are placed at the four corners and then stitch rows together, taking care to line up the seams.   The other side of the solid HSTs should form a diagonal square in the middle.

Press the seams and …… Presto……they are ready.

you will be left with some pieces. use them to create another block for yourself. :)



Monday, 15 April 2013

First Quilts - DQ Sangita

(Guest post by Sangita, the 13th in our series of 'First Quilts')

The making of my first quilt -  that is a journey that started in my mind more than 6 months ago when I saw my sis-in-law, Smita sewing quilts after attending a quilting workshop and networking with DQ and I too made quilts for my daughter, and my son, and my father, and my niece- or nephew- to-be, but all in my very vivid imagination!  In fact, I went along with Smita to the favourite haunt of quilters in Bengaluru - Okhalipuram and shopped crazily for fabric that appealed to my sensibilities with still no clue what I was going to make or how as I didn't even own a sewing machine (though my very generous sis-in-law had offered me the use of all her quilting tools including her sewing machine!). Then came my surprise birthday gift - a Singer sewing machine which left me speechless and my imaginary quilts started becoming more concrete - of course, they were still imaginary as I had no clue where to start and then the Universe finally got the message that I was not going to start quilting unless I was given it to me on a platter.

Well, once the Universe had done all the figuring out, it was a smooth ride with Tina Katwal of Quilts of Love, proposing to conduct a Blooming 9-patch quilt workshop which was instrumental in my first quilt taking that giant leap from imagination to reality. Of course, there were many in-between steps like choosing fabrics, learning to cut, learning to piece, learning to iron, learning to rip seams and most importantly, learning to keep the faith that all would finally work out in the end! It only helped that all the participants of the workshop and our Guru and our hostess were the most generous and sharing people I have come across and were willing to patiently teach me from scratch and not let me give up on myself at any point. All through the making of my quilt, I was in turns proud of myself and amazed that I could be instrumental in creating something so beautiful and by the time I had finished with the binding, I was totally in love with my quilt and could not bear the thought of parting with it - something which I had decided from the beginning would be a gift for my cousin's baby due in July! Well, right now I am working hard on deciding on my next project and harder on detaching myself from my beautiful first quilt :-)


(Linking this up with Chumkie's Linky Party on 9 patches @ 'My favourite things'.)

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

DQ March'13 challenge - finalists

Here are the two finalists to the DQ March'13 challenge which required a quilted piece inspired by the lovely Pipli Art of Orissa.


The winner will be announced shortly.

Happy quilting!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

First Quilts - DQ Smita

(Guest post by Smita, the 12th in our series of 'First Quilts'. She was also one of the participants at the 'Blooming Nine Patch Workshop' @Bangalore and gives here an insider's account)

Here goes my first foray into writing a blogpost, hope some of you taking the time to read this monologue actually enjoy it!!!

Well it all began with guru ma Tina Katwal announcing her 2 day workshop in Bangalore, needless to say I didn’t bother to read the fine print (her form got mysteriously hacked so I took it as a sign to just register and not question too much !!!)

Once I had enrolled myself and Tina sent us a checklist of stuff  to bring to the workshop, the excitement set in and I called Nikhat , Pooja and my sis in law Sangita ( co-participants ) to plan what else….. a shopping trip to buy what any quilter never as enough off ….fabric !!!!

Pooja and I set off to commercial street as we decided it was too hot to go to oklipuram, and ended up getting ripped off in terms of price but we also had great chaat,  loads of laughs and in my limited life as a quilter I have found fabric and it’s price is never a deterrent to buying it !!!

So I had all the doo dads I needed to bring and in our enthusiasm we landed at Pooja’s door bright and 45 mins early !!! It was so good to see our most generous and lovable hostess who made us feel comfortable from the start and of course guru ma is quickly becoming one of my most fave people . We spent a few mins hugging and chatting and when I m around, shopping for fabric (Yes, I admit I have a problem but hey, it is a solemn duty to support the market in these recession times ;) ) So Tina handed over all the stuff we had asked her to get for us from batting to fabric and she also got her own sewing machine, the gorgeous black beauty for Nivedita to use as she didn’t own one .

We then had a brief theory session on 9 patches how they are made , how they can be placed and Tina tried to answer all our inane questions with a lot of patience !!!

We were then let loose in Pooja’s kitchen armed with rotary cutters and June Tailors and some of us managed to chip some rulers, break Tina’s cutter and yes, we even lost Pooja’s cutter by the end of the day! I live in hope that it resurfaces in her pile of fabric and if all fails, we will do what every one does when the going gets tough.. we will go shopping for another cutter !!!! What say Pooja ???

We finally sat at our machines and guru ma had us on a tight schedule that all strip sets should be finished by noon on day one and nine patches assembled by the time we were supposed to leave at 5pm that evening . Needless to say that plan was shot to hell as we were 6 of us, 2 June tailors and 5 rotary cutters ( we hadn’t lost pooja’s cutter then !!!)

Nikhat sensibly took her parenphilia and stood in the living room and did her work quietly and efficiently. Varsha was so sweet and confused the first couple of hrs as her choice of fabrics, no of strips, all were different from the rest of us as she wanted to make a bigger one and so till she figured out how much to cut it was already noon !!! Nivedita had no supplies so we all shared and it was sheer madness with 4 novices trying to cut 4 fabrics in various lengths and numbers on 2 mats with 3 cutters and 2 june tailors.. all at the same time !!

Needless to say we worked in controlled chaos and used the times we were waiting to chat and plan some more shopping trips !!! In the alternate reality that Pooja and I exist, we are these professional, brilliantly creative quilters, hence the need for shopping trips in this reality !!!

We started stitching finally around noon and then guru ma brought out her whip oops her seam ripper most specially for me !!

A wee detail I may have missed out to mention - the closest I'd got to sewing before this was threading a needle for my mum, so although I had a ¼ '' foot, didn’t really know how much  a ¼” really was and so ended up with ½'' seams. And everytime I looked up, there was Tina brandishing the seam ripper at me and me undoing my handiwork and restarting !!! It got to a point where I was measuring my seams after every 2" of sewing and ripping even before she asked me to. That earned her nod of approval and slowly I was getting closer to the actual ¼” , HURRAH one obstacle overcome !!!

We took a break for some yummy lunch; Pooja had made some divine aloo and then it was back to work. Nikhat had started chainpiecing her nine patches while Pooja  and Sangita were struggling at their respective machines . I felt like butting my head on the wall would have more success than butting seams, but Tina and Nikhat very very patiently taught and retaught the rest of us. Varsha seemed fine and not battle-scarred and worked at her own pace on the gorgeous maharani of machines she has, whereas our poorer cousin machines worked valiantly with us . I think she had a bentley to our maruti wagon r ‘s !!!

5 pm came and went. Some of us stayed sewing till abt 7 pm and all the morning’s enthusiasm seemed to have disappeared and disenchantment started setting in. I had so much to do and was wondering how I would ever finish. Then Tina took all of Nikhat’s nine patches and showed us on the design wall how it would all look , and though I was amazed at how it actually seemed to bloom, I never really thought I would get there.

I took all my strips and machine and left for home (Nikhat, Sangita and I were travelling together). We told Pooja and Tina that we would be back at 9 am to get a head start the next day !!!

When I reached home my back was hurting and more importantly I was heart sick and feeling maybe I had bitten off more than I could chew. Shraddha, my 17 yr old amazingly supportive daughter tried cheering me up. She insisted I take a break when I wanted to start work immediately, made sure I had dinner and then around 9 pm when I sat down to sew, helped me finish all my patches, She would stitch and I would iron seams and cut, and between us we were done by 11:30 pm !!! By then I was bone aching tired and I had also decided along with Sangita that I would stick to 3 instead of 4 fabrics as we really wanted to learn basting , quilting and binding .

We reached Pooja’s place by 8:45 am on day 2 to find her door locked as she had gone to pick up tina !!! Never let it be said we wasted time, we sat on the steps and Nikhat showed us some of her work and we also learnt another way of quilting (ie blocks are quilted and then attached )

Btw on seeing her mum so weary and blue, my sweetheart of a daughter accompanied us the next day and worked like a horse to help me and her aunt finish our quilts. Without her and Nikhat’s help I really don’t believe I would have been able to do so.. so thank you both wonderful people, I owe u ( btw Shraddha wants a piercing as her guru dakshina and am awaiting Nikhat’s demand J )

When we entered Pooja’s place our hostess surprised us by showing how she had stayed up and finished not only all her blocks but all her rows as well !!!!

We started in a merry mood again and I had my trusted lieutenant  by my side so we were done by 6 pm . When I say done, we managed to baste the quilt and I had quilted 3 lines under Tina’s eagle eyes and the binding would have to be done later after all the quilting was done .

I learnt so much during these 2 days by far the most important was to work slowly , love the fabric and be gentle with it and of course precision, precision and some more precision !!!

Btw when I was actually quilting at home I managed to stitch a piece of the table cloth to the backing, a piece of the extra backing to the backing, went to remove it and managed to tear the backing so that the batting stood exposed about an inch!! Thank God for Nikhat who patiently repaired all of it .

Tina showed us so many tricks, was so generous with her tips and open in sharing her knowledge.  These 2 days showed me that being generous, sharing and helping each other is a gift we were lucky to have experienced and the bonus was all those great quilts which were made .

Nikhat took time to bind my quilt and she did an amazing job ( I say amazing because while I thought so, she seemed shocked herself how well it came out !!!) She helped Pooja too and has offered Sangita her support as well.  I have attached some pictures of the quilt and hope the love and effort shows through.

Btw the finished quilt is 40" wide x 54” long.

So would I do it all again?..HELL YEAH !!!! and if I have the same group with me next time I might actually finish one all by myself and help someone else with theirs this time !!! 

- Smita

Linking this up with the nine-patch linky party at Chumkie's blog, 'My favourite things'.