Saturday, 19 January 2013

First Quilts - DQ Vani

(Guest post by DQ Vani, the 11th in our series of 'First Quilts')

My First Quilt:

This was made about 10 years ago for my daughter. She loved pink and was a real 'girly' girl (unlike her mother who was a tomboy!). It was made in a 'quilt in a day' class. We worked for 9 hours (not really stopping for lunch) and finished the quilt top (center panel). But I was hooked and so I continued to work on it for the next two days until I had completed the sandwich and started quilting in the ditch. I realised that my very old Singer barely coped and I didn't have a walking foot. So I bought one and persevered and the end result was just fantastic. I even took it to work to show it to all my friends! I am really proud of that effort. I was so hooked by the end of it I ended up buying my lovely Janome 6600 and have been quilting ever since!

- Vani

Friday, 18 January 2013

Jan '13 Challenge - New format

A brand new challenge for a brand new year ! The test, this time, is in the text !

1.Make a quilted wall hanging of any size for your sewing space.

2.Include TEXT as part of the design. It can be a word, a sentence or a para..your wish. Something that inspires you, motivates you or just tickles you pink...your wish.

3.The TEXT part may be pieced, appliqued or quilted. Embroidering the text is not allowed unless it is for purposes of quilting.

4.Entries to be submitted BEFORE 30th Jan 2013 midnight. Please note, last date is 30th, NOT 31st of Jan.

5.Entries will be anonymous and are to be submitted in the new format as follows:

(a) Mail 3 UNMARKED photographs of your entry to The admins will allot a number and post it on FB. Pls do NOT acknowledge or hint at it as your entry in the comments thereafter

(b) Include a short description and the finished size in the email

(c) The photographs should be sharp and shot in good light. Pls include a shot of the full front view, one of the back and one close-up of the quilting

(d) Of the entries, 3 favourites will be voted for as usual, by the DQs and ranked. The top 3 entries will also be ranked by the sponsors. Equal weightage will be given to all three.

(e) Once the results are collated, winner will be announced on the DQ blog.

This is a trial run of the latest avatar of the monthly challenges after incorporating your suggestions and ideas. Any feedback is welcome at

The Jan '13 winner gets to win

1.'Mettler' - ' Made in Germany ' Polysheen Thread Box containing 8 mix spools from


2.'BERNINA' - "Inspiration" magazine full of creative ideas for the passionate sewer, quilter and embroiderer - 1 recent issue - also from Bernina


3. Rs.500 gift voucher from Quilts of Love

Thursday, 17 January 2013

DQ Dec '12 Challenge - Winner

DQ Dec '12 Challenge was to make a quilt using only Black, White and ONE other colour. Of the three finalists, the winner chosen by the random number generator is the painstakingly constructed and lovingly put together baby quilt by DQ Sudha.

Congratulations Sudha ! You win these goodies from Bernina India :

1.'Mettler' - ' Made in Germany ' Polysheen Thread Box containing 8 mix spools


2.'BERNINA' - "Inspiration" magazine full of creative ideas for the passionate sewer, quilter and embroiderer - 1 recent issue

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

DQ Dec'12 Challenge - Entries

The DQ December '12 Challenge was to make a quilted item using ONLY Black, White and ONE other colour.

Perhaps the DQs were very busy with heralding the New Year in, for we saw only 6 entries. Very beautiful entries nontheless..and a bit unusual :-)..

1.Sabine -  'Solemate' - a comforting, huggable pillow made for a friend's hospital visit

2.Gayathri - Scottie with a scarf



5.Sudha - baby quilt with origami and smocked blocks

6.Prasanna - A tea cup table top/wall hanging quilt.

The top three entries voted by the DQs were :

Best of luck, girls! Lets see whom the random number generator picks next week as the lucky winner !

Monday, 14 January 2013

A New Sponsor !

The New Year brings with it a New Sponsor for our monthly challenges. Please put your hands together to welcome our additional sponsor - Quilts of Love !

Quilts of Love will be sponsoring a gift voucher of Rs.500 to the winner of the Challenge every month. This amount may be redeemed by the winner against

Droolicious Fabric
- Quilting classes/workshops
- Custom quilts

How fun is that?!

So, comeon DQs, lets see more participants this year. Who doesn't want to try their luck at winning prizes worth Rs.1500 from Bernina India AND a Rs.500 gift voucher from Quilts of Love ?! Really?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Bee Desi with Sandhya K

Jan's queen bee is the very versatile crafter and quilter, Sandhya K. Over to her..

Strings and Four Patch Block.

This is my block after much thought and search for a simple but interesting Quilt Block. I love scrappy and I love 4 patch.

To make this block I chose random strips called strings and then picked up two dominant colours from the strings to make the 4 patch.

You will need 2 solids that are 9” square and a bunch of strings that are 9 inches long. You can go as scrappy as you want with the strings but all should be from printed fabric.

Here are strips of fabric called strings in the Quilting lingo. They are between 1.5 and 2.5 inches in width. Length can be whatever. You can even join two small pieces to get the length. I have chosen random colours but you can see that pink is the dominant colour. (But I am not even very fond of PINK :-))

For the solids for the 4 patch I chose the pink as it was the dominant colours in the strings and turquoise as it goes well with pink and also with many other colours.

Now to make the 4 patch. Take the pink 9” X 9” solid fabric and fold into half and cut to get a 9” X 4.5” rectangle. Do the same with the turquoise fabric. Join. You will have 2 such pieces as shown on the left in the picture below. Join lengthways to make a two coloured squares. Sub cut both in to half and stitch to make a 4 patch by stitching pink to turquoise.

Here are the stitched two 4 patch blocks. Trim them to 8” square. Now this is done keep it aside.

Now take the strings and if you have them about 9” long then start joining them lengthwise to make a 9” square. If your strings are short you can add and make it 9” long. Square your string block to the exact size of the 4 patch. And arrange it like this.

First join one end of 4 patch and one end of string square to make this.
Make other the same.

Now join these two units together to make a block like this.

This will make a block a little bigger than 15.5 inches. Square it to 15.5 inches and you are done.

Seams can go any way you are comfortable with. All on one side or every other seam to one side or all facing inside or outside. I tried making the whirly thing with the seam at the center and got it well. Here is the closeup of it.

A little out of focus. :-)


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Sunny Bee Sunita's Sunny Logs


Alas I am the new queen bee. Super excited and so looking forward to my blocks from all you talented girls. I have been very fortunate to be a part of DQ since my quilting journey began from here. Also lucky to be part of sunny bee as I literally love the sun and so much so that I have it tattooed on my arm. I love bright colours, a sunny day, very many blooms in my small balcony garden and above all I love cutting fabric and then putting it together.

I have chosen super easy scrappy log cabin blocks for my quilt. The specifications are as below:

You can use any colour cotton fabric but try using the sunny bee colours so we can stick to the theme. Make it as bright as possible.

The center square is 1.5 inch unfinished (1 inch finished )
The stripes are also 1.5 inch unfinished (1 inch finished )
The completed block will be 16" finished
Make sure to square it out well before sending it to me

FYI, I will be adding a common border for each block before joining them together. There is a lot of liberty here, do as you choose, but please do a neat job on the front and the back. After adding every strip, please press the seams down on one side and press the front flat. When finished and while trying to square it out into 16" square, if the square is a bit wonky it is fine.

If needed you can check out any tutorial for a log cabin on YouTube

Have fun with this easy peasy one. Promise to show you the finished piece within a week of receiving the last block. Will be making this one without batting for my black and grey sofa. Thank you.


Saturday, 5 January 2013

DQ Bangalore Meet (30.11.12) - Report

(Report filed by DQ Tina)

The DQ Bangalore Meet was hosted by the super-sober-super-fun DQ Smita at her house on 30th of Nov '12. A beginner quilter, she is one amazing person - kept us in splits all the time while keeping such a straight face herself ! The meet was attended by mostly Bangalore DQs. No wait, there were some visiting from Chennai and Guntur and Mangalore and one who had recently relocated from Hyderabad. I think there was a fair bit of pan-Indian representation with DQs from diverse backgrounds. The youngest was a 16 yr old avid beginner. Oh, and a dog.

After the intros were done, the most awaited Show-and-Tell began. Thanks to DQ Sunita who also helped coordinate the meet, the proceedings adhered pretty much to the agenda, else the chatter would keep taking off tangentially. Blame the yummy eats. And the bottles that were uncorked by then, of course !

I couldn't decide who/what was lovelier - the lovely DQ Sudnya or her lovely hexie quilt. Of course, nobody asked me, but if they had, I couldn't have.

DQ Sunita showed us her passion for quilting. We saw it in her words and her eyes and her thoughts and her determination. She also showed us her crazy India tea cozy quilted to perfection.

Most prolific quilter DQ Damayanthi shared with us a few of her charming infant quilts.

 DQ Sudha showed off her Cathedral Windows WIP, some totes and clutches and she also very generously gifted her hand made hair accessories to DQs with li'l girls.

Since DQ Pooja had the legs and I had the quilt, we decided to do a joint show-and-tell :-)

DQ Smitha regaled us with her adventures in quilting.

Here's Sangita showing us her cute Ragi-filled doll. And having lunch. Saves time :-)

Actually, by then we were ALL doing lunch plus any one other thing.. gawking, admiring, laughing, sharing, posing..

Lunch was an amazing potluck. Thank you DQs, you multi talented ladies ! After lunch, we had secret Santa distribute the gifts. Most of us had made something to put in Santa's bag. Here's a peek at some of the goodies..

 And so ended another Bangalore DQ Meet, with lots of fun, laughter and learning. A special mention to DQ Mona who dragged along her very sportive husband and adorable kiddo. Love you all !

Thursday, 3 January 2013

First Quilts - DQ Rashmi

(Guest post by DQ Rashmi, the 10th in our series of 'First Quilts')

This story has a happy ending. I must say so first because the beginning is a bit eerie.
It starts with a dead bird in my fridge. Yes.

Alright alright. There was cooked chicken in my fridge that day—that very day when my mother-in-law chose to make her weekly visit to our house from the other end of the city. It wouldn’t have been a big deal otherwise but that day it was, because the poor, cooked, bird got accidentally discovered by my very vegetarian south-indian ma-in-law, who, until then, firmly believed that my husband and I were also vegetarians like the rest of the family, thereby obeying centuries of vegetarian law in the whole community.
I am sure some of you understand the magnitude of the situation but for those of who don’t: it was akin to having discovered cannibals in the family! 
Drama of all dramas ensued. There was silence. And there were storms. And then Something Good had to be done.
Was the question.
I decided to make a quilt for her birthday. 
So sweet! You would say. 
Even I was teary-eyed at the thought of my own magnanimity!

So I began to quilt.  I had made two baby-quilt-tops before that, but not a finished quilt.  I just decided to cut lots of squares first. Time was crucial. Then I cut the squares randomly into two pieces and tried to make some design out the whole mess by keeping white as the base color.
With each block it looked uglier than ever. My husband stopped looking at me because I had a permanent pathetic look on my face. One row and then another and then another. Hmm. And then the top was finished. I had to call it Tedha-Medha (Wonky-Bonky!?).I began chewing nails waiting for mails for the DQ cotton batting. I haunted Tina and Veena whichever way I could. 
I am telling you doing Something Good is no small task.
But was one quilt Good Enough? After all, Something Good had to be Good Enough.
I decided to up the ante. I would not only gift her a quilt.
I would gift her sister’s daughter a quilt too. I had a job and a kid and yet the unfinished quilts somehow pitied me and went through the sewing machine without much ripping.

In a week everything was ready and packed.  The day came and I opened up my surprise. 

The quilts did what was expected of them by completely flooring my mother-in-law! The memory of the dead bird was washed away. The broken age-old laws were buried in favor of familial love and peace. Something Good, though not stunning, polished, or perfect, finally accomplished its goal. 

Happy endings, I tell you, always, if there’s a quilt in the picture!