Sunday, March 31, 2013

A new quilter

A while back I was helping one of my friends create a T-Shirt quilt to commemorate her swimming accolades. You can read about it here. We have finally basted the quilt but quilting it is going to be a task. Well that's something we have been dragging our feet on and I take 100% of the blame on that. But not to digress... yesterday she came over to spend the day and out of the blue she showed me this.

I was blown away. Apparently she took all the leftovers from the T-Shirt quilt and made this really nice throw quilt. It's reversible, the back looks similar to the front. I absolutely love the color distribution. I am proud of her for doing such a great job of it. It's pieced neatly without any interfacing. So I am glad to say we have one more quilter in our ranks, hopefully she will find her way through many more quilts. As for me I must help her finish her T-Shirt quilt.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Quilting and my phone

I haven't been sewing much lately but I do try and keep in touch with quilty stuff as much as I can during my fairly long commute to work. Using the time wisely :) I understand technology way better than I do quilting (hopefully I will get there some day with quilting too) so thought it would be nice to do a post on some of the apps that help me keep in touch with  the quilting world even when I am far away from it.

Here are a few apps I use frequently

The Quilter's Little Helper
I use this app a lot for estimating batting, backing and border sizes. You can also browse the Robert Kaufman fabric collection from the app itself. 


This is a great little app that has a library of blocks. I am not very conversant with block names so this comes in very handy. You can even view what quilt arrangements look like with the selected block and provides fabric estimates for making a quilt with the selected block.


This app is similar to The Quilter's Little Helper app. You can estimate fabric requirements for your quilts. I find them particularly handy when I am at a fabric store and I find the perfect fabric for one of my quilts and wonder how much I should buy.

Quilt Shops

It's always fun to visit a quilt shop when you are traveling to a new city or country. I use this app to find quilt stores in the area. Very handy. However I do find that sometimes the stores have gone out of business and have not been updated in the app. So always call before you drive down.

All the apps I mentioned above are free. I haven't installed any paid apps so far. An app I would really like to have is one where I can save an inventory of my stash. I occasionally forget the designers name or the name of the fabric line when at a store and it would be useful to have my stash to browse through to refresh my memory. I have also been thinking about a quilt design tool. But will wait up and invest in EQ7 or a similar desktop tool. Designing quilts on a small screen...hmm not real fun. There are a bunch of other quilting apps in the app store, let me know if you use one and really like it. I would love to try it out.

Since Google's big announcement about retiring it reader app I have looked around for other readers. The one I use a lot is 

Feedler RSS Reader

This is a very bare bone RSS feed reader and you can connect to any blog that supports RSS feeds. I like it because its very flexible and easy to configure. It's a very stable app. 

There are two other apps that I have been trying out for browsing my favorite blogs.


A pretty good RSS reader but it has some teething issues. For example if you want to comment on someone's blog you cannot do it from this app. You have to open the blog in Safari before you can type anything in.


I did claim my space on this blog reader, a very odd concept :) I still can't wrap my mind around that initial step. Why do you need to do that???? I know a lot of people in the quilting world are using Bloglovin but I haven't taken to it. 


I really like this app, I use it a lot on my iPad. You can combine all your feeds in one place. I use it as a portal. I can see Facebook activity, world news, tech news, quilting blogs and whatever I else I may fancy right in one place. It's like reading  a customized newspaper.

I also do use the Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, Google+, Instagram apps to follow virtual friends and their doings..hopefully someday I get to meet some of them in person and I try to meet the ones I can as often as possible. Nothing can substitute direct face to face interaction.

To satisfy my learning curiosity I rely mainly on 


It's amazing what you can learn on YouTube. I attribute a lot of my sewing and quilting knowledge to YouTube. If you are not camera shy you can upload your own video tutorials. 


I have taken a couple of classes on Craftsy. Love them. Even caught up with Quiltcon happenings on Craftsy. Can't get any better.

Since I am on the train for over two hours a day I do read a lot. Actually I used to read a lot more before I discovered quilting :) I mainly buy e-versions of books. Though when it comes to quilting I do like the physical book. I rarely print tutorials, trying to be environment friendly here folks. I download them to my iPad and use that as a reference when sewing. I even borrow books from the public library electronically. I have membership to the New York Public Library which probably has the largest collection of books available electronically and you can borrow 14 books at a time. Can't get better.
Some of my favorite readers are:


There are a ton of readers out there, but I like this one because you can read a document in any format using this app. It does not have to be in PDF format. I used this mainly to read technical documentation but since then its become my primary quilting/sewing tutorial reader.


This is an e-Magazine reader. Last year I subscribed to 'Australian Homespun' magazine electronically. It's great to have the whole years subscription at your fingertips. You can even bookmark your favorite projects. There are just a few quilty magazines available electronically but hopefully more publishers will have e-offerings in future.

Last but not the

I have the customary Etsy, eBay and Amazon apps. I must say I have rarely bought anything from eBay or Amazon though, most of my purchases have been on Etsy. I just like to browse through all the handmade things on Etsy.

I also have the big store apps 

Jo Ann

I don't think I have ever gone to Jo Ann without a coupon. This app allows you to have coupons always at hand. Love the convenience.

Hobby Lobby

There is a hobby lobby right next to where I live. I use this app to see when fabric is on sale and use the coupon from the app. It sure beats remembering to take the physical coupon with you. Going paperless.

Wow I wasn't expecting the post to be so long but I just realized how obsessively I use my phone for everything quilt related :) Maybe I should make a quilted case for it!!!! I would love to hear your recommendations on useful sewing/quilting related apps.

Linking up to: Really Random Thursday

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Claiming my blog on BlogLovin

Claiming my blog with BlogLovin. This sure is an awkward way to stake your claim in the cyber world.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

A Little Tote

I put my newly serviced machine to good use this weekend. Made a little bag for my two year old niece for Easter. I used this tutorial with some minor modifications. 

I even embroidered her initials in the lining. The fabric is 'Color Me Retro' from Art Gallery Fabrics by Jeni Baker. I am not sure about designer for the blue fabric. Picked these up from the shop when I went to collect my machine. The bright colors are perfect for a little girl.  

Linking up to: Fabric Tuesday & WIP Wednesday

Saturday, March 16, 2013

NJ Quilt Show

A few weeks back I did manage to drop in at the NJ Quilt Show in Somerset for a short time. One of the highlights of the show was I tested a few long arm quilting machines for the first time. Wow, very different from quilting on your home sewing machine. Makes FMQ a lot easier especially the ones with the start and stop button on the handle. I did not fancy the computerized ones, preferred the manual ones. A lot more skill needed with those.

There was a fabulous display of quilts at the show. There were a ton of Kaffe Fasset and KF insprired quilts which were just a riot of color. I always love seeing his quilts.  

And then around the corner I saw this. A quilt by our very own Lee Burnham. Of course I am totally skipping Liza...her quilts are synonymous with a KF show. Excuse the poor photographs, I used my phone.

The details on some of the quilts was amazing. I specially liked these two.

My sewing machine is back from thrilled to have it back. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Lucky Star BOM - March Block

Week 3 of no proper sewing machine and its killing me. Last night I made the March block of my Lucky Stars BOM and after a ton of tension problems here is the block. I just might have to redo the block when the Bernina comes back from service. You can see the stitching in the seams with this one. Ugggh!

On another note I participated in the Quilters Show & Tell over at Quilting Gallery. I entered my EPP pillow that I made a while back. Please cast your votes for your favorite quilted pillow here and thanks for playing along.

Linking upto: Live a colorful Life

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The story behind the quilt

Week 2 of being without my Bernina. This is what withdrawal feels like. I can't wait for it to come back after a good service.

In the mean time, the story behind my latest quilt project. My aunt sold her in-laws home few years ago who have passed away for quite a number of years now. While doing a final clean up of the home she found some old hand embroidered pillow covers. They were made by her mother-in-law and looked a bit worn. Also they were not standard sized. They were much smaller than the store bought pillows we have now a days. She did not have the heart to give them away but instead gave them to me and said see what you can do with them. I held on to them for some time and finally decided to do something with them.

The covers were worn in the center so I cut the embroidered part into triangles and sewed them along the diagonal to form a square. I got 7 such squares. 6 of roughly the same size and 1 slightly larger. These squares too have been sitting around for a while now.

A few weeks back I ordered a copy of Victoria Findlay Wolfe's 15 minutes of Play -- Improvisational Quilts: Made-Fabric Piecing Traditional Blocks Scrap Challenges. I had always been curious about her quilt making process since I met her in person last year. One of the challenges in the book is making your own fabric using what you have. I decided to put these principles to use and ransacked my aunt's closet for other items that might be associated with her mother-in-law. I found a whole bunch of bedsheets and un-used pieces of fabric, all pretty floral prints. Then decided to make some made fabric out of these sheets and fabric pieces. So far I have made a few 5x5 and 7x7 postage stamp blocks.

I don't know where I am headed with the quilt design for this project. I am going with my instincts and see where it takes me. Everyday a new thought pops in my head when I look at these prints. It's literally 5 minutes of play with  everyday in my case.

So much for enjoying the process than thinking of the end goal. I think this will make one nice memory quilt for my aunt.

Linking up to weekending at 1/4" mark & live a colorful life