Saturday, May 9, 2009

Houses on a Row : Back to Quilting (1)

Happy Mothers Day to all Mommas out there !!

This year I am treating myself on Mothers' Day and picking back up on a passion that I had left behind for a while now. 

"Before Prozac , there was Quilting"-Anon.

I cant agree more !! I dont know what Prozac can do for you..but I do know that Quilting can be quite therapeutic and much more !

I started quilting about 5 years back. My dearest friend was going to have a baby in the fall of 2004 and I wanted to gift her with something extra-special. And the best thing I could think of was a handmade quilt. Thinking back, I feel I might have been a little over-confident at the time ;I had very limited knowledge of needlework .. my proudest achievement till then was a cross-stitch I had made for Joe and that had taken me some 3 months to complete. So here I was, with no sewing machine, not even a proper scissor to cut fabric, but just enough enthusiasm to make that "extra-special" gift!

I enrolled for weekend class at one of the local quilting-supplies shop. In the two days I got an overload of information on the "gadgets" needed,how to choose a design, how to pick fabric to make that design successful, the layers that make the quilt, and even how to use a sewing machine .... and also at the end of the weekend each of us in the class had one unique crib-size quilt ready!

I was brimming with enthusiasm the following days . Got myself couple of books from eBay and was determined to learn more. As I flipped though the pages , I was amazed to get a feel of the passion poured into the quilting process by the quilters. I soon discovered that quilters in the US share a sisterhood.

That same year Joe got me just the perfect Christmas gift, a quilting/sewing machine ...and right after New Years I started on my next big project, a queen size quilt. Over the years I have come to like hand-piecing ( joining the bits of fabric by hand ) and hand-quilting ( doing the quilting stitches by hand) rather than by machine.

After quite a long break, I am going start quilting again. This time to pick up on an unfinished project that I started 3 years ago.It was the picture of a row of houses in a magazine I saw at that time, that inspired me to design this quilt (picture below). I made the image below in MS word, just to give me a overall picture of the color composition and the yardage ( fabric needed).. so please forgive the imperfections ( you can see that some of the blocks and borders are out of place).

After I started the project 3 years back, I got distracted with some smaller projects and a cross-stitch ...and of course , my in-house tornado of a toddler! So here I what I have done so far :

The 6 finished blocks ( another 36 to go ). Though I started off with all hand-piecing..I don't think it is going to be practical given the size of the project..hence planning to switch back to the machine now.

Here is what one finished house (block) looks like . Each finished square is made up of 17 smaller bits of fabric. The block shown below is one of hand-pieced ones ( all the bits of fabric are joined by hand).

Here is the stash.. all the fabric that I intend to use in this quilt. I have already cut the fabric for the house-blocks and segregated them in individual bags (lest the little-tornado would swipe away anything out in the open and in plain sight ). I am yet to cut the green , grey and red fabrics for the borders.
The finished quilt would be almost Queen/Full size ( 82" x 92") with 42 house-blocks and adjoining borders.

I hope to get working on this tomorrow itself. Will post updates in a month. :)


  1. I am in awe!!!!! You're such a creative person!!!! Happy quilting:-)

  2. Dear Anon, Thanks a lot for the encouraging thoughts!

  3. Love it! Way to know, there's nothing saying if you get tired of working on it that it can't be a wallhanging or a throw rather than a full blown quilt...

    But I love the colors. I have saved up a bunch of fabrics to make a "house" quilt, long before fabrics which lend themselves to that became available.

    Since you added a kidling, don't give up on handpiecing yet! I am working on a post just for you!

  4. I am so impressed!! and all emotional reading about the special quilt you made for me..Shiv has handed over to Manasi and your quilts are still so special for us :)
    this design looks really amazing!! I can't wait to see that in person!

  5. Hey Lisa, Thanks a bunch !!
    The advantage of hand-piecing, for me, is that I am just handling fabric for one block at a time ( and I just love sewing by hand)..but now, I am way too impatient and I just want to see how the whole thing comes out.

  6. Mini, :)
    A special friend like you deserves nothing short of that !
    I am picking this up after a very long time.. So far I have managed to hide the sewing machine from Boo.He thinks the machine is some extension of a car :) So lets see how it goes !

  7. I am in awe ( for all !!) and support ( for each !!) of your endeavors :).All said and done,I am waiting for my G*F*T :)

  8. Soja, Thanks !!
    Also, like i tell boo, Wait my dear! Thou shalt get thy G*F*T in time !!
    -Happy weekend


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