Teal and Grey Quilt – Part II

Hi habibis! Welcome to part II of the teal and grey quilt I made for my friend M and her husband H.  I forgot to name the quilt so I’ve just been calling it the teal and grey quilt.

I had to go fabric shopping again for the back and binding. (I know! I was going to do a scrappy back but then I worried – at my guild we had just had a speaker talk about how she doesn’t like when the seams of a darker scrappy backing show through on the lighter top, and I got worried that it would mar the look if there were dark pieces splitting up some of my lighter blocks on the front. So I went shopping.) I bought this grey crosshatch – extra wide! – for the backing.


I got two fabrics for the binding, one teal and one grey, because I didn’t have the quilt with me and I wasn’t sure the teal would work. It was actually perfect, so I’ll save the grey for something else.

For the quilting my initial plan was straight line quilting in which through all the rows. I got bored about two thirds through the first row. So I decided I could change it up. I quilted some of the fabrics following the print. I did some of the end pieces with vertical straight line quilting. I used grey and blue threads.  It took longer but it was more interesting and I think it made for a much more interesting quilt. Every row is different.  In the pictures below you can see glimpses of the binding.





I did a little bit of hand quilting – the bride and groom’s names, in English in one block and in Persian in another. I reached out to the bride’s sister, since although Arabic and Persian use the same basic alphabet there are some differences, and I wanted to make sure I wrote their names properly. She sent me a sample in different styles, some simpler and others more elaborate, and I picked one that I liked and knew I could do justice to. I think it came out great. I did a better job spacing the Persian than I had the English!


Shots of the quilting from the back:





Thanks to my dad, for being such a great quilt model!

Here’s the finished quilt. Isn’t it gorgeous?



Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry: Hand Quilted Category

Amy’s Creative Side is hosting the Blogger’s Quilt Festival for this fall and I’m entering for the first time!   See all the hand quilted entries here and be sure to vote!

I’m so excited to be participating this year!  I’m entering the rainbow quilt I made for my friend N and her husband A in the hand quilted category.

N and I have been friends for a long time, since elementary school.  She married her husband A in 2013 and I spent some time thinking about what kind of quilt to make for them.  I decided on a rainbow scrappy quilt, inspired in part by their wedding invitation, which had a rainbow on it.

I cut six-inch strips of varying widths – 1.5″ at the narrowest and approximately 4″ at the widest – in all shades.  I organized them into eight groups: red, pink, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, and purple.


Each group made a row in the quilt.  Here’s the quilt top:


Don’t you love it?  I could have entered it in the rainbow category or the scrappy category, but I went with the hand quilted category because the quilting was so special.

I added this lovely solid blue border and backed the quilt with a purple print.

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Now for the hand quilting.  First, I quilted N and A’s names in blue thread on the pink row:

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That was easy.  🙂  The hard part was the rest of the quilting, which I did in Hebrew.  If you’re familiar with my blog, you’ll know that I speak Arabic, but not Hebrew.  The languages are related and very similar but the alphabets are not.  I needed a lot of help with the Hebrew, but my friend A and some of coworkers helped me out, as did N’s father.

N and A’s Hebrew names were in the invitation, and I checked with N’s father to make sure I had the names right before I quilted them.  I quilted their names in pink on the yellow row.


If you can read that, you’re doing better than me!  I’m so happy with the way the quilting came out…but I have no idea what it says.  🙂

Finally, I wanted to put a special message, not just their names.  I spoke to my friend A and she told me that there’s a Hebrew phrase that people associate with weddings: Ani l’dodi v’dodi li.  It means “I am for my beloved and my beloved is mine.”  Isn’t that lovely?  Sometimes people engrave it on wedding rings.  (When I see it transcribed, I see the similarities between Arabic and Hebrew – the word dod doesn’t exist in Arabic, but all the other words are basically the same.  Of course, when I look at it written in Hebrew it’s just a jumble of letters.)  I quilted the Hebrew phrase on the blue row with yellow thread.  I brought the quilt into work once or twice so my coworkers could check the Hebrew letters and make sure I’d quilted them properly.

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It’s a good thing I did, because I’d made a mistake with the letter del in dodi.  I’d quilted them as a raa instead.  (These are the Arabic names for the letters; the Hebrew names are probably similar but I don’t know what to call them.)

Here’s the lovely completed quilt:


I was so happy with the way it came out.  I think it’s just beautiful.  I’m entering it in the hand quilting category because I put so much effort into the Hebrew quilting and I think it came out perfectly.

Hexagon wedding quilt – Part II

A couple of weeks ago I posted about how I pieced the top of the hexagon wedding quilt for my friend C and her now-husband J.  I forgot to show the back I pieced from large pieces of purple fabrics:

I also forgot to post that I added a navy border around the edges.

I did all of that in January and February, believe it or not.   Then I put it aside and worked on my other projects until I was able to go to my parents’ house in March and put it together.  I took a day off before Mom and I went on our first quilt retreat to do that.

I’ve showed you how I use the ping pong table to put the quilts together.  This time I taped the batting down to keep it flatter – I’ve since been given a tip to unfold the batting the day before so the folds have time to relax, so in the future I’ll be doing that (and the tape, probably).  I laid the quilt top over the batting and rolled the two layers into the center.  Then I laid down the backing and unrolled the batting and quilt top over it.  I safety pinned the three layers together.

I made this quilt before I learned how to do binding – I know!  I learned how to do binding approximately 24-36 hours after I put this quilt together.  So I folded the edges under the way I used to and sewed them down.  It’s my last non-bound quilt, ever.

I only did a little bit of hand quilting.  C is 100% Italian and J is half Italian, and I wanted to put a special message for them on the quilt.  I asked around for what you would say in Italian when people got married and the consensus, from my cousin T and coworkers who speak Italian, was “Auguri,” which means congratulations.  (I checked with C’s father, as well, in case there was a special regional word that might be used instead, and he agreed with “Auguri.”)  I chose my pretty blue variegated thread and I quilted “Auguri” and their names and the wedding date onto the bottom border of the quilt.  I left the rest of the border for machine quilting, and I’ll post about the machine quilting next week.


Blog tags

I want to make the blog more reader-friendly, and I realized that tags are a good way to do this.  I’ve gone through all of my posts and added tags based on various themes. I’ll tag this post with all of them so you can more easily find anything you’re interested in, and my goal is to be more conscientious about tagging in the future.

In the course of doing all my tags, I realized that I posted twice about the Storm at Sea runner I made my parents, once in 2011 and again last December during my Advent posts.  Perhaps if I’d had a better tagging system I would have remembered that I’d done it before!  It was fun to go back and look at the old posts – I’d forgotten what some of the blocks were called and I had to read the posts to see which quilt I was writing about.  Most of my pre-blog quilts are on here, although I know of at least four that aren’t.  Perhaps those will be fodder for Advent 2014!

The tags fall into several categories: block type, type of item if it’s not a quilt, language if I was quilting in something other than English, etc.   The blocks I have thus far are as follows:

Drunkard’s Path – Storm at Sea – Hunter’s Star – Lone Star – hexagons – pinwheels – Steps to the Altar – Rail Fence -Windowpane – Log Cabin – “Elegance” fan block – Korean patchwork – Amish Square – Bow Tie block

If you happen to notice that I have the wrong name for a block or if there’s another name for it, please let me know!  In one case – the wedding quilt I made for my friend N last year – I’m not sure if there is a name for this kind of quilt.  (https://habibihomemade.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/wedding-quilt-for-n-and-a-part-i/)  If there is a name, please share it with me.

I made a tag for doll quilts, since I make so many of them, and if I used a particular block I tagged that as well.  I may have missed some, so leave a comment if you notice that a block went untagged.

Tags for non-quilts include, in no particular order: pot holders; kitchen/household; holiday; decor; pillows; napkins; clothing; ornaments; aprons.

I’d forgotten how many pillows I’d made, for example.  Kitchen/household covers pot holders, napkins, and aprons; aprons fall under clothing, too.  Decor includes pillows, runners, and wall hangings, but runners and wall hangings don’t have separate tags.  Holiday includes ornaments and stockings, the latter of which also don’t have a separate tag.  If you think it would be helpful for me to make a runners tag or a wall hangings tag or a stockings tag, let me know.  If you see anything I haven’t tagged that you think I should – a quilting design or a specific stitch or whatever – just leave me a comment.

Hopefully this way my blog will be much easier to navigate.  I like to read other quilters’ blogs and I’ve learned not just from what other people are making but from how they’re blogging about it.  Tagging struck me as a relatively easy way to be more accessible.  This is for you, so feel free to give me your input.  If you want a “wedding” tag or a “birthday” tag or some other category that you think would be useful, I want to know about it.


Wedding quilt for N and A: Part II

I put N and A’s quilt together in my apartment, instead of at my parents’ house, but since the quilt is on the small side I managed alright.



I used a large purple print for the back:


The piecing for this quilt is relatively simple, so I decided to do some more involved quilting.  I did everything by hand.

I started by quilting N and A’s names in blue on the pink strip.  Here’s a sample of the script:

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That was the easy part.  I did the rest of the quilting in Hebrew.  I don’t know Hebrew, so I had to get help.  N and A had put their Hebrew names on the wedding invitation and I confirmed with N’s father that I had the names correct before I started to quilt them.    I quilted their names in pink on the yellow row.


I wanted to add something nice, besides their names.  My friend A also speaks Hebrew and she told me that there’s a Hebrew phrase associated with weddings: Ani l’dodi v’dodi li.  It means “I am for my beloved and my beloved is mine.”  (The phrase highlights the similarities between Arabic and Hebrew, except the word dod doesn’t exist in Arabic.)  People get it engraved on wedding rings and the like.  I have coworkers who also speak Hebrew and one of them helped me make sure I had spelled everything correctly.  I quilted the Hebrew phrase on the blue row with yellow thread.

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I made a mistake with my dels (in dodi) and quilted them like raas, a mistake my coworker caught in time for me to fix them.  (I don’t know the names of the Hebrew letters, so I use the Arabic names for the corresponding letters.  I’m sure they’re very similar.)

Here’s the completed quilt:


On the back I made a quilt tag with their names, the wedding date, and my name.

I gave them the quilt in the beginning of June.  As always, I think it’s beautiful, and they liked it, too.  (No one has ever looked at a present I made for them and not thanked me – who complains about a handmade present?)

My posts have been delayed in part because I moved in the interim, but I was pretty far ahead with posts from the last quilt, anyway.  I had planned to switch to a post every week instead of twice a month, but that may have to wait until the fall.  It’ll depend on how much time I have to quilt in August.

Wedding quilt for N and A – Part I

I mentioned, I believe, that I made three quilts this spring.  This is the third.  My friend N got married back in January, but it took me a while to finish the quilt.  Then, I didn’t see them for a couple of months, and I don’t like to post until I’ve given the recipients their presents.

N and I have known each other since the fourth grade.  I attended her bat mitzvah, during which she read from the story of Noah.  Her wedding invitations had a drawing of a sun rising (or setting) over green grass, and the rainbow shades reminded me of her bat mitzvah reading.  I decided to make a rainbow stripe quilt.

I cut six-inch long strips in rainbow shades: reds, pinks, oranges, yellows, greens, light blues, dark blues, and purples.  The strips are of varying widths – I believe the narrowest are about 1.5″ wide and the widest are about 4″ wide.

Here are the strips all piled up:

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Here is the row of light blue strips, all laid out:


I arranged them in whatever order I found most pleasant, and then sewed them into long rows.  I wanted the quilt to be approximately 40″ square.

Here are the completed strips:

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I sewed all the strips into one big block.  The row of red across the top is a little hard to see in this picture; apologies for that.


I’m not sure of the exact measurements of the quilt.  Since I had eight 6″ rows, the quilt came out around 40″ long, and I think it’s slightly wider.  I wanted it a little larger, so I added a solid strip of sky blue as a border:


In my next post, I’ll cover the quilting.

Baby quilt for my friend N

This was my first baby quilt in quite a while.  My friend N had a baby boy back in December, but I was so busy working on the Christmas/engagement quilt for my brother and his fiancee that I didn’t get a chance to start on N’s baby quilt until January.  N’s family is Pakistani and when I thought about what I wanted the quilt to look like, I thought about my book about the history of global quilting traditions, “Quilts Around the World.”  I have used it before, when I made the quilt for my cousin T and her husband, the people who had given me the book, and I turned to it again for inspiration.  It has samples of Pakistani patchwork, which is very geometric, and I liked that. I decided I wanted to use green – something like forest green.  I had a solid rectangle of green.  I decided to make a border of white and black triangles.  I don’t use a lot of solids in my quilts, but I made this entire quilt out of solids.  It doesn’t look anything like my usual quilts but it’s beautiful!

I added another solid green border.  The quilt top was still smaller than I wanted, so I decided to add a third border of black and white stripes.  I cut long strips of the black and white fabrics.  Each strip was 2 inches wide.  I sewed the strips together, alternating black and white.  I ironed the seams flat and then I cut perpendicular two inch wide strips, thus creating black and white stripes.

The strips remind me of Beetlejuice (the cartoon/movie), but I think they look really good edging the forest green.

Next step: the quilting

I used my machine to quilt the triangles.  I sewed triangles in the center of each triangle – white thread on the black triangles and black thread on the white triangles.  See the triangles traced below:

I also sewed lines on the green  fabric – a white line on the outer border and two rectangles, one with white thread and one with black, in the center rectangles.  I made the mistake of not tracing the white line I quilted on the green border, so that one came out a little wavy.  Moral of the story: Always trace before you quilt!  (Unless you’re doing crazy/random quilting and it doesn’t matter, of course.)  The white quilting on the black triangles shows up really well in the picture below, but unfortunately the black quilting on the white triangles is only visible if you look really closely.

Here’s the back.  I used green fleece for it.

I hand-quilted the baby’s name in Arabic in the center.  I have to thank my friend M’s dad and/or uncle for writing out the Arabic calligraphy for me, so it would look prettier than if I drew it myself.

I used white thread to do sashiko-style quilting (I can’t guarantee that it’s actual sashiko quilting so I won’t claim that) and created a pretty geometric pattern on the sides of the rectangle.  I drew the lines 1.5 inches apart.

In the future, I will not use fleece for anything that involves hand quilting.  It was difficult to pull the knots of the thread through the fleece.  In some cases I had to pull the knot through the top fabric instead of through the back, the way I normally would.  I used fleece because it saves a layer of batting, but it added more aggravation when it came to the quilting.  I had considered quilting the Arabic alphabet in the triangles, but I decided against it because hand quilting with the fleece was so much extra work.

I was really pleased with the way it came out.  I think I need to start incorporating more solid fabrics into my quilt.  The geometric patterns are so striking.  I sent it several months late, but I’m sure N will forgive me.

Here’s the finished quilt: