Tuesday, February 2, 2016

52 prompts to blog every week : Week 5

It is February. February is the month of  love. In the 52 prompts series, this month we will be discussing about our favorites. Today its time to talk about

My favorite Sewing Machine

I have had a series of sewing machines. Now that I have an independent studio of my own, it helps keep my my machines spread out and using them at regular intervals.
I have a Featherweight from my grandparents - Durby, a Bernette E56 - Betty, a Bernina 330 - Emily and a Bernina 710 - Ross.

Click on the image to enlarge

Needless to say,Ross is my favorite sewing machine that I have. Its super neat and the BSR is a god send. It makes my quilting look super neat and professional. I seriously love it.

Do you want to know what my dream sewing machine is?

Its the Bernina Q24 on a frame.

I have plans to buy it in 2016. But before that I have to save up enough money!

Hope I will be able to do that.

Which is your favorite sewing machine? And which is your dream sewing machine?
Do drop me a comment and let me know.

P.S. I'm not doing a linky thing till we have more participants. Doesnt make sense anyways!



Monday, February 1, 2016


Nataraj is the dancing position of Hindu God Shiva,  as the cosmic dancer who performs his divine dance to destroy a weary universe and make preparations for the Lord Brahma to start the process of creation.
I made it as a gift for a friend and his wife. Yashodhan (known as Dhan in friends) directed the play my husband participated last year. The play was critically acclaimed at the national level and won lots of prizes. The play was called "Vrundavan" and received a lot of prizes including best Director and Actress (Kavita - Dhan's wife) and depicts the sorry state of the affairs of widows in Vrundavan and hence the name.

I first sketched the image onto one of my hand-dyed fabrics. Then I used two layers of stabilizer under it and 'thread painted' it. I used 2 shades of brown colored 40 wt Aurifil thread for this. Then I basted it with a high loft cotton batting and a beautiful yellow-gray linen for the back.

I quilted it using 50 wt Aurifil in pale yellow on top and 50 wt Aurifil black in the bobbin. I love the quilting design I came up with.

I just had 4 days to finish this quilt. And since we had invited them for lunch already, I could not push the deadline forward, in spite of an OPEN STUDIO. It was fun to work on it during the time that people came to visit.
After finishing the quilting, I used my Inktense pencils to add colour to the sketch.

Quilt Stats :
Name : Nataraj
Size : 36" x 30" (I actually forgot to measure it, so I'm not entirely sure. I'm just recalling from where I cut it)
Material used :
Fabric - Hand dyed Umaid Mill Poplin for the front and Linen for the back
Thread - Aurifil 40 wt in two shades of Brown for the thread painting, 50 wt in pale yellow for quilting and 50 wt black for the bobbin. I normally do not use different weight threads in the top and bobbin. But I did not have black in 40 wt, so had to improvise. I just set my tension to a little lower (number) than I normally use so that the bottom thread did not show up.
I used my BSR for the quilting and love the uniformity of the stitches.
I also used Inktense pencils for colouring it.
Experience - Making this quilt for Dhan & Kavita was in itself an inspiration. Dhan is a natural when he goes to the stage. He has been acting and directing for 20 years now. Kavita joined him after they got married. She has worked so hard to potray "Arish" in this play. Her Silver Medal for that role is totally well deserved. (They do not have a gold medal since they say - no one can play any role perfectly). The effect of the play was so strong that I actually did not feel like watching it one more time. The plight of the widows of Vrundawan is real. And this pair did an excellent job of bringing it to light! Making this quilt for them, felt so rewarding to myself.  Kudos to the Vrundawan team!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

52 prompts to blog every week : Week 4

Hi all! Its week 4 of the 52 prompts and today I'm going to talk about my favorite organization tools.

I am the most disorganized person that I know! Its true! I start every year trying to get everything on track and by the end of the year there are so many tracks that I do not know which ones to follow!

I have been cleaning my studio for a week now. I have only managed to fold half of my fabric. There is so much more to be done at the moment.

But here are a few of my favorite organizing tools:

1. Chronodex
I discovered chronodex sometime last year. I was trying to maintain a daily routine planner, but nothing seemed to work for me. Chronodex is visual and I love the 'colouring' part of it! Give it a try, you will love it too!

2. Boxes

My fabric has been on shelves ever since I moved into my new studio. I love that it is open and I can be inspired when I look at it. But lately, I have realized that it has started fading a little. Also, India is a lot dusty and it becomes a HUGE task to dust all those fabrics. So this year, I have ordered some boxes to store the fabric. I found them cheap at an online Packing and Moving supplies store.

I will be keeping all my fabric under one yard in these boxes. I do wish they were clear, but I could not find cheap clear boxes. So these will do for the time being.

3. Baskets and bins

I love having multiple baskets in my studio. I can use them to keep  a thousand different things.

Now that I have multiple sewing machines in my studio, with many people working on them (I have one intern, Preeti since 2 years now and one friend, Ashwini, recently joined me on board. She will be looking after my online store)

What are your favorite organizing tools?

Do share them, in the comments or by joining the linky!


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday cooking with Rohit - Chicken Curry

Today is my first post in the Sunday Cooking with Rohit series. And today he made one of the yummiest Chicken Curries I have ever eaten, at home or in restaurants!!! 

You want to know how he made it?

Here's the recipe

Ingredients :
Tsp = Teaspoon
Tbsp = Tablespoon

Chicken - 750 gm

For the marinade : 
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 Tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 Tsp
Kanda Lasun Masala - 1 Tsp (This masala is readily available in Indian food stores or you can make it yourself. Recipe here) If you cannot buy or make it, you can substitute it with some spicy red chilli powder and some Garam Masala.
Cumin Powder - 1 Tsp (optional)
Coriander Powder - 1 Tsp (optional)

For the Masala :
Cooking Oil - 1/2 Tbsp
Onions - about 1 cup sliced
Cinnamon - about 2" long
Cardamom - 2
Peppercorns - 10-12 (lessen number if you want less spicy)
Star Anise - 1
Mace (Crushed) - about 1 Tsp
Dry red chillies - 2 (Use only one if you want less spicy)
Coriander seeds - 1 Tbsp
Poppy seeds - 1 Tsp
Cumin seeds - 2 Tsp
Black Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
Fresh Coconut (grated) - 3 Tbsp
Dessicated coconut - 1 Tbsp
Red Chilli powder (kashmiri) - 1 Tsp (for color)

For the gravy :
Cooking Oil - 2 Tbsp
Bay leaf - 1
Onions - 1 cup Chopped
Tomato - 1/4 cup Chopped
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 Tbsp
Red Chilli Powder (kashmiri) - 1 Tsp
Kanda Lasun Masala - 1 Tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 Tsp (optional)
Coriander powder - 1 Tsp (optional)
Kasuri Methi (Dried fenugreek leaves) - 1 Tsp
Fresh Cream - 2 Tbsp
Dry dessicated coconut - 1 Tbsp (optional)
Fresh Coriander - 1/4 cup - finely chopped


Start by marinating the chicken.
Mix all ingredients into a paste and apply it to the cleaned chicken.

 Cover and let it sit for at least an hour.

Making the Masala:
1. Put some oil in a pan to heat.
2. Add all the spices and the dry red chilli and cook till they brown. (DO NOT ADD the red chilli powder now)
3. Add the sliced onions.

 4. Saute till the onions soften.

5. Add the grated fresh coconut and the desiccated coconut and saute till it starts to brown. 
6. Add the red chilli powder and saute for one minute. 

7. Remove from heat and blend it into smooth paste. 

Optional Step : Dry roast the Desiccated coconut till it turns golden.

Making the gravy:

1. In a hot pot, pour the oil and let it heat. 
2. Add a bay leaf and chopped onion. Saute till it starts turning golden brown. 

3. Add ginger garlic paste and tomato. Saute till oil starts to separate. Do not worry if your pot looks a little burnt. It will go away once you add the chicken. 

4. Add the red chilli powder, kanda lasun masala, cumin powder, coriander powder and the kasuri methi. Add the masala paste. Add a mittle water and stir it for a minute. 

5. Lower heat, cover and cook for another minute.

6. Add half of the chopped coriander, give it a good stir, cover and cook for another minute.
7. Add the marinated chiicken and stir thoroughly to make sure that all of the chicken is coated.

8. Cover and let it cook till the chicken is cooked. 
9. After about 10 minutes you will see that the chicken will start oozing some water. Add salt to taste and warm water to thin the gravy. 

10. After the chicken is cooked, add the fresh cream and the roasted desiccated coconut. 
11. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with rice or roti. Add a dash of lemon juice before you serve.

If you do make it, do let me know how it went. If you have any problems, feel free to ask questions.

Enjoy your meal!!!



P.S. The spices listed above in "For the Masala" will be used repeatedly in making of Indian recipes. They have a pretty good shelf life too. If you buy more than you need, you can store them in the freezer in ziploc bags.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

52 prompts to blog every week : Week 3

Its Week 3!!!
And today we will be talking about our dream sewing space!!!

What quilter does not have a dream sewing space? I do too! But now I am VERY near to having that wonderful sewing space!!!

About a year and a half back, my Father-in-law got my studio re-done.

It is absolutely fabulous and PERFECT!

I just need to actually decorate and organize it now.

I have created a pinterest board to put all my dreams together!
Follow 13 Woodhouse Road's board 2016 Studio Plans on Pinterest.

I will be working on my plans one at a time to make my studio near my dream by the end of the year!

What are your dreams for the studio?
I'd love to see them.

Do share them, either in the comments or on your blog and by joining the linky!!!


Sunday, January 17, 2016

New Series Alert : Sunday cooking with Rohit!!!

This Sunday has been awesome!!! Well, most Sundays are for me lately.

Okay, everyone who follows me knows that I'm not a huge fan of gourmet cooking! Well, I wont kill my family of starvation, but I'd rather do the dishes than cook, given a choice!

Since the past few months, Rohit, my (way) better half, has started taking a keen interest in cooking! It could be because I dont like it and rarely make an effort, but I like to convince myself that it is because he genuinely enjoys it!

Thats my wonderful husband, with his favorite bike!!!

So this morning, he was making lunch and we started talking about blogging. I told him he should write a blog about his cooking adventures. I told him that I know he is not a pro, but so are 99.9% people out there! And I'm sure they would like to see how and what he experiments with! He looked a little interested.

Then I had a BRILLIANT idea. (I am intelligent, though not your ideal housewife!) I suggested him to do a guest column on my blog instead! I have an audience built up over the last five years. And I'm sure most quilters love food. And most quilters abroad love Indian food!!! And his recipes are simple (for now. I'm sure he will be experimenting and playing big soon) enough for anyone to make. His recipes are basic and down to earth. And more often than not, they are absolutely yummy!!!

You hungry?

So we will be starting next week! Every Sunday I, on Rohit's behalf till he gets the hang of blogging, will be posting yummy recipes that he tries. I will also include mine and Aadi's opinions about the recipes!!!

If there are Sundays that he does not cook?

I will whip something up (it will be the easiest and quickest, I promise) and put up a recipe!

Are you ready?


Friday, January 15, 2016

Fat Quarter Shop : Top 10 Videos of 2015 : Day 10 Fractal Quilt

Today's the last of the series. 

This has been so much awesome!

Today's quilt is the Fractal Quilt. I loved this pattern the moment I saw it. You can watch Kimberly's video and download the pattern. Make sure you buy the Creative Grids Kite Ruler to make this one. 

Today's block is made by yours truly!!!

And yeah, I just realized my shirt matches the fabric I used to make this block!!! LOL! But I just could not resist these indigo dyed fabrics!

The block came together pretty fast. I was actually not expecting that to happen! I have this innate fear for Y seams. Especially after making the Hexed quilt for Rohit. But it wasnt as bad this time! Maybe Kimberly's video did the trick!

Here are the other bloggers joining me today.

Melissa of Oh How Sweet

Sherri of A Quilting Life

Caroline of Sew Can She

It would be awesome if you would share your #fractalquilt or any other #FQSTop10 quilts for 2015 on Instagram. Oh and did I mention for every #FQSTop10 post you do, you will be entered for a chance to win a Fat Quarter Shop $100 Gift Certificate! This fun contest ends January 31, 2016 and the winner will be announced on Instagram February 1, 2016. 

Good luck and happy quilting everyone!