Monday, January 13, 2020

Project Quilting 11.1 Notably Numeric

I did it! I finally joined in. Each year for the past hmm, three or four, since my friend Pat wrote to me, asking if I'd heard of this, and saying she thought I should do it, I've meant to? Unfortunately, I just never have, though I've watched it each year.

Well, this year the stars lined up, I did a DrEAMi! (Dropped Everything And Made it!) and joined in.
This is the Sanskrit symbol for 'om', also known as 'aum'.  It is said to be the sound of The Universe, and that all living, organic beings, whether human, beast or plant, emit this beautiful hum. Isn't the coaster subtle? Although I'd not originally planned to do such subdued colours when I had the intention to make coasters for a yoga student or two of mine, it evolved for a reason.

First and foremost, this has turned out to be a second project for Island Batik's January challenge. (Don't worry, you haven't missed the first, as I'm still working on it! Here is a link to the Instagram peek I gave last week.) So, the fabrics were supplied by Island Batik, the scrap of batting by Hobbs Batting, and most of the thread by Aurifil. You'll read more about the challenge below.

I'd hoped to get these done over Christmas. Once again I was given wonderful Christmas gifts by two of my students, one of whom has written me the most meaningful, makes-my-heart-full notes in cards. She has been a huge factor in developing my confidence as a yoga teacher. The other reads my blog and often takes time to tell me before or after class how much she enjoys it, and that she loves the way I write and the stories I tell, as well as the quilts I make. The fact that she reads my blog, and then makes a point to tell me, and offers such kind words, makes my heart full.
It's a reminder to me of a few things: to remember to tell and show people when you appreciate something they do, that the person who receives the appreciation feels like their soul has been hugged, and finally that all this appreciation promotes even more love and care. A rather disturbing event has occurred within the last couple of weeks of my teaching, something so contrary to the ahimsa (do no harm) philosophy of yoga, and contrary to the gentle, surrendering mindset of Yin that I teach. So making these little coasters reminds me to focus on the 99.9% of lovely, loving souls in my yoga classes, and the positive energy they bring to the class. The room virtually hums with it so many many times. I've wanted to do a little something for some time for these two in particular. I'd love to make all my students a little yoga quilt such as the baby-type or smaller sizes I always have in class.

I've quilted the om symbol a few times over the years:
On my yoga mat bag 2014
On the front of Preeti's mini, but this is the back view as it shows up better! 2016

On Michael's quilt, Ripples. 2019

I set the om sign on point in the first coaster because I was trying (under pressure; the deadline to link up was noon CST so I had mere hours) to centre it straight on, and it was tight, so I thought, hmm, would it fit better this way? Not exactly, but I liked the effect so I went with it. For the second coaster, I did it straight on.
om coaster #2

I used the Crafted Appliqué method (my favourite) to appliqué the cream batik pieces onto the grey/blue square, which is called 'Whip Cream'. I love it. Aurifil is the grey they and another brand (longtime readers will know who!) is the metallic for that subtle hint of sparkle.

I like the way the free-motion quilting double-stitching looks on the back.
Yay, I remembered my label.
For both coasters!

For these mini-minis, I cut my single-fold binding at 1.25", sew it to the back on three of the sides, leaving half of two adjacent side free for ease of joining the ends. Then I fold it to the front and top-stitch it down.
I'm happy we had a little snow on Sunday morning, that was gone by the afternoon, :-( to add to the monotone look of the photo.

This coaster was not only my entry for the first Project Quilting challenge, but also my entry for another two challenges.

As mentioned, Island Batik's January challenge is to make a scrappy quilt. Although this is not my planned project, it certainly counts as one, since the cream is a scrap, as is the Hobbs batting. The grey/blue is not exactly a scrap yet, but we are allowed to use 'will become scraps' lol, from our Box #1 of 2020, so I took that liberty here.

It also fulfils a challenge from my friend Helen of Word Weaver Art. I used this photo as inspiration:
'Barely There' by Sara Harley
Helen and Sara are running an inspiration challenge all year which you can read about in the link above. Sara is a photographer from Nova Scotia, and Helen is a painter from Arkansas. Basically, you choose one or more of the photos they provide as inspiration for a creative piece, any medium. I hope you'll consider checking it out; you never know where the squirrels lie! Or maybe seeing their photo prompts will give you the impetus, as it did me, to make or finish a project.

Seeing Sara's photo was the moment that I knew I'd make the om coaster I'd wanted to make, but in soft muted colours. In the photo below I tried to link that sparkle of the metallic thread with the sun glinting on the snow.

Then when I saw the Project Quilting challenge, I thought gosh, om looks kind of like a 3 and a 0, and I know the sound of it is broken into three parts, and once I pulled up a little research on the origins of the symbol, I found its threefold nature. Symbols of the three worlds: earth, atmosphere and heaven are in it. The three major Hindu gods, as well as the three sacred Vedic scriptures are represented in this symbol. I love the Indian philosophical belief that "God first created sound and the universe arose from it." (Religion Facts) Isn't that beautiful? Isn't it also beautiful how subtle the threefold meaning is (link to the subtle photo) and that so many religions acknowledge the significance of the number 3, which happens to be my favourite number, originally because of my birth date.

I got the second one made yesterday.

I still have another original idea, as to the making of two coasters using the word 'om', or a-u-m, as it is often written for the three sounds that comprise the Sanskrit word,

So yahoo! I can celebrate!
Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Original design; om symbol traced from online image
Size: 4.5"
Fabric: Island Batik
Backing: Island Batik 'Whip Cream'
Batting: Hobbs Thermore scraps
Quilted: on my Bernina, FMQ
Threads: pieced on my Bernina with Aurifil; quilted with Aurifil 50 wt and Sulky metallic.


  1. Great job on this! Glad you got it in and done in time. I like both versions, but I think in my mind the square one makes more sense. That whip cream is a great fabric, too.

  2. Oooh, I love these, Sandra. Especially the one set on point!

  3. The thought process that you put into all of your quilts, no matter the size, always impresses me. I am also in awe of the precision of your work. Using the Inspiration Image of "Barely There" was perfect for this one. I'm so glad you participated in the January Inspiration Collaboration!

  4. Well done. Glad you were able to join in. This is my third year. Thanks for the tip on the photo challenge.

  5. I think I like the on point better than straight on. Great idea!

  6. The monochromatic color scheme is so calming. I really like that look. So glad the squirrels are happily playing with you - keep them there, for just a bit, while I finish some deadlines? Of course, with the intro to Word Weaver Art, now I have ideas (but no time right now!).

  7. Thanks for all the background,Sandra. I have done some project quilting projects in the past. In fact, I had an idea for notably numeric, but did not get it done. I was going to do a "banner" with 2020 and the each of the digits would have fabric based on some ideas for inspiration for this year. I wanted to do a low volume scrappy background with little pieces of my treasured geometry fabric (Zen Chic, I think). Maybe I'll revamp as images for the decade of 20's! Have a good day.

  8. I think it's a good thing you do Yoga. With all the creative thoughts running through your mind, you need a place to go to calm yourself. I think your Yoga students will love these coasters.

  9. A beautiful and loving coaster. I like the subtle colors. I am so glad you find encouragement from special students. It is sometimes the little words that keep us going when things are tough. Looking forward to the "first" project for Island Batik!

  10. Well done!!! A 3fer and they turned out so beautifully!! Your students will be very happy with their gifts!

  11. Hi Sandra! I have been meaning to join in this Project Quilt myself, and am primed for the Sunday release of 11.2. I think I wrote a post about it tomorrow - anyway, this is a fun interpretation. Even better is that I'm certain your mug rugs will be greatly enjoyed. ~smile~ Roseanne

  12. So lovely and peaceful in these soft, cat-footed fog colors. Beautiful!

  13. Congratulations on a beautiful finish and for joining in with Project Quilting! I've considered it for a few years now, too, but I haven't yet taken the plunge :)

  14. Congratulations Sandra. A well deserved honour.
    Another great blog .
    Love the candle quilt . I agree the batiks are so nice to work with.
    A appreciate the coaster so much and will treasure it.

  15. You just gave me a great idea! My daughter asked for something to put under a new, large crystal on her glass bedside table. This would be a perfect design & will work within her goals. Thank you! I’ll have her send me a photo when she receives it, to share with you.

  16. Beautiful coasters with a wealth of meaning and intent in them. They are beautiful gifts. I think you nailed each challenge.

  17. Such an interesting little project. Thanks for sharing!

  18. I love how something as seemingly simple as a coaster can have so much meaning packed into it. And it is quietly beautiful as well. Another terrific project, I can imagine it will be/was gratefully received.


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