Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Preeti's Picket Star Quilt: Courage Like a Flower

“Deep in their roots all flowers keep the light.”              

– Theodore Roethke

Serendipity E2E Quilting Design on Preeti's Picket Star Quilt

One of the hardest things about quilting for clients is when you're working on a quilt that you are totally in LOVE with, but you can't share any pictures until after your client has a chance to share her own finished quilt on social media.  It is like having a giant box of Godiva truffles sitting on your desk, with a fan set up behind them to blow delicious chocolate aromas in your face all day, but if you eat them you will explode.  It's been AGONY, having these photos on my phone for a whole month without sharing any of them!  And now, without further ado, check out this gorgeous quilt made by my friend Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts!

Ample Negative Space is a Perfect Backdrop for Large Scale Floral Design

“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”                 – Anais Nin

And yet, waiting to share the pictures was only one factor contributing to the exquisite agony of quilting for Preeti.  She sent me this photo of the finished flimsy before mailing it to me, but then was adamant about NOT wanting to know how I was going to quilt it until it was finished.  I know, right?!!  Oh my gosh!  

Preeti's Picket Star Flimsy, Ready for Quilting

Preeti and I are BQBs (Blog-Quilting-Besties), so I'm familiar with her aesthetic and have been following along as she developed her Picket Star block (there's a free tutorial for this pattern on her blog here) and I watched as she created several Picket Star tops in different colorways.  It's a huge 17" block, which makes it a fantastic choice for showcasing those larger-scale prints we can't bear to cut up.  

Preeti named the block "Picket Star" because it reminds her of the tops of a picket fence.  I love how she has just the right amount of value contrast in each of the prints she paired to create the illusion that the picket stars have been crisply chiseled.

Seriously, I had at least EIGHT different quilting ideas that I could envision for this quilt top, and each of them would have looked amazing in completely different ways.  I have seen how Preeti quilts her own quilts on her domestic machine using straight lines, serpentine grids, and even spiral walking foot quilting that looks simply amazing on her quilts.  But I knew that she wouldn't be sending this one to me unless she wanted something different this time.  So I ruled out any designs that were too similar to things she could easily quilt herself.

“As delicate as a flower, as tender as rose petals, choosing to be tender and kind in a harsh environment is not weakness, it's courage.”                 – Luffina Lourduraj

And so I looked to the quilt top for inspiration -- a joyful mix of both modern and vintage-vibe prints in glorious, saturated colors.  Florals, geometrics, and playful novelty prints.  Cool white background fabrics sprinkled with silver metallic accents.  And then there was the name Preeti had chosen for this quilt, "Courage," and what she'd shared with me about what this quilt represents for her.

What does Courage look like to you?  This is what Preeti's courage looks like to me.  This is the courage of a woman who responds to the pain and suffering in our world by rolling up her sleeves, carefully selecting joyful fabrics, and sewing them together to make quilts for faraway strangers, just to show them that there is still love and hope and beauty in this world.  Time and again, when the morning news has hit me like a sledgehammer and I feel overcome with grief and helplessness at the darkness in the world, while I am still feeling paralyzed, Preeti has already sprung into action to start quilts for the victims or survivors.  She speaks out in support of those who have no voice and isn't afraid to take a passionate public stance on controversial issues that might alienate readers, if it's something she believes in.  Preeti's courage is like a strong, beautiful flower that is determined to push its way through the scorched earth and bloom.


by Helen Frazee Bower.


"You asked me, "What is courage?" And I took 

The dictionary down and spelled it out. 

For such a little boy, the heavy book

Was ponderous. You twisted it about; 

You said, "It's being brave-and what is that?" 

You said, "It's not to fear - am I afraid? 

Does courage arch its back up like a cat, 

And spit at everything it meets?" you said. 

Perplexed, we closed the book and took a walk, 

And came where fire had worked untimely death; 

The woods were gone. But on a slender stalk 

A flower inched for life. I caught my breath. 

"Courage," I said and took you by the hand, 

"Is one white flower in a fire-swept land."

Quilt Pattern: Picket Stars, my client's original design (free tutorial on her blog here)
Quilting Design: Serendipity E2E
Batting: Quilter's Dream 80/20
Thread: So Fine in Snow (needle) with Glide 60 in White (bobbin)

PSST!!  I'd Love to Quilt for YOU!

By the way, if you or any of your quilty friends has a quilt top or two that needs quilting, I'd be delighted to quilt for you!  My turnaround for edge-to-edge quilting is currently running about 2 weeks, and you can click here to find out how to book your quilt with me.

I'm linking up today's post with the following linky parties:


Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter


Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  

Free Motion Mavericks with Muv and Andree


Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More

Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts

Off the Wall Friday at Nina Marie Sayre

 TGIFF Thank Goodness It’s Finished FridayTGIF Friday


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

looks great - you both did a terrific job

Sharon Kwilter said...

Such a pretty quilt. Well done.

Gretchen Weaver said...

The quilt is beautiful! Just what the quilt needed, you've done a great job and I'm sure Preeti is very pleased. Happy stitching!

SJSM said...

Your description of who Preeti is has me admiring her without knowing her. I will look at her blog to learn more. I can only imagine the thought you put into the quilting to give the quilt the the voice it needs. You did admirably.

Pat at Bell Creek Quilts said...

beautiful quilting on a stunning quilt!

piecefulwendy said...

You and Preeti make a pretty amazing team - both of you do such lovely work! You described Preeti so well, too - she has such a huge heart, and I admire her passion. (You can eat the Godiva chocolates now - LOL).

MissPat said...

What a wonderful tribute to Preeti. She is an amazing woman with a heart of gold. And yes, she is full of courage (and a lot of sass, too). You did a beautiful job on the quilting and I know she is pleased a punch.

Lynette said...

I just *love* that quilting pattern - so very pretty. :)

Susan said...

Beautiful quilting pattern on this! You two make a good pair.

Preeti said...

Shut up, shut up, just shut up. You horrible woman - you make me cry. I love you so much.
I will say this about you, once again because it needs repeating - You, Rebecca, approach every project with the sensitivity of an artist and the zeal of a warrior.
You have no idea how horrible my day has been and now here reading this is a salve to my frayed nerves. I am smiling through my tears as I see how your longarm machine has rained love on my flimsy and created a piece of joy and beauty. We are together in this.

Wendy F said...

A beautiful quilting pattern for a lovely quilt!

Julie said...

What beautiful quilting - perfect for this gorgeous quilt.

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

You chose just the right quilting for this one!! Beautiful!!!

Emily said...

Wow! The quilting is gorgeous and you've summed up Preeti so perfectly, AND captured her in thread!! Amazing!

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

J'adore. Tout. Le quilt de Preeti (et son commentaire aussi), ton choix de fil et du motif de quilting, et la belle amitié entre vous. Tout est magnifique!
I love. Everything. The quilt made by Preeti (and her comment too), your choice of thread and quilting design, and the beautiful friendship between you two. Everything is wonderful!

Kathleen said...

WOW! I loved this quilt when I saw it on Preeti's blog and was thrilled to see you quilted it for her! It is so lovely and you get Preeti and did such a fabulous job. Thanks for sharing on TGIFF!

LA Paylor said...

beauty all of it.. from quilting to the words about Preeti and courage... yes yes yes

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

I know Preeti and she is a flower for sure. Lovely quilting on this. Must have been so hard to keep this one a secret! Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

dq said...

I bet that is really hard waiting to post your beautiful work. Maybe you have some customers who don't blog or show their work online, I don't know.

Your quilting looks amazing!