|Preeti’s Masala Box quilt|
Anyway, as soon as we hung up our phones, I began digging in my fabrics and culling ideas for my very own version. Oh, this was going to be fun! Did I want a light background? I had lots of Kona White and lots of peach and light blue. But they didn’t “light my fire”. It’s autumn here, after all, and definitely sweater and cocoa weather. Well, maybe some black? No, Preeti did one of those…. Hmmm… purple would be awesome, and I have a lot of that. But my brain kept saying “autumn” to me.
In my newly-remodeled and organized studio, I’ve put all the solid yardage on bolts and large cuts of fabric for backings together. And there was a six-yard piece of a beautiful, rich brown fabric with a subtle print. It was given to me by my friend Diane from Weight Watchers to use for Quilts for Kids. Perfect! I have so many African scraps, chunks and strips that I’ve wanted to use in a quilt or two and they would be perfect against the brown. I also had a large African Dutch Wax fabric that Sally had sent me a couple years ago for Harambe Humanitarian quilts. I could use that for backing. But since I couldn’t split the quilt for two purposes, and I had plenty of fabric, I decided to make TWO quilts - one for Quilts for Kids and one for Harambe Humanitarian!
I broke open a solid fat quarter bundle of autumn solids that was several years old and pulled out some vibrant oranges, golds, and red. To that I added a bit of bright blue and the bright green I had bought in Kenya back in 2018. Oh my, these colors were already singing together! So I got started with the strip piecing and sewing. And once I got going, it was hard to stop!
Masala Box is a well-written pattern that gives very clear instructions for strip-piecing. These blocks were a breeze to sew and the blocks just multiplied before my eyes!
The first quilt I finished was a nine-block “kid” version. I’m calling my version “Mancala”. The brightly colored squares and their rectangular formation reminded me of the African board game of Mancala, often played with bright stones or pebbles.
Since I knew it would be going to our chapter of Quilts for Kids (and we prefer rectangle quilts), I added some strips to the top and bottom to lengthen it a bit. The finished quilt measures 40x48”. The back was a simple cream fabric with touches of red and brown.
The next quilt was more of the same lovely autumn colors, and I was in piecing heaven. Before I knew it, I had twenty more blocks to make a lap quilt. The binding hasn’t yet been applied to this second one, but it will be the same brown fabric.
Here’s the African fabric that Sally gave me for Harambe Humanitarian. The browns and red are a perfect backing for this larger quilt.
The only thing I was disappointed about was that we have had rain here for two straight days and I had to photograph the quilts indoors. We had dinner plans with family last night, so the two quilts were photographed in the early afternoon to get ready for this blog post.
But about fifteen minutes before we needed to leave home, the sun broke through the clouds. It was a bright autumn evening, and the neighbors’ backyard tree was ablaze from the evening light. I grabbed the quilts and my phone and made a mad dash out to the fence separating our properties. The light was so intense!
Yessss! This was the autumn mood I was going for! The shadows were already creeping up, but I snapped away. (No filters or adjustments)
And that’s the story of my Masala Box quilts, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Preeti’s pattern offers several sizes from crib to huge, LOL, and honestly, it’s easy to make any size in between just by adjusting the number of blocks. I know this will be a go-to pattern for me as I get lots of fabric strip donations for the charity quilts. I can’t recommend this pattern enough for design, clarity and ease of piecing.
But wait, you can win one! Preeti has generously agreed to gift a PDF pattern of Masala Box to one lucky commenter on today’s post. Here’s the deal. Just leave a comment on this post telling us which colors YOU would make Masala Box in. For quilters without a blog (or no-reply bloggers), be sure to leave an email address in your comment so we can contact you (you can’t win if we can’t contact you!) International commenters are welcome. You have until midnight (MDT) on Sunday, October 24, 2021 to leave a comment. Winner will be selected by Random Number Generator from the comments received and contacted by email. Winner will be announced here on Monday the 25th.
Good luck! And thanks for dropping by!