Monday, July 24, 2017

July - Oh Baby Island Batik Challenge

The July challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to make some kind of a baby quilt.  What a great challenge!  Who doesn't like to make baby quilts!

Once again, my mind was spinning with what to make with the fabrics I'd been given.  I wanted to do something with a lot of color, so I went to some of the small strip pieces we'd been given.  They were about 3" x 10".   That gave me some nice color.  I should have taken a photo of the colorful strips- but I jumped into cutting before I thought about it.  I cut the blocks 3" x 3".

What pattern to use?  I usually make baby quilts that look very cute and baby-ish.  This time I was still thinking about the modern challenge we had a couple months ago, and thought maybe I'd do something with squares and with more of a modern look.

Have you ever gotten ideas in your head that don't go away?  When we had the modern challenge, there were all sorts of patterns I thought about using.  Then we had the curves challenge and all I could think about were curves - ha!  This baby quilt let me use one of the modern patterns that I liked.

Here is a photo of the finished quilt - with a little friend.

The quilt measures 37" x 37".  This quilt was different for me as I didn't start with a pattern.  I started with the colored block size and went from there.  I used a yellow  batik called Swirl Leaf - Blond Ale  from the Twilight Blush collection for the sashings, center squares, backing and binding.

It usually takes me awhile to decide how to quilt, but this time I knew from the start that I wanted to use straight cross hatching.  I used a nice Blendable thread from Sulky. - 4126 for the quilting.  You can't really see it from the photo, but it picked up the colors in the blocks, and looked nice on the back too.

This is a great quilt for using scrap blocks.  It goes together easily.  
Do you need a quick baby quilt?  Give it a try!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Quilt Garden Quilt- quilting with rulers

In my post a week ago, I showed you the local quilt garden and my quilt Crossroads that goes with this years garden block.

I wanted to show you some of the quilting that is on the quilt.  I used some of the new Westalee Rulers for domestic machines.  They are SO wonderful- I can't say enough about them.  I was able to do a variety of quilting designs using them on this quilt and they make quilting so lovely and SO much easier!

Here is a photo of the feathering done on the green fabric- it is very hard to see, but looks very nice.  I used the feather and straight ruler for this area.

Here is a photo of the corner blocks where I used a circle ruler.  These turned out great.  I added a small button to the center for embellishment.

The red area was fun using circle rulers and large arc rulers.  The Spin-E-Fex Ruler No. 4 worked perfectly in the yellow center.

If anyone is interested in learning to do machine quilting on a domestic machine using rulers, be sure and check out the Ruler Foot and Westalee Rulers at 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

McCall's Quilting- Guest Blogger

Today I'm a guest blogger with McCall's Quilting Editors Blog.  Check it out at:
and be sure to enter the drawing for a strip pack of the lovely Island Batik Surf & Sand fabrics.

Monday, July 10, 2017

McCall's Quick Quilts - Waterway

My quilt Waterway has been published in the Aug/Sept 2017 issue of McCall's Quick Quilts.

The cool refreshing look of this quilt comes from the Surf & Sand fabrics by Island Batik.  I especially loved the focus fabric that had the blue/green curvy lines that looked like seaweed in motion.  I quilted along those lines which made the quilting fast and easy.

You can find more info on the quilt and purchase a digital copy at McCall's Quick Quilting.

McCall's has provided two sample issues as a give-a-way.  Just leave a comment below to be entered. USA residents only please.

Monday, July 3, 2017

2017 Quilt Garden and Quilt

It's summertime and time for another beautiful quilt garden and garden quilt.  Nappanee IN is part of The Quilt Gardens Along the Heritage Trail in Elkhart County IN.  This year is the 10th Anniversary of the Quilt Garden Tours.  There are 19 gardens on the tour along with garden murals in many spots.

I've helped to plant the gardens for several years and also design and make a quilt each year with the garden block highlighted in the center of the quilt.

The garden in Nappanee this year was a quilt block with no name, so they called it Crossroads.

The symbolism is that it portrays the two highways that go thru our town (US 6  and St Rd 19).
The directional sign in the center of the garden shows the distances from this location to the other towns in the county that also have gardens on the tour.  This garden is very unusal this year as the color comes from non- flowering plants!  I'm sure this is a first!

This year the tour also includes 56 life-size sculptures by Seward Johnson.  You can find out more about all these sculptures at: These sculptures are wonderful and our garden is graced by one of the smaller sculptures called There, Now You Can Grow.
Isn't she adorable!  I'm sure she will take good care of our garden this summer!

Here is a photo of the quilt that accompanies the garden.  It is hanging in the Nappanee Center next door.  Be sure to stop in and see the museum and several quilts from past gardens.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Curvalicious Quilts - June Challenge

I love the logo above.  The June challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to make something with curves.  This was an interesting challenge.  I spent weeks thinking of what to do.  

I thought about doing curves like in New York Beauty blocks.
Photo from Pinterest
I love New York Beauty Blocks and thought something like that would be fun.
Then I thought about simple curves like Orange Peel.
Photo from Pinterest
I also thought that many blocks give a curved image, but are made from straight lines- like the snowball block.
photo from Pinterest
This is just one of many I thought mind was spinning!  And time was running out...

Then I thought about fusible applique!  You can cut and fuse any kind of curved shape you can imagine....and I love to do this technique....
This is my Falling Leaves quilt.  It's so easy to fuse, cut and sew any shape.

So what should I do?  I finally decided to go the traditional route and to sew the curves on the machine.  I found a block I liked and decided to use the Dotalicious Earth fabric I had in 5" squares. I like to make small things, so I decided to make a hot pad using a selection of the blue squares.

These are my pieces- three pieces to a section and 8 sections.
Just a word of caution to someone just starting to sew curves - they are easier with larger pieces.  These are relatively small pieces and I found it was easier to put about 5 pins in to help sew the larger curve.  The inner curve was fine with three pins- one in the center and one on both sides.

Here is my completed block/hot pad.  The colors blended nicely.  I used a layer of Insul-Bright from The Warm Company and a layer of cotton batting for the inside.

Of course I didn't want to waste a scrap- it took nine 5" squares to make the front.  I added one more square to the scraps from the front to make a scrappy back.
I used the new 80 wt Aurifil thread for the quilting. It quilts beautifully! 

I like the back too- you could use either side!

Three more partial squares were used for the scrappy binding.  I used thirteen 5" squares for this project, with only a few small strips leftover.  Success!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Business Tote Pattern

The pattern on the cover of this book is my pattern called Evergreen Business Tote.  The pattern was originally published in an Oct issue of Quilter's World Magazine and later republished in this book Quilted Purses & Totes for all Seasons.  It's always a thrill when a project is featured on the cover!

I love to see my photos of my projects that people have made.  Recently Bea Lee sent me a photo of the tote that she made for her daughter.  Bea is a fellow Island Batik Ambassador- so I get to see a lot of her work (and she's prolific!)

Here is her business tote/laptop bag

I think it's lovely in the cool blues that she picked out - actually I think Bea let her daughter pick out the fabrics.  She did a great job!

You can see more of Bea's work at her blog :