Thursday, April 19, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway - April

It's time for a book review and I picked a delightful book from Martingale called Oh Scrap!  Fabulous Quilts That Make the Most of Your Stash.

Photos used are courtesy of Martingale

 This is a great book by Lissa Alexander.  The photography is is wonderful.  Here is one of my favorite photos and quilts in the book

Isn't this just adorable!  The pattern is called Sherbert Stars. There are 9 eight pointed stars on the quilt and they are lovely in pink and orange.  That isn't a color combination I would normally use, but it is lovely and the little girl with the balloons is so cute!

The book starts with an interesting Preface by Barbara Brackman on the History of Scrap Quilting, and has 12 projects that are great for using your scrap stash.  With the costs of fabric now, using our stash is a wonderful way to make some special quilts.  Lissa gives some great tips on what makes a good scrap quilt through out the book.

If you are like me, you have a lot of miscellaneous blues in your stash.  This quilt called Friendship Blues is a great way to use a wide range of light and dark blues.  The quilts uses squares which are quick and easy to cut out - maybe you have a stack all ready to go!

Another one of my favorite quilts from the book is called Kismet.  This is a Courthouse Steps pattern.

Doesn't this look cool and refreshing?  This is a great pattern that uses lots of strips.  If you store your leftover strips together, you may already have a head start on this beauty.

It's great to have another book on using your scraps and Lissa does a wonderful job.  Look for it in your local quilt shops, or online at

I'm doing a drawing for a free ebook copy of Oh Scrap!  Just leave a comment on what color you have the most of in your stash.  Please make sure I can contact you if you are the winner.  I will announce the winner early next week.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Looking Back, Vintage Quilts Inspiring New Creations

I am an Ambassador for Island Batik .  The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, Aurifil Thread and Hobbs Batting.

Looking Back, Vintage Quilts Inspiring New Creations is the challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors this month.  Isn't that a great challenge!  I knew right away what I wanted to make.  In fact I started my project back in Feb when the challenge was to make a mini quilt, but I changed my mind and felt it would work best with this months theme of Vintage Quilts Inspiring New Creations.

A couple years ago my sister Jody Warner showed me a  lovely old pink and white quilt that was at her church.  Her mother in law's name was on the quilt.  I drew up a quick diagram of the design as it was one I had never seen.  I thought at the time it would make a cute mini quilt in pink and white.

My sister's sister in law Becky Morris sent me the following photos of the quilt that is now kept at their church - Agape Church of the Brethren in Ft. Wayne IN.

The label on the quilt says:  "This quilt was made by the Pleasant Hill ladies Aid in 1937.  It was sent to Dr Howard and Edith Bosler, Missionaries in Nigeria, British West Africa.  Each person whose name is on the quilt, contributed 10 cents to help pay postage.  The quilt now belongs to the Bosler's daughter, Ester Gene Miller."

My sister's mother in law and Becky's mother Juanita McDuffee (her maiden name) has her name on the quilt. They don't know why her first name was mispelled.  It was a surprise to me to find the names Grace and Joe Krider on the quilt.  They are the in laws of my sister Margo!  The quilt is over 80 years old and in great condition.

Here are close ups of some of the signatures.

The box of fabric that Island Batik sent to each Ambassador came in Feb and had a lovely fat quarter of pink fabric that I knew would be perfect for a mini of this quilt.  I went back to my design on the computer and checked the yardage needed - and the size I had earlier drawn would require more fabric.  So I reduced the size to one of my favorite mini sizes- a 12" x 12" quilt.  The yardage was still a bit more than I had- it needed 3/8" yard and I only had a fat quarter of pink and less than a fourth yard of white un-died batik.  I debated awhile, but since I can be very thrifty in my usage of fabric when doing paper piecing, I decided to go ahead and see if I could eek out the fabric for the whole quilt.

Along with the Island Batik fabric, I also used a piece of Hobbs cotton batting and Aurifil 50wt white thread in the piecing and quilting.

Here is my mini.  I still don't know the name of the pattern.  If anyone knows the name, please let me know- this quilt needs a name!

I extended the pattern out into the pink border which I think sets it off nicely.

It was a challenge to make this quilt with the fabric I had- but I made it!  This is the fabric I had leftover.  I actually had to use a scrap of white for one piece in the quilt as I ran out of the white.  I was surprised I had this much leftover.

Making a quilt this small - there is a lot of bulk in the seams.  It would be easier in a larger size, but I do love minis!

This gives you a little idea of the size of each square - 1 1/2" x 1 1/2"

One of the reasons I love 12" x 12" quilts is that they fit so well on the Ackfeld Wire stands

Thanks to my sister Jody and Becky for showing me the quilt and sharing information and photos.

Monday, March 26, 2018

March Challenge- Photo Design

The March challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to Try A New Technique.

This was an interesting challenge - to think of a technique have I never tried before.....
My first thought was to try a product I always thought looked interesting.  After I looked into doing that- I found out it wasn't being made anymore.  Guess I waited to long to try that one!

I finally decided to  try making a quilt from a photo.  I thought I'd try a photo of a face, so I selected one of my favorite photos of my Dad where he is laughing.  My Dad passed away a couple years ago and I thought this would be a nice remembrance of him- if I could do it nicely!

I found two books on my shelf to help me out- Photo Inspired Art Quilts by Leni Levenson Wiener which was a technique book and very helpful and Deidre Scherer Work in Fabric & Thread which had beautiful illustrations of quilts she made of people.

The first thing I did was take my photo which was on the computer and enlarge it.  It wasn't a very clear photo to begin with and got fuzzier each time it was enlarged.

I won't say I made mistakes on this project- but I did learn some lessons :
     *Lesson learned- use a very clear photo to start with.  It is also suggested you could work with some photo editing software that are available, but I didn't have any, so I just went with my original photo.

I drew around the highlights of light and dark colors.  This may be a step some photo editing software will do for you, but I didn't find it very hard.

 Here is my general outline to start with.  I enlarged the photo so that I could make a 12" x 12" quilt (my favorite size).  But....some of the pieces were very small.
     *Lesson learned - bigger can be better. Leni Levenson Wiener suggests 16" x 20" as a good size to work with when enlarging a photo.  I would have made this project bigger, but my photo was getting to fuzzy to work with.  Again- start with a clear photo...

I did crop the photo and took out all the background to make it easier.

There are different ways to make the pieces.  I've seen where you can fuse the pieces with fusible web- but then you need to reverse the patterns.  That seemed like an extra step and not easy with all the funny shaped pieces.  You can also just cut the pieces and layer them - adding touches of glue once it is all assembled to hold it together.  I decided to go this route and it seemed to work well although I did find it challenging to know which pieces would overlap or not.

I finally got the whole head and shoulders put together.  I did very lightly glue the pieces in small spots so the pieces wouldn't fly away and I could lift it up.  I decided to put a fusible web on the back to help hold this together which worked great- although the top pieces weren't secured more than with the spots of glue.
     *Lesson learned - more glue would have secured the small, top pieces better.

I auditioned different fabrics for the background. Island Batik fabrics are beautiful - which one would work?

I finally decided on the last one for the background.  I pressed the background fabric and fused the head and shoulders to the background.  And then I stalled.  I just wasn't sure how to quilt it.  The little pieces were so tiny I was afraid they would lift up and shift as I sewed them.  I wasn't sure I'd like it after I sewed the pieces and did the quilting...

Okay- it was a couple weeks until I decided I just had to DO it!  So I decided on a very tiny zigzag stitch to go around all the pieces before I did any quilting.  The tiny pieces behaved themselves and I got it all sewn with no problems.  Why did I hesitate?

I used a double layer of Thermore Batting from Hobbs Batting and did some quilting around the shirt and areas of the face and the background with straight stitching.  I think the face might benefit from further thread painting, but that would be another future challenge!

I love the Ackfeld wire stands to display small quilts.
Here is the quilt where it sits on the shelf above my computer.

This was a great challenge and it was interesting to see what all the other Ambassadors did this month.  Below you can check out other Ambassadors blogs to see what they created this month.

Thank you to Island Batik and Hobbs Batting for providing supplies for this project.

Barbara at Bejeweled Quilts
Bea at BeaQuilter
Carole at Carole Lyles Shaw
Connie at Kauffman Designs  you are here!
Dione at Clever Chameleon
Geraldine at Living Water Quilter
Janet at Whispers of Yore
Jeanette at Inchworm Fabrics
Jennifer at Curlicue Creations
Jennifer at Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
Joyce at heARTs Creations
Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Mania at Mania for Quilts
Maryellen at Mary Mack Made Mine
Michelle at Creative Blonde
Pamela at PamelaQuilts
Sally at Sally Manke
Sandra at MMM Quilts
Sherry at Powered by Quilting  
Stephanie at Steph Jacobson

Monday, March 19, 2018

Every Quilt Tells A Story

Every quilt tells a story - even a small one.

This quilt was made by Carol Denton.  Carol and I both belong to The Heartland Quilters guild and she showed it at our last meeting.  This little quilt is darling and has a story to tell.  After Carol's husband passed away, she made quilts for her family using lots of his plaid shirts.  The quilts were lovely.  When she had shirt fabric left over, she made pillows for other family members.  When she still had fabric leftover (we're talking pockets and shirt collars), she made this little beauty for herself!

I'm glad Carol had enough fabric for a memory quilt for herself.  I love the heart in the center- that says it all!  Thanks for sharing Carol!

The pattern for this quilt came from my book Little Gems.

The pattern is called Playing With Plaids

Carol turned each of her blocks a different direction which gave her room for the heart in the middle.  Isn't it great to see the design in the lighter, brighter colors!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Elementz Blog Hop

Welcome to day 4 of the Elementz Blog Hop.  I was happy to be asked to be included in this blog hop, because I love working with the Island Batik Elementz fabrics by Tammy Silvers.  I made this original quilt and posted about it on my blog Oct 2017.  This was a Borders and Bindings Challenge with Island Batik Ambassadors.  I used a Stack pack of 10" squares and some yardage of orange fabrics.

I am an Island Batik Ambassador and the fabrics featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik 

Isn't it bright and whimsical!  I love how the fabrics work together.  Using the Stack Pack made it easy to mix and match all the different fabrics.

I had lots of leftover Elementz fabrics that I can play with for some other future project.  The colors are playful and bursting with color.  Sometimes with a pack of fabrics there are some I don't use as I don't feel they don't all match up well.  With this line, they all work together and you can pull out about any fabrics from the group and they look good together.

Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at Island Batik for a chance to win a Fat Eight Bundle of Elements!

This blog hop started on Feb 26, so be sure and check out each stop on the hop.

Monday, February 26
Island Batik 
Sew Many Creations

Tuesday, February 27

Wednesday, February 28

Thursday, March 1

Friday, March 2

Saturday, March 3

Monday, February 26, 2018

Elementz Blog Hop

Today is the first day for the Elementz Blog Hop.

This is a hop created by Tammy Silvers to highlight her new Island Batik fabric collection called Elementz.  This is a bright and fun collection.  The hop starts today and you can go to the blogs listed below to see some great projects and enter to win some nice prizes.  I'll be posting on March 1, so be sure and come back then!

Monday, February 26
Island Batik 
Sew Many Creations

Tuesday, February 27

Wednesday, February 28

Thursday, March 1

Friday, March 2

Saturday, March 3

Monday, February 19, 2018

Mini Love Island Batik Challenge

I am an Island Batik Ambassador.  The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, including products from Aurifil Threads and Hobbs Batting.

As an Island Batik Ambassador, we are given a challenge to create a new project each month.  This month the challenge was to make a mini quilt.  I love to make mini quilts and thought a lot about what I would make.

In this post I'll show you a little how my mind works...

This idea all came from a plate.

This is a photo of the plates we selected when we got married.  It is Noritake Stoneware.  I love the design in the middle and we've used them every since we got married.  When we lived in PA about 25 years ago, I drew out a design similar to the plate and made a stencil out of it.  I stenciled the design using blue paints to match above the cupboards and sink in my kitchen.  It looked very nice.  I wish I had a photo to show you how it looked.

Just recently I was going thru old files and came upon the plastic stencil I used.  I didn't think I'd use it again, so I threw it away, but I couldn't seem to part with the design I'd drawn out.

It happened to be laying out when I was thinking about a mini quilt for this month of Feb,  I was thinking about some kind of quilt with a heart.  As I looked at this design, I thought if I reversed part of the image it would look like a heart!  I also added a small flower on the side.

How would this look in reds instead of blues?

Island Batik sent a box of fabric to each Ambassador with materials to use in our projects this year.  I decided to use two of the lovely pink fabrics and a neutral Island Batik from my stash.  I think it is called Rice.

I added pearl beads to the flower centers.

Once again I made my favorite size 12" x 12".  I used some of the Hobbs Heirloom Premium Cotton Batting and Aurifil 50 wt white thread that were included in our Island Batik box.  They worked wonderfully in this little project.

Here it is on the great Ackfeld Wire Stands- a perfect way to display your minis!

It never hurts to go back and look over past designs and update them with new fabrics or change the size and try something new with them.  Have fun!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Happy Galentine's Day

Happy Feb 13 or what some people now call Galentine's Day.  It's become a day to celebrate all our "Gal-friends".  Island Batik sent every Ambassador a small fat quarter bundle of 4 beautiful pink and white batiks to make something small like a mug rug for Galentine's Day.  This is the pretty bundle they sent to the Ambassadors this year.  Aren't they just like candy!  And not fattening either!

*I am an Ambassador for Island Batik.  The batik fabrics featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik.

I was wondering what to make this year and decided instead of me making a mug rug or two- how about I let a group of my "gal friends" have the fun of making their own!  My local quilt guild in Nappanee Indiana met last Thursday night which was perfect to do before the 13th.  Unfortunately I hadn't received my new box of Island Batik fabrics with the fabric above, but we were told we could use fabric that we had leftover from last year.  I had some lovely fabric from last year's Galentine's project, so we were good to go.

Being a cold Feb night- just hours before a big snow storm was to arrive, we had 8 brave ladies that showed up.

I gave everyone a small kit with  backing, batting, mini quilt top, fusible web, some heart templates and a selection of pink and red Island batiks.  They each decorated their mug rug in their own way.  I think they had fun and they turned out cute.

Here is the cupcake mug rug after she went home and finished it!

This lady took her's home and added a clear acrylic sleeve so she  could add her granddaughter's photo!

Everyone got the top put together and they took them home with a piece of binding to finish any applique and quilting they wanted to add.  Hopefully they will have a lovely mug rug finished to celebrate Galentine's Day.