Monday, July 9, 2018

July Island Batik Challenge

The July challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to make a project that had some kind of secondary pattern in it.  The first thing I did was look over the fabrics that Island Batik had sent me in the first box of fabric this year.  I decided to use the Pumpkin Patch fabric that had deep rich fall colors.  This bundle of fabric came in a Stack pack of 10" squares.

The bundle also came with some yardage in two colors.  The gold one I ended up using as background and the dark print I ended up using as backing

The next thing I did was look for a block pattern that would have a secondary pattern when the blocks were placed side by side.

I liked this simple basket pattern.  After playing around awhile, I took off the top two corner triangles so that I could place four baskets together with the handles all pointing towards the center.

Already you can see a secondary pattern.  The baskets almost disappear.

I made nine sets of the four basket blocks and laid them out in rows of three.  Here's the work in progress.

I wondered what to use for borders.  Since my fabrics came in 10" squares, I looked at the bundle of basics fabrics that Island Batik had sent.  I really liked the dark smokey brown called Walnut for the outer border and a mottled brown called Bubbles-Nutmeg for the inner border.  They worked really well.

Here is a photo of the finished quilt 37 1/2" x 37 1/2".  I'm not the best photographer and my camera doesn't seem to like this color combination.  I took several photos and this is the best one of the bunch.  As you can see in the photos above, the colors look a bit different in each one.

If you look at the quilt, you see the secondary pattern made by the four  baskets placed together into one large block.  Then you also see a secondary pattern where the basket blocks are placed together that results in the blue on point squares.

Playing around with single blocks can make some interesting secondary designs!

I used Hobbs Premium Cotton Batting that was also sent in the Ambassador Box.  It quilted up nicely.

If you have read some of my past blogs, you will know that I'm in love with the Westalee quilting foot and rulers.  I really enjoyed using them on this quilt.  Here are a few photos that show quilting with rulers and quilting in the squares and borders.  

If you like to do your own quilting on a domestic machine and you haven't looked into the Westalee rulers/Sew Steady- be sure and check them out!

 One more photo of the finished quilt.  I took this one outside in the full sun which sort of bleached the look of the colors- still not a perfect shot.  Notice the scrappy binding which I think sets it off nicely.

Friday, June 29, 2018

June Island Batik Modern Challenge

The June challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to make a Modern Quilt.  For this quilt project I used the Sunflower Serenade Collection that was sent in my first Ambassador box of fabric this year.

 I dearly love this collection.  My box had a collection of fat eights to work with.  This was a challenge as I wasn't sure how far they would go, but I really wanted to make something with them

*****FYI  I've worked with some of these fabrics before!  Look for my quilt in the Nov/Dec issue of Quiltmaker Magazine.

Many modern quilts use bright fabrics, so this collection would work.  I had enough of Island Batik Sprinkles to use as a light background, which would make the colors pop.

I choose the X Plus block pattern that has been very popular lately.  This was a good block that can use a wide variety of fabrics.  I used all but 3 or 4 fabrics in the whole collection.

This is a  very easy block to  make.  I decided to made the corner blocks by paper piecing- just because that is easy and accurate.  The blocks and sashing go together easily.  I decided to use the darker  fabrics for the sashings which gives a sort of grid work to the design. 

The quilt finished as a lap quilt 38" x 47".  Since many modern quilts have no borders, I finished it with a scrappy binding.

I really love the colors in this collection.

For the quilting I used the Westalee Straight edge ruler and the 4" arc.  Those are two of my favorite Westalee rulers.

You might want to check out the other Ambassadors posts for making Modern Quilts this month:

Monday, June 25, 2018

Book review winner

The winner of the Mini-Charm Quilts ebook is Jody.  The winning number was drawn by

Monday, June 18, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway - June

If you regularly follow my blog, you know by now that I love mini quilts.  Martingale has a new book called Mini-Charm Quilts  18 Clever Projects for 2 1/2" squares.

Photos are courtesy of Martingale

Martingale asked 18 of their designers to design a quilt using 1, 2 or 3 of their mini charm pack of squares.  Mini charm packs are a quick and easy way to gather pre cut squares - but don't we all have 2 1/2" squares just waiting to be used?  Lots of inspiration here on how to use them.  

A couple months ago I asked readers what color they had the most of in their scrap stash.  Many said blue.  Here is a cute little quilt that would use up a lot of those scraps.  This is called Spare Time by Lisa Bongean.

Another cutie is this heart pillow covered with cross your heart x's.  It's called Cross My Heart Pillow by Brenda Riddle.

This little quilt is so bright and cheerful.  Four Patch Chain is by Barbara Groves & Mary Jacobson.  I think this pattern would make a cute baby quilt.

Save those little squares- there are loads of things you can make with them!  If small projects aren't your thing- I'm sure you have a friend or two that would love to have them!

Look for Mini-Charm Quilts in your local shop or purchase online at

Martingale gives all the royalty funds for this book to LOCK-9 Comfort Dogs.  Isn't this a great way to support a special organization!

I'm having a drawing for a free ebook.  Let me know in the comments what size scraps you like to save.  I'll announce the winner early next week.  Be sure that I can contact you if you are a winner.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Bridesmaid Baby Blanket

Have you heard about making old bridesmaid dresses into baby blankets?  It is a growing trend as you can see if you look into it on Pinterest.  I wasn't aware of people doing this until  my daughter asked me to make one from a bridesmaid dress she had worn.  The "bride" was having a baby and as the dress no longer fit my daughter, this seemed like an interesting idea!

I didn't think to take a picture of the dress before I started.  It was a slim, halter top, floor length dress.  Luckily the dress was a single layer of fabric and not layers of thin filmy fabric.  I'm not sure, but I think it was some kind of polyester.  The hardest part was cutting into the dress and taking it apart!  My daughter is thin and the pieces of the dress were tapered up the sides, so there wasn't as much usable fabric as I had expected.

I decided to do a simple quilt with squares as I wasn't sure how much the fabric would fray, and how it would quilt.

I decided to make the alternate squares a soft white fleecy fabric that baby's love to feel.  So the blanket has the soft white and the slick pink fabrics to feel.  My daughter picked out a fleece baby blanket on sale for less than the cost of backing, so we went with that for the back. The colors coordinated really well.

It turned out very nice.   I did very simple straight line quilting that worked well to secure the dress fabrics.

It is a pretty neat idea - you might want to give it a try!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway - May

I love mini projects.  The new book Lunch-Hour Wool Minis by Kathy Brown has 14 Easy Projects to Stitch in no Time.

Photos are courtesy of Martingale 

If you already know how to do wool applique this book is for you.  If you've never done wool applique - this book is for you too!  Kathy has a list of supplies and shows how to do wool applique and it's really very easy!  She also has instructions for a few easy embroidery stitches to embellish the projects.

These projects are just adorable!  As Kathy says- they are small projects to stitch in front of a tv, while waiting at the office or at a ball park.  They are small portable projects that are easy and small to have on hand.

The project on the cover is a mug rug called Bees & Blossoms.  It is 6" x 7", and has a few small buttons for embellishments.

This project is called Ewe and Me and the Jingle Tree.  Isn't that a cute name?  Look at the cute little bell at the top of the tree.  It is 8" x 9".

I think the Chickadee Days project is the largest one at 10" x 14".

If you have never tried working with wool you should give it a try.  This is a great book with such cute projects.  You will be hooked and want to do more!

Look for the book at your local quilt shops or online at

I'm doing a giveaway for a free ebook of Lunch-Hour Wool Minis.  Leave a comment on whether or not you  have tried wool applique.  I will draw a name and announce it early next week.  Be sure that I can get back to you if you are the winner.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 18, 2018

2018 Quilt Garden & Quilt

Today we finished planting the 2018 quilt garden at the Nappanee Center in Nappanee IN.  One and a half days of planting, and hours later we had rain!  Finished just in time!

The name of the garden this year is Connie's Bloomin' Stitches.  I'm very honored that they named the garden this year in my honor for the work I've done with the gardens and the quilts I've made of each garden.

Here I am with the quilt that was made for this years garden.  I replicate the garden design in the center block, and always add a border that compliments the design.

Here is what is on the label of the quilt:

Connie's Bloomin' Stitches is adapted from a pattern called Spools and was titled as a tribute to Connie Kauffman, who has authored several quilt pattern books.  This design was adapted, named and dedicated as the 11th anniversary quilt garden for 2018 to honor Connie for her creative fabric artistry.  The Committee opted to use one vertical spool in the garden design instead of the original 4 spool pattern. 

Connie has designed all of the quilts replicating the gardens that have been planted by the Nappanee Center Quilt Garden Committee.  She served on the committee for two years and has continued to serve as a "friend of the garden" with the spring plantings.

The 2018 quilt garden also features a wood crafted needle and a spool wound with colored rope that sits within the center quilt block.

2018 Quilt Garden Committe
Bonnie Borger          Jeff Kitson
Karen Clipp              Donna Persing
Dick Conrad             Wayne Scheumann
Sue Conrad               Stephanie Topping
Julie Dyjkstra           Sandy Witt
Lora Harp

If you are traveling in Northern Indiana this summer- be sure and take in the 18 gardens in the Quilt Gardens Along the Heritage Trail.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Pillows Part II

I thought I would add a couple comments about the porch pillows I made with Island Batik fabrics.

I quilted arc's on each side with the Westalee Multi Arc Ruler, and larger arcs on the corners with other Westalee circle rulers.

The multi arc is a handy ruler to have on hand because you have the choice of several different sizes to use.  It is helpful to have this tool to fit in about any space you need.

I also did buttonhole stitching around all the petals.  I love this look and it's very easy to do on a domestic machine.

It's great to have the tools on hand when you need them.  What are some of your favorite tools?

Monday, May 7, 2018

May Island Batik Challenge- Pillows

The challenge for all the Island Batik Ambassadors for May was to make a pillow of some kind.  This was a great challenge.  I decided to make a couple pillows for on my front porch.  I used a flower pattern I had designed years ago as a white daisy.  This time I made colorful daisies from Island Batik fabrics that came in the 5" strip rolls that were included in the Island Batik Ambassador box.  The background yellows also came from the 5" strips- but I had to piece them to make the larger background for the applique.

When I make porch pillows, I know they will be exposed to the elements and I'll need to wash them, so I stuff them with plastic bags.  No one can tell the difference!

The pillows measure 15" x 15".  I finish them with a regular binding  They make a sunny addition to my porch.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

ebook winner

The ebook winner for Oh Scrap!  was drawn by
The winner is cityquiltergrace - congratulations!
You will be hearing from Martingale soon about how to redeem your free ebook.

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.