Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Northwoods Sunset

Northwoods Sunset 

My pattern Northwoods Sunset is  available as an Exclusively Annie's Quilt Design Pattern available at Annie's Catalog.

The quilt measures 47 1/2" x 69 1/2".  This is a great quilt which uses a lot of fall colored fabrics.  I worked with a beautiful assortment of fabrics from Island Batik.  I used a stack pack and yardage from the Northern Woods Collection  and added a few more oranges -  Dandelion-Pumpkin and Bubbles-Salmon Blenders and Nasturtium Basic - all Island Batik fabrics.

The batting I used was 80/20 Warm from The Warm Company and Aurifil threads for quilting.

The main blocks in the center are all made with one triangle  pattern.

 I originally called this quilt Looking At Autumn because I thought it seemed like you could be
looking out the window at the whirl of autumn leaves.

The outer pieced border looks challenging, but is made easily with leftover triangles from the center.

Here is another look at the full quilt Northwoods Sunset.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Star Struck- Island Batik Sept Challenge

It is September and time for a new challenge with all the Island Batik Ambassadors.

This month the challenge is called Star Struck.  Using the fabrics we'd been sent from Island Batik for our Ambassador program, we could design and make anything that had stars in  it.  This was fun!  I had lots of ideas.

I have been wanting to make a purse with Island Batik fabric, so I thought this was a good time.  I liked the Vintage Morris Collection fabrics in the 10" Island Stack package I was sent, and decided they would work well.

I designed star patterns for both sides of the purse.  One side has two stars for the pockets and the other side has one star on point.  I used 13 of the fabrics in the purse.  I like the scrappy look of the stars.

There are a couple challenges with using 10" squares for this kind of project.  You only get 10" of length- not enough to go around the outside body  of the purse.  So- adding a strip to the bottom isn't noticeable, and you can always say it's a design element!

There is also the issue of the strap.  I didn't want to piece the strap, so I was able to use an Island Batik Basics fabric called Sterling that went really well with the Vintage Morris fabrics.

 Aurifil is a partner with the Island Batik Ambassador program and I used these two threads in making the purse.  These threads are great and I love working with them.  Don't they blend well!

Many thanks to Island Batik and Aurifil for the products used in this project.

The winner of the 10" square stack of Wild Things Collection from my blog post in The Great Outdoors Blog Hop was drawn from Random.org.  The winner is Pamela.  Your fabrics are on the way!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Great Outdoors Blog Hop- Wild Things!

The Blog Hop this August with the Island Batik Ambassadors is called The Great Outdoors.  And today we are talking about the GREAT BIG outdoors!  We're talking Africa big!

 Each of the Ambassadors were given a bundle of fabrics to use specifically for this blog hop.

                         My fabric collection:  Wild Things

These prints make you feel like you are seeing all the animals on a safari!

I received a bundle of all the fabrics in the collection - 24 in all!  You can see the whole collection at Island Batik.  Fabrics were given to me as part of the Island Batik Ambassador program..

I used all of the collection except the three below in my project.  The yellows were just to bright and the leafy print was the only piece in the collection that wasn't an animal print, so I decided not to use these for this project.

I wanted to use a pattern where I could use most of the fabrics, and I thought adding a solid black would make the prints stand out.  I decided on a simple block pattern that I used for the first pattern in my Little Gems book called "Playing With Plaids".  It also used a solid black that worked well.

This block pattern is a very simple three pieced block.  I used the same block that was in the book, but enlarged it 200 percent.  Several patterns in my book give directions on how to enlarge the small patterns to make larger projects, so I thought this would be a good time to show this block pattern enlarged.

Here is the quilt in proces with the rows laid out on the floor.  The black strips really bring out the colors in the animal prints.  I played around with the  placement of the blocks and decided this was a nice layout.  I only reversed one row.  Quilt measures 44" x 55"

 Finished quilt- looks great on my couch!

Be sure and check out all the blog posts thru Sept 4.  Enter the drawing at the Island Batik Blog  and on daily blog  posts.

My drawing is for a stack of 38 ten inch blocks  of the collection Wild Things - two each of 19 prints in the collection.  Leave a comment on my blog about where your favorite place is in the big outdoors.  Make sure I can reach you by email if you are a winner.  USA only for the drawing due to shipping costs.  Winner will be  drawn at the end of the Blog Hop.

Here is the list of all the Island Batik bloggers and the fabrics they are highlighting.




Monday, August 20 – Ocean Odyssey
Toby LischkoKaren Overton
Thursday, August 23 – Dragonfly Dreams
Inchworm FabricsBeaQuilter


Wednesday, August 29 – Lavendula
Carole Lyles ShawMasterpiece Quilting


Tuesday, September 4 – Whatnot
heARTS CreationsSlice of Pi Quilts

Monday, August 13, 2018

A Special Nappanee Quilt Garden

                              Connie's Bloomin' Stitches
                          Nappanee Indiana Quilt Garden

Isn't this a beautiful quilt garden!  The garden is 30' x 30'.  It has thrived thru the heat and rains with the loving care given by the 11 quilt garden committee members that weed, fertilize and water when needed.  It is a big commitment of time and energy.  A lot of creativity goes into each garden from choosing the block layout, the colors, flowers, mulch and how it is all displayed.  Planting, maintenance, and plant removal at the end are all part of the job.  This year the quilt design is the Spool pattern with a large wooden spool and needle and thread in the center.

I was on the Quilt Garden Committee for two years and since then have continued as a "friend of the garden", to help plant the gardens each year.  I also make a wall quilt each year to commemorate the garden.  These wall quilts belong to the Nappanee Center/Heritage Museum which is directly behind the garden and all ten of the garden quilts are displayed inside.  The Nappanee Center is a Visitor Center with a museum inside that is free to the public and very worth your while to stop in and look around.  There is also a quilt show displayed in the Museum this summer.

This is the garden quilt for this years garden.  (photo taken inside the Nappanee Center)

I always place the garden block design in the center of the quilt and add a border around it.  This year I added a variety of spools around the border.  Each spool is a different color with different colored striped fabric for threads.  Every quilter needs a variety of thread colors!

Because of the quilts I've made, the Quilt Garden Committee has honored me this year by naming the garden after me!  The garden is named Connie's Bloomin' Stitches.  What an honor!

Here I am with the garden that is near and dear to  my heart!

If you are near this area (Northern Indiana) yet this summer, I invite you to stop by take a look.  Also include the other 17 gardens in the Elkhart County Quilt Gardens Along the Heritage Trail (18 gardens all together). This makes a wonderful one or two day trip to drive around and see the beautiful quilts in the area. All gardens are free to view and are on display until Oct 1

Friday, August 10, 2018

Island Batik Great Outdoors Blog Hop

                            The fall Island Batik Great Outdoors Blog Hop has started!

The Great Outdoors was the inspiration for this hop’s theme. Throughout the month of August and first week of Sept. all of the Island Batik Ambassadors will be featuring Island Batik’s newest fabrics, which will be appearing on shop shelves very soon! I hope you join us everyday and see all the great fabrics and wonderful projects that have been created.

Here is the listing of all the daily blog posts.




Monday, August 20 – Ocean Odyssey
Toby LischkoKaren Overton
Thursday, August 23 – Dragonfly Dreams
Inchworm FabricsBeaQuilter



Tuesday, September 4 – Whatnot
heARTS CreationsSlice of Pi Quilts
Be sure can come back on August 16 and see what I created with the Wild Things Collection!

Look for and enter the daily drawings and Island Batiks three grand drawings on their blog.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Ebook winner

The winner of Jo's Little Favorites III ebook was drawn by Random.org.  The winner is:  GranChris.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Book Review and Giveaway - August

Another great book of mini quilts by Martingale is Jo Morton's Jo's Little Favorites III.

Photos are courtesy of Martingale

This book has 15 projects and they are all photographed in Jo's own home!  There are lots of Jo's favorite quilt making techniques throughout the book.  One special technique she has is her "clipping trick" which helps to lessen the bulk when you are pressing seams.  I think this trick is worth the price of the book!

I love two of the quotes from Jo in the book:

"There is always room for another small quilt"  

"If you want to make it all, make it small"

Isn't that so true!

This little quilt gem is called Antiquity.  The finished hour glass block size is 2" x 2".

The next quilt is called Star Shine and the finished star blocks are 4" x 4".

This little doll quilt is called Point of View.  
The finished half square triangle squares are 1 3/4" x 1 3/4".  Pretty small aren't they!

Be sure and look for this book in your local quilt shop or you can purchase online at shopmartingale.com

I'm having a drawing for a free ebook of  Jo's Litle Favorites III.  Leave a comment telling me if you like to make miniature quilts to be entered in the drawing.  I'll announce the winner early next week.  Make sure that I can contact you if you are the winner.  Good luck and happy quilting!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Magazine winner

The winner of the McCall's Quick Quilts issue August/September 2018 is Teachpany. 
Winner was drawn with Random.org.
Her magazine is on the way!

Monday, July 23, 2018

McCalls Quilting Aug/Sept

Designed and made by Connie Kauffman
35" x 35"
Photos courtesy of McCalls Quilting Magazine

I'm happy to have my quilt Archipelago published in the Aug/Sept McCalls Quilting magazine.  This design uses the City Culture 2 Collection by Island Batik.  The fabrics are a lovely blend of  muted blues, grays and brown.  The brown has a directional print which worked very nicely in the arrow part of the design.

Here is a full shot of the quilt.

McCalls was very generous and gave me an extra copy of the magazine for a giveaway.  Leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing.

Monday, July 16, 2018

2nd Island Batik Box Reveal

This is my 5th year as an Island Batik Ambassador.  Each year we receive two boxes of fabric that we use to create a monthly challenge project to post on our blogs.  We receive a box in January and one in July.

The anticipation runs high when a new box is due to come!

Here is the 2nd box I received just last week - so dull on the outside- so beautiful inside!

Let me show you what all was in the box.
First of all two stack packs (10" squares).  One is Vintage Morris - lovely soft greens, tans and muted orange.  Also  Paisley Dot  Brights.  This is an eye popping assortment of bright dotted fabrics.  There was also a strip pack of the collection Lavender Sage.  It's a lovely green/purple/blue and soft yellow mix.  It came with coordinating yardage which is great for borders, backgrounds, and backing.  They really do supply us with about everything we could need!

Aurifil sent a tote celebrating their 10th year in the USA.  Inside was a sample pack of green threads in 8 different contents and weights.  Also a spool of a lovely soft yellow/tan and leaflets on thread info and color charts- so great to have on hand.

Island Batik sent a wonderful Foundation Bundle of 8 different Blenders and Basics fabric that they carry.  This is so wonderful to have when an extra fabric is needed to complete a design.  The colors included are: Large Netting- Pineneedles, Cherio-Iris-BE, Bubbles-Chartreuse-BE, Dandelion-Wisteria-BE, Iris, Kiwi, Geranium, Chameleon.  They also included their solids in Black, White and Gray.  I've used the black and white in projects before.  The black is a true black and I love the solid white.  I look forward to using the gray in the future.

Island Batik sent 3 samples of their Check It Out line.  This is a great collection of checkered fabrics.  If you watch some of the other Ambassadors box reveals on their blogs, you will see many more colors of this collection.  There is also a wonderful 5 yard bundle of a neutral basic. Since we Ambassadors use a lot of these neutrals- they decided to stock us up!  My yardage is called Custard and is a light creamy tan/yellow with a touch a green.  Lovely!

Last, but not least are the lovely battings in the bottom of the box.  Hobbs batting supplied us all with a queen size cotton batting, a throw size wool batting and a throw size wool blend batting!  I have used several of Hobbs battings, but never any of these, so this will be interesting.  What a great way to try something new!  

I forgot to take a photo of the surprise bundle in the box (it's the bright pink package you can see in the box photo above).  This bundle is a collection that won't be released to the public until Quilt Market, so we can't show them yet.  You will see them in January when all the Ambassadors will be involved in a Blog Hop showing off projects with the new fabrics.  

Stay tuned to see many of these fabrics, threads and battings in future posts. You can also look for them and/or request them in your local shops.

Many, many thanks to Island Batik, Aurifil and Hobbs Batting for this great box of inspiration!

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.