Wednesday, October 20, 2021

More Endangered Species Quilts

The Island Batik Ambassadors have come up with some fantastic projects this month highlighting different endangered species using Aurifil threads.  Be sure and check out their projects

Megan Best – Bestquilter
Pamela Boatright – PamelaQuilts
Elizabeth DeCroos – Epida Studio
Jennifer Eubank – Archipelago Quilting
Jennifer Fulton – The Inquiring Quilter
Preeti Harris – Sew Preeti Quilts
Joanne Hart – Unicornharts
Mania Hatziioannidi – Mania for Quilts
Jane Hauprich – Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting
Connie Kauffman – Kaufmann Designs
Emily Leachman – The Darling Dogwood
Denise Looney – For the Love of Geese
Leah Malasky – Quilted Delights
Sally Manke – Sally Manke Fiber Artist
Maryellen McAuliffe – Mary Mack Made Mine
Claudia Porter – Create with Claudia
Gail Renna – Quilt Haven Threads
Brianna Roberts – Sew Cute and Quirky
Michelle Roberts – Creative Blonde
Gail Sheppard – Quilting Gail
Jennifer Thomas – Curlicue Creations
Suzy Webster – Websterquilt
Janet Yamamoto – Whispers of Yore

Thursday, October 7, 2021

October Island Batik/Aurifil Endangered Species Challenge

                                                                          African Penguin                                                                             20" x 20"

Designed and made by Connie Kauffman

This October Island Batik Ambassador's Challenge was an interesting one.  Aurifil is one of the sponsors for the Island Batik Ambassadors and this month they headed up the challenge.  Aurifil is collaborating with Earth League International and has bundled their Color Builder thread packs to coordinate with 12 different endangered species.  Each Color Builder box contains three large 40 wt spools of thread that coordinate in color with the animal it is representing.

The twelve animals they are presenting are:  Siberian Tiger, Red Panda, Sea Turtle, Iberian Lynx, Pink Land Iquana, Whale Shark, Smatran Tiger, Blue-Throated Macaw, Wild African Dog, Cross River Gorilla, Pangolin and African Penguin.  Go to Aurifil Threads to see some lovely photos of the animals and the colors of threads in the collection.

The Color Builder box I received was for the African Penguin and contained white, gray and black spools for me to work with.

The first thing I did was look up information about the African Penguin.  Here are some of the interesting facts I found:
-African Penguins live on the Southwestern Coast of Africa
-Population now is about 50,000
-They are about 24-28" tall and weigh about 5-7 pounds and can swim 12 mph
-They spend most of their lives at sea until they come ashore to lay their eggs
-Both parents help incubate the eggs which are about 3 to 4 times bigger than hens eggs
-Average life span is 10 - 27 years in the wild, about 30 in captivity
-Zoos like to have them as they tolerate warmer temperatures and can be kept in outdoor enclosures
-Primary predators are sharks and fur seals, although many animals prey on them when nesting
-Worst thing for them are oil spills and fisheries that rob them of their food supplies (fish, squid, crustaceans)
-The pink coloring above the eye is a sweat gland that helps to cool the blood
-Sometimes called Jackass Penguin because it's call sounds like a donkey

I decided I wanted to depict a single penguin looking off into the distance to give a feeling of it being alone and what the future might hold.  I decided to make the penguin using a collage technique with fusible applique using Steam a Seam 2 onto parchment paper.  I could then remove the  penguin and place it on the background where ever I wanted.

I drew from my stash of Island Batik for some blacks, white and a variety of blues.

As an added challenge for myself, I decided to place waves on the background using glue- Elmer's glue!  Years ago I never would have tried this, but I've recently read where several people have used Elmer's glue so I thought I'd give it a try.  I used Schmetz needles and they worked great with both the fusible web and the Elmer's glue.  The glue worked great.

Here's a photo of the penguin and the start of the waves.  A lot of decisions on water color and placement.  It does get a bit messy!

I finally got the waves as I liked them.  I even added a tiny bit of lace in a couple places to try to resemble little white caps on the waves. I layered the top with the backing and Hobbs Thermore batting.  I decided to use Thermore as it is very thin and I didn't need much loft in this project.

I had most of the quilting finished and thought it was looking pretty good and then I realized something!  The penguin's right flipper was missing!

Where did it go?  I searched thru the trash....

I didn't find it so I made another one.  (After everything was finished and I cleaned up the whole sewing area, I did find it on the floor near the waste basket.)

Another challenge I made myself was to use a turned facing for the edge of the quilt.   I'd never done a faced binding before, but I wanted this quilt to look like it continued on into the distance- not to stop at the binding.

This was really super easy.  I sewed the facing to the front with triangles at the corners, turned it to the back and pressed.  The triangles in the corner can be used to put the hanging rod in.  After pressing, I ironed the facing down with Steam A Seam 2 Fusible Tape.  So easy!  I will be using this technique again I'm sure.

I did use the three colors of thread in my Color Builder Box, and I also used a couple spools of blue for quilting the water.

Here's a close up of some of the quilting and thread work.

This was a great challenge and I commend Aurifil for drawing attention to many endangered species.

Thanks to Island Batik, Aurifil, Hobbs Batting, and  Schmetz Needles for supplying product thru the Island Batik Ambassador program to make this quilt

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Island Batik PreCuts


I just received these beautiful fabrics from Island Batik.  The precuts were supposed to be in the last Island Batik Ambassador box, but had been delayed due to shipping problems.

The fabrics are just fantastic.  The 10 inch stack fabrics are from the collection Calm Lagoon with coordinating fabrics French Blue and Sea Glass from their Foundations collections.

The 2 1/2" strip pack is from the collection Free to Fly with coordinating fabrics Bluegrass and Seedling from their Foundations collection.

Be sure and look for these and other great Island Batik fabrics at your local shops or online.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

September Bags with ByAnnie

The Island Batik Ambassador challenge for September was to make a project from By Annie.  My project was included in the box that came in June - a full kit from ByAnnie!  My kit was to make the Catch All Caddy 2.0.  The kit came with everything needed to make the tote.  I couldn't wait to get started!

The pattern has many pages of instructions, but they are all step by step and you can check off each step as you go.  There is a page of labels you can print off and use to label every piece in the project so you always know which piece to use.  The pattern also comes with a free add-on video to help in the more challenging parts if you need it - and it's always helpful to see the steps done right in front of you!

Thanks to Island Batik, I was even able to choose which fabrics to work with.  The main purple fabric is from the Flutter Fly collection called Mini Leaf Vino, the green is also from Flutter Fly called Rock-Chameleon. The orange fabric is a foundations blender called Nasturtium.  I had beautiful Aurifil thread in  my collection to match.

Below is a photo of some of the cut pieces with labels pinned on.  Some pieces have already had a seam sewn.

Progress- the front and back panels and handles are assembled.

This shows the inner pockets that are open at the bottom.  These were interesting to sew and very easy.  Soft and Stable is a foam Stabilizer the ByAnnie uses in the bags.  It is very soft and easy to sew thru and also a great stabilizer.  You can purchase Soft and Stable as well as webbing, zippers, strapping and hardware from

Finished tote!  It's a great size for so many things.

This shows the inner pockets and the bottom stabilizer insert.

I am SO happy with this tote.  It works perfectly as an organizer for my Westalee Rulers from Sew Steady.  I cut off the bottom of a file organizer to fit the tote.  I didn't need the height of the folder for the rulers, and by cutting off the bottom, it expanded more.  It fits perfectly in the tote.  The rulers do get a bit heavy, so I'm happy with the heavy cardboard stabilizer in the bottom and the great handles to pick it up and carry it with.  I actually don't need any of the pockets at this point.

The Catch All Caddy 2.0 is 7" H x 13 1/2" W x 6 1/2" D.  It's a great size for many things.  ByAnnie also has a pattern called In Control that is a smaller size if that is what you'd prefer.

Many thanks to Island Batik and for supplying product for this project

*The winner of the three half yard fabrics from my Try A Tool Blog Hop post is Julie.  Congratulations Julie!  Your fabrics are on the way.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Try a Tool Blog Hop and Giveaway


                                                                           Warp 4                                                                                                                                                     21 1/2" x 21 1/2"                                                                              Designed and made by Connie Kauffman

I hope you've been enjoying the Try a Tool Blog Hop with the Island Batik Ambassadors.   This is actually the very last day of the hop!   This month's challenge is with the Island Batik new Spring 2021 fabrics and rulers from Studio 180.

Each of the Ambassadors were given fabrics from one of the new Spring lines and a ruler from Deb Tucker's Studio 180.  The fabrics I received were from the Collection Sun Kissed Soleil.  This line was designed by Kathy Engle for Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quilt Works. This is a beautiful collection with 20 different fabrics.

The ruler I received from Studio 180 to work with is called Corner Beam.  This is a sweet little 3 piece block. 

What I think is the best thing about this ruler is that you can make the block in 11 different sizes from 1" to 6".  Many rulers out there only make one size, so this is a great ruler you can use multiple times.  I like to make small quilts so it is wonderful to find rulers that can be used to make small block sizes.

Another great thing about Studio 180 rulers is that they are made "slightly" bigger and then they are cut down to size.  What I like about this is the accuracy of the blocks and also how little fabric is wasted in making the blocks as the trimming really only cuts off a small sliver of excess fabric.

Here is a photo of three different sizes I tried using the Corner Beam block made with the Studio 180 ruler.  The blocks are 1", 2" and 3" finished sizes.

I ended up using 8 fabrics from the collection in my design, plus solid black and a green from the Flutter Fly collection as I wanted to pull out the green in a few of the fabrics.  I also used a great multi colored print from the collection for the backing.

Sometimes it is fun to take a whole collection and make a quilt using as many fabrics in the collection that you can.  This is great for a sort of scrappy, big, multi block quilt.   I wanted to make a small quilt with many of the corner beam blocks, so I was selective in what fabrics I picked from the collection for this project.  I'll let you in on a few thoughts of why I didn't select some of the other fabrics for this quilt.

Below are the fabrics I didn't use.

The first three on the left were similar in color and print to the three I had selected for the quilt.(See the photo above this one)  

The next three are black and white prints.  I already picked out a black and white print in stars  Two of these fabrics are actually pretty large prints- you loose the beauty of these designs when they are cut very small.

The orange and one of the black fabrics are the same printed design.  I hesitate to have the same design print as several fabrics in the same quilt, and I had that print in the multicolored fabric in the first photo. I also had decided on a solid black as it would stand out more in the quilt, so I didn't need the two black on black fabrics.

The last two fabrics are lovely multi colored prints.  These also do not show up well when cut into small pieces unless you are doing something scrappy.

These are all wonderful fabrics that will be put back for future projects and also the giveaway at the end of the blog.

The quilt uses two sizes of the Corner Beam block.  A three inch size in the center of the quilt and 2" sizes in the other corners.  Having some different colors in the blocks was a bit more challenging than the general directions.  I also realized that some of the cutting of long strips wasn't necessary when you were only making a few blocks of each color.  I hate to waste fabric, so had to think a bit so I didn't cut off more fabric than needed.

I added prairie points to the border and buttons for extra embellishments.

Do you ever have trouble naming your quilts?  I make a lot of quilts and sometimes I run out of ideas for names.  This time my kids were home and we had a brain storming of what to name this quilt.  Some ideas tossed out were that it had lots of stars- so "Starry, Starry Night" was one name.  The stars, the arrows pointing in and the corner beams got them thinking of space and motion and - STAR TREK!  Thus the name Warp 4 evolved.  Do you think it fits?

One of the Island Batik sponsors is Aurifil thread and I used 4 different colored spools with this quilt.  The colors matched wonderfully.

Other sponsors - Schmetz Micro Tex needles and Hobbs Cotton batting were also used in this project.

I have a giveaway of  three half yard cuts of Sun Kissed Soleil.  Please leave a comment below and make sure that I am able to contact you if you are the winner.  US entries only due to postage.  Usually I draw a winner at the end of the hop - but today is the last day!  I'll wait to draw a winner for a few days- but enter soon!

If you received this blog post via email and Mail Chimp- you may not see the comment line until you open the post in your browser (there is a link at the end of the blog post). This has happened since I had to move my subscriber list from Feed Burner to Mail Chimp.

Be sure and check out the Island Batik blog for their last giveaway for the hop- a drawing for a stack of Peacock Plumes and a strip pack of Free to Fly.  They are beautiful!

*Thanks to Island Batik, Studio 180, Aurifil , Hobbs Batting and Schmetz Needles for suppling product for this project thru the Island Batik Ambassador program.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Week 3 Try a Tool Blog Hop

Time for week three of the Island Batik Ambassadors Try a Tool Blog Hop.  Be sure and check out the Ambassadors that post each day and see what they create with the newest fabrics and great Studio 180 rulers.

August 23:

Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine

August 24:

Megan Best, Bestquilter
Janet Yamamoto, Whispers of Yore

August 25:

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia
Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde

August 26:

Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights
Andi Stanfield, True Blue Quilts

August 27:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 3 and Giveaway

The last week of the hop only has one day!  The day I post - don't miss it!

August 30:

Joanne Hart, Unicorn Harts
Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs

Be sure and visit the Island Batik blog for the great prize drawing this week

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Week 2 Try A Tool Blog Hop


Monday starts week 2 for the Try a Tool Blog Hop with the Island Batik Ambassadors.  Week 2?  I bet you are wondering what happened to week 1!  What happened was that I was without internet for 7 days.  Big sigh!  It's hard to be without internet these days and especially during the first week of a blog hop!

Rest assured, you can still go back and see the Blogs from last week which are listed below.

The Try a Tool Blog hop features Island Batik's new Spring fabric Collections and various ruler tools from Studio 180.  This is the second time I've tried these rulers and they are great.  I've even purchased another ruler you'll see in my November challenge.

Here are the Collections and the Ambassadors that are posting each day.  Lots of fun and inspiration!

August 10:

Mania Hatzioannidi, Mania for Quilts
Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail 

August 11:

Elizabeth DeCroos, Epida Studio
Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts

August 12:

Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood
Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations

August 13:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 1 and Giveaway

August 16:

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts
Gail Renna, Quilt Haven Threads

August 17:

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese
Sally Manke, Sally Manke Fiber Artist

August 18:

Brianna Roberts, Sew Cute and Quirky
Suzy Webster, Websterquilt 

August 19:

Jennifer Eubank, Archipelago Quilting
Jennifer Fulton, Inquiring Quilter

August 20:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 2 and Giveaway

August 23:

Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting
Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine

August 24:

Megan Best, Bestquilter
Janet Yamamoto, Whispers of Yore

August 25:

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia
Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde

August 26:

Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights
Andi Stanfield, True Blue Quilts

August 27:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 3 and Giveaway

August 30:

Joanne Hart, Unicorn Harts
Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs

Notice that I'm the very last person to post on this challenge!  

Be sure to visit the Island Batik Blog each week to enter for their great fabric drawings.  The prize for this week is either a 10" stack of Midnight Dazzle or a strip pack of Floral Wonders.