Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Dec Island Batik Ambassador Celebration Challenge


It's December and time for the last Island Batik Ambassador challenge for the year.  This year the challenge was to choose a holiday and make a project for it.  I love to make things for Christmas so this was the holiday I picked.

I love  patterns from Amy Bradley and picked this one - Holiday Sewing Tree to make this Christmas.

Her patterns are easy and fun to make.  I liked the striped border in her pattern, but I didn't have any fabric with stripes that fit.  I wanted more of a red and green in the stripe- so I made my own with Island Batik solids in red, white, green and dark gray.

It took a long time to make all the stripes and then I quilted in the ditch by each one.  I don't think I'd do that again!

All the rest of the quilt was made with Island Batik fabrics from my stash.  The bottom of the thimble I painted with intense pencils on light gray to get the dots like on a thimble. I've not used the intense pencils before, so this was interesting.

Aurifil thread was used around all the applique shapes, piecing and the quilting.  Hobbs cotton batting was used along with a lot of tiny buttons for embellishments.

Of course what is Christmas and a Christmas tree without presents under it?  So I made a variety of small projects good for gift giving.

I made coiled mats using macramé cord and 1 1/4" strips of Island Batik fabrics.  All three coiled mats were made using leftover 2 1/2" strips that I cut in half.  The smaller ones were made using strips from the collection Lavender Sage.  The larger mat was made using strips from Floralicious.  Any strip bundle makes great coiled mats- the colors are all pre selected for you!

Aurifil thread works great to sew the coils together with a zig zag stitch. I loved using the variegated blue and variegated green Aurifil for these.  They blended in very well.

They start small and get bigger!  It's actually a fun and easy process.  You can make them as big as you want- or as big as you have scraps to  make. Great for gift giving!

I made a wallet using the pattern Pocket Pal Wallet from Jenna Lou Designs.   I've used this pattern before and like it.  I used Cherry Berry Island Batik from my stash.  It turned out very nice.

I made two smaller wallets that fit easily in your pocket  using the pattern Wonder Wallet from Lazy Girl Designs.

I used Ditty Salmon Swirl and Round Petal Foral Island Batik fabrics.  These are super quick to make.

The last gift item I made was a free pattern from By Anne.  The pattern is called A Pencil Case for Lola.  This is a very easy project and might be especially nice for children,  although you could store a lot of sewing supplies in it also!

Many thanks to Island Batik, Aurifil and Hobbs for suppling products for these projects.

I hope all of you have a blessed holiday season and Happy New Year!

Friday, November 17, 2023

Covering the World: One Quilt at a Time

The Island Batik Ambassadors have joined Island Batik,  Accuquilt and Babylock in "Covering the World:  One Quilt at a Time".  We were encouraged to dedicate/donate a quilt to a cause that holds personal significance.

Today is my day to post for Covering the World:  One Quilt at a Time.  My quilt Nine Patch Lone Star was made for the Island Batik Ambassador Lone Star Challenge.  I donated the quilt to my local church camp- Camp Alexander Mack.  They had an online auction this October and the quilt raised $560 for the camp!

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

It's In The Bag! Blog Hop - My Day

 The Island Batik Ambassadors always look forward to the challenge with By Annie.  We love her bag patterns.  We get to choose the fabrics we like and the bag pattern that we want to make.  What fun!  This is week 3 for the It's In The Bag!  Blog Hop.  I hope you've been following along and seeing what all the Ambassadors are making.

This year I let my husband decide what bag I should make.  He decided on the In Control pattern.  This is a sturdy caddy with lots of pockets and dividers.  I let him choose the Island Batik fabrics too, and he picked out three colors from the new Summer 2023 Red. White and Blooms Collection.  He will use it to hold miscellaneous things by the sofa where he sits. 

The Red, White and Blooms collection is lovely.  

By Annie sends all the materials needed to make the project.  For this project they sent the pattern, Soft and Stable, 2 sets of metal Nickel rings, single slide handbag zipper, webbing and Fusible Interfacing.  Island Batik sent the fabrics.  It's a project bundle all ready to go!  

You can also see the three fabrics my husband picked for the bag.

When we got the box with everything in July- it was hard to wait until November to make it!  In fact I couldn't wait!  I had some free time and made my little bag early.

Last year I made the bag called Catch All Caddy.  In Control is almost the same as Catch All Caddy, only a little smaller.  My husband liked the smaller bag for his needs.  I can see using this smaller size bag for many things.

By Annie's patterns are very good.  They go carefully step by step and also most patterns have a free Add - On Video included which help if you are more of a visual learner.  I find them very helpful.

Here is a photo of all my pieces cut with a label for each piece.  You might think it tedious to label every piece, but it does save a lot of confusion when putting it all together.

Here's a photo of sewing the straps together.  They go together easily and are very attractive.  I used Schmetz needles and red and dark blue Aurifil thread for sewing.  They all work well with the fabrics, interfacing and sewing thru the webbing.

This photo shows sewing the side panels.  You do the quilting in an earlier step, then cut the pieces to size.  I took the time to quilt stars all over, but you can't see them well in regular light.

Here the handles and inner dividers are finished and ready for the bag assembly.  All at once it seems like the bag is coming together.

Here I'm putting the handles on a side panel.  I've chalked the area where I'll be sewing an X to help secure the handle to the side panel.  Little clips are helpful instead of trying to pin thru thickness.

And it's done!  Here is a view from the top so you can see the inner dividers.  These pockets expand to you can hold a wide variety of things.  There is a pocket and a zipper on the outside of the side panels that you can't see from this angle. You can see the zipper on the cover of the pattern.

Here the bag is on it's side so you can see the handles and outside pockets below where each handle is attached.

I have one confession to make. In all the By Annie patterns I've made, I've sewn the outside bindings on by machine and then hand sewn the bindings to the other side.  I really struggle trying to get the bindings totally sewn by machine.  I don't know if it's something with my machine, or just me, but it's not worth the struggle for me and I don't mind doing the hand work.

I love this little tote!  It is one of the easier By Annie Patterns.

Here is a photo of my Catch All Caddy and the In Control Caddy.  You can see that the Catch All caddy is a bigger.  I may just have to make a little In Control caddy for myself!

I have to include one more photo of the In Control caddy with some of the stuff my husband could put in it.  It can hold hold a lot more things.

I think you would enjoy making one of By Annie's bag//tote patterns.  Check out her website and all the great patterns she has.

Many thanks to Island Batik, By Annie, Schmetz Needles and Aurifil Thread for providing product to make this project.

Be sure and go to Island Batik's blog and enter for this weeks drawing of two beautiful fat quarter bundles - Red, White and Blooms and Vintage Charm by Kathy Engle.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

It's In the Bag! Blog Hop


It's time for another great blog hop with the Island Batik Ambassadors.  This month the hop is sponsored by ByAnnie.com.  Annie Unrein is the creative person behind all the wonderful bag patterns you can find on her website. This is always a great hop to learn about some of the terrific bags and using the great new Summer 2023 Island Batik fabrics to make them.

Every Friday Island Batik will be posting round-ups of the projects and give away two Fat Quarter bundles of the new Island Batik collections featured during that week! Be sure to visit all the incredible Ambassadors’ blogs to discover their inspiring creations and participate in their bonus giveaways!

You can visit the Store Locator on the Island Batik website to see where the fabrics are available.  Just plug in your zip code, and your local shop will appear on the map! Super easy and helpful! 

The full list of Ambassadors’ names, collections they will be using in their projects, and their post dates are as follows:

November 1:

November 2:

November 3:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 1 and Giveaway

November 6:

November 7:

November 8:

November 9:

November 10:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 2 and Giveaway

November 13:

November 14:

November 15:

November 16:

November 17:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 3 and Giveaway

November 20:

November 21:

End of Blog Hop and Final Round-Up

To celebrate the start of It’s in the Bag Blog Hop for week 1, we are giving away two fabulous Fat Quarter bundles of Celtic Fields and Citron Breeze collections by our very own Kathy Engle!

To enter for your chance to win one of the two prizes above this week, go to the Island Batik blog.

Friday, October 6, 2023

Falling for Accuquilt Oct Challenge

                                                                        12" x 27"

The October Island Batik Ambassador Challenge is sponsored by Accuquilt.  

This year Accuquilt sent each Ambassador a North Carolina Star cutting die to use in the challenge.

This die is very large.  It's a BOB or Block on Board die- meaning all the pieces you need to make the design are all on this one die.

The original North Carolina Star block has 33 blocks.  There are many Y seams in the block that can be challenging- so Accuquilt decided to simplify the block by making it with no Y seams.  That's great and much simpler to sew.  HOWEVER - now the block has 53 pieces instead of 33!  Wow- that's a lot of pieces!  It also creates a challenge in pressing where many of the seams come together.

So- it's an interesting block to make.  It's a very lovely block, but I personally wasn't excited about all the pieces created with the die.  Our challenge also encourages us to use the die in alternate ways, so I decided to design something a bit different.

I made a table runner that is 12" x 27".  It will fit great on top of a quilt display cabinet I have.  I made both of the side units as shown on the diagram above.  The top and bottom sections I took off the corner A piece.

Where I changed things is with the center units.  I created 9 of these units, but I pieced them in a different way.  I eliminated some seams in the C and E blocks and I sewed the blocks together as horizontal rows 

Here is the layout of all the pieces.

Here are some photos of putting the rows together.  The center row is just squares.  The next row is squares made by eliminating an E seam.  Triangles are sewn to two sides and sewn together into a row.

The next row is where I combined the C blocks eliminating a center seam on all but the end blocks.

This was very easy and I loved that I was able to eliminate many seams.

I got so busy telling you about the block, I forgot to mention the fabrics I used!  I used Island Batik Foundation fabrics in red, white is Almond, the light blue is Bluebird Wavy Dots and the dark blue is Blueberry.  The mixed print in the center squares and triangles is Blue Marine Dot from the Red, White and Blooms collection.  They all went together so nicely and make a great 4th of July runner.

I used Hobbs Heirloom Natural Batting with Scrim and Schmetz  Microtex Needles.  Three coordinating spools of Aurifil thread blended nicely with the fabrics.

This runner will be nice to use next July!

Many thanks to Island Batik, Accuquilt Go! , Hobbs Batting, Aurifil Thread and Schmetx Needles for providing product to make this project.