Thursday, April 8, 2021

April Island Batik Challenge - It's All Up To You

 

   Woodlands

33" x 34"

Individual patterns by Emily Taylor

Made by Connie Kauffman

The April Island Batik Ambassador Challenge is a great one.  It's called It's All Up To You.  That means we were able to create what ever we wanted in what ever size we wanted.  Anything goes!


I had been wanting to make a collage quilt for a long time.  I like the patterns and process created by Emily Taylor.  She has wonderful patterns and great videos that are very helpful.  You can see them at her website www.CollageQuilter.com.   I bought her pattern Woodlands to try out her techniques.  

Emily's pattern came with many different separate patterns.  It's up to you to decide which elements you want in your design and how you want to arrange them. On the cover photo of her pattern Woodlands there is a squirrel, flowers, mushrooms, dragonflies, leaves, nuts and a snail.  I liked those, but inside the pattern there was also a pattern for a rabbit that I thought was adorable, so I included that in my quilt.

I jumped right in to making parts of the patterns and forgot to take photos of the process- sorry!  In short, you pin the pattern to a design wall and then pin a piece of parchment paper over the pattern.  You add fusible to the back of fabrics you think you will use and you use ALOT of different fabrics!  You cut the fabrics in small shapes of various sizes in the shades shown on the pattern piece and lightly fuse them to the parchment paper.  Then once you have the whole shape as you want it- fuse it well and then you can remove the whole piece and move it around to where you want it on your background fabric.

Here are some of my pieces once they were fused to the parchment paper.  It was really fun to arrange and rearrange them on the background.  I used an Island Batik neutral called Egg White for my background (not shown in the photo below).


This is not a fast process and often was a challenge to select the best fabric color shades. It was fun to see the images emerge, and it got a bit easier as it went along.

As always, my biggest challenge was the quilting.  I knew I had a  lot of background with no applique that would need to be quilted.  Also, the fused appliques are rather stiff and I thought I would need to do some dense quilting to to match.  Not my strong point!

I surprised myself and actually did some real free motion quilting.  My favorite part of the background quilting was the fiddle head ferns.  I also added some background flowers, mushrooms and clouds in the sky.  I did add a couple ladybug and bee buttons because I had them and they were so cute!



The appliques were quilted around the outside edge of almost every piece - and yes it did take a long time and many different colors of thread!




I used many, many different Island Batik fabrics from my stash.  I also used many Aurifil threads as shown above and  Hobbs Fusible batting.  Using the fusible batting made the quilting easier as it held all the layers together so well and there were no basting threads to contend with.

This was a wonderful challenge and I was so grateful to have a chance to try out this technique and make Emily's Woodland pattern.


Many thanks to Island Batik, Aurifil Threads and Hobbs batting for supplying the products for this project thru the Island Batik Ambassador program














Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Island Ambassador Jennifer Fulton - Scrap Buster Quilt

 Jennifer Fulton is another Island Batik Ambassador.  Here is her March Scrap Buster quilt.

Isn't it lovely!

Check out her blog for more information on this quilt.

I haven't posted every quilt for the March challenge- but you can go back and check them all out at each Ambassadors blog below:

      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 ~ Unicorn Harts

Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts

Jane Hauprich - Stitch By Stitch Custom Quilting

Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman 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

Andi Stanfield ~ True Blue Quilts

Jennifer Thomas ~ CurliCue Creations

Suzy Webster ~ WebsterQuilt

Janet Yamamoto ~ Whispers of Yore

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Island Ambassador Michelle Roberts - Scrap Buster Quilt

 Here is Blueberry Swirl by Michelle Roberts.  This is her March Scrap Buster Challenge Quilt.  She used the Crystal Sea Collection from Island Batik.  Check out her website and pattern at https://creativeblondeblog.wordpress.com/



Thursday, March 18, 2021

Island Ambassador Jennifer Thomas

Here is Island Batik Ambassador Jennifer Thomas's March Scrap Challenge quilt.  Go to her blog post to find out more about it.

https://curlicuecreations.blogspot.com/



I will be bringing you many of the Ambassadors projects.  I've hesitated doing this in the past as I've been afraid of leaving some out.  Just know that I'll bring many of them to show so that you will want to go check all of them out.

Island Batik 2021 Ambassadors

Megan Best ~
Bestquilter
Pamela Boatright ~
Pamelaquilts
Elizabeth DeCroos ~
Epida Studio
Jennifer Eubank ~ Archipelago Quilting
Jennifer Fulton ~
Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts
Joanne Hart ~
Mania Hatziioannidi ~
Emily Leachman ~
Denise Looney ~
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Maryellen McAuliffe ~
Claudia Porter ~
Gail Renna ~
Brianna Roberts ~
Michelle Roberts ~
Gail Sheppard ~
Andi Stanfield ~
Jennifer Thomas ~
Janet Yamamoto ~


Tuesday, March 2, 2021

March Scrap Buster Challenge

 



October Afternoon
15" x 42"
Pattern by Emily Cross    
Made by Connie Kauffman

I LOVE scrappy quilts!  It was great to see that this was on the March schedule for an Island Batik Ambassador Challenge.  I knew right away what I wanted to make.  I had seen this pattern October Afternoon by Emily Cross in the September 2017 American Quilter magazine.  I have a spot in my living room where it will fit perfectly.

I also love using up small scraps and the blocks in this quilt are only 1 1/2" x 1 1/2", so this was a good scrap buster!  I pulled all my fall colored fabrics and scraps to see what I could come up with.  I've been an Island Batik Ambassador for seven going on eight years, so I have a great selection of fabrics to work with!  I used at least 10 different creamy fabrics for the background and over 40 different colored fabrics for the leaves.  I love how the scrappy binding gives a little movement to the whole quilt

Here are some of the little cut squares- aren't they cute!


The leaves made sweet little 5" blocks


I used Hobbs Premium  80/20 Cotton batting and Schmetz Chrome Microtex needles.  Two colors of Aurifil thread worked well to complete the quilt.

Many thanks to the sponsors Island Batik, Hobbs Batting, Schmetz Needles and Aurifil Thread who supplied product for making this quilt.

Once this quilt was finished I decided to take some time and try to tackle some other fabrics in my drawer of Island Batik Scraps.  I save just about every scrap and they really stack up!  I thought a lot about what to make with them.  I was looking at Bonnie Hunter and her projects using leaders and enders.  Do you know what they are?  They are little pieces of fabric that you sew after you piece something so that you don't have to pull out and clip your thread each time. That way you can always be sewing a couple little pieces together for another project at the same time as you are working on something else.

I decided to cut my small scraps into 1 1/4" squares.  Bingo!  That eliminated a pile of scraps.  Anything under 1 1/4" I threw away.  Believe me - sometimes even that was hard!  Some of those little pieces could be used in applique...

I combined them with white squares.

But- what to DO with those little pieced squares? What I did NOT want to do was just create more UFO blocks!  I finally decided I'd make nine patch blocks and sew them together into Irish Chain blocks.

But - I also had a lot of triangle shaped scraps.  It seemed like a shame to cut them into little squares and waste those little end pieces.  So I thought some more.  Bonnie Hunter to the rescue.  She has a pattern with half square triangles and little four patches that I liked.  It looked something like this

So off I went to make 4 patches instead of 9 patch blocks, and half square triangles with light and darks. This was great as it used up those triangle blocks.  Unfortunately I now have some leftover 9 patch blocks - UFO's never end!



I did run out of white scraps and had to cut into yardage for white, but that's okay.  And I am USING what I cut.

So- I'm making some progress on cutting my scraps (I still have more to cut and each time I do another project I end up with more- sometime I'm going to have to just STOP) and I know what I'm going to do with them.  What I don't know yet is how big a project it will end up being.  That is a little unnerving, but I can live with it - as long as I don't end up with a lot of leftover blocks!

So- I did get a nice number of pieces blocked sewing them as leaders and enders - sewing two little blocks together after piecing another project.  While I was doing this I remembered why I don't really like to do this method!  I've done it before (for a short time), and never really liked it.

The reasons I don't really like to make a quilt this way are:

1.  I don't want to end up with leftover blocks

2  I don't want to cut up scraps into certain size pieces if they aren't going to be used - it's wasteful as well as time consuming

3.  It's not always easy to grab what pieces you need to put together to sew while you're piecing things for another project.  It's sort of like a mind switch and it takes a tiny bit of time.

4  Sometimes the color thread you are using isn't the greatest

5.  It requires a lot of pressing in between stages

6.  It can take a LONG time to get enough piecing done for a project.  This project will take a LONG time...

7  You tend to run out of either white or colored blocks.  It's hard to know what you need when you keep cutting and sewing...

7.  It is rather messy.  When I'm working on other projects I have everything laid out ready to sew.  Now with this new scrappy project I have piles of squares (white and colored), piles of two squares ready to be pressed, piles of sewn four patches, piles of 4 patches ready to be pressed.  Piles of triangles (white and colored), piles of sewn triangles ready to be pressed, piles of half square triangles ready to be sewn to 4 patches...You can see my dilemma.  And all these piles need to be right at hand to use as leaders and enders.

I'm not a neat freak, but I do like to keep my projects contained and not mixed up.  I also don't have much room to have so many different piles.  So when I was between projects the other day I decided to just go ahead and sew a bunch of these together.


It took me a long time to press these little blocks and put them into their new piles.  I don't know how many blocks they will make and I still have others to piece.  Sometime down the road I'll post a final project.  Wonder when that will be?

So I did go thru and cut up a lot of scraps, but I still have some piles of scrappy strips.  What to do with them?  I have an idea - but it won't be a leader and ender project!  I won't start that project until I get this one done.  I'll probably have more scrappy strips by then...It never ends!

What do you do with your scraps?  I hope you make something beautiful!