The Island Batik Ambassador challenge for June is to Try Something New. I pondered this challenge for a long time. What sounded like fun? What technique have I not tried yet?
I thought of a few things- some projects really fit in future challenges, so I wanted to wait to do them. One project I actually started and it turned out much to time consuming and more of a challenge than I ever wanted to do- so I abandoned it...
I finally looked at Pinterest and saw this cute Christmas ornament made with paper and I thought - why couldn't I do something similar with fabric?
Here is my creation with a couple variations.
(Special thanks to Island Batik for supplying the fabrics thru the Island Batik Ambassador Program)
I made the ornament by fusing fabric to both sides of some fusible webbing and then cutting out with the Accuquilt Circle Die. I used a different fabric for each side and cut out 12 small circles. I also fused fabric to one side of fusible webbing and cut out one larger circle and one larger circle of a two sided fusible by itself. Each small circle has two sides folded in and pressed with an iron. They didn't press completely flat, but that is okay as it makes it more 3 dimensional.
The 6 folded circles are laid onto the larger circle with the fusible side facing up. There is a gap in the center, but the sides all touch and then are pressed to the fusible. The gap is covered by the button later.
I actually made two flower ornaments- using the other 6 circles and fusing them to the fusible web circle just like the first one. Then I fused both ornaments together so that the ornament looks the same on the front and the back.
It's easy to slip the hanging string between the two ornaments when they are fused together (if you don't forget!)
Sew a button on each side thru the middle and the ornament is done! These were fun and I ended up making 6 of them. I used Island Batik Winter/Christmas fabrics, but they would be pretty made with any colors. They ended up about 4 1/4" diameter.
(Can you see the mistake I made on one? I folded the wrong side in on one circle and didn't realize it until I had fused it....)
I thought I would take an outside picture, but it was a challenge with the wind!
And no- it's not snow on the branches in June, (although that would be appropriate for the ornaments), it is cottonwood from a neighbors tree.
Of course once I made these I kept thinking of other new things to try... I saw another idea on Pinterest and realized I'd never sewn anything with vinyl. Those little bags are sweet and would be nice for gifts too. I decided to give it a try.
I used a couple leftover pieces from a layer cake of Island Batik Moroccan Bazaar. I didn't have any purchased vinyl on hand, so I improvised by cutting up a bag that sheets had come in. After I had those pieces cut, then I made the measurements for the rest of the bag to fit around them. I had a couple zippers in my stash and I was ready to go! The little pouches ended up 6 1/2" x 7".
Isn't it great to see the beautiful Aurifil Thread thru the little window! You'll always know what is stored in your little bags this way!
The sewing was quick and very easy. I did put paper under the vinyl when sewing so it didn't stick to the sewing machine and it worked great and was easy to remove.
My quilt Walk Among the Stars has been published in the July/August 2019 issue of McCall's Quilting.
The quilt is made with fabrics from the Ditty Collection and Sprinkles from Island Batik. The Ditty Collection is a lovely assortment of of cool- spring like colors that were fun to work with.
(Photos courtesy of McCall's Quilting)
This project was quilted by my friend Vickie Hunsberger who always does a terrific job of quilting. I love the designs she picked for this quilt.. The magazine has three close up photos that high light the quilting.
These fabrics and magazines are in shops now- so be sure and check them out!
It's hard to believe it's the middle of May already. I absolutely love Spring and have been enjoying the spring flowers, birds and all the fresh colors. Here are a couple views from my windows in Northern Indiana.
To add to all the color explosion going on- it is time for the May Island Batik Ambassador challenge. This month the challenge is Make it Modern with Hobbs.
We were to incorporate one of the characteristics of modern quilts as defined by the Modern Quilt Guild- the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, and/or expansive negative space.
When I received my first Ambassador box this year I knew right away which fabrics I would use for this challenge- the Moroccan Bazaar Collection. It is just bursting with color and I had fun pondering how I would use it for the challenge. It also came with two coordinating fabrics.
I finally decided I wanted to do something with New York Beauty blocks to highlight the colors.
These grew into flowers with fusible appliqued leaves and stems.
Usually quilting is my least favorite part of a project, and all this background was going to need a lot of quilting! I actually ended up having fun with the background quilting by using a variety of plastic templates from my stash and some wonderful Westalee quilting rulers.
Here are some close ups of the quilting done on my domestic machine.
And of course some beautiful Aurifil threads to quilt with. The light blue matched the background perfectly.
If you have ever gone to a big quilt show- you have experienced the sometimes overwhelming feeling of SO many new projects and things to try. One year at the quilt show in Grand Rapids Michigan I bought a pattern to make a fabric basket. The baskets on display were beautiful and very sturdy. I thought it would be fun to try- and maybe make a few for gifts.
The pattern is called Woven Spirals
I picked two of my Island Batik fabrics that went together nicely- much like the colors in the pattern photo.
The directions were good. It took a very stiff interfacing that I hadn't used before, but it was easy to sew through. You fused fabric to both sides of two pattern pieces, cut it out and added a zig zag stitch around the outside edge to finish off the edges. You had to stitch around the outside edge two times with the zig zag stitch to make it very nice and solid. It wasn't hard, but took a LONG time and ALOT of thread!
The end result was very nice. It took 12 buttons to sew to the top. It made a very nice and firm basket. The hardest part was lining up the ends at the top evenly and stitching them down. It took awhile and some hand sewing on my part to get it all secured.
This made a lovely basket and was an interesting technique to try. I made it once- but didn't want to put the time and effort into making more for gifts. This might be something you'd like to try.
The winner from my last blog post for the magazine with my pattern Popsicle pattern is OhioLori. The magazine is on the way to her. Congratulations Lori!
Does this quilt make you think of summer? Popsicles dripping with cool sweet flavor - yum! The fabrics are from Island Batik and they really fit the flavors!
This is a quick little paper pieced pattern that is easy to make.
This mini quilt 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" has just been published in McCalls Quick Quilts June/July 2019.
McCalls has gratiously donated a magazine for a giveaway. Leave a comment below telling one of your favorite summer treats to be entered. USA entries only, and make sure that I can contact you if you are a winner.
The April challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors is called the Accuquilt Ready Set Go! Baby Quilt Challenge.
If you follow my blog, you saw in early February that Island Batik sent a box of fabrics, batting and thread to all the Island Batik Ambassadors to use in making monthly challenges for our blogs. We were all also sent a box from Accuquilt that contained the Ready Set Go! Ultimate Fabric Cutting System.
Just like it says on the box- it has everything you need to get started using Accuquilt Go!
Our challenge this month was to use our Accuquilt Go and the dies and materials from the box to make a baby quilt. What a fun challenge and great way to start using everything!
The box contained a new Go! Fabric Cutter
Also in the box was a Go! Value Die (to cut 2 1/2" strips) with a 6" x 12" cutting mat, and Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day Go! Qube book.
This book is fantastic. It shows blocks that can be made using dies for 6", 8", 9" and 12" blocks using the Accuquilt cutters. A really impressive book.
You can tell by the tabs, that I've already found a bunch of blocks I'd like to try.
The box also contained this great Go! Qube Mix & Match 8" Block set. They were really smart in putting this compact set together. It contains 8 different dies that can all be mixed and matched to make 8" blocks. How wonderful is that!
It all comes together in a compact cube. It also comes with a CD explaining how to use the dies if you have never worked with them before, and a cutting mat fit to the size of the dies.
I really like this 8" block set as I usually do smaller quilts. They have a 6" block set which I think would be great too. There are larger sets for 12", 10", and 9" blocks.
In planning to make a baby quilt of some kind, I looked thru the Go! Qube book for inspiration. I found several blocks that I thought would work with the Island Batik fabrics I planned to use.
I decided on this block called Susannah Variation One. I actually made a few tweaks to fit my layout- so maybe my quilt block is Susannah Variation One A!.
The book is extremely helpful in listing just what dies you need. I used Dies 1, 2, 5, 6 and 8 from the boxed set.
Here's a photo showing how you lay out the die with a cutting mat on top. Of course you put your fabric between the die and the cutting mat. You can cut up to 6 layers at a time. A good time saver!
I wanted to make my baby quilt with some fabrics from the Ditty Collection from Island Batik. I just love this collection.
These colors are soft and cool and great for a baby quilt. I have a Twin sized quilt using these fabrics that will be in the July/August 2019 issue of McCalls Magazine- so you can look forward to seeing that soon!
Here is my baby quilt 40" x 40" that I call Twirling. The quilting helps to give it a lot of movement!
I used White and Bubbles Custard in the background, and added a light green Chameleon from the Basics in one of the pinwheels - all from Island Batik. I used white Aurifil Thead in the piecing and some of the quilting and a Blendable thread from Sulky for the quilting in the white spaces to highlight the pastel colors in the prints. Using Hobbs Cotton Batting made it a nice soft quilt.
What is a baby quilt without a baby or toys? I didn't have a baby to photograph, so I grabbed a couple toys!
I hope this post showed you more about Island Batik fabrics, Accuquilt, Aurifil Thread and Hobbs Batting. These companies are all supporting sponsors of the Island Batik Ambassador Program and sent the products to be used in this blog post.