Saturday, January 22, 2022

Jan 2022 Island Batik Boxes

 A new year as an Island Batik Ambassador brings great surprises in big boxes delivered right to my door!  This time they came in mid Dec. late at night.  I left the light on for the delivery lady!

Each year the Ambassador program is full of different challenges and new fabrics and supplies to work with.  Watch the video and pictures  below to see what I will work with the first half of this year.

I made a mistake at the beginning of my video and said the boxes were for the year 2021!  Oops- some of the collections are 2021, but the products sent in the boxes are for me to work with in the first half of the year 2022.

Here are some still photos of what was in the boxes:

A fat quarter bundle of Gradations called Ravishing Reds.  A beautiful collection of 20 fat quarters in differing shades of red.  Yardage of these fabrics are available now.  Island Batik carries 10 different Gradation collections in other colors.  Check out the other Ambassadors to see the other color collections.

Fat quarter bundle of the collection called Contempo by Kathy Engle for Kate Colleran Designs, along with yardage in  light and dark.  I just love these bright fabrics!  I'll be making something with these fabrics for the February Blog Hop.

A wonderful bundle of several fabrics from the Batik Foundations.  The Island Batik Foundation fabrics are always available.

Aurifil is one of the Sponsors in the Island Batik Ambassador program, and they sent a box of three threads.  We'll be having a challenge using Aurifil threads in March.
There were two bundles of the Stash builder rolls.  Each roll has 4 fabrics that are 5" by width of fabric.  These rolls are a great way to add variety to your fabric stash.

We're always given a generous supply of Island Batik fabrics in white, black and gray.  These are wonderful to have on hand.  Also yardage in a Neutral.  This one is called Whipped Cream.  The photo doesn't do it justice.

A 10" precut bundle of the collection called Wondrous by Jerry Kiev.  These are really lovely.  They also sent additional yardage in light and dark colors.

The surprise bundle was wrapped in paper that was shredded, so I can't show you the package- or the fabrics!  The fabrics are a Winter 2021 collection that is not in the stores yet.  You can see what they are and what I make with them in the  May Blog Hop.

Hobbs Batting is another sponsor and they once again sent a great supply of battings:
80/20 Bleached Cotton- Queen Size
Premium Poly - Queen Size
Premium Cotton - Queen Size
Premium Wool Queen Size
Fusible Batting Strips
It's wonderful to be able to try the wide variety of battings that Hobbs carries.

It is so inspiring to see all these fabrics and supplies we are sent to use with the Ambassador program.  I hope you stay tuned to see what everyone creates this year!

Check out the listing of the 2022 Ambassadors and their unboxing videos listed below.  


Brenda Alburl @ Songbird Designs
Megan Best @ Best Quilter
Jennifer Fulton @ Inquiring Quilter


Preeti Harris @ Sew Preeti Quilts
Jane Hauprich @ Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting
Reed Johnson @ Blue Bear Quilts


Connie Kauffman @ Kauffman Designs
Emily Leachman @ Darling Dogwood
Denise Looney @ For the Love of Geese


Leah Malasky @ Quilted Delights
Maryellen McAuliffe @ Mary Mack Made Mine
Lisa Pickering @ Lisa’s Quilting Passion


Claudia Porter @ Create with Claudia
Gail Renna @ Quilt Haven Threads
Brianna Roberts @ Sew Cute and Quirky


Andi Stanfield @ True Blue Quilts
Sandra Starley @ Textle Time Travels
Jennifer Thomas @ Curlicue Creations


Pamela Boatright @ PamelaQuilts
Suzy Webster @ Webster Quilt
Elizabeth DeCroos @ Epida Studio


Mania Hatziioannidi @ Mania for Quilts
Anorina Morris @ Samelia’s Mum
Michelle Roberts @ Creative Blonde


Gail Sheppard @ Quilting Gail

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

January 2022 Island Batik Challenge


45" x 64"

By Connie Kauffman

The January Challenge for the 2022 Island Batik Ambassadors is called the Step by Step Challenge

We were to use the fat quarter bundle of Foundation Gradation Island Batik fabrics we received in our first Ambassador box for 2022 (be sure and see my unboxing video on Jan 22 to see what else came in my boxes).

I received the Ravishing Red collection of 20 fat quarters in various shades/steps of red.  There are 9 other collections of gradations in different colors.  Other Ambassadors got different color bundles, so be sure and check them out to see what they received and what they made with their collections.

These fabrics are available in shops now.  

What to make with these fabrics?  They ranged from almost tan to peachy to red to orange/red to purple and almost mauve.  I knew it would work well with a bargello style quilt, but I didn't want to do anything that traditional.

My son was home on vacation and he helped me play around with some possibilities.  I decided to use 15 of the 20 fabrics.  I knew I wanted to use black Island Batik with them to make the reds really pop.
I ended up sewing the fabrics together into strips similar to a bargello quilt, but separated them with black and varied the placement and widths of the strips.

As always- the scraps are pretty too!

I used a black batting from Hobbs that came in my box last year.  Black batting is great to use when you have a dark background and backing, because there are no bits of batting poking thru with the quilting to show up on the back.

Four Aurifil threads worked well for the straight line quilting.  

I used Schmetz needles in my machine.  Schmetz is one of our sponsors and they are the only needles I use.

Thanks to my sister Jody for naming this quilt.  She's great at coming up with names!

January 22 I'll be posting my unboxing video so you can see the other lovely things I have to work with the first half of this year!

All products for this project were provided by Island Batik, Aurifil Thread, Hobbs Batting and Schmetz Needles thru the Island Batik Ambassador program

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

2022 Island Batik Ambassador

This year has started out great with the announcement that I am once again an Ambassador for Island Batik!  The 2022 Ambassadors are listed below.  There are 5 new and 20 returning Ambassadors this year.  It looks to be an exciting year full of new fabric creations!

From left to right:

Brenda Alburl ~ Songbird Designs
Megan Best ~ Bestquilter
Pamela Boatright ~ Pamelaquilts
Elizabeth DeCroos ~ Epida Studio
Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter

Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts
Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts
Jane Hauprich ~ Stitch By Stitch Custom Quilting
Reed Johnson ~ Blue Bear Quilts
Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs

Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood
Denise Looney ~ For The Love Of Geese
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine
Anorina Morris –

Lisa Pickering ~ Lisa’s Quilting Passion
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
Sandra Starley ~ Textile Time Travels
Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
Suzy Webster ~ Websterquilt

Friday, December 17, 2021

New Christmas Tree Skirt


In going through some old quilting things I came upon a small (I thought) pattern that I'd never made.  In fact I don't even remember where I got the pattern.  Maybe someone gave it to me or I got it in a swap or something?  I thought it would be an interesting mini to make while I was all caught up with deadlines.
The pattern is called Scrap Happy Diamonds by Cindy Edgerton - and it is NOT a mini!

The pattern itself comes in a package 4" x 5 1/2"  which is why I mistakenly thought it was a small quilt.  If you do READ the package it says it makes a quilt 58" x 58".  Above is a photo of the package and a paper foundation for one block.  Those tissue paper patterns folded up really tight and small!

Okay, I was up for a challenge, but didn't want to make that big of a wall quilt or color it the way it was on the pattern.  I decided it would make a great tree skirt if you trimmed it down and eliminated some blocks.

I set off and pulled reds and greens (mostly Island Batik Christmas prints) and mixed whites- many of which had gold and/or Christmas prints.

It was interesting to work with such big blocks as I usually work much smaller.

Having pieced the whole thing together I decided to go ahead and quilt it before making it into a tree skirt.

I quilted it with a gold thread in the ditch.

Kind of a shame to cut the center out and a slit thru one side - especially when it laid nice and flat!

Here is a photo of  my old tree skirt and the new one.  I think I've improved my skills and also my scrap stash!

It is now in it's place under the tree and waiting for the family to gather for Christmas.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas holiday!

Friday, December 3, 2021

December English Paper Piecing Challenge

Floating Hexies
31 1/2" x 15 1/4"
Designed and made by Connie Kauffman

English paper piecing is the December challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors.  This is the last challenge for the year, and it was an interesting one.

Traditional English paper piecing was usually done with hexagons.  There are many other shapes that are now used for EPP (English paper piecing).   You can find many tutorials online on how to prepare the shape you've chosen to use.  Essentially what you do is prepare a heavy paper in the shape you want to work with - for example a hexagon.  Then you cut a piece of fabric about 1/4" bigger all around than the paper.  You fold over and stitch the fabric to the paper - or stitch the corners together and press.  Then you take two of the shapes and hand stitch them together along one edge.  It makes a great take-along project.  It's also a wonderful way to make use of small scraps.

I've done English paper piecing with hexies in the past.  The first quilt show I ever went to (many years ago) had a class on Miniature English Paper Piecing that my sister took. Little did she  know just how small the pieces would be!  The individual pieces were only 1/2"!  

I like miniatures, but that was extreme! She showed me how to make them and I did make some hexie flowers, but never completed a project.  Cute, but oh so small!  I have to admit that I glued the edges with a glue stick and over the years never removed the papers as I never finished a project with them.  Sad to say, the little gems are very stiff and hard now and it's about impossible to stitch them together. 

I made a quilt by fussy cutting the hexies called Granddaughter's Flower Garden that was featured  in the book Quilting to Go.  The hexagons in the quilt were all fussy cut with cute fabrics.

photos courtesy of House of White Birches/Annies

I've also done some large hexagons where the hexies are pieced.  I learned this from the book Pieced Hexies  by Mickey Depre.

Her book is great and these pieced hexie blocks can be turned in various ways to create different looking designs.  They are fun to make.

Here is a photo of a pieced hexagon block 8" x 8" with one of my mini hexagon flower blocks 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" inside it.  I don't think I'll be making anymore of those mini's !

Everything I've done in the past was interesting, but I wanted to do something different for this Island Batik Challenge.  I thought about a lot of designs. 

I wasn't crazy about doing a lot of hand sewing this time and I'd seen some modern quilts with hexies spaced apart, so that is the technique I decided to work on.  This may be stretching the concept of English Paper Piecing, but it is using hexies and preparing hexies in the traditional way.

This quilt was going to be modern and I wanted to add a couple other challenges for myself.  I had purchased a Sewline Fabric Glue Pen at a past quilt show and had never used it.  I decided instead of tacking down all the edges of my hexies with needle and thread I would glue them down!  Wow was that fast!  And not messy at all!

I found a pattern for hexagons online.  This one is 1 1/2" and I just printed them out and cut out all the shapes I needed.  

I read that it is also helpful to have a hole in the paper so that it is easier to remove the paper once the edges have been folded in and secured, and pressed.  I just used a hole punch.  The holes weren't in the center, but it did make removing the papers very easy.  First I ran a pin under the glued edges.  The fabric separated  from the paper very easily, then I put the pin in the hole and popped the paper out.  I didn't even have to press them again.  After I'd glued all the hexies, I removed all the  papers.

After deciding how I wanted to lay out the hexagons I decided to chalk mark the lines on my quilt top.
First I layered my favorite batting- Hobbs Heirloom 80-20 Fusible  with the quilt top and backing and ironed them together.  This made a very secure piece to work with and easy to do the chalk marking.

I first placed a hexie in the very center and marked lines thru each point.  Then the rest of the lines were 1/2" apart.  You can see on my little sample on the lower left how each hexie is 1/2" apart and a line will be quilted between each one and thru each point.  The marking made the  placement of the hexies very easy.

To further make this an easy project,  I glued all the hexies down with the Sewline Fabric Glue Pen.  I only put glue on the corners.  This held them very securely while I did the straight line sewing with my walking foot.  I did really like this glue pen.  The glue held well and didn't make the fabric stiff and didn't gum up the needles.  My only regret with the pen is that you can't see how much glue you have left.  I did end up using the whole stick of glue in the pen with this project.  The package come with a refill, but I would have been really sad if I had run out in the middle of the project.

I used a variety of Island Batik fabrics for this project.  I used a dark purple foundations fabric for the backing and mostly fabrics from the Sunkist Soleil collection designed by Kathy Engle for Jackie Kunkle as well as the green from the Flutter Fly collection by designer Kathy Engle and Leaf Vine-Nasturtium from the Blenders collections.

I used a lovely variegated thread for the quilting that picked up all the colors in the fabrics.

Floating Hexies was an interesting project.  I tried a couple new techniques and a new product.  And of course using Island Batik fabrics will makes a project shine!  It's always good to expand your quilting experiences!

*The winner from my Nov blog hop is Kathleen.  Her fabrics are on the way!

Many thanks to Island Batik and Hobbs Batting for providing products to use in this project thru the Island Batik Ambassador program.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Mardi Gras Trail in Quiltmaker

 My quilt Mardi Gras Trail is in the Jan/Feb 2022 issue of Quiltmaker magazine

Mardi Gras Trail
Designed and made by Connie Kauffman
60" x 60"

The fabrics are from the Farm Fresh Collection by Kathy Engle for Island Batik.  The dark purple fabric is from the Island Batik foundations and really sets off the Farm Fresh colors.

The magazine will be on newsstands 11/30 but digital copies are available now at:

Or the pattern at:

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Storm at Sea Blog Hop

                                                                            Storm at Sea                                                                              44" x 52 1/2"

The challenge this month for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to make a quilt using the Storm at Sea block pattern.  This is a great block with all straight line sewing, but can give the illusion of curves.

Each Ambassador was given a bundle of a new Summer collection.  This bundle came wrapped in our last Ambassador box because we couldn't show the fabrics yet, but they will soon be in your shops so you can start looking for them now!

The collection I received is called Passion Petals.  It was designed by Kathy Engels for Carol Moellers of Carol Moellers Designs.

I looked at a LOT of different Storm at Sea quilt patterns.  There are so many lovely designs and it can change dramatically by choosing different fabrics and where you put the colors in the blocks.

I ended up using 13 of the 20 fabrics in the collection in my quilt.  I also used the coordinating deep purple foundation fabric that was included with the bundle (see the dark color on top).  That fabric is so dark it is almost black, so I also added solid black for the smaller squares, binding and backing.


The Storm at Sea block is made with two different square in a square blocks that are easy to make, and a rectangle diamond block.  

I have made these blocks in the past and always seem to have a hard time getting them true to shape.  I have even made them with paper piecing, but that is also a bit challenging.  Having already tried out two of Deb Tucker's Studio 180 rulers, I looked into her Diamond Rects Ruler.  She has a great video on using the ruler, so I went ahead and purchased it since I knew I'd be making a bunch of those blocks.

Again, one of my favorite things about her rulers is that you can make them in a variety of sizes.  This one makes blocks 1" x 2", 2" x 4", 3" x 6" 4" x 8" and 5" x 10".  It also comes with great paper instructions.  The ruler can even be used by right and left handed persons with instructions.
*Helpful hint - I tape the paper instructions to the ruler when I'm done using it, so they are right there when I use the ruler again.

These blocks were easy to make, especially as I used the same color for all the  outside triangles.

I decided to use black fabric for the backing and to try Hobbs black batting for the first time.

I have to say I'm sold on this batting when your project has dark fabrics.  The batting is nice and soft and has no bearding- no little white fibers that poke thru with the quilting.  It was pretty amazing!

I used several Westalee Rulers to help with the quilting designs.

And Aurifil Thread for the quilting

Schmetz microtex needles are always in my machine.

I actually got the quilt finished before winter and took the photo in my side garden.  The petunia's just matched the Passion Petals fabrics.  Sadly they are gone now til next year.

I have a drawing for 3 half yard fabrics from the Passion Petals Collection.  These are lovely fabrics, so  be sure to enter!

Leave a comment to enter and make sure I can contact you if you are a winner.  USA entries only due to postage.
*If you are on my subscriber list and receiving this post via email, you may not see the comment area until you click on View in Browser.

Also be sure to also go to the Island Batik blog and enter this weeks contest.

Thanks to Island Batik, Hobbs Batting, Aurifil, Schmetz Needles for providing products for this project thru the Island Batik Ambassador program