Monday, March 27, 2017

March Paper Piecing Challenge

One of the fun things about being an Ambassador for Island Batik is that we all have a challenge each month.  Every month is something different, and this month it was a challenge to make a small quilt with either paper piecing or English paper piecing.

Since I love to paper piece, I decided to work with that instead of English paper piecing.  I also thought it might be fun to do something besides just repeating blocks which I have done a lot of in the past.
After a lot of thought and effort - this is my finished quilt called Nighttime at the Nest.
Size is:  20" x 15"

This quilt was a true challenge for me.  I decided to use the fabric Rivers Edge.  Island Batik sent me this lovely 2 1/2 strip pack that includes strips of the different fabrics in the line.  I find that 2 1/2" strips work really well when doing paper piecing.

When I got to really looking at the fabrics I noticed that the fabrics all tended to fall into dark/black, medium brown and lighter brown.  Not a lot of variance in the colors.  I didn't know what to do for a long time.  What could I make with basically three colors?

I decided it would probably be a night scene, and the browns looked like they could work for animals or birds.  I found the free bird foundation pattern on Pinterest
I changed a line or two on the pattern and reduced it to the size I wanted.  I also reversed one pattern so that I could have two birds facing each other.

I was happy with how the birds turned out.  I used three different fabrics for each bird- hoping this would give the subtle look of a male and female.  Do you see the printed fish swimming on the black background at the top?  I did NOT want fish in the quilt, so I deliberately cut the black fabrics so they were not recognizable.

I decided to make the birds perched on the edge of a nest. One bird is angled slightly.  I wasn't quite sure how to proceed with making the nest.  I wanted to put two eggs in the nest.  I picked out a blue Island Batik basic called Shark for the eggs because the blue matched the blue in the black/blue fabrics I later used for the borders.  I needle turned the eggs and put two layers of light batting inside to give them a curved look, then added scraps of leftover fabrics, bits of thread and cord for the nest.  I partially sewed some strips, lightly glued some and left some to fluff out.  I did this before basting and finishing the quilt.

Notice how the piecing above the birds heads doesn't have any fish now!  There are actually three different black fabrics in the background.  They are very similar.

I wanted to make it look like the birds had made a nest in the rafters, so I created a paper pieced pattern to give that effect.  It is actually one pattern and one reversed pattern. There were a couple fabrics that had black backgrounds with blue designs, so these were used in the rafter blocks.  Eyes were added with small beads.

Here is the quilt again - Nighttime at the Nest

This was part of the March Mini Madness Challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors.

You might want to check out the other Ambassador blogs to see what they've been doing for the March Challenge

Nan from Purrfect Spots Designs
Turid from Den Syende Himmel
Stephanie from Quilt’n Party
Pamela from Pamela Quilts
Anna from Ark Angel Creations
Kathy from Kathy’s Kwilts and More
Jessica from Desert Bloom Quilting
Connie from Freemotion by the River
Kate from Seams Like a Dream
Sharon from Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Tina from Quilting Affection Designs
Jennifer from The Inquiring Quilter
Barb from Bejeweled Quilts
Sally from Sally’s Quilting Corner
Jeanette from Inch Worm Fabrics
Connie from Kauffman Designs
Joan from Moosestash Quilting
Bernadine from Needle and Foot
Bea from Beaquilter
Cheryl from Cheryl Lynch Quilts
Maryellen from Mary Mack’s Blog
Joyce from Hearts Creations
Marlene from Kissed Quilts
Karen from The Quilt Rambler
Marian from Seams to be Sew
Laura from Slice of Pi Quilts
Linda from Inspired Layers
Vicki from Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
Nancy from Masterpiece Quilting
Carol from FunThreads Designs
Terri from Meanderings Along Lizard Creek
Alison from Little Bunny Quilts
Suzy from Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Jean-Sophie from Sophie Junction
Janet from Whispers of Yore

Monday, March 20, 2017

Quilting with Westalee Rulers

I recently was given a fabric panel and made it into a quick quilt.  I decided to try quilting a border using the Multi Arc ruler from Westalee.  This ruler has 6 sizes of half circles, so it will work with a wide variety of border widths.

This ruler is 3mm width and with the special ruler foot from Westalee, I am able to use it with my domestic machine.

I'd never attempted a border treatment with this ruler and it went very smoothly - even for a first time! I thought I'd share a few pointers.

First I lightly marked the arc's on the border with a chalk marker.
I started marking at the corners.  There is a line thru the center of the arc that is easy to line up along the border seams at the corners.

The arc's along the border needed slight adjustments to make it fit the length of the border so in a couple places when I marked to the top of an arc, I slightly moved the ruler then continued marking.  This made the arc slightly longer without a noticeable difference.

I quilted the borders with the Westalee Ruler, using the marked lines for some guidance. Then I marked the second row of arc's matching up the center line with where two arc's met and quilted them.
***If your arc's fit the length of the border, you wouldn't need to mark them***

Here's a  photo of the corner of the quilt.  This made a very nice quilted border.

The Westalee Rulers are sold by Sew Steady in the USA.  Check out their website for the special ruler foot and all the great rulers they have now for domestic machines.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Heart Quilts

My friend Mary Ebert made this beautiful heart quilt from the pattern Open Heart Quilt  by Rachel Pellman.

The colors are lovely the way they are shaded from one to another, and she followed the colors in the pattern.  She thought the pattern would look really nice in batik fabrics and knowing that I'm an Ambassador for Island Batik fabrics, she asked me about it.  I thought it would be a great idea and sent her my leftover fabrics from the Island Batik Drizzle collection to try it out.

It turned out lovely!

Here are the two quilts together, with my sister Jody Warner and Mary holding the quilts.
Thanks for sharing Mary!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Lotus Blossom

My pattern Lotus Blossom is published in the latest Special Edition magazine by Quilter's World called Springtime Quilting.

photos used courtesy of Annie's

The fabrics are from Island Batik's Drizzle.  I love how they are cool and refreshing.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Guest Blogger

Today I am a guest blogger with Tammy Silvers- a fellow Island Batik Ambassador.  You can go to her blog and see my post at: 
In  return, Tammy is posting on my blog today.

What’s in a Name? Juxtaposition Explored
I'm thrilled that the talented Connie Kauffman is guest posting on my blog today - and that she's letting me post on her blog today too!
I'm Tammy Silvers, quilt designer, new fabric designer, and confessed batik fanatic and fabric-a-holic.  I design under the name Tamarinis, as well as designing projects for Northcott to highlight new fabric lines, and occasionally am published in many of the quilt magazines, including American Patchwork and Quilting, Fons and Porter, and McCalls.  You can see my full pattern line at
I'm often asked about the names of quilt patterns, so I thought it would be fun today to take a look at one of my more recent quilts, Juxtaposition.
A little bit of background - I taught high school English for a number of years - sharing my life long love of all things written.  I don't teach any longer, but I do still have a passion for the written word, and that love creeps into my quilt designs and my quilt titles.  Juxtaposition is one such quilt.
So the dictionary defines juxtaposition as follows:
the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.
"the juxtaposition of these two images"

Juxtoposition new
So here is my "two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect" - a light background batik and a dark background batik, each surrounding a different coordinating print.  Like Connie, I LOVE Island Batik, and this quilt is no exception.  It showcases a stamp set (a set of 10" squares) and two different Island Batik backgrounds - a juxtaposition of light and dark.  Proof that not only do opposites attract, but that they help each other shine.
Thanks to Connie for letting me offer up a little vocabulary lesson - and an example of why contrast (juxtaposition) works so well!