Monday, May 13, 2019

May- Make it Modern Island Batik Challenge

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.

I tried Hobbs Silk batting for the first time and it quilted wonderfully.

Thanks to Island Batik, Aurifil and Hobbs for supplying the materials for this project thru the Island Batik Ambassador program.

One more time- my Eternity Garden Quilt

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Trying Something New

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!

Monday, April 22, 2019


                       Popsicles by Connie Kauffman

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.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

April - Ready, Set, Go! Challenge

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.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Vintage Reimagined - Island Batik Challenge

The Island Batik Ambassador challenge for March is Vintage Reimagined.  This is a great challenge- to take a vintage pattern and make it new in some way.  The hardest part was just to decide which pattern to work with.

The first thing I did was look back thru some patterns I have saved that I "might" want to make someday.  I found just what I wanted in the pattern Swarms of Summer by Sherri Bain Driver and Barbara Tone Lister in American Quilter 2007.  They took a traditional 9 patch Irish Chain and gave it a fun new look.

Here is a picture of a traditonal Irish Chain photo from the internet.  You can easily see the 9 patch blocks.

The pattern Swarms of Summer has a twist- can you guess?  It's bees!

Lots and lots of bees!  Sherri and Barbara created little paper pieced bees to replace different 9 patch blocks.  It did require time to paper piece all the bees (36 of them), add the head with fusible applique and sew all the little antennae! Each bee block is 3" x 3" finished.

I used Island Batik white basic for the background and  all the bees and 9 patch blocks were from different Island Batik 5" strip stash builder rolls.  The strip rolls are great for adding a variety of colors to your fabric collection.

Here is my quilt Swarms of Summer.  I just love the little bees flying around!  I made the quilt smaller than the pattern (I thought 36 bees were enough!) and added a bit of length to the top and bottom so that it could be a lap quilt or large wall hanging.  The size is 44" x 48".  I used a green Island Batik Blender for the borders, white Aurifil thread for quilting and Hobbs 80/20 Poly/Cotton Batting to complete the quilt.

I quilted a large meander to simulate the bees flying patterns.

One final picture

I hope you have a "bee-utiful" day!

Fabrics, thread and batting were provided by Island Batik Fabric, Aurifil and Hobbs Batting thru the Island Batik Ambassador program.

The winner from my last blog post for the free issue of Love of Quilting March/April is Sewgirl.  Congratulations!  The magazine is on it's way.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

A Snail's Trail & Giveaway

Have you ever made a Snail's Trail block?  I took the block and made a real snail out of it!
I combined the snail blocks with simple strip piecing to make the quilt called A Snail's Trail.  This makes a quick and easy child's quilt.

This quilt has been published in the March/April issue of Love of Quilting. 

Here is the photo they took for the inside of the magazine.  Don't they do a great job with photography!

Love of Quilting has graciously sent a copy of the magazine for me to give away.  Leave a comment below telling what kind of kids quilt you like to make to be entered into the drawing for the free issue.  Make sure I can contact you if you are a winner.  Drawing is open to USA only due to shipping costs.  Entries accepted till March 18.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Feb. Island Batik Mini Challenge

It's February and time for the first Island Batik Ambassador challenge for 2019.  This month the challenge is a mini quilt of some kind using Island Batik fabrics that we received as part of the Ambassador Program.

I LOVE minis and this is about my favorite challenge.  Usually I do something with paper piecing because you can do such accurate, small blocks, but this time I decided to go with raw edge applique.

I like the 6" wire stands from Ackfeld Wire and the adorable buttons from Dress It Up.  I made a 6" Nativity quilt that was published in The Quilt Pattern Magazine (online magazine) last Oct. using the stand and Nativity buttons.  I posted about it last Dec. You can see it here.  I thought it would be fun to make a series of mini quilts that I could change out perhaps monthly.

One quilt seemed so small, so I decided to make four!  The first quilt I made was from a pattern called Cool Cardinal published in American Quilter Nov 2017.  I love the artist Charley Harper, and this pattern is made from one of his cardinal designs.  His crisp, sleek designs could all make beautiful quilts.  I was happy to see this pattern available in the magazine.  Keri Duke is the pattern designer.  She is the only approved quilt and applique pattern maker for Charley Harper's Modernistic designs available from The Meredith Collection, exclusive needle arts licensee of the Charley Harper Art Studio.

This mini is 6 1/2" x 6 1/2".  I used scraps of  Island Batik fabrics and mini frosted snowflake buttons from Dress It Up.  Also a small red seed bead for the eye, and Hobbs Thermore Batting which is very thin. (Hobbs Batting was also provided to the Island Batik Ambassadors to use in our projects.)  When making the mini I used the pattern from the magazine just as it was.  The magazine called for enlarging the pattern 200%, but I kept it as it was printed to keep it small.

I love this mini and look forward to Keri publishing more quilt designs.

Remember I said I would make 4 mini quilts?  I did!  I created my own designs for the other three quilts using Island Batik fabrics and various Dress It Up Buttons, and Thermore Batting and they turned out very nice also.  These three quilts have already been accepted for publication in The Quilt Pattern Magazine so I can't show them to you now - you will have to wait until they are published!  I guess that leaves you with something to look forward too!

Mini quilts are so much fun.  They don't require much in materials and they are quick to make.  So take a break between other quilting projects and make a mini!

The winner from my last blog post contest for the March/April  issue of Quiltmaker is Anonymous.  Your issue is on the way!  Thanks for entering.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Quiltmaker March/April 2019

My quilt Compass Points is in the March/April 2019 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine.

This quilt is made with Island Batik Fabrics called Dragonfly Dreams and white basic Island Batik.  The white fabric really lets the colors pop.  I like to use coordinating buttons which the magazine forgot to list in the material section, but you can easily see them in the quilt photos.

Quiltmaker gave me an extra issue to offer as a giveaway. Please comment below to be entered.  USA entries only due to shipping costs.