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.


  1. how cute!! I love those little bees. the variety of colors make it very fresh and lively. good job. Mary E

  2. Love the quilt, Connie. I have some of the fabric you used for the wings - great choice!

  3. what a fun quilt, the bees are a wonderful touch

  4. That is a honeybee of a project, adorable!

  5. That's so sweet! Great idea, and fun, even the quilting.

  6. Love the Bees. great idea for a fun summer quilt. Thanks for sharing.

  7. What a great change to make a fun chain quilt.

  8. I love this idea. What a great way to transform a nine patch quilt and those bees are darling.

  9. What a neat quilt Connie! Love the bee blocks!

  10. wonderful quilt, thanks for sharing.