Thursday, October 24, 2019

October Island Batik Challenge 2019

The October Challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to make a holiday table runner with some kind of applique.  Great challenge!  Table runners are fun and relatively quick to make.  They also make great gifts and this is a good time of year to start on those projects if you so desire.

One challenge for me is just to choose from the great fabrics that Island Batik has sent in two boxes this year thru the Ambassador program.  There are so many fun possibilities.  Do you ever just look thru your stash and think of what you might make before you go out and buy something new?  It's a fun challenge and always surprising what you can come up with!

Maybe because it is fall I decided to work with the collection Soil and Seeds by Kathy Engle. I was sent a 10" square pack of this collection as well as two pieces of coordinating yardage in light and dark.  I also received  8 pieces of basics and blenders that coordinate.  This is a great collection and I want to make a larger quilt with it, but thought I could also probably get a runner out of it too.

Aurifil Threads also sent coordinating threads in the Ambassador box.  Isn't it all just eye candy!

The colors are very earthy and I could envision pumpkins and gourds...  Then I had to decide what size and shape of runner to make.  I decided to make a square table mat for our coffee table.  Most runners I make are rectangular, so this would be a bit different. 

Off to the drawing board to sketch out some pumpkin and gourd shapes.  Once I decided on the outlines I reversed them and drew them on the back of the fusible web (I like to use Lite Steam-a-Seam II) and ironed them to the correct fabrics.  This time I left a small edge of fusible around the outside of each shape and cut the inside fusible out before pressing to the fabrics. This way I was hoping the appliques wouldn't lay so stiff and flat.

I decided on the dark brown for background to be a bit different than the light backgrounds I usually use and I thought the applique colors would pop.  Was I right?

Once I had the appliques fused I layered the backing and batting and basted it together.  I used Hobbs Cotton batting.  I had a leftover piece just the right size.  Don't you love it when that happens!

Instead of doing a buttonhole stitch around each applique, I just sewed close to the edge of each piece and added lines thru the applique to give them more shape. 

The flying geese were a mix of the fabrics and quilted in the ditch.  I ended up only using the Soil and Seed fabrics for the whole table mat (not any of the coordinating fabrics).  They worked so well together!

Here is the finished runner.  It doesn't have a name yet - so feel free to leave a name suggestion in the comments!

Here it is on our coffee table.

Note the beautiful wood on each side - it never looks like this!  There are usually piles of books and magazines on each side which is why I made the mat to fit in the middle.

I added the candle and leaves for another look.

I also added a hanging sleeve in the back in case I want to hang it sometime or give it as a gift so it could be used either way.

I hope you all enjoy the cooler weather, the colors and excitement of this fall season.

                  (Fabrics, batting and thread were provided thru the Island Batik Ambassador program)

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Rayon Jacket

I don't do much garment sewing anymore.  I never felt like I was really good at it, and haven't much lately.  In the first box of fabrics from Island Batik for the Ambassadors this year there was a 2 yard piece of lovely Forest Fern Rayon fabric.  Rayon is lightweight and not as stable as cotton- it tends to shift around when you are working with it.  Last year I made a top from Rayon, but I wasn't excited about working with this piece, so I gave it to a friend  -  Elaine Mast who is great at garment sewing.  I also thought the color suited her.  (see the bundle of fabric- the red is a lovely rayon scarf).

She surprised me this summer when she made a jacket to go with an outfit and entered it in the Elkhart County Fair in Elkhart IN!  Here she is modeling it on the red runway.

 It looks great.  She did an amazing job and earned a blue ribbon from the Fair.   Thanks Elaine!