Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Corona Time Fillers

I'm sure many of you like myself are staying safe and staying home these days.  So how are you spending your extra time?

I try to complete a UFO (unfinished objects) whenever I get caught up with deadlines and have some free time.  Last month I finished this wall quilt.

I'm embarrassed to say this was a fat quarter guild challenge from 2008!  I was surprised that I had already basted it.  I couldn't decide how to quilt it at the time, and it sat unfinished for years.  Now that I'm using Westalee quilting rulers, I pulled some out and fairly quickly had this project finished.

It doesn't have a name yet- any suggestions?

I also came across a couple orphan blocks.  I like to turn miscellaneous, leftover blocks into hot pads.  This is a quick and easy project.  Wouldn't we all like some new hot pads?

There has been so much to watch online these days.  Many blogs and videos with things to see and learn.  My sister and I decided to join online watercolor classes by Anna Mason.  You might want to check out her online school.  I think her paintings are amazing.

Here are a couple of the paintings I've done with her classes.

It's always great to learn a new skill!

What will you work on today?

Monday, June 1, 2020

June Island Batik Ambassador Challenge

The June challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors is a Free Theme!  They gave us a month to do anything we wanted!  That's so great!  I've thought about this challenge for months.  What to do?  So many ideas....

I had saved my 2 1/2" strip pack of Sundance fabric from my first box because it was one of my favorites.

I played around with making some kind of Pineapple block quilt, but as the Corona Virus hit, I just couldn't find the spark to work with the dark fabrics.  I wanted to make something bright- something positive, something to inspire....but rest assured- I'll be making something from this collection before long!

I was thinking a lot about flowers as spring was all around, and a sunflower quilt came to mind.  I love the bright petals on sunflowers and how tall and strong they stand.  Each stem is sturdy and resilient and a field of them is a wash of sunshine.

So I went to my stash of Island Batiks and found a lovely sky background called Aqua from the Basics Collection.  I found many yellows and greens to make leaves and petals.  Batiks are wonderful for collage type quilts when you want a range of color and texture.

Here is my quilt that I named Stand Strong.

Stand Strong 
by Connie Kauffman
26 1/2" x 35 1/2"

I looked at several photos of sunflowers and drew out one that is looking to the sun and bravely waving it's leaves in the wind.  I used a method of fusing fabrics with Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 , cutting them to shape and applying to the background. I fused them all once they were where I wanted them (except for the end of the right hand leaf where I wanted it to lay on top of the inner border).

For the quilting I drew from a collection of Aurifil Threads.  See how wonderful the colors work!
I used Schmetz Super Nonstick Needles and they were wonderful to sew thru all the fused fabrics with no problems.

Here are a few photos showing my process of making the quilt.

First I looked at lots of photos of sunflowers - looking at the petals, the centers and the positions.

I found one l liked and enlarged it on the printer and printed it off in several sheets that I taped together.

Then I drew the outline on a piece of Soft and Sheer from Sulky. This is a thin Cut a Way Stabilizer that I fused the fabrics to once I had them where I wanted them.

Progress on the stem and leaves.

I did the center before adding the petals.

I guess I got involved in making petals and forgot to take a photo of this step.  Once I had everything where I wanted, I fused it with an iron.  Then I cut around the whole flower and could place it on the background.

Here I'm trying to decide on the inner border.  First I put the right hand leaf behind the border, but my sister (thanks Jody) suggested I put the leaf on top of the border and I liked that a lot!

I thought about extending the inner borders to the outside- but decided to go with my first thought of just an inner rectangle brown border.- like you are looking thru a frame.

Once this was all decided, I added a layer of Steam a Seam 2 Lite behind the flower, fused it in place and sewed the borders.

I used Hobbs 100% Cotton batting which quilted up nicely.

This quilt is a sunny reminder to all of us to stand tall, stand strong and stay safe every day.

Thanks to Island Batik, and sponsors Aurifil, Schmetz Needles, and Hobbs Batting for supporting this project with their materials.