Thursday, April 8, 2021

April Island Batik Challenge - It's All Up To You



33" x 34"

Individual patterns by Emily Taylor

Made by Connie Kauffman

The April Island Batik Ambassador Challenge is a great one.  It's called It's All Up To You.  That means we were able to create what ever we wanted in what ever size we wanted.  Anything goes!

I had been wanting to make a collage quilt for a long time.  I like the patterns and process created by Emily Taylor.  She has wonderful patterns and great videos that are very helpful.  You can see them at her website   I bought her pattern Woodlands to try out her techniques.  

Emily's pattern came with many different separate patterns.  It's up to you to decide which elements you want in your design and how you want to arrange them. On the cover photo of her pattern Woodlands there is a squirrel, flowers, mushrooms, dragonflies, leaves, nuts and a snail.  I liked those, but inside the pattern there was also a pattern for a rabbit that I thought was adorable, so I included that in my quilt.

I jumped right in to making parts of the patterns and forgot to take photos of the process- sorry!  In short, you pin the pattern to a design wall and then pin a piece of parchment paper over the pattern.  You add fusible to the back of fabrics you think you will use and you use ALOT of different fabrics!  You cut the fabrics in small shapes of various sizes in the shades shown on the pattern piece and lightly fuse them to the parchment paper.  Then once you have the whole shape as you want it- fuse it well and then you can remove the whole piece and move it around to where you want it on your background fabric.

Here are some of my pieces once they were fused to the parchment paper.  It was really fun to arrange and rearrange them on the background.  I used an Island Batik neutral called Egg White for my background (not shown in the photo below).

This is not a fast process and often was a challenge to select the best fabric color shades. It was fun to see the images emerge, and it got a bit easier as it went along.

As always, my biggest challenge was the quilting.  I knew I had a  lot of background with no applique that would need to be quilted.  Also, the fused appliques are rather stiff and I thought I would need to do some dense quilting to to match.  Not my strong point!

I surprised myself and actually did some real free motion quilting.  My favorite part of the background quilting was the fiddle head ferns.  I also added some background flowers, mushrooms and clouds in the sky.  I did add a couple ladybug and bee buttons because I had them and they were so cute!

The appliques were quilted around the outside edge of almost every piece - and yes it did take a long time and many different colors of thread!

I used many, many different Island Batik fabrics from my stash.  I also used many Aurifil threads as shown above and  Hobbs Fusible batting.  Using the fusible batting made the quilting easier as it held all the layers together so well and there were no basting threads to contend with.

This was a wonderful challenge and I was so grateful to have a chance to try out this technique and make Emily's Woodland pattern.

Many thanks to Island Batik, Aurifil Threads and Hobbs batting for supplying the products for this project thru the Island Batik Ambassador program


  1. That is one fantastic project, Connie!

  2. Beautiful! You did a great job! You have a lot more patience than I do to work with all these little pieced. Your background quilting is wonderful, love the fern and all the other cuties.

  3. Connie, this is absolutely wonderful!!! I love everything about it, the flowers, the squirrel, the bunny, and the bug buttons, too.

  4. This is so fun! Perfect for spring and the bunny is wonderful!

  5. Wow! Such a fun quilt and so beautiful! Looks like a fun but time-consuming process!

  6. I loved your frog! And that rug is gorgeous!