Monday, March 20, 2023

Have a Cuppa

 My quilt called Have a Cuppa is published in the May/June 2023 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine

This cute little quilt (9 3/4" x 16") has three stacked teacups.  These paper pieced tea cups are fun to make by fussy cutting some floral fabrics.  Give it a try!

My friend and fellow Island Batik Ambassador Preeti Harris has a quilt in this issue too!  Her quilt is called  Bourbon Street Bash and is beautiful.

Pick up a copy today!

Monday, March 13, 2023

Old and New Things

Today's post is about old and new things.  The new thing is that I'm still working on how to get blogs sent out to you.  This post may be a repeat of one you got earlier via  I hope to get this worked out soon.

I really value all of my subscribers. Thanks for your patience!

The old thing is something I've been thinking about the past couple of days.  I'm taking part in the Instagram Quilt Fest 2023 (#igquiltfest2023) which has a different posting each day for March.  Yesterday the theme was Pressing Matters.  That got me to thinking of my old, trusty iron.

This is an old General Electric iron that my mother gave me over 40 years ago when she got a new one.  I've used this iron ever since!  It works great and heats a bit hotter than the new irons do.  I did replace the cord once, but that is all the maintenance it has required.  I use a spray bottle with water to iron, so I never put water in it.

It's great that some things are made with quality that lasts!

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Future blog posts

I want everyone to know how much I appreciate my blog viewers.  Many of you have signed up and receive my posts automatically once they are created.  I wanted to let you know that  if you receive my blog posts by email, please be aware that the posts may come to you looking a bit different as they will be  from a different sender than Mailchimp starting next week.

Please be patient with me as any kinks are worked out - hopefully everything will work smoothly!

Thursday, March 2, 2023

It's All Up To You - Two Projects

The Island Batik Challenge for March was a free month!  We could decide to make what ever we wanted!  What fun! SO MANY things came to mind!  I had a hard time narrowing it down and actually made TWO projects for this month!

One of the first things that I thought of making was a rug.  I've wanted to make one with Island Batik fabrics for awhile, but the challenge never came up.  Here is the rug I made for this month.

I have made a couple rugs using 2 1/2" strips of scrap fabrics and scrap pieces of batting.  That is a great way to use up loads of scraps, but it is very time consuming.  

This time I used a 2 1/2" strip pack from Island Batik of the collection called Sunny Meadow by Kathy Engle. It's a Winter 22 Collection.  I love the 2 1/2" strip packages.  You can use them for so many things.  I loved the colors in this collection.

I also used a roll of the 2 1/4" fusible batting strips from Hobbs.  I've gotten a few rolls of the batting strips in past Ambassador boxes, but never used them.  This was a great time to give them a try and they worked really well.

These rugs are really super easy and I couldn't believe how fast I got the rug made- only two days!

The first thing you do is sew your strips together just like you do to make binding.  I wasn't sure how many strips I might need for the size of rug I wanted to make, so I started with just half a package of strips.  It does make a LONG strip of fabric!

The way Island Batik has the fabric packaged is lovely and I just sewed the strips together in the order they were in the package.  It turned out great that way and I didn't have to think about color placement myself.

Then it was time to try out Hobbs Fusible strips.  The batting strips are fusible on both sides.  You only really need the fusible on one side to make a rug.  I decided to use a pressing sheet under the batting in case it would adhere to my ironing board cover.  That worked well, but I'm not sure I really needed to do that, it is a very light fusible.  Iron the fabric face up on top of the batting strip so your seams are against the batting.  Again, you will have a VERY long strip.

Then you need to take the strip and fold both sides to the middle and fold again and sew about 1/8" from the side of the folded edges to secure the strip.  I used clips to hold some of the strip together before sewing. 

This makes a long finished tube to make your rug.  Impressive isn't it!  And so easy.

You need to decide if you want to make a round or rectangle rug.  I knew I wanted to make a rectangle rug like I had made before, so I knew how long of a strip to make in the middle.  Once you decide that, then it is just a matter of zigzagging in a large stitch where the rows touch and sewing round and round and round.  Sort of mindless!  A good time to listen to an audio book.

You need to sew with the bulk of the rug to the left of the machine.  If you start off with the bulk on the right side, just take it off the machine and turn it over and sew from the other side.

It turned out the rug wasn't as big as I wanted and I ended up using about 6 or 7 strips from the second half of the package and I used a small part of another package of batting strips.  My rug measures 25" x 39".  It's a nice size for in front of my kitchen sink.

A couple things to keep in mind- use the largest zigzag stitch you can make and also kind of scrunch your fabric as you turn the corners so that it doesn't buckle up.  You can  take your rug and iron it every few rows to also help it lay flat if you see it is starting to curve up.

You will want to sew with a coordinating thread.  It takes a lot of thread, so make sure you have plenty on hand before you start.  I used a nice spool of blue Aurifil thread.

Schmetz needles sewed thru the layers very well.

The second project I made this month was a collage quilt.
This is my quilt called Croak.

Isn't he charming!  Ha!  I won this pattern online from Emily Taylor who is a great collage quilter.  I made another one of her patterns called Woodlands and you can see the whole quilt here.  

Below is the color photo of the frog pattern and part of the Woodland pattern behind it.  I thought about making some mushrooms to go with the frog, but later decided not to.

I had this pattern laying around and really wanted to make it, so this was my incentive.

I used a big variety of Island Batik fabrics from my stash and fused pieces with Steam a Seam 2 Lite so they were ready to cut up and use.  Emily's  patterns are in black and white, but there is a color photo of the quilt on the cover of the pattern.

It soon becomes a big mess.

Eventually a frog appears!

Isn't he a charming fellow?

I played around with what colors to use for backgrounds.  I'm not sure I would have thought of purple, but I liked how Emily used it in her design.

I used 7 different colors of Aurifil threads to quilt with and a layer of Thermore batting from Hobbs.  Schmetz has some great nonstick needles that work really well when you are sewing thru fusibles.  These needles are a darker gray metal which helps you distinguish between them and other needles.

The quilt is 20" x 15 1/2".  I have a niece who teaches science and Croak is going to go live in her classroom.

Many thanks to Island Batik, Aurifil Thread, Schmetz Needles and Hobbs Batting for supplying products to use in these projects.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

March Doll House Room - Bathrooms

March is the month to make Bathrooms for the Amy Bradley Doll House Quilt.

In Amy's 13 room Doll House there are two bathrooms.  If you are making the 10 room house there is only 1 bathroom.  I'm making the 10 room house with only one bathroom.  If you are making a 13 room house you can make both bathrooms this month.

Isn't that little ducky cute!

Hint:  If you are making 2 bathrooms and even if you have more rooms made ahead, it can save a lot of time if you do the button  hole stitching on all the white pieces at the same time.  Saves you changing thread colors and bobbin threads over and over.

I think I will put the bathroom beside the nursery.

Next month will be the Attic Room.

I hope many of you are following along and making the rooms for your own Doll House.  
Here is my sister Jody's nursery room.

I love the little bunnies on the lower left side!  So cute!

Remember you can purchase the Doll House Pattern at Amy Bradley Designs at any time and join in the fun!  Paper and digital patterns available.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Week 4 All Puffed Up Blog Hop and drawing

It's the final day for the All Puffed Up Blog Hop - and finally my day to post!

We were instructed to make some kind of squishy Puff (or Bubble or Biscuit) quilt.  Oh my!  I didn't realize they were popular again.  My Mom made my sister a Puff quilt over 40 years ago!

This wasn't something I have ever done- or ever had an interest in before.  Once again Island Batik has a new challenge for us to create!  It was interesting to watch some of the many videos online on how to make a Puff quilt.  It's really not hard- but very different from traditional quilt making.

Each of the Ambassadors received a bundle of a new Island Batik Winter 2022 collection.  I  got the collection called Sunshine Garden by Kathy Engle.  Look what  bright and beautiful fabrics are here.

I decided to make a child size quilt using the traditional method (if there is a traditional method) of making squares. I loved the colors in this collection and decided I would use each of the fabrics. There are 20 fabrics in this collection and I cut 6 squares of each fabric 5" x 5". Then I cut up 120 solid white squares 4 1/2" x 4 1/2". This fabric will be behind the Island Batik fabric and in the middle of the quilt, so it won't show at all. This is a great time to use up some miscellaneous fabrics you don't care about.

Making the squares is very easy and there are good videos online that can take you step by step in making the squares and rows. Essentially all you do is take a tuck in the 5" square to fit the 4 1/2" square. You sew the tuck down in a scant 1/4" seam. It is very easy and timely to chain stitch these squares.

I used Schmetz needles and Aurifil thread for the piecing. Sewing goes fast with chain piecing.

You do this on three sides of the squares, then it is time to arrange the squares into rows. I hadn't decided on color placement, so I was able to just play around with all the squares I had made. After several arrangements, I just went with a sort of color wash of sunny garden blocks with kind of a color splash. I think a child will enjoy the bright colors.

This is one of the trial arrangements.

Once you have the blocks placed where you want you sew the blocks into rows. Make sure when you sew the rows together that the opening is always to the same side.

Take the first row and lightly stuff each pocket with fiberfill of some kind. Use about a handful of filling. I like to use things I have on hand, so I used the stuffing from an old, but clean polyester pillow. After the blocks are stuffed, sew the blocks shut making tucks like you did for the individual blocks. Then lay the next row of unstuffed blocks on top of the stuffed row - pin and sew with a 1/4" seam. The stuffed row will always be to the left side of the machine with the opening to the right so it is very easy to sew the rows together.

Then you stuff the row you just sewed on, and sew the next row on. Over and over until it's done.
I made 12 rows with 10 blocks in each row. It's now very puffy!

This shows rows in progress.

Now you need to decide to either quilt it - which is difficult with the bulk of the puffy rows, or tie it like a comforter. I decided to tie it - another thing I've never done before.

Once all the rows are stuffed and sewn together I laid it face up on the backing I had taped to the floor. I basted around all the sides to secure the top and back and then pin basted the whole quilt. I don't think I've ever pin basted a quilt before. It was hard on the fingers, but it did hold the quilt together nicely.

I should mention here that some people add a layer of thin batting over the backing before putting the quilt on top. I decided not to and was happy with the result.

Island Batik sent two coordinating fabrics with my collection to use if I wanted to. I used the light yellow Foundation fabric called Butter for the backing. It went well with the fabrics. I used a variety of the fabrics for the binding.

This time I decided to sew the binding on before doing the ties. I thought there might be some shifting of layers as I handled the quilt so doing the binding early would secure the top and backing together. Before I sewed the binding, I curved the corners slightly. I thought that looked good with the little puffs in the quilt top.

Sewing the ties on was also hard on the fingers. I decided to make an X on the top side of the quilt and tie the strings on the bottom side. I thought the X would look nice, but that was a mistake. I wouldn't do that again. Most comforts only have one stitch. By doing two stitches it meant I had to take stitches thru very thick intersecting seams. I had to use a jar rubber to pull the needle thru. It also took much longer to do.

The comforts I'm familiar with used yarn or Pearl Cotton to make the ties. In looking online I saw that some people tie with embroidery floss. I used to do a lot of Cross Stitch and I have a lot of floss, so that is what I used. It was nice to once again use what I had on hand, and the colors matched nicely. I used several different colors of thread.

This puff quilt is very interesting and I'm sure a child will love laying on all the puffs.

Thanks to Island Batik, Schmetz Needles and Aurifil Thread for providing products thru the Island Batik Ambassador program to make this project.

This is the last day of the blog hop. I hope you have enjoyed following along with all the Ambassadors. I have a drawing for two stash builder rolls. Leave a comment below telling me if you've ever made a Puff Quilt before and what you think of them. USA entries only due to postage costs.
The hop ends today so be sure and enter now. I will gather comments for a couple days before drawing a winner.

Ambassador Leah Malasky is also posting her amazing Puff quilt today, so be sure and check her post.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Week 2 All Puffed Up Blog Hop

 It's time for week 2 of the All Puffed Up Blog Hop.

Just a  note- my posting won't be until the last day of the Hop on Feb 27.


February 13

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese

Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail

February 14

Anorina Morris, Samelia’s Mum

Sandra Starley, Textile Time Travels

February 15

Susan Deshensky, Lady Blue Quilts

Randi Jones, Randi’s Roost

February 16

Special Island Batik Designers Feature

February 17

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 2 and Giveaway with Island Batik.  Be sure and enter for a chance to win one of these great bundles!

Monday, February 6, 2023

All Puffed Up Blog Hop

 The All Puffed Up Blog Hop starts today!

The Island Batik Ambassadors challenge this month is to make some kind of Puff quilt using an assigned new Island Batik Collection - and there are beautiful fabrics in store!

Check in each day to see what the new collection is and what has been created.  And don't forget to enter the Island Batik drawing each week!  Also look for any drawings the Ambassadors are having.

Here are the postings for this week:

February 6

Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood

Sarah Pitcher, Pitcher’s Boutique

February 7

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia

Brenda Alburl, Songbird Designs

February 8

Elita Sharpe, Busy Needle Quilting

Reed Johnson, Blue Bear Quilts

February 9

Suzy Webster, Websterquilt

Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts

February 10

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 1 and Giveaway