Friday, December 29, 2023

2023 Year in Review

2023 was my 10th year as an Island Batik Ambassador.  Here are the projects I made from Island Batik Challenges and also patterns that were published this year.

Feb - All Puffed Up Challenge

March - It's All Up to You Challenge 

Frog pattern by Emily Taylor

April - Crazy Quilts Challenge

In Full Bloom
13 1/2" x 22"

May - Tool Craze Blog Hop

Cirque du Soleil
27 1/2" x 27 1/2"

July - Fly Away Challenge

Triangle Tango
26 1/2" x 26 1/2"

August - It's All Up To You Challenge

Love Those Scraps!
33" x 39"

Sept - Pieced to Perfection Challenge

3D Hugs & Kisses
49" x 61"

Oct - Falling for Accuquilt Challenge

12" x 27"

Nov - It's In The Bag! Blog Hop

In Control pattern from By Annie

Dec - Celebrations Challenge

Amy Bradley Sewing Tree pattern
21" x 31"


Cotton Candy Shop
44" x 56"
Quiltmaker - March/April 2023

Have a Cuppa
9 3/4" x 16"
Quiltmaker - May/June 2023

40" x 40"
Quilter's World - Merry Christmas Quilting


Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Dec Island Batik Ambassador Celebration Challenge


It's December and time for the last Island Batik Ambassador challenge for the year.  This year the challenge was to choose a holiday and make a project for it.  I love to make things for Christmas so this was the holiday I picked.

I love  patterns from Amy Bradley and picked this one - Holiday Sewing Tree to make this Christmas.

Her patterns are easy and fun to make.  I liked the striped border in her pattern, but I didn't have any fabric with stripes that fit.  I wanted more of a red and green in the stripe- so I made my own with Island Batik solids in red, white, green and dark gray.

It took a long time to make all the stripes and then I quilted in the ditch by each one.  I don't think I'd do that again!

All the rest of the quilt was made with Island Batik fabrics from my stash.  The bottom of the thimble I painted with intense pencils on light gray to get the dots like on a thimble. I've not used the intense pencils before, so this was interesting.

Aurifil thread was used around all the applique shapes, piecing and the quilting.  Hobbs cotton batting was used along with a lot of tiny buttons for embellishments.

Of course what is Christmas and a Christmas tree without presents under it?  So I made a variety of small projects good for gift giving.

I made coiled mats using macramé cord and 1 1/4" strips of Island Batik fabrics.  All three coiled mats were made using leftover 2 1/2" strips that I cut in half.  The smaller ones were made using strips from the collection Lavender Sage.  The larger mat was made using strips from Floralicious.  Any strip bundle makes great coiled mats- the colors are all pre selected for you!

Aurifil thread works great to sew the coils together with a zig zag stitch. I loved using the variegated blue and variegated green Aurifil for these.  They blended in very well.

They start small and get bigger!  It's actually a fun and easy process.  You can make them as big as you want- or as big as you have scraps to  make. Great for gift giving!

I made a wallet using the pattern Pocket Pal Wallet from Jenna Lou Designs.   I've used this pattern before and like it.  I used Cherry Berry Island Batik from my stash.  It turned out very nice.

I made two smaller wallets that fit easily in your pocket  using the pattern Wonder Wallet from Lazy Girl Designs.

I used Ditty Salmon Swirl and Round Petal Foral Island Batik fabrics.  These are super quick to make.

The last gift item I made was a free pattern from By Anne.  The pattern is called A Pencil Case for Lola.  This is a very easy project and might be especially nice for children,  although you could store a lot of sewing supplies in it also!

Many thanks to Island Batik, Aurifil and Hobbs for suppling products for these projects.

I hope all of you have a blessed holiday season and Happy New Year!

Friday, November 17, 2023

Covering the World: One Quilt at a Time

The Island Batik Ambassadors have joined Island Batik,  Accuquilt and Babylock in "Covering the World:  One Quilt at a Time".  We were encouraged to dedicate/donate a quilt to a cause that holds personal significance.

Today is my day to post for Covering the World:  One Quilt at a Time.  My quilt Nine Patch Lone Star was made for the Island Batik Ambassador Lone Star Challenge.  I donated the quilt to my local church camp- Camp Alexander Mack.  They had an online auction this October and the quilt raised $560 for the camp!

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

It's In The Bag! Blog Hop - My Day

 The Island Batik Ambassadors always look forward to the challenge with By Annie.  We love her bag patterns.  We get to choose the fabrics we like and the bag pattern that we want to make.  What fun!  This is week 3 for the It's In The Bag!  Blog Hop.  I hope you've been following along and seeing what all the Ambassadors are making.

This year I let my husband decide what bag I should make.  He decided on the In Control pattern.  This is a sturdy caddy with lots of pockets and dividers.  I let him choose the Island Batik fabrics too, and he picked out three colors from the new Summer 2023 Red. White and Blooms Collection.  He will use it to hold miscellaneous things by the sofa where he sits. 

The Red, White and Blooms collection is lovely.  

By Annie sends all the materials needed to make the project.  For this project they sent the pattern, Soft and Stable, 2 sets of metal Nickel rings, single slide handbag zipper, webbing and Fusible Interfacing.  Island Batik sent the fabrics.  It's a project bundle all ready to go!  

You can also see the three fabrics my husband picked for the bag.

When we got the box with everything in July- it was hard to wait until November to make it!  In fact I couldn't wait!  I had some free time and made my little bag early.

Last year I made the bag called Catch All Caddy.  In Control is almost the same as Catch All Caddy, only a little smaller.  My husband liked the smaller bag for his needs.  I can see using this smaller size bag for many things.

By Annie's patterns are very good.  They go carefully step by step and also most patterns have a free Add - On Video included which help if you are more of a visual learner.  I find them very helpful.

Here is a photo of all my pieces cut with a label for each piece.  You might think it tedious to label every piece, but it does save a lot of confusion when putting it all together.

Here's a photo of sewing the straps together.  They go together easily and are very attractive.  I used Schmetz needles and red and dark blue Aurifil thread for sewing.  They all work well with the fabrics, interfacing and sewing thru the webbing.

This photo shows sewing the side panels.  You do the quilting in an earlier step, then cut the pieces to size.  I took the time to quilt stars all over, but you can't see them well in regular light.

Here the handles and inner dividers are finished and ready for the bag assembly.  All at once it seems like the bag is coming together.

Here I'm putting the handles on a side panel.  I've chalked the area where I'll be sewing an X to help secure the handle to the side panel.  Little clips are helpful instead of trying to pin thru thickness.

And it's done!  Here is a view from the top so you can see the inner dividers.  These pockets expand to you can hold a wide variety of things.  There is a pocket and a zipper on the outside of the side panels that you can't see from this angle. You can see the zipper on the cover of the pattern.

Here the bag is on it's side so you can see the handles and outside pockets below where each handle is attached.

I have one confession to make. In all the By Annie patterns I've made, I've sewn the outside bindings on by machine and then hand sewn the bindings to the other side.  I really struggle trying to get the bindings totally sewn by machine.  I don't know if it's something with my machine, or just me, but it's not worth the struggle for me and I don't mind doing the hand work.

I love this little tote!  It is one of the easier By Annie Patterns.

Here is a photo of my Catch All Caddy and the In Control Caddy.  You can see that the Catch All caddy is a bigger.  I may just have to make a little In Control caddy for myself!

I have to include one more photo of the In Control caddy with some of the stuff my husband could put in it.  It can hold hold a lot more things.

I think you would enjoy making one of By Annie's bag//tote patterns.  Check out her website and all the great patterns she has.

Many thanks to Island Batik, By Annie, Schmetz Needles and Aurifil Thread for providing product to make this project.

Be sure and go to Island Batik's blog and enter for this weeks drawing of two beautiful fat quarter bundles - Red, White and Blooms and Vintage Charm by Kathy Engle.