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.


  1. Two great and fun projects!!!!

  2. Fabulous projects for a choose your own month. My rectangle rug that I did was a bit curvy on the ends, but I still use. Need to try it again, using some more patience!

  3. Really enjoyed this! Thanks for the advice about what to do if things don't go planned--if the bulk begins on the wrong side, for example. Things like that are so helpful, and having a plan in advance can be the difference between being panicked or frustrated at the get-go, for me. Beth T. @wordygirl11

  4. Awesome projects. Croak is going to be very popular in his classroom. You did an awesome job on him.

  5. Wow Connie! I couldn't love these projects more! You rug is beautiful in that fabric collection. It makes me want to make another one, too. And Croak! I saw him somewhere yesterday, maybe Instagram and thought "What a cool frog quilt", but I didn't realize it was you. Beautiful. Have a great day!

  6. Beautiful job and your frog just wants to jump off the fabric! Well done.

  7. What fun projects, Connie!! And how nice to gift Croak to your science teacher niece!! He will be right at home in her classroom!

  8. I love your hints about the fusible batting for the rug. Years ago I made a rug using clothesline but have wanted to make one with this technique- have the supplies (and plenty of Island Batik strips) so thank you for the inspiration to do this, and for your “recipe” of how many strips to make the size that you did. Keep inspiring us girlfriend!

  9. Wow! Two very different projects that turned out fabulous! Beautiful colours and I'm sure Croak is going to be a fantastic conversation piece in your niece's classroom.

  10. These are both beautiful projects. I'm inspired to go and make my own floor mat now too. Thanks for the tips.