Monday, April 22, 2024

Ginkgo Quilt



14 1/2" x 21"

My quilt Ginkgo is in the combined July/Aug & Sept/Oct 2024 issue of McCalls Quilting.  It's made using a variety of Island Batik fabrics.  The print issue of the magazine will be available April 30.  /

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Meet Baby Ben - Funky Friends Island Batik April Challenge


Meet Baby Ben!  Our Island Batik Ambassador Challenge for April was to make one of the great Funky Friends stuffed animals.  We were able to choose which project to make and I picked Ben the Beginner Bear.

I've made several different Funky Friends animals and they are great.  This time I thought I would make one with a twist - I made it smaller!  I'd seen on their website how you could easily reduce the pattern size to make the animal smaller, so I gave it a try.

My Baby Ben was reduced by 40%.  Making the bear so small, I was able to use a couple 5" strips from Island Batik Stash Buster Rolls.  The pieces were so small, it didn't take much fabric!

One of the first things I noticed when reducing the pattern was that it also reduced the seam allowance!
I decided to sew with a 1/8" seam allowance.  That was a bit of a challenge, but the pieces went together well.

He's looking cute!  The nose goes on after it's stuffed.

Everything went really well.  The patterns give really good instructions and also include a video for extra help if you need it.  The Beginner Bear pattern says the sitting bear measures 12" tall.  My Baby Ben finished at about 7 1/2".  He's a cutie!

I wrote to Funky Friends to ask about the reduced seam allowance.  I really wouldn't want to sew 1/8" seams again.  She responded that after reducing the pattern you could add on a little to each seam, or most people just go ahead and sew a 1/4" seam.

So I decided to make another mini bear!  This time I decided to sew 1/4" seams.  I wasn't quite sure all the pieces would fit correctly.  I sewed all the seams at 1/4" except the darts in the face.  I was afraid that would really change the look of the face, so I sewed 1/8" darts.  The rest went together okay.

Here is Baby Ben and his little sister Betsy!

I only used two different fabrics for Betsy to see how that would look.  I could still get all the pattern pieces out of 2  five inch Stash Builder strips. I placed her arms a little different than the arms on Baby Ben.  Betsy finished at 7" tall, so she did come out a bit smaller.

I like to make small things, but Betsy was a bit of a challenge.  Taking a 1/4" seam made the pieces smaller and more challenging to sew.  Then at the very end, I put the arms on backward and had to redo that whole process - not fun!

Aurifil thread and Schmetz needles work well with the batik fabrics and made the sewing go well.

I really love being able to reduce the pattern, but I probably wouldn't reduce down to 40% again.  If you want to try a smaller Funky Friend, I'd recommend reducing 20 or 30% at least the first time.

Check out the other great patterns at Funky Friends Factory.

Many thanks to Island Batik, Funky Friends Factory, Schmetz Needles and Aurifil Thread for supplying products for this project thru the Island Batik programs.

Monday, March 18, 2024

It's All Up to You - Winter Lilies


Winter Lilies
37 1/2" x 37 1/2"

The March Island Batik Ambassador Challenge is called It's All Up to You.  This month we could create anything we desired with our wonderful selections of Island Batik fabric.

I have liked the pattern called Geese in the Lilies by Debbie Maddy of Tiori Designs for a long time.

I like how the blues gradate in color with the flying geese.  I received a 10 Stack package of Tantalizing Teals in my January Island Batik box and thought it would work really well with this pattern.

So----I ordered the pattern online.  After a couple weeks of delays and no pattern I finally decided I needed to work on a different design..  The pattern finally arrived - having traveled coast to coast and finally back to me.  Whew!  What a trip!  This was challenge one for me.

So I decided to go ahead with this pattern.  But - I wanted to make this a wall size quilt.  The pattern gives directions for three sizes which is really nice.  The sizes are Queen, Twin and Lap.  No wall size, so I had to reduce the pattern sizes.  This was challenge two for me.

Next I had to decide which teals to use from my stack.  The teals are beautiful but come in a range of sort of blue teals and green tint teals.  I picked 5 of the blue/teals to work with.  This was challenge 3.

Next I had to decide the lily colors.  I loved the blue and yellows used in the  pattern, but yellow just didn't work with the teals I picked out.  After trying several different colors I finally decided on a light peach.  I didn't like the peach with blues on either side like in the pattern, so I auditioned more fabrics and finally picked a darker peach/orange for the inner petals on the lily.  Now what to use for the center of the lily.  More pulling fabric and auditioning colors. I finally picked an even darker peach/orange fabric that had little blue dots.  Whew- that was a lot of thinking and experimenting.  Challenge 4 and 5!

By now I was not excited about this quilt and all the time it had taken.  Not fun to work on a project you aren't in love with, but I plugged along.  Not any photos at this point due to frustration and so many fabric pulls.

I made the flying geese with paper piecing and I added the peach colors in the outside rows like in the pattern and I liked that.

When I got to making the lilies I just didn't like using the blue teals for the petals under the lilies.  It was too light and looked washed out.  More auditioning and looking at all the teals in my stack package.  I finally picked out a greenish teal for the petal leaves and a very dark green/teal for the stem and stamens.  Another challenge!  Am I up to 6 challenges now?

The stems and stamens were fusible applique.

I used a solid white Island Batik for the background so the colors would pop, and added buttons to the flowers instead of appliqueing so many circles.  I like how the buttons add a shine to the lilies.

I used Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Bleached Cotton batting which added a nice low loft.

An assortment of Aurifil Thread matched really well to the fabrics and Schmetz needles made sewing a breeze.

Before I was finished I decided I needed to change out the center square.  I think this was challenge 7!
I wanted to add yet another green/teal to tie in with the colors in the lilies, so I added another green/teal to the center of the center square.

Here is the quilt again.  The teals in the flying geese remind me of ice and winter, so I call this quilt Winter Lilies and I now like it after all the challenges!

Many thanks to Island Batik, Hobbs Batting, Schmetz needles and Aurifil thread for supplying products to use for this project thru the Island Batik Ambassador Program.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024



My quilt called Squared is the cover quilt for the April/May, June/July Fons and Port Quick and Easy Quilts magazine.  This quilt is made using a strip pack of Island Batik Chickadee fabrics and solid white Island Batik fabric.  

I love the Chickadee fabric collection.  It is a lovely selection of bright and cheerful colors.  Using a precut package of 2 1/2" strips makes this quilt easy to make.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Hobbs Batting

 Hobbs Batting is one of the sponsors for the Island Batik Ambassador program.  They just sent all the Ambassadors a huge box of battings to use in our Ambassador Challenges thru the year.

Polyester, Wool, Cotton and 80/20 Bleached Cotton.  Wonderful!

They also sent a handy fold out brochure that has small samples and details of all 17 kinds of batting that Hobbs makes.  Pretty amazing all the different kinds they make.  This brochure will be very helpful.

Thanks Hobbs Batting!

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Log Cabin Blog Hop Quilts & drawing winner

I hope you've been enjoying all the Log Cabin Blog Hop posts.  Here is a quick look at all the fabric collections and quilts for this first blog hop of the year. Be sure and enter today for a chance to win one of the last fat quarter bundles from Island Batik - don't forget to enter here.

Week 1

Dashing Doors by Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts + BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Aprajita by Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts + BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Quilt by Sarah Pitcher, Pitcher’s Boutique LLC

Mardi Gras by Megan Best, Bestquilter + BONUS PATTERN GIVEAWAY!

Box Office by Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts + BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Brenda Alburl, Songbird Designs

Fairy Cabin by Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood + BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Quilt by Suzy Webster, Websterquilt

Quilt by Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights

Week 2

Quilt by Carol Stanek, Stitch with Color + BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Quilt by Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail + BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Quilt by Brittany Fisher, Bobbin with Brittany

Quilt by Renee Atkinson, Pink Tulip Quilting + BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Hearts Galore by Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting + BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Quilt by Victoria Johnson, Forever Quilting for You

Brilliant Butterfly by Susan Deshensky, Lady Blue Quilt Studio + BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Mirage by Connie Kresin Campbell, Freemotion by the River

Week 3

Quilt by Lana Russel, Lana Quilts

Quilt by Julia Schweri, Inflorescence Designs + Giveaway

Quilt by Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations + Giveaway

Quilt by Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs + Giveaway

Quilt by Lisa Pickering, Lisa’s Quilting Passion

Quilt by Denise Looney, Quiltery + Giveaway

Quilt by Kim Jamieson-Hirst, Chatterbox Quilts

Week 4 - the last day of the hop is the Zen Funk Collection  

Mania Hatziioannidi   - 

Sandra Starley

That's all the quilts in our Log Cabin Blog Hop.  Hope you enjoyed them!

The winner from my blog for 2 Stash Builder rolls is Diane!  Congratulations!