Sunday, April 28, 2024

Missouri Star Quilt Company

I'm pleased to announce that I am now an affiliate with the Missouri Star Quilt Company!

Are you familiar with the Missouri Star Quilt Company?  To quote from their site "they have thousands of free quilt tutorials, endless project inspiration, the best quilting supplies, the best prices and 5 star quilting services.  Missouri Star has everything you need to quilt with confidence."

They have a fantastic online shop that carries MANY quilting supplies - including many that I use regularly in my blog posts.  Loads of fabrics and lots of Island Batik of course!

If you want to order from them, please use my affiliatecode   to get 20% discount on purchases of  $50 or more!

You will have a nice savings on things you purchase and I will also receive a small commission.


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.