Monday, July 8, 2019

Artsy Fartsy Challenge

Welcome to my project in the Island Batik July Artsy Fartsy challenge. All the fabric and threads used in this project were given to me as part of the Island Batik Ambassador program 2019.

Our task this month was:

Use any fabric art/non-traditional quilting/sewing/thread painting technique using 3 Aurifil thread weights.

During the last few months I have become more and more fascinated by all the Sashiko and Bori projects popping up around the Internet. So many beautiful art works created by hand!

A hand stitching project was a perfect one for me since I would be away on vacation most of the month. Bori projects are very interesting, but since they are more into mending a piece of clothing, I decided on Sashiko instead.

I decided that only three different Aurifil threads were way too few for me, so I used all 12 different spools in the picture above, with weights ranging from 12 to 80, in a rainbow of colors.

Back to the starting point of my project: I pieced together patches of Island Batik Foundations and other semi neutral batiks in an improvisational manner. Then I made a quilt sandwich with Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Bleached Cotton Batting and an Island Batik neutral as the backing.

After pin basting I quilted some decorative stitches with Aurifil 50wt around some of the patches to keep the quilt sandwich stable before the hand stitching/quilting was to start. I also added the binding to the piece before hand quilting started. This way my work-in-progress traveled well to my holiday location.

A little had quilting in the afternoon in the shade was a very relaxing project, sitting with this in my lap. I did not rush, mainly doing one patch at a time, not having a complete plan plotted out beforehand. The quilting just happened.

The first patch I stitched was this grey one, where I used the three spools of thread assigned to me for this project: a light blue 12wt, a pink 28wt and a dark purple 40wt. I had fun making Artsy Fartsy stitches with these threads, cross stitches, pluses, running stitches and colonial knots.

After finishing this one I knew that I had to add a lot more colors to my piece!

The center "blackboard" patch is stitched in pink 12wt and yellow 50wt. It could be interpreted as a big city skyline, or maybe a bar chart of oil prizes?

The uppermost left corner is quilted with yellow 50wt and pink 28wt, forming a waffle-like structure. The greyish patch is quilted with 28wt thread and the green on top with green 80wt.

The snowy blue in the right hand corner is quilted with 12wt alternating light blue and white.

 I made some stars in the grid of the blue patch using varying thread weights and colors. 

My stitches are far from perfect, but I really loved the process of this Sashiko project. The main thing is to have fun doing it, right? I also learned a lot, and next time I need to patch up a pair of jeans there may definitely be a Boro project coming up!

Here's my full and complete Sashiko project. It measures approximately 14" x 17", it is fully hand quilted. Binding is the green Check It Out with a couple of scraps added for interest. 

I love the structure the hand quilting gives. This is how the backside looks.

My first ever Sashiko project turned out to be a color explosion of Aurifil thread and Island Batik fabrics! Hand quilting really soothes my soul!

 If you would like my opinion on which Aurifil thread weight is the best for Sashiko quilting, the answer is 12wt!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Motorbikes and Cars Quilt

This summer I haven't yet had a lot of time to make quilts, since a big house maintenance project has occupied most of my hours. But, I have been able to do a little bit, like completing this charity quilt for the hospital.

The starting point was some leftover fabrics with car and motorcycle motifs used in this quilt from last year. I made a simple swirl block with Britten Nummer from Ikea as the background, and solid blue blocks in between to make it a boyish quilt.

I quilted a FMQ Dogwood pattern all over the quilt, with a light blue thread. Binding is the blue solid, and is attached by machine to be durable.

Finished size for this charity quilt is 39" x 47" after quilting. This is my fifth charity quilt for the year, and 34th all time for the children's ward at the hospital.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Try It! With Island Batik

June's challenge in the Island Batik Ambassador program was to try a technique that we hadn't done before.

Last year I got very inspired by a mini quilt by Twiggy and Opal , using both fabric weaving and a piping-like piece in the quilt.

There are always leftovers and scraps from making quilts, and I tend to keep all usable pieces. Here is the colorful bundle of  batik scraps from the Southern Blooms collection that I used in a quilt made last year. It is perfect for June's challenge.

Note:  All products in this post were given to me by Island Batik as part of their Ambassador program.

I cut batik strips 1/2" wide and fed them through the bias tape maker. The strips were pressed well for the weaving.

Strips of 1/4" width are then carefully weaved together, I made one warm and one cool palette .

I used interfacing to keep the woven pieces together before incorporating them into the quilt.

Then there was the piping-like part. With all the gorgeous scraps from the Southern Blooms collection I decided to make a rainbow-like gradation. One inch strips of colored batiks are pressed in half and sewn in between white batik strips.

I used Aurifil 50wt in white #2024 for the piecing.

Here are all the strips sewn together, and the fabric weave pieces ready with interfacing.

Then I cut the gradation strip set in two and arranged the pieces into a pleasing design. As you can see, pressing of the colored strips gives life to the quilt.

The top is finished and I want to stroke the beautiful colored strips all the time! The woven pieces are approximately 2 1/4" square. each.

The backside a gorgeous display of colors against the solid white batik!

I kept the quilting simple, machine quilted with Aurifil 50wt in white #2024, and as a final touch I hand quilted two stripes of Aurifil 12wt blue #2815 and green #2890 on the right hand side, and last but not least a cross stitch row in Aurifil 12wt pink #2479 on top.

Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Bleached Cotton Batting was used in the quilt sandwich.

The binding is a neutral batik called Sprinkles.

The quilting shows off best on the backside. Hanging pockets are made, and this quilt will definitely brighten up my sewing room! Then I can pet it every day!

The finished mini is 12 1/2" x 15 1/2".

Low sun rays makes a dramatic effect on the quilt.

This concludes my June challenge; I didn't only try one new technique to me, but actually two! Fabric weaving with tiny strips and incorporating piping-like piecing in a quilt is now a part of my experience, and I wouldn't be surprised if there will be more of this in the future, because this was fun!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

May's Charity Quilt

 Here's a small charity quilt I made from a charm pack I have had for a while. I added some solid squares to make a good sized quilt, and finally added a 5" frame around it. The resulting quilt is approximately 40" x 50", and it gives a summery feeling.

This is my fourth charity quilt for the year, and 33rd all time for the children's ward at the hospital.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Blue Pillows

I took a little break from quilting and made these two pillows for my son's couch. They will brighten up the dark grey fabric on the sofa, but still keep a masculine feel.

The pillow forms are 20", but the fabric is cut smaller to get "stuffy" pillows.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Make It Modern with Hobbs

The May challenge in the Island Batik Ambassador program was to create a modern quilt using any of the provided Hobbs batting. Here's my solution to the challenge.

Must incorporate one of the characteristics of modern quilts as defined by the Modern Quilt Guild (the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, Minimalism, expansive negative space, alternate grid work)

Note:  All products in this post were given to me by Island Batik as part of their Ambassador program.

When designing a quilt I always sit down with pencil and paper and make a sketch. Sometimes the the sketch is quickly discarded and I start looking for ideas from other designers, but not this time. This is completely my own design!

I decided to make a grid/lattice using grey and black solid batiks, with white solid as background. Batik foundations in cold colors fill in the squares.

My original idea was to use only grey in the vertical lattice, but that didn't give enough contrast, so I added a black stripe to make it more distinct.

I decided to bind the quilt with white solid, adding a light blue strip of Check it Out in the lower right corner for interest.

The quilt is 38" x 54", a good crib size, and fits perfectly in this playground! I like the way the lattice weaves its way on top of the colored squares.

Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Bleached Cotton Batting was used in the quilt sandwich. The quilt is pieced with Aurifil 50wt white #2024, and quilted with a variety of matching Aurifil 40wt and 50wt threads in an uneven organic grid.

All the previous pictures are somewhat cold, just like the colors of the quilt.
I needed a little more color in the last picture, the green leaves of the birches have not come out as far as they should according to the calendar, we still have frost nights. Maybe that's what I get when making a modern "winter quilt" in May?!