Monday, December 24, 2018

Whimsical and Wonky with Island Batik

Welcome to the reveal of my Island Batik project for December, her name is Sister Square. Here she is in a very appropriate setting, outside a barn in my neighborhood.

Sorry about the poor natural light, but the outside pictures were taken at the darkest day of the year when we have least amount of daylight, just a couple of hours.

All the fabrics, thread and batting for this project were generously provided by Island Batik and their industry sponsors Aurifil and Hobbs.

The theme for the December Ambassador project was Whimsical and Wonky, and I knew right from the start what I was going to make. The inspiration was this Square Cow that I made in 2014, a little mug rug of 7"x 8" for a blog hop. She has now gotten a BIG SISTER!

The starting point for my project was a pattern from a book by Mary Lou Weidman and Melanie Bautista McFarland: Out Of The Box With Easy Blocks.

I gathered leftover fabrics from several earlier Island Batik projects in addition to the gorgeous new Check It Out batik that I received in three different colors of in the Ambassador box in July.

The made fabric for the body of the big sister is an improvisation with Check It Out in dark blue and Paisley Dot Brights in matching colors. I kept straight straight angles in the piecing to stay in line with the squares of the Check It Out fabric, and she IS a square cow, right!

The background is a neutral batik called Milk Shake. It is a difficult fabric to take pictures of, it looks completely solid here, but it really has lots of structure. I used a green batik from Southern Blooms for the grass, and Batik Foundations  and various leftovers for the rest of the cow. All the piecing was done with white Aurifil thread.

I used Hobbs Tuscany Cotton Wool Blend batting in the quilt sandwich, and that was a dream to quilt with. For the quilting I used several different Aurifil threads to match the fabric, actually more colors than showed in the picture above.

The main photo shoot had to be taken around the neighborhood farm, which creates perfect surroundings for a domestic animal like a square cow, right?!

In the winter season tractors are used to clear off snow, but Big Sister is still willing to pose next to it.

Big Sister, or her name is actually Sister Square, is relaxing in the snow. You can see the texture of the quilting better if you enlarge the picture.

Here Sister Square is posing on my living room floor. The real colors are better reproduced in the indoor pictures in winter time, the snow background "steals" the depth of the colors.

She finished at approximately 43" x 46" after quilting.

I had a ball quilting this piece, starting with micro stippling her name, Sister Square, in the negative space. Then I did a lot of free motion quilting, of boxes in her body, swirls in her head, and continued with walking foot quilting on her ears and legs.

The background is further quilted with leaves and swirls, pebbles, and a meander in the border. All the quilting is done by myself, and it was a great exercise!

The binding is the green Check It Out batik, it looks fabulous!

Look at the eyes with the gorgeous eyelashes!

Sister Square was also fed properly, the hay is made of Batik Foundations run through bias tape maker.

The wind wanted to show off  the backing of the quilt, too. Sister Square had a great time in the photo shoot, she felt at home!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


The December project for the Island Batik Ambassadors are 'Whimsical and Wonky', and we can make it any size. The inspiration for my quilt is the quilt  'HST Cow All Squared Up' that I made for a blog hop with Mdm Samm in 2014.

The mini quilt above is blogged in this post here .

Here's a sneak peek of the progress of her BIG sister. All in Island Batik fabrics; Check It Out, Paisley Dot, Southern Blooms, and Batik Foundations.

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Batik Pincushion

Due to a much needed house maintenance I have been without access to my sewing machine for a couple of weeks. I have been itching to CREATE! Finally, yesterday I was able to make this cute, little pincushion from a tutorial by PolkaDotChair. My embroidery scissors fits perfectly in the pocket.

 The pincushion is is made from scraps of Island Batik stash builder rolls.

 The color scheme is perfect for the season, and the fussy cut center of the churn dash block is the icing on the cake.

I used a green leafy batik for the back of the pincushion.

Keep on creating!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Log Cabin Challenge

Here is my November project for the Island Batik Ambassador program, it is my own design and I call it Logs With A Twist.

The November challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors were Cozy Cabins, where we should incorporate a log cabin block or log cabin variations in our project, 36"x36" or larger.

I used the 2.5" strip set of Vintage Morris that was provided in the Ambassador package from Island Batik, along with matching yardage. In addition I used solids in black, white and grey.

The quilt blocks were pieced with Aurifil 50wt in white 2024, in a traditional log cabin design. The inner squares were cut 5" and 2.5", respectively . I did all my quilt math in the old fashioned way, on paper, as shown above.

I made the log cabin blocks in two different sizes, 16" and 8" finished. The bigger blocks are made with the full width of strips, and the smaller blocks with 1.25" strips.

Vintage Morris blends in with the surroundings perfectly. The fall colors of the collection are beautiful, but personally they would not be my first choice for a quilt. But it is nice to work outside my comfort zone once in a while.

I like how the copper color of the outer part of the big blocks twist its way around the quilt, while the inner smaller blocks are calming down the design.

When assembling the quilt sandwich I used Britten Nummer from Ikea as my backing fabric, and Warm&White cotton batting. Before quilting my quilt top measured 48" x 64".

Here is the finished quilt hanging on my porch wall, with the next to naked birch trees in the background.

 I did extended search to decide on the quilting design, and finally settled on a leaf and swirl combination, inspired by Angela Walters' YouTube videos.

I did the quilting on my domestic sewing machine with 50 wt thread in Silver from Connecting Threads.

The binding is made of leftover strips cut down to 2.25" width. The scrappy binding adds extra life to the quilt.

Thanks to Island Batik and Aurifil for providing fabric and thread for this project. 


Monday, October 22, 2018

Modern Curves

My latest quilt finish is this baby quilt that is inspired by the quilt Modern Curves by Daisy Aschehoug of @warmfolk .

This quilt was very fast and fun to make, and is a great scraps/stash buster.

I took the quilt out for a photo shoot in the late October afternoon sun. The backing is a fun strawberry print.

Loads of interesting display opportunities in the forest. Nice texture after quilting.

This is my ninth charity quilt for the year, and number 29 all time for the children's ward at the hospital.

Happy quilting!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Needle, Paper, Scissors Challenge

October's challenge was to complete a paper pieced project, foundation or English, that was up to us. The project could be of any size.

I am very fond of foundation paper piecing in spite of all the "waste" of fabric and removing paper from the back when the project is finished. I have done quite a lot of FPP, but never as small and detailed as this. The above picture shows all the pattern parts for the project I chose; the Bitty Eagle block, a pattern by Janeen van Niekerk of Quilt Art Designs.

Everything fits in one A4 sheet of paper. The finished block is 5" square.

For the eagle I used solids in black, white and grey, and a couple of Batik Foundations. The strip set of Vintage Morris provided colors for the eyes and beak of the eagle.

Here is the resulting "portrait" of the Bald Eagle before the paper is removed. It is a bold and proud eagle; I managed to capture the perfect look in its face and eyes.

There were a lot of small pieces in this block, and it took quite a long time to make it look exactly how I wanted.

Since this is a fairly small block, I wanted to "frame" the eagle like it is hanging in a picture frame on the wall. First it got a frame of batik foundations - Bubbles Sahara all around.

I wanted to put the frame on a green wall of batik foundations Bubbles Sprout, and chose to add a shadow around the frame to enhance the eagle a little more.

I used Hobbs Thermore batting, and Aurifil thread for both piecing and quilting. The green background (or wall) is quilted with Aurifil 50 wt in 5016, and the frame with 5013 (see below). Aurifil 2370 was used in the bobbin.

I also wanted to add some thread painting to my piece, to spruce it up. Aurifil 40 wt in 2024, 2175 and 2600 was used for this. and This is the first time I have ever done thread painting. I think the eagle feather looks quite nice at the bottom of my piece.

The binding is Cherwell Copper Vintage, and it matches the fall leaves perfectly.

Here's a detailed picture of the feather, not bad for a first try of thread painting.

The finished size of my wallhanging is approx 12" x 15", and now I just have to find a place for it on my wall.

Thanks to Island Batik, Aurifil and Hobbs for providing fabric, thread and batting for this project.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Stash Buster Quilt

October is here, and the season has definitely changed to fall. We have had the first frost, but the last few days really want to hold on to warmer temperatures. What is better to show off the last quilt I made, there's a lot of fall colors here.

Actually, this is a quilt I started "backwards". I pieced the backing first, using a couple of Debbie Mumm prints I had in my stash to start with, and then adding other novelty prints to make a decent sized piece.

Then I cut a lot of 4.5" squares of mostly novelty prints. Some black/white four patches adds a little bit of life to the top, and two stripes of flannel print adds even more to the fall feeling.

For this charity quilt I chose to do simple crosshatch quilting in a brick color thread. The binding is made from a multi color orange striped cotton.

The quilt is fully reversible, and be used on any side depending on the mood of the day.

A lot of novelty prints was used for this quilt, and I am happy to clear away some scraps.

This is my eight charity quilt for the year, and number 28 all time for the children's ward at the hospital.

Happy quilting!