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!