Friday, August 23, 2019

Star Light Star Bright Challenge with Island Batik

The August challenge in the Island Batik ambassador program (for half of the ambassadors, the others participate in the Beat the Heat blog hop) was to create a quilt using any star quilt block pattern. The only requirement was that the quilt had to be lap size or larger.

The first idea that popped into my head was to make BRIGHT stars, and I knew I had the right batiks for that in my stash. In last years first ambassador box I got a bundle of Southern Blooms that I used for two different challenges, in May 2018 and June 2019 . These are bright, rainbow colors with gorgeous butterflies in many of the prints.

I still had enough of these batiks for the center squares of the Friendship Stars. For the star petals I used Island Batik foundations and stash builder rolls. I used 20 different prints from Southern Blooms, and 20 different prints for the star petals. I love it when I can use fabrics from my stash to make new quilts, I hardly ever throw away leftover fabrics!

In addition I used solid white batik for the background and solid grey for the diamonds in between the stars. The design is based on a picture I saw at the Internet.

All the blocks were cut using my Accuquilt Go! fabric cutter, and that is a real time saver! The squares and HSTs are 4" finished.

The piecing and quilting is done with Aurifil 50wt #2024. Walking foot quilting makes up the main design, while I made a "string of pearls", or circles of different sizes in FMQ, in stripes crossing the quilt.

I used Hobbs Heirloom Cotton Batting with Scrim in the quilt sandwich

The finished quilt dimension is 48" x 60".

I used a fun print from Ikea for the backing. The binding is black solid batik.

The quilting is easily visible here where the quilt is hanging over the porch wall.

Today was a beautiful day for a photo shoot, and I brought the quilt with me to a nearby lake.

The sun shining through the quilt showing off the fun print on the back. The sun rays glittering in the lake creates a perfect setting!

The wind isn't always cooperating!

Ready for take-off! Is this the Flying Carpet?

A glorious late-summer day by the lake!

The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Frog Quilt for Charity

This is my latest charity quilt, from original idea to finished quilt the whole process took less than 12 hours.

It all started with a panel with six cute frogs. I cut the panel into 6" squares, added some green striped fabric and some yellow bubble fabric, and voila!, I had a center panel for the quilt.

An orange small plaid fabric became the inner border, and a cute cartoon frog fabric became the outer border.

I quilted it using my walking foot with a meandering cross hatch pattern with a corn silk colored thread. The binding is a fun orange/multi colored striped fabric. The binding is machine sewn on the quilt.

The whole quilt was finished less than 12 hours from the idea of the quilt emerged. The 39" x 50" quilt will be a good comfort to a sick child at the hospital.

Here's a detail of the fun frog print in the outer border. A whole lot of frogs are having fun bowling!

This is my seventh charity quilt for the year, and 36th all time for the children's ward at the hospital.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Meadowland Quilt

My Meadowland scrappy quilt top was completed during my vacation, but the quilting had to wait until I came home.

I had to admit it is not very scrappy, the blocks are big (16" finished) and I only used fabrics from my stash. The colors are bold and bright, the dark blue/navy background is perfect for a charity quilt to a young, adolescent boy, or girl for that part.

The quilting is a simple crosshatch pattern, I feel this is right for this modern quilt.

I found this perfect "quilt holder" in my walk in the forest. The uprooted tree looks like a monster or troll holding my quilt up.

The quilt measures 48" x 64" and is the perfect size for a charity quilt.

There are so my great photo locations in the forest/recreational area. I am very fortunate that it is only a 10 minute walk from my house.

The quilt is backed with a print from Ikea, and the binding is the navy fabric.

This is my sixth charity quilt for the year, and 35th all time for the children's ward at the hospital.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Island Batik Unboxing Summer 2019

All the items described in this blog post were given to me by Island Batik as a part of their Ambassador Program. 

Here's an overview of what arrived in my second Ambassador box from Island Batik this summer. 

The box arrived at my house more than two weeks ago, but I was away on vacation and couldn't open it until today.

This is what I found when the contents were revealed. Details of each item follows below.

Firstly a Spring 2019 Collection precut of 10" squares from Island Batik, the collection is called Kaleidoscope. I was also given two 2 yard cuts of a yellow and a purple from this collection.

This will make a vibrant rainbow quilt!

This Batik Foundations bundle  coordinates with the spring precuts I received, and contains eight half yard cuts, 4 basics & 4 blenders.

The Summer 2019 precut is Sand Bar, 40 pieces of 2 1/2" strips, in addition to two 2 yard cuts of a light and dark from this collection. I love the toned-down colors!

The Batik Foundations bundle that coordinates with the Sand Bar collection contains gorgeous colors and designs!

The last precut bundle is Blue Sea, an amazing collection of blues, purples and turquoise quarter yard cuts. This is a real treasure chest, and ideas are already spinning around on what to create from this beauty.

Each Island Batik Ambassador were also given a generous 4 yard cut of a neutral fabric. I received Almond, tiny dots of grey, purple, green and blue coming together in subtle swirls. A great background fabric.

The Ambassadors also received three 4 yard cuts of batik solids in black, grey and white. These batiks are great to use as backgrounds and contrast in quilts, and are wonderful to work with.

Later this year Island Batik is adding several new solids to their collection, go check it out on their website: Island Batik

Aurifil gave me these large spools of 50wt thread, #2905 Army Green will coordinate very well with the summer collection, while #2545 Medium Purple is going to look fabulous together with the spring precuts.

Hobbs Batting provided a queen-size cotton batting and two throw-sized battings, one cotton-wool blend and the other 100% wool. All the battings are wonderful to quilt with.

Last, but not least, AccuQuilt included a fabric cutting die in the Ambassador box. This will be used in the September challenge, I'm looking forward to that one!

Thanks to Island Batik and their industry partners for letting play and create beautiful quilts for the rest of 2019!

Island Batik Ambassador

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Scrappy Meadowland Quilt Top

This quilt is inspired by the Meadowland Quilt designed by Then Came June. I started making one test block of 16" back home before I went on vacation. I packed all these bright and beautiful fabrics in my suitcase and hoped I would have time to work on this in between the good food, hot weather and all the sightseeing. Most of the sewing took place when the rest of the crowd was sleeping in the hottest time of the day, and one block here and another one there add up to a whole quilt top in no time flat (almost)!

My scrappy palette is bold and bright, and I am especially pleased with the chartreuse against the blue. The navy was a very good choice for the background.

The top will travel home with me to get quilted, I have already chosen the quilting design, that will be revealed later.

I have to show these super cute photo bombers as the last picture. They are half wild kittens, but we have mutual respect for each other. A daily breakfast is served to them, and they stick around and are nice to talk to.

I'm having a great summer, and I hope you are, too!

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!