Monthly Archives: January 2019

Snow Day!

getaway blog hopThis is the time of year when folks here in north central Montana dream of getting away to warmer places, but not me…not today, anyway. Today I will wrap winter up in a cozy warm quilt made with Island Batik’s new “Icicle” collection, which should be arriving at your local quilt shop right about now.

icicle flatlayIsland Batik supplied me with a half-yard of each of the twenty pieces in this collection, and for the challenge, I had to use some of each of the fabrics. As it turned out,  I only used about half of each piece, so I have written the pattern calling for a “Stack”…a 42-piece collection of 10″ squares…which will give you more than enough 4.5” squares to make this quilt.

The blues and whites, pine trees, deer, and snowflakes, reminded me of Glacier National Park, so I called it “Many Glacier” after an area in the northeast portion of the park.

I built my “Many Glacier” quilt in nine sections:


The main block is a traditional block called “Rocky Mountains”. I enlarged the 12″ block to 16″ (finished sizes).  Sections 2 and 3 have an 8″ version of the Rocky Mountains block, with 4-patches and half-square triangles added.


Next, I constructed the upper left and upper right corner sections. These were made four squares wide, so they match the width of the center block. My goal was to wind up with just a few long seams running diagonally across the quilt. The purpose of the navy and light blue 4-patches is to spread the navy blue from the center block out a little bit. On paper, it seemed to make a “black hole” in the center of my quilt because it’s so much darker than the other blues. It  held my attention too long, so I needed a “squirrel” element to draw my eye out to the blue fields.


The next step was to fill in that center triangle at the top. I had the whole collection of 20-plus fabrics to work with in this quilt, but because I had used the darkest blues in the blocks and “ribbon”, I only wanted to use the lighter blues and just a few of the white prints in the field. I had maybe a dozen fabrics to work with, then, and it was a real challenge to keep the individual prints from winding up side-by-side at some point.


Once the top sections were complete, I started on the lower sections. First the sides, and then that big center triangle. You can see now where the sections can be sewn into three diagonal units, and the units sewn together to complete the quilt top.


I wasn’t planning to originally, but I did wind up adding a 2″ (finished) border all around, because I was sending the top out to be machine quilted, and I was not certain I had remembered to back-stitch all of the seams on the outer edge. I do like how the border allows the “glaciers” to float on the background.

manyglaciertitleMany Glacier is my final quilt for the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors program, and it just may be my favorite. In addition to the fabulous (and generous) “Icicle” collection of fabrics provided by Island Batik, this quilt was sewn with 50wt 100% cotton thread provided by Aurifil, and is quilted with Hobbs’ Heirloom® white cotton batting, also supplied by the company.

It’s been my honor to serve as a 2018 Island Batik Ambassador, and I am thrilled to announce that they’re keeping me on for the 2019 program!

Ambassador Terri Vanden Bosch also had the Icicle collection. Visit her blog, Meanderings along Lizard Creek, to see what she did with it.

Click HERE to return to the Island Batik blog to make sure you haven’t missed an exciting stop on our “Getaway” blog hop. And remember to sign up for the prize drawing…two of you will win a stack of Island Batik fat quarters!




Categories: Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Scrap Quilts, Uncategorized | 39 Comments

Seams Like…The Best of 2018

I should have guessed that a year that began on a Monday, at -32°f, to boot, would go sideways on me, and boy howdy, did it ever. Still, I managed to produce a few more blog posts than I did in 2017…which isn’t saying much, to be honest. But this is already my second post for 2019, so things are looking up!

best of 2018 linky partyOnce again, I am taking part in the “Best of the Year” link party, sponsored by Meadow Mist Designs. Seriously, you’ll want to check out what the other bloggers have been up to!

So, when I looked back over the “Seams Like a Plan” blog posts for 2018, it was fairly easy to pick my five favorites. Four of them deal with projects I produced for the Island Batiks Ambassadors program. Imagine this…twice a year a big (about 20 pounds!) box filled with Island Batiks fabrics, Aurifil thread and Hobbs battings arrives on your porch, and all they ask is that you make stuff with it! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

  1. A Wee Little Quilt – In February, the Ambassadors challenge was to make a miniature quilt. It’s not something I do very often, but it is a lot of fun now and again.
  2. Am I There Yet? – In March we were asked to try a new-to-me technique. I thought an improvisational quilt would be simple. I was wrong…but in a good way.
  3. Highland 9-Patch – I took another stab at improvisation in this post, and wound up with a modern-style quilt I refer to as my “splendid failure.”
  4. Safari Sampler – In August, I had a complete line of Island Batik’s Safari collection, and was challenged to use as many of the fabrics in the line as possible. I produced a sampler, and managed to use all of the fabrics. (This post has a free pattern you can download.
  5. Controlling the Chaos – My friend Vina was having trouble making a “random” quilt block, so I simplified it for her, and added the pattern to my “Thrifty Quilter” scrap block collection.

So those are my favorite blog posts for 2018. Feel free to mosey through the archives and read the rest as well.

As for me, it’s on to 2019, and I have a few quilty things on my calendar already. I have a few patterns that will be published in various magazines this year, and am going home in a minute to put the finishing touches on another proposal. I have one more quilt to make for Island Batik, and am waiting to hear if I get to continue with the Ambassadors program for another year. And, I have a couple of ideas simmering for the Moda Bake Shop blog.

That and a full-time job should keep me busy.

In Stitches,


PS: Remember, if you click the “Follow” button on this blog post, you’ll get an email each time I publish a new post.


Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A Wonky Finish to 2018

47573370_2462874177088561_8211325820333981696_nOur final Island Batik Ambassadors challenge for the 2018 calendar year was to make a project that is whimsical and/or wonky. Well, it’s been that kind of year, so wonky it is. 2040_LG_1489020424That and the fact that I have this Wonky Log Cabin tool from Quilt in a Day that I have been dying to play with! There are three patterns available, and I chose to try the one that comes with the ruler. It’s the closest to a traditional Log Cabin block.

Before I continue, a word from our sponsors: All fabrics used in this quilt top are supplied by Island Batik, the thread is a 40wt 100% cotton from Aurifil, and while the top hasn’t been quilted yet, I will use a Hobbs Heirloom batting.

28685323_1976685445707439_8475221276858777600_nThe Wonky Log Cabin pattern calls for 2.5″ strips of fabric to build the blocks.  I had quite a few strips from the Vintage Morris collection left over from my Moonflower Cottage quilt, and some smaller scraps from the Northern Woods collection that I used for Guiding Star, but not nearly enough to make the twenty blocks I would need for this project, so I picked up a strip pack from Island Batik’s “Pumpkin Patch” line at my local quilt shop. The background fabric is an off-white from Northern Woods, and the border fabric is from the Pumpkin Patch collection.

Making the blocks is a simple matter, really. You begin with a 2.5″ square and add a 2.5″ border around it.


Begin with a 2.5″ square, surrouned by a 2.5″ border. Center the square on the Wonky Log Cabin tool on the center square.


Trim the right and left edges, using the #1 slots.


Rotate the block 90° and light up the cut edges with the blue lines on the tool, centering the square on the ruler on the center square of the block.


Again, use the #1 slots to trim the right and left sides.

This gives you a square block, with the center square tilted to the right. (You may have noticed that some of the numbers appear backwards in the photo. The slots are numbered on the front and back, so you can use the tool right-side up or back-side up depending on which way you want your blocks to tilt.)


Now you add another round of 2.5″ strips, and repeat the trimming sequence, using the #2 slots.


There will always only be one edge that has two seams.

When you’re building this particular variation of the Log Cabin block, it’s easy to accidentally add your strip to the wrong edge. One rule I found is that  you want to always sew with the seams on top, and be sure you’re sewing across two seams each time you add a strip. There will always be only one edge that has two seams.

You will add a total of four rounds of strips to each block. After the final trimming, you will have a perfect 12.5″ Wonky Log Cabin block. The pattern includes instructions for several quilt sizes. I chose to make a lap quilt with 20 blocks, surrounded by a 6.5″ (6″ finished) border, using the traditional “Straight Furrows” setting.

Pumpkin Patch Title

My quilt finishes at 60″ x 72″.

Many of my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors went even wonkier and more whimsical than I did. You’ll enjoy checking out their blogs:

The “last hurrah” for the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors is just beginning. You’ll have to wait for the last day to see what I did with my assigned Island Batik collection. If you check the Island Batik Facebook page, you’ll find the full “Getaway” Blog Hop Schedule.
Categories: Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Quilts, Tools, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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