Island Batik Ambassador

The 4 Sisters

Vintage ReimaginedThe March challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was “Vintage Reimagined.” We were asked to design a project inspired by a vintage quilt.

AdamsonThe quilt I chose as inspiration is a top pieced decades ago by Tilda Adamson, the grandmother of my friend Art Adamson.

This Depression-era quilt features the Churn Dash or Monkey Wrench block, and has several interesting elements going for it. I like the way the on-point rows are staggered, and I find those blocks with the green background that fades into the green sashing very intriguing. But what really caught my attention, and served as my design inspiration, was that one pink-on-brown block on the right edge of the quilt (and in the inset).

The way the pink churn dash is pushed off to the corner of the block reminded me of a story I heard in the late 1980s, when I helped a local museum with an oral history project leading up to the Montana statehood centennial.

Fabric StackFor my project, I used the Island Batik “Twilight Chic” collection. I had a stack of 40 10″ squares, plus 2 yards each of a dark blue and wheat-gold coordinate, all supplied by Island Batik.

The story I had heard was that of four sisters who homesteaded about 25 miles from where I live, in north central Montana.

To deter speculators, the government required each homesteader to build a house on their land, and they could not be away from their property for more than a couple of weeks at a stretch.

The homesteaders’ dream became a nightmare for many, as they dealt with harsh winters, droughts, prairie fires, and a host of other dangers.

For the sake of companionship and safety, the four sisters built their cabins in the corners of their homesteads, where their property met. Thus, they could all stay together at night, moving from cabin to cabin every few days, so none of them was absent from her property for more than the allowed time.

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The fabrics used in my 4-Sisters quilt were supplied by Island Batik. I used Heirloom­­ batting supplied by Hobbs, and Aurifil threads for piecing and quilting.

To see what my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors have come up with this month, check their blogs:

2019 Island Batik Ambassadors

Carolina Asmussen ~Carolina Asmussen

Gene Black ~ Gene Black

Pamela Boatright ~ Pamela Quilts

Connie K Campbell ~ Freemotion by the River

Anja Clyke ~ Anja Quilts

Tina Dillard ~ Quilting Affection Designs

Becca Fenstermaker ~Pretty Piney

Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter

Barbara Gaddy ~ Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

Dione Gardner-Stephen ~ Clever Chameleon

Sarah Goer ~ Sarah Goer Quilts

Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts

Lori Haase ~ Dakota City Quilter II

Joanne Hart ~

Mania (Magdalini) Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for Quilts

Carla Henton ~ Create in the Sticks

Stephanie Jacobson ~ Steph Jacobson Designs

Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs

Joan Kawano ~ Moosestash Quilting

Kim Lapacek ~ Persimon Dreams

Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood

Leanne Parsons ~ Devoted Quilter

Bea Lee ~ BeaQuilter

Toby Lischko ~ Gateway Quilts & Stuff

Bill Locke ~

Denise Looney ~ For the Love of Geese

Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights

Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke

Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack’s Blog

Kathleen McCormick ~ Kathleen McMusing

Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs

Karen Neary ~ Sew Karen-ly Created

Lisa Nielsen ~ Lisa Lisa and the Quilt Jam

Jackie O’Brien ~ If These Threads Could Talk

Laura Piland ~ Slice of Pi Quilts

Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde

Vicki Schlimmer ~ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting

Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail

Sherry Shish ~ Powered by Quilting

Anita Skjellanger , Quilt in a not-Shell

Laticia “Tish” Stemple ~ Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland

Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter

Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations

Terri Vanden Bosch ~ Lizard Creek Quilts

Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts

Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts

Suzy Webster ~ Adventerous Applique and Quilting

Anne Wiens ~ Sweetgrass Creative Designs

Geraldine Wilkins ~ Living Water Quilter

Janet Yamamoto ~

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Categories: 10" Squares, 12" TQ Blocks, AccuQuilt, Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Quilts, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

A Quick Trip Down Memory Lane

Dust off a quilt book blog hopSeveral years ago, an online quilters group I belong to got into a discussion about other activities we enjoy. Cooking, travel, writing and photography were mentioned quite often, but it turned out nearly all of us had two things in common – we have pets (mostly cats and/or dogs), and we are avid readers.  Most of us also had a sizable library of quilting books.

My own collection began with one of the few quilting books available when I made my first quilt in 1973, Ruby McKim’s 101 Patchwork Quilt Patterns. Rotary cutters hadn’t been invented yet, so every one of the 1755 (but who’s counting) 2.5″ squares in my 9-Patch quilt was traced with a pencil around a cardboard template and cut with scissors. Of course, the template’s edges got a bit “softer” with each tracing, so perfectly matching seams were a dream, not a realistic goal. It wouldn’t have won any prizes, but it kept me warm, and that was the point, and I was hooked.

Pellman - World of Amish Quilts

Soon after I began quilting, I discovered Amish quilts, and bought a couple of books about the quilts made in Pennsylvania. I’ve always loved bold graphic designs, and my father’s family is Mennonite, so it was probably a natural attraction.

One thing that struck me was that – contrary to the “rule” that Amish quilts must be mostly black or  dark and “cool” colors – most of the quilts in this book have very little black. And bright? There were some of the most over-the-top color combinations I had ever seen. I loved it! Colors that weren’t acceptable for clothing could be used in quilts.

Magnificent MinisHere, my “Dust off a Quilt Book” blog hop post segues into my “Magnificent Mini” challenge blog post for Island Batik fabric, Aurifil threads and Hobbs batting. They supplied the materials for this project.

I chose to make a miniature version of the Amish classic “Trip Around the World.”

IMG_2889I had quite a bit of fabric left over from my 2018 “stash” of Island Batik Fabrics, including this stack of 10″ squares from the Lavendula collection. I chose a navy blue from the “foundations” collection to go with it. I decided my center would be 9″ x 9″ (finished size), and the individual squares would be 1″ finished. My borders would finish 3″ wide.

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I needed five colors for the center of my quilt, so I chose five of the more “solid” color squares, and cut four 1.5″ x 10″ strips from each square.

 

 

Next, I had to make five strip sets, each with four strips, and rotating the colors properly. To help keep things in order, I cut a square from each of the scraps and numbered them. I laid out the squares in order for each stripset.

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Then I cut four 1.5″ segments from each stripset.

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I decided I wanted my largest diamond to be the lavender, so I set two of those strips aside, and began building two halves, working from the center strip out, adding matching strip to each side as I went.

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This rotation meant the center square would be white, so I cut a 1.5″ x 1.5″ square, and sewed it to the turquoise ends of the two remaining strip. This became the middle row of my centerpiece.

Now for the borders:

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I chose two matching purple and blue mottled squares for the border, and cut two 3.5″ x 9.5″ strips from each square. If I recall, I had a half yard of the navy blue. I cut two 2.25″ x 44″ strips for the binding, four 3.5″ squares for the corners and pieced a 16″ x 16″ square from the remainder for the backing.

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With the borders in place, it was time to layer this mini up with a bit of Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 batting and figure out how to quilt it.

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My collection of Aurifil threads is still pretty limited…but growing. These were my best choices for this project. I decided the white would be too stark, while the icy blue would show up, but not overpower the fabric.

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First, I decided to emphasize the squares in the center by quilting concentric squares. I used the inside edge of the toe of my 1/4″ foot to space my quilting lines about 1/8″ from my seam lines.

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I came up with this simple little Celtic style detail to dress up the corners just a bit.

Add a binding, and a title “Across the Pond”, and this little quilt celebrates the journey of two of my Quaker ancestors, Thomas Stackhouse and Grace Heaton, who arrived in Philadelphia aboard  The Lamb. In 2001, I got to spend a day in the towns of Settle and Giggleswick, Yorkshire, UK. It felt like a homecoming of sorts, to walk on  streets that they may have known centuries ago.

Across the Pond - Title

Thanks to Bea for thinking up and hosting the “Dust Off a Quilt Book” Blog Hop! I can’t wait to see what the other bloggers have found on their bookshelves. Many of them, like Bea and I, are also Island Batik Ambassadors!

Monday Feb 18th
Pamela at Pamelaquilts
Selina at Selinaquilts
Kathleen at Kathleenmcmusing
Tuesday Feb 19th
Jennifer at curlicuecreations
Kathy at Kathysquilts
 
Wednesday Feb 20th
Suzy at Websterquilt
Brenda at songbirddesigns
Denise at craftraditions
 
Thursday Feb 21st
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Jennifer at Dizzyquilter
Lee Anne at Podunk Pretties
Lyndsey at Sew Many Yarns
 
Friday Feb 22nd
Bea at Beaquilter
Barbara at Bejweledquilts
Marian at seams to be sew

 

Categories: 10" Squares, Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Miniatures, Uncategorized | 31 Comments

Here We Go Again!

2019 IB Round-Ambassador-GraphicMy first year as an Ambassador for Island Batik fabrics wrapped last Friday with the posting of my “Many Glacier” quilt, made for the “Icicle” collection, which should be in your local quilt shop about now. When I signed up for the program, I had no idea what to expect, but wave the promise of two shipments of Island Batik fabrics, and a selection of Hobbs battings, and spools and spools of Aurifil threads at me, and I’m IN! What’s more, I’m staying in for 2019. Color me HAPPY.

There are more than 4 dozen Ambassadors this year, and our 2019 “tour of duty” began a couple of weeks ago, when we each received TWO big boxes via FedEx.

The first box, I had expected. It was 24lbs of wonderful fabrics and supplies from Island Batik, Hobbs and Aurifil:

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A variety of Aurifil threads

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These packages contain a brand new collection of Island Batik Fabrics that will be introduced that will be introduced to shop owners at Quilt Market this spring.

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This is a beautiful Rayon batik scarf!

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Island Batik’s popular Batik Sold – 3 yards each of white, gray and black.

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5 yards of a lovely pastel pink neutral. This is from Island Batik’s Basic collection.

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This will be my biggest challenge. It’s 2 yards of a tiger stripe rayon batik. Ideas welcome!

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A Stack (42 10″ squares) of Twilight Chic, plus two coordinates. Watch for this collection in my March project.

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Hobbs Thermore batting. It’s a super-thin bonded and fusible batting made for use in quilted clothing. It works nicely in table runners and placemats, too.

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I’m a scrap quilter, so I L-O-V-E these. Island Batik calls them Stash Builders. each package has twenty 5″ x 22″ strips.

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More Hobbs batting. This one is Tuscany – a silk blend. 60″ x 60″.

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Hobbs Heirloom Premium Cotton Batting – Crib Size

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Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Black Batting – Queen Size

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Hobbs Heirloom Natural Cotton Batting – Queen Size

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8 cuts from Island Batik’s “Blenders” collection. We can use these in any project.

Between you and me, this would have made me perfectly happy for the better part of the year. But wait…I said there were TWO boxes. I can’t tell you how excited the 2019 Ambassadors were to learn that we have a new sponsor – AccuQuilt.

Yes, they did

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AccuQuilt sent each of us a Ready. Set. GO! die cutting system! (Photo: AccuQuilt)

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The 8″ Qube die set includes eight dies that cut shapes you can mix and match to make dozens of 8″ blocks. There are also Qube sets available for 6″, 9″, 10″ and 12″ blocks. (Photo: AccuQuilt)

I’ll admit, a did a little schoolgirl hopping and squealing. I’ve been a fan of AccuQuilt from the beginning. In fact, I used the first royalty check from my book, The Thrifty Quilter: Make (Nearly) Free Quilts from Leftover Fabric (2010 Quiltwoman.com) to buy my first AccuQuilt GO!.

50568I didn’t even know about AccuQuilt when I wrote the book, which describes my simple system for cutting up the scraps (anything smaller than a quarter-yard) from my quilting projects into custom pre-cuts, and 80 blocks that can be made in two sizes each from those pre-cuts.

As it happened, my publisher heard about AccuQuilt as we were going to press, so she contacted the company, and it turned out they have dies that match the six shapes in my system. So, they added a “GO! Compatible” label to the cover, and have offered it on their website ever since.

We have one AccuQuilt-themed challenge on our schedule for this year, but I can promise you’ll see a lot more GO!-compatible projects.

Dust off a quilt book blog hopMy fellow Ambassadors are opening their boxes now, too. Visit their blogs to see the goodies they got. We’ll be posting our first projects for 2019 soon, too. Our theme is “Magnificent Mini Quilts”. Mine will be up on February 18, the first day of the Dust Off an Old Book Blog Hop, being organized by one of the Island Batik Ambassadors. Mine is one of the first quilt books I ever bought. I think you’ll enjoy it.

 

2019 Island Batik Ambassadors

Carolina Asmussen ~Carolina Asmussen

Gene Black ~ Gene Black

Pamela Boatright ~ Pamela Quilts

Connie K Campbell ~ Freemotion by the River

Anja Clyke ~ Anja Quilts

Tina Dillard ~ Quilting Affection Designs

Becca Fenstermaker ~Pretty Piney

Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter

Barbara Gaddy ~ Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

Dione Gardner-Stephen ~ Clever Chameleon

Sarah Goer ~ Sarah Goer Quilts

Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts

Lori Haase ~ Dakota City Quilter II

Joanne Hart ~

Mania (Magdalini) Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for Quilts

Carla Henton ~ Create in the Sticks

Stephanie Jacobson ~ Steph Jacobson Designs

Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs

Joan Kawano ~ Moosestash Quilting

Kim Lapacek ~ Persimon Dreams

Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood

Leanne Parsons ~ Devoted Quilter

Bea Lee ~ BeaQuilter

Toby Lischko ~ Gateway Quilts & Stuff

Bill Locke ~

Denise Looney ~ For the Love of Geese

Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights

Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke

Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack’s Blog

Kathleen McCormick ~ Kathleen McMusing

Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs

Karen Neary ~ Sew Karen-ly Created

Lisa Nielsen ~ Lisa Lisa and the Quilt Jam

Jackie O’Brien ~ If These Threads Could Talk

Laura Piland ~ Slice of Pi Quilts

Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde

Vicki Schlimmer ~ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting

Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail

Sherry Shish ~ Powered by Quilting

Anita Skjellanger , Quilt in a not-Shell

Laticia “Tish” Stemple ~ Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland

Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter

Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations

Terri Vanden Bosch ~ Lizard Creek Quilts

Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts

Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts

Suzy Webster ~ Adventerous Applique and Quilting

Anne Wiens ~ Sweetgrass Creative Designs

Geraldine Wilkins ~ Living Water Quilter

Janet Yamamoto ~

 

 

Categories: AccuQuilt, Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, The Thrifty Quilter System, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.)

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

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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.

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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

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify!

Cozy-CabinsThe November challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to use a log cabin block as the focus of our designs. If you look through the blog links at the bottom of the page, you’ll be amazed at the creativity displayed by this group.

IMG_2820My own quilt began with a fairly grand and highly ambitious design, one my Mother would have loved, because the Log Cabin was her favorite quilt pattern. As it became clear I wouldn’t have it finished by the end of the year, and certainly not by the end of the month, I began to rework the pattern, simplifying the Log Cabin blocks with each revision until it wound up as Moonflower Cottage.  The original featured 8″ blocks. Curved Log Cabin blocks surrounded and were surrounded by my own “Morning Glory” blocks.  In the end, I enlarged the 8″ blocks to 12″, so there are far fewer blocks required, and the center blocks are merely a nod to the Log Cabin.

The fabrics for Moonflower Cottage are from Island Batik‘s “Vintage Morris” collection. They sent me a 42-piece Strip Pack, and two coordinates. I added a peachy orange, and a light green from the same collection for the flower blocks, and one of their off-white basics for the background.

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Make 10 Moonflower blocks

My 12″ (finished) “Moonflower” blocks are made with 3.5″ x 6.5″ split rectangle units. The easiest way to make these is with the Split Rects tool from Studio 180 Design. This is one of those tools you don’t realize you need until you have it. (No affiliation, just an avid devotee.)

The other pieces in the block are three off-white 3.5″ squares, one 3.5″ x 6.5″ rectangle; one 3.5″ yellow square, and one 3.5″ green and off-white half-square triangle.

 

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Make 6 Mock Log Cabin blocks

 

My “Mock Log Cabin” blocks are made with one 2.5″ square, and one each 2.5″ x 4.5″, 2.5″ x 6.5″, 2.5″ x 8.5″, 2.5″ x 10.5″ and 2.5″ x 12.5″ pieces, cut from the strip pack. The background is two 2.5″ squares and two 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles. There is also a 6.5″ background square with a blue corner added via the Stitch-and-Flip method.

There is also one block that is six 2.5″ x 12.5″ strips sewn into a square.

 

 

 

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Make 14 setting triangles

The setting triangles are made with one 6.5″ and two 3.5″ background squares. The blue triangles are made by cutting a 6″ square diagonally twice, and sewing the triangles to the sides of the smaller squares.

Note: Traditionally, those blue triangles would be cut from a 5.5″ square. Making my triangles just a little oversize gives me a wider seam allowance on the outside edge, making it less likely that I will nip a white point when adding my binding.

 

To lay out the quilt, begin by laying down the center square, then building from the center out:

Sew into diagonal rows, then sew the rows together to complete your quilt top.

Moonflower Cottage - TitleMy Moonflower Cottage quilt measures about 52″ x 68″, and was quilted by Kathy Brown with Hobbs Heirloom batting and Aurifil thread, both provided by the companies.

So that’s how I met the “Cozy Cabins” challenge. Wait ’til you see what my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors did!

 

Categories: Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Quilts, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Touchdown!

IMG_2289Sometimes designing a quilt is like coaching a football team. The coach has to design a set of plays that will allow his players to combine their skills in such a way that they move the ball from point A to the end zone. Island Batik Ambassadors are given a selection of fabrics and a goal…turn that collection into a finished quilt that meets the monthly challenge theme. I think I have a winner for the Secondary Pattern challenge.

30742545_2036742299701753_6798327948416909312_nI decided to use the Northern Woods Stack (42 10″ squares) that Island Batik provided me. I added a nice little off-white print for the background, a copper batik for the border, and a deep green batik for the corner triangles, which turn into my secondary design.

Since I did not want a standard grid setting for the blocks, I decided to make one big 24″ block and eight 12″ blocks.

IMG_2459The “Flea Flicker” block begins with an 8.5″ (unfinished) Double Pinwheel block. Then I add a 2.5″ x 10.5″ strip to each side. This requires a partial seam technique.

 

 

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The strips that go around the block are made by sewing a 2.5″ square that matches the small pinwheel to the lower right corner of a 2.5″ x 6.5″ strip of the background fabric, using the stitch-and-flip method to make those squares into triangles. Then sew a 2.5″ x 4.5″ strip of the background fabric to the triangle.

The strip shown here has a dark green upper right corner added to the 2.5″ x 4.5″ strip. two of your 12″ blocks will have those dark green corners all the way around. The other six blocks will have green corners on two sides, and blank corners on the other two sides.

Here’s that partial seam thing. It’s easier done than explained.

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Sew the first strip to the block (the strip is longer than the pinwheel is wide.) Stop sewing and back-stitch just beyond the small triangle. We will finish this seam later.

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With the addition of that first strip, the top end of the pinwheel block is now 10.5″ wide, so we can sew the next strip on all the way. Now the left side of the pinwheel block is 10.5″ wide.

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So now we can sew a strip to that third side. (Did you notice that I rotated the pinwheel block in the photo? The strip we just added is at the top.) Now the fourth side of the pinwheel is 10.5″ wide.

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Sew a 10.5″ strip to the fourth side of the block (I rotated it again.)  And now we can deal with that loose end we left hanging on the first side.

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Now we can finish that partial seam. I start stitching so that I overlap my stitching by about a half-inch, and sew to the edge of the block.

I made one 24″ block using the same processes, but with larger pieces. Then it was time to put it all together.

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The six 12″ blocks with only two green corners were sewn into pairs, with the green corners on the outside of the pairs

The blocks are then sewn together with 2.5″ wide sashing strips. I think you can see in this photo that there is actually a sashing strip on the outside of all of the blocks. The wide copper border is made of large rectangles, with two green corners on each.

 

 

IMG_2815There are green “cornerstones” at the intersections of the sashing strips. The resulting secondary design is a traditional quilt block design called “Shoo Fly.”  That, and the fact that I thought the fabrics gave this quilt a kind of masculine character, and the fact that it’s football season, made the name “Flea Flicker” a natural choice for this quilt.

Flea Flicker was quilted by Kathy Brown.

Thank you to Island Batik for providing the fabrics, Aurifil for their wonderful cotton threads, and Hobbs for the Warm and Natural batting!

Flea Flicker - Title

If you’d like to see what my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors are up to (Trust me, you do,) check their blogs:

Categories: 10" Squares, Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Safari Sampler

Great-Outdoors-Blog-Hop-300x300The Island Batiks Ambassadors “Great Outdoors” Blog Hop is into it’s second week, and today, Amy Warner of Sew Incredibly Crazy and I get to unwrap our “Surprise” packages and show you what we made with Island Batik’s brand new “Safari” line.
Safari
We each received a half yard of each of the fabrics in this collection, plus larger pieces of two coordinates. My coordinates were the giraffe print in the upper right of the photo, and the bright yellow in the lower right.
I can’t wait to see what Amy made with hers.
I came up with a sampler quilt that  used some of every fabric I received.
Click HERE to see the entire collection.
Safari Title

The Safari Sampler features seven pattern rows named (top to bottom): Gemstones, Equator, Sundown, Tropic of Capricorn, Daybreak, Tropic of Cancer, and Trouble. Each row finishes 48″ wide. I added 4″ (finished) side borders, for a generous lap-size quilt that finishes 56″ x 72″.

If your local quilt shop doesn’t carry the Safari collection from Island Batik, a few of my favourite online sources are the Missouri Star Quilt Co, Hancock’s of Paducah, and Fabric Shack.
When making my sampler, I used the Tucker Trimmer® and Split Rects® trimming tools from Studio 180 Design.
Thank you to Island Batik for providing the fabrics for this sampler, to Aurifil for providing the thread. I am falling in love with their 50wt cottons for piecing.
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I have actually sewn most of my IB projects this year with this one spool of off-white Aurifil 50wt thread!

 

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I bought this one, but Hobbs has been very generous in providing batting for the Island Batik Ambassadors.

And thanks to Hobbs for providing the battings we are using in our projects this year.

In lieu of a prize drawing, I’ve decided to make the Safari Sampler pattern a free download, so everyone wins!
Here is the complete schedule for the Great Outdoor Blog Hop:
Monday, August 6 – All A FlutterYellow Cat Quilt Designs, Creative Blonde
Tuesday, August 7 – Birds N’ BeesArk Angel Creations, Patterns By Jen
Wednesday, August 8 – Canterbury Manor Sally Manke, Powered By Quilting
Thursday, August 9 – Eclectic GardenDesert Bloom Quilting, Sew Karen-ly Created
Friday, August 10 – Vintage MorrisMooseStash Quilting, Devoted Quilter
Monday, August 13 – SafariSew Incredibly Crazy, SweetGrass Designs
Tuesday, August 14 – Spring BlossomsMary Mack Made Mine, If These Threads Could Talk
Wednesday, August 15 – Victoria and Albert Bejeweled Quilts, Clever Chameleon
Thursday, August 16 – Wild ThingsFreemotion By The River, Kauffman Designs
Friday, August 17 – Petting ZooDen Syende Himmel, Sarah Goer Quilts
Monday, August 20 – Ocean OdysseyGateway Quilts, The Quilt Rambler
Tuesday, August 21 – British RoseBusy Hands Quilts, Mania for Quilts
Wednesday, August 22 – Dear WilliamThe Inquiring Quilter, mmm! Quilts, Living Water Quilter
Thursday, August 23 – Dragonfly DreamsInchworm Fabrics, BeaQuilter
Friday, August 24 – Fur-ocious FriendsQuilting Affection Designs, Dizzy Quilter
Monday, August 27 – Globetrotter Pamela Quilts, Curliecue Creations
Tuesday, August 28 – Jungle CruiseVicki’s Crafts and Quilting, Little Bunny Quilts
Wednesday, August 29 – LavendulaCarole Lyles Shaw, Masterpiece Quilting
Thursday, August 30 – London CallingQuilt in a Not-Shell, Lizard Creek Quilting
Friday, August 31 – Spirit Rhythm Steph Jacobson, Whispers of Yore
Monday, September 3 – Sweet Tweets Kathleen McMusing, Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Tuesday, September 4 – Whatnot – heARTS Creations, Slice of Pi Quilts
Categories: Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Other Blocks & Patterns, Quilts, Uncategorized | 22 Comments

Am I There Yet?

Try a TechniqueThe March challenge for the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors was to try a new Technique. Most of us are longtime quilters, instructors and/or designers, so for many of us, the hardest part of the challenge was to come up with a tool or technique we haven’t already tried! Fortunately, I had a couple of tools designed by Phillips Fiber Art that I had not had time to play with yet – The Gems 5 & 10 and Gem Star tools.

I started thinking about what sort of project I could make with the pieced and appliqued 5-pointed stars these tools make. I was surfing the internet in search of inspiration when I came across Diane Harris’s posts about a class she was taking on improvisational quilting. My muse tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me that the President’s Challenge theme I had chosen for my quilt guild this year is Wing It. “We can answer two challenges with one project,” says he.

“Improvisation. Make it up as you go,” I replied.  “How hard can it be?”  That was in early March. It’s now mid-June and I have just put the binding on. So there’s your answer. Here’s the rest of the story:

IMG_2120We began with the fabric pull. I started with the collection of basics supplied by Island Batik. I chose a dark green for my big pieced star. I also decided that I had to use this yellow and magenta blend because…well, to be honest, since I had little confidence this project was going to turn out, I wouldn’t be too upset if, in the end, I felt like I had wasted it. Then I pulled out my bag of Island Batik IMG_2123scraps and came up with more greens and pinks, and decided to add a copper-brown print from the basics.

In the end, I didn’t use the three lightest greens or the light pink, but at this point I still didn’t know what I was making. Better to have too many colors than not enough.

IMG_2126First came the pieced base. I made one large dark green star with the Gem 10 tool. The instructions that come with the tool are well-illustrated. In a nutshell, you sew stripsets, then use the tool as a template to cut wedges. There are five wedges with the darker green, and five mirror-image wedges with the slightly lighter green. Two wedges make one star point wedge.

Collection

So, we start with a pieced 5-point star.

I have to say, the tool is terrific  and easy to use. It makes a very large star, but there is also a Gem 10 Junior tool available if you want a smaller project. But I digress.

As it happens, the piece is a decagon shape. It works great for the several patterns Phillips Fiber Art has designed for the Gem 5 & 10 tools. However, my Muse and I had decided we wanted a square wallhanging.

IMG_2134At this point, Muse left the studio. I hate it when he does that.

After several  hours of thinking, slicing, patching, piecing and trimming up, I had a square-ish base piece. I couldn’t say I was happy with it, and frankly, I was feeling more than a little stressed out because I didn’t even know which side was top, bottom, left or right. I had no clue where I was going with this project. Finally, I convinced myself that if I didn’t love it, at least I didn’t hate it, and it was time to move on.

IMG_2150Making the applique stars with the Gem Star tool was the most enjoyable part of this project. There’s a clever little trick for getting those points so pointy, and the only difficult part of the whole process is getting the center to match up. Most were oh-so-close, but this gold one is dead-on perfect.

When these stars are finished, the edges of the points are turned under already, so it’s a simply matter to applique them down, whether you you want to hand-sew or machine-sew them.

I didn’t have any idea how many stars I needed or where they were going to be placed, so I just started making them in several sizes. In the end, I made more than I needed. The extras may become Christmas ornaments.

IMG_2191Quilting is very simple on this piece. I stitched 1/4″ inside and outside the perimeter of the large pieced star, then echo-quilted straight lines in the gold background, and straight lines across the magenta corners.

Using my quilting guide bar, and my seams as a pivot point, it was easy to make straight, evenly-spaced quilting lines. I sewed a 1″ spaced line, then two 1/4″ lines, then 1″, two 1/4″, repeating until the space was filled.

 

Next decision: Where to put the applique stars. If I hadn’t been so far beyond deadline at this point, I would have enjoyed playing with the possibilities. Here are a few of the options I liked:

 

The more I played with the stars, the more I felt something just wasn’t right with the base piece yet. It was the gold areas. After stewing over it for a few days, Muse resurfaced and suggested I add a few lines of quilting that might actually be visible in the gold areas.

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It’s amazing how just a little detail can make such a big difference.

Those two lines of magenta quilting were just what this piece needed to pull it all together.

Note to Muse: It would have been easier if you had suggested it before I appliqued the stars down. Just sayin’.

So, is it finished now? I don’t know. Hence, the title – Am I There Yet?

After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you’ve arrived?

Am I There Yet - Title


The fabrics used in this piece were supplied by Island Batik. The threads are from Aurifil, and the batting from Hobbs.

 

Categories: Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Uncategorized, Wallhangings | 4 Comments

Plan B: A Bonnie Wee Modern Quilt

The June challenge for the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors is to make a Modern-style quilt. Creative borders and bindingThis is proving to be a bigger challenge for some of us than for others. Personally, I consider my project, The Highland 9-Patch, a “splendid failure.”

You see, I had purchased a copy of fellow ambassador Carole Lyles Shaw’s book Madly Modern Quilts. I’ve always loved the 9-Patch, so her “Fractured Disappearing 9-Patch” project really appealed to me. Check Carole’s blog post and you’ll see how she works her magic.

It seemed simple enough… make a 9-patch, slice it up, sew it back together, slice it again, insert a strip, and voila! Nope. Didn’t happen. My muse likes to know where a pattern is going before we begin construction, and having just spent months trying to work through an improvisational project, he would not cooperate. So we compromised, my muse and I, and came up with the Highland 9-Patch. It’s still sliced and spliced, but looks nothing like Carole’s.

IMG_2261I did begin with a 9-Patch. Mine has an 8″ square of navy blue in the center, 9″ squares of a bright green in the corners, and the side “squares” are actually 8″ x 9″.

Then I added a   2″ border all around the block.

 

IMG_2264Next, I  sliced the block vertically 2.5″ outside the center seam on both sides of the center squares…

…and spliced in a 1″ strip of navy blue.

 

 

IMG_2266Then I did the same thing, slicing and splicing in 1″ horizontal strips.

After that, it was a simple matter to add wide borders of the background fabric. My friend Kathy at the Creative Needle quilted it in an all-over leafy pattern, and I bound it in navy.

The Highland 9-Patch is 56″ x 72″, so it’s a nice lap-size quilt.

Highland 9-Patch Title 2

I began quilting in the early 1970’s, so I have pretty much seen it all, as quilting has developed from a scrap craft revival to a celebrated artistic genre, from Grandma’s hand-quilting frame to computerized longarm quilting machines in nearly every quilter’s studio. I have to admit, I dismissed the Modern Quilting Movement early on as a “fad”, but I’ve always loved big, bold, graphic art, and since it seems Modern Quilting is here to stay, I’m in!

The fabrics used in my Highland 9-Patch are from Island Batik. Thread was provided by Aurifil, and the batting by Hobbs.

Check out the Modern Quilts my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors are making:

Den Syende Himmel

Busy Hands Quilts

PamelaQuilts

Ark Angel Creations

Desert Bloom Quilting

Freemotion by the River

Yellow Cat Quilt Designs

Quilting Affection Designs

Inquiring Quilter

Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

Clever Chameleon

Sarah Goer Quilts

Mania for Quilts

Steph Jacobson

Inchworm Fabrics

Kauffman Designs

Moosestash Quilting 

BeaQuilter

Gateway Quilts & Stuff

Carole Lyles Shaw

Sally Manke

Mary Mack Made Mine

Kathleen McMusing

heARTs Creations

Sew Karen-ly Created

If These Threads Could Talk

The Quilt Rambler

Devoted Quilter

Slice of Pi Quilts

Creative Blonde

Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting

Masterpiece Quilting

Patterns by Jen

Powered by Quilting

Quilt in a not-Shell

Dizzy Quilter

Curlicue Creations

Lizard Creek Quilts

Little Bunny Quilts

MMM Quilts

Sew Increadibly Crazy

Adventerous Applique and Quilting

Sweetgrass Designs

Living Water Quilter

Whispers of Yo

Categories: Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Quilts, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

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