Other Blocks & Patterns

Thank You for Your Service

FreedomThis week the United States celebrate Independence Day, our neighbors celebrate Canada Day, and the Island Batik Ambassadors celebrate the release of the Freedom collection with a Quilts of Valor Blog Hop.

I’ve designed this 56″ x 72″ lap quilt using the AccuQuilt 8″ Qube die set. AccuQuilt is a sponsor of the Island Batik Ambassadors program for 2019.

Fabric for the “Service Star” quilt was provided by Island Batik, batting by Hobbs, and thread by Aurifil.

Thank you to my BQB (Best Quilting Buddy) Annette Freeland for sewing the top for me while I was off teaching a class at Chatcolab in Idaho!

These are the fabrics we used in “Service Star”:

That white space in the upper right corner of the mosaic is actually a photo of a solid white batik.

I won’t list the yardages here, or go into detail on the construction of the quilt. That’s all included in the pattern. Here are the highlights, though:

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The pattern uses six of the eight dies in the Qube – the 4.5″ and 2.5″ squares, 2.5″ half square triangles, 4.5″ quarter square triangles, 3.25 on-point square, and 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangle.

There are also 1.5″, 2.5″ and 4.5″ wide strips. Happily, AccuQuilt makes strip dies in those widths.

The three star blocks are made with a square-in-a-square, flying geese,  and an “L” unit, made with two squares and a rectangle.

QOV 2019-Strip Points

The only part of this quilt that couldn’t be pre-cut with the Accuquilt is the 4.5″ triangles that make the points on the red stripsets. I did this (Well, Annette did it, but I told her to) with the stitch and flip method.

 

 

QOV 2019-Exploded Quilt

 

The quilt is constructed in vertical rows.

Once it’s quilted, I’ll bind “Service Star” in the same navy blue batik we used in the star blocks.

If you use the pattern to make your own Service Star quilt, I’d love to see a photo. You can email me at anne@sweetgrassdesigns.com.

Click IB- 2019 QOV to download the PDF pattern.

 

Check out these blogs for more Quilts of Valor, featuring Island Batiks:

July 1
Becca Fenstermaker — Pretty Piney
Denise Looney — For the Love of Geese
Gail Sheppard — Quilting Gail
July 2
Pamela Boatright — Pamela Quilts
Anne Wiens — Sweetgrass Designs
July 3
Bea Lee —Bea Quilter
Carla Henton — Creatin’ In the Sticks
July 4
Emily Leachman — The Darling Dogwood
Joan Kawano — MooseStash Quilting
Jen Strauser – Dizzy Quilter
July 5
Steph Jacobson — Steph Jacobsen Designs
Leah Malasky — Quilted Delights
Anja Clyke — Anja Quilts
Maryellen McAuliffe — Mary Mack Made Mine

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Categories: 12" TQ Blocks, AccuQuilt, Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Quilts | 15 Comments

Blue Moon

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The AccuQuilt Ready Set GO! die cutting system includes an 8-die “Qube”. The shapes can be mixed to create dozens of blocks. The kit also included a 2.5″ strip-cutting die.

To say Island Batik and its partners, Hobbs Batting and Aurifil Threads treat their four-dozen-plus Ambassadors well would be an understatement. This year, they have spoiled us rotten. They added AccuQuilt to the mix, and our new best friends at AccuQuilt sent us each a Ready Set GO!® die cutting system, with the 8″ die collection! Since AccuQuilt gave me such a great gift, I’ll pay it forward and give you a free pattern for my “Blue Moon” quilt!

Baby QuiltOur April Island Batik Challenge was to create a baby quilt using the AccuQuilt. I added an additional layer of complication by challenging myself to come up with a pattern that would use every die in the Qube®. After a few weeks of coming up with ideas that could use most of them, I stumbled across a design that has been in my sketchbook for at least a decade that is perfect. It’s a 44″ square medallion-style quilt that would be perfect for a baby, or a wallhanging…and it calls for all eight shape dies, and the 2.5″ strip die.

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I won’t go through all of the materials and cutting instructions in this post, but you can download the pattern here:  Blue Moon – AccuQuilt Pattern

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The Blue Moon quilt is a medallion-style pattern, which means you begin with a center block and add several borders…five borders in this case. To keep things in order, I cut all of my pieces, following the chart on the last page of the pattern. It took about an hour.  Then I  separated all of the pieces into six “kits”, one for the center block, and borders 1-5, and put each kit into a labeled zip-lock bag. Here’s how the quilt top came together:

5th Border

5th Border

Once I fix that error and quilt this puppy, I’ll bind it with the plum fabric.

I think I’ll use Hobbs’ Tuscany® silk/polyester blend batting. Hobbs provided a 60″ x 60″ throw-size batt. I’ve never used a silk batting, so I’m anxious to try it! It’s a 90% silk and 10% polyester blend, and according to the website, “Hobbs Tuscany Silk Batting breathes naturally, making it an excellent choice for airy, lightweight quilts and coverlets, and while it’s a ‘cool’ quilt, it can also provide excellent warmth.” Sounds yummy, doesn’t it?

The finished “Blue Moon” quilt will be 44″ x 44″.

Want to see what the other Island Batik Ambassadors are up to? Check out their blogs!

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

(Debora) Anne Weins ~ Sweetgrass Creative Designs

Geraldine Wilkins ~ Living Water Quilter

Janet Yamamoto ~

 

Categories: AccuQuilt, Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Other Blocks & Patterns, Quilts, Special Events, Wallhangings | 4 Comments

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.

4 Sisters - Title

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 ~

Categories: 10" Squares, 12" TQ Blocks, AccuQuilt, Aurifil Threads, Hobbs Batting, Island Batik Ambassador, Island Batik Fabric, Quilts, Uncategorized | 9 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

A Rocky Mountain Christmas

It’s Day 20 of the Moda Bake Shop’s 2018 Countdown to Christmas, and if you’ve been following along on the blog, you now have 19 new block patterns in your Christmas collection, in both 12″ and 6″ finished sizes! Block #20, my second contribution to the fun is a slight variation on the traditional Rocky Mountain block. Normally this block would have a light background and dark “mountain peaks.” But it’s winter, and this time of year, those peaks are usually snow-capped. Hence, a “Rocky Mountain Christmas!”

The “recipe” for the block is on today’s Moda Bake Shop blog.

Here, I’ll give you a quick tablerunner idea that uses one 12.5″ (unfinished) and two 6.5″ blocks to make an 18″ x 35″ tablerunner. It would fit smaller kitchen tables, or your coffee table.

TR Complete

Here are the fabric requirements and cutting instructions:

Chart

 

Step 1: Make one 12 1/2″ Rocky Mountain Christmas blocks and two 6 1/2″ blocks, following the instructions on the Moda Bake Shop blog. substitute the 6 1/2″ and 3 1/2″ green squares for the red and white print squares in the center of the blocks.

HSTs

Step 2: Cut the 6 7/8″ green and white squares diagonally, and sew into four half square triangles (HSTs.)

QSTStep 3: Cut the 9 3/4″ white square diagonally twice to yield four triangles.

 

Green w White

Sew the white triangles to the HSTs. Note the placement of the white triangles.

Sections

Step 5: Sew the green and white units to the Rocky Mountain Christmas blocks as shown, then sew the rows together to complete your tablerunner top.

Step 6: Layer top batting and backing. Quilt as desired and bind with the white strips.

How easy is that? If your Christmas gift shopping and wrapping are complete, you may still have time to whip up this runner before Christmas!

I hope you’re enjoying the Moda Bake Shop Countdown to Christmas. If you need  inspiration and encouragement to complete your Countdown blocks, join the Moda Bake Shop Bakers group on Facebook!

Merry Christmas from Montana!

“Chef” Anne

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: FQ Projects, Moda Bake Shop, Tablerunners, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A Prairie Christmas Star

Today is Day 3 of the 2018 Moda Bake Shop Countdown to Christmas, and the block I shared on the Moda Bake Shop blog is called “A Prairie Christmas Star.” This year our blocks are presented in 12″ and 6″ finished sizes, and at the end of the month, we’ll give you a couple of setting options for a sampler quilt.

PCS- TitleFor purposes of the series, Moda Fabrics provided us with fat quarters of solid red and white fabrics, and red and white print fabrics.

My block uses all three, and I presented the pattern as shown above, but I thought for the Seams Like a Plan blog, we’d play with placements…colors within the block, and then a couple of quilt layouts.

Each set of three fat quarters (one red solid, one white solid and one red/white print) will easily give you enough pieces to make three 12″ blocks. Layer the three fat quarters and cut the same pieces from each one. Here’s the cutting layout I used:

PCS-FQ Cuts

This gives you enough parts and pieces for three blocks, if you rotate the placement of the three colors within the block. Because you can make six possible combinations of the three colors, there are two “rotations” you can choose from:

PCS-Rotations

I don’t know about you, but I would love to lock myself in the studio with a pile of FQs for a day and make a quilt’s worth of Prairie Christmas Star blocks! But what do you do with a pile of blocks? Well, here are a couple of quilt layouts, shown in “exploded” drawings so you can see how they would be constructed:

First, a 68″ x 84″ twin size quilt. It would take 25 large blocks and 40 small blocks, plus 4″ (finished width) borders on the left and right sides.

PCS-Twin Setting

 

And here’s a 92″ x 96″ queen size quilt. It would take 48 large blocks and 32 small blocks, plus a 4″ (finished) border on the right and left sides.

PCS-Queen Setting

Again, there is no sashing between the rows of blocks. The blocks are sewn into rows as shown, then the rows sewn together.

If you’re interested in a throw size quilt, start making those Prairie Christmas Star blocks according to the instructions on today’s Moda Bake Shop blog. You’ll need a total of 18 large blocks and 36 small blocks for a 54″ x 72″ throw quilt. The quilt layout will be shown on December 26.

Be sure to check the Moda Bake Shop blog every day this month for another sampler block pattern. I’ll share “A Rocky Mountain Christmas” on December 20th.

Merry Christmas!

Anne

 

Categories: FQ Projects, Moda Bake Shop, Other Blocks & Patterns, Quilts, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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

Catching Up….

Playful PillowsActually, this post is on time. It’s still May, and this month’s Island Batik challenge is “Playful Pillows”. I stuck with the Hourglass, or Quarter-Square Triangle (QST) units I used in my quilt “Plenty of Time.”

I decided it would be a good opportunity to do a quick tutorial on one of my essential rotary cutting tools. The Tucker Trimmer® makes constructing accurate quarter-square triangles a breeze. For the record, I am not affiliated with Studio 180 Designs, just an enthusiastic devotee of the Trimmer and several other tools Deb Tucker has designed.

IMG_2210To make the Time Shift pattern, I started with four 4.5″ squares each of blue, green and cream Island Batik fabrics.

Note: The Tucker Trimmer formula is simple: Take the finished size of your QST, and add 1.5″ to determine the size of your beginning squares.

IMG_2214Cut each square diagonally twice, to make four triangles from each square.

Rearrange the triangles and sew into three combinations as shown. Make four of each combination.

I press my seams open. Press to the darker fabric if you prefer.

These squares are just a bit larger than we need, so we will use the Tucker Trimmer to trim them down to size. (I’m cutting right-handed. The tool comes with instructions for left-handed cutting as well.)

IMG_2215Lay the Tucker Trimmer on your square, with the solid diagonal line along the SW-NE seam line. I’m cutting 3.5″ QSTs, so you’ll notice I have the dashed diagonal line labeled “3-1/2″ lined up with the NW-SE seam line.

The left and lower edges of my square extend just a little beyond the 3-1/2” dashed vertical and horizontal lines on the Trimmer.

Trim the right and top edges.

img_2216.jpgNow rotate the QST, and lay the tool down again, aligning the same  diagonal lines with your seam lines.

Notice that the left and lower edges now line up with the 3-1/2 dashed vertical and horizontal lines.

Trim the right and top edges.

 

IMG_2217You now have a perfect 3.5″ QST, with no dogears to trim later!

Trim each of your QSTs.

 

 

IMG_2221Lay your QSTs out as shown. Sew into three rows, then sew the rows together into a block.

Your block should be 9.5″ x 12.5″.

I had a 16″ pillow form, so I added 2.5″ x 9.5″ (cut size) strips to the ends of the block, and 4″ x 16.5″ strips to the top and bottom.

I did not quilt this pillow cover, in the interest of time. I may go back and do it later.

Title with StampFor the back, I cut two 12″ x 16.5″ rectangles of the cream fabric. I hemmed on long edge of each rectangle, the pinned them wrong-sides-together, to the pillow top, so that the hemmed edged overlapped. I sewed all the way around the perimeter of the top, then trimmed the corners and turned it right-side out and stuffed the pillow form inside.

The fabrics used to make the “Time Shift” pillow cover were provided by Island Batik, and the thread was provided by Aurifil. Hobbs is also a sponsor of the Island Batik Ambassadors. To see what my fellow ambassadors have been up to this month, check out their blogs:

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, Other Projects, Tools, Tucket Trimmer (Studio 180 Designs), Tutorials, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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