Monday, August 01, 2022

July Island Batik Ambassador Challenge - Christmas in July with Accuquilt

 Life has been a little crazy lately so I'm a bit late with my July Challenge!  Island Batik and Accuquilt challenged us to add some joy to someone's life using the new Tree of Life BOB die, and I was sure excited to try it out!  This block has been on my list for years, so I was happy to get to use it!  For this project I've used fabric and notions supplied in the Ambassador boxes I have received from Island Batik.


I decided to make my project for my Secret Sister at church!  At sometime in the past I had seen a neat tree of life made with one red square, so that's what I decided to make.  I pulled four green strips from a Stashbuilder roll in my Island Batik Stash, and used the bronze basic from my foundation bundle.  I made the background solid white.  

It was very simple to follow the cutting instructions and it took just a bit of cranking to cut out all the triangles, rectangles and a very odd polygon shape that you could never rotary cut!  Just one pass through the cutter and you have all the pieces for the block - very nice!

I was so excited to make the block that I just started sewing and forgot to take any pictures!  Here is my finished block.  I wasn't really happy with the placement of that red triangle, so I ended up taking it out and replacing it with a white triangle.  I might try this again another time and be more careful to plan out where it ends up in my design. For my piecing I used Aurfil thread in a pale green.  I almost always use their 50 weight thread for pieceing, and combined with a size 10 Schmetz needle (Professional Chrome) you get a very nice accurate 1/4 inch seam which combines perfectly with the accurately cut pieces from the Go cutter to make an absolutely perfect block with lots of beautiful points!


Since my Secret Sister likes aqua and purple, I chose my setting triangles and borders to complement those colors.  For the backing I found a gorgeous purple and aqua blend - I had to do some creative piecing to make it work, but I think it's perfect for this quilt!  I added a hanging sleeve, plus a label with Psalm 1:3 on it: 


For the quilting I used some of the Hobbs fusible batting I had left from my first box - since my backing was not much bigger than the top, I wanted to be sure that nothing shifted and I love the way the fusible keeps everything in place! I used very light delft blue Aurifil 50 weight (from the Como Blue Color Builder set) for the swirl quilting - it's such a pretty color and I've used several spools of this one!  I changed my needle to a Schmetz size 12 quilting needle and had no problem with skipping or shredding!  That sure made the quilting go quickly!


It turned out very pretty!  I really enjoyed making this, and hope it was enjoyed by the recipient. I wasn't able to be at our get together to present it in person, so I don't have a picture, but I really hope that she gets a lot of encouragement from this gift! 

Thanks to Accuquilt for the great die - I really want to make more of these blocks, I've seen some great scrappy versions of the Tree of Life that I would love to make!  (Of course with Island Batik scraps!)

I also enjoyed using Aurifil thread, Schmetz Needles and Hobbs Batting for this project!   








 #accuquiltchristmasinjuly


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

What's New? Fast Lane Pattern!

 Sorry I haven't posted lately - between my poor laptop being on it's last legs and the fact that I had to finish three quilts for the next Island Batik catalog it's been easier to just let it go for a bit!   Now that those deadlines are behind and I have a brand spanking new laptop to work on, I'm ready to get back to blogging!

So, what did I work on when I got those secret quilts finished?  A project that I've been dying to get to - a new pattern!  I had originally played with this design for one of the monthly Island Batik challenges, and liked it so much I have been thinking about writing this up as a pattern ever since.  When I got this package of Jewel Carving squares in my January box I knew right away what it was destined to be!


Then I remembered the layer cake I won during the Sewcialites quilt along last year!  I had even purchased the contrasting fabric so I sewed it up, too.  I don't call this pattern Fast Lane for nothing.  It's definitely a quick make, and the finished quilt is a perfect lap size - 60 x 60.  The fabric in this on is Solana by Robin Pickens for Moda.  So gorgeous, but sadly I don't think the layer cakes are available anymore.  She does have a line out right now called Tulip Tango that's pretty gorgeous, though.  And if you can find Carolina Lilies it has many of the same colors as this line!


Here is the original quilt that started me down this path - so pretty!  I have another version in the works with just four different fabrics (M&S aboriginal prints!), but it's not finished yet. Since the pattern is ready I decided to make it available now in my Etsy shop.  


Then I couldn't resist making a Baby Nines quilt from the Santorini squares I had left from the June blog hop - I really do like these colors!  So, I have been busy quilting up a storm - with more projects in my mind than I can actually ever complete.  But isn't that the plight of most of us?  I think that quilting is truly an addictive hobby, if I'm not actually making something I am either planning a project or talking about a project or researching a project!  Well, it's all fun no matter how you slice it, so I'll just keep on stitching away!  Hope you are, too!

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Final Week of the New York Beauty Blog Hop

Time for the last of the Blog Hop - this has been the most amazing group of quilts I have ever seen - I hope you have been keeping up with all the inspiration!  It's been so fun to see all the variations my fellow ambassadors have come up - truly astounding!  We have one collection left to show, then we'll be wrapping it up!

June 27:

Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting
Brenda Alburl, Songbird Designs

June 28:

End of Blog Hop and Final Round-Up

Island Batik is having one last giveaway - make sure you take a minute to enter!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

My giveaway will run till the end of the month, so go visit my Santorini Cats post to see my quilt and enter to win!  There are currently 4 prize bundles available, so your chances are good! If I get over 100, I will add another bundle, so make sure you enter - I'll post the winner on Friday.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Week 3 of the New York Beauty Blog Hop

 Time for the third week of this fabulous blog hop!  Have you seen all the gorgeous quilts?  I am just absolutely blown away by the creative beauty that I've seen so far!  Here is the schedule for this week:

June 20:

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia
Brianna Roberts, Sew Cute and Quirky

June 21:

Gail Renna, Quilt Haven Threads
Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts

June 22:

Megan Best, Bestquilter
Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights

June 23:

Suzy Webster, Websterquilt
Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood

June 24:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 3 and Giveaway

And don't forget the giveaway!



a Rafflecopter giveaway 

My own giveaway is still growing - I have three bundles of 5 inch squares set aside right now and when I get to 75 entries will add another one!  You can see my quilt and enter the giveaway here:  Santorini Cats.

I hope your week is off to a good start!  I have almost finished my third project for the Island Batik catalog, so am excited to get started on my UFO challenge for the month - my Paris One Block Wonder.  Now that the design wall is cleaned off I can start laying out my hexagons.  I'm a little nervous, but excited to get started on it!  I'll be happy if I can get this into a finished top by the end of the month, since it's been a busy one.  Hope you get to work on something fun this week!

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Santorini Cats - New York Beauty Challenge for Island Batik

I am excited to show you what I made for the June Island Batik Ambassador Challenge!  


This month we are having a blog hop featuring the newest collections from Island Batik that are arriving at your quilt shops - and the challenge was to use the New York Beauty quilt block as our design inspiration. I can tell you that this block is fairly challenging to make as it includes lots of sharp points as well as curved piecing.  I loved the fabric I received in my Ambassador box last January, so it was fun to come up with a quilt to showcase them.  




The collection I received was Santorini - designed by Claudia Pfiel!  I have really enjoyed working with her collections in the past, and this one was terrific, too!  It was inspired by the Grecian Island of Santorini and features gorgeous colors and abstract shapes in a modern design.  So beautiful!  Here is the video I recorded when I first opened this bundle:


I think you will like these as much as I do!

At first I planned on making a more traditional piece, but as I browsed Pinterest for ideas, I came upon a very neat idea for using the blocks as cats!  It took me a bit of looking as the pattern is out of print, but I found a copy on Ebay - Sawtooth Cats is the name of the pattern.  .


And I found out that Santorini is a bit famous for it's cats as well! Well that made me super excited about my project!


Just google Cats of Santorini Island and you will see dozens of gorgeous pictures! I used the pattern as a starting point for my quilt, but opted for a more modern design as I felt it suited the fabrics better, plus I didn't want to make that pieced border. I wanted to keep my cats right side up and decided that since cats aren't the most cooperative animals that they should be arranged so they weren't in staight rows!  I used every bit of that background fabric that I had left to stagger my rows!  I ended up with a quilt that is actually wider than it is tall, but I actually like it that way.  Isn't it cute?

I think this would make a lovely wall hanging, but it's also perfect for the back of a sofa.  And of course, as a lap quilt!  It's 68 inches wide and 59 inches tall.  I used Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 cotton for the batting in this and Aurifil thread for both piecing and quilting.  And of course a Schmetz needle - actually 2, an older one for the paper piecieng and a new one for the remaining piecing and quilting.


The arcs are paper pieced, as well as the tails, so that part was pretty easy.  I haven's sewn any curved seams for a while, but they really went well once I got one or two under my belt!  


I like to piece curves with a minimum of pins, so I usually just put one in each end and the middle, and it works like a charm.  I put the concave part of the curve on the top and just stitch slowly around the curve, easing the fabric as I go. 


I like to stitch the larger curve first and finish with the smaller curve (the smaller the curve the more difficult it is to sew!)



I press these away from the pieced arcs.  Twenty of them took a few days to get done between the paper piecing and the curved seams!

After I got the curves pieced I added the head and feet, then figured out what I needed to add to the back of the cat and the bottom so I could sew the tails on. You have to think aheasd because the tails are directional. I used the background fabric and sewed to to the pieced tails as a backing, turned them right side out, then hand appliqued them to the background.  Try as I might, I ended up with one cat facing the wrong way - of course!  I figured it would just add to the "cattitude" and left it as is, can you spot it in the finished quilt?

This ginger cat is my favorite of the bunch (or clowder, as a group of cats is called!). 

It was fun to come up with different combinations of colors for all 20 cats.  Each cat has a different color for the belly and feet, and each fabric is used so you can admire all of them!  I used Bronze from the basics line in the piecing of the arcs as well as the binding.  The background is Porcelain from the Naturally Neutrals selection of basics.  I used up all the rest of this except for some small scraps - this was also the background in my project from February - Colorado Memories, and it's one I really like for using with a collection with a lot of warm tones.


I really had fun making this quilt, and I love that it's a different take on what you can do with a New York Beauty block!  I had quite a bit of fabric left over from my project, and instead of hording it all and not using it, I thought it would be a great idea to give some of it away! 


 I cut a bunch of 5 inch squares, and am going to give you a chance to win a set of 40, two each of every design - plus I'll throw in a 5 inch roll of strips and your choice of one of these charm square table runner patterns:  Cobblestones or Windmills.


To sweeten the pot, I am going to add another opportunity to win a set of squares with every 25 entries to my giveaway, so the more entries, the more opportunities to win!  Just enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to enjoy these lovely fabrics!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you visit Anorina Morris at Samelia’s Mum to see what she made with these fabrics!

Thanks to Island Batik, Hobbs Batting, Schmetz needles, and Aurifil thread for the products provided for this project!





Monday, June 13, 2022

Week 2 of the New York Beauty blog hop for Island Batik

Today is the start of week 2 of our blog hop!  Here is the schedule for the week - my post will go up first thing tomorrow morning!

June 13:

Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations
Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine

June 14:

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts
Anorina Morris, Samelia’s Mum

June 15:

Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde Gifts
Lisa Pickering, Lisa’s Quilting Passion

June 16:

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese
Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs

June 17:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 2 and Giveaway

 Plus, Island Batik is having a giveaway this week as well, and you can win a bundle of Santorini or Savannah if you ente this one! 




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 06, 2022

New York Beauty Blog Hop starts today!

 It's time for another blog hop featuring the newest lines from Island Batik!


Starting today the Island Batik Ambassadors will be showing their skill and creativity by making a quilt using New York Beauty blocks and the bundle of fabric we received from Island Batik!  New York Beauty quilts are on a lot of quilter's bucket lists apparently, I know I love them, and was excited for the opportunity and challenge of making a quilt using this showstopping block!

As always, Island Batik is sponsoring giveaways each week, and many of the ambassadors will be as well.  This week, you have the chance to win these lovely bundles:



Here is the schedule and a peek at the new lines!  Some gorgeous fabrics here!

June 6:

Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail
Elizabeth DeCroos, Epida Studio

June 7:

Reed Johnson, Blue Bear Quilts
Andi Stanfield, True Blue Quilts

June 8:

Sandra Starley, Textile Time Travels

June 9:

Jennifer Fulton, Inquiring Quilter
Mania Hatziioannidi, Mania for Quilts

June 10:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 1 and Giveaway

June 13:

Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations
Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine

June 14:

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts
Anorina Morris, Samelia’s Mum

June 15:

Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde Gifts
Lisa Pickering, Lisa’s Quilting Passion

June 16:

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese
Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs

June 17:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 2 and Giveaway

June 20:

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia
Brianna Roberts, Sew Cute and Quirky

June 21:

Gail Renna, Quilt Haven Threads
Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts

June 22:

Megan Best, Bestquilter
Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights

June 23:

Suzy Webster, Websterquilt
Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood

June 24:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 3 and Giveaway

June 27:

Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting
Brenda Alburl, Songbird Designs

June 28:

End of Blog Hop and Final Round-Up