Friday, December 31, 2021

Island Batik Ambassador challenge December 2021 - English Paper Piecing

 Our final challenge for the 2021 Island Batik Ambassador year was to create a quilt in any of the fabrics and supplies we have been provided to make a small project using English Paper Piecing. 

 I had a hard time deciding what to make, so I decided to look on Etsy and see if there were any patterns available to make a cute holiday project.  There were soo many!  I finally decided that it would be fun to make a 3D project, so I purchased a pattern and printed out the templates for this cute fabric bowl.

I decided to make the largest size and after playing with fabric for a while, decided that a pink bowl would be a happy choice!  For this project, you print the templates on card stock and leave them in to give the bowl a nice stiffness.  For the outside part of the bowl I basted by hand, just stitching through the back side so I wouldn't have to remove the basting stitches (and because I didn't have a glue stick!).  This worked pretty well, but took a long time.  

For the inside of the bowl, I acquired a glue stick and used that for basting.  Sooo much faster!  Stitching was a tiny bit more difficult because the fabric was so well secured that it was trickier to get the needle into the fabric edge, but I got the hang of it very quickly.

After making the inner and outer bowls, you nest them together and stitch around the top edge.  I used a ladder stitch to make the stitches disappear.  It was a little tricky to stitch, a shorter needle might be better for this step.  But it looks great in the end!

I'm thinking some pretty pink M&M's would be perfect in this bowl!  After all, a girl does need to keep her strength up during those long hours of stitching projects!

Thanks to Island Batik for the beautiful fabric - they are from my scrap bin, so not sure of the collections or years, but you can see how easy it is to mix and match their batiks from different collections!  I used Aurifil thread in 50 weight for the stitching - I love how fine, yet strong it is.  Pattern is Pretty Fabric Bowl PDF Pattern, Templates for several sizes are included and the directions are great - so I highly recommend it!

Wishing you and all of yours a safe and Happy New Year! 

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Beautiful Back!

 I'm working on getting custom orders finished up this week, and just have to share this quilt with you!

This quilt top was brought to me for quilting and binding.  I was worried that the light thread was going to look awful on the back, which is a silky feeling solid black fabric, but I absolutely love how this one came out!

I'm on a roll with the hook swirl right now, it just adds a special something to the quilt, if you know what I mean.  For this quilt I used Aurifil 50 weight thread, and it quilted up great.  I had a few breaks (they usually happen when the bobbin is getting low, or when I'm going over a lot of layers), but it was just mostly easy quilting, which makes me very happy!

That silky fabric slid nicely, and as you can see, no puckers!  I usually go with the "busy back" to hide any imperfections, so I'm really glad that this looks so wonderful.  It did take me about a week to work up the nerve to quilt it after I got it basted - and ended up changing my mind about how I was going to quilt it, and I'm sure glad I did.

The binding is the same black with gold dots that is used on the front.  I almost always machine stitch my binding to the back of the quilt first - I use 2 inch strips because that works perfectly with the foot on my Juki.

Then I turn the binding to the front and top-stitch on the edge.  This makes a fast binding that looks great and is very durable, too!

You can see more about my binding technique on the blog post below:

This quilt will make a very special gift for someone, and I'm glad the quilting enhances it so nicely!

Today I am planning as a piecing day, so I'm looking forward to that - I'm trying to be careful not to stack up too much machine quilting back to back because it does tend to make my neck and back a little achy if I don't.  Oh, and I am planning on making some fudge as well, yumm!  

What are you doing today?  Hope it's a happy day for you, and you get to do something you love, too!

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Calm Lagoon Blog Hop - Memories of the Titanic II

 Welome to my day on the blog tour for Sherry Shish's new line with Island Batik - Calm Lagoon designed by Kathy Engle!  Sorry this was so late, it didn't post like I wanted it to before I left for work this morning, so here I am getting it up afterwards...

Aren't these fabrics just yummy?  I received a bundle of these for my November 2021 Island Batik challenge, which wasn't finished in November, but it's nearly finished now. (At least the top is nearly finished, now the quilting, that might take me a while!)

I love how well these fabrics played together in my more scrappy layout!  I think it gives a very fluid look to the Storm at Sea border!  And then I got the waves done for the border - at this size it's hard to get a good picture, but here's my best effort:

As you can see, it's too large to spread out in my dining room.  My favorite fabric is the shells on blue that I used in the wave border!

For the waves, I used the same fabric in the same place on each block, using blue for the dark and teal for the medium values.  I was able to use 10 different fabrics in this border.

I used dark teal and light teal consistently for part of the Storm at Sea border, then made the diamonds and outer triangles scrappy, using everything from dark green to medium blue.  

I also really liked the shell fabric I used for one of the lights in the compass center. So pretty!  

I really love the way storm as sea uses all straight piecing, but gives the illusion of curves.

All the white space in this will be fun for quilting!  I'll add another border in one fabric to the outside of the waves to bring it up to a queen size, because this quilt is going to be for me - pretty soon I'll have a different quilt for each month of the year :)

Look for these lovely fabrics to arrive in your quilt shops any time now!  Calm Lagoon has the prettiest blues, teals and greens to make your project look like a tropical vacation!

Good news!  The PDF pattern is now available in my Etsy shop:

Memories of the Titanic II

I'll add paper patterns shortly, just waiting on the printer to get them to me!

Thanks for joining us in celebrating this great new line!  Congrats, Sherry, it's wonderful!  You can see the wonderful patterns that Sherry has designed to go with this line and enter a giveaway on her blog here:

Powered by Quilting

And make sure to check out the other designers and the projects they made - they've all been wonderful so far!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Little by Little

Thanks for all you kind words about my Dad. I'm getting back into the rhythm of things little by little.  I've had a couple of brides in for fittings, and also have a couple of bridesmaids that need dresses hemmed.

 I had an interesting project come in to work on - a t-shirt quilt that needed to be made smaller.  I've never seen one made like it - there were 49 shirts (men's sizes) that were cut into 17 x 19 inch pieces front and back.  Each shirt was layered together with batting in between, then sewn all the way around.  They were then stitched together like a rag quilt with the seams in the back, each shirt ending up at a finished size of 16 x 18.  The entire quilt measured 112 x 126 - much too large for the customers bed.  After looking at it, I decided that it would be very easy to take two rows off the bottom and a row off the side.  The shirts that I took off were sewn together in a 4 x 5 grid for a lap quilt, with the addition of one more shirt.  This left the larger quilt at a size of 96 wide by 90 long, which my customer was very pleased with!  Interesting project, and only took a couple hours to complete.  Have you ever seen a t-shirt quilt made this way?  I thought it was kind of a neat way of doing it totell the truth!

I've also been working on some quilting projects - I will be busy machine quilting in December, I think!

I love the way this quilt is coming out!  I'm thinking about how I want to quilt this, but I'm having a hard time deciding.  The fabrics are just perfect for it!  (Calm Lagoon)

I took these fabrics and turned them into a pretty Christmas quilt.  

Today I worked a bit on a shop sample of my Sweet and Simple pattern - the wintery blues are so pretty!   I can't wait to finish this one to show you!

I'm hoping to get some sewing time tomorrow in between cooking chores - and looking forward to my usual black friday sewing marathon!  With leftovers to eat and my aversion the crazy shopping crowds, it's a good day to stay in and stitch my day away.  Hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving and find some time to enjoy the holiday your way!

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Island Batik November Challenge - Storm At Sea

 I am sad that I was not able to finish my challenge for November.  I was totally excited about the theme, not only do I love Storm at Sea quilts, but my new pattern, Memories of the Titanic II features this design and was perfect with the fabric line I was given to feature - Calm Lagoon!  

Unfortunately, the day after my last post here on my blog I got a message from my mother, saying that my Dad had fallen three times, and was being sent to the Emergency room.  We learned that his kidneys were failing and that we needed to come quickly.  He declined rapidly and after spending three days in the hospice facility he passed away.  I stayed in Colorado with my brother and sister until the end of the October to help Mom with some of the things that needed to be done, so my plans for the quilt had to be set aside for the time being.

But I would like to at least share my vision with you, and let you know that I still plan on making this quilt, and am in the process of reworking the original pattern to include this scrappy version that can be made as a large throw or a queen size quilt!  For the time being the original version of the pattern is only available in quilt shops, but as soon as I get the details finished for the expanded version it will be available in my Etsy shop as a PDF or print version.  So with all that being said - here's a look at the EQ version:

I'll share more about this as I work on it - this is just a draft, my final quilt will be more scrappy, but you can see how the fabrics in the Calm Lagoon line work so well in this quilt!  The Storm at Sea blocks are set on point, which I really love - do you see that beautiful star that appears?  I can't wait to get to work on it, I think it's going to be wonderful!

As you can see, the fabrics are all just beautiful!  As are the rest of the lines the Island Batik Ambassadors are featuring this month.  You can see hints of them all, find the complete Blog Hop Schedule all here at the Island Batik Blog.  I hope you will check out the other posts and be inspired and enjoy the beautiful work of my fellow ambassadors - what a talented bunch!  I'm looking forward to all the inspiration!  I'll try to post more as the hop proceeds, I think it will help me get back into my routine.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Busy times, celebrations, and sewing projects!

The last couple weeks have been busy - lots of sewing, special times with family, and trying to get our fall projects wrapped up!  Sweet Juliette turned one on Saturday, so we had a great celebration - we spent the morning at a local animal park, since the theme of her birthday was Wild One.

Juliette loved the animals, and just hanging out with her aunts and cousins, and Grandma and Grandpa, of course :)

She loved the cake, just dug right into it!  The adults got cupcakes, and the whole party was outdoors, the weather was absolutely perfect for it.

I was given a giraffe headband to wear - so funny!

Here is a procrastination project that I finally got finished!  My oldest grandson has been asking me to make him a spiderman mask for years and it was just too intimidating for me to get my head around.  Since they moved away this year, he turned 13, and still wants the mask I decided to go for it and just see how it would come out.  I'm impressed, and it really wasn't that hard thanks to the several youtube videos I watched!  I just hope it fits him!  

I also made a Anne of Green Gables inspired dress for his sister last week.  It arrived a few days ago and she loves it, so that was fun - I've kind of missed these kind of projects and I love being asked to make things by the grandkids.  

I got this sample quilt finished for the quilt shop.  This is my Lovers Kiss pattern - I made it using the option of fat quarters with a solid yardage border.  I'm working on a tip sheet for using directional fabric that I can include with the pattern.  I love using directional prints, but sometimes they require a little extra thought depending on the pattern you choose.  This one is so cute, it's got bicycles and pumpkins!

Here's one more cute picture of Juliette with her new Minnie Mouse.  Hope your fall is off to a good start, too!  Hopefully I'll be back to writing a little more regularly now that things are settling down and I'll get back to work on some projects to share with you!

Monday, September 27, 2021

Fabric Fun - Peacock Plumes

 Thanks so much to Tammy for making room for me in her blog hop featuring her signature collection by Kathy Engle for Island Batik!  I love this collection, the colors are so rich and fabulous!  

I'm just in love with these glorious pinks and purples!  I must say, I could play around in EQ8 for hours with these lovely fabrics - and I did!

Just for fun, I recolored some of my quilt patterns using my favorites from this collection - this is Daisy Garland.  I used a light purple (Opalescence) from the basics line for the background.  I really like this quilt in batik!

Then I thought it would be fun to see what Prairie Wings would look like using this collection - I love this as well!  This quilt has a crazy amount of triangles, but I think it's really worth all the sewing!

I was also really happy with the way my Sweet and Simple pattern looks in these wonderful rich colors.  Can you tell that the pink is my favorite color in the collection?  But that piece with the green is calling my name as well!  This quilt is bright and fun!

For my last quilt I decided to play with a design that I would probably never make - after all this is a virtual hop, so no sewing involved!  This block is called Daffodil Ring, and I think it's just stunning!  It almost makes me want to try sewing it.  

Thanks for taking a look at my designs featuring Peacock Plumes!  Make sure you check out the rest of the participants to see what they have done with the fabrics!  

Making a Switchback Bag with Free to Fly from Island Batik and ByAnnie

I was excited to find that one of the Island Batik Ambassador challenges this year was another bag using a pattern from the ByAnnie collection! 

 I made the Round Trip Duffle bag last summer, so when we were asked to make a choice for a pattern this year, I decided that I would like to make a backpack - the Switchback pattern looked like a fun choice, so I decided to try it out.  For fabric, I selected some pretty blues, with green, orange and yellow from the Free to Fly collection.  Everything I needed to make this project was provided in my July Ambassador Box from Island Batik, including the pattern, all the hardware, soft and stable plus interfacing and webbing for the straps.  

When you make one of these bags, the instructions can seem a little overwhelming as there are many pages with lots of steps.  But this actually sets you up for success, because as you do one step at a time, everything comes together perfectly in the end!  Plus the add-on video is a great help with the tricky bits!

There is a detailed cutting chart, then you quilt your sections, and cut those into the required pieces.  Quilting the Soft and Stable is really easy - I find that using my walking foot and doing straight lines goes quickly and gives the bag a nice finish.  I love the great definition it gives!  For the quilting I used used 50 wt Aurifil thread, and for the bag I used a combination of 50 and 40 wt threads, depending on the color I needed to use.

I loved how cute and tiny this shoulder strap is!  A little tricky to add the binding, but I got it done!  After that was finished, the straps were made, then it was on to adding some pockets and creating the bag flap.

The front of the bag has a zipper pocket, plus two rings so that the front flap can be secured.  I love the color blocking used on this bag, it really gives it a fun touch!

I was a little mystified by the little flap that had to be sewn to the sides and bottom of the front pocket section of the bag, but when I got to the part where it got sewn to the body of the bag it made perfect sense, the flap allows this part to stand out from the bag so you have a nice roomy pocket!  I was so delighted with the results, it was a really neat way of doing this!

Once I got to this point, I was so into the process that I forgot to take any more pictures until the bag was finished!  Isn't it pretty?  

This bag features a long strap that you can wear over your shoulder or as a backpack.  When sewing the back to the flap there is quite a bit of bulk where the strap loops are and I had some skipped stitches, so I just changed to a brand new Schmetz needle size 16 and that took care of it perfectly! 

It has a clip for keys, that can also function as an extra safety feature to keep anyone from reaching into your bag when it's on your back, as you can hook this into a loop on the other side and draw the sides together.  It's perfect for holding my house key; since my jeep has a keyless entry, I usually have to hunt out my house key in the bottom of my purse when I get home - now it's super handy and I know right where it is!

That front pocket is perfectly sized to hold my Kindle Fire tablet, so I can have a book to read when I go out!

Now I just need to make a matching case for the kindle!

It can actually fit sideways as well!  

There are also two pockets with elastic at the top, as well as an interior zippered pocket.  The top flap zips, you can clip the sides together, and then clip the flap down so it's very secure for using as a backpack as well.  The bottom of the bag is wider than the top, so it can hold a lot of stuff, if you need to stock up for a full day out and about.

The shoulder pad is stitched to the strap so you don't have to worry about it shifting around - it's the perfect length, plus the strap is adjustable, so you can easily lengthen or shorten to your preferred length. I used this on my trip last week, but I think I'll use it as my every day purse for a while - I love how organized I can be with those handy pockets!  No more digging around the bottom of my bag looking for something.

Thanks to Island Batik, ByAnnie, Schemtz Needles and Aurifil thread for the supplies I used to make this great project!