Sunday, July 07, 2024

June 2024 Island Batik Challenge Projects

I wanted to catch up and share with you all the wonderful projects made for the June Island Batik Ambassador Challenge!  All these quilts will be donated to children in need, isn't that wonderful?


Take some time and read through the blog posts, I hope it will inspire you to make a quilt to donate as well!  I'll be posting individual links on my Facebook page over the next three days if you'd like to see them that way!

Brenda Alburl ~ Songbird Designs

Renee Atkinson ~ Pink Tulip Quilting

Megan Best ~ BestQuilter

Pamela Boatright ~ PamelaQuilts

Susan Deshensky ~ Lady Blue Quilts Studio

Brittany Fisher ~ Bobbin with Brittany

Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts

Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts

Jane Hauprich ~ Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting

Kim Jamieson-Hirst ~ Chatterbox Quilts

Victoria Johnson ~ Forever Quilting for You

Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs

Connie Kresin Campbell ~ Freemotion by the River

Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood

Denise Looney ~ A Quiltery

Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights

Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine

Lisa Pickering ~ Lisa’s Quilting Passion

Sarah Pitcher ~ Pitcher’s Boutique

Lana Russel ~ Lana Quilts

Julia Schweri ~ Inflorescence Designs

Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail

Carol Stanek ~ Stitch with Color

Sandra Starley ~ Textile Time Travels

Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations

Suzy Webster ~ Websterquilt


We don't have a challenge for July - other than making an unboxing video!  That means I'll be having fun catching up on some of my personal projects!  Looking forward to sharing what I'm up to!

Friday, July 05, 2024

Cross My Body Bag - my new favorite!

 Several months ago I was contacted by Chris Welsh of ChrisWDesigns about making one of her bags to share with my followers.  As I looked through her designs I noticed that she had a pattern for a cross body bag that was just what I was looking for, so I accepted her offer of a free pattern.  I love that she has the patterns rated by difficulty on her website!  This bag is an intermediate level, and as I have experience in making bags, it was a good fit for me, and I had no issues making it. Though I have to say that her instructions are so thorough, I would not worry about trying this one even if you don't have a lot of experience in bag making!


This bag is super cute!  I used an Island Batik fabric that I purchased from my local shop, plus lining and accent from my stash acquired as an Island Batik Ambassador!  

The notions were chosen from Missouri Star Quilt Company and included in my first Affiliate box. (Use my affiliate link to save $20.00 on an order of $50 or more - perfect for stocking up on bag hardware!)


Anyway - back to the pattern!  I loved that the pattern was so well put together.  It is a lot of pages, including some templates to print for the shaped pieces.  The advantage of a pdf pattern like this is that there are pictures for all of the steps, so you never wonder if you are understanding the directions properly.


This pattern includes three different pockets, one of my favorites is the cell phone pocket.  It's interfaced with fleece to protect your phone and is deep enough for larger phones.  There is also a fun hidden pocket on the other side of the bag, plus a zipper pocket on the inside.  I find that three pockets are plenty and keep me from endlessly searching pockets to find what I'm looking for!


I used my iPad to read the directions as I sewed, and it worked great!  There is also a video tutorial that is quite helpful and informative as well, it's like taking a class with Christine and you can see exactly how all the steps go together!  Definitely adds a ton of value to the pattern.


This bag takes a variety of hardware.  I couldn't get rivets, so left those out and just reinforced the stitching at the points where they were suggested. (I fell in love with the iridescent zipper and swivel hooks, they look so cool with my fabric!) 


 The adjustable strap is great for the bag, so you can make the handle the length you want!  


The stabilizers all work great to give the bag just enough body - it feels sturdy without being bulky and stiff.  Part of the reason I liked this bag was because of the quilted exterior, which is really easy to do with marking and quilting instructions included.



Though this bag doesn't look large, it holds an amazing amount of stuff!  I like the recessed top zipper, as well as the hidden pocket - I used this bag while traveling and it made me feel secure that my belongings were safe and secure.


The hidden pocket is perfect for keeping my keys and important pieces of paper in!


The Cross My Body Bag was a hit for me!  (I have several people hinting that they would love for me to make them one!)  I have my eye on a wallet for my next project, or maybe a nice messenger bag!  There are so many great patterns to choose from, and now that I know how great Christine's patterns are, I can't wait to try another!

Thank you, Christine for the opportunity to try one of your great patterns!

Check out ChrisWDesigns to see more of her patterns - you can start sewing today since they are pdf files!  

Friday, June 28, 2024

June Island Batik Ambassador Challenge, Sleep in Heavenly Peace with Studio 180 Designs V Block trimmer

It's time for my monthly Island Batik Ambassador post - the products I used for this project were provided to me by the Island Batik Ambassador program and as part of the Missouri Star Quilt Company Affiliate program.  

This month's Island Batik Ambassador Challenge was a very gratifying one - have you heard of Sleep in Heavenly Peace?  Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design has begun an initiative to provide a quilt for each bed that is delivered - isn't that a fantastic idea? I am happy to be a part of providing bedding for a child to have a good night's rest!  Make sure you read to the end of this post, because you can download a free pattern to make a quilt of your own to donate!

 It's called Quilts Across America, and I encourage you to visit that link to find out more about how you can get involved.  Each of the Island Batik Ambassadors is making a quilt to donate this month, which I love!  We each received a tool from Studio 180 Design, plus could use any of the fabric and batting in our first Ambassador box for this task.  I chose to go scrappy and was able to use strips from the Stashbuilder rolls for my project!  The neutral is Almond, plus I used the solid gray to add a little more dimension.



The tool I received from Studio 180 designs is the V Block.  This is one of my favorite units in quilt design, so I was excited to work with this great tool.  I wanted to make 12 inch blocks for my quilt, and I discovered that starting with a 5 inch strip was the perfect size to make the units the size I wanted.  As you can see, I had a number of Stashbuilder rolls with bright green, yellow, orange, and purple.  I added some strips of blue and was all set to make a fun and bright quilt!


I found the V Block ruler to be very simple to use - as with the rest of the Studio 180 design tools, the pieces are cut oversized so you can trim the blocks to perfection.  And they are perfect, plus easy to sew as you don't have to be overly fussy about lining things up when you sew.  Of course, I used my favorite Aurifil 50 weight thread, and a new Schmetz 12 microtex needle for the piecing!  


I decided to use my colors in a random and scrappy way.  These are such happy colors!


It was sure nice to have my new Oliso iron!  It pressed all those seams as sharp and smooth as can be!  It gets nice and hot, plus the automatic lift makes it lots easier on my wrist because I don't have to set the iron on its heel every time I press.  Got to watch out for those joints, you know...


To you see how nice and sharp those points are?  The V Block tool really is terrific for making these units.  I used four patch units for the corners and center of this block, putting the light gray in the corners.


The next step was to make half square triangles.  I paired them with the gray background as well.


I tried out my new scissors from Missouri Star Quilt company to trim the dog ears, and they are terrific!  (Use the affiliate link here or on my sidebar to save 20% on an order of $50 or more - plus I earn a small commission)


The moment of truth, how are these colorful blocks going to sew together?  I wasn't sure if it would be chaos or joy...


I think it's pure radiant joy!  I love the bright colors mixed up in a happy jumble!


I chose the Poly Down batting provided by Hobbs.  This is a great batting for quilts that will be well used and laundered.  Plus it's super soft and snuggly, perfect for a bed quilt!


I always like to get a basting picture!  I decided to quilt this in an overall swirl with white thread.

I had one more roll of strips, so I decided to use them to make a scrappy binding to match the quilt!

This quilt came out to be quite a colorful and fun creation - I love it!  


The Shoo-Fly block and the 54-40 or Fight block together make a wonderful circular design.  I'm calling this Radiant Chain.  I have created a free pattern for you to use if you would like to make a project to donate!  I only request that you not make multiple copies to share, but instead refer people to my site to download the pattern for themselves.  Thank you so much!

Radiant Chain Download

I hope you have enjoyed this project!  I surely enjoyed making it and am excited to send it out for donation.  I hope the child that receives this quilt sleeps well and has happy dreams!

Thank you to Island Batik for the lovely fabrics, Studio 180 Designs for the V block ruler, Oliso for the great iron, and Hobbs Batting for the lovely Poly Down batting.  Thanks to Aurifil thread as well as Schmetz needles as well, they are truly my sewing room staples!  And to Missouri Star Quilt Company for the lovely scissors!  I am truly blessed by being a part of the Island Batik Ambassador program!