Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Top it Off - October Island Batik Ambassador Challenge

I'm excited to share my Island Batik Ambassador Challenge for October with you today!  Our challenge this month was to make a holiday inspired table runner or topper featuring applique. (Island Batik provided the fabric and the ambassadors provide the ideas!) I knew this would be a fun challenge.  For me this challenge was difficult because I was having a hard time figuring out what holiday to feature.  Then I remembered a comment about the fact that it would be nice to do a winter project featuring blue and white fabrics for Hanukkah!  What a great inspiration.  I think my project came out great and I hope you will enjoy it as well!

 I pulled seven blue fabrics from the Sunny Side up (oh, how I love these happy colors)  bundle of fat quarters that I received in my second Ambassador Box this summer - and I also pulled a lovely yellow to use for some stars.  I added a nice strip of solid white, which really set the blue fabrics off nicely!  I used a courthouse steps style of block for the three pieced blocks. All three blocks are the same, the center one is rotated to make the design more interesting.
Lo and behold, one of the applique blocks built into the EQ8 program is a Star of David Wreath, which was perfect for my project.  The wreath features 9 stars, which I thought was a nice reference to the 9 candles on a Menorah.  I needed to cut out and fuse 18 stars total for both sides of the runner, but that wasn't bad at all!  Arranging the stars in a perfect circle was a bit of a challenge, though.  In the end I went to the kitchen and pulled out a lid to help me get them just right!

I layered my quilt sandwich with the Hobbs Tuscany Wool and Cotton blend - it's just lovely for quilting and really shows the texture.  I used Aurifil Thread for the piecing and the quilting, three different colors of 50 wt - a yellow, a blue and white. 
Isn't the back fabulous?  I had so much fun playing with the quilting on this project, table runners are a great size for practicing new quilting ideas.  I did McTavishing on the body, wishbones in the white border, and a fun design on the final border that I picked out of "Doodle Quilting Mania" by Cheryl Malkowski.  So much inspiration - if you are struggling with ideas for free motion quilting, her books are awesome! 

I used the same blue for the binding as I used for the border.  For those of you who think this quilting looks great, it's really not so perfect, but overall, it looks awesome!  My wishbones are a bit more crooked than I wanted and my circles get a little wonky in the border - but when you look at the quilt as a whole, you don't see those imperfections at all.  So don't give up, just keep practicing.  On the right border you can see my wishbones at the beginning.  On the left you can see where I finished.  My muscle memory had kicked in by then and I was getting a lot better and more confident!  Practice on smaller quilts like table runners and place mats and before you know it you will have added a new skill to your repertoire!

Thanks to Island Batik, Aurifil Thread and Hobbs Batting for providing products for this challenge!

Would you like to make your own Hanukkah Stars table runner?  You can download an instructions sheet by clicking the link below:

Free Hanukkah Stars Table Runner Pattern
I've set the price so you can download for free or pay what you would like.  Your financial support helps me continue to design and create patterns - I appreciate it every time you purchase one of my patterns and help me to keep on doing what I love! 

I have several new quilts to show you from the Island Batik booth at Quilt Market, but I'll spread those out so they can each get their share of attention.  In the meantime, have a wonderful day and go find some time to quilt!


Barb N said...

Very striking runner!

Turid said...

Great runner, and the quilting is smashing.

Emily said...

Love those rings of stars!! Beautiful!

Barb said...

Love your runner...

Kathleen said...

Wonderful runner...and I do love the quilting you did.