Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Tread Brightly in my Inspired by Nature project for Island Batik

Welcome to my day for the Inspired by Nature Blog hop with the Island Batik Ambassadors!  

I immediately had an inspiration when I read the guideline for this challenge -  "What in nature inspires you: flowers, insects, animals, trees, the ocean, the sky? There are so many places to find the inspiration you need for this challenge!"  There is definitely so much to be inspired at this time of year, with the beautiful earthy colors of fall, along with the ever changing weather - wind, rain and frosty mornings.  Fall is definitley my favorite time of year!

 I've been so excited about this project - it's always so much fun when you have the perfect project in mind for a set of fabric.  And I am so thrilled that it came out exactly like I pictured it!  All of the products I used in this quilt were provided to me as part of the Island Batik Ambassador program, and I will give you the details as I tell you about what I created!  First of all - the fabric:

This line is Tread Brightly designed by Bella Nonna Design studio for Island Batik.  Just look at all the awesome color in this line!  So fun!  I just love those woodcut prints, and the dots.  If you look at the previous fabrics from Bella Nonna Design Studio, you'll see more of the rich colors and fun designs. I really was drawn to these even thought they aren't my usual type of choice for working with.  Tread Brightly is part of the summer collections by Island Batik that are shipping to quilt shops right now.

I was also given a selection of fabrics from the basics line and chose the lime green to go with them.  

I can see so many of the colors of the fabrics I was working with in these colors that my daughter and I collected on a nature walk!

I went to EQ8 to find a project that I had made several years ago - Autumn Winds.  It was super easy to make it the size I wanted to work with - the center is 24 x 36 with the border. I printed full size applique templates, and after piecing together 12 sheets of paper I had my pattern to work with and started putting together the center. One good tip is that when you are working with larger pieces of applique, cut out the center so you can reduce the stiffness of your work.  I chose the lightest fabric in the collection for my face, and this fun stripe for the background.  The bonus is that you can use those center portions for your smaller pieces.

After getting the basic center done I added this lime green border to frame it!  I used EQ8 to audition several pieced borders to showcase all of the lovely fabrics, and in the end decided to keep it simple with strip pieced sixteen patch blocks.  I decided to use the gray solid as a background, to add a little touch of our rainy fall days to the quilt.

Very nice start, but I think she needs a crown of flowers and some leaves blowing in the wind to complete this piece.  EQ8 has lots of great flower and leaf motifs, so I pulled a variety, printed them out at the size I wanted and traced them onto the fusible web, then had fun choosing fabrics for them!

I should have taken more pictures, but I got so into working on my quilt that I didn't even think about it until I had made my final choices of placement!  Well, as you know, making the top is just getting half way done  I still had the quiting to go.  For this piece I decided to try out the fusible batting that Hobbs Batting included in the second Ambasador box that I received.  I was curious to see how the batting would work - I had used a fusible batting years ago, and I was really hoping to find that the Hobbs version would be better.  And it definitely was!
As I unwrapped the batting, I noticed a slight smell - kind of like vinegar, but it quickly faded.  I also noted that the batting had a bit of a tacky feel, and I had to work a bit to unroll it, but it really wasn't a problem.  I cut the batting just a bit bigger that my top so it would be a little smaller than the backing to make it easier to press.

It was pleased at how easy it was to work with this batting.  I just used my regular ironing board and started at one end, working my way carefully to the other end, then moved the sandwich up to press the next area.  I had to press with the iron for about 10 seconds to get a good bond on both sides, even so it probably only took me about 15 minutes to press the entire quilt.  I was super happy to see that the back looked great when I was done, too!  I did have to repress the edges from the back, and when I started quilting I decided to start out with stitching around the edges just to make sure I didn't have any problems.  

When I saw how easily that was accomplished I decided to add some straight stitching to the border while I was at it, and I discovered that I love this batting because I got none of those annoying puckers, and everything stayed perfectly straight!  It also did not make my quilt feel stiff at all.  I suspected at the beginning that I might have to re-press at some point, but I didn't. I'll definitely keep this batting in mind for future projects, especially if I'm going to be doing cross hatching.  It stitched very well when doing the free motion as well and I can't say that the finished feeling isn't any different than regular batting, so definitely a win for the fusible cotton batting!

For the center of the quilt, most of the quilting consisted of quilting around the appliques.  I am very grateful for my stash of Aurifil thread because I was able to find a thread for every color in this quilt!.  I do wish I would have remembered to cut out the centers of the layered flowers because it's pretty stiff in that area, but since this will be a wall hanging it's ok. 

I used the nonstick needles by Schmetz, and I do think that they reduced the amount of skipped stitches and broken threads.  I easily stitched through one or two layers of fusible, but did struggle a bit through the thicker portions.  Still a vast improvement over the usual stitching on fusible, though so I am happy with them!  Don't forget to change your needle when you start a new project - it really does make a difference in your stitching....

After binding my quilt with the lime green I took it outside for a photo shoot - the sun was starting to go down and was so gorgeous on my tree!  Luckily the wind wasn't blowing at the time, but I think this quit really captures how I feel on a gorgeous fall day when the wind is blowing and the leaves are falling from the trees - all the wonderful color and smells make my soul soar!

I added a bunch of inspiration pins to my board on pinterest - so many cool examples of flower crowns!  I could do a whole series of quilts just playing with this theme! And I'm tempted to buy a flower crown for myself to wear, too!

You can see how well the fusible batting performed - not one single pucker or wrinkle on the back!  

I love how the colors mix and match with each other!

This was such a fun quilt to work on.  It was so enjoyable to just play with the colors and do something whimsical!  I hope you enjoy my quilt, too! Autumn Winds finished at 48 inches wide and 36 inches tall.  

I cut some of my leftover fabric up into five inch squares and I have two sets to give away.  Each set has two each of 19 fabrics (I used up all the background fabric, so can't share that).  

Don't forget to visit Michelle Roberts at Creative Blonde to see her project using these great fabrics!

Here is the rest of the schedule for this week, followed by the Island Batik Giveaway for the week:

November 23:

November 24:

November 25:

November 26:

November 27:

End of Blog Hop and Round-Up

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Last, but not least - a big Thank You to Island Batik, Hobbs Batting, Schmetz Needles, and Aurifil Thread for the fantastic products used to make this challenge quilt!  I loved working with them and am so happy with my finished quilt!

I am thankful for being able to be an Island Batik Ambassador - what a fun year 2020 has been - one more challenge, and our year will be coming to a close!  Can't wait to share what I'm working on, and I'll be giving you a chance to join in with my Winter Mini Madness as well...stay tuned for more info this weekend!


Anonymous said...


Cute quilt! I love to see what quilters can think up when given a challenge. I like the fall with the different color leaves. I keep promising myself to make a leaf quilt, hopefully I will get to it soon.

Nancy L said...

I am inspired by blogs and seeing all of the beautiful creations that people make.

Emily said...

WOW! This is beautiful! What a great combination of the theme and the fabrics! Your center panel is fabulous, absolutely fabulous!!! What a wonderful tribute to fall.

Lori said...

oh wow your quilt is wonderfully creative and colorful. I just love the movement you created. Thanks for sharing and inspiring. I love to get a lot of my inspiration from nature. Our back yard which I can see five neighbors back yards. From my sisters place where I can see fields and animals. And from tv I even get some ideas quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

Sharon Aurora said...

Wow, you captured the feeling brilliantly! Your use of the fabric is perfect. I can just imagine standing out in the woods with the breeze blowing while taking in the beautiful scenery.

Summer is my season for inspiration, though any season is great.

Cecilia said...

Great quilt! I love the sense of movement it has. I love going to the mountains.

Kathleen said...

Such a gorgeous quilt, Pam. It truly expresses what inspires you. I think summer and fall are my inspiration months, although this year they seem like a blur!

Julie said...

I am inspired by Spring and Fall. All the colors change in both seasons.

Julie said...

A quilt is a quilt because of the layers are stitched together.

Denise said...

Such an amazing quilt.

Jennifer Thomas said...

Fabulous quilt! Your quilt really captures the feeling I get when I'm out on a nature walk. Beautiful. Have a great day!

Quilting Tangent said...

Love the fall with the leaves twilling down. Not the very windy day in your quilt, LOL. 24Tangent@gmail.com

Joyce Carter said...

Pamela, your quilt is so pretty and creative. You did a wonderful job with these fabrics. Thanks for sharing today and for your giveaway.
Spring is my favorite season and I am inspired by all the flowers and trees that are beginning to open up. The colors are amazing and I want to create them in my quilts.

teachpany said...

Great design! I love the flower crown, and you definitely deserve one.

Sewgirl said...

Your quilt turned out lovely! I am a summer kind of person and normally love to travel. I am inspired by all the summer activities and scenery.

Diantha said...

I think Fall, with the beautiful colors, inspires me!
Love your quilt and the wind feeling.

Cindy Shelley said...

Love the movement your quilt makes me feel.. strong winds.

@lutzcats said...

Great composition!!! I like the fall, inspires me for the cooler temps-not the colors.

Kelly Dee said...

I'm always excited by the ocean, the smells and sounds and textures.

Pamela said...

I love your wonderfully creative and whimsical quilt, and the story of its creation! I can just imagine how much fun you had. Summer and bodies of water inspire me! I get my best ideas in a kayak.

Judy Forkner said...

I love all seasons--the changes keep me interested!

Barb said...

Fall inspires me to make quilts--your design is so innovative--Really depicts "Blowing in the Wind"!!

cghundley said...

This looks amazing and
cool! I love the summertime
with the warmer and longer
daylight hours.
Carla from Utah

Delaine said...

What an amazing quilt! You are very talented. The Canadian Rocky Mountains always inspire me. They are so beautiful and majestic. Thanks!

Brenda said...

Great job on your quilt!
Fall tends to inspire me a lot. I love all the colors and Holidays during fall!

BarefootThunder said...

great quilt, I love feeling the wind in my hair on a crisp fall day. that being said ... summer is my favourite time, I don't like being cold.

JANET said...

I can actually feel the wind on my face as I view your quilt!

Kathy E. said...

I have felt the same as the woman in your quilt with her hair blowing and leaves abounding! What a fun quilt and with the fabric colors, it's so pretty! The colors of autumn inspire me too...such rich, natural colors.
duchick at gmail dot com

Carol Andrews said...

Another beautiful finish. Love the imagined feeling of wind blowing through my hair. My biggest inspiration right now is walking out my door and seeing my beautiful winter view, snow covered trees, mountains and greens.

Jayne said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely quilt. I always find myself drawn to Autumn coloured fabrics

Dawn F said...

I love fall the best, but feel more inspired by spring colors.

Sandra Walker said...

Your quilt is just wonderful, my personal vision of Mother Nature :-) I love the border you did too; it doesn't detract from MN and her crown of flowers.