Saturday, August 26, 2023

It's All Up To You - August 2023 Island Batik Ambassador Challenge

 This month's Island Batik Ambassador Challenge was to do whatever we wanted! I decided that it would be a good month to finish up several projects that I had started, but never finished.  So I ended up with a triple play!  All of these projects were made with the Island Batik fabric, Hobbs Batting, Aurifil thread and Schmetz needles that I have received as part of the Island Batik Ambassador Program.

I am so happy I got these projects finished at last!  This challenge was a really good motivator for sure!

The oldest one is the Birds in the Air quilt in teals.  This would have been my Island Batik Challenge for October of 2021, but was started the week before my Dad became ill and passed away.  I had the top finished, but it was never quilted.  I decided it was time to get this project completed. Here's a bad picture of when I started the blocks, - must have been a rainy day!  

The challenge was to use the three spools of Aurifil thread in the Color Builder collection I received and to make something that told the story of the endangered animal it represented.  The Blue Throated Macaw was the species associated with these beautiful teals.  I pulled an assortment of teal fabrics from my leftover stash from previous challenges, along with the basic Celery for the background.  
I originally planned to try quilting a large Macaw over the top of the piecing but decided in the end  to just do some curvy outlining and keep it simple.  I used all three colors of thread, so did comply with the challenge guidelines!  I used a scrap of Hobbs Poly Down for the batting, it really gives a lot of texture to this quilt!  I also used Schmetz needles - the Microtex size 12 was perfect for both the piecing and the quilting.  I love that these needles stay sharp throughout my project!  

It's really pretty!  I used more teal fabric on the back.  It feels good to have this done at last!  I really like the way the quilting shows up on the back, too!  This is a great example of how you can make a scrappy quilt in monochromatic color scheme.  It finished at about 23 1/2 inches square.

The next project is my jelly roll rug that was was started in April of 2022.  The ball of sewn fabric was sitting up on my shelf for over a year!  I used this strip pack of Mountain Gems - so pretty!

I used two packages of Hobbs Fusible Strips for the batting.  It really works great for these projects, it's so easy to use and keeps everything nicely in place for sewing!  And using a Schmetz Micortex size 14 needle was perfect - strong enough to go through all the layers, but sharp enough to not give my machine a hard time of it!

My first attempt did not go as well as I had hoped!  I started sewing this one afternoon and rushed through, thinking I could get it to lay flat when I finished.  Nope.  

After sleeping on it overnight, I decided to try taking it apart.  The next day I spent about 15 minutes pulling out most of it.  Luckily, it's a little like knitting, it comes out way easier than it sews together!  I spent a bit of time cleaning up the threads, then started over, going a lot more slowly and carefully.

It was a shame to waste all that Aurifil thread!  (It's the medium teal from the Color builder collection I used for the first quilt!)  Never fear, there was plenty on the spool to stitch it a second time!  Thank goodness that these spools are so full of good thread!

On my second try it came out looking a lot better!  It looks so great in my bedroom, too!  Now my husband is hinting that he might like one for his side of the bed, so I might have to make another one someday.  Just have to pick a nice color collection, which isn't hard with all the beautiful Island Batik strip packs!  (And if you do a google search, you can still find this collection - it's gorgeous!)

My final project was started in December of 2022, after I completed the Lone Star Challenge.  I thought it would be fun to make a smaller star with some of my favorites from the Modern Opulence collection!  

This one was a lot easier that the large one!  I made my strip sets, then made the star.  I had a little trouble deciding which fabric to use for the border, so ended up setting it aside until this month, but other than that it was smooth sailing!

Once I decided on the border, all I had to do was quilt it. I used Hobbs Heirloom premium 80/20 in this one.  I like the lightweight, yet stable feel of this batting - it's really nice for wall hangings!  With a nice sharp Schmetz Microtex needle and some light gold Aurifil thread I was ready for some simple straight-line quilting to finish this off!  It finished at about 28 inches square.

Not too bad for a busy month!  I'm delighted with three lovely finishes for this month's challenge. Visit the rest of the Ambassadors to see their projects!  So much good creativity happening! Plus, we've got a blog hop starting next month!  Lots of good things ahead!


teachpany said...

Yay for three finishes! Great projects, great finishes, and a good use of the month's prompt.

Jennifer Schifano Thomas said...

Three finishes in one month! I'll bet it feels good to finish these up. Funny, I was looking at a quilt I made with Mountain Gems this morning. It looks really pretty stitched up into your rug. Have a great day!

Connie Kauffman said...

Great to finish up other projects- they are all lovely!

Brenda @ Songbird Designs said...

Great finishes, Pamela! It feels so good to finish something you started a while ago!