Sunday, March 31, 2024

March 2024 Challenge for Island Batik

What a month it has been!  I wasn't sure if I was actually going to get my challenge done as it has been a most challenging month for me - nothing bad, but just extremely busy and challenging, if you know what I mean.  We've been doing more work on our house, but I'll leave that tale for another day - today I want to tell you about the fun quilt I designed and finished as my Island Batik Ambassador project this month.  This time the parameters of the challenge were open - All Up to You!  With all the wonderful fabric and notions provided for me in the January Ambassador box, it was a fun challenge.  (All the materials for this challenge were provided for me as part of the Island Batik Ambassador Program)

I couldn't resist opening up the strip pack of Zen Funk to use for my project!  This line was designed by Kathy Engle as a signature collection for Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quiltworks.  

This is a fun collection of black and white, and it was paired for me with two equally fun fabrics, Pebbles Charcoal and Coconut!  I immediately know I wanted to do a quilt with a fun positive/negative effect.  I played around in EQ8 for a while until I came up with the design that made me want to start sewing it up.

I got started by separating the strips into light and dark - it was a bit tricky deciding on some of them, but I basically made my decision by asking which background contrasted best with the strips.  I cut the background strips as well, then started stitching!

For this quilt I changed up my usual choices - I used Aurifil 40 weight thread for the piecing - and it worked perfectly with my usual choice of Schmetz Microtex Chrome 12 needle.  I've been using the 40 weight more often, and find that it's a bit easier to get my tension just right! (Check out the video on the Aurifil website, I really enjoyed taking a few minutes to watch it!)

I had to lay out the first set of blocks just to see if it was going to be what I envisioned - and yes, it was! I used my new Oliso smart iron for the pressing and was so impressed with how flat my blocks turned out! 

I wish I had saved the post I recently saw that showed a comparison of iron heat.  I was surprised at how hot an iron is recommended for cotton fabric - 400 degrees!  And the Oliso Iron was one of the few that actually got that hot - so I see now how that makes a difference when pressing your blocks!  After I got my blocks all stitched together and the top was finished I decided on a black backing. For backing I used the Hobbs Heirloom Black 80/20.  I really love this batting, it has a super nice feel to it, and quilts up great!

I enjoyed making this one so much that I decided to try one in spring colors!  I don't have this one quilted yet, but I did get it basted.  This one uses Hobbs Polydown.  I love the loft of this batting, it's just right - not too thin and not too thick!

I used a dark green (Pineneedle) and light green (Mint) for the background fabrics with Butterfly Blooms.  This was a 2021 collection, and is so pretty! (I noticed you can still find these at Creekside Quilts)

I finished my quilt up on Saturday, and took it outside for some pictures - it was pretty windy as you can see!

You have to be quick to get a picture between gusts!

Then I couldn't resist a picture on our new couch - it looks so nice on the gray!  If you love this fabric, you can find it at Stichin' Heaven!  Or, ask your local quilt shop to order some in, it's still available!  I was hoping to have the pattern ready for it by now, but unfortunately, haven't had time to finish it up - you'll have to wait just a bit for this one.  It's really a fun and easy project, I'm dying to make one more in jewel tones with black and white background!

Hope you enjoyed seeing my project for this month - I'm running late, but I did make the March deadline, if only by a few hours!  I promise I'll do better next month!


Jennifer Schifano Thomas said...

Hello Pamela! I really love the black and white. It's so bold and fun to look at. The secondary color design you made is really pretty, too. Can't wait to see the jewel toned version! I love quilts that look good in different colorways. They make my mind spin with possibilities! Have a fabulous day.

Renee Atkinson said...

Love this! Great choice!!!