Wednesday, January 22, 2020

What arrived in my first Ambassador Box of 2020?

So much goodness that it was a little overwhelming! 28 lbs worth of overwhelming...oh my!  All the following fabric and supplies were provided to me by Island Batik and their industry partners at no charge.  In return, I get to make a project every month with a thought provoking challenge.  So fun!  I feel so lucky to be chosen as an Island Batik Ambassador for 2020.
First of all a package arrived from Accuquilt!  This contained a Block On Board die for a Storm at Sea block!  I can't wait to try this out and I have a lot of ideas for what I want to try making with this.  My thanks to Accuquilt for being so generous to us ambassadors!

 Luckily my daughter Shannon was visiting over Christmas, so she helped me by videotaping my unboxing for me - just one take, and it's not too embarrassing!  I think I hit all the important points, and it was fun sharing what was inside that huge box of happiness.  So - take a look at my video, then I will give your more details about what I received...

So much great fabric and other goodies, right? 

The largest bundle and two pieces of yardage were the Primo line.  This line was designed by Ebony Love of  Lovebug Studios.  I am super happy to play with these fabrics because I saw her blog post about how she designed them.  Also, I've known Ebony for quite some time through the seller team I belong to on Etsy, so I feel like she is a friend even though we've never met in person!  She is a very creative and hard working person, so I am excited to see her designing with Island Batik and know she's going to be doing some great things.  This fabric is one of the fall lines and is currently arriving in quilt shops everywhere!

The strip pack I received is Jewel Box - designed for Linda and Carl Sullivan of Colourwerx by Kathy Engle.  Such pretty colors, these will be so fun to work with! 

I'm always excited to receive some Aurifil thread and I was very delighted to find TWO of the new Color Builder boxes!  Each of these boxes has three large spools of Aurifil thread in a dark medium and light, inspired by an iconic location in Italy.  I received Dolomite Green and Sardinia Pink in my Ambassador box, and can't wait to put them to use!  Thank you to Aurifil thread!
I also received a Stack (10 inch squares) of River Valley.  Beautiful greens and blues in this collection - it's going to be a very pretty project, whatever it will end up as!  River Valley was designed for Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design by Kathy Engle.
I love using the 10 inch squares, it's a nice size piece of fabric to use in a scrappy type of project, and the lovely thing is that the fabrics are already coordinated for you!

I'm definitely a fan of Schmetz needles and have been using them since I started using a sewing machine.  They have a great variety of needles for every purpose and I am excited to try the chrome plated needles as well as the non-stick ones!  They sent a handy user guide and needle guide as well, so a big thanks goes out to Schmetz for joining in the fun as an industry partner!

Surprises are always fun - this one won't be revealed for a few months, it's from the winter lines and won't be available in shops for a while, so we don't want to tease you too much!
I'm excited about that fun bundle of foundations and solids!  I'm thinking these will be fun with that Storm at Sea die...hmmm.  And the batik!  I have an idea for this as well.  Can you see the pretty and subtle color on it?  so pretty!

A big thanks to Hobbs for providing two BIG king size packages of batting!  One is the 80/20 Cotton batting - this is the batting I used when first learning to free motion quilt and I still love it.  And the heirloom cotton that I used in my scrappy project is also terrific, very soft and cuddly!

Oh, I can't forget the Stash Builder rolls!  They are perfect for when you want a bit of fabric for something - and opening them is like a treasure hunt...what kind of fabric will you find inside?  These make great little gifts, and we are starting a friendship square swap at my local quilt shop using them.  You really should ask your local shop about carrying them!

And 6 yards of neutral!  Rice will go so well with all of my projects.  We also received a package with black, white, and gray solids!  It's a good thing, because I was down to just scraps of all 3 - I never would have imagined how much use I would get out of those three fabrics, and they are totally wonderful!  

I hope I haven't blathered on too long about the contents of my box.  With all these goodies it is hard to keep it short and sweet!  I'll talk more in depth about the items as I use them, and if you have any questions, just leave me a comment and I'll tell you what I can (but no revealing my secret bundle...sorry!).  I'm glad to have you follow along with me on my adventures as an Island Batik Ambassador - don't forget to follow the other ambassadors as well, they are a great group and so talented!  Keep an eye out for more unboxing videos - we'll be spreading them out through the rest of the month with 2 or 3 a day.  Stay tuned for many great projects and surprises this year!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Winter Blues Blog Hop and Island Batik January Challenge - Flying X blocks, Let's Get Scrappy!

Welcome to day 2 of the Winter Blues Blog Hop!  I am sure enjoying seeing all the "Blues" because I love them so much.  The color blue does make me happy, even in these cold and dim winter days.  And I think that this time of year, you just have to spend extra time doing things that bring you joy! 

I'm combining my project with the January Island Batik Ambassador Challenge - which is a Scrap Quilt challenge.  (These fabrics were all provided to me through Island Batik in the boxes that have been sent to me as an ambassador over the last few years as well as the batting, thread and AccuQuilt Go! used for the cutting.)

The first thing I did was to pull out the AccuQuilt Go! and 8 inch Qube set.  I found a block that I liked in the Mix and Match block and pattern book and started looking through my scraps to find blue fabrics that I wanted to use.  I decided to make 12 blocks and used two different blues in each block, so 24 different blue fabrics went into this quilt.  There are fabrics going back to my very first ambassador box in this quilt! It didn't take long to turn all those scraps into pieces for my blocks...

I love the way these blocks came out!  If you aren't too sure if you really like scrappy quilts, try making one with a controlled color palette.  You just might change your mind! I used the same fabric (rice) for the background and the sashing to make my blocks look like they are floating on the quilt, and found a fun strip of raindrops for the cornerstones in one of my Stash Builder rolls

I love my finished quilt!  I decided I wanted to try something new with the quilting so I used my walking foot to quilt curved lines across the quilt.  It was really pretty fun and easy and I love the look of it!  The thread was the same pale blue Aurifil 50 wt that I used for the piecing. 

The batting is Hobbs Heirloom Cotton.  I love the soft loft of it, and how nicely it quilts!  The light quilting makes this quilt nice and soft!

I used Blueberry from the Island Batik foundations line for the border and Cheerios in Blueberry (my favorite color from island batik!) for the binding.  You can see the raindrop cornerstones in this picture as well!
Isn't this a pretty winter quilt?  It measures 40 x 50 inches - the blocks are 8 inches, sashing and cornerstones are 2 inches and the border is 4 inches.
I decided to hang it over my dining room window for now.  I really want to make a nice roman shade for this window, but I am really liking this quilt in that spot for the time being!

I hope you enjoyed my project!  Make sure you go visit the other bloggers who are posting today - so many great projects featuring "Winter Blues".  Thanks again to Carla for hosting this great hop!

And also thanks to Island Batik for providing the fabric, Accuquilt for the Go! cutting system, Hobbs Batting, and Aurifil Thread.  You can see all the 2020 Island Batik Ambassador blogs by clicking the tab at the top of my blog or by clicking here.  There will be lots of great projects coming up!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Shake off those Winter Blues!

It's another Monday, a new week with new challenges, new tasks, and a new blog hop!  The focus is on Blue with the Winter Blues Blog Hop, hosted by Carla of Creatin' In the Sticks.  I'll be posting on that for Tuesday and I can't wait to share my project with you.

Then on Wednesday I'll be sharing what I got in my first Island Batik Ambassador Box for 2020 - so much quilting goodness!

Speaking of goodness I was happy to get an order from this week - it all started with a yard of linen that is going to be made into an artist apron for one of my daughters.  Then I needed a yard of Island Batik for something I'm working on, and then they had a really good sale on some other pretty fabrics plus I found the coordinating fabric for yet another project, and by that time I might as well order one more yard of something for free shipping! 

I think I ended up with a total of 9 yards of fabric for $50.00, so a very good deal, and I will put it all to good use.  I need to keep a list of backings for all my UFO's that I'm working on so I can purchase those when I need to level up an order for free shipping next time.

I didn't do very well last week on working on the projects I planned to work on, but I did get a lot done on some other projects.  This week I'll do better!  I did get one block done for Crazy Jane.  I cut out the templates for another one, but ended up dumping water on them, so I need to make a new set.  Will I ever learn?
I also got a pattern written up last week, so that's one of my goals for the month.  Friday night I taught a class for a friend.  We used Mod Podge to glue fabric on the back of clear plates.  They came out really pretty!

This clever lady brought a sticker to add words to hers!  I'm not much for glue or paint, but this was actually pretty fun! 

This weekend I worked on the sashing for the 2019 Color Challenge - so fun!  Lots of sewing, but totally worth it!
Isn't this sooo gorgeous?  That black and white sashing just takes this quilt to a whole new level, I think!  You can read more about the sashing here.  I used all Island Batik from my scrap bin for this quilt, plus the solid black and white for the sashing - love how crisp it presses for those checkerboards!

Jen is starting a new 2020 Color Challenge this month, so you might want to sew along.  It's really easy, just a block a month and at the end you have a quilt!  Great for using up scraps and just having fun!  This year's blocks are inspired by birds.  I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy playing along with her.

I'll be back on Tuesday with the Winter Blues blog hop - here's the schedule for the week:

Monday, January 20th

Tuesday, January 21st

Wednesday, January 22nd

Thursday, January 23rd

Friday, January 24th

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Not much news to report!

I haven't accomplished a whole lot on the quilting front the last few days.  Friday was Bunco - I was hostess this month and it went really well.  And it's great to have the whole house clean at one time! 

Then on Saturday we went over to a friend's house and helped put up some new mini blinds.  We bought some inexpensive ones at Walmart and I was surprised that they no longer have long cords for opening and closing them - you just lift them up from the bottom or pull them down!  Pretty nifty!
When we got done with that, I went in my sewing room and played with making a little mug rug for my Project Quilting challenge!  This is what I came up with.  There are some milestones happening this year, so this was a great way to celebrate them!

Monday was a strange day.  Our homeowners insurance denied our claim for the damage from our leaky roof before Christmas because the leak was not caused by storm damage.  So now we have to hope the roofer is going to make good on those repairs.  It sounds like they will, so we are choosing to try to be positive, while making sure we are treated fairly.  Hopefully something can be done soon, I'm so ready to get that room back to normal!

Today was a work day, and I wanted to set some sewing goals for the week. 

1)  Recover cushions for customer.
2)  Hem sweat pants for hubby.
3)  Take in pants and repair shirt for a customer.
4)  Hem pants for my friend.  (Yes, I am a quilter who does not mind hemming pants!)
5)  Work on quilting Peaks quilt.
6)  Continue to make progress on Drunkard's Path.

I've been working on this for way too long!  Poor Melinda is probably wondering if I'll ever get this finished!  I've been stitching on it for an hour or two every evening.  I'm getting close to finishing all the stitch in the ditch, so am inspired to push on and get it done - and I have one of my own quilts that I want to hand quilt next.

Despite a discouraging start to the week, I am determined that I am going to keep a good attitude and do some quilting.  It always makes me feel better!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Playing with Scraps

I am really enjoying working on my January challenge for Island Batik!  Scrappy quilts are really my thing, and I always enjoy seeing what comes out of the scrap pile.  Island Batik has generously provided me with lots of fabric over the last few years of being an Ambassador, and I have saved every scrap because I love every little bit!
I knew I wanted to make a quilt with blue, and it took me a while to decide on the block I wanted to make.  In the end this pretty block caught my eye!  This is from the Go! Qube Mix and Match book that came with the Ready Set GO! system that AccuQuilt provided for the Island Batik Ambassadors last year.

Of course, I had to get slightly distracted and made a mug rug with some blue scraps - so pretty!  I had enough scraps for several of these, so they'll be listed in my Etsy Shop soon.  (I had a whole bunch of mis-cut four patches from a pattern I wrote several years ago)  Mug rugs are a great scrappy project and I like to have a few on hand for small gifts.  I need to make some red and white ones for Valentine's day!

That's about it for my week of sewing - I got the bridesmaid dress finished and it was picked up, and I have a large cushion that needs to be recovered, so I have that project on my schedule for next week.  I want to work on my Crazy Jane over the weekend - I did a little hand sewing this week on the next block:
This one needs some pieced corners that I have to figure out how to add.  I should finish it tomorrow, I haven't made much progress this week!

Hope you are sewing this weekend, too!

Linking up with:

Quilting is more fun than Housework
Slow Sunday Stitching

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

I'm an Island Batik Ambassador for 2020

I was holding my breath last month waiting for the announcement of the 2020 Island Batik Ambassadors.  They were cutting down from around 50 last year to only 25 this year, so I wasn't sure whether I would make the cut or not - happily, it's now official that I did!
Yes, I am very happy!  It's for sure going to be a banner year!

Here is the list of all this year's ambassadors. - you'll want to follow all of these talented quilters!

Carolina Asmussen ~ Carolina Asmussen
Megan Best ~ Best Quilter
Pamela Boatright ~ Pamela Quilts
Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter
Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts
Joanne Hart ~ Unicorn Harts
Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for Quilts
Carla Henton ~ Create in the Sticks
Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs
Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood
Denise Looney ~ For the Love of Geese
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack's Blog
Kathleen McCormick ~ Kathleen McMusing
Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs
Gail Renna ~ Quilt Haven Threads
Sharon Riley ~ Sew Riley Designs
Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail
Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts
Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts
Janet Yamamoto ~ Whispers of Yore

Looking forward to lots of fun working with the beautiful fabrics - can't wait to show you!

Monday, January 06, 2020

Monday Motivation and Musing 2020-1

Here I am, ready to start the first full week of 2020!  On my list for this week is hemming and taking in a bridesmaid dress, and working on two quilts made from baby clothes.  I also have an appointment for a T-shirt quilt that won't be needed until later this year.  Those are my "work" projects for the week.

For fun, I am chasing away the "Winter Blues" by making a scrappy quilt from my Island Batik Stash!
Here is a peek at what I'm working on!  So fun - I just love playing with blue fabrics!  I'm enjoying seeing the blocks as they multiply on my design wall.  I cut them all out using the Accuquilt Go! cutter and 2 1/2 inch square and triangle dies from the 8 inch Qube set.  I just love how accurately they are sewing together.

I plan on spending 15 minutes a day on my Crazy Jane blocks, and want to do some quilting on my Peaks quilt as well.  Oh, and the Project Quilting Challenge for this week!  I have an idea brewing for a small I plan on getting that done before the deadline on Sunday.

I'm also working at cleaning up my house now that all the Christmas stuff is put away.  I've got stacks of fabric and magazines that need to be put away, plus other random clutter that grew over the last month.  January is a great month for tidying up!  It's a little tough with my guest room out of commission, but we'll get it figured out.

Looks to be a good week, and I am looking forward to getting back to a more normal schedule!

Linking up with:
 Pretty Piney Quilts for What I Made Monday
Love Laugh Quilts for Monday Making
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday