Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Week 3 of the Log Cabin Blog Hop

We are in our third week of the Log Cabin Blog Hop with the Island Batik Ambassadors, which means a new giveaway is live!  Here is the schedule with links for Ambassador blogs.  I have really enjoyed seeing the variety of quilts with this hop, who knew that a log cabin could be made in so many different ways?  Make sure you check out the rafflecopter link at the end of my post for the giveaway!  And don't forget, you can still enter to win one of two kits for my Box Office quilt - just visit my post to see how to enter!  The kits include precut black strips, 20 width of fabric strips of the Fairy Floss Collection, plus 1/2 yard of solid black for binding.  And of course, the pattern!

Here is this weeks blog hop schedule:

 February 20:

February 21:

February 22:

February 23:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 3 and Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

A little Valentine quilt just for fun!

 After a busy few weeks of working on our house and working on deadlines, I took the weekend off and had some fun making a cute little project just for me!  I have a cute mini quilt rack that needed a heart quilt for February, so I got to work and finally created one.  I wanted to use some pretty pinks that I received in my January Ambassador box from Island Batik - perfect for this project!  The fabrics I used were Sangria, and solid pink and fuchsia.

It started out with a simple heart block I found in EQ8 - easy to sew, but super cute.  I added a pieced alternate block, but I did have to do some adjusting to it so that the cuts would be round numbers and not crazy fractions!

Here is a better view of the whole quilt.  As you can see the blocks face opposite directions so that they are right side up on both sides of the quilt rack.  This gave me quite the problem when I was sewing it together because I had them backwards at first!  It was interesting to figure out the best way to piece the half squares for the sides, but the nice thing about working with mini quilts is that even if I do have to waste a bit of fabric, the pieces are so small that it doesn't bother me so much!

After trimming the edges, I was read to add the borders.  I pulled out my messy container of reds and pinks to see what I could find.  I found a really pretty light pink floral design from a few years ago and a darker pink foundation.  Then I folded and organized the bin so I can see what I have!  So nice to be able to look through them without having to take everything out of the box now.

I found that I had a ruler that was the perfect size to fold the fabric around so it would fit, so that made the job extra nice and neat!  I definitely will have to do this with the rest of my boxes that are this size!  This is a photo storage box, it measures about 8 x 12 x 4.  It's a nice way to store small collections of fabric, most of the pieces are less than half a yard, and I can keep quite a few in a box!

I had originally planned to add a binding of the dark pink, but my quilt was a bit too wide and I ended up trimming quite a bit off of the last border.  I decided it would look better to use the border fabric as the binding so that's what I did.  I used a scrap of Hobbs Thermore batting for the inside, and used the dark pink for the backing.  For the quilting, I outlined around the hearts, then between the blocks.  I also quilted in the ditch around the borders, just using my regular foot on my sewing machine and it worked great!

It came out nicely!  I guess now I'll have to plan on what to make to hang on my quilt rack for March!

Week 2 of the Island Batik Log Cabin Blog Hop

Week 2 of our hop is underway!  Check out my fellow ambassador's blogs to see what they have made with these gorgeous collections!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Did you miss my post for the hop?  If so you can find it here, and don't forget about my giveaway, too - make sure you read to the end of the post!

Have a happy Valentine's day!  My love to you all!

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Kitchen and Countertop Painting

 Just in case you were wondering what I've been up to in January, I thought I would write a post about our current home renovation project.  Since my husband is retired we have more time than money, if you know what I mean, so most of our home projects involve sweat equity.  We've been wanting to redo our kitchen since we moved in - I mean those orange countertops are just so dated! And the yellow paint - every single house we have lived in has had a yellow kitchen, and I was ready for a change.

We have a friend who knows how to do lots of projects, and he suggested that we try a faux granite paint job on our countertops.  He and his wife did the same thing on their orange counters and it looks amazing, so we decided to go for it!  We paid him and his granddaughter to come over and do the painting since we have quite a bit of counter to cover.  Since we were doing that, it seemed like the best idea to finally do the walls as well.  I did those myself, what a pain!  Kitchens are so hard to paint, and I would say it's been 50 years since these rooms were painted.  I scrubbed down the walls and got busy with that so our helpers could come do the counters.

When the counters are started it looks like the cat was walking all over the counter!  As the layers of color are added it starts looking better and better, though!  I used four shades of brown, wanting to keep the paint pretty neutral.

While we were at it, we made a few changes, taking out a small counter by the refrigerator that blocked the freezer door from opening fully, and taking out a built in desk and hanging shelf in the corner.  We will be putting in a pantry unit in the corner instead for a cleaner look.  

Here are the finished counters!  What a great change!

Now I'm in the process of finishing up the dining room.  Here is the before.  I had to patch some cracks and the corner was in need of new tap as well.

And after!  I am still working on the trim, which is a rich chocolate brown.  We'll mount the tv on the wall, and get rid of the stand in the corner as well.  We are doing lots of sorting and editing - over our 29 years of living here we've accumulated lots of stuff that we don't really need so my plan is to get rid of about half.  We are pleased with having less clutter to deal with!  The paperwork is really needing to be dealt with, so I've got a couple of banker's boxes to work on, but at least it's not in my line of vision every day.  

I haven't had as much sewing time as usual, but I did get my February Island Batik challenge done!  I have extra fabric, so am giving away two kits for the quilt I made, check out my blog post to enter!  

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Log Cabin Blog Hop

Welcome to my blog for the Log Cabin Blog Hop!  All of us Island Batik Ambassadors were challenged to create a Log Cabin Quilt featuring the newest collections of Island Batik fabric arriving at quilt shops right now!  The collection I received in my Island Batik Ambassador shipment was Fairy Floss by Tamarinis, and it is so gorgeous!  I really enjoyed playing with these fabrics, and it was interesting to envision them in a log cabin quilt.  All the products I use in this post were provided to me at no charge as part of the Island Batik Ambassador program.

 I had originally planned to do a larger quilt, but time restraints forced me to go with a lap size version, but I love it!  First of all I had to get all these lovely fabrics out and press them and cut into strips for my log cabin.  I don't think you can make a log cabin without strips of some sort!

I cut 2 1/2 inch strips from all of these lovely colors!  Then I cut strips from black for my background.  

I got started piecing my blocks, using Aurifil thread and a Schmetz needle in my machine!  I'm happy to say that my seam allowances came out perfect and I didn't have to fudge my blocks a bit!  I really think this combination helps my piecing a lot, between a nice sharp needle and high-quality thread it makes all my stitching come out so much nicer!

I also put the new Oliso iron I received to work!  I love the new sole plate, it really does glide over the fabric nicely!  This color is Butterscotch and I love the cheery color!  I appreciate how the smart iron doesn't need to be stood up, I find that it helps with my wrists to not have to keep turning it.  


I found the perfect purple - and was tickled to find that I had received this spool of Aurifil in my Island Batik Ambassador box in 2021!  It was just the ticket for the quilting!  I decided to do straight lines in a diagonal grid.  I used the black batting from Hobbs in this one.  I love that's it's 80% cotton, and so soft and cozy!  The black batting is great for a dark quilt and you don't have to worry about bearding at all!  I was excited to find out that for most of Hobbs batting you don't have to worry about which way is up, they are made to be the same on both sides.

I marked the quilting lines with my handy old butter knife!  (It has a smooth edge so it works like a hera marker.) The sun came in for a bit to cheer me as I worked!  I love the black solid from Island batik, it makes a wonderful background, doesn't it?  I thought about using white, but I loved the contrast the black provided.

After I sewed the binding on I dashed out between rain storms to get a quick picture!  Doesn't it look like spring?  I love these colors! I decided to call this quilt Box Office.

I was given 2 yards of Woodblock Block Lines in Red Burgundy and added a strip of Cerulean to make it a bit wider for the backing.  

Thanks to Oliso, Hobbs Batting, Aurifil Thread, Schmetz Needles, and of course Island Batik for the great fabric!  And a shout out to Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis for the lovely fabric design!

Now on to the good stuff!  I cut way too many strips, in fact I have enough cut to make two more of this size quilt (48 x 60)  I am going to do a giveaway for both of these sets!  See the rafflecopter widget at the end of my post to enter!  

You can find Fairy Floss precuts at one of my favorite shops - Creekside Quilts.

Island Batik is also doing a giveaway for a bundle of Fairy Floss and a bundle of another line.  Head over to their blog to enter to win one of them!

Like my design?  You can purchase my pattern!

Box Office Quilt Pattern

Here's how to enter to win a quilt kit plus pattern:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

January 2024 Island Batik Ambassador Unboxing

 I had a rather large package delivered the other day, and I was super excited to receive my first Island Batik Ambassador shipment for 2024!  I immediately had to open it up and see what it contained.  I love unboxing days - Island Batik and their partners send us these great shipments to use in our monthly challenges, and they are sooo generous!

Contents of a box sent to an Island batik ambassador, containing lots of fabric, and other notions.

So many wonderful things inside!  Check out the video I made (this is take two, I messed up and didn't press the record button the first time...)

After making the video, I spread out all the goodies to admire and enjoy them before putting them on their designated shelf.  

Fairy Floss by Tamarinis is for my first project.  Love these purples, aquas, and greens!  It's going to be fun to work with these for sure!  (Arriving in quilt shops next month).

These colors are echoed in the foundations bundle - 1/2 yard each of twelve beautiful fabrics!  These are great because they are always available, and not just a seasonal line.  The solids are just so wonderful!

And speaking of solids, I also received four yards each of black, white and gray.  These really work great as backgrounds and make the beautiful colors pop!

And for my neutral I have six yards of sprinkles!  Isn't it pretty?  I actually have liked all of the neutrals I've worked with over the past 9 years - but this one is a favorite!  

I have two different precuts from the foundation lines, the first is Glorious Greens in 2 1/2 inch strips.

The second is Bodacious Blacks in 10 inch squares.  I am thinking hard about what I want to do with these!  Very intriguing, for sure!

From the Fall collections, I got a Zen Funk strip pack and a black and white to coordinate with them. (Designed by Kathy Engle for Canton Village Quiltworks.)  Look for these in your local shop, they are really cool!  

This is Lavandin by Claudia Pfiel. You all know I am a fan of her collections!  This is going to make a great project - now to decide what to make...

And three packages of Stashbuilder rolls - such pretty colors!  It's always so much fun to open them up and see what's inside!  

And a surprise bundle with a winter collection for the May blog hop!  So fun...can't wait to show you what's inside this bundle!

I was super excited to know we have a new sponsor this year!  Each of the ambassadors have received a new smart iron from Oliso!  Such a pretty color, too!  I have a pink one that's nearly 5 years old.  It's a little battered from a couple of accidental falls from the ironing board, but works great.  I plan on storing it as a backup iron and putting this new beauty into service right away!

Hobbs batting is providing us with batting again this year, too!  This is the first part, there will be more soon!  I do like the Thermore batting, it's so soft and lightweight!

Schmetz needles is providing us with an assortment of their wonderful needles, as well as informational material!  I do love their needles!

Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design is also back this year, and I got the V block ruler!  I really like this unit, so am excited to get to try out this ruler - I think the challenge with this one will be lots of fun.

We also are making a soft toy using a Funky Friends Factory pattern!  I picked Sue the Squirrel.  This will be a lot of fun - can't wait to pick out the fabric for this one!

We'll also be receiving an Aurifil thread package, I am really looking forward to that!  So you can see there's a lot of sewing coming up in my future!  

Right now I'd better get started on the February blog hop project - I can't wait to cut into the bundle of fabric and get it started!  Make sure you  keep an eye out - Island Batik always has great giveaways and I'm planning one of my own, I have accumulated more fabric that I can use over my years as an ambassador and it's time to share the wealth!

Friday, January 05, 2024

I'm an Island Batik Ambassador for 2024!

 It's official, I am on the list of Island Batik Ambassadors for 2024!

This will be my tenth year as an Ambassador, and I have definitely enjoyed the experience!  Right now, I am looking forward to receiving the first of two shipments for the year, I'm sure it will be full of awesome fabric and supplies,  It's always fun to see what arrives, and then start planning how to use it for our monthly challenges.  

 I'm looking forward to sharing what arrives soon!  Here's to another fun year of challenges!  I have quite a bit of fabric left from last year, so I'm going to doing some fun giveaways.  Make sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram so you don't miss out!