Showing posts with label Autumn Winds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Autumn Winds. Show all posts

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!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Crossing the Finish Line!

Yes, I have crossed the finish line, picture me - hands upraised, chest out, in full stride with a jubilant smile on my face - victorious! Now that my quilting jobs are done for this season I can start into holiday mode, and I think it will be a lovely one this year, especially being with all of my children - definitely the best gift of all.
Autumn Winds is finished and ready to be sent off to her new home. I really love this quilt and it was so much fun to work on. I may work with this theme more in the new year, we will see - my original plan was to create one of these for each month of the year, so I might actually do that this year, then put them all together into one quilt. That could be very fun. (Not in this large size, though!)

And Snail's Trail 2 is done also! These were fun to work on also, I loved the bright colors, ijt really is a pick me up during these short winter days to work with bright colors.

So, now, my main goal is to get my sewing room cleaned up. I can see some free-cycle posts in my future as well as a few Salvation Army runs. I am asking myself if I really want to work on all of the projects I have piled up. And if I really WILL work on them in the near future. I have a drawer full of tops to quilt, a drawer full of fabric waiting to be made into tops, and piles of fabric waiting for an idea to strike. Not to mention the bin of strips for string blocks. I suppose most of us quilters are like this, too many projects, not enough time!

So with that deep thought I am off for the day, I am looking forward to entertaining some friends later this morning and showing my work space to them. (They are non-quilters, but all are creative so they know how the projects pile up!) I am grateful for sunshine today, for friends, and for finished projects and some free time!

In stitches!


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Larger Than Life

I was recently asked to make a project of mine in a much larger size than the original. In more than one way, this project is larger than life....because it is actually a self portrait and the finished quilt is definitely larger than real life! I thought I had already blogged about the progression of this project, but since I can't find the post, I must not have. So I must start at the beginning!

This project had it's beginning in February of 2006 - I was exploring the idea of making journal pages. Unfortunately this was the only one I did that year, but I was really happy with it and always intented to come back and do more. This quilt was a self portrait - me standing in a cold windy Oregon rain. I purposely used a blue fabric for my skin because that's what I remember about that winter was it was cold, wet and windy. I put a New York Beauty block on the back of it, then embelished this side with some sparkly fiber. I quilted it with a lot of McTavishing and echoing. I brought it in to the quilt shop and it ended up hanging with a group of other self-portraits - and is still there!

Fast forward a few years, I was out walking on one of those perfect, beautiful fall days and looking up at a clear blue sky through brilliant colored leaves I had the idea to make another quilt using the same basic layout as the first one. After my walk I found the templates I had used for the first piece (after a bit of searching, of course!) and pulled fabric from my stash that reflected the lovely colors of the day. This quilt was more simply finished, just basic outline quilting and no embellishment. I enjoyed it for a while, then decided to add it to my Etsy shop for sale.

One more skip forward and we come to the present, and the larger project! I had a request on Etsy to make a larger version of this to cover a futon. Not being one to back down from a challenge, I readily agreed to make it, thinking that with the help of EQ7 it wouldn't be too hard to import my first quilt and creat templates for the pieces. In reality it was more challenging than I thought it would be, but totally worth it!

The image was very easy to import into the program. Tracing the pieces was a bit tedious, but not overly difficult. What was hard was making the proportions work. Luckily my daughter was able to assist me so that my face doesn't look like I could have beat Quasimodo out for the crown of King of Fools!

This picture is my quilt at the end of the fusing process, before quilting. Another thing I didn't realize when I started it was the challenge that merely handling these large pieces would end up being! Luckily I have a pressing mat for my large cutting table, so that helped immensely, but in order to make my templates for the pieces I had to tape quite a few pieces of paper together, then trace them onto fusible web, then iron the pieces to fabric, cut them out and put it all together.

It took me longer than I thought to get it all together, but I am really pleased with the end product! This will definitely be a statement in my customer's room and I am so pleased that my larger Than life Autumn Winds quilt will be enjoyed and appreciated. Does this mean that I might really be able to call myself a "Quilt Artist" after all? Frankly it doesn't matter what I call myself, as long as I enjoy the process I will continue to challenge myself and enjoy what I do - whether it means making traditional blocks, or creating unique works of quilted art!

In Stitches,


Saturday, December 04, 2010

Snails Trail Twin #1

Since Thanksgiving I have been hard at work on a couple of custom quilt orders. One is for two full size quilts done in the Snail's Trail pattern. One quilt will be orange and blue with green highlights. (It is finished and mailed out!) The second is orange and green with blue highlights. I have it cut out and ready to start sewing. They are such bright and happy quilts, it has been nice working on them during the gray and rainy days we've had lately.

As you can see - my resident quilt inspector agrees - this was within 5 minutes of me finishing quilting it!

I'm taking a quick break before stitching on the second quilt to work on the other project. The second involves me taking a small quilt I made and translating my idea into a larger format, and changing it to a landscape version! It is fun, challenging, a little frightening (fusing large swatches of fabric is definitely not what I am used to doing), and altogether enjoyable! When I finish the large one I will post pictures of them both and let you all tell me what you think of it. And tell the whole story behind the piece as well.
And we celebrated our middle daughters birthday today! Happy Birthday, Catie!