Showing posts with label Hobbs batting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hobbs batting. Show all posts

Monday, March 28, 2022

Island Batik Ambassador challenge 3-22 - Italian Color Builder

 This month's challenge from Island Batik was super fun!  We were asked to make a small quilt (less than 20 x 20) inspired by the Aurifil Color Builder collection we were sent.  I got Como Blue!  The products used to make this quilt were supplied for me to use in my role as and Island Batik Ambassador - thanks, Island Batik!

Lake Como sounds like a wonderful place to visit!  Mountains, a beautiful blue lake, private villas...makes me want to take a vacation!  I started out by looking for an inspriation photo and found this one:

I thought the shading of the mountains in the background would be perfect for highlighting the beautiful shades of blue in this collection of thread.  I found out that this Bellagio - inspiration for the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas.  I didn't realize this until after I finished my piece, but I can totally see it now!

Love these blues!  I almost exclusively use Aurifil thread in the 50 weight (orange spools)  It's perfect for most of my piecing and quilting needs.  I use the plastic cases that hold 12 spools, and have 1 for each color (red, yellow, blue, green, neutrals and other weights)  I need to buy one more for my purples!

I started out by pulling fabric - I had several pieces that arrived in the January Ambassador box, and I found many more in my stash from previous years.  I was really happy to find that piece with the oranges and purples for the city!  I spent quite a bit of time picking and choosing, trying to find the right shading that would make my landscape work.

Finally I settled on a group of fabrics, then spent an equally long amount of time trying to decide on how to actually put this together.  I drew out a rough pattern on freezer paper, but didn't really want to try to quilt through a bunch of layers of fusible web, and figure out reversing templates, and well it just seemed like too much work, if you know what I mean.  I just wanted to get the fabrics laid down and start sewing!

Then I remembered the Fusible Batting that was included in my Ambassador box!  Hobbs included this in our batting selection, so I thought why not give it a try and see how it works out for this type of project!  I got out my large wool pressing mat, cut a piece of batting to fit the background fabric I picked out and started cutting and layering pieces of fabric to create my landscape!

I was so involved in my process that I forgot to take pictures until I had all the pieces cut out and pressed.  It worked pretty well, I cut out from behind each piece so that everything was at least partially on the batting so when I pressed it it was pretty well stabalized!  I flipped it over and pressed the back as well to make sure it was all firmly in place as well and was ready to start the quilting!

I began with the darker thread and stitched the darkest two fabrics in place.  Looking good so far!  The edges of my fabrics weren't as stable as they would have been had I used fusible web, but it was also kind of nice to be able to fold the uppermost layer on top and stitch behind it a bit!

For the next step I used orange thread to quilt boxy shapes in the buildings, then add some reflections in the lake.  I was very happy with how it came out and was excited to finish stitching the blue sections now!

This part was were I ran into the issue of my edges wanting to travel a little and buckle up.  I persevered, though and got them stitched down into place!  I filled each section in with stitching, just easy wavy lines to give some texture.

After that was done, the sky and water were ready for stitching.  I tried to make watery looking squiggles in the lake and bigger cloudy squiggles for the sky!  (Technical quilting terms...haha!)  I used the darker blue for the binding - I used 2 inch strips, stitched 1/4 inch from the edge on the back, flipped to the top and topstitched for a quick finish.  If I had more of the city fabric, I might have done a faux flange binding, but as I only had half of a 2 1/2 inch strip it wasn't enough for that.  

I'm very happy with my finish!  It makes me want to try my hand at more of these.  It finished at 12 x 16 1/2 inches.  The beautiful blue threads from Aurifil were perfect for the intense stitching on this piece, and I really like that pop of orange!  My favorite part of this was the boxy quilting in the city - it just worked perfectly! I love that you can do a lot of stitching with the 50 weight thread without getting too much thread build up.  My piece is perfectly flat even though there are some variations in the density of my quilting, so that's a big win! 

I used a Chrome Quilting needle from Schmetz 75/11 - no shredding or skipping so I was delighted.  These were provided in my January Ambassador box as well.  I noticed a feature on the Schmetz website if you are not sure what needle you need - you can search by machine type as well as other variables.  I enjoyed looking through the options for what would work for my particular project and was glad to see that I had the exact needle recommended for what I was working on!  I am really happy with how the professional Chrome needles perform, and highly recommend them.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my Italy Inspired project!  Make sure you check out the rest of the Island Batik Ambassadors and see what they created for their project - sure makes you want to book a vacation to Italy!  If I ever go, I will for sure go check out Lake Como, looks like a beautiful place!

Thanks to Aurifil Thread, Island Batik, Schmetz Needles and Hobbs batting for providing the supplies used in this project!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Glorious Greens Step by Step Challenge - Island Batik Ambassador challenge for January 2022

How is it that this is my first post of 2022?  I guess this year got off to a slow start, at least for blogging!  I've been busy as can be in my sewing room, though.  I've been playing with the beautiful new fabrics that arrived in my Island Batik Ambassador box for the first half of the year - yes, I have been selected to continue on in my role as an ambassador for them in 2022! 

I almost decided not to apply for this year, but at the last moment changed my mind, and I am so happy and excited to be a part of the team again!  The first challenge of the year was to use these Glorious Greens from their basics line to make a gradation quilt.  

(Sorry, I must have been wearing pink when I took this picture as the lighter greens seem to have picked up a tinge of that!)  Aren't they pretty, though? Island Batik has developed ten colorways of gradations with 20 steps in each for their hand dyed basics line.  I was excited to get green because a quilt for my nephew was at the top of my list for the year and these were just perfect for that - he loves any color of green, so he gets a quilt with all of them!  I saw trees when I unwrapped these glorious greens, so decided to just make trees and graduate my colors from light at the top left to dark at the bottom right.  As always, I suggest to use the black and white filter on your camera to help decide value.

I did shift a few depending on the tone, but the black and white helps a lot!  I got out my Tri-Recs rulers and cut out a lot of pieces for the trees and background.  I used Rice for the background, the blue tone really looks nice with the greens, makes me think of a soft foggy day with the trees fading into the distance.

Time to get sewing!  That's a big stack of triangles, (110) but they went together pretty quickly, I just put a movie on my iPad and sewed my heart out.  It was really fun watching my forest grow on my design wall as I added each diagonal row of green!

I was just going to use the triangles to represent trees, but decided that they needed to have trunks.  Luckily I found the perfect brown in the basics and foundations bundle I was sent, so cut some strips and made trunks in a jiffy.  The pattern is Weave and the color Brownie!  Of course I like it - haha!

I sewed the columns as I went to help keep me from mixing up the values - I only had to rip out a couple of times!  I thought about staggering the rows, but decided that I liked them in nice straight lines!  When I got the top finished, my husband suggested blue for the back since they live in a town by the ocean, so I took the two 2 yard pieces that were sent with my precut strips and sewed them together to make a back.

I used the bleached cotton batting from Hobbs that was included in my box for the batting.  I love the weight of this batting, it's has a nice soft feel and drape, and will make this quilt nice for snuggling in!  I happened to have a spool of green variegated thread by Aurifil in 40 weight that was perfect for using on this project!  I decided that a swirl would be the perfect quiting design to finish this off, so put a Schmetz size 14 needle in my machine and got to work.

I found a nice dark green on my Island Batik shelf from another year (Poplar Trees in Hunter Green from Citrus Sun) for the binding - and love the way this finished!  My finished quilt measures 66 x 70 - hopefully big enough for my 6 foot nephew to snuggle under. I can't wait to get it in the mail to him,  I know he will love it!

You wouldn't think that the green thread would go with those dark greens, but it really looks wonderful on the quilt!  Sometimes you just have to go with your instincts and try something different - I figured there were enough different greens on this quilt that the thread would blend in, and it did!  And note that the 40 weight thread is wound on a green spool - more happy green for my project.

And my husband's idea of using blue on the back was right on.  I love the water inspiration, and am so happy with the additional personal touch for this quilt.

I usually piece my backing vertically, but I realized that I needed the extra length since each piece was 2 yards long - and it worked perfectly!  These pieces are from the Brilliant Blues - the dark is Denim and the light is Powder Blue. 

Thanks to Island Batik, Hobbs Batting, Aurifil Thread, and Schmetz Needles for making this project possible!

Friday, October 30, 2020

Thread Painting with Aurifil - October Island Batik Ambassador Challenge

Are you ready to see my finished quilt for this month's Island Batik Ambassador Challenge?
Our goal this month was to celebrate aret and use the Aurifil thread we were provided as paint on the canvas of the Island Batik fabric.  I'm excited to share my vision and the results with you!  But first, I'll show you what I used to create my challenge quilt:

The stars of this quilt are the six beautiful colors of Aurifil Thread I received that match the glorious colors of Peacock Galore.  They are all 50 wt spools and the colors are: Eggplant (4225), Butter (2120), Medium Delft Blue (2783), Bright Orange  (1133), Light Jade (1148),and Spring Green (1231) What a beautiful palette of colors to work with!
The Peacock Galore Line was designed by Claudia Pfiel for Island Batik's Spring 2020 collection.  I love all the pretty greens and oranges in this line.  These shold be arriving in quilt shops right now, so keep your eye out for them, they are wonderful!

 Well, what else can you do with a fabric line called Peacock Galore except make a quilt inspired by a peacock?

Can't you just see all of the colors of thread that I have in this feather?  

I decided to make a blazing star using all 20 prints in the Peacock Galore Line!  I had a great time in EQ8 playing with color placement.  I finally settled on this version, placing the purple in the center and working out to the lime greens.  To come up with a 36 inch quilt, I needed to cut 1 3/4 inch strips.  So I proceeded to cut strips and start sewing strip sets.

So much pleasure in seeing the colors blend and contrast with each other!  Finally 8 wedges were put together!

And now it was time to sew the wedges together to make the star!

So pretty!  The next step was to decide for sure on the background.  I wasn't 100% positive that I wanted to use black, but once I tried stitching with the threads on it, I knew it was going to be just what I wanted for my thread painting.  I must confess that I was very nervous about this part of my project.  I honestly wasn't sure if I had the skill and patience to pull off the picture in my head.

I got my top basted, using the wonderful black batting provided in my July Ambassador box by Hobbs. (80/20 black batting is great for projects with dark colors!)  Then I quilted the star, doing a curvy echo around all the diamonds, and matching each fabric with the Aurifil thread color closest to it.

Before starting with my stitching I made sure to give my machine a cleaning and put in a brand new Schmetz needle!  The last one in this packet - I really like these Chrome needles, they seem to stay nice and sharp all through your project.  Schmetz provided these for us to use earlier in the year.

I  started out by thread painting the eyes in the peacock feathers, beginning with the dark blue center, then adding the various colors.  I love the way the 50 wt Aurifil thread shows up against the black solid Island Batik fabric!  I used a chalk pencil to trace a circle for the center.  I outlined it and worked my way stitching up and down into the center of the circle.  Then I added the lighter blue, stitching back and forth a few stitches at a time to add a ring around the center, Next was the purple, then the orange.  I went back and forth around the top of the circle, then up and down to elongate that ring at the bottom.  I found that it looked best when I just stitched up and down and didn't outline the shape.  Instead of using my hands to move the fabric up and down, I found that using my abs to rock my body and move the fabric helped me have more control!  It was a good workout, too!

The next step was adding yellow, then I added a final ring of green! And wouldn't you know it, on the final green ring, my machine decided to go a little wacky.  (Yep, I used this gorgeous purple on the back!  I think this one is Cherio in Iris from the Blenders collecion!)

I'm going to write another in depth post on how I resolved this issue, but yes- it was very frustrating!

I took a little liberty and made my plumules wavy instead of straight like an actual feather would be.  I used the Light Jade, Spring Green and Medium Delft Blue to try to capture that irridescent look of the color of the peacock feather.  I think it works!

I was really happy with how my quilt looked when I was finished quiting!  It really did come out just like I pictured, so I'm happy that I took a risk and tried something different.  I do wish I would have used my chalk pencil to mark out where I wanted to quilt the feathers because some of them ended up getting under the binding area, though.  For the binding I decided to go all out and use the Piping Hot Binding technique using the trim tool designed by Susan K Cleveland. I'm glad she has a YouTube video of how to do the binding because it's been a while!  
I used the darkest blue fabric from Peacock Galore along with solid turquoise for the small piping.  Here is my quilt all clipped up for hand stitching the back of the binding!

Once the binding was sewn, we went outdoors for a little photo shoot!  My quilt measures 36 x 36.  I love the way the thread painting I did adds to the effect of the piecing. It's always fun to try a new technique, and I'll definitely want to do some more playing with these vibrant colors on more projects.

What did I learn from this challenge?  Don't worry about making something perfect - just have fun trying!

Thanks to Island Batik, Aurifil Thread, Schmetz Needles, and Hobbs Batting for the products used in this project!