Showing posts with label Island Batik Ambassador 2022. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Island Batik Ambassador 2022. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Slowpoke Sloth - April Island Batik Ambassador Challenge 2022

 Being asked to make a Funky Friends Factory softie for April was a fun challenge!  I found some colorful pink fabrics from my Island Batik Ambassador Box from January and decided to make Slowpoke Sloth for my project.  I thought a pink sloth would make a sweet gift for my little grand daughter Juliette, and if I liked making them, I know of several other people who would enjoy such a cute stuffed toy!

Hello cutie!  I chose Fuschia solid for the body and this softer pink for the accent.  In the past I have embroidered eyes, or used felt, but for this one, the look of the safety eyes really makes the face I think!  I bought a dozen sets in different colors so I can see a rainbow of sloths in my future!

Slowpoke Sloth is a fairly easy pattern to make.  The snout is just a little fiddly to deal with, but other than that it was smooth sailing!  You do have to stuff the arms and legs separately, so you do have to hand sew five little seams after stuffing, but that goes quickly. The nose is appliqued on and this time I remembered how to do the buttonhole stitch!  Just a couple of embroidery stitches and the mouth is done, and you have a finished sloth!  I was glad for the extra help of the online tutorial since I couldn't figure out how to do the mough, but it was really easy. I like using batik for these because you get such nice smooth seams and a crisp looking finish.  My advice for stuffing is to use plenty - then add a bit more to make them nice and full!

She has velcro on her hands and feet so she can "hang out" on various poles and branches!  (oops, I spy some stray stuffing strands that I should have brushed off)

And she sits quite nicely, too!  You can see how the velcro is attached in this picture.  She has the cutest little bum and tummy!  So round and cuddly :)

We went out for a little swing on the back patio!  I think she enjoyed spending some time outdoors, it was a beautiful evening.  

When she spotted the buds on the Crab Apple tree, she decided she needed a little snack!  Thanks to Pauline McArthur for providing us with patterns for this challenge - go check out her Funky Friends Factory to see all the cute patterns she has available - and there are videos and step by steps online to help you if you are nervous about trying one.  They are so fun!  And don't forget that Island Batik has so many lovely fabrics to make them with!  And don't forget the Aurifil thread and Schmetz needles - got to have those as well!  I used bright pink in 50 wt and a size 12 needle for this project.

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Row by Row Blog Hop - Back Country and Colorado Memories

 I am so excited to share my quilt with you today!  As you could tell from my unboxing video, this collection really spoke to me from my first look at it.  One of the perks of being an Island Batik Ambassador is being provided with everything we need for the challenges - Island Batik, Aurifil Thread, Hobbs Batting and Schmetz Needles sent all the supplies I needed for this challenge!

Yes, I did go a little crazy and ended up making a quilt with twelve rows of ten 6 inch blocks!  But you know what I decided?  I really like piecing.  I love feeding strings of half square triangles and flying geese through the sewing machine while I enjoy a movie or Agatha Christie Mystery on my iPad.  So, if I make a quilt with a bazillion pieces, well that just gives me that much more time to do what I love doing, so it's all good!
First let me tell you about the fabric!  This line is Back Country and it was designed by Kari Nichols of Quilting Renditions.  As I had speculated in the video, she is from Colorado - and this line definitely has that feel to me!  It's a large line with 30 different pieces in a range of beautiful blues, plums, browns and golds.  The designs feature aspen leaves, aspen bark, pine trees and cones, animal tracks and flowers.  These should be shipping to your quilt shop any time now, so keep your eye out! Here is a look at all them:

I should explain my deep connection with this collection - I was born and grew up in Colorado, so the state is definitely dear to my heart, and my memories of the sights and smells of my childhood are definitely tied up in this line of fabric.  I had fun reminiscing and thinking about the mountains and woods of Colorado while I pieced.  Memories of hot summer days at camp, hiking and swimming and sleeping in a big tent. Autumn leaves, winter snow and spring flowers.  That's a lot of inspiration!

So - the challenge was to make a quilt featuring rows of blocks. I decided I wanted to make 12 rows, but wanted a lap quilt, so that meant 6 inches was my limit for block size.  Ten blocks in a row, makes the quilt 60 x 72.  Off I went to EQ to find the different blocks I wanted for my rows. 

Since I wanted 6 inch blocks, I tried to keep them fairly simple with basic piecing.  Aurifil 50 weight thread and a size 10 needle for nice tight seams, and I was on my way!

So much fun! I used the Porcelain (part of the Naturally Neutrals collection) that I was sent in my Ambassador box as the background, and it was the perfect color for this project!  10 more rows to go, and I was on my game - I would spend a couple hours a day making blocks, then prepping the next row.

It was so much fun seeing the rows all come together, each row used different fabrics, I think there are only a couple of fabrics that I used more than once.

One of my favorites was this block!  Those tracks in blue on deep navy is one of my favorite fabrics!

Ready to sew the rows all together!  I was super excited to see how they would look!

Yes, just as pretty as I hoped!  Full of color and movement and lots of piecing - perfection!

The next task?  Create a back, and what better way to enjoy all of these beautiful fabrics than to piece more of them into a backing.  This kind of piecing isn't quite as fun, but I love the results - now I can turn the quilt over and remember every piece of fabric in my quilt!

What better batting for a cozy lap quilt than Hobbs wool?  If you've never used it, it is absolutely the softest, lightest batting!  So warm and cozy, and the loft is wonderful!

I received some nice brown 40 wt thread from Aurifil in a Color Builder collection and decided it would be perfect for this quilt.  I thought a simple grid would make this quilt soft and cozy, so put on my walking foot and changed out my Schmetz needle for a size 12 and started quilting!  I did find out that when quilting the wool batting like this, I need to baste a little closer.  I started out with some puckering issues, but was able to adjust and got it under control!  I really love the texture of the stitching.

I found a pretty blue in my foundations bundle (Sapphire in the Brilliant Blues) for the binding - perfect finish!  

This is where my quilt will live - in my living room to keep me nice and cozy in the chilly evenings and mornings.  As a matter of fact I am snuggling under it right now while I write this post!  Everything about this quilt makes me smile - it's been a while since I made myself a lap quilt so I am going to enjoy this one for sure.

Twelve beautiful rows in my quilt, lightweight and warm Hobbs batting,  Hours of piecing pleasure, feeding triangles and squares through my sewing machine.  I am one happy quilter with the results!

I'd like to make another quilter happy with my leftovers!  There are some strips and pieces, plus some extra pieces and mis-cuts that could be put to good use.  Sorry, I can only ship this to the US because of shipping, but I would be happy to send an international winner their choice of a pdf pattern.  Enter via the rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One more shoutout to the wonderful companies that made this quilt possible!  Oh, and make sure you visit Andi Stanfield at True Blue Quilts to see what she did with these wonderful fabrics!  Go have some fun and do something you love today!