Monday, August 13, 2018

Spring Blossoms in the Great Outdoors Blog Hop

Hi, and welcome to my day on the Island Batik Ambassador Great Outdoors blog hop!  My secret bundle of gorgeous fabric from the February box was called Spring Blossoms.  It's filled with pink, yellow, orange, red, green, purple, and turquoise, in a variety of prints, including flowers, birds, dragonflies, and raindrops.  We got 1/2 yard pieces of the prints, and 2 yards of the pink and red.  

Yes, I may have swooned a bit when I saw the colors, especially the dotted raindrops.  The SKU for that one is 111817220, and the color name is Nasturtium.  Please check your favorite store to see if they carry it, if not, tell them to get it! 
Yeah, isn't it gorgeous?  Look at the colors!  A rainbow of raindrops!  
I shared it on Instagram and had many comment on it.  I need more!  

Anyway, about my quilt.  I had a sweet design all ready to go, featuring the raindrops in the center of each block.  We're asked to use as many fabrics from the collection in this particular project, so I knew the other units would be scrappy looking, but wanted to highlight the raindrops.  Just as I was going to cut out the pieces I realized that my design would not work.  The drops are directional, and my design would not support that, nor would I have enough fabric to make it work.  Off to Plan B.  

Well, B was a great design, too.  Only, it wouldn't have enough fabric to work, either.  Because I wanted the drops to all fall the same way in my quilt.  So, back to EQ8, or the drawing board, for Plan C. lol.  I picked a Mosaic block from their library, which would use the raindrops as the center, but when put on point, would go the right way.  Yes, all the quilts were on point with a little sashing and cornerstones, which is where my plan went awry.  I wanted to end up under 60" square, too, so I could use the new Hobb's Wool batting we got in our July Ambassador boxes.  Again, best laid plans, lol.  I have to play more with EQ8 to figure out why my quilts are always larger in real life, than the program says it will be.  Without borders, this one is 59", and it needs borders!  

When all else fails, just go larger! lol.   I had enough for a 2" and 6" border, making this about 72" square.  And visit later to see some of the other designs, which may end up as patterns.   I know I have other batting I can use for this one, and need to figure out the backing.  This is just a top for now, but I'll be quilting with Aurifil soon.  

Here's today's quilt.  It uses 14 different fabrics in the blocks, plus Lime for sashing, the Berries print for cornerstones, and Turquoise Dot Floral  and Flamingo Mixed Birds for the outer border. The background and setting triangles are all from Almond.  I was planning to use the red from the collection, which was given for borders, but it was just too bright with the other colors.  I felt the Almond would play nicer.  

Here's the EQ8 design with red. 
In real life, when I put the red next to the green and turquoise, around the blocks, it was a little too bold for my taste.  So, Almond it is.  I do purchase yardage of that one and other neutrals when I can.  I love when Hancocks-Paducah puts their Island Batik on sale, and I'll pick up neutrals then, too. May as well get free shipping, right?

I made sure the birds in the borders were all going the same direction, too. 

So, to thank you for visiting, and reading this far, please leave a comment about your favorite Summer treat below, and be entered to win some squares I'll cut from the scraps, and a copy of one of my patterns.  Follow me on Facebook, and leave a second comment that you do, for another chance.  

Visit If These Threads Could Talk for another project with Spring Blossoms, and visit the rest of the bloggers for more inspiration and give-aways.  

Monday, August 6 - All A Flutter - Yellow Cat Quilt Designs, Creative Blonde
Tuesday, August 7 - Birds N’ Bees - Ark Angel Creations, Patterns By Jen
Wednesday, August 8 - Canterbury Manor - Sally Manke, Powered By Quilting
Thursday, August 9 - Eclectic Garden - Desert Bloom Quilting, Sew Karen-ly Created
Friday, August 10 - Vintage Morris - MooseStash Quilting, Devoted Quilter

Monday, August 13 - Safari - Sew Incredibly Crazy, SweetGrass Designs
Tuesday, August 14 - Spring Blossoms - Mary Mack Made Mine, If These Threads Could Talk
Wednesday, August 15 - Victoria and Albert - Bejeweled Quilts, Clever Chameleon
Thursday, August 16 - Wild Things - Freemotion By The River, Kauffman Designs
Friday, August 17 - Petting Zoo - Den Syende Himmel, Sarah Goer Quilts
Monday, August 20 - Ocean Odyssey - Gateway Quilts, The Quilt Rambler
Tuesday, August 21 - British Rose - Busy Hands Quilts, Mania for Quilts
Wednesday, August 22 - Dear William - The Inquiring Quilter, mmm! Quilts, Living Water Quilter
Thursday, August 23 - Dragonfly Dreams - Inchworm Fabrics, BeaQuilter
Friday, August 24 - Fur-ocious Friends - Quilting Affection Designs, Dizzy Quilter
Monday, August 27 - Globetrotter - Pamela Quilts, Curliecue Creations
Tuesday, August 28 - Jungle Cruise - Vicki's Crafts and Quilting, Little Bunny Quilts
Wednesday, August 29 - Lavendula - Carole Lyles Shaw, Masterpiece Quilting
Thursday, August 30 - London Calling - Quilt in a Not-Shell, Lizard Creek Quilting
Friday, August 31 - Spirit Rhythm - Steph Jacobson, Whispers of Yore
Monday, September 3 - Sweet Tweets - Kathleen McMusing, Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Tuesday, September 4 - Whatnot - heARTS Creations, Slice of Pi Quilts
And be sure to use the Rafflecopter to enter to win fabric packs from Island Batik.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping! Enjoy the rest of the hop!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Aviation Quilt Commission

Hi, and thanks for visiting.  A few months ago, one of my Quiltsy Teammates asked if I was interested in doing a commission quilt for an Aviation family's new baby.  I had a number of email conversations with Kaitlin, the new mom-to-be, and she shared her thoughts on colors and design.  I suggested Alison Glass Sun Prints because it offered most of the colors she wanted, plus the gray and gold colors she wanted for the border.  She shared a photo of a similar quilt for inspiration, so I did the math and came up with this design.  I got to work making the blocks, and was thinking of how I wanted to quilt the white blocks.  I got the idea of doing a variety of planes, helicopters, rockets and hot air balloon for my quilting designs, and searched online for designs that would lend themselves to quilting.  I've done similar things before, and usually find coloring book pages to work well.  

So, the quilt is done.  I chose 6 different flying things, because I had 18 white blocks.  I wanted the quilting to help share the design of the quilt and the theme of the nursery, which is "Oh, the places you'll go".  The colored blocks look like propellers, and Sun Prints has a compass design, and stars, along with flowers, and other shapes.  Kaitlyn wants to be surprised for the gender, and wanted something that would work for either.  The colored blocks all have a swirl design, in the matching color of Aurifil thread.  I took it to the Cradle of Aviation museum today for a few fun photos.  The guard and receptionist were very friendly and open to allowing me to do this, even putting the quilt on the wing of one plane, and holding it so I could get it with the Blue Angel jet.  

If you didn't know, Long Island has a wonderful history with Aviation.  The museum is in the area where Charles Lindbergh took off to fly to Paris.  Long Island is also home to Grumman, Sperry Fairchild and many other manufactures of planes.   I grew up knowing this area as Mitchell Field, and seeing all the old hangars and buildings and air strips.  I was really excited to see they decided to create this museum to honor the history of the area, and I toured it a number of years ago. It's only a few minutes from my house.  
So, here's my quilt!  

 Plane built by Grumman, on Long Island.
 Yes, it's on the wing!  
 Thanks to the guard for holding this!  The quilt measures about 58" square, and the photo is cropped only at the bottom.  Yes, it's a real Blue Angel plane.  

Aurifil 50wt Colors include 2024 white, 2255 Dark Red Orange, 2892 Pine, 2535 Magenta, 1133 Bright Orange, 2140 Orange Mustard,  1231 Spring Green, 1128 Light Blue Violet, 2920 Light Brass for the borders, 1125 Medium Teal, 2325 Linen, and 4182 Dark Turquoise.  Yes, lots of thread changes for about a minute of stitching the swirls.  I used a white bobbin in the bottom for all of it, though.  I knew changing for each color would not make me happy, lol.  I also knew too much quilt quilting would make the quilt stiff, not something a little one could snuggle into.  I use a blue wash-out marker for drawing the designs, and did each freehand, while looking at the printed illustration.  I couldn't use a lightbox for transferring, because it was already pinned together.  Sometimes having a strong art background comes in handy.  Quilting designs and Pictionary, are two examples, lol
 Feathers in the outer border. Binding and 2nd border are same gray print.

 Hot Air balloon, and some of the colors.  
 Helicopter!  I guess I need to get close-ups of the other 2 planes.
Backing is Minkee.  

So, Kaitlyn I hope you love this quilt as much as I loved making it to help welcome your little one to a life to treasure.  Thanks so much for trusting me.  

Remember, it's also the day to Hop for Island Batik, and time to vote for your favorite Black and White challenge.  Mine is the Night and Day with purple border.  You get 3 votes!  


Monday, August 6, 2018

Great Outdoors Blog Hop and more!

Hi!  First,  I just wanted to share that the Island Batik Ambassador hop is starting, and will go on for a few weeks.  Lots of inspiration and lots of prizes.  We're sharing the collections that were shown at Spring Quilt Market, and are now arriving in your favorite quilt shops.  Jungle Cruise, which I used in my newest pattern, Jungle Jumble is one of them.

Just wait until you see mine, next week, but here's the link for the full hop

On another front, Quiltsy Team on Etsy, my seller's team, is like a huge, international quilting guild.  Really!  We have over 100 members, many of whom are active in the daily chat, and we pride ourselves on the support in all aspects of life, from improving our shops to personal.  I can't imagine not having these incredible women in my life.  They've gotten me through so many things, including my daily issues with Mom's Alzheimer's.  I offered a challenge to them, and they answered with stunning results.  The challenge was to make something, table runner or larger, with black, white and one other color.  We're going to be voting for your favorites soon, so keep an eye out for the links.  Here's the Pinterest page with the entries, and I'll share the voting link soon. 

Just a reminder, this is my entry.  

And I'm almost done with a commissioned baby quilt.  I have to finish the border and bind it, then I'll share photos.  I'm hoping to have a great location shot.  Can't wait to show you!  
Stay tuned!  Lots happening this week and next.   

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Remember to hop!  

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Island Batik Pattern Play Challenge

Please don't faint!  I've actually finished a challenge, completely, and before the end of the month!!  Yay for me.  

In the midst of so many challenging days with my mom, and with the court case against me and my brother by 3 other siblings, I found time to quilt.  And it's a larger quilt!  I'm as surprised as you are, but I also wanted to do a black, white and one other color challenge with the Quiltsy Team on Etsy, my seller's team, and that required it being done and listed by August 4.  Yup, I started that challenge and made up the rules.  Getting something to fit both challenges was a little tricky, but I figured it out.  

I grabbed my copy of Day and Night from Quilt in a Day, which I've had for years, but have wanted to make.  I grabbed some Almond batik, and found enough of the black and lavender I've purchased, to work, if I changed out the border order.  I really only purchase Island Batik fabrics when buying batiks.  I watch for sales at Hancocks-Paducah or Quilt In a Day, as both list the brand by name.  Both the black and lavender are older pieces.  

I cut strips and made 2 blocks at a time, over the last few weeks, then last week, got the top finished.  I had to run to JoAnn's to get something for the back, and got that ready.  I wanted to do something fairly fast for quilting, as the design was busy and dramatic.  I love the little circle pinwheels where the blocks join, and the larger black and white circles around them.  That's the secondary design.  It only happens when you put 4 blocks together, and is more dramatic with 3 colors of fabric, vs 2.  
I didn't want to detract from that, so picked a curvy/feathery/swirly design, and Aurifil Graphite 50wt thread, the black and white variegated.  It looks great.  Sometimes the quilting disappears, and other times, it accents the top.  I used 2024 White for a vine/feather design in the white border, and 3840, French Lilac, in 40wt to quilt feathers in the outer border.  I then added black binding, because I felt the little touch would frame the top better.  So, here's my finished quilt.  

Black, White and Lavender

It measures 60 by 73.  The scraps from cutting the strips can be made into other projects, which I'll work on later.  I have other deadline project, including a commissioned baby quilt, plus August and September's quilts.  I'll get a table runner or 2 out of the scraps.  

So, thanks for visiting.  If you want to see more of the Island Batik Ambassador challenge quilts this month, please visit here.  I know this isn't the best list, but it's a fast blog post.  Other blogs will have more info, and I'll share the wrap up post soon.  Thanks for visiting!  Also, the Quiltsy Team #blackwhiteandspreadallover challenge has a voting part, so I'll share that too, and hope you vote for your favorite (mine, lol).

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Island Batik June Modern Challenge

Hi.  It's been a while since I blogged, but I was busy sewing secret projects for Fall Market for Island Batik.  I can say I finished a large lap quilt, which will have a pattern, and uses 10" squares, plus a table topper and placemats that use FQs and a Funky Friends Squirrel and a hedgehog, plus have another quilt in the works for Market and a pattern.  This one uses yardage.  There were also personal issues, mostly about being a caregiver for my mom.  She's fine, but let's just say that family can be a problem.  

On to today's Island Batik Ambassador challenge.  I'm never sure if I can do something that's modern enough.  I do like to play with colors and alternative gridwork.  I've pushed myself out of traditional because I work with batiks on a regular basis, and now I'm designing with them.  I must admit it's been lots of fun, and I love being pushed to be creative.  As a designer, I often submit an idea for one collection or group of colors, and Island Batik suggests a different collection, which pushes me into colors I wouldn't normally choose.  Their color choices are awesome, but not always my ideas.  For example, I don't think to pair orange with purple.  But look below for an example of where it works.

I'm working on a new pattern, which was shown at Market in May, called Jungle Jumble.  It uses the Jungle Cruise collection.  I wanted to show the units can be assembled differently.  So, my idea was to choose another collection and make the top again.  The Ambassadors were  asked to make larger than a baby quilt, so I'm working on a lap size.  I wanted to show the colors, though, and some alternate ideas for using the units in my pattern.  I hope to have the pattern written soon, and will let you know when they're back from the printers, but here's a taste of the possibilities. 

Jungle Jumble in Jungle Cruise

I had purchased this 10" stack of beauties called Twilight Sunflowers from Missouri Star, for this purpose, but wasn't planning on doing it as a challenge. It kept calling me, though.  I picked 1/2 yard of Lavender from our Ambassador box as the "background" or constant.  I cut up the squares for my design, and had fun sewing them back together.  Using a colored constant instead of my usual white/cream choice was different, and I hoped would add a more modern look.  

Lots and lots of chain piecing happened.  I love the calming hum of the machine as I feed through the fabric.  I also enjoyed picking the pieces to match up, and love using Aurifil 50wt thread for this.  I have a large cone that I got last year as an Aurifil Artisan. I've used about 2/3 of it, and filled lots of bobbins, but not having to worry about a spool running out is awesome!  I can sew until I need to replace a bobbin.  Just keep going and going!  So much fun.  

Once I got all the units made, I decided to play.  I opened EQ8, imported Jungle Jumble from EQ7, and played with a row design.  I used all the possible units, but it's not colored correctly to go with the scrappy actuality.  You can get an idea of one option, though.  

I played with the units in person, too.  I laid them out with a center medallion idea of pinwheels, and border rows.  If I chose this, I might do a single fabric border between the 4 patch and 2 patch ones.  It's a little too busy right now.   The eye needs a place to rest.

This would make a few fun baby quilts, if I chose to go with this idea.  I do like it, and the colors are so pretty, but I decided to do something else, which you'll see soon.  I promise!  

In the meantime, there are lots of great inspiration for you at the Island Batik Ambassador blogs.  Please visit them!  

On the Yippee!! news front, my first design for Island Batik, Zen Basket, has returned to me.  It's been traveling all over the US with the trunk show, which provides shops with samples of the fabric and patterns available.  This was most recently in Portland, Oregon.  I almost wish it had a stamped passport so I would know where it actually went during the last year and a half since I finished it.  The patterns are still available in my Etsy shop.  

I may be listing this quilt for sale.  I haven't decided if I can part with it.  It's my first completely original design, with the pattern written for others.  Like my first baby! lol.  

Anyway, thanks for visiting, and I hope you find inspiration on how to use Island Batik in a more modern style quilt.  


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Looking Back April Island Batik Ambassador Challenge

Hi, and thanks for visiting. What inspires your quilts?  Why did you start?  I know when I officially started quilting.  It was about 1989.  I was married at the time, my son was about 2, and we had a house built in the Poconos of PA.  I was making the curtains, and had all the rooms planned for colors.  I had been sewing since I was about 5, so I knew what quilts were, but I hadn't made one yet.  I found a small quilting fabric store, and they were having a class featuring the Quilt In A Day Log Cabin book.  I wanted to make a quilt for my bed, picked some pink, rose, and blue calicos and took the class.  We all worked as long as we could, but my top was done in the afternoon and we layered it, flipped it, and tied it before class ended. I can't remember how many others were done, but my queen size was on my bed that night.  I was so excited.  I do have one extra block.  I need to take a photo of it, to add to this.  I wanted to do the Log Cabin for my bed, because of the history of it.  It first appeared as a block in the 1860s, and the center red square symbolized the hearth of the home, and the lights and darks, the ups and downs of life.  Our new house was in the woods, and although it didn't look like a cabin, I was hoping the light side of life would shine for us.  It didn't, for long, but that's another story.  When the divorce happened, he took that quilt.  I'm sure it's buried in a landfill at this point, which is fine.  I have one block, and the memory of that class, my first Olfa rotary cutter, and mat, and a love for making quilts.  

Island Batik asked the Ambassadors to use fabric they provided to create something new based on the vintage design.  I picked the log cabin, again.  It's actually a favorite block.  I've done a number of Log Cabin quilts, and always stick the the Quilt In A Day method I learned 28 years ago, although I use a newer edition of the book.  (I do still have the original, with the notes about how many skeins of crewel thread for tying).  I've even played with Island Batik and a Log Cabin.  

 This  was for the  Ambassador Summer in the Country hop, September 2015
This was from the Eerie Nights Hop, October, 2016

This was started for the Modern Challenge in 2016, and finished in Feb 2017.  It uses the Wonky Log Cabin ruler by Quilt In A Day.  You do know Eleanor Burns is one of my favorite teachers and designers, right?  

So, I'm back with another Log Cabin, but my first more scrappy.  I received a Fat 8th bundle of Season's Shades in my 2018 Ambassador box.  The pieces were 10 by 18, which gives a nice view of the colors and textures, but is a challenge to find a pattern that would work.  I added in some Egg White from the Foundations Neutrals, and cut a pile of 2 1/2" strips.  

I used the brighter pink for the central square, but the rest of the "dark" side is a variety of prints.  I tried to keep the lighter shades to the center, and the darker to the outer edge.  As I was sewing the blocks, I thought about how to make it more modern.  I decided to make 10 blocks, again, and make another bed/table runner with the zig-zag edge.  I even used the same layout, although I did play with options before deciding.  There's so much you can do with this block! (Read the previous post for more info, and the book that inspired it)

 I worked on quilting it, and have all the colored parts, and maybe 1/2 of the background parts done.  It's now officially May 1, though, and I wanted to get this posted.  I must admit I'm pretty happy I got almost done this month.  That's better than usual.  Yay, me, despite all the other issues challenging me this month. 
 I'm using Aurifil 50wt thread for quilting.  I used 3817 Marakesh, which is a bright variegated thread.  It adds a little punch to the colors in the dark side.  I picked 4651 Bari for the light side.  It's also a variegated, with pastel yellow, pink, and lavender, and adds some punch to the light side.  It's also unexpected.  I didn't want to be too bold, but did want interest.  Egg White has a pastel swirl dot design.  The thread looks great on it.  I know Wendy Sheppard, one of my favorite quilters, suggests using a thread with a little color, as an unexpected pop.  I decided to take her advice. 
 I'm quilting feathers.  I'll share more close-up photos when this is done, and I did cut out the batting behind the zig-zag edge, so you can see where this is going.  I can't cut the other side until it's quilted, because sometimes the block shifts.  I don't want any issues!  
I'm not sure if I'll do just an Egg White binding, or use scraps from the bundle, or maybe something that coordinates with the green or purple fabrics.  I have to check my stash, and see what's available.  

Thanks for visiting, and please check out all the Island Batik Ambassador projects, and how they were inspired by vintage quilts.  Island Batik shares it on their Facebook page, or you can check on my previous posts for a list of 2018 Ambassadors.