What do you think when you are told you can do anything, when normally there are boundaries and rules to direct you? Or a certain collection to use?
As an Ambassador, normally we have something that helps to direct the creativity. Free theme is just that. So what would you do? How would you play? What would you make? Especially now, with Covid-19 Quarantine and Work from Home and Social Distancing in place? Would you need something like Hope? I certainly did.
I'm a huge fan of Bonnie Hunter, and Eleanor Burns. Both are very inspirational. I've used Gudrun Erla's patterns, too. We were asked to do a quilt-as-you-go last year, and I used Gudrun's first pattern, which I've had for years. So, when Bonnie Hunter joined with Gudrun to do the Elvira stitch-along for Quarantine Quilting, I started following Gudrun on Social Media, too. She has some great ideas and designs. When she offered the Hope pattern as the second quilt-along with sewing on May 3, with thousands of others making the same quilt, plus interviews with other Sewlebrities, I decided to get the pattern. I wasn't sure I would be able to work on it May 3rd, but liked the design and the idea behind it. Proceeds from donations towards the pattern would be distributed to people working on frontline issues with Covid-19 Pandemic in her area.
I had other things I needed to work on for May, mostly the Santa Fe quilt and more masks. And I had just purchased my Janome Horizon 9450 from Pocono Sew and Vac. (Seriously, the best place to get machines and machine supplies!)
Would I be able to figure out enough on the machine to get a good seam allowance?? I had barely wound a bobbin! But I needed the distraction of this project, knowing thousands would be making it. I needed Hope. I pulled an older 10" Stack Pack called Paisley Dots Brights from my shelves of Island Batik Ambassador boxes, and decided to just go for it.
I cut the additional strips from Island Batik Solid Black, some extra squares from 1/2 yard cuts we get, and that Sunday afternoon, I cut and sewed the A blocks. Over the next few days, I worked on masks, and Santa Fe, and trimmed down the A blocks. I started doing the B blocks as leader-ender while piecing Santa Fe.
When Santa Fe was ready to quilt, I worked on finishing the blocks and did the traditional Barn Raising setting for Hope. I added a border of solid black, and then asked 2 friends what they thought the outer border should be. Both said red. My Hope measures about 75 by 95", and is a great size for a twin bed, or full size, or huge for snuggling on the couch, with your person or pet.
I decided to use Hobb's Heirloom 80/20 Cotton poly Black batting, and a grey wide-back I have. I put it on Vanna, my Handi-Quilter Amara long arm, and picked the Circles Meander that came with the machine. I used Aurifil 40-3 thread in 2250 Red for quilting, and love the look of the red thread on the black and yellow.
Here are a few more photos.
And I will probably do a few more FREE projects this month. My One Monthly Goal is to make pajamas for me and my son. I have a pretty purple teal swirl from Island Batik for mine, and his is a southwestern print. I have a few more masks to make, as well, and need to start on a custom King size quilt. There's also a Sunshine blog hop in a few days, and I need to get something made for that, and Quiltsy Team on Etsy is having a challenge to make and list 3 Patriotic items. I better get to work/play!
For my pajama pants. So much prettier in person.
Thanks for visiting, and I hope you visit the other Island Batik Ambassadors and their Free projects.