Monday, January 23, 2023

Island Batik Ambassador January 2023

 I'm thrilled to share that I'm starting my 10th year as an Island Batik Ambassador. 

Disclosure:  All the products shown on the video and below are provided to me for use as an Ambassador, and the monthly challenge projects.  

If the video doesn't play, please go to my Youtube channel here.

I'm honored and so excited to show you the contents, as well as the challenge projects as the year progresses.  I have so much fun with the challenge projects, and know that my quilting skills have grown because of them.  All of the Ambassadors hope to inspire you to try something new, and to definitely find and buy Island Batik fabrics for your projects.  You'll love them.

Some still photos of the contents:
Aurifil Jade Vine thread collection, 3 spools of 50wt, 2 variegated and one solid.  3 packs of great needles from Schmetz, plus the guide to all the needles and their purposes, and the luggage tag.  Studio 180 Designs Star 60 tool. 

Assortment of 1/2 yard cuts of Solids and Basics, part of the Foundation collection that are always available.  

Broken Glass  2 1/2" strip pack and Goldfish and a neutral.   Great colors and a really great mosaic tile design on the tjaps. 

Royal Crown 1/2 yard cuts and green and Wheat for the February Puff Quilt project.

Brilliant Blues and Tantalizing Teals precuts, from the Foundations so you'll always be able to find something for borders and binding to match.  20 shades in each, with 2 of each shade. 3 packs of Stashbuilder Rolls, 5" width of fabric strips in a variety of colors, 4 to each roll.  Perfect for applique, scrappy quilts, binding, etc.  4 yards each of solids Black, Grey and White, perfect for backing, backgrounds and more.  LOVE them!! 

Sorbet 10" squares, and 2 yards of Frosting for the background, with Mahogany for the dark. 

Surprise bundle of 1/2 yard cuts, plus 2 yards light and dark, for the May challenge.

6 yards of Snow for backgrounds.

Hobb's Black 80/20, Bleached 80/20 and Premium Cotton, plus Poly Down in queen sizes.

Thanks again to Island Batik Hobb's Schmetz, Aurifil and Studio 180 for supporting our challenges.  

Monday, December 5, 2022

Island Batik Ambassador Lone Star Blog Hop

Just wait until you see the inspiration with this hop!  The Island Batik Ambassadors were asked to use the collections shipping to stores soon, and make a lone star style quilt.  I'm sure you'll see some unique ones, and I can tell you the colors and collections are gorgeous.  Thanks for stopping by on my day.  Lone Stars are a very popular design, using a variety of diamond shapes to create a larger diamond, which becomes a star with setting triangles and corners.  I used the book Radiant Star by Eleanor Burns for my quilt.  I've done a few this way, and think the directions and design options are great.  

I was given the Baby Bloomers collection, by Kathy Engle for Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler. It's a collection full of pastels: lavender, yellow, aqua, pink and gorgeous cotton candy multi blends, and the tjaps include clouds, moons and stars, checkerboards, and the cow jumping over the moon. It's sweet and happy, and I loved using it. We were also provided Hobb's batting, Aurifil thread for piecing, Schmetz needles for the domestic machine, and a great Alpaca and wool pressing mat to make our seams flat, by Prairie Spirit Alpacas. The bundle was the Surprise bundle in our June Ambassador boxes.

The first step is to decide how many colors you want to use, and I picked 7, but the book has options for 4 and 6.  The second step is to make strip sets, which are then cut on a 45* angle to make the diamond strips that make up the design in the large diamond. 

We're asked to use as many fabrics in the collection, and I used 17 total. I sorted them into shades of lavender, pink, yellow and aqua, then the multi color ones. The deeper lavender is the center and star points, and the medium lavenders are the Radiant row. The multis surround that row. We were also given 2 yards of a light and a dark, which I used for the 2 outer borders and binding. I used White solid for the background, after trying out Sprinkles and some of the other batik Neutrals. White seemed to make the colors and shades stand out more. Here's photos of me testing out the backgrounds, once I had some of the star wedges done. Of course, when tying to use as many fabrics as possible, I went big. Like really big. My quilt finishes at 94" square. That's a large queen size.

I lay out ideas on the guest bed, and take a photo.  It helps me decide.  

I opted for the small stars for the corners, and think it adds more sparkle to the top.  This photo is just before adding borders.  First I used a white solid, then leftovers of the strip sets for the diamonds, then the Yellow Oatmeal dots I got as the light, and Pink Raspberry dots for the outer border. 

I quilted it on my Handi-Quilter Amara with Pro-Stitcher, using Feather Dreams edge to edge panto from My Creative Stitches, and a Aurifil 40-3 in 2410, Pale Pink.  I wanted something that added a little to the white, and still looked good on the other colors.  Subtle, but pretty.

I used Hobb's Tuscany cotton bleached batting, and a wide white tone on tone backing I had.  As you can see, it's a big quilt.  The frame for the long arm is 10 feet long.  

Details: Baby Bloomers collection
Pattern: Quilt in a Day's Radiant Star
Size: 94" square
Thread:  Aurifil 50wt for piecing and 40-3 for quilting.
Schmetz size 12 Micron needle for piecing. 
Batting :  Hobb's Tuscany bleached cotton King size. 
Machine pieced and machine quilted by me!  

On my queen size bed. 
Early Morning in  the frosty air.

Pieced Border details, along with the Little star.
Center shot.
What happens when you swirl the star?
Little star with detail of the quilting texture.

True colors in the sunlight.  It was a challenge getting the photos.  Thankfully, my son is visiting and he's tall, but the quilt is huge.  The colors is so much prettier in person.
Please stop by Gail's blog to see what she did with the same collection, and click on the link for the Rafflecopter for Island Batik's give away.  Please comment here, as well, if you want to be entered in a give-away for some Island Batik fabric from me.  Have you made a Lone Star?  I do hope you're on my mailing list!  

Remember to check the blogs for the rest of the week, too.  Have fun, and get inspired, and see the new collections coming to a store near you.  If they don't carry Island Batik, ask them to get the collection you love, or check on the Island Batik website for stores that carry it.  I have some for sale in my Etsy shop, and can't wait to get more of the new collections.  


December 5

Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine (Thanks for stopping by!)

Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail

December 6

Megan Best, Bestquilter

Brenda Alburl, Songbird Designs

December 7

Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts

Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood

December 8

Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations

December 9

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 1 and Giveaway 

Thursday, October 6, 2022

PINKtober Blog Hop

Welcome to my day on the Pinktober Blog Hop, hosted by Brianna at Sew Cute and Quirky, and sponsored by Island Batik, Aurifil Thread, and Quilter's Perfect Klip

Breast Cancer.
Just the phrase is so scary.  What do you do when your sister-in-law gets that news?  What about a good friend who is also your hairdresser?  What about her best friend, who's dealing with metastatic breast cancer now?  And the wound care nurse who takes care of your mother in a nursing home?  

When a message is posted by Brianna asking for volunteers to join the hop, you say yes.  
You pray for them.
You make a quilt.
You share your story.
You provide emotional support.
You pray.
If you can, you provide food, respite care for them or their children, ask if they want someone going to the appointments with them, offer to clean or take them out, give them items that will help with healing and comfort.  You listen and let them vent, share their fears and tears.  Research companies that help, like house cleaning, etc.
You make a quilt.

Island Batik supplied a gorgeous precut for us.  I picked the Positively Pink Stack, 10" squares, and requested Magenta for the borders and binding, and Tea Rose for the accent.  

Positively Pink may look like traditional batiks, but it's also printed.  Some of the fabrics are printed on batik, and others are printed on solids.  The designs are sweet.  There are hearts, ribbons, Hope text print, and roses.  The colors are deep burgundy, shades of pink, touches of red, and white.  

It's been so long since I used a printed fabric that I actually had to concentrate to make sure I was sewing right sides together.  I often choose my favorite side when using Island Batik fabrics, but if there's an error, it usually doesn't matter.  This time, I had to check.  

To the above fabrics, I added in White solid, which is included in my Ambassador box.  Island Batik is very generous with their ambassadors, and it's an honor to be one.

Aurifil Thread provided a spool of pink thread, and Quilter's Perfect Klip provided 2 bags of wonderful clips.  

I went to EQ8 to figure out what I wanted to do with the 10" squares and the additional fabric.  I looked for blocks I thought would look good in a variety of pinks.  I found a block called Key Lime Pie, and thought it would be fun to make, and a happy thought for a block.  I added sashing in Tea Rose to the design, and used some of the prints for the cornerstones.  The blocks, which finish at 12", could be made with the Accuquilt GO! 8" Qube, so I layered the background and fabric with right sides together for the smaller triangles for the Combination Units, and cut strips for the 4 patch corners, which also use Magenta.  I threaded my machine with Aurifil 50wt in cream, a cone I use for most of my piecing, and made the units.  I made 2-4 blocks at a time, to keep the units together.  But I had an oops. lol

Or 2.  Easy to fix, just take out the seams, rotate the unit correctly, and sew again, and press again.  And double check the other 10 blocks 3 more times to make sure they are all correct. 
After assembling the top, I put it on my Handi-Quilter Amara with Pro-Stitcher with a white tone on tone wide backing fabric and Warm & White batting, and load Aurifil 40-3 on the machine.  I used 4660, Pink Taffy, a variegated thread that adds a sweet touch to this quilt.  I used the free Hearts and Ribbons design from Urban Elementz.  

Here are the photos, taken between rain and thunderstorms, on the 5th day of storms caused by Hurricane Ian.  Luckily for me, it was only rain and a little wind.  

I'm calling it Hopeful Hugs. It measures about 52 by 67".

Back has Pink Taffy thread, too. 

Fussy Cut Hope for one of the cornerstones.  

I am dealing with cancer.  I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer just about a year ago.  I had a full hysterectomy and then brachytherapy radiation for a few weeks through March, 2022.  I wish someone had offered me dinner, or sent flowers.  My brother did send a gift card for Bath and Body Works, which was nice.  A quilting customer did bring me a lovely bouquet.  What did I do with the diagnosis and healing?  I prayed.  I rested.  I tried to do a little more each day.  Since I'm self employed, I prayed for items in my Etsy shop to sell.  My treatment was during the pandemic, so I couldn't have anyone going to treatment with me.  Brachytherapy isn't horrible, except that you need to lay down with a cylinder in your vagina for up to a half hour.  I brought a quilt to help keep me comfortable and give me something tactile that's better than the scratchy blankets or stiff sheets at the hospital.  I brought chocolate to reward myself after the treatment.  I requested my favorite songs.  I went for ice cream afterwards.  Although I may technically be cancer free, I'm not celebrating that I beat it.  It's too soon.  It's still scary, and although there are days I don't think about it, it's always there, and there's a "thing" I have to do 3 times a week to prevent scar tissue from forming because of the radiation.  Next year it will only be 2x and the year after, only once a week, then maybe I'll feel like I'm better.  There's a 4% chance of recurrence.  I'm so grateful for the friends who called and made me laugh, took me away from the fear and frustration during the worst of it, and the ones who prayed.  Luckily I didn't need chemo. 

In the meantime, I breathe.  I quilt.  I pray, and I schedule mammograms, colonoscopies, and need to find a dermatologist.  And I pray for sales so I can pay bills.  I was so grateful when my Radiation Oncologist purchased one of my quilts.  If you know of anyone who might want a one of a kind gift, or if you may be looking for fabric, please check out my etsy shop. Every little bit helps.  If you don't see something you need, ask me.  I'm also long-arming quilts, and would be happy to work with you on your tops.  

I'm so grateful for Island Batik, for providing me with gorgeous fabric and wonderful challenges.  I love Aurifil thread, and I'm excited about having Quilter's Perfect Klips.  They are so helpful with keeping pieces together, and holding binding while sewing.  I'm not sure what I'll do with this quilt yet.  I want to check with my care team to see if they want to auction it to support others going through cancer.  I may give it to my quilt guild for their charity quilts, or maybe to my friend's friend, or Mom's nurse.  Maybe I'll hear of someone who is just diagnosed and would benefit from the comfort of this, and the hugs built into it. 

Please check out the other bloggers for this hop.

Thanks.  I'll pray that you never have to deal with cancer, but if you do, know I'll listen.  Hugs.