Monday, January 23, 2017

Island Batik Ambassador Season for Giving

Hi.  This post is a little late, but things have been nuts, as usual, 

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It's interesting to me to notice that my life is nuts, and that's usual.  It's fine.  Life's a rollercoaster, and I do enjoy a good wooden coaster ride.  

Anyway, Island Batik asked the Ambassadors to make something to donate for December.  And my Quiltsy Team (sellers team on Etsy) asked for quilts to be donated to the survivors of the Tennessee wildfires.  Lily from The Batty Quilter generously offered to quilt 4 tops to send, and I decided to take her up on her offer.  I picked the Lavish strip bundle that was in an Ambassador box, and decided to use the Jelly Roll Race pattern to make a quick top.  I had hoped to get the top done in December, but that's my life right now.  Other things bumped this down on the list.  

Have you seen Lavish?  This strip bundle had beautiful greens and blues.  The prints are unique and the colors are just wonderful.  So, I just sewed the strips end to end, in the order they came out of the package, and then proceeded to make the top. 

To finish this off, I added a 2 1/2 wide border from the Basics collection in Navy.  I was contemplating adding a second border, but didn't have enough in Lavish, and although I have another piece from a new group, which matched the colors, I didn't think it added to the design of the top.  As a frame, it would have been too busy.  So, it's now a top, and on the way to Maine so Lily can have some fun with it.  She'll send it to Jennifer At The Bright Spot, who lives in Tennessee, not far from the fires.  Jennifer plans to deliver over 40 quilts, all donated by Quiltsy Team members, to the victims of the fires.  

I love being an Island Batik Ambassador, and just found out that I'm also a member of the 2017 class.  I'm honored to be picked again, for the 4th time.  They are generous in their boxes, and the monthly challenges have been fun.  I was so glad that this challenge coordinated with the need for quilts for Tennessee, and that I knew Jennifer would get these to people who need them.  It was also wonderful to know that Lily would quilt it for me.  Everything worked to make this a perfect project for #TistheSeasonIB.  

Quick reminder, the #NewBeginningsIB hop is still going on.  Please check my older post for info about the give-away and the schedule.  I hope you've entered to win!   

Thanks for visiting.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

Finish #2 in 2017


I'm so excited about this finish.  First, some background.  I've been sewing for almost my whole life.  I've made tons of things, including a number of "quillow" pillow quilts.  I had used pillow panels and coordinating fabrics, and made tons of these for friends in the 1990's.  My son loved snuggling with his when he was little, and his favorite thing was to put his feet in the pillow pocket.  I think over the years I had made him 2 or 3, because he wore them out.  Yup, it was before I knew about cotton batting, and free-motion quilting.  It was a craft item, and I was making dresses and doing alterations.  I had only quilted down the lines with the edge of the pillow pocket, so 2 lines in a 45" width.  I don't think I have any photos, but it is fun to remember all the ones I made.  

About 3 years ago, after making many real quilts, including one for his bed, I asked my son if he wanted a lap quilt.  I had a beautiful pack of  Island Batik strips in blues and greens.  I had been making the Quilt In A Day Zig A Zag quilt, and knew these strips would be beautiful in it.  He agreed, so I purchased fabric for the setting triangles, border, and binding.  I had the green for the inner border from Island Batik.  I started the quilt, and then it was put aside for other projects.  I needed more stock for my store.  I got a special order, and then more.  I was doing costumes for a high school.  I moved.  You get the picture.  

So, my goal before September was to get this top done, so I could give it to him for Christmas.  I finished the top, added the borders, and got it pinned.  Then my machine broke.  The support for the needle arm was loose, and would require ordering a new head, which basically would cost more than the machine was worth.  I know I'm tough on my machines.  I ended up trading for the same model, but rarely used.  I love Pocono Sew & Vac.  I'll take the 2+ hour trip for the best machine prices and support!  

Then Matt said he was unable to come for Christmas, and I also had the Island Batik quilt to design, and finish to send to be included in their Spring catalog, and to write the pattern.  Quilting this was set aside again.  Until this week.  Matt was coming down to visit this weekend, so I wanted this done.  
Finally!  It's done!  

Matt loves it!  

I added a label to the pocket for his feet.  This was quilted with an all over loopy design, with a feather variation in the border.  I used Aurifil 50wt thread in a beautiful dark teal.  I used about 7 bobbins in the quilting and binding.  It's long enough for him to really snuggle, with his 6'4" length, and he's thrilled with the pocket for his feet.  

While I was finishing his quilt, Matt built the #Arrowsewingcabinet I had won last May.  I can't wait to get it filled with things!  It's perfect for the side of my table, and I've put a rotating cutting mat on top, and can just turn to the side to trim blocks.  I had put the mat next to my machine, but it wasn't the best place to keep it.  This will be awesome! 

This is my January #APQResolution.  I knew January was #6, so I wrote this quilt on that line.  It needed quilting, the pocket, label, and binding.  I need to finish my list, but hope to get many UFOs done this year.  

Now, back to making something for my shop, and memory bears for some family members. And the donation quilt.  And...

Thanks for visiting!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Beginnings Blog Hop

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Hi, and Welcome to my day for the #IslandBatikAmbassador's New Beginnings blog hop! 

These fun collections have been out since Fall Market, so they're arriving in stores now!  If your favorite LQS didn't order this, you're going to have to ask them to get this for you. If you're a pet lover, you need this!  My collection is Fifi and Fido, an adorable group of bright batiks featuring paw prints and a variety of dogs.  You may have seen this collection when Aurifil Thread, Island Batik and some other companies had information about October's National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog blog hop.  You can read more about that HERE.

Photo from Island Batik.

So, here's my reason to love dog prints!  
This is Hazel.  She's 7 and was adopted from North Shore Animal League when she was only 7 weeks old.  She's a sweetheart, and loves to play ball, and snuggle on my quilts.  She approves of this new top!  
I received this bundle, and had no idea what to make!  I thought of a purse, and of some kennel quilts for shelter dogs (and I'll make some), but what could I do that was different?  A friend suggested Attic Windows featuring the dog print, but I needed to use 8 prints.  Finally, an idea popped into my head.  I had been seeing lots of posts from the Be My Neighbor by Moda quilt, and I purchased a copy of American Patchwork & Quilting, which had Wendy Sheppard's Close Quarters house quilt on the cover.  
So, I figured the neighborhood also needed a dog house!  

I checked on EQ7, and they didn't have an actual dog house, and most of the houses looked more like people houses, so I drew my own.  Here's what I did.  

Dog House Block
1 12" finished size block.   Use 1/4" seam allowance.

From Red FQ (I used 2 from previous Island Batik collections):  
Cut one 6 1/2 by 10 1/2" rectangle.   
Cut one 5 1/4 by 7" rectangle (you'll need 2 if using regular prints, but 1 will work for batiks and solids) (1 FQ will give you 2 house blocks).  

From Blue Sky fabric:  Cut 1 strip 2 1/2" by 12 1/2", and one 5 1/4 by 7" rectangle (again, 2 if using regular prints).
Green scraps for side lawn:  2 pieces that are 1 1/2 by 6 1/2"
White Accent Trim:  Cut one 1 1/4 by 20, pressed in half, wrong sides together, to make a piece that's 5/8" wide.  

Dog House Opening:  Black piece about 3 1/2" square.  I fussy cut dogs from the Black Dog print, SKU 121614795, backed it with fusible web, and then trimmed it into an arch top shape.  I was thinking of adding a template for this shape, but since each of my dogs has a different size, it didn't make sense.  


1.  Sew the green to the sides of the base of the house (6 1/2" by 10 1/2" rectangle) to make a 6 1/2" by 12 1/2" rectangle.  Press to the red.  

2.  Place the blue and red 5 1/4 by 7" rectangle right sides together, and cut on one diagonal.  

Sort the pieces so they look like a peaked roof, with the red on the bottom and blue on top.  I wanted to have the accent, so I layered the triangles and the accent together, and sewed in 1/4" seam.   Line the white accent cut edge along the diagonal edge of the red triangle, and the flip over the blue, and match all cut edges.  The corners are close to matching, but there's extra to trim, so if it's a little wonky, it's fine.  
Press this seam to the blue.  

Now, trim your roof/sky section to 4 1/2 by 6 1/2" 

The white section should be 1/8" away from the top corner.  Note where that is, as well as the white on the bottom left section.  Since it's a weird angle, the ruler doesn't have a line to place the white on, so just make sure it looks even and square, and that you've left 1/8" at the top of the peak so you won't chop it off when sewing.  

Do the right side, reversed, lining up the white on the top left side, again, down 1/8" from the left top of the ruler.  

Join the left and right peaks together, matching the top roof line, and press this seam open.  

3:  Sew the 2 1/2" by 12 1/2" sky strip to the top of the peak, (press to sky) and sew the peak/sky section to the house/grass section (press to house).  Choose your puppy, and applique it on!  I used Aurifil 40 wt in black, and a blanket stitch.  

Your Doghouse Block is done!  

For my quilt, I made 3 doghouses, chose 3 different dogs, and set them apart with a 2" by 12 1/2" black paw print sashing.  

I set aside the multi/dog and multi/paw print for border and binding, and cut the other fabrics with my 6 1/2" Accuquilt GO! Tumbler die.  I wanted something that would be fun to show the prints, but not be just blocks.  I sewed 9 tumblers into a row, and made 5 rows.  I trimmed the tumblers even with the doghouse blocks, added the black paw print inner border, and the multi/orange dog outer border.  My top measures about 50 by 53", great for a toddler bed or a fun lap quilt, or Tummy Time quilt.  

If you make some Doghouse Blocks, please share on my Facebook page!  I would love to see them.  I would also love it if you would "LIKE" my page while you're there.  

I have a great idea for some quilting, and plan to use a Minkee type backing fabric.  I'll get this finished soon, hopefully before the blog hop ends.  I can't wait to show my idea for quiltig! 

So, have you been following along with the other Ambassadors? Check them out for inspiration and chances to win prizes. 

Here's the schedule...

Monday, January 9 – Coastal Mist
Stone Cottage Quilts
Wednesday, January 11 – Drizzle
Webster Quilt
Thursday, January 12 – Fifi and Fido + Happy Hounds
Mary Mack Made Mine
Quilting Affection
Friday, January 13 – Fresh Catch
Bejeweled Quilts by Barb
Monday, January 16 – Glowing Embers
Purrfect Spots Designs
Tuesday, January 17 – Lake Life
Freemotion by the River
Wednesday, January 18 – River’s Edge
Ark Angle Creations
Jennifer Sewing
Friday, January 20 – Blushing Blooms
Desert Bloom Quilting
Monday, January 23 – Gone Fishin’
Maria Michaels Designs
Wednesday, January 25 – Surf and Sand
Linda Pearl
Thursday, January 26 – Twilight Blush
KISSed Quilts
Friday, January 27 – Happy Harvest
For Quilts Sake
Monday, January 30 – Jolly Holly
Connie Kauffman
Tuesday, January 31 – Frost
MooseStash Quilting
Wednesday, February 1 – Merry and Bright
Patchwork Breeze
Sally’s Quilting Corner
Also, I have a prize for someone.  Just comment below with the name of your pet, or what you would do with this collection.  I'll be sending someone some Island Batik fabrics, a few FQs for you to play with.  I may even include some Fifi and Fido 1/4 yd cuts.  (International winner will be asked to help cover the difference in shipping).  I'll draw a winner on Feb. 2.  
And Island Batiks is giving away 2 bundles of fabric, so please use the Rafflecopter link for more info on that.  
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks so much for visiting!  Enjoy the rest of the hop, and I hope you have fun with my block!