Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Happy Galentine's Day!

Island Batik Ambassadors are celebrating our Gal Pals!  This is our second year, and it's just as fun.  It's actually a fictional holiday based on the TV show "Parks and Recreation", but it's still a really sweet way to celebrate women in our lives.  

I needed to start this before my 2018 Ambassador box arrived (sewing time is limited, especially lately.  Mom's dementia is progressing, and we've had quite a difficult time over the last 3 months).  I also found 2 12" blocks from last year (also known as UFO's or UnFinished Objects).  I wanted to make 2 placemats for Mom's table.  Yes, I get to use them too.  Since she thinks I'm her best friend, I figure she won't remember to get me a gift, and I don't want to buy something for myself.  So I'm doing it for both of us. Her dining room table always has a fabric tablecloth.  I noticed that using placemats last fall made a difference in keeping the cloth cleaner, so I want to make some for each season, to go along with a runner I have already made.  The runners aren't with Island Batik, but that's fine. I'll use them anyway.

I cut out squares to make Half Square Triangles (HSTs) and 3 1/2" squares, from my collection of Island Batik scraps, including some from Cherry Berry.   I picked a background that has a little bit of a peachy color dot.  Last year's hearts were 8" squares, made with 2 1/2" units with a 2 1/2" border.  This year I decided to make them bigger, using 3 1/2" units, for a 12 1/2" square (12" finished).  For the placemats, I just added a 6 1/2" piece to one side, so the mats finish about 18 by 12.  

Mom has one pretty floral plate, but a sweet collection of rose glasses from her mother, so I added them for the photo. 

I opened a new spool of Aurifil 50wt thread in 4660 Pink Taffy to quilt feathers in the hearts and border, and a swirly feather in the sides of the placemats.  I pieced these with Aurifil, too.  Batting is Warm & Natural.

 I was given this sweet heart print a few years ago, and just love using it for backing. It's a vintage piece, only 36" wide, from an estate but so cute!  I often list other vintage things for sale, but this one is mine.  I love hearts!

A friend from grammar school recently contacted me.  We "found" each other on Facebook a number of years ago, and chat often.  She recently asked for prayers for a medical issue, so I plan to drop one of the mug rugs off to her.  Hopefully it will bring a little cheer and let her know I'm still praying for a good result.  I'm not sure who will get the second one.   My besties got some last year.

I'm so happy with how these came out, and hope to make more placemats for other months.  
How are you celebrating your Gal Pals?  Let them know you care, especially today.  

Saturday, February 10, 2018

2018 Ambassador Box and...

I'm an Island Batik Ambassador!  This is the beginning of my 5th year, and I'm still thrilled.  I get 2 boxes of Island Batik and assorted other brand items, to sew with, create with, and play with.  Island Batik has monthly challenges for the Ambassadors, and 2 annual blog hops to help showcase their gorgeous fabrics.  

I made a video of my box opening.  It's on my Facebook page. I wanted to show another photo.  

Yes, the gorgeous blue scarf with green leaves is missing from this photo, because I wore it yesterday, as soon as I opened the box.  :)  Aurifil thread supplied a large cone of 2024 50wt white thread, as well as 2318 in a spool, and 40wt threads in 2510, 2225, 4020, 2430, and 2255.  Hobbs batting supplied a twin size Heirloom, which is an 80/20 cotton, and Thermore, a queen size thin polyester batting.  

There's also a large bundle of gorgeous fabrics with sweet designs on it, but you'll see that later.  I can't wait to play with it. 

I'm also a member of Quiltsy Team on Etsy.  It's a seller's team, almost like an international quilting guild.  We cheer each other on, support each other's businesses with advice and suggestions, and also support our personal lives.  It's the best team.  We also do a charity component.  Last year we sent quilts to Tennessee to help the people affected by the brush fires.  This year we're working on things for California, the fires and mudslides.  I've made 3 pillowcases so far, and need to make a quilt block to send.  I do think I'll be finding some green fabric from my Island Batik boxes and get that ready to mail for Monday.  

I used some fun novelty fabrics, so hope they cheer up the children who receive them.  Green Lantern, construction equipment, and cell phones.  

The last little thing I made tonight was a little pillow for this box.  I have a jewelry box, but most often only wear this necklace and earrings.  I put them in a small box, on top of my big box.  I saw this purple (my favorite color) box in the Avon catalog, and a percentage of the sales goes to help victims of abuse.  I'm a survivor, so wanted to get this box to replace the damaged little gift box I was using, and because it was purple.  I wanted something inside to help protect my necklace and earrings.  I grabbed a purple scrap of Paisley Dot and made a little pillow with batting inside.  It's so cute!  I'm thrilled, and know my necklace and earrings will be easy to find and safe. 

Thanks for visiting!  I can't wait to show you more of fabrics and the challenge pieces.  My Galentine's project will be done for Tuesday, and then there's a mini coming.  

Friday, February 9, 2018

Winners and Finishes!

Hi!  Welcome back to my "catching up" post.  

First, the winner for my Stack Tiles pattern and some Paisley Dot Fabric is Angela S, and the winner for the Zen Basket Pattern with City Culture 2 fabric is Jayne P.  Prizes have been shipped to them this week.  Thanks so much for hopping along with the Island Batik Ambassadors, and for taking time to comment.  I loved reading them. There were many great places to visit in the cities, and I laughed at some of the Summer comments.  

Now onto the finishes.  I'm doing a presentation at the Pieceful Patchers quilt guild.  It's about being an Island Batik Ambassador and designer, and Aurifil Artisan.  I have a few UFOs I wanted to get done so I would have lots to show and discuss.  

These stunning Fat Quarter pieces called Sea Salt Sandy were given to us in one of the 2015 boxes.  I loved how each color had 2 different textures.  One with lots of "sand" and the other with less.  I decided to use both to make something that hopefully looked 3D.  The colors were just so pretty, so I made a baby size quilt, using triangle shapes made from 6 1/2" strips and the 60* ruler.  

At the time I had asked the other Island Batik Ambassadors for suggestions on quilting.  An idea was formed, but I didn't get this top basted with batting and the tan Minky backing until about 2 months ago.  I love using Minky, it adds so much cuddle-worthy comfort to a baby quilt.  Last week, I searched for that conversation on Facebook, and remembered that someone suggested I change the design a little for each color.  I did waves and swirls in the blue, leaves in the green, and different swirls or patterns in all the other colors.  I'm not sure if you can see it here.  I'll try to get some better photos to show the texture from the quilting.  
 Each color stripe has a slightly different design.  I used @AurifilThread 
Sea Salt Sandy Pyramids was started in February of 2016, and now it's done!  

Another recent finish is the #TableScrapsIB top from December.  You can read more about that quilt in this blog post.  I did get to finish the quilting.  I used Aurifil 50wt for the background quilting, using a feather motif.  I used a variegated for the colored leaves and center block edge.  I switched to a solid purple in the outer border, and picked more of the Cherry Berry collection for the binding.  
This is the best shot of the actual color.  The next one was taken during the evening, and is a little more yellow than the actual color.  

This was taken outside, on our currently brown lawn, and although the purple and brights are true, the background is a little brighter than actual color, as well.  

I'm really looking forward to my first trunk show and talk, and hope it goes well.  It's an exciting new step in my life.  I contacted Aurifil and Island Batik, and even have some sweet things to share and give away.  I hope to share photos after the presentation.  

I'm currently working on some #Galentines2018 Island Batik challenge items, plus some pillowcases and blocks for the California fire victims.  Plus, I'm SUPER excited that my newest #IslandBatikAmbassador box will be arriving Friday, Feb 10.  That's the best Valentine/Galentine gift I can think of!  I plan to share a video on Facebook and Instagram, so I hope you follow to see what I get.  I've seen some of the unboxing videos and photos, already.  The items look great, with thread from Aurifil, batting from Hobbs, and gorgeous batiks, including a scarf, which has been on my wish list for years!  I can't wait to see which colors I get.  

Thanks again for visiting, and check back soon!