Monday, March 26, 2018

Try A Technique with Island Batik

March's challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to try something new.  It could be any size, any technique, but something we hadn't done before.  So, since I've been sewing since I was 4, what haven't I done?  Trapunto?  Done it.  English Paper Piecing? Done it, but not with batik.  Garments?  Done it.  I haven't done hand quilting, but wasn't really in the mood for that yet.  Any blocks I haven't done?  Can't think of many.  But that's piecing and quilting, so that's not really new.  The other Ambassadors had a list going on our private page.  Some great ideas were passed around, and I'll share a link to some, so you can be inspired, too.  

One thing I've wanted to do for a while was to make a fabric covered basket, with clothesline.  I've had a large hank of 3/16" cotton clothesline for a few years, with this intention.  Ambassador Sally Manke is also a friend from Quiltsy Team on Etsy, and I remembered she did a tutorial on her page about making them.  I had some basic info (I do have a good memory for things I read, but asked her for a quick verification) and decided to use some of the Southern Blooms fabric I have left from remaking the Funky Friends Factory Easter Bunnies.  I made these for Fall 2017 Market, but was asked to make them again, and was sent more fabric.  

Sally said to cut 3/4" strips, preferably of batiks, use a 14 or 16 needle (I used a Schmetz Jeans 14), and to wrap the clothesline while watching TV, lol.  I cut strips of each color Sunday afternoon, and started wrapping.  After a while I realized the wrapping was not coming out smooth, as I had expected, but I kept going.  Then I realized that the strips were larger than an inch.  I KNOW I had cut them to the 3/4" line, but they were wider.  I kept wrapping.  After Mom was settled in bed, I went up to sew.  I also looked at my ruler.  It's the newly purchased Creative Grids 6 1/2 by 24 1/2" ruler I got to replace the broken Fiskars Donna Dewberry ruler that's no longer made.  The Donna Dewberry had a purple edge to the left, which was the extra 1/2".  I always kept it to the left.  I have the Gypsy Gripper handle on the Creative Grids ruler.  I had just picked it up, and looked for the 3/4" line, not realizing it was also the side with the extra 1/2". So, my strips are actually 1 1/4".  Don't do that.  Keep the strips 3/4".  I won't make that same mistake again.  I'm going to put some glowline tape on the bottom right corner of the ruler to mark it, and also realized that the extra 1/2" has more gripper than the right side.  It only shows if you look closely (but with my vision issues, I wouldn't have noticed unless it was about 4" from my face, not arm's length when using to cut).  I do like the lines on the ruler, though.  The extra 1/2" makes it so easy to cut 6" border strips, and the grip is great.  Just make sure it's not upside down.

Anyway, basically, you wrap, then sew the wrapped clothesline with a zigzag stitch.  I grabbed a Clover WonderClip to help hold the fabric as I was sewing.  Keep sewing the rope to the previous round, and tilt it to help shape it.  My basket ended up at about 10" across, and about 3" tall.  I do plan to make another.  And probably more.  It's fun, and you can be really creative with the colors.  This one, I did 6 strips of the pink, and then 6 of the butterfly design (the original ones I cut) then I added  one 3/4" strip of butterfly, then 3/4" of pink, just to finish it.  Sally and others on the Quiltsy team make scrappy versions, add swirls at the end, even add handles.  You should take a look.  There are books with more info, too.  I hope you try it! 

I used Aurifil 40wt Mako in 4660 Pink Taffy, top and bobbin, which I think worked really well.  I wouldn't suggest 50wt thread for this.  The 40wt shows well, and will be durable.  The variegated really shows on the bottom.  40wt also stands up to the repeated stress of going through the rope and layers of fabric.  No fraying or breaking while sewing.

 Mom watched me take this photo, and snagged a bag of M&M's, lol.  

I love the way the colors worked in the middle.  You can see how fun it is to use a batik.  
I made tags from the tape Island Batik uses for their Stack Pack 10" squares, and added them to the bunny bottoms.  The tails are made by gathering a circle, adding some fiberfill, and sewing them on.  So cute in the contrasting fabric. 

Here are links to the other Island Batik Ambassadors. Check out their March #TryATechniqueIB challenges!  
Barbara at Bejeweled Quilts
Bea at BeaQuilter
Carole at Carole Lyles Shaw
Connie at Kauffman Designs
Dione at Clever Chameleon
Geraldine at Living Water Quilter
Janet at Whispers of Yore
Jeanette at Inchworm Fabrics
Jennifer at Curlicue Creations
Jennifer at Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
Joyce at heARTs Creations
Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Mania at Mania for Quilts
Maryellen at Mary Mack Made Mine
Michelle at Creative Blonde
Pamela at PamelaQuilts
Sally at Sally Manke
Sandra at MMM Quilts
Sherry at Powered by Quilting  
Stephanie at Steph Jacobson

Thanks for visiting! 


Karen said...

Your bowl is really pretty - love the colours. I really like your idea of making a tag from the ribbon - that's brilliant! I had thought of sewing it flat on the back of a quilt, but I like your idea. :) said...

Very nice. Fabric baskets are fun to make. :-)

Sally said...

Mary Ellen this is just great. Love the thread color on those great Island Batiks!

Astrid said...

Cute bunnies and I love the basket. To make one has been on my bucket list for years, maybe one day... :)

Anita said...

Your bowl is very cute! I would like to try this technique once.

Quilting Tangent said...

Pretty basket and bunnies.

Dione Gardner-Stephen said...

One day I am going to try that fabric basket technique. You have done a great job and reminded me how much I'd like to give it a go. And the ribbons on your bunnies are a touch of genius!

Kathleen said...

These bowls are so much fun. And, yes, narrower strips is the way to go. I have seen them where people sew the. Once you get going they are so much fun!