Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Looking Back April Island Batik Ambassador Challenge

Hi, and thanks for visiting. What inspires your quilts?  Why did you start?  I know when I officially started quilting.  It was about 1989.  I was married at the time, my son was about 2, and we had a house built in the Poconos of PA.  I was making the curtains, and had all the rooms planned for colors.  I had been sewing since I was about 5, so I knew what quilts were, but I hadn't made one yet.  I found a small quilting fabric store, and they were having a class featuring the Quilt In A Day Log Cabin book.  I wanted to make a quilt for my bed, picked some pink, rose, and blue calicos and took the class.  We all worked as long as we could, but my top was done in the afternoon and we layered it, flipped it, and tied it before class ended. I can't remember how many others were done, but my queen size was on my bed that night.  I was so excited.  I do have one extra block.  I need to take a photo of it, to add to this.  I wanted to do the Log Cabin for my bed, because of the history of it.  It first appeared as a block in the 1860s, and the center red square symbolized the hearth of the home, and the lights and darks, the ups and downs of life.  Our new house was in the woods, and although it didn't look like a cabin, I was hoping the light side of life would shine for us.  It didn't, for long, but that's another story.  When the divorce happened, he took that quilt.  I'm sure it's buried in a landfill at this point, which is fine.  I have one block, and the memory of that class, my first Olfa rotary cutter, and mat, and a love for making quilts.  

Island Batik asked the Ambassadors to use fabric they provided to create something new based on the vintage design.  I picked the log cabin, again.  It's actually a favorite block.  I've done a number of Log Cabin quilts, and always stick the the Quilt In A Day method I learned 28 years ago, although I use a newer edition of the book.  (I do still have the original, with the notes about how many skeins of crewel thread for tying).  I've even played with Island Batik and a Log Cabin.  

 This  was for the  Ambassador Summer in the Country hop, September 2015
This was from the Eerie Nights Hop, October, 2016

This was started for the Modern Challenge in 2016, and finished in Feb 2017.  It uses the Wonky Log Cabin ruler by Quilt In A Day.  You do know Eleanor Burns is one of my favorite teachers and designers, right?  

So, I'm back with another Log Cabin, but my first more scrappy.  I received a Fat 8th bundle of Season's Shades in my 2018 Ambassador box.  The pieces were 10 by 18, which gives a nice view of the colors and textures, but is a challenge to find a pattern that would work.  I added in some Egg White from the Foundations Neutrals, and cut a pile of 2 1/2" strips.  

I used the brighter pink for the central square, but the rest of the "dark" side is a variety of prints.  I tried to keep the lighter shades to the center, and the darker to the outer edge.  As I was sewing the blocks, I thought about how to make it more modern.  I decided to make 10 blocks, again, and make another bed/table runner with the zig-zag edge.  I even used the same layout, although I did play with options before deciding.  There's so much you can do with this block! (Read the previous post for more info, and the book that inspired it)

 I worked on quilting it, and have all the colored parts, and maybe 1/2 of the background parts done.  It's now officially May 1, though, and I wanted to get this posted.  I must admit I'm pretty happy I got almost done this month.  That's better than usual.  Yay, me, despite all the other issues challenging me this month. 
 I'm using Aurifil 50wt thread for quilting.  I used 3817 Marakesh, which is a bright variegated thread.  It adds a little punch to the colors in the dark side.  I picked 4651 Bari for the light side.  It's also a variegated, with pastel yellow, pink, and lavender, and adds some punch to the light side.  It's also unexpected.  I didn't want to be too bold, but did want interest.  Egg White has a pastel swirl dot design.  The thread looks great on it.  I know Wendy Sheppard, one of my favorite quilters, suggests using a thread with a little color, as an unexpected pop.  I decided to take her advice. 
 I'm quilting feathers.  I'll share more close-up photos when this is done, and I did cut out the batting behind the zig-zag edge, so you can see where this is going.  I can't cut the other side until it's quilted, because sometimes the block shifts.  I don't want any issues!  
I'm not sure if I'll do just an Egg White binding, or use scraps from the bundle, or maybe something that coordinates with the green or purple fabrics.  I have to check my stash, and see what's available.  

Thanks for visiting, and please check out all the Island Batik Ambassador projects, and how they were inspired by vintage quilts.  Island Batik shares it on their Facebook page, or you can check on my previous posts for a list of 2018 Ambassadors.