Sunday, December 22, 2019

Island Batik 3-D Project 2

Hi.  I was asked to make a jacket for a friend.  She requested something flowing and showed me a photo of something similar to what she wanted, but not in the colors she needed.  I suggested Island Batik Rayon, which has a gorgeous drape and would work well in the design style she chose, and suggested she look at Island Batik's website to pick a color.  She picked Raspberry Fusion, which was a design from 2018, and is now currently in stores (including mine).  I've gotten samples and scarves from the Rayon collection, and just love the drape and the silky hand of the fabric.  The colors are gorgeous, too.  So, when it became available to ship, I purchased a bolt.  

She picked Vogue pattern 1505.  
Although this pattern calls for 60" wide fabric for View B, the person who is going to wear the jacket is petite, so I was able to adjust the length to just fit on the 45" wide fabric.  I think it came out so pretty.  

I paired it with some lightweight fusible interfacing for the bands, and Aurifil 50wt in 2452, Dusty Rose.  I have quite the variety of Aurifil colors, and am so glad I do, because I always find a color to match the project.  

Okay, the photos don't show it as 3-D, with someone wearing it, but I did try it on and look in the mirror.  It's beautiful, and I'm happy with it, so I hope they are, too.  I did try to get a photo of me trying in the mirror, but it would not come out good (okay, the bins for holiday decorating also showed, and I didn't want to advertise that I still had so much to do! lol) 

If you haven't tried sewing a garment with Island Batik rayon, I suggest you do.  It would make a gorgeous flowing top or skirt, or jacket like this.  It's cool to the touch, so won't be too hot in most situations, and will add a gorgeous touch to your outfit.  I do recommend a new, good, sharp needle, Aurifil thread, and lots of pins or hand basting.  It has a tendency to shift a little, so you really need to take your time when sewing it.  The rolled hem was perfect for it, though.  I used my Babylock Imagine serger to finish the edge first, just the regular stitch, and then turned it up to encase that stitching, and used the rolled hem foot, without putting it into the roller, to make a nice top-stitched hem on my Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 850.  I've used the serger trick on most of the things I need to do a rolled hem on, and it makes it so easy.  This jacket is being mailed to the recipient, so I hope it arrives in time to be under the tree.  

Thanks so much for visiting!  I'm working on a quilt with the new Island Batik Solids, so I'll blog about that, soon.  In the meantime, I hope you're enjoying holiday traditions.  I need to bake some cookies, one of my favorite traditions.  Enjoy! 


Linking up with for What I made Monday. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Island Batik in 3-D

Hi and welcome to this month's Island Batik Ambassador Challenge! 
We're going 3-D.  Not Dark Dreary December (today was really rainy and dreary), but 3 dimensional.  Some of the Ambassadors are doing things that puff or stick up from a quilt, like fish tails, some are doing 3-D illusions (it looks like 3-D but it's actually flat), and others are doing things like this.  I decided a first project would be a purse.  I may do more, depending on the rest of the month.
Thanks to the Sacred Heart Academy student who modeled for me! I'm class of guess, lol, (don't want to admit my age, lol)
I've been doing craft fairs lately, and enjoy making purses, and had some great fabric for them.  Which I didn't find right away, but I did have scraps from another 3-D thing I made last year.  I'll make the other one soon.
Here, Hannah Hedgehog from Funky Friends featured this fabric collection, but I can't find the name of the fabric (this may change, lol).  **It's Soul Song by Bella Nonna Designs.  I  plan to make more purses, and probably will also use a different design, as well.  

Anyway, back to the 3-D purse.  I used the Pink Sands Beach designs Barbados Bag, which is a cross body style with lots of great pockets.  I've made quite a few of these in other fabrics, and thought it would sell well at the high school fair I did last weekend (it didn't sell yet, it's in my Etsy shop if you happen to love it, or know someone who will).   I used the beige and navy swirl dots as the main part, and Basics navy for the outside and lining, and the yellow mini dot for the pocket accent on the front.  I had silver tone hardware, so used that for the strap buckle, clip and D ring.  For the inside of the bag, I used Pellon Fusible Fleece.  I also had navy zippers on hand.  I purchase bag supplies when I see them on sale, and like the challenge of making bags.  This one measures about 9 by 11", and about 1 inch high at the bottom.  The front has an outside zip pocket, and then a second pocket that's the full width and depth, and large enough to hold a tablet or small notebook.  The back has 2 deep pockets, perfect for a passport, small camera, or assortment of pencils.  The inside has 2 smaller pockets, perfect for cards or coupons, and it's nice and deep to hold other necessary items.  The strap is about 48" long and adjustable (used the Basics Navy).  I used Aurifil 40wt in navy for all the stitching.  I like using the heavier weight for bags.  It is just a bit stronger than 50wt, and looks great in the topstitching.  

 I do sew my label into the bags I make! 
Back has 2 pockets. 
 That's my tablet in there!  Plenty of room!

I do find the pattern easy and well written, but with so many layers, with the fleece, pocket and base fabric, I increase the seam allowance to 1/2".  I think it calls for 1/4".  It's okay to just make the bag a little smaller, but if I do remember before cutting the fabric, I'll cut it 1/2" larger.  

So, have you made a purse, or other thing that's 3-D?  I do hope you try.  There are tons of great patterns available, including many free ones.  It's always good to add a challenge into your skill set.  It makes you grow as a maker!  
Please also visit the other Island Batik Ambassadors to see their 3-D items.  

I do hope you're taking time to enjoy the season's festivities and making sweet memories with your favorite people.  Happy Holidays!  I may have another project or 2 done before the end of the month.  Thanks so much for visiting! 


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Island Batik Tool Time and other news

It's Tool Time!  I was so excited to see this challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors.  What a fun idea!  We're to use any tool (not shared in previous months) that hopefully isn't one previously sponsored.  We're to use it to make a project lap size or larger.  Oops, I forgot about that part, but my project does work for someone's lap. lol.  Since I'm a lover of tools, I wanted to try something I hadn't before. 
Hazel, my 10 year old rescue Chocolate Lab mix, seems to like her new lap quilt.  
But it's also a rug.  A Jelly Roll rug, to be specific, except that Moda has trademarked the words "Jelly roll" for their precut strips, and Island Batik calls it a strip pack.  My rug used one whole package of strips, plus a roll of Bosal Katahdin batting, precut at 2 1/2" wide and 50 yards long, and almost a whole spool of Aurifil 40wt thread, which was used to make about 7 bobbins, which are now empty.  Yup, lots of thread.  And a Schmetz Jeans needle or 2.  I have seen tons of these rugs on Pinterest and Instagram, and wanted to make one.  I've seen quite a few videos on Youtube, as well.  And lots of "tools" to help make the rug.  I saw Jerry's Jellyroll Jig by Hip Stitch  on The Fat Quarter Shop and it was available in colors, so I ordered the Mulberry one.  It was a better price than some of the other similar tools, and in a fun color.  (It's currently sold out on the Fat Quarter Shop's store, but you can contact them to see if they're getting more).  
I picked the Victoria and Albert collection, because this was the only strip pack I had that has purple in it.  I'll be moving upstairs in this house, since Mom's now in a facility, and I need to rent the basement apartment to help cover the property taxes, etc.  We need to put some of her stuff in storage and get rid of some of her hoarded stuff, and get rid of the carpet (probably from the 1970s) in that room (my allergies would not tolerate it!)  And I think it's hardwood floors, so I wanted a small rug for next to my bed, that would go with my Jewel Box quilt.  This is okay, but I did order other purple strip packs for the next rug.  I think Hazel will enjoy having this to sleep on.  

I do think I'll order the pattern, because I'm sure it has some information I didn't think about.  I thought I could figure it out.  I did, mostly, and learned a bit about the process.  

1.  If the video says "5 bobbins) make 7.  I actually almost did an 8th, but had a 50wt one in the same color, so I used that to finish the last 20".  
2.  You need quite a bit of time for this.  Allow about 8 hours or more.  It's not quick.  
3.   Your shoulders will get a workout.  
5.  Get a good clean bucket or basket.  I used my trash can.  It's the one under my sewing desk, for trimmings and some paper garbage, so it's not really dirty, but it was so helpful.  
8.  Get a wooden dowel wide enough to go across the basket.  
9.  Starch or Best Press will help.  
10.  Remember to stretch out your shoulders, and clean off your desk next to your machine (or work on a larger clean surface for this project).  You're welcome.  

So, Here's what I did.  After opening the strip pack, and petting it, I put the matching strips together (Island Batik's packs have 2 of 20 different colors/tjaps).  I then put them in the order I thought would look the best.  I chose to have a light center for the rug, and darkest green for the outer.  I sorted the strips into the order I wanted to sew.  Join all of these into one loooooonnnnnnngggg strip.  Over 1720", Or over 143'.  Or over 47 yards, almost half of a football field.  In fabric strips that are 2 1/2" wide.  That's why you'll want about 50 yards of batting.  I sewed this with a bias seam, trimmed off the triangles, and pressed this seam open, just like I do on my binding.  Except that is usually less than 500".  Yes, it's loooonnnngggg.   Find the end with the color you want on the OUTSIDE of the rug.  And use the Jelly Roll Jig to make the first fold.  Put your fabric strip, right side down (check when pressing that your strips are all sewn correctly, you'll want to fix it before this step).  Set up your roll of batting so that it will unroll without twisting.  I used my tube turner dowel and tube for this.  I just taped them to the top of my trashcan (which was emptied) with shipping tape.  One video said to fold the strip so it was easier, but I just put it in the bottom of the can next to the batting.  Put the batting on the wrong side of the strip.  I liked the Katahdin, because it kind of stuck to the fabric.  Keep them centered.  

I used the plastic pieces to help feed the fabric and batting into the jig.  So easy.  It started folding right away, so I pulled out enough that I could fold over the edge of the fabric, so the batting was fully encased, and I would have a good end for the finish of the rug.  
You can see a video on how to use the Jelly Roll Jig here.  Once you get it started, you can just fold it again, and stitch it so the edges and batting are encased.  It's a long line of stitching, but fairly fast and SOOOOO much easier with the Jig.  Some of the other videos said to use Clover clips to do the fold, clip as much as you can, and then stitch, and take out the clips as you stitch.   Then you'll need to stop and clip (because you'll run out) and stitch.  And stop and clip.  The Jig means you can just get your fabric and batting smooth, slide the jig, and sew.  Smooth, slide and sew.  I know it saved me lots of time.  

About the Jig.  It's actually made in the USA with a 3-D printer.  I had never used something made with a 3-D printer before, and found this really interesting.  It looks like lines of plastic, not a smooth finish you'll find on molded plastic, but that doesn't make it rough, just different.  So unusual.  
Make sure you feed the fabric so the fold goes the right direction, and then you'll be having fun.  I did start this into a ball, but realized I was not keeping the rope from twisting and that became a problem later.  I think this is where the pattern  would be helpful.  But just keep sewing.  

Once the Jig is up (I mean done) lol and your strip is now a rope ball, put it back into the basket.  Form your center part of the rug, and make sure it will rotate so the outer part of the rug will be to the left of the machine.  
And keep sewing.  One thing I figured out at this stage was that you needed to keep the fabric just touching, even to the point of pushing the outer edge a little bit more, as it is being stitched to the previous row around the curve, so the rug will stay flat.  I did NOT realize this with the first few rounds, so my rug is not flat before the coral fabric strips, but after that it's not too bad.  When I did the fabric wrapped clothesline baskets, you needed to keep the outer rope taut, so the basket stands up.  NOT in this case, make it looser.  They need to just touch, and even push it, almost as if you were easing a gathered sleeve.  

When I was done, I sprayed it liberally with Best Press and used a steam iron.  It came out better, but it's not flat.  I'm wondering if Hazel will mind, and I do know it's washable, so maybe I'll wash it and lay it flat, and steam it again.  I do need the pattern, lol.  

I need to take more photos in daylight.  The fabric is much prettier than this shows.  I just wanted to get this post up.  

The next thing to share is that I finished the Table Topper snowflake runner from last month.  I used a Variegated blue Forty-3 thread from Aurifil, and a quilting design of snowflakes I purchased from My Creative Stitches.  I used the Basic Bluebird to bind the edges.  Vanna, my Handi-quilter Amara with Prostitcher, did a really nice job.

And I was accepted for a juried Arts show.  The Long Island Arts Council is having a Fair on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Small Business Saturday) at the Samanea (formerly Source Mall at Fortunoff's) in Westbury, Long Island NY.  I'm honored to be in a juried arts show, and so excited about the weekend, hoping that many customers support my small business.  If you can't get there, I do sell on Etsy.  There's a link on the right side.  If you see something you need, please consider purchasing it from me.  I do put my heart into everything I sell.  

I wanted to make some embroidered ornaments for this show.  I have 3 done so far, and hope to finish the set from Embroidery Library.  They are cute!  They are about 5" tall.  Gingerbread cookies that never go stale!  It's felt and Aurifil thread.
Thanks so much for reading this long post.  
I do hope you decide to make something fun from Island Batik, and share the photos.  

This also means I completed my One Monthly Goal!  Yay, me!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Stitch it and Gift it Blog Hop

Hi, and thanks for stopping by!  I hope you've been enjoying all the fun items being made for the Stitch it and Gift it blog hop.  I love doing hops with Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks.  She has wonderful ideas, is so creative with her own designs, and makes it so easy to participate, since she's so organized.  

So, any ideas what to give?  I've had an idea for a while, but haven't had time or a good reason to make it.  So, I grabbed some time, since this hop is a great reason! 

I've wanted to make a sleep mask for a while.  I want to make one as a gift, too.  I have a bigger than average head (no, really, I'm not egotistical, but my head needs a 7 5/8" hat, which is larger than most women).  Normal sleep masks that you can buy in the store are too tight on my head and face.  I love it being super dark when I fall asleep, and if I sleep later, don't like being disturbed by sunlight.  And since I'm a night owl, I sleep late often, so I need a good mask!  I also thought I would make one to give to my sister-in-law for Christmas.  She likes to sleep late, too.  But she has a normal size head.  

Anyway, back to the mask.  I'm also trying to learn more about embroidered applique and machine embroidery.  Projects make you learn something.  And I ADORE Sarah Vedeler designs.  She had a cute pattern for a sleep mask, which I purchased a while ago.  I don't see it currently on her website, but you can ask if it's available.  

So, I grabbed some fabric and set to work.  I picked some Island Batik Mum in purple, which I had around, and some scraps from secret sewing, but it's Moo Milk, which is available all the time, and some flannel scraps I had from making pajamas, for the back.  I'm an Island Batik Ambassador, and they provide lots of fabric for me to make projects, but I also purchase it.  Thread is from Aurifil, which I've purchased and have been provided as Island Batik Ambassador, too.  

And here it is!  

I must admit I didn't follow all the directions, and know when I make another, I'll do it a little differently.  I do love the soft flannel for the back, but forgot to finish stitching the heart before adding it.  I would also cut the frames larger than needed, and trim close to the satin stitching after it's finished.  I would also add a little tuck in the fabric, and have it come down more around the nose, to block out more light, but that's just me.  I do LOVE how easily it stitched out, the details in the stitching, and the hearts, which is View 2 in the design files.  I would have changed the thread color for the heart fill, though.  That's where I goofed up, thinking it was time to add the backing, lol.  So, this practice mask will probably be not be seen again, but I do know how to make it better.  That's the thing about trying something new.  Learning something new is important!  I learned more about my machine and how to do Sarah's files, which I hope to use again.  

So, my sister-in-law and I should have fun sleep masks for Christmas this year.  I may bundle hers with a mug rug, and some of chamomile tea.  

Please visit the other bloggers who have something fun and inspirational to share with you. 

Wednesday, November 13th

And check back with Carla at Creatin In the Sticks for the blogs from Monday and Tuesday, and the ones to come, for more!  
Thanks for stopping by! 

Please also check out the Virtual Craft Fair sponsored by Quilt Shop Gal!  There's a new list of shops and another give-away today.


Monday, November 11, 2019

Quilt Shop Gal's Virtual Craft Fair!

Thanks so much for visiting.  I'm participating in Quilt Shop Gal's Virtual Craft Fair.  Darlene is such a great cheerleader and friend, and supports so many in our wonderful industry, and I'm honored to be participating in this fair. 

What do you have to do?  Just look in my Etsy shop and see if there's anything you need or want for a gift, or for yourself.  I sell a variety of products, and even have patterns I've designed, some Aurifil thread, and Island Batik fabric, as well as out of print and vintage supplies.  And of course I have quilts and table toppers I've made.  

I love making, and have turned this passion into a business, which I hope will grow.  I'm now also doing long arm quilting, and will accept tops that you may wish to have quilted before Christmas.  Contact me to get scheduled. 

There are a number of other vendors in this Virtual Craft Fair, so please consider looking at their shops, as well.  Go to Quilt Shop Gal's blog for the list, and for the information about the door prize.  You have to do a little "sleuthing" to find the item, and enter to win a prize. 
Quilt Shop Gal's Virtual Craft Fair

I'm offering a 10% coupon code for reading my blog and hope that you'll use it before the end of the year. 

Just enter QSGFAIR2019 when checking out. 

Or use this link. Coupon Link

Thanks so much to Darlene for hosting, and I hope you have fun shopping!  Thanks also to the daily prize sponsors. 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

November's One Monthly Goal


It's time to link up with Patty for One Monthly Goal.  I forgot to blog about this in October, but my goal wasn't finished, anyway.  I'm hoping I have a better result for November.  

November's Island Batik Ambassador challenge is Tool Time.  I have a new tool and some products to try out, so that's going to be my goal for this month, at least the one I can share.  I'll give details on that soon, but it uses a strip pack.  And lots of thread, lol.  I did puck the collection, but haven't taken a photo of it yet.   Just know I think I'll love it, it will be big, use tons of thread, and be comfy. lol.  I think Hazel, my dog, is going to love it, too.  

The other goal is secret sewing.  One of my pattern designs was accepted for the 2020 Island Batik catalog, so I have to get that made and sent to them so the wonderful Jerry Khiev can do his magic and make it look awesome.  Then I need to write the pattern.  This will be shown in Spring of next year.  

I am also hoping to finish quilting my table runner from October, and get that listed, plus I have a runner, another top, and some smaller items to quilt.  I spoke to my rep, Fred, at Pocono Sew and Vac, and as soon as I mentioned I've had thread fraying issues since the beginning, he seems to know what to do.  He says there's an adjustment that is often needed after shipping, which causes the thread to shred.  I'm hoping I can get to PA within the next few days, so I can get this fixed and finish the secret sewing.  I'm also hoping to join a guild or 2, to advertise that I'm now selling Island Batik fabric, as well as doing long arm quilting for others.  I'm going to be updating my blog, as well.  I have also been asked to do custom memory quilts, and I'm hoping to have that done before Christmas.  Then there's the Christmas gifts to make.  

I am so happy to be busy, and love what I'm doing.  Did you see that the application for being an Island Batik Ambassador is open?  I did reapply, so I'm hoping to be chosen again.  Check their blog if you're interested.  

Thanks for stopping by!  

Friday, November 1, 2019

October Island Batik Ambassador Challenge Top it Off

Thanks for visiting.  Best laid plans, and all. 

I've had a busy few months, especially after Mom's fall in the beginning of September, and her still being in rehab, which is good in some ways, and not in others.  My schedule is still subject to changes minute by minute.  Mom's care is good, she's comfortable, and I'm healing from all the pain and injuries dealing with her inability to stand and walk unassisted for the month plus she was home before her fall.  She's now classified as "2 person assist" and I can't care for her alone anymore.  Alzheimer's stinks.  If she didn't want to stand up, she would throw herself backwards, with my arms behind her, or just the position I needed to be in to help her stand from bed or the bathroom, required my arms to be in an awkward position, and my elbows were twisted a few times, not to mention the strength needed to lift her weight, if she wasn't helping.  My chiropractor is awesome.  

With that, and also a 2 week visit by my brother and sister-in-law, where she decided she finally wanted to learn to sew, plus other activities, has led me to this period.  A plan that went awry, and will not be finished this month.  

Here's the runner, and how it started.  That's actually a funny story. 

The Island Batik Ambassadors were asked to Top it Off.  With applique, for a holiday.  There have been some gorgeous table toppers and runners.  Check Island Batik on Facebook if you need some fun inspiration from the other Ambassadors.  I wanted to use my Accuquilt GO! dies and embroidery machine.  When you purchase the dies, you can download a file, free, that does some basic machine embroidery edges.  I wanted to either use the Fall leaves, or these 3 1/2" snowflakes.  So, I went through my boxes of Island Batik fabric and tried to decide which color I would choose, which would decide the applique.  Both had similar ideas, trying to show the shape just as it would fall, in the wind or swirl a little.  So, when I found these gorgeous blues, and the 2 with snowflake designs, that color won, so I put the orange and green fabrics back.  I searched through the bundles of Blenders I have as well.  Island Batik is so generous in their supply of fabrics for Ambassadors, that I have a ton of choices from the years.  The blenders are always available, though.  Anyway, I had an assortment in shades of blue, and the creamy beige center has swirls of blue.  I think it's a Neutral that's always available, but forgive me for not checking.  I pulled some of the solid White fabric for the applique.  

So, without actually planning the final size, but hoping for about 45" long, I made a pile of the blues, and cut 4 1/2" by 18" strips, 2 of each, because I wanted the "ombre" effect.  I also wanted the center to be a good size, so a nice centerpiece would not hide the design and the fabric.  That's 8 1/2 by 18.  The 18" got trimmed to 16 1/2, and I started sewing based on the colors, which I had sorted from darkest to lightest, deciding the snowflake design would be at the ends.   And I kept sewing, and sewing, and eventually ran out of strips.  Not realizing I ended up with something about 76" long.  Yes, you can laugh.  I didn't expect it to be big enough for a bed runner, but maybe it's also good for a really really long banquet table. lol

Then I cut a 4 1/2" piece of the white, and ironed on Light Steam a Seam, and cut out 9 snowflakes.  I put the runner on the guest bed, and decided I want the snowflakes to look swirly and random, but not measured.  Once I liked the placement, I pinned them down.  Using an Embroidery Machine has a few limits, and on mine, I can't change the angle of the design.  It only stitches with the arm going east to west.  I decided I would need to change the angle of the fabric as I loaded it in the hoop, to make sure the flakes still looked random and twirly.  I loaded up some stabilizer, and got the first snowflake about where I wanted it, and stitched, and stitched, and stitched.  One snowflake takes about 15 minutes just to stitch.  That's not counting changing the placement of the hoop, winding 3 bobbins (total) of thread, and getting the placement adjusted.  And I had cut 9 snowflakes.  Once I got 6 stitched on, I decided I needed more.  I cut out a few more from another strip, and ended up using 15.  So, did you do the math?  That's about 4 hours of embroidery machine work alone.  Yes, I used 3+ bobbins and quite a bit of the spool of Aurifil 40wt thread in white.  So, my quick little project has already taken over 6 hours.  

Next step is to get backing and batting ready.  I found a piece of navy wide backing, scraps from the Quilt of Valor, and some batting, Warm & Natural, a scrap from another quilt.  I was really really hoping to have it done.  But I also wanted to use silver metallic thread.  I have a spool from Superior.  So, it's currently on Vanna, my Handi-quilter Amara, and NOT being stitched out because the thread is shredding.  I have so many issues with shredding thread, that it makes learning to long arm very frustrating.  I can't even get the top edge basted on.  I do have an awesome snowflake panto to use with the computer, but I need to double think my thread choice.  I am not sure if I'll use creamy beige, white, navy or clear.   About the shredding thread, it happens with all brands, I've changed and checked the needles, the tension is good when it actually stitches, and I've tried Sewers Aide.  I've replaced the last "pig tail" thread guide, and double checked within the tension disks and elsewhere for a burr or rough spot.  I can't figure it out.  No matter what, the thread shreds.  I want to be able to quilt for others, but this issue frustrates me so much.  I don't want to have to worry about damaging someone's quilt, or having to bury so many threads.  I plan to call my tech tomorrow, to see if there's another thing I'm not thinking of, but tonight's attempt brought me to tears, and I may have damaged the quilt top when I pulled the machine.  I don't want to look at it yet.  

So, it's not getting done in October.  November is Tool Time, and I have something I think will be fun, planned.  I have some secret sewing to do first, and hope that Vanna cooperates for that project.  
Thanks again for reading. 


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Island Batik Ambassador Child's Play Challenge

Hi.  This month's challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to use an Accuquilt GO! BOB (block on board) die to make a child size quilt.  If you haven't seen the other designs, and how you can use the dies for many different designs, please do so.  I'll link to a list at the bottom of this post. 

My die was the Spider Web, which Accuquilt provided in the second Ambassador box this year.  My first thought was that a spider web is scary and not something I would make for a child, but I played on EQ8 with the die block shape, (file shared by Gene Black) and a variety of colors and placement until I had something less scary.   I've seen others do something amazing with it, and mine is kind of basic in comparison, but I do like it.  Before I played too much, I made a test block with the die, and a few left-over 10" squares.  I did like the scrappy random colors, but there was just a little too much going on for my taste. 

When placing the blocks, you have options for the design.  I love to rotate the block until something pops.  In this case, I saw a star.  The kite shapes in the center is what caught my attention.  I decided to use that idea to color just a few stars, and then set on a size and shape.  I wanted to use some of the 60" square batting that Hobb's provided to the Ambassadors, too.  I don't often make square quilts, but this seemed like a good chance to do it. 

I picked the Petal Pushers collection of 10" Stack squares and the 2 yards of yellow and green that Island Batik also provided in the last box.  These are currently in stores, or will be soon.  I have some in my Etsy shop.  I used the yellow for the star kite shapes, and then first border, to make them pop.  I used the green apple design for the outer.  The backing is a snuggle-worthy minkee in a pale grey from JoAnne's and batting is Hobb's Tuscany cotton wool blend (80/20).  The wool and the minkee helped to make the quilting design look really good. 

If you want to make something similar, you can do it with one 10" stack, and about a yard of yellow and 1 1/2 yards green for borders and binding. 

First, cut 36 yellow patches of the KITE section (the wider bottom one) on the die.  I think I used  strips that were 4 1/2" wide (I didn't write it down, but don't fan fold, only place 6 layers on the die over just that section, then move to cover the die again.  You'll waste less fabric for this shape, since you can flip to fit).  From the 10" stacks, cut 2 sections that are 4 by 10, and save the 2" by 10" strip.  You'll need some of this.  Pick your favorite 36 pieces and cover the whole die with the 4" by 10" piece, being careful to place the fabric for less waste.  You'll need to use the other 4 by 10" section to cut 3 more sets of 36 pieces of the smaller sections of the die, plus some of the extra from the first 4 by 10, and maybe some of the strips, just so you get enough pieces.  I cut a few extras to make sure I had variety when doing the block assembly, so I wouldn't have too many of the same color or print next to each other.  There's very little left when it's all cut, except for some of the strips, which I'm sewing together to make 4 patches.  I'll share that later. 

Put each section in a small baggie, and put them in a small box or tray.  I decided to chain piece these, which went pretty fast.  I did all the yellow triangle halves, then the color ones.  Press the seams open, according to the GO! DIe instructions, and you'll soon get 72 triangle units. 

I LOVE using the wooden press I got from Quilt in a Day.  It's great for this and for paper piecing.  Once the blocks are done, use your iron.  Having this center seam already pressed made that go so much faster.  Sew the yellow half with the color half to make 36 6" blocks.  I chose to lay these out in my pattern first, rather than making 9 12" blocks with the star centers, to help make sure I really do have a good mix of colors.  

I added a 2 1/2" inner border and 6" outer border.  I had some extras of the 6" blocks (mixed, no yellow) and was thinking of adding these to the corner, but opted to just make the border simple. 

I loaded this on Vanna, my Handi-quilter Amara long arm, and chose the Flower swirls design by Deb Geissler, and Aurifil 40wt 3817, Marrakesh, for the quilting from edge to edge.  Marrakesh is a variegated that has shades of green, pink, yellow and I thought it would look great on the mix of colors.  The flower design picks up the flowers in the fabric, too.  Since I'm still new to Long-Arming, I'm trying to learn something new with each project.  I figured out how to repeat and fill the design and to crop out the extra on the last row.  I was very happy to get those skills in my set.  I'm hoping to soon be able to quilt for others.  

I have to do the binding, but wanted to get this posted while it was still September, (at least in California, lol).  I took it to Rath Park, where I spent most of my summers in the pool when I was growing up.  I had fun getting some quick photos of Child's Play in a child's playground.  There was one little girl, maybe about 14 months old, who saw it on the bar over the bridge and stopped her dash towards the slide just to look.  I thought that was adorable!  Her grandmother prevented her from touching it, and encouraged her to keep going to the slide, but for a moment, a child was wowed by this.  Great compliment, I think.  On the way out of the park, I saw someone had drawn a flower in chalk on the pavement.  I thought it was great, since it was so much like the design I played with on the quilt.  

This will be bound soon, and probably added to my Etsy shop.  It's about 54" square, so a great size for a lap or toddler bed, and so snuggley with the backing and batting.  

As promised, I'm adding the links for the other Ambassadors, so you can look for more inspiration, and see the amazing quilts they've done with GO! dies.  

Carolina Asmussen ~Carolina Asmussen Gene Black ~ Gene Black Pamela Boatright ~ PamelaQuilts
Connie K Campbell ~ Freemotion by the River Anja Clyke ~ Anja Quilts
Tina Dillard ~ Quilting Affection Designs Becca Fenstermaker ~Pretty Piney
Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter Barbara Gaddy ~ Bejeweled Quilts by Barb
Dione Gardner-Stephen ~ Clever Chameleon Sarah Goer ~ Sarah Goer Quilts
Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts Lori Haase ~ Dakota City Quilter II
Joanne Hart ~ Unicornharts Mania (Magdalini) Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for Quilts
Carla Henton ~ Creatin’ in the Sticks Stephanie Jacobson ~ Steph Jacobson Designs
Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs Joan Kawano ~ Moosestash Quilting
Kim Lapacek ~ Persimon Dreams Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood
Leanne Parsons ~ Devoted Quilter Bea Lee ~ BeaQuilter
Toby Lischko ~ Gateway Quilts & Stuff Bill Locke ~ Studio Bill Locke
Denise Looney ~ For the Love of Geese Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack's Blog
Kathleen McCormick ~ Kathleen McMusing Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs
Karen Neary ~ Sew Karen-ly Created Lisa Nielsen ~ Lisa Lisa and the Quilt Jam
Jackie O’Brien ~ If These Threads Could Talk Laura Piland ~ Slice of Pi Quilts
Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde Vicki Schlimmer ~ Vicki's Crafts and Quilting
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail Sherry Shish ~ Powered by Quilting
Anita Skjellanger ~ Quilt in a not-Shell Laticia "Tish" Stemple ~ Tish's Adventures in Wonderland
Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
Terri Vanden Bosch ~ Lizard Creek Quilts Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts
Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts Suzy Webster ~ Adventurous Applique and Quilting
(Debora) Anne Wiens ~ Seams like a Plan Geraldine Wilkins ~ Living Water Quilter
Janet Yamamoto ~ Whispers of Yore
Thanks so much for stopping by! I LOVE being an Island Batik Ambassador. We've gotten wonderful supplies and had great challenges this year. While caring for my mom, who has Alzheimer's. this really is my therapy and sanity. Getting the chance to play, and use other brands through Island Batik's partners, is awesome.