Monday, March 30, 2020

March Island Batik and Accuquilt Challenge

Thanks for stopping by!  The March Island Batik Ambassador Challenge was to use the BOB die that Accuquilt provided in our January boxes.  I got the Storm at Sea die. (In this logo, it's the top left blue one).  I've done a single Storm at Sea block, and was really excited about doing it with the GO! die.  

The first thing I did when planning this quilt was to look at the GO! Quilt app in the Accuquilt site.  There are a few free patterns for inspiration.  I then went to EQ8 and knew the block was available in the program.  The challenge suggested something larger than 45 by 60".  I do like to go as large as I can, in most projects.  Now that I have the Handi-quilter Amara long arm machine, I know I can easily quilt it, if I have time.  (This month has been crazy, so it's not quilted yet.)  In EQ8, I played with the design and color placement in the block after choosing the fat quarter bundle of Graphic Gems I got in my Ambassador box last year.  I figured I would do the 12" version, which requires a second and third pass with some of the shapes, for a total of 65 pieces in each block.  Yup, 65 pieces.  
After taking about 2 hours to cut and sew one block, I figured I was crazy!  But I LOVED the look of this quilt design.  
It's 16 of the same blocks in similar shades but different tjaps (chops) (although this is all the same fabric per block).  The secondary design created (star in the middle) by rotating the block was just so much fun!  

The cutting was fast, and so much faster and more accurate than using a rotary cutter, but I had other projects to make before my trip.  I won a trip on Wheel of Fortune's Secret Santa give away in 2018, and it was finally time to go!  I wanted to make a back pack (more on that later) and a cover for the neck pillow.  When would I get this done, if I was going to be away for 8 days?  (More on that, and photos will be in another post).

After my awesome trip with wonderful people, and gorgeous sights, in spite of not getting to stay in Las Vegas because of the Covid19 virus closure, I went back to work on this.  

I used the same Cheerio light green in all the blocks, and similar shades of the other colors, and was able to get 3 blocks out of each Fat Quarter.  I realized I would not have enough for 16 blocks.  Not enough fabric, or enough time.  And I couldn't do the dark purple border.  

Okay, on to plan B.  I could make 9 blocks, and set it on point.  But I would also need something for the corners, and setting triangles.  My initial plan thought I had enough green to do the setting blocks.  

Then I remembered I only had fat quarters, not 1/2 yard pieces.  I would need 2 18 1/4" squares.  And I would need 2 14" squares for the hourglass blocks.  On to plan C, which was looking at the fabric I had, and using some of the lights from the FQ bundle for the hourglass blocks, as well as the green gear design.  I used Sprinkles for the background of each block, as well as the setting and corner triangles.   

The first border was leftover from the Steam Engine collection.  I had green yardage that was a different tjap but a great color match, but not enough for a 6" border, which is what I wanted.  I decided to use the Storm at Sea die again, to make 4 corner blocks.  The center Square in a Square makes a 6" finished block, so I used F, G and H on the die for the corners.  Then I found another 1/2 yard of the green!  Yay!  Saved the day, and allowed me to make the border without excessive piecing (the other piece was only 3" short of what I needed).  So, Here's Plan D or is it E??  I have purple binding ready to go, after it's quilted.

I love the movement this block gets, by using the diamond sides and how setting it on point gives me the size top I needed (plus, it's now about 69" square) and allowed me to use the 9 blocks plus some of the other FQs, It just waves and is so much fun to look at.  
I plan to put it on Vanna the Long Arm soon, but have 2 more projects I need to get done before April 10, to ship for Fall Quilt Market.  Secret sewing!  So, this will have to wait, although I'll probably use a grey thread and the Gears panto I already own (which was used on the Steam Engine quilt, same tjaps, but different shades).  

So, it's a top!  I'm so happy to have gotten it this far.  With Covid19, and the trip and self-quarantining because of the wonderful trip, I think I did well.  I'll share photos when it's finally finished, so please check back.  I do hope you decide to try some of the Block on Board BOB dies!  They make the blocks so easy!  I used Aurifil 50wt Mako to piece it, and will use 40-3 for the quilting.  I plan to use Hobb's Heirloom batting, and maybe a minkee backing.  All piecing was with Schmetz needles.  Thread, batting, and needles, as well as the Accuquilt GO cutting machine and dies have been provided through the Island Batik Ambassador program.  

I'm also linking with Elm Street Quilt's One Monthly Goal. 
Please check out the other March projects!  
Thanks for visiting! 


Thursday, March 5, 2020

March One Monthly Goal

What are you planning this month?  My first plan is to finish the One Die Wonder project with Accuquilt GO! dies for the Island Batik Ambassador challenge.  I'm using Graphic Gems, a collection of teals and purples, to make the Storm at Sea block.  I've made 2 so far, and know it will take time to make the 16 I'm hoping to get done, to make this a top, and then quilt it before March 30th.  

I printed out the paper block from EQ8, and colored that, because this will be scrappy, but I want to get a certain look, so there are gradations in the fabrics.  There's also 65 pieces in each block.  The die makes this so much easier than other ways, but it's still block that takes time. 

But I'm going on vacation for 8 days.  I won this trip, so I'm thrilled I'm able to finally go on it.  I was a Secret Santa winner from Wheel of Fortune in 2018, and won cash, which is how I purchased Vanna, my Handiquilter Amara long arm, and this trip.  The TV player had my spin ID number, and my angel friends saw it and reminded me to check to see if I had won.  Yes, people do actually win and get the prizes.  My son and I are going to Arizona, the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion national park and Las Vegas.  So, I'll be gone, and on a bus, so can't take my machine to sew.  
And then I have 2 secret projects for the Island Batik catalog for October's Quilt Market, and they have to be done and mailed by mid April.  
For the trip, I would love to make new pajamas for me, and for Matt, and maybe a backpack.  In addition, I'm finally getting the floors refinished for the 2 bedrooms, and need to finish cleaning that one out asap.  And my brother, Sister-in-law, and her sister will be visiting for 2 weeks, so need to get the dining room and living room cleaned, which has become the storage area for Mom's stuff, until it can be moved maybe to the garage, which is also full.  It's NUTS! here.  

So, really, my goal is to breathe, do as much as I can each day, pack and go away, meet some Quiltsy team members who live in Arizona, have fun, and keep moving forward.  Although the photos will be proof, that's not really a visible goal.  I better get the laundry done, and a good pair of walking shoes.  Wish me luck!

What's your goal?