Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Quilt Modern Blog Hop

 Hi, and welcome to my day on the Quilt Modern Blog Hop for Island Batik Ambassadors!

Have I mentioned lately that I love being an Island Batik Ambassador?  We were provided a secret bundle in the January box that I'm sharing today.  We're also provided Aurifil thread, Schmetz needles, and Hobb's Batting!  I always have Schmetz needles in my Janome Horizon 9450.  I love how long the Microtex needles last and how wonderfully they sew Island Batik fabric.  Aurifil is always used for piecing, and as often as possible for quilting.  

This gorgeous Jewel Quest collection for Nan Baker of Perfect Spots was my secret bundle.  I also got 2 yards of a dark and a light.  The dark was the dark wheat print fabric I used in the border, and the light was the aqua dots.  That's 14 yards!  With that generosity I like to make something large, and we're supposed to try to use as many of the fabrics as possible.  I think I used 19 out of 20, and that's only because I dropped the half yard piece and didn't notice when I was cutting the squares!  lol.  

The tjaps (chops, wax stamps used in batiking) include leaves, grapes and leaves, pine and holly, corn and wheat, and lots of dots.  

After playing around with different ideas, I went with a pattern from Quilt in a Day that I've used before, Sew Radiant.  It uses squares of fabric plus the background divider, and can be made larger if you want.  I played on EQ8 using a Signature block (one of the basics) so the illustration is not exact, but coloring it in solid colors gave me the plan (I didn't upload the fabrics since it would be scrappy looking, anyway).  I decided to make it 10 by 10 blocks, for a total of 100, and add borders on all 4 sides, so it's larger than the pattern suggests, but the idea is the same.  I think it's graphic and fits the alternate grid design, since it's not centered.

I sorted the collection into purple and green/blue and then sorted those by light, medium and dark.  The 2 lightest would be the lighter round of lavender, and the purples would hopefully shade enough to make the rounds radiate.  I tested the white strips, plus grey and black, and asked Megan Best of Best Quilting (she's also posting today) and she suggested white.  I'm not usually someone who makes modern style quilts, so this is always a stretch for me, but since Modern is classified by alternative grids, bold use of color and negative space, and she does an awesome job of it, I took her advice.  
And if you haven't visited her yet, you must!!  I can't believe her photo shoot for her quilt in this collection, it's perfect.  Just come back to finish reading my post, please, lol. 

I counted up how many of each color way I would need, and grabbed the fabrics I wanted to use for that group.  I cut each color as I went, but soon I had a pile of pretty blocks, all nicely squared. 

My son came for Mother's Day weekend, and that put off some of my sewing time.  The project that got the attention was the replacement of the closet doors in the Long Arm room.  Vanna, my Handi-Quilter Amara has her own room, lol.  She just fits!  The closet was finally cleared of my mom's hoarded things, and I wanted to store the bolts and precuts from my Etsy shop in there.  The bolts, unfortunately, would not fit on the rack with the original 70 year old doors.  While I could have just removed the doors and put up a curtain, I wanted a place for a peg board system to store quilting rulers and thread, among other things.  I picked up a Barn Door kit, and that's what was installed this weekend.  Thanks, Matt!! Best Mother's Day Present! 

I still have more organizing to do, but this is a good start, and will give me room in my sewing studio and the guest room (which is also bolt storage, lol  Please buy some fabric from me!!)  

So, since he was also painting the closet I didn't get time to quilt this top yet, but it's on Vanna tonight, and will be quilted soon.  

Here are more photos.  The top measures 74" square, and I'll use Bubbles Everywhere panto and Forty3 in Dusty Lavender, color # 1243.  I have a dark green wide back for the backing, and Warm & White batting, since I don't have any cotton Hobb's white left.  I prefer white when using the white fabric for the background, as the natural batts tend to have a little show through.  It's less with Island Batik's solid white, but I wanted to be safe.
I opted to continue the design into the borders, but on 4 sides, following the pattern directions.  

It will look better after quilting, but I didn't get that far yet, and needed photos.  I misread my calendar and thought I was supposed to post on Wednesday, so here it is. lol  I'll share other photos when it's done.

Triangles continue into the border.

Ready to be quilted, with the color of Aurifil chosen.  I love Forty-3, which is a 3 ply Mako cotton that works so well with the high speed of a long arm, and adds a great texture to the top.  

Close Up of the blocks.  Aren't the colors gorgeous?  

So, since you've gotten this far, please leave a comment on my post for a chance to win some Fat Quarters from me.  I'll get a bundle together, and will ship to US addresses.  If you are from another country, and wish to pay the difference in shipping cost, then I'll make it worth your cost and stuff a flat rate envelope.  

Island Batik also has a give away, with the Glacier Bay collection, using the rafflecopter link below. 

Please also visit  
For today's posts, and check with the Island Batik blog for the rest of the schedule.  

Thanks so much for stopping!  Enjoy the hop! 


Monday, May 3, 2021

April's Finish and May Blog Hop

 Hi.  First, some info:  As you may have heard Feedburner is going away, and if you follow my blog via email, that will stop in July.  I do ask that you continue to follow me, and sign up under the Bloglovin tab, but I'll be finding a way to continue sharing by emails.  I plan to do a newsletter type thing, and will ask you to sign up when I get that set up.  Thanks!  I appreciate that you follow and occasionally read my posts.  

Second, my April Island Batik Challenge is finally done.  

These last few months have been a challenge for me.  I'm not sure why, but I've been procrastinating my sewing.  I have a custom project that is not one of my favorites, and I want to get it done, but other things keep jumping in front, then deadlines loom and I have to get the challenge pieces done.  I started this top with the intention of getting it done by April 28, and would have by Vanna, my Handi-Quilter Amara was giving me issues.  There's a wire on the back that connects the carriage to the computer, and that seems to be the problem.  I was getting motor errors, and if I stopped the machine to change the bobbin or check tension, the Run button on the tablet would not work.  I would have to shut the tablet computer down, check the wires (which all seemed to be connected) then turn it back on, and then reposition the design.  For this top alone, I had to do that about 10 times.  I called Handi-Quilter, and the tech support suggested a temporary fix of taping the wire to the head of the machine, and that got me through.  They are sending a new wire and a clamp that will hold the wire and prevent the issue in the future.  I think they discovered the issue and new models already have the clamp.  Vanna is celebrating 2 years with me, so she's getting the repair.  

But back to the quilt.  I used French Blue collection, which was from 2017, and coordinating yardage that Island Batik supplied in one of the previous years.  I saved this collection for something special, but didn't have a specific design until I thought about using my older pattern, Zen Basket, to make a twin size quilt.  The pattern is available in my Etsy shop.  It uses 2 1/2" strips and a little extra coordinating yardage, plus borders, and is fast and easy.  I had the blocks all done in just about an hour, and the top was assembled in less than 2 hours.  The borders took about another hour to add.  Using precuts speeds up the top, and it's so pretty.  It works with strips cut from yardage, too.  

I had a pretty blue floral wide backing that looked perfect with the Island Batik fabrics, so loaded it all on Vanna. 
Then I couldn't decide which edge to edge design to use.  I tested 8 or 9 using Prostitcher Designer software.  You create the design and place it over a photo of the top.  Some looked okay, but others would not work.  So, I texted Megan Best, another ambassador and Handi-Quilter expert, and she suggested Dancing Flowers from Mycreativestitches.com  I had looked at that, but wasn't sure, but when I tested it on the computer, it worked.  The tjaps have flowers and since the quilt design is straight lines, I wanted something with curves.  I offset the rows of the design to add more interest.  

For the finish, I decided to do a faux piped binding.  It just adds a little color on the edge.  
Here's the binding, prepped and ready to sew it on. 

Some more shots of the quilt.

 I used Aurifil Forty-3 for quilting, 3770, Stonewash Denim variegated.  It looks so pretty, and the texture is perfect.  I used Forty-3 2725, Light Wedgewood for the bobbin.  

Other projects in April included the Evening Star Quilt Guild Mystery, which was a Zoom presentation and fund raiser.  Mary, the guild president, found the design from Fort Worth Fabric Studio. 
Here's a photo of my top, but I may add borders.  The program was fun!  We were given directions for some prep sewing, and made the lily blocks on Thursday night and finished the rest of the blocks and assembly on Saturday.  I had my top done in about 2 1/2  hours, and the rest of the participants finished theirs by lunch.  I guess I'm speedy!  I used some of the Mystery collection by Claudia Pfeil for Island Batik for this.  The colors are prettier in better lighting.

It's a good thing I'm a fast quilter.  I need to get my top designed and done for the Island Batik Blog Hop, which starts today, and showcases all the new collections shipping to stores now!  I have about a week. lol.  

I haven't decided what to make yet, and LOVE the design in this photo for it.  Please click on the link for Island Batik above to see the list of bloggers and the schedule.  Below you'll find the Rafflecopter link for their give-away.  I'll have one next week, too.  

Thanks so much for reading along.  I have to go cut some fabric after I design my project.  Have fun hopping!  See you next week.