January 2022 Island Batik Ambassador Step by Step challenge
I'm honored to be an Island Batik Ambassador for my 9th year, and so happy to have been given the Playful Purple Gradations bundle for this challenge. We were asked to use shades of one color in our projects, and to show the possibilities with the Basics collection from Island Batik. Many shops carry a good selection of the shades, and can make you your own fat quarter bundle.
I wanted to use all 20 hues in my project, and decided to use Flying Geese. I added Almond, one of the Neutrals I've had included in my Ambassador boxes, and wanted to make 4 at a time. My favorite way is the Quilt in a Day Flying Geese process and tool. I looked in EQ8 for a block that has 4 geese, and the one I picked had 3 1/2" pieces on each side of a 3 by 6" flying geese group of 4. Easy! Pretty, and fast. That was the objective, fast. I have so many projects due in the next few weeks, I needed fast! So, I cut out the squares of Almond and the purples I needed, and pieced then trimmed them. I kept them clipped together the entire time, because some of the hues are very close. Wonder clips worked great. After trimming them all, I put them in shade order, from lightest to darkest. I decided to alternate the gradation rows to add interest. I tried a grey solid for the sides of each block, but decided to use Opalescence. It looked better.
80 flying geese units, in color order. I did use the black and white filter on my phone to make sure this was a good array of colors.
After sewing the geese in rows, chain piecing each color to the line, I decided to cut a length of fabric of Opalescence and cut into three 6 1/2" widths, and two 3 1/2" widths, which made the top complete with just 8 seams, not individual blocks. But once I got it together, I realized that the 3 inner sections were a bit boring. It could have played with quilting designs on them, but really felt that flowers on a vine would be more interesting and fun. I couldn't find my Accuquilt Go! Rose of Sharon die, so decided to just cut out 5" squares, back them with fusible web, and hand cut the flowers and accents. I found a 1/2 yard piece of Pineneedle for the green accent, and cut a square to make bias binding for the stem. I used the Clover Bias tape maker to press it at 1/2", and a glue stick to hold it in random curves until I sewed the edges using Aurifil 50wt thread in matching green. I fused a rectangle of the green with paper backed web, and cut out leaf shapes. For the flowers, I folded the squares like snowflakes, and cut the edge in a variety of designs. Some were simple petals, like the top curve of a heart, and others had dips and more petal shapes. I took the lighter squares to make smaller accent pieces, and scraps from the others to make dots. I fused the smaller section to the larger, then placed the flowers within the strips, and pinned them. I peeled off the paper backing and fused them in place, adding leaves as I went. I used an applique stitch on my Janome Horizon 9450 to stitch them in place, but didn't change thread color. I wanted this to be fast. I did use green on the leaves. Then I added the Amethyst borders. I estimated I spent about 20 hours on making the top, which includes trimming the geese and doing the applique.
I did switch to a Schmetz Non-Stick needle because of the fusible web, and it was perfect.
I loaded it on Vanna, my Handi-Quilter Amara, and considered a few floral pantographs, and decided to use Dancing Flowers edge to edge 1 by My Creative Stitches. I used Aurifil 40-3 in 3840, French Lilac, variegated, for quilting. Backing is a wide back and batting is Warm & Natural.
Here are the fancy photos from the shoot at Hick's Nurseries as well as my house.
The quilt is so much prettier in person, as the photos make the purples look more blue than reality, but that's what happens with purples.
Stats: 20 shades of purples, plus Opalescence for the sashing and Amethyst for border and binding.
Measures 62 by 72", so a nice lap quilt, or twin bed quilt or a throw over a full size bed.
Aurifil 50 wt for piecing and applique and 40-3 for quilting.
Total time on the project: About 30 hours.
I'm thrilled with this quilt and so happy to be an Ambassador for Island Batik. There were many people who stopped to look at the quilt while I was taking photos, and all wanted to see the colors up close. Thanks to the staff at Hick's Nurseries and to my friend Richard who helped by holding the quilt.
Thanks for visiting, and please visit the other Ambassadors to see their Step by Step projects.
Stay tuned for the February blog hop with the rest of the Island Batik Ambassadors, and our Unboxing videos, coming soon.
Brenda Alburl ~ Songbird Designs
Megan Best ~ Bestquilter
Pamela Boatright ~ Pamelaquilts
Elizabeth DeCroos ~ Epida Studio
Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter