Friday, April 22, 2022

Finished a UFO

 Hi.  I know, 2 posts in a short amount of time, but I wanted to document both finishes separately.  

I finished the Funky Friends Factory Belinda Butterfly and also this wall hanging, which was from the Island Batik Ambassador Mini Love challenge from 2018.  At first, I didn't remember when it was made or if I used a pattern, but I searched my photos and blog for the original post.  

I made it using a variety of Island Batik fabrics and a pattern by Studio 180 Designs for the book by Marie Bostwick, The Promise Girls.  More details are on that blog post.  

I had pin basted the top to backing a long time ago.  And it sat in a pile of things to be quilted since then.  I wasn't sure how I wanted to quilt it, and was using my domestic at the time, so I set it aside.  

Evening Star Quilt Guild is doing an exhibit at the Hillside Public Library April 30-May 6, and requested quilts that were under 48" wide.  My friend Karen is coordinating it, and I showed her a few of my finished quilts that were smaller, and this one, which still needed quilting and binding.  She picked this one and the blue and orange modern quilt for the exhibit, so I needed to get this one done.  

Because I wanted to use the Raindrops in Water pantograph, I needed to unpin the top and find a slightly larger backing.  I had a piece of cream cotton sateen wide back left from another quilt that was perfect, so I loaded it, and used Aurifil 40-3 in 4653, a pale green and yellow variegated thread.  

I was planning to use the darker green with dots for the binding, but couldn't find it, so used a pale green/yellow striped fabric for binding.  And it's done!  Label, hanging sleeve, hand sewn, done and ready to exhibit in the library, and to list for sale in my shop.  It's called Turtle Bay because the blocks are based on the Storm at Sea quilt, and the turtle print is in the border and fussy cut in the squares.  The royal blue has waves and the other fabric has a coral reef type tjap.  Turtle Bay finished about 28" square. 

I also finished this one, which was quilted last year and just needed binding.  

This Churndash was part of the Aurifil designer of the month mini challenge from a few years ago, and I used Clamshell with a Curl panto.  Again, all of the fabrics are Island Batik.  

I have another I would like to get done.  Hopefully this week, and you'll see another blog post.  
Thanks so much for reading! 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Island Batik April Challenge with Funky Friends Factory

 Hi, and thanks for stopping by. 

Have you seen the fun array of animals that the Island Batik Ambassadors have been making this month?  We were asked to choose a Funky Friends Factory pattern and make a stuffed animal.  Or many, as some of the Ambassadors have done.  Multiple moose and many manatees!  I am only making one butterfly, but I've made others in the past.  I actually made the squirrel and the hedgehog in the blog button, for Quilt Market displays in the past.  I've also done bunnies.  

The Funky Friends Factory animals are so cute!  The patterns are well written, and there are extra photos or videos on the website to go with many of the patterns.  You can download and print them out, so you can start right away.  Some use scraps, and others use larger pieces, but if you have buttons or craft eyes, and stuffing, you can get them done for gifts or just because.  I love using Island Batik fabric for them, as the thread count of the base fabrics is perfect for the durability, and many of the colors can be so much fun to use.  

Belinda the Butterfly has quilted wings, and a cute, easy to stuff body, with little antenna and arms.  The pattern suggests the size for the fabrics, but you sew the strips of upper body and bottom together before you cut out the pieces, so that makes it much easier.  The wings are layered with batting, and sewn around the edge, and turned, then some fun stitching is added.  For my wings I used the triple stitch and 40wt Aurifil thread to make the stitching have more of an accent. 

I didn't have the right size eyes, so had to run to Michael's to get them, but think the craft eyes are really cute.  I could have used buttons.  When I'm doing the eyes, I add a layer of fusible interfacing or fuse some fabric using paper backed fusible web, to make the area for the eyes be extra stable.  You have to poke a hole to get the eye shaft through, so the fusible helps prevent fraying and possible loss of an eye.  

Inside the head, extra stabilizer/fused fabric in the eye area.  

Belinda looks a little flat, maybe she needs to find some good flowers!  

She did find an Iris blooming in my yard, and looks much happier now.  

I added the embroidered mouth, according to the pattern, but chose to use a Lazy Daisy stitch to make flowers for the cheeks, instead of a felt circle.  I love using Aurifil embroidery floss for the details.  

Belinda enjoyed a little tour of my garden, but there aren't many flowers blooming yet.  Our hyacinth are past bloom, and the lonely tulip didn't look great, either.  I think she'll need to wait a bit for the roses and lilacs.  

I do think Belinda enjoyed meeting my new puppy, Heather, and Heather was happy to meet her, too.  Although they will not be playing together, Heather was happy to pose for a few photos.  Heather is almost 3 months old, and was happy to wait for the treat I was holding in my right hand, with the camera.  Belinda would not survive long as a dog toy, Heather's teething and not allowed soft toys, but I wouldn't recommend a Funky friends for pets. 

Thanks so much for visiting, and I hope you've been inspired to try something different.  Find a new friend soon! 

Please also check out the other Island Batik Ambassador projects.  

Friday, April 1, 2022

Island Batik March Challenge with Aurifil

 Hi, and thanks for stopping by!  The March challenge for Island Batik Ambassadors was to use the Italian Colorbuilder thread box we received from Aurifil and make a small quilt that represents something from that area.  

In 2020, Aurifil curated the boxes within color families and named for a particular region in Italy.  You can see the rest of the Ambassador posts in the links below.  I chose the pinks of Sardinia, a small island off the coast, at the toe of the boot.  

Photos from Aurifil.

Sardinia is known for beautiful pink sand beaches, among other gorgeous Italian architecture.  I used Google to find some photos of the region, and printed out a few.  Then I went to my Island Batik fabric supply to find something that worked with the threads, and that I could use to represent parts of the photo.  I found a photo from Getty Images (licensed) that I used for my inspiration.  

I picked the Marbles and fussy cut a section that would work for the changes in hues in the water.  The deeper French Rose is a Basics, and the others are from other collections.  

After sketching lines to represent the shapes with a wash-out marker, I cut a piece of Heat and Bond Lite to use as a base, and layered the cut fabric pieces on that.  Once I was happy with the placement, I fused them down, and added Elmer's washable glue behind any piece that didn't have Heat and Bond behind it. The cape in the distance is over the water and sky, so that needed glue, as well as part of the bottom inner cave, and the edge of the upper section of cave.  I felt this was an easy way to get the shapes to be stable so I could do some stitching.  I layered that on a piece of Hobb's Thermore batting, a thin polyester that would support and provide enough stability for stitching.  I didn't add a backing at this time.  I wasn't sure if I was just going to add details with thread, or also quilt it.  I opted to just use the thread, so the backing was added when that was done.  

Some close-ups. 

I ended up using a number of thread colors in addition to the 3 pinks.  The Sky fabric had little flowers that I thought looked like clouds, so I just added a bit of thread to make some of the sky darker.  I added wine thread to accent and add depth to the upper section of the cave, and light pink and a pale cream to lighten the beach/sand section.  Teal went in the water to add some accent, and the pinks were used in the cave.  I did some really small stitching with green to mimic the trees on the distant island/cape.  I think it came out cute!  I've done a few thread painting projects and think this was my best effort so far.  It takes practice and time, so I was happy to play.  All of this was done on my Janome Horizon 9450, with the free motion foot and dropping the feed dogs.  I used Machingers gloves to hold the project while I worked, and as usual, a Schmetz Chrome 12 size needle.   

I finished it with a knife edge binding.  It measures about 12 1/2" by 16".  Thanks for reading!

Visit all the Island Batik Ambassadors for inspiration.