Thursday, February 23, 2023

All Puffed Up with Island Batik

Welcome to the Final Day of the All Puffed Up Blog Hop!

As an Island Batik Ambassador for my 10th year (still excited), the blog hop challenges have become more interesting.  I never know what Natasha and Elizabeth might suggest, but a Puff or Biscuit quilt was not really on my bucket list (as many of the Ambassadors have claimed over the last 3 weeks). 

But the challenges make us grow as designers and quilters, and give your brain something to think about.  I was given the Royal Crown collection to use in this project, as well as Hobb's Poly Down batting, Aurifil Thread, and Schmetz Needles in my roll as ambassador.  The Royal Crown collection is so pretty!  I know I've said that before, but this one had some gorgeous tjaps.  I'm in awe of Kathy Engle's designs, as this is a signature collection for Heidi Pridemore of the Whimsical Workshop.  

The shades of green, purple, cobalt and aqua are so pretty together, and the tjaps (chops) feature a variety of elegant scrolls, Fleur de Lis, flowers, and more.  Normally tjaps have a wider copper area for the designs, but there's one in this collection that's so thin, delicate, and detailed that it's just stunning.  

Isn't this unusual for a batik?  It comes in a light blue with darker cobalt lines, as well.  I loved so many of these tjaps this time.  The Fleur de Lis would also be great for a binding, creating a unique striped design.  They all are so pretty.  I know I've said "favorite collection" before, but how can you not love this? 
In addition to the 1/2 yard bundle, I also got a 2 yard piece of green from the collection, and 2 yards of Wheat.  I used the green for binding.  

Traditionally, a biscuit or puff quilt is made with squares.  One square, cut larger than the muslin or backing square, is pleated on 3 sides, joined to a row of squares, and then stuffed.  As the rows are joined, the opening for stuffing gets closed (and pleated), and after the top is done, the batting and backing are added, and the quilt is often tied with floss to keep the 3 layers together.  There are many patterns and YouTube videos for this.  But I had also seen former Ambassador Laura Piland's video of her making one on her long arm quilting machine.  She layered a flat top and quilted it with a orange peel design, and stuffed the squares as she went.  I wanted to see if I could do the same, but with a pleated top.  So, the idea has formed, but not the actual design for the top.  I knew I wanted to showcase the fabrics, since they are so pretty, and didn't want to just use squares.  I decided to try a brick design, and found an idea on EQ8 that was similar.  I uploaded the fabrics to give me an idea of color placement.  When I changed the size and colors on the mock up, I thought it would look good. 
I used this as a guide to sew the rows together.  I cut each fabric into 4 1/2" strips and subcut that to 8 1/2" rectangles. 
A Pile of Pretties!

 I decided to sew the rows together with a pleat/tuck as I sewed.  I actually tucked them together and did a quick backstitch over the tuck.  I used Aurifil thread 50wt for this, like I do for all my piecing and a Schmetz Microtec 12 needle. 

Sewing the rows together, I did the same.  I offset the second row (actually I kept the initial block longer so I would make sure I had enough at the end to extend, as well.)  I was going to cut partial blocks for the even rows, but ended up trimming the edges even once the top was pieced.  Most of the even rows, the tuck lined up with the seam from the row before.  If it didn't I was okay with that. 

I decided to sew 2 rows and then add them to the top as I went.  It was a way I could keep it sort of organized.  There's no backing on these, just pleated rectangles sewn together.  

Once I had something that measures about 56 by 52 (yes, normally my quilts are longer than wider, but...)  I figured it would be a good size, and I know I showcased all of the 20 fabrics in the collection.  Do I have a lot of rectangles left?? Yes, I do.  I'll probably make a similar top but flat, for a charity quilt.  I then trimmed the sides even, and stitched pleats in the outside block edges, around the whole top.

Now on to my Handi-Quilter Amara with Prostitcher.
My next step was to load a backing fabric (I used an end of bolt wide back that was the right size) and added a double layer of Hobb's PolyDown batting to help the puffy-ness along.  I used Aurifil's polyester long arm thread in a variegated green for quilting.  I wanted it to not break, and it's a fine thread that would also not be too showy on the top.  Once the top was loaded, floating, on my long arm, I started stitching.  I basted the top edge to keep it straight, and then stitched the first row of blocks.  I started at the bottom of the row, on the left edge, went back to the top, and along the top edge, then to the seam for the second brick, down to the second row, back up the seam, and across the top edge to the next brick seam.  I continued like this across the row, then grabbed some Poly-Fil to stuff the puffs in the first row.  I used my Sure Foot, ruler base and a Ditch ruler to help hold down the layers so I could get a fairly straight line.  I had a friend video me doing one of the rows.  

I knew the puffs would add to the width of the take up pole, which is why I did not want to do a big and overly long quilt.  I was hoping the finished quilt would be bigger, but it shrinks as you add the Poly-Fil.  It now measures about 50" wide by 44" long. 

I used scissors to trim the backing and batting (the ruler would not lay flat enough to use a rotary cutter) and added my standard 2 1/2" machine sewn front and back binding.  The walking foot and Aurifil 40wt really helped in this step.  

I love the texture in this photo.  Looks like little mountains! 

It was raining and hailing as I finished the top, but Heather was happy to model it for me in the house.  It's so much prettier in person.  

Island Batik is giving away a bundle of fabric.  Please follow the link to enter to win. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you haven't already folowed my Youtube challen, Instagram and Facebook business page, please do.  I'll choose someone who comments on this post by March 3rd to win some of the fabrics I have left from this collection.  If outside the US, please be willing to cover the additional shipping charge and I'll make sure I stuff the flat rate envelope full.  

Please check out the other Ambassador posts for this challenge.  Some have additional give-aways, and all have inspiration and gorgeous collections that are shipping to stores now.  Some stores that currently have the collection are:
Creekside Quilts (OR)
Hancocks of Paducah (KY)
Stitchin Heaven (TX)
Castle Sewing Centre- CANADA BC
JellyRollFabric.Net (IN) 

If you wish to get precuts, please let me know, and I'll order them.  My Etsy shop link is on the right, and I'm happy to help you find gorgeous Island Batik fabrics.  

Brenda Alburl ~ Songbird Designs
Renee Atkinson ~ Pink Tulip Quilting

Pamela Boatright ~ PamelaQuilts
Susan Deshensky ~ Lady Blue Quilts

Brittany Fisher ~ Bobbin with Brittany
Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts
Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts
Reed Johnson ~ Blue Bear Quilts

Victoria Johnson ~ Forever Quilting for You
Randi Jones ~ Randi’s Roost
Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs
Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood

Denise Looney ~ Quiltery – For The Love Of Geese
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine
Anorina Morris ~

Lisa Pickering ~ Lisa’s Quilting Passion
Sarah Pitcher ~ Pitcher’s Boutique
Claudia Porter ~ Create with Claudia
Lana Russel ~ Lana Quilts

Elita Sharpe ~ Busy Needle
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail
Sandra Starley ~ Textile Time Travels
Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
Suzy Webster ~ Websterquilt

Thanks so much for taking the time to join us on the hop!  I hope you've found something to inspire you, and have picked out a collection for your next project or to add to your stash.  



Quilting Tangent said...

Pretty quilt, dog approved. This is the first one to use a brick layout - nicely done.

Anonymous said...

Nice job with a truly challenging project. Thanks for including the video. Has been interesting to see each ambassador describe different techniques for puffing the quilt components.

Kate Marie said...

Very unique construction method on it, I am guessing this was a challenge you have overcome?! You had a beautiful collection to work with and I love that you did not stay with the predictable squares. My challenge that I am trying to overcome (besides using very bright fabrics) is what to do with a Jacqueline DeJonge project that just won't match up. Still working on overcoming that one. Congrats on another year in your ambassadorship!

Jennifer Thomas said...

Oh my gosh, Maryellen! I love how you did this on your longarm. Thank you for including the video. I like your design with the rectangles, too. Have a great day!

Denise @fortheloveofgeese said...

Beautiful, I love the subway tile layout as it add so much interest.

Brenda @ Songbird Designs said...

Maryellen, I love how you did this on the longarm. I didn't even consider that, but I think it might have been easier than manipulating on a domestic machine! Thanks so much for the video. Now I may have to try that technique on the longarm!! Heather did a great job modeling! She's a cutie!

Elizabeth said...

I love the way you came up with a short cut for this quilt.

Joyce Carter said...

Wow! Maryellen. Your quilt is really gorgeous. I have never seen one made using bricks. Very creative. This one is going on my list.

Susan said...

I like the rectangle puffs. It seems your dog does too. I have always liked the look of puff quilts, but am too chicken to make one.

Lori Smanski said...

your quilt is lovely. thanks for sharing and inspiring. I have not made a puff quit yet, but it is on my list to do quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

Barb said...

Looks like it is dog approved--nice job!!

Unknown said...

Your quilt came out beautiful! Thanks for sharing all of the steps & the video on how you made it!

Lee said...

I love how they look like bricks and the mountains in the your picture!

Anna brown said...

Wow you guys always bring it....So many different ideas ty for your colors you

Sewgirl said...

Love the "bricks" layout. Your quilt is great. Seems like a lot of work!

Sharon Aurora said...

I just love the brick wall design. I think your design is one of my favorites. I've never made a puff quilt, but they all look so comfy that I'm tempted to try.

GranChris said...

I like your brick design. Those colors are wonderful

Jayne said...

Such a simple change to the shape of the block is very effective

Homesewn said...

Love the brick layout.

Beryl Stoots said...

Love this colorful brick road and the beautiful model!

Solomae said...

Love the puffed up quilt! Great ideas to use rectangles AND to quilt on the longarm.

Sally said...

What a beautiful fabric collection. Puff quilt isn't on my to-do list either but love this one and the others that rose to the occasion for a project that's not in their usual box!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful colours in this puffy quilt!

Dawn F said...

I think your quilt turned out great! Good to know that it shrinks a little bit when adding the filling, just in case I ever decide to try one of these. I like the bricks...It does show off the fabric more.

Emily C said...

Lovely quilt. My current challenge is finding time to sew. I have a queen size EPP quilt i'm working on & i find time for it by working on it during lunch breaks.

Anonymous said...


Kathy E. said...

A sweet face like Heather's always makes a quilt pop, doesn't it? I like that you chose a brick-like shape rather than the traditional square. It really does look like a brick wall of puffs! Also, those fabric colors are awesome!

Beth said...

I always love to see a dog on a quilt! I'll be honest: a puff quilt wasn't anywhere near my list of "Quilts to make" before this blog hop, but seeing how much all of the dogs and cats seem to love them has made me reconsider. I feel somewhat confident that if I give it a go I'll have a recipient for my attempt. I love the look of your quilt, which reminds me of dog bones in the very best way. 😉

Pamela said...

I had never seen a puff quilt before this hop. They sure look cozy and soft, and so beautiful with the batiks. I'm a bit intimidated about managing the filling but I think I will try a small one for my cats. Heather certainly seems to be enjoying yours! Thank you for sharing your process and your beautiful work! And thank you for sharing your batiks! My cats, alas, will not be getting a quilt made out of precious batiks. But I will let them pick out other fabrics they want from the scrap basket.