Saturday, March 30, 2024

It's All Up to Me for March Island Batik Ambassador Challenge

Hi, and thanks for stopping by!  This month the Island Batik Ambassadors were given free rein on the project.  This is fun, but can also be a challenge to find something to do.  Or maybe a goal to finish a few.  That was my goal, but it's only one finish so far of mine, but I did quilt some customer projects, including a student from the Framed class I taught at a guild, which used Island Batik fabric.  

Pieceful Patchers guild in Williston Park, NY, has a tradition of a Superbowl class.  This year it was not done on Superbowl, but later in February.  Pat, the leader for this, used the Missouri Star pattern, It's All an Illusion.  She shows a few samples, purchases the pattern for us, and then adapts it for a quicker project.  Instead of cutting individual 1 1/2" squares for the shadow frame parts, we sewed strips of the shadow and background, and I provided the Stripology XL ruler to make quick work of the logs needed.  We did that for both of the shadow units, and I also used the Stripology to cut the background sections.  I usually calculate the yardage for the pieces needed, and determine which is easier to get the required number of strips.  I do this for sashing, too.  Basically, figure out how many rectangles you can get from the strip width, and again, if it was the length you need, how many would you get in the width.  For example, you can get 3 12" pieces from a 1 1/2" wide by width of fabric, and you can get 28 strips 1 1/2" wide from a 42 by 12" piece of fabric.  If you need 56 pieces, you use 24" of fabric.  If you cut strips, you use 28.5 inches, and have about 18 pieces of 6 by 1 1/2" that are basically wasted.  So, cut the length needed, then cut the strips from that.  I write my patterns the same way, as well, but this pattern had it cut from strips, although you did need the shorter strips. I did end up saving fabric.  Playing with the math on a purchased pattern, and making the units faster is something I tend to do, but I'm happy that Pat does this, too.  The pattern uses 10" squares for the base.  I looked at my rather large collection of Stacks from previous boxes provided to the Ambassadors, and wanted something that had a larger design, and would look good with grey for the shadow.  I picked Sorbet, shades of purple, royal, grey, and pink, and used Almond for the background, and solid Grey for the shadow.  Sorbet may be found in some online shops, but any of the collections would work.  I liked the feather and flower design tjaps (chops), and the squares with lines.  The shadow section helps the blocks look 3-D.  It's a quick project, and the sashing (background) is actually part of the block.  I also added 4 blocks, as the size the pattern suggests was not something I would use (or sell).  I did the math and changed the layout to 11 wide by 8 long, which gave me a quilt about 74 by 92.  It's a generous twin size, and I had no leftover blocks. 

Blocks in progress. 

I finished up the blocks, and laid them out on the "design bed" I use, and played with color placement.  I flipped Column 2 onto Column 1, and pinned and clipped that group.  I stacked from the top to the bottom (top of the pile is top of quilt), and clipped the columns together, and marked each column with a number pin and took the pile of blocks to Sit and Sew last week at my other guild, Evening Star.  I webbed the top there, and got a few of the rows sewn, too.  I did make an error when I ran out of bobbin thread and didn't actually sew about 5 blocks to the previous column, (my travel machine doesn't beep, lol) and had to edit the rows, but it was soon fixed and I started on the columns.  

Oops on the left side in this photo.  Lots of Ooh, pretty from the members, though. 
3/8 of the top is done!
After the top was fully assembled, the pattern suggests a top and right side border to complete the flimsy.  I was considering adding an additional border, but it's a good size, so I called it finished. 

Next was choosing a wide backing fabric, and I grabbed a package of Hobb's Heirloom 80/20 Bleached batting for the middle, also provided for the Ambassadors.  It was loaded on Vanna, my Handi-Quilter Amara with Pro-Stitcher, and Aurifil 40-three in 2615, grey, which basically disappeared on the top.  I wanted the blocks to shine, and the colors to pop, not the quilting.  I chose Whisper by My Creative Stitches, and set it at 14" per row.  I wanted a less dense design, and knew that since it was so long, lots of quilt would be on the take up pole at the end.  Although I can do almost 16" in the throat space, if the quilt is long, the space is shorter as it's closer to the bottom.  I plan ahead so I don't have to alter the design at the bottom of the quilt. 


Some Solid Grey machine sewn binding and a label were added, and photos taken.  It's really a pretty quilt, and I think the colors and texture is lovely.  

I'll have to share the Framed pattern I designed soon.  Here's a sneak peek, from the student/customer quilt. 

The collection is English Lavender. 

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you are inspired to play with a 10" stack, and to check the math on the patterns you use.  Maybe you can save a little fabric.  Or play with the number of blocks, or how the assembly could be faster.  If you need help, you can always email me and I'll see what I can figure out.
Check out the other Ambassador projects, and get inspired to do your own thing! 

Monday, February 19, 2024

Loc Cabin Blog Hop with Island Batik

 I'm so excited to show you Romance Garden, the new collection for Sherry Shish by Kathy Engel.  This collection is shades of pink, lime and grass green and purples, and filled with butterflies, tulips, ferns and other garden tjaps.  It's so pretty!  The Ambassadors were asked to make a Log Cabin style lap size quilt, and I created a great design.  Have you seen the ones from the last 2 weeks?  There are some stunning quilts. 

We were given 20 1/2 yard cuts, and 2 yards each of the Frosting and 2 yards of the darker purple floral. We were also given additional background fabric, and I picked Almond for my background.  I always piece with Aurifil 50wt thread, and use a new Schmetz Microtec 12 needle.  

On to my design.   

I planned a really pretty quilt inspired by a Thistle or Bromeliad type flower.  I started making the top, and then had an accident.  If you've read my blog over the years, you may know I have an eye disease called Keratoconus.  My left eye was worse, and after a failed cornea transplant 2 years ago, my left eye doesn't see anything.  My right eye is treated with a Rigid Gas Permable lens that must be custom made to fit my eye and correct my vision.  It basically pushes the cornea back into place and allows about 20/40 vision.  I use readers for computer and sewing, and although the other issues with keratoconus are present, I've adapted.  I've been in need of a new lens, but finding a qualified eye Dr on Long Island who accepts my insurance has been a challenge.  Well, last week, I lost my lens.  It's probably down the sink drain, but I'm basically blind without it.  3 inches away from my face, everything is blurry.  And although I've tried to work on the blocks, the seam allowances are not accurate enough, and it's painful to stitch hunched over, and unsafe to cut anything.  So, I've been unable to work on the blocks successfully.  As you can see, there are multiple stitching lines.  And the blocks are not measuring correctly, as you can see by the leftover edges.  

The Corner Beam blocks I made first, before I lost the lens, were perfect.  I used the Studio 180 tool.  

My Bromeliad, which was my inspiration.  A thistle was also something I was thinking of, but this looks more like my blocks.  

Some of my favorite fabrics from this collection are below.  I LOVE the butterflies.  They are large, and would make fun fussy cuts.  The Dragonfly and butterfly print is really pretty, too, and the colors on the design are lovely.  The photos don't show the beauty as well as the fabrics in person. 

I hope you visit the other ambassadors on the hop, and check out the give-away from Island Batik.  I'll share more about this quilt when it's done.  I'm scheduled to get the first trial lens today, and hope that the lens works.  Normally Dr. Shovlin likes to try 2 or 3 lens before he's happy, so I don't know when I'll be able to see but I'm so grateful that my son can work from home, and he's come to help me with everything until then, including driving me back to Scranton for the eye Dr.  He's helped with writing this post, too.  He's awesome.  I'm grateful and blessed.  

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Friday, January 26, 2024

2024 Island Batik Ambassador Unboxing Video

 Oh, my goodness!  This is such a treat to be an Island Batik Ambassador for my 11th year.  I did a video of what's in the first box we received from Island Batik and the industry sponsors, and some photos.  

Sponsors include Oliso Irons, Aurifil Thread, Studio 180* Designs, Schmetz needles, Hobb's Batting and Funky Friends Factory.  Island Batik has planned a wonderful year for the Ambassadors, with great challenges and fun projects, as well as give-aways for YOU!  Follow along on this adventure with me and the rest of the team for inspiration and to see the latest fabrics and projects.  

Here's a link to my video. 

Jan 2024 Unboxing Video

Some of the items I've received are in photos below.  There's more to come, and details to follow soon.  There's a Log Cabin blog hop in February, so you'll see my project with Romance Gardens then.  

4 yards White, Black and Grey solids, and 1/2 yard cuts of a variety of Foundations, including solids, and the background fabric, 6 yards of Almond. 

Schmetz Needles, Stash Builder rolls, 4 Patch Square Up tool from Studio 180*. 

Precuts:  Strip Sets of Playful Purples gradations, (always available) Squiggles, Dots and Lines, a new collection, plus 10" squares of Precious PInks, and new Dots and Doodles. 

Oliso TG1600 Pro iron in Butterscotch. 
Also included was Hobb's Wool batting in Lap size. Additional batting and Aurifil thread will be in another box coming soon, and a second shipment will come in June.  I'm so blessed to have this opportunity to create, be challenged, and inspire others.  

Please check out the Ambassador tab on Island Batik to meet the rest of the team, and see their unboxing videos.  Watch for the announcement for the February blog hop and a chance to win a collection that will be showcased, and shipping to stores soon.  

Thanks for stopping by!