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!