Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Pieced to Perfection with Earthly Greens

 Welcome to the preview of Earthly Greens, and my unfinished project.  

This gorgeous collection has shades of olive green, from light to dark, with pale yellow and cream.  The additional colors are shades of chocolate brown, with hints of orange, red, and yellow.  The tjaps (chops) have large leaves, small leaves, plants, mums, and dots.  The collection is rich and perfect for Autumn.  

The Island Batik Ambassadors were challenged to use foundation paper piecing, or English paper piecing for our projects.  Since it's supposed to be a challenge, I decided to do a bucket-list designer project, and picked Autumn Pines from Judy Neimeyer at Quiltworx.  
The cover quilt was created with a different brand's batik, but I knew Earthly Greens would be perfect for it.  My problem is that these quilts take a lot more time than you would think, but then again, it's going to be perfect, and stunning.  I also didn't think I would lose over a month being too sick to work.  I'm still dealing with the sinus infection that won't go away, but hoping to feel better soon. 

I did watch a number of Judy's free Youtube shows to help me get ready for this colossal endeavor, and they helped, but a class with a certified Quiltworx instructor would have been beneficial.  There are a number of easier patterns to do, but I loved the star and feather parts, plus the curved border.  I've done foundation paper piecing before, and consider myself an advanced quilter (because I've had many wonderful challenges as an Ambassador, thanks IB!) But this is very detailed.  I also picked this because most of the fabric requirements were within the bundle that was sent. I love some of the other designs, but they require more yardage for certain shapes.

Here's my progress so far.  Not too bad, considering that there are 14 pieces in each feather part, and there are 12 units, for 168 pieces in those, alone.  The "double wedding ring" parts have over 180 pieces.  I haven't counted the curved border yet, lol.  Yes, it's time consuming, but the pattern instructions are well done, and the newsprint paper is pre-printed, which made some of this so easy.  Although I looked at designing something of my own, like I usually do, this one kept calling me.  There are a few other Quiltworx patterns on my list now, too.  

Anyway, here's where I finished before this writing.
I started by laying out the assorted 1/2 yard pieces that we were provided to Ambassadors.  The second from the bottom,  creamy center one was also sent in a 2 yard piece (mum/swirl print) , and the 3rd green down (with small light olive leaves) was also sent in a 2 yard piece.  Island Batik is so generous.  This pattern required quite a bit of the variety, and the light would be great for some of the background.  I added Buttermilk, which is behind the collection.  I picked the greens from lightest to darkest, for the DWR parts and the browns for the feathers.  I was hoping to use multiples of the browns, but the template for cutting the pieces suggested only 2.  I'll use the others, with more of the greens, for the curved border.  I picked the large green leaves with orange, red and yellow for the center part (star) and the small with colors for the outer part.  
Outer DWR part. 

Inner and some of the outer, for a quick picture.  The inner pieces become triangles with the added brown sections, the base of the feathers. 

Then comes the feathers. .
The top left section is complete.  I have 10 more feathers to make, and then add the other backgrounds.  Then comes the curved border.  I plan to also do another border or 2, depending on the scraps and finished size I want.  Without the border, it will measure about 48".  I want to go to at least 60, and plan to use Hobb's Wool batting for this, with maybe a cotton with scrim under it, and I really want to do custom quilting.  This is going to be epic.  But again, bucket list quilts should be special.  
Of course, I used a Schmetz Microtech 12 needle, and Aurifil 50wt thread for piecing.  I'll use Aurifil for quilting, as well.  I'm grateful for the Janome Horizon 9450 with push button cutting, as that's made some of the piecing easier, and love the clear foot with the red arrow for needle placement, and the easy switch to the 1/4" foot with guide for the traditional piecing parts.  

I'm honored to be an Island Batik ambassador, and to have these great challenges.  I was hoping to have more of the top done, but hope to have more time soon.  In the meantime, please visit the other Ambassador blogs for their designs, and additional give-aways.  

Susan Deshensky from Lady Blue Quilts also had Earthly Greens collection today, and her gorgeous finished top really shows the colors well.  Please check out her post.  

Check the Island Batik blog for the schedule of others, and to see the recap and posts from last week.  There's also a give-away of a bundle of Earthly Greens or Lavender Fields, too.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Leave a comment to enter to win some fabric from me.  Have you ever tried a Quiltworx pattern?  Have you ever done foundation paper piecing?  If you need help to get started with this technique, let me know and I'll recommend some books or videos.  

Earthly Greens may be found in the following shops (search online for links)

A Little Piece Of Mind

Amy's Quilt Room

Annie's Quilt Shoppe

Cloud Nine Quilts-MT

Creekside Quilts-OR

Jambearies Quilt Co-FL

Laural's Fabrics and More, LLC

Little Timber Quilts

Mike & Mollys-CO

Queen Bee Quilts

Sandy Creek Quilts

Sierra Patchworks

Texas Roots Quilting

The Needle Workshop

Thanks for stopping by, and please visit the others!  


Sunday, July 16, 2023

Island Batik Ambassador Unboxing Video July 2023

 I'm excited to share the new supplies I received from Island Batik to complete the next 6 months of Ambassador Challenges.  Watch the video below to see the live taped unboxing.  Additional photos follow.  An additional box is coming soon, with 4 yards each of White, Grey and Black solids, plus some Stash Builder rolls and maybe more surprises.  The first boxes weighed over 30 lbs.  Island Batik is so generous! 

What I didn't realize during the video was that you would be able to see my 1 1/2 year old puppy Heather chasing butterflies in the background, or the jingle and occasional appearance of my son's Rottweiler, Freya next to me.  The quilt behind me is my new pattern, Framed, featuring Lavender Fields.  Pattern will be available soon, in my Etsy store and some shops.  It uses a 2 1/2" strip pack, plus a little yardage.  It was a really sunny, hot day, and I couldn't open my eyes without my sunglasses, so just enjoy the fun take on doing something outdoors with 2 dogs, birds, crickets and cicadas, lawn mowers and occasional airplanes.  

By Annie bag kit. 

Designed for Megan Best by Kathy Engle.  

Gradations Foundations

Again, thanks to Island Batik, Hobb's Batting, Accuquilt, Schmetz needles, Aurifil Thread, Patterns by Annie, and Studio 180 Designs, and thanks to you, for watching and following me and the other Island Batik Ambassadors on Facebook, Instagram, and my Etsy shop. 


Saturday, June 17, 2023

Fly Away Challenge with Island Batik Precuts

 Come Fly Away with the Island Batik Ambassadors this month!  Here's my Geese in a Row.  I may not have my ducks in a row, but my geese are! lol 

Our challenge this June was to use the Flying Geese unit made with any of the precuts we received in our January box   We could make anything, and any size, but as you've seen, I tend to go large!  I picked the Brilliant Blue 10" Stack and some Basics 1/2 yard pieces I've received over the 10 years in the generous boxes of supplies we get.  It's so much fun to be an Island Batik Ambassador! Our generous supplies include Schmetz needles, Aurifil thread, tools from Studio 180 designs, and Hobb's Batting. 

Brilliant Blue has a gorgeous array of shades, from palest Sky to Midnight navy.  I wanted to showcase a few shades of this collection, and use the gradations in a way that put the variety in view.  I chose Solid Grey for the background, to allow the blues to shine.  My 2 favorite ways to make Flying Geese units include the Studio 180* Wing Clipper, and the Quilt in a Day Flying Geese tools.  Both patterns make 4 geese from one larger square.  I used the Wing Clipper for this one, as the "wing" parts are cut from smaller pieces, rather than a larger square.  Either way, there's a great way to trim the units to the exact size you need.  When I want a variety of sizes of geese, the Wing Clipper is easier to find.  Multiple sizes on one tool makes it efficient. 

To start, I picked a number of darkest blue squares, and the instructions.  You can get 4 4x8" finished flying geese from one 9 1/2" square, and I cut the Wing sections 1/4" larger than the requirements.  It allows me a little extra room on the top for trimming, and not losing the points.  Once I made a few geese, I decided to head to EQ8 to decide on the overall design.  Before this, I had so many ideas in my head!  It was overwhelming to have so many great ideas, so I decided to sew some first, then plan the design that best accomplishes my favorite idea.  I actually changed it again after sewing the geese, since I made too many of the larger ones.  3 rows of the largest ones, with the darkest on the outside and bottom row, and lighter ones towards the center.  Then I wanted to add a separating row, to help make the quilt longer.  Next was 3x6" geese in the medium shades of blue, another separating row, then the palest row, of 2x4" geese.  The number of geese in each row goes according to the width of the top.  I chose the sizes based on the divisibility; all are factors 48.  Yes, there's math in quilting!  Overall, after quilting, it measures about 64 by 70", a great size for a throw or coverlet for twin bed. 
Trimming to size, and using the pink Highlighter tape makes it easy to find the lines needed.

The overall design is mirrored top to bottom and side to side and lightest in the center.  The separator fabrics were from 1/2 yard Basics cuts.  The center is Sky, the next is Bluebird Circles, and the outer is Cornflower.  Navy makes up the border and binding.  Grey separates the top and outer border.  I love being able to use almost the whole 10" square for the larger geese, and getting 4 units.  The smaller ones were trimmed to the required size, so there are a few scraps to use in addition to the remaining squares.  I'll play with them soon, and make something else.  

I pieced all with a Schmetz Quilting 12 needle, and Aurifil 50wt thread.  I quilted it with Warm & Natural batting, and used a royal blue Shannon Cuddle wide backing I have.  Quilting panto is West Wind from My Creative Stitches.  I felt geese needed wind to help fly, lol.  Of course, I used my Handi-Quilter Amara with Pro-Stitcher. Quilting thread is Aurifil Forty-3 in Stonewash Blues variegated, since the shades went with all the fabric colors.  There's great texture and movement, and the quilt is so pretty. 

After the quilt was done, I went to Jones' Beach to get some photos, but didn't realize they have already started charging the parking fee daily.  I thought it was only weekends for now, so I drove a little further until I found a free parking lot overlooking the Robert Moses Water tower and Fire Island.  I'm all about finding free photo locations.

More photos for you to enjoy! 

Backyard photos for the rest.

Close up, but the colors are better in person.
Side texture shot.

The wind gives you a peek at the backing. 

If you're looking for Brilliant Blue Stack, I have one in my Etsy shop (link on the right), and also have Navy, Ravine, Sky and Bluebird in yardage, as well as Solid Grey and Cobalt.  You may find other shops that carry Brilliant Blue, including Cozy Creative Center, Hancock's of Paducah, Stitchin' Heaven, and Divine Threads, NY.  

Please check out the other Island Batik Ambassadors to see their inspiring projects.  
Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood

Sarah Pitcher, Pitcher’s Boutique, Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia, Brenda Alburl, Songbird Designs Elita Sharpe, Busy Needle Quilting, Reed Johnson, Blue Bear Quilts  Suzy Webster, Websterquilt,  Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts, Renee Atkinson, Pink Tulip Quilting, Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese, Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail, Anorina Morris, Samelia’s Mum, Sandra Starley, Textile Time Travels, Susan Deshensky, Lady Blue Quilts, Randi Jones, Randi’s Roost, Brittany Fisher, Bobbin with Brittany Lisa Pickering, Lisa’s Quilting Passion, Victoria Johnson, Forever Quilting for You, Mania Hatziioannidi, Mania for Quilts, Lana Russel, Lana Quilts, Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts, Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations, Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights, Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you choose to make some geese!  


Monday, May 15, 2023

Tool Craze with Studio 180* and Island Batik

Midsummer Meteors

Welcome to the Summer Twilight day on the Tool Craze blog hop!  I'm so excited to share this pretty collection by Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis for Island Batik.  There's a list below of a few shops that ordered Summer Twilight, and you can always check at Islandbatik.com for shops that carry the gorgeous collections.  Aqua and Teal, black, purple, green, fuchsia and hot pink play well together.  There are tulips, large multi-petal blooms, leaves, feathers and a great dotted tjap that looks like a clamshell design.  That was the inspiration for the quilting pattern, but more on that later.  
Meet Midsummer Meteors, my design for this hop. 

I also received a neutral and 2 yards of Blackberry, which I'll save for another project.  I used some of the 6 yard piece of neutrals that Island Batik provided in the box, and Wisteria from my shop.

The Ambassadors were asked to use the Studio 180* tool that was sent in the first box for 2023 with the 1/2 yard surprise bundle.  We were asked to use as many fabrics as we could and use the tool in multiple sizes, with at least 30 units, with the quilt being any size.  Okay, I met most of the requirements.  But I went big and used ALL the fabrics.  I couldn't think of a way to use multiple sizes of equilateral triangles but actually, maybe I did use multiple sizes within the design.  Some were cut at 4" and some at 6 1/2".  I used multiple Technique Sheet designs, as well.  Can you see the Checkerboard, Framed, Capped, Quad or Striped units?  Doing the math, I made 170 triangles, plus 20 side units, and of the 170 triangles, 60 had various pieces totaling 150 smaller pieces.  280 pieces in this top, plus borders.

I was provided the Star 60 tool.  It's designed to make 60* stars, or 6 pointed stars in 17 sizes from 1" to 9", but you can go larger using a combination of the Star 60 and your other longer rulers. You can use the triangles to make hexagons and there are also directions to make the ends straight, to square your units.  Watch the video where Deb Tucker explains this tool, and some of the uses.  

After watching the video for the tool, and for the technique sheets, I got to work on EQ8 to see if I could figure out what I wanted to do.  First, there are a number of squares that use the 6 point star, and some of them would have worked, but I wanted something different.  I looked through the One Patch quilt suggestions, and they had one that was triangles, similar to the 1000 Pyramids designs.  That sparked my interest, so I played with a few ideas using the colors in the collection.  I also played with background colors.  My only issue was I didn't know how to draw the different Technique Sheet designs within each triangle.  More on that later, also.  I tried a navy background, but thought it was too dark.
EQ8 draft
 This was the start.  The triangles could be adjusted to the size and angle, so I played with 8" tall, and decided to use 6" tall.  The quilt could be made fairly quickly and would finish about 80" square with the borders.  I printed this out, and then used a pen to draw possible Technique Sheet designs within the units, and to add more fabric choices.  After I looked at all the white space, I decided to add the units that look like smaller stars.  Those end up being 12" tall, but the large ones are 24".  I also changed the color combinations as I cut each star.  The background fabric is Snow, a pale creamy white with a little hint of grey. Each triangle is sized perfectly with the Star 60 tool.  If you're not familiar with Tucker tools, they make oversized units that are then trimmed down to perfection.  I've used many of the tools for previous projects, and love them!  It's so easy to get better at piecing when the units are close to perfect.  You can see some of the lines on this tool on the pink fabric.  They line up with the triangle sections, and there are lines for vertical and horizontal, plus trim lines to get the bottom edge correct.  Any lost points in piecing are my fault, not the tool's, lol  

I add pink Highlighter tape to certain lines when needed, so it's easy to find the mark.  I could have used it on the 6" V line, but since I was cutting 4", 6" and the diamonds for some of the centers, I didn't want to keep moving the tape, although it is repositionable.  

I added a new Schmetz Chrome size 12 needle to my Janome 9450, and wound about 5 bobbins with Aurifil 50wt, because I use a large cone, just for piecing.  I also used my Prairie Spirit Alpaca pressing mat to help get the units flat.  These 3 products are always in use here.  They make my pieces accurate, which leads to a better top.  But first, the oops.  Lost at bobbin chicken when adding the borders.  3 more stitches would have been nice, but I had more bobbins wound, so no time lost.  Don't worry, I cleaned out the bobbin case after the next bobbin change.  

Oops again.
Making the checkerboard units, I didn't pay attention to how to join the pieced diamond units.  Had to redo 4 out of 6, and then do another one more time because I knew I could do better at the center match point.  In the above photo, the bottom one is correct.  Below is one of the oops. 

I do plan to write a pattern for this top, so if you're interested, give me some time, and I'll share it when it's done.  It was actually fun, and fairly quickly pieced.  I contacted EQ8, and they offered information on creating the pieced triangle shapes.  Diane was super friendly and helpful.  I'll figure it out and get the pattern ready. 

Here are more photos of the top.  I used Hobb's Heirloom Cotton batting for a soft drape, and used a cream sateen wide back for the backside.  I added borders and binding in Wisteria, one of the Playful Purples Foundations. I have this for sale in my Etsy shop, if you need it. 

Quilted on my Handi-Quilter Amara with Pro-Stitcher using Clam Shell Feather Edge to Edge by mycreativestitches.net and Aurifil Forty-3 in 2026 Chalk, a pale creamy white that perfectly matched the Snow background. 

Framed units with the matching smaller side triangles, alternating with single color triangles. 

Striped and Checkerboard units. 

Capped units.

Quad Units. 

Heather is checking out my son who is holding the quilt.  His dog was there, too, lol. 

Some Shops that carry Summer Twilight.
Around The Block-WYCheyenneWY
B&F Variety-SDGregorySD
Backdoor QuiltsBillingsMT
Quilter's Quarters-AZCottonwoodAZ
Bill Ellsworth TextilesPrescott ValleyAZ
Cate's Sew Modern-CTMadisonCT
Fabric Shoppe-CACamarilloCA
Foust Textiles-NCKing's MtnNC
Island Batik is giving away bundles of fabric.  Here's the link.  

WEEK 3 Schedule.  

May 15

Victoria Johnson, Forever Quilting for You

Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights

Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine

May 16

Renee Atkinson, Pink Tulip Quilting

Sarah Pitcher, Pitcher’s Boutique

May 17

Suzy Webster, Websterquilt

Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts

Lisa Pickering, Lisa’s Quilting Passion

May 18

End of Blog Hop + Final Round Up

You can find more information including the previous weeks posts on the Island Batik blog page, and many of the ambassadors have additional give-aways.  I do, too!  Please comment below if you've used any of the Studio 180 tools.  Keep in mind I'm happy to order anything for you, if you can't find it in your favorite shop.  Just send me a message, and we'll discuss the next steps.  I'll pick a random comment to send some of the scraps of Summer Twilight to you.  Free shipping to US, but if you're in Canada, and will help offset the cost difference in shipping, I'll send you a very full flat rate envelope, after May 25.

Thanks so much for getting to the end of my long post.  I hope you are inspired by my project and the ones by Tori and Leah with this collection, and different tools, and enjoy the hop!