Back to School Blog Hop with Island Batik



It has cooled off significantly and summer has definitely come to an end.  Julia is back to school and homework has begun in full force. This change in routine has been happening in our house for 27 years now, since my eldest started school back in 1990. That is a lot of back to school shopping, first day of school pictures, and back to school nights over the years.

I have mentioned I have five sisters and between us we have 21 children.  All of these kids but Julia have either graduated college or are in college now. California kids are fortunate to have a lot of universities to apply to and many of those are on the long stretch of coast that runs up and down the western side of the state. In fact, of the 21 grandchildren, only five selected universities that were not on, or very near, the beach. My three older kids went to school either in San Diego or in San Luis Obsipo, both coastal areas.  I think after growing up in the mountains, the three boys loved the change of moving to the coast. For several years, back to school meant waving the boys off as they headed toward the coast (lucky guys all three!)

When Island Batik sent me a 1/2 yard bundle of their collection called Seas the Day, it made me think of our gorgeous coastline. This line features starfish, boat anchors, sand dollars, lobsters, rope and netting and the most wonderful blue and green watery prints. The Island Batik ambassadors were asked to make anything we like as long as it was larger than 36″ square so we could really showcase the beautiful fabric. Thinking about it for just a bit, I decided to go with a large patchwork quilt, one big enough a college kid could easily take it to one of those tiny dorm rooms along our Pacific coast.

I cut 8 1/2″ squares and started to lay them out.  The prints are so fun but it needed something else.  I saw a large patchwork quilt made by Amy Smart from Diary of a Quilter, and she added a few saw tooth star blocks to it for a little something extra. She has a great tutorial for saw tooth star blocks on her blog which was helpful.  Click here for Amy’s Sawtooth Star tutorial. The great part is she maps out the cuts you need to do for multiple size stars which made it really quick to make a number of them.  I really like the look of sprinkling a few star blocks in varying sizes to the mix. Isn’t the little four inch star up at the top, right corner a cute one?

For the largest star, I bordered it in orange to set it off. The narrow orange frame works well.

As I mentioned in my last post, I took this to the local long arm shop (well, sort of local – it is a 45 minute drive from here!) and rented time on a machine to quilt it.  After a little refresher course on how to use the machine, I got into quilting it up. I did simple spirals and a few loops as an all over design.

In all honesty, I completely forgot how difficult it can be to get a nice round spiral with the long arm.  If I don’t go relatively fast, the spirals elongate and become ovals.  Since I have not had a lot of practice, I don’t feel comfortable moving quickly because it takes me time to plan my path as I go.  The oval shapes don’t bother me though. I like the quilting for the most part. It was so much fun and sooooo much quicker to quilt it on the long arm.

For the backing, I used two pieces of yardage provided by Island Batik – neither was quite large enough to back it as one piece but by using them together, I had plenty. I used the rest of the brown print to bind the quilt as well.

Seas the Day – by Island Batik

I am a big fan of batiks  and love the look of this quilt. It probably won’t go off to college with anyone but it sure makes me think of our gorgeous coastline! If you would like to have your own bundle of these batiks, I might just be able to make to make that happen!  I have a set of fat quarters which includes most of the prints. I didn’t have exactly of all of them left after making this quilt but there are quite a few to share with one lucky winner.

Most of these cuts (26 pieces in all) are fat quarters. Maybe four or five are standard 1/4 yard cuts, depending on how I used the piece. A few may be just shy of being a fat quarter? But there is a lot of fabric here, probably over six yards altogether.

Island Batik Seas the Day stack

To win this coastal lover’s bundle, please leave a comment and tell me if you prefer the coast or the mountains on a vacation getaway.  For a second entry, please follow me — lots of choices on how to follow. There are buttons at the upper right for my social media platforms.  Or, sign up to receive my newsletter, also at the upper right. Just tell me how you follow!

Thank you to Island Batik for this generous gift of fabric. I love the quilt I made and I am sure the lucky winner of the remaining fat quarters will make something gorgeous as well!

Linking to my favorites. Check the list at the top of the page, under Link Ups.



132 thoughts on “Back to School Blog Hop with Island Batik

  1. Preeti

    what a beautiful bundle of batiks – love the sand dollar batik especially. A vacation sounds terrific just about now and although I’d go anywhere, the coast has more fun things to do – swimming (not hiking), scanty clothing (no heavy coats), and fresh seafood. Well, then there is Irma. AAAAGGGHHHHHHHH………..
    I am staying put.



  3. Rory

    Yes, the coast it is! We go to the Oregon Coast to a family house. I’ve wanted to make a quilt for all to enjoy… this fabric and your pattern would be perfect!

  4. Susan Spiers

    Love your quilt- – what wonderful fabric! Definitely the mountains – I live in southern Mississippi, and I have had enough of the coast & the accompanying weather it brings – change is a good thing! Thank you, Susan

  5. Allison

    Lovely quilt Bernie!!! (21 children – wow – bet the family get togethers are lots of fun!!!)
    I love going to the mountains – we camp in the Smokies every summer and it is gorgeous there!!!

  6. Janet T

    Love the mountains with the sunlight coming thru the trees, brooks babbling, birds singing. fresh air, the smell of pine trees. I feel a trip coming on!

  7. Helen

    Having to choose between mountains or coast is very difficult for me as I love them both! Family loves the beach so they can have instant entertainment right out of the front door. Me, I’m more of a porch sitter and looked……but can easily watch the ocean or get lost in the mountain view! I love them both. Love your quilt and I am big fan of batiks….that pop of orange is great with the other colors. Thanks for the chance to win!

  8. Marilyn

    I grew up on the Florida gulf coast and currently live near the Blue Ridge Mountains. So now I prefer vacations on the beach. Lovely quilt from beautiful fabrics.

  9. Teri

    I like both the mountains and the coast, more apt to pick the coast in winter. Love batiks and your quilt. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Chris

    That is so hard to decide! I love both, Colorado Mountains, Florida East Coast Beaches, or even Maine’s coast. Hmmm. I guess I would have to say Coast! It holds so many happy memories for me.

  11. Lori Smanski

    hmm good question. I love the sound of the ocean and the water and beaches but I also love the mountains with all the beauty there. If I had to choose I would be difficult and say we would switch vacation spots each year. LOL

  12. Beth Stanfield

    What beautiful fabric and such a simple, lovely quilt. I LOVE the mountains and visit my sister in Asheville, NC on my way to see our daughter in TN. My heart gets happy when I begin to see that Blue Ridge!
    I enjoy following you on your blog via my email, as well as IG. Thanks for the giveaway! I’d be blessed if I win. I’m blessed anyway!

  13. Maryellen McAuliffe

    Beautiful job on the quilt. I wish one of the local shops had long-arm rental time here. Haven’t found one. As for coast or mountains, I lived in the mountains and loved it. I had to move, and I’m closer to the coast, but really don’t spend time at the beach very often. If I could have my favorites, it would be to live in the mountains by a lake and visit the coast and ocean on vacation.

  14. Carol Nelms

    Yes! I like to alternate water and mountains, or best mountains with water. I follow your blog. Very pretty quilt thanks for sharing!
    cork at

  15. Nancy

    Your quilt turned out great…nice to have something so fresh to cuddle up with this fall. I am a beach lover, especially if the water is warm and swimmable! Thanks for sharing the fabulous giveaway!

  16. Roseanne

    Hi Bernie,
    I can easily sea the influence of both the actual sea and shoreline in these prints and colors. Your quilt is lovely, and I would be thrilled to win a bundle. I think the seashore wins my vote for favorite vacation locale, although after the recent hurricanes I should pick mountains. I do follow you on WordPress. ~smile~ Roseanne

  17. Laurie Lasala-Tuttle

    Hi Bernie ~ I love both your quilt & the batik fabrics! I live much closer to the beach in southern California than the mountains. I would love to visit our mountains more often as I love walking in the forest of pine trees. I already follow you via email & instagram. Thanks!

  18. Pam B

    Hiya!!! I love both, and living in North Carolina, like California, we have the best of both worlds—the Atlantic and the Blue Ridge mountains. What a great collection of batiks, my favorites. Thanks for having the giveaway. Blessed be, hugs!!!
    pamspretties57 at gmail dot com

  19. Pam B

    Hiya!!! I follow you everywhere, lol. By email, on Instagram and Pinterest and Facebook. Thanks for having the giveaway. Blessed be, hugs!!!
    pamspretties57 at gmail dot com

  20. Judi D

    we are coast people for sure…my youngest went to school in Long Beach and spent a lot of time working in Monterey and now she is in Santa Barbara…yes the are very lucky kids!

  21. Betsy

    I prefer the coolness of the mountains. I lived on a tropical island for years and I missed the mountains and the changes of the seasons

  22. Kristi

    Beautiful quilt Bernie! I love the little ‘pops’ of stars hiding in there. Like being on the beach on a starry night! Divine!

  23. Lodi

    Very cute quilt – perfect colors for beach snuggling! I live on a mountain, and every so often I like to dip my toes into an ocean…or lake…or river…not so much a stream, and (sadly) never a puddle. I enjoy following your blog!

  24. Jan N.

    One year my family stayed at a home in the mountains which also had views of the ocean and it was fabulous! So my answer would have to be both coastal and mountains. Great quilt with adding the orange for a little pop of color!

  25. Lori Morton

    Oooh your Quilt is Beautiful!! would love to win this bundle..thank you for the chance!! 🙂 Our Daughter lives in NC, and I got to see the Ocean for the first time while there!!! I would love to vacation on the Coast (plus would get to see her more often if closer! lol)

  26. Glen Parks

    We live in Louisiana so when we leave for vacation every year, we head for the mountains! Doesn’t matter if they are green or red and rocky, it is always mountains! Thanks for the giveaway, I love this bundle.

  27. MoeWest

    I drive through the mountains to get to the coast! The ocean is my fave but this way I get both. Your quilt looks wonderful!

  28. Barb K.

    I remember seeing the giant redwoods when I was about 6 years old–so would probably pick the mountains. The coast, however might have more activities to do–hard to choose.

  29. Cecilia

    Since I live in Florida, I like to vacation in the mountains. I love your quilt! Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway.

  30. Linda S

    I love the coastal group. Living in Maine, with the Atlantic a short 5 minute walk away, it is my favorite place to go to just relax and be at peace. Beautiful colors in this group.

  31. Linda

    I live in the mountains so we always go to the beach for our summer vacation. Thanks for the giveaway. grinnie1961 at gmail dot com

  32. Lisa Marie

    I prefer the mountains to the coast. I do love these batiks though! Your quilt is fabulous, love the stars in different sizes scattered through.

  33. Dawn F.

    I like to vacation to the mountains… I like the hiking and active opportunities, and inevitably, I get sunburnt on the coast/beach, haha! Thanks for sharing your beautiful quilt and the chance at a giveaway.

  34. kate

    Thanks for the chance to win those lovely Batiks,
    Mountains or coast is very difficult to chose, I love them both!
    I follow you thru Email,

  35. Hannah W

    great quilt:) I’ve wanted to follow her tutorial to make one of those myself. thanks for the giveaway…any vacation is treasured. I haven’t been to the mountains in awhile so that is where I’m leaning today.

  36. Helen

    I hope it’s ok to enter again. Love both mountains but hubby is a beach person so we have to do both! ok by me…lol!! Love these batiks! Thanks for the giveaway.

  37. Amanda Wood

    I absolutely LOVE the coast! I live in North Carolina where the beaches are sandy and warm. A lovely early-morning drive to the coast, followed by a day of fun in the water, I can’t imagine a better day! I love how these batiks capture that feeling 🙂

  38. Kathy E.

    Beautiful quilt with gorgeous fabrics, Bernie! As I age, I am leaning towards enjoying the mountains more while I vacation. I think a lot of it is because of fewer crowds of people and the solitude is easier to find. There’s nothing like fresh mountain air and exercising on trails!

  39. JanineMarie

    I really like this set of batiks with the distinct motifs. Are you sure this quilt might not go away to college on the coast? (Is Julia considering one, maybe?) I love the mountains but am so far from any. So I would have to say the coast for a vacation (on our freshwater “ocean,” of course).

  40. Pam

    What a beautiful quilt! It brings back fond memories of the coast for me. My husband is from San Luis Obispo, and we spent many vacations out there. (We live in Wisconsin). There is no family left there now, but last summer we took our grown daughters and our five year old granddaughter to the central coast for a vacation. It was such fun seeing our granddaughter play in the same waves and tide pools that our daughters did when the were little. I definitely love coastal vacations! Thank you for sharing your quilt, and for this generous giveaway!

  41. JoanG

    These are really luscious batiks and I’d love to win them. I much prefer the shore for vacations. I grew up in a house on the banks of a river, so having water nearby is always important to me.

  42. Heather in Cali

    HI! What a lovely quilt! I thought about you when they were having fires near Mariposa/Yosemite.. but I think you are more to the north of that, thankfully safe! Sounds like a fun quilt show. I remember my dad working at shows to sell his art, there is a definite learning curve to them. Well, I prefer the ocean over the mountains any day. Thanks for the chance to win the batiks!

  43. Sylvia Adair

    Hi, Bernie! I love the coast, always have. I miss the sound of the waves, the sand between my toes, finding sea shells in the morning or just watching the sun go down. It seems so exotic to me, since I live here in Wisconsin, which has its own beauties.
    Wonderful quilt, lovely quilting.

  44. Kat

    I really love your design. Of course the fabrics are terrific too. My favorite would be the coast. Having lived in both Northern and Southern California Bay areas, I was never quite close enough. I’m signing up for your newsletter too so I can “view” a bit of Northern California life again.

    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Kat,

      So you are a Californian too. What parts have you lived in? I grew up in Los Altos, went to college in San Luis Obispo and now live in the Grass Valley area. How about you?

  45. Debbie

    Love the fabrics and the quilt! I have either lived in or very close to the mountains of North Carolina all my life so my favorite vacation spot is the beach. I love to look for small treasures of beach glass and I collect sea shells.

  46. Deb E / Oregon

    The coast, definitely, because I hardly ever get there. LOVELY fabrics and quilt! Thanks for the opportunity to win! Deb E / Oregon

  47. Heather

    I love the simplicity of your quilt with the extra punch of the stars. Too often I try to get too complicated and my quilts take forever. This shows that it just isn’t always necessary. And I love the batiks. I am lucky to live near Vancouver BC (just north of Seattle) and we have it all – amazing mountains and beautiful beaches. We vacation in Hawaii for beach time, and do local beach trips as well, and go hiking, camping, or skiing in our local mountains when we want something more vertical.

  48. Donna

    I love to visit the mountains and I live on the prairies so I would enjoy visiting the coast as well.
    Gorgeous quilt and so are the batiks. Thanks for giveaway.

  49. Donna

    I follow you on instagram. Batiks are so amazing with all the gorgeous colors and patterns blended into the fabrics. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Sandra Walker

    Being a prairie girl for nearly all of my life, and a fire sign (Aries), you would think mountains would be my preference. But NOPE! Water all the way, be it a lake or an ocean. That’s why I feel so blessed to now spend my days on the shore of Lake Erie or the Gulf of Mexico! I believe I am too late for your wonderful giveaway, but wow, sure love the quilt you put together, and WHAT a great idea to add some stars (can never ever go wrong with stars IMHO). Have been drooling over your tomato jam too btw on Instagram and here on the blog. 😉 Now I’m off to your shop for that rainbow fabric!

  51. Kristy Wilkinson

    Love your starry quilt. What gorgeous batiks! I am a coast girl. Love the ocean. It could have something to do with growing up in San Luis Obispo and going to Avila Beach a lot as a kid. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your extras. K-


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