As an ambassador for Island Batik, I have a schedule of challenges issued each month to create with their gorgeous fabrics. The theme for the month of March was March Mini Madness and the quilt was to be constructed with paper pieced blocks.
:ast week I shared the beginnings of the mini I was working on with Island Batik fabric. Using a paper pieced star pattern (free download from Craftsy) I made four blocks. Each one became a bit easier than the last which was nice. I feel like I made progress and have a better feel for paper piecing now. (These blocks were very simple which was helpful). I like the various themes designated by the coordinator at Island Batik as it forces me out of my comfort zone a bit. Isn’t it nice to have the oppportunity to learn something new?
The overall look of this little quilt is bright and cheerful. I love the purples and blues against the black batik. Bright green strips were used for the sashing.
After the top was assembled I quilted it by first adding some straight lines to the greeen sashing, using a bright green Mettler thread. Following that I free motion quilted small loops over the black background as well as an X through each star. With a dark batik, the quilting is not the star of the show. It is very hard to see.
I decided it needed a bit more detail to finish it off. First I decided to add buttons. I think it was about two weeks ago that I read a post written by Janine, over at Quilts from the Little House, where she used buttons to embellish a project of hers. I have a jar of buttons and thought it would be fun to take that bit of inspiration and apply it to this mini. Don’t they look cute? Makes it sort of whimsical.
After the buttons, I still wanted more detail. I decided to add a flange to the outer edge before I attached the binding. Doesn’t this make a nice polished finish? I am very happy with this. Hopefully I will put a hanging sleeve on it soon and it will join the other minis on the wall in my sewing room. Just in time for spring!
Linking to all the usuals – find the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups!
It has been a busy week and I am happy to see Friday roll around. I really enjoyed working with Maureen and writing the posts about her work. It was a lovely bonus to see the sale on her Garden Dreamer fabric created a good number of sales which kept me busy cutting and shipping (it will be on sale through Sunday, March 19th if you are interested.) By the way, I truly appreciate all of the readers who are supporting my shop – thank you!
Thanks also to Mari of Academic Quilter. Mari and I became friends a couple of years ago (which is hard to believe actually) via our new blogs. We have struck up a great friendship and even got to have lunch and do a little fabric shopping together last summer when I was in Maine. That was so much fun. Yesterday I found a package in the mail. Usually getting the mail is so boring unless I have recently ordered fabric. Nothing much comes in the mail anymore with the exception of a few catalogues and the occasional advertisement addressed to ‘Occupant’. Sigh.
Not yesterday however! Look at this adorable lovie she made for my sweet grand baby! She even used the colors of the nursery (gray, lavender and pink). The backing is a soft gray and white flannel. Being the generous quilter Mari is, she even enclosed the leftover fabric for me to use. Thank you Mari. <3
These tiny blankets are so cool – the tags around the perimeter are made with ribbons and twill tape, and other trims which provide sensory stimulation when baby fidgets with them.
I have also seen mom’s hook toys to the loops and lay baby near it to grab the toys. It can be used in the car seat with toys attached or not. It was so kind of Mari to think of me and this little girl. I will hand deliver this when I go to Vermont – which is in only THREE weeks!! I can’t wait!
Moving on now (because I talk and think about this little girl too often and don’t want to become annoying!) I did get a fair amount of sewing done last week. I made this cute t-shirt with Butterick pattern, number B5954. Remember I posted about not having enough fabric? I decided to make the sleeveless version which took every bit of the fabric.
This version takes about 1/2 hour to sew because it is just the front and back pieces, sewn together at the shoulder and side seams. I finished the seams with a bright blue bias tape because I like that little surprise of color. I am only 5′ 4″ so I did have to alter the length and when I make it again, I would make it even a bit shorter. It is so comfortable and I am pleased with the result! Looking at these photos, I realize I should have pressed it before my modeling stint. Sorry about that!!
Cute Top But in Need of an Iron!
For the month of March, my challenge from Island Batik is to make something that is paper pieced. You already know how frustrated I become with paper piecing. I called my friend, Sophia, and invited her for a sew day. I knew I would need her help to get started! Sophia has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has that logical sort of brain that I so envy. She spent the afternoon with me and it was so helpful. Plus I got to spend the afternoon sewing with her which we don’t often do. It was a very nice to spend the time together.
Choosing Colors for the Sashing
Before she arrived, I picked a few easy paper piecing patterns and printed the sheets. She and I looked and decided this star pattern would be a good one to learn on. (I took a class last fall to learn to paper piece but you know what happens if you don’t practice…. I couldn’t remember how to get started on the blocks!) This pattern is a free download on Craftsy.com. It is slated as a beginner pattern, which is mostly true. The problem is there are no real instructions – reminding the quilter to cut strips a certain width or to trim each section, adding in that crucial 1/4″. But never fear, I had Sophia coaching me! While my precision isn’t as close as I would like, overall I think it looks nice.
Perfectly Imperfect Points!
I finished the top and have begun quilting it a bit. I love the colors and it will be nice to hang this mini in my sewing room. I need a new one on the wall.
The Top is Finished!
OK – that is my week in a nutshell. Gifts, Etsy orders, and a fair amount of creative time in the sewing room. This girl doesn’t need more than that! Happy Weekend everyone!
Linking to my favorites. Please check out the tab at the top of the page titled Link Ups.
Island Batiks offered two challenges to the group of Ambassadors for the month of February. One was to create a fun project for Galentine’s Day. I posted about that one a couple of weeks ago. The other was to make and donate at least one kennel quilt. This was new to me. I had not heard of kennel quilts until now. These little quilts (about 12″ x 18″) are made and used by shelters when they are supporting animals in need who may have been separated from their owners due to emergencies, weather crises or other unfortunate circumstances.
Here is the explanation from Island Batik.
In 2016, Island Batik joined forces with an existing group of industry partners and supporters of the Petfinder Foundation to create the Piece for Shelter Pets (PFSP) initiative. The initiative supports the Petfinder Foundation, a “public charity that works to end the euthanasia of adoptable pets by assisting animal shelters and rescue groups across North America”, through financial contributions made possible by the sale of fabric, thread, and other quilting related products. PFSP sponsors include The Quilt Pattern Magazine, Island Batik, Aurifil Threads, QuiltyBox, Benartex, and Hancock’s of Paducah.
TheTQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team is a volunteer organization sponsored by The Quilt PatternMagazine (TQPM) that springs into action (or should we say “stitches” into action?) when disasters strike, sewing small kennel quilts for animals in need while they are separated from their humans and possibly injured. Creating kennel quilts is a way for quilters to help our animal friends in times of need by doing what we love. TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team supplies kennel quilts to shelters across the United States. Learn more here.
Making one or two kennel quilts is a very easy way to support these little critters who are in need. Because they are tiny, it is a perfect scrap busting project. When I made mine, I was able to stitch batting strips together, using up some of those long strips that are left when we square and bind a quilt. I would encourage you to click through the link above and make a few.
I used a set of 5″ wide strips that came in the box of treasure supplied to me by Island Batik. They are so pretty – the lime green adds a nice, bright touch, don’t you think? I took some of the strips and made six rail fence blocks for this little quilt. No binding is needed. Just stitch right sides together, turn right side out and finish by sewing up the opening. I quilted a series of diagonal lined to keep the quilt together.
With the second quilt, I just sewed the strips together length-wise. Really, the project is very easy and probably took an hour or so to do. If you decide to make a few, I would love to see them. Post a picture on Instagram and tag me @needleandfoot. Also use #kennelquilts – it is lost of fun to see what the other quilters are creating!
Thank you Island Batik for partnering up with the Petfinder Foundation to support animals in need.
Linking to a few favorites, including Sew Some Love a link up for projects being made for charities at Kat & Cat Quilts. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
If you are a fan of the TV show Parks & Rec, you are probably familiar with Galentine’s Day. The main character Leslie (played by Amy Poehler), holds a Galentine’s Party with her girlfriends each year on the night before Valentine’s Day. It made me smile to see this graphic sent to the Ambassadors by Island Batik.
Since I was in the spirit, last week I made a Valentine, to me from me. I have a number of little heart mini quilts that I have made over the last several years. I like them. Simple hearts of red, pink, cream and white. Remember how much fun Valentine’s Day was? We decorated brown paper bags, wrote the “to” and “from” on each card, and hoped there would be some candy involved.
This year Island Batik included some red and pink batik fat quarters in each of the Ambassador boxes. It just so happened that I recently purchased a pattern from Jayne of Twiggy and Opal called Rainbow Heart Trio. I made just one of the three minis included in the pattern. Don’t you love how the tiny heart is nestled into the center of the larger heart? Since I only made the one mini, I have hardly made a dent in the bundle of pinks and red fat quarters. No worries though, Island Batik has plenty of projects in store for us. I will put them to use soon enough.
This project was yet another lesson in value and color (when, oh when, will I learn these lessons!?) If you look at the tiny heart, you might notice a few pieces of a pale dotted batik. It is a very pale shade of lavender. On its own, it is very pretty. Included with this project and surrounded by the creamy background pieces, it is totally lost. I didn’t really get it until that smaller heart was surrounded by the larger heart. Looking at the photo above, this is the smaller heart when I was piecing it. I thought there was just enough difference between that pale dotted batik and the background. Once it was surrounded by the background it faded out. I also had some of that fabric used as blocks in the larger heart. I was able to unpick those stitches and swap the fabric out with something darker. I left the smaller heart alone. I will get this figured out one day. But for now, the shape of the smaller heart doesn’t show up as much as it would have if I had used darker fabric in those spots. I will get there though. It just takes practice.
The Rainbow Heart Trio pattern comes together quite easily. The longest task is definitely the cutting. The HST’s that make up the smaller heart finish out at 1 1/2″. Tiny little things. I quilted it with my walking foot. The quilting was inspired by the pattern. I liked how Jayne quilted the samples and I followed along with her. The only part that I free motioned was the little scallops around the outer edge of the smaller heart.
Wishing each of you a Happy Galentine’s Day and an even sweeter Valentine’s Day!
Linking to all of my favorites. Check out the tab at the top of the page, Link Ups.
This week I received a fantastic box of treasures from Island Batik. You may have seen some of the pictures I posted on Instagram last week. When I found out I was selected to be a 2017 Island Batik Ambassador, I had no idea (seriously) of what I was signing up for. I had read about projects that Connie Kresin had shared on Freemotion By the River because she has been an ambassador for a few years. Other than that, no clue. Anyway, when i got the email, I was so excited. A few days later I received a series of documents from our fearless leader, Katie. She works in media relations at Island Batik. I am incredibly impressed both by her clarity and organization as well as the scope of projects that are planned out (already – completely) for the entire year! I feel organized if I have a few blog posts planned out over the next couple of weeks. But to have this structure in place through the end of 2017, that is amazing.
I want to share some of the fabric they sent to me to work with. The company is incredibly generous and asks that we plan some fun giveaways for our readers. This way you have the opportunity to share the wealth so to speak. These rolls are made up of about four 1/8 yard cuts in each.Aren’t they gorgeous?
There is also a selection of 1/2 yard cuts (see below) and two pieces that feel like they are probably two yards each? I haven’t measured them. But they will be great for sashings, borders, bindings and backings.
I love this sweet Valentine bundle of FQs.It is Just what I need to make a little Valentine for myself! I hope to share that with you later this week. The biggest part of being an Ambassador is to promote the newest line at Island Batik. It will release in a few months and they generously shared a large number of 1/2 yard cuts with me. I will share more on that soon. There will be some really nice giveaways coming your way soon.
I hope you will enjoy sharing this quilty adventure with me over the course of the year.
Wasn’t that a wild Super Bowl game yesterday? I think that is what all the cool kids are saying today, so I am joining in. Truth be told, just a few days ago, I had to google who was going to be playing. We are not a football family. Like, not at all. Somehow though, Ray and Julia have developed a tradition of watching the game together. They each pick a team, based on scientific evidence, such as the color of their uniforms or the mascot on their helmet. The fighting begins just as soon as one team has scored. Let’s just say Julia was very cocky for the majority of the game, lording the success of her team over that of her father’s. The tables unexpectedly turned during the dramatic ending of the game. Ray was merciless this morning and will surely fit this into any conversation, as much as possible, over the next few days. As for me, once the nachos were gone, I was in the other room playing on my iPad.
Last night I spent quite a bit of time on-line meeting a new group of quilters. (Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?) Last week I received an email stating I was selected to be one of the ambassadors for Island Batik. Island Batik has been in business since 1997 and is located in Southern California. Their product is made in Bali. I am very impressed by the philosophy held at Island Batik. They diligently strive to enrich the community their employees live in. I can tell from the amount of communication and direction I have received from their Marketing department that this is going to be a good experience. She is so organized, very creative, and responsive. Ask a question and she is back with an answer within an hour or two.
Each year Island Batik accepts applications for their ambassador program. Once they make their selections (of about 30 quilt bloggers), a closed Facebook group is created so we can all work together on Island Batik promotions and blog hops. I felt like it was the first day of school. Would I know anyone? Would I make new friends? But everyone seems so nice and there were several names of bloggers I am very familiar with. I am really looking forward to the arrival of our box of supplies. It should be here this week.
This picture was posted on Facebook the other day – doesn’t that just run a chill down your spine? So much possibility is contained in that cardboard box. You can expect to see some fun projects, blog hops and giveaways as a result of that magical box that is headed my way.
On to other business. The name has been picked for the giveaway of the I Love Precut Quilts book. I used Random Number Generator this time because my amazing name-drawing daughter is at school this morning. Random Number Generator picked number 2!! So, Wendy of Piecefulthoughts.com, it is your lucky day! A copy of the book will be sent off to Wendy soon. Thanks to all who participated in the giveaway. Looks like I am not the only person hoarding charm squares and fat quarter bundles!
Time to go. I have a binding to make – I finished quilting my Knock Knock quilt the other day. I am volunteering in the See’s Candy Shop for Julia’s 4-H group this afternoon. It is pouring rain today which will likely keep the shoppers at home. Since I don’t expect to be terribly busy selling Valentine candy, I want to take some hand sewing with me. Hope to have a finish to share with you later this week.