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.
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.
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.