Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Tropical Bargello Placemats and Table Runner


January is the Placemat Challenge for Island Batik Ambassadors!

The weather has been so gloomy here lately, cloudy and rainy for weeks. I decided to use what was left of my Island Batik Tropicana Twist fabric line designed by Kathy Engle to create something bright and fun.  Tropicana Twist arrived in quilt shops in December, so you should still be able to get your hands on some.

I started out with 12 prints and put them in color order.  I cut 1.75 inch strips from each print.

Then I sewed the strips together.
As I was sewing them together, I swapped the wavy light blue around. It seemed to fit better this way.

Once the all the strips were together I sewed the first and last strip together to create a tube, then I cut strips at different widths.  As I was laying out the strips, I realized this was going to be a little taller than I wanted for a placement and I also realized I didn't have enough of the oranges to make a fourth placemat.  I had enough of a strip tube left to cut a few more strips, but not enough for a fourth placement.  I decided I would use what was left of the last strip tube and turn this one into a table runner.

Then I got busy picking out more fabrics and cutting more strips.  This time I measured all the lengths of each cut I would need and added them all up.  This let me know I would need three strip tubes to make four placemats.  This time I used 9 fabrics and cut the strips at 2 inches so I needed to make sure I had six inches of each fabric to make three tubes.  When the tube was sewn together I cut my different sized rows.

I was laying the rows out four at a time on top of each other.

When I got everything in the right order it was time to finish cutting open the tubes at the right spot.  
Once I got started, I just followed the flow of the row before it, it was super easy.

I put all four on the long arm at the same time.  

I quilted them using a bright yellow Aurifil thread #2120.

I used a strip of left over Hobbs Heirloom Premium Batting.
The Hobbs website is full of batting information.  Check out their page on their Heirloom batting and read which one is best for your project.  The Heirloom batting made my placemats flat in the close quilting and fluffy in the feathers where there was more space.  I love how it turned out.

And of course I love my Schmetz Needles,  I have been sewing with them for years.  Their Sharp Microtex needles helped me quilt through these layers in no time.

I used the half yard Island Batik Foundations fabric I received in my boxes for the back of the placements.  A half yard cut was the perfect size for two placemats.
I used Pistachio and Large Netting - Lemongrass

Everything together.

I had fun quilting the feathers on these.  I realized I am better at going up with feathers than going down.  My brain has to think harder to get them right when I got the opposite direction.  

The table runner measures approximately 16 x 60 inches.

The placemats measure approximately 14 x 19 inches.

I designed my rows for the placements and the table runner in EQ8.
If you want to make some placemats of your own like these, you can see my measurements in the PDF below.

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Quilting.


Friday, January 22, 2021

Island Batik Ambassador for 2021

 I am excited to announce that I will be an Island Batik Ambassador again for 2021.

They already sent a few boxes of supplies to get started on this year's challenges, check out the video below to see what I get to work with during the first half of the year.

A big thank you Island Batik and to their industry partners:  Schemtz Needles, Hobbs Batting, Aurifil Thread, and Accuquilt!

Below are all the Ambassadors for 2021.  Stop by their sites and see what they get to play with!

Megan Best ~
Pamela Boatright ~
Elizabeth DeCroos ~
Epida Studio
Jennifer Eubank ~ Archipelago Quilting
Jennifer Fulton ~
Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts
Joanne Hart ~
Mania Hatziioannidi ~
Emily Leachman ~
Denise Looney ~
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Maryellen McAuliffe ~
Claudia Porter ~
Gail Renna ~
Brianna Roberts ~
Michelle Roberts ~
Gail Sheppard ~
Andi Stanfield ~
Jennifer Thomas ~
Janet Yamamoto ~

You can also see them on the Island Batik website HERE.
Make sure to check out some of their fabric while you are stopping by.


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Island Batik Medallion Quilt - Holiday in the Woods


When I first read the theme for the December Island Batik Ambassador Challenge,  I knew I wanted to make a a huge Christmas quilt.  I got started on it right away because I wanted to have time to finish it before December ended.  

I was doing great,  I had the pattern created in the first couple days, started making all the blocks and had the top ready to go a week before Christmas.  

I started quilting it with the intention to show it off on Christmas Day and then Corona hit.  Bleh. I was down for the count for 15 days,  couldn't even stand up at the quilt machine.  But I am finally feeling better and now it is time to show of my December challenge quilt.  I call it Holiday in the Woods.

This was my center block.  Everything revolves around the evening star.

I had a lot of fun pulling different reds and greens to create all the different blocks.

I used several different fabrics from different Island Batik lines and fabrics from the foundations collections.

The Season Splendor line by Kathy Engle that hit stores in May had lots of greens and reds that fit perfect.

For the background I used Island Batik White fabric.

I pulled a scrap out of my personal Island batik collection for the roof of the houses.

I used a bit of green from the American Frontier Collection as well.

The yellows were also from the scrap bin.

Pinwheels, candy, and Stars all ready to be put in rows.

I used EQ 8 to get my rows the perfect size to fit each block.  I started with one center block and kept adding pieced borders to get the look I wanted.

Everything was sewn together using Schemtz needles.  Even the quilting was done with Schmetz.  That's what I love about my Bernina longarm. I can put what ever needle I want in there.

I quilted most of the quilt with White Aurifil Thread #2021.

I also used some Aurifil Yellow # 2120...

And Aufifil Red #2260.  

This quilt is huge just like I wanted,  it measures approximately 84 x 84 inches.

I needed two quilt holders to hold this beauty up.

I am also happy to announce I will be an Island Batik Ambassador again for 2021.   Stay tuned to see what fun Island Batik projects I will be creating this year.


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Inspired by Nature Island Batik Blog Hop - Tropicana Twist

For the past few weeks Island Batik Ambassadors have been showing off their nature inspired creations using the new fabric lines coming out from Island Batik

I got to play with Tropicana Twist designed by Kathy Engle.
 These beauties should be hitting your shops in December.

This fabric line reminded me of big bright flowers and tropical beaches. I could see yellow and orange tropical flowers with an array of green leaves, and of course the blues of the ocean. 

It is bright and colorful, right up my alley.

My design started out with a simple drawing with a lot of two and half inch strips. 

But as I played around with layout designs in EQ8 I finally settled on this one. 

 My kids said it looks like a background you would see in Bikini Bottom, the home of SpongeBob Square Pants. 

The flowers were paper pieced. Same for the small leaves, well if you want to call them leaves. 

When I sketched it out it looked like a leaf, but when I sewed it up it looked more like an asterisk. Either way I was already committed so I sewed up 26 of those little asterisk leaves. 

I was taking my time in the beginning of the month paper piecing everything, enjoying the process, and watching the flowers and leaves develop one piece at a time. 

But, the the end of the month was coming closer and I still had a lot of little leaves and a few more flowers to sew.  I timed myself and it took me 20 minutes to sew just one small leaf.

It was definitely time to start chain piecing. I took some time to cut out all the pieces I needed and put them in order to sew. I sewed all of piece one and then moved on to the next numbered piece. It actually shaved off lots time this way. When I chained pieced 14 leaves at once it only took 3 hours. I saved myself about an hour and a half.

As I was sewing them, I realized how practical it was for Henry Ford to come up with the assembly line for production. Sew a piece on all 14, iron all 14, prep for the next piece on all 14, sew the next piece.... Repeat. I didn't realize how much time is used picking up and putting down the rotary cutter each time for each individual piece. If you keep the rotary cutter in your had and cut all 14 at once, you have saved time, and when you are trying to beat the clock, every second counts. 

I quilted an all over flower swirl design using a nice bright yellow Aurifil Thread number 2120 - Canary Yellow.

And of course I used some Hobbs Natural Cotton Batting.  It is some good stuff.

And I don't get far without my Schmetz Needles.  They are my go to needle for everything.  I am still using the microtex needles for these Island Batik projects. They stitch up batiks super nice.

This is a fun quilt lap size quilt.  It measures 48 x 56.

Make sure to visit Vasudha Govindan of Storied Quilts.
 Today she is also showing off her creation using the Tropicana Twist Fabric Line.

And stop by the Island Batik blog for a chance to win these fabulous Island Batik Bundles.

And if you missed any days, make sure to go back and see all the wonderful creations made by my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors as they were inspired by nature with these fabulous fabric collections.

November 9:
Jennifer Fulton, Inquiring Quilter

November 10:
Carolina Asmussen, Carolina Asmussen Designs
Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese

November 11:
Janet Yamamoto, Whispers of Yore
Alison Vermilya, Little Bunny Quilts

November 12:
Megan Best, Bestquilter
Jennifer Strauser, Dizzy Quilter

November 16:
Joanne Hart, Unicornharts
Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine
Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations

November 17:
Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail
Mania Hatziioannidi, Mania for Quilts

November 18:
Sharon Riley, Sew Riley Designs
Sandra Walker, mmm! quilts

November 19:
Carol Moellers, Carol Moellers Designs
Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood

November 23:
Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs
Suzy Webster, Websterquilt

November 24:
Pamela Boatright, PamelaQuilts
Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde

November 25:
Vasudha Govindan, Storied Quilts
Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights

November 26: