Monday, July 1, 2019

Dream Catcher....Island Batik Style...

...assignment for June was to try a new technique!! Well how fun that sounds--I love a wide open challenge!!

The 1" Strip Cutter die from AccuQuilt made it super fast to cut a large pile of strips. The fabrics are from Island Batik, when I visited the office in Carlsbad this spring--see here--I was gifted a large stack of color samples that didn't make the final fabric cut--but are still beautiful so I figured this was a perfect place to use them!!!

After doing some research on Pinterest along with a distant knowledge of macrame from the 7th grade, I set out with a plan in my head!!

Since the fabric strips were short, I would have to keep adding additional strips, the thought was to apply some Elmer's glue and then hit the join with the flat iron to quickly dry the glue......

....yeah, that didn't work as expected---so hot glue gun to the rescue!!! It might have been better to just quickly overlap and stitch all the fabric strips together--but my sewing machine was all packed up yet from a class I had went to--and remember the challenge is to Try It!!!

The fabric strips handled being macramed--is that even a word??--very well. Except for the hot glued joins. I would definitely stitch the joins if I try this process again!!

The process was really fun and actually quite a stress reliever from all the secret sewing I have been doing lately!! Thanks to Island Batik and AccuQuilt for products used in this project!!!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Make it Modern in May on Memorial Day Weekend....

...Island Batik assignment for May was to make a modern quilt...the quilt must incorporate one of the characteristics of modern quilts as defined by the Modern Quilt Guild--the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space and alternate grid work. Hobbs batting is our sponor for the month!!

I must admit that this project was on the back burner of my mind this month due to farming and the excitement of going to Spring Quilt Market along with the getting ready to go!!

Do you ever have an idea come to you as you are falling asleep--and then more ideas come in your dreams?? Well that is where this one came from!! I had a crazy idea to make some kind of set of rays using Half Square Triangles (HST). Since I have all the AccuQuilt Qubes, how fun would it be to make each flying geese unit from the largest HST in each Qube. After doing some figuring--using the Qubes, I could made from 6" to 1" HST!! Don't forget to check your Corners Qubes for HST too!! That is where I found the 1" HST.

Such pretty pieces all cut and ready to sew...

...all sewn and ready for pressing. A little trick when making flying geese from HST is to press half of your units to the white and the other half to the colored. That way the seams will nest perfectly when piecing the units together.

As you can see in this photo.

Loving the bold contrast of colors here.

The rays are all complete. Now to ponder their arrangement.

Loaded the quilt on the longarm and decided to do some free flowing ribbons coming off some of the ray points. I know this might not be the most modern take on quilting here--but it is what the quilt told me it wanted!! And when the quilts speak to me, I must listen!! Hobbs 80/20 batting provides such great loft and definition to the quilting.

Honor--definition as a verb--to hold in honor or high respect.
Service--definition as a noun--an act of helpful activity, help, aid.

My father-in-law was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. Serving his country is something that he is very proud of.

Small town love!!!

The cemetary for our town is just 1/2 mile from our home. The VFW puts flags on the head stones.

This tall standing head stone of a WW1 veteran is so weathered that the name is no longer visible. But the act of service to our country will never be forgotten!!

These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor - and a nation who has fought many battles to keep our country free from threats of terror. 
--Michael N. Castle

Friday, April 26, 2019

Island Batik Giggles.....

As part of the Island Batik Ambassador program this year, the Ambassadors were sent an AccuQuilt Ready, Set, GO! package--a super deal if you are looking to get started with this cutting system--it includes a GO! cutter, 8" Mix & Match Qube, 2 1/2" Strip Cutter die and mat along with getting started instructions!! Pull it out of the box and start a new quilting adventure!! The assignment this month is to make a baby quilt featuring the sponsor AccuQuilt.

Since I do a bit of freelance trade sample designing with AccuQuilt, I was given the option to choose any other product as a replacement to the Ready, Set, GO!. You can read about that in my unboxing post HERE.

Let's get started. The first thing I do when getting new dies, is to draw lines 1/4" away from the blade on all sides of the shape. I have seen some use a specific silver sharpie marker for this step--I just use whichever one I pull out of the can first.

It should look like this when finished.

These marked lines will now give me boundries when placeing the fabric over the blades on the die board. On the AccuQuilt site you can find a Fabric Reference Chart HERE that will tell you the size of strip to cut for every die the company has. I highly recommend this reference!!!

Such a happy assortment of colors!!!! I also used the Grey solid from the Foundations line. LOVE this fabric!! Nice tight weave with virtually no fraying with cutting!!

When die cutting applique shapes, it is helpful to place the fusible to the wrong side of the fabric strips before die cutting the shape.

Then is it important to place the fabric on the die board correctly!! Ask me how I know this?!? Place fabric right side down over just the letters needed--remember that the fusible count as a layer--so 3 rectangles per letter max!

All the pieces ready to GO!--lickety split!!

Loaded the quilt top on the long arm....added the 80/20 batting provided to me by Hobbs....

...threaded the long arm with 40wt Aurifil #6724--Moonshine--provided by Aurifil in a previous Ambassador box....

....and quilted lots of happy little loops!! I call this design--One Way Loops--as I try not to change the direction of the loop.

I like to secure applique shapes with what I call--Snapliquilt--because it is a Snap to applique and quilt at the same time!! As I am quilting the background, I will just sneak onto a letter, quilt a squiggly line around the shape 2 or 3 times and then sneak back off the applique and continue quilting the background. Super fast and easy!! Don't you just love the definition of the stitiches with the 40wt Aurifil!!

And such great definition from the batting!! A quilter's dream--to see the pretty stitches!!

And here it is...Giggles with Island Batik!!

Thank you to Island Batik, AccuQuilt, Aurifil and Hobbs for provided the products to make this quilt!!
It will soon be in the mail to a dear friend of the family who just added another little girl to their family!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Planned Improv Baby Bib....Accuquilt project

Aren't these little floating pandas just the cutest thing ever?!?!

You can view and purchase these Dear Stella flannels at Fat Quarter Shop --not affiliated just an enabler!!

I just had to do one more!!!

I forgot to take photos before I sent adorable bibs off to AccuQuilt--so this is captured from their site.
You can find the free pattern I designed and wrote for these adorable bibs HERE on the AccuQuilt site.

They were super fun to design and even easier to sew with the new GO! Bib die!!
I am an AccuQuilt affiliate--you can use the Shop Now button in the sidebar to purchase the dies needed to make these little cuties--GO! 8" Mix & Match Qube #55776, GO! Circles #55864 and the brand new GO! Baby Bib #55864.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Vintage Reimagined.....Island Batik Ambassdor Assignment....

....Vintage Reimagined...."Take something from the past and give it a personal touch that is yours. Inspiration can come from anywhere!" A quote from our assignment the month of March.

My Mom gave me this scrapbook that was found in my paternal Grandmother's things after she passed away. Inside are Kansas City Star newspaper clippings that my paternal Great Grandmother cut out and pasted in the book. Every page has 2 clippings. The page edges are getting brittle, but the binding is still intact. The scrap book lives on a book shelf in my long arm studio. How cool is that--it now lives in a studio with a quilting machine that wasn't even invented when these clippings where so lovingly cut out and saved.

To my knowledge my Grandmother did not quilt---but she could do amazing mending on Grandpa's bib overalls!!! I also don't know of any surviving quilts from my Great Grandmother. I don't even know where my Great Grandmother lived---oh if I didn't have a quilting addiction I would so enjoy doing geneology!!

The clipping dated February 10, 1937 from the scrapbook caught my eye for this month's challenge. Here is what The Kansas City Star says about The Nosegays, "This is an excellent design to try when you desire to make use of odds and ends in your scrap bag. All diamonds and squares may be made of prints. The pattern was contributed by Mrs. Anna A. Threlkeld, Waynesville, Mo." Copywrite 1937.  There are no further instructions than what you see here. The templates do not include a seam allowance--I read that on another clipping. So I guess you just dive in and do it!!

I can say that this Nosegay block has always intriqued me. So much so, that when I designed 72 blocks for the AccuQuilt Angles Qubes in 2017 I had to include an easier but similar looking block. 
The block is called Splendor. 
Squares, half square triangles, kite shape and side triangles all cut with the 10" AccuQuilt Mix & Match Qube and Angles Qube.

Here is an Electric Quilt drawing of the two blocks side by side. The same, but different. Simplified.

A tip when pressing the kite shapes. I like to first set the seam by pressing the unit before opening the seam. Finger press the seam open. Then I lay the unit straight horizontally on the pressing mat so the iron can just simply set down on the seam to press open. 

Long wavy quilting lines seem to be my go-to lately!!

Aurifil Light Orchid #2515 was the perfect blend of pinky purple color!!

The snow has all melted!! Can't wait for the world to start greening up again!!!

“Give of your splendor to everyone.
Like the sun.” 
― Emmanuelle Soni-Dessaigne

Thank you to Island Batik for the fabrics, Aurifil for the piecing and quilting threads, and Hobbs for the batting in this project.