Sunday, April 23, 2017

Bloom Maker


Bloom.
Maker.
A play on words of the fabric collections used in my April assignment--Adventurous Applique--for Island Batik Ambassadors. Blushing Blooms has a gorgeous range of colors in the red-pink-purple ending with orange range. I also used them in Happy Soul last month. Maker is a cool graphic fabric collection from Art Gallery Fabrics--this one is from my personal stash and not supplied by Island Batik. But I so wanted to use it here as the colors were perfect and I wanted to show that mixing contemporary print fabrics with gorgeous batiks can bring about an amazing finished product!!


I started out by sewing 2 1/2" squares together for the petal shapes. I know you are going to ask--Terri--why did you cut apart fabric and sew that same fabric back together??? Well, I didn't want the background to look like just a big plain piece of fabric.


Can you see the slight variations of color in the 2" squares on the right. This happens because the weave of the fabric is turned in different directions when those same colored squares were sewn back together. I know it is just slightly different--and it might not be super noticeable--but it gives just the right amount of color change and visible texture with the seams to give the project life.


Who doesn't love a closeup!!!


Petals all ready to go!!


If you were paying close attention, You would have noticed that I had the table runner all loaded up on my longarm--ready to quilt--but the petals were nowhere to be seen. That is because I wanted to try a new technique--aka too much in a hurry to put fusible web on petals before cutting them out!!!
Elmer's glue stick to the rescue. After gluing the petals in place, I planned the quilting path to include appliqueing them down while quilting. By doing this I never had to break thread--which is a long arm quilter's dream.


The circles were added as my intersections were a bit too messy for my liking--but a happy addition to the finished product!!



 The new growth of spring blooms are starting to appear here in NW Iowa, so I couldn't resist some photographs of them with Bloom Maker.




To end with--here is a quote from Elise de Wolfe...

I'm going to make everything around me beautiful, that will be my life!!!


Point of View thoughts...

This picture of Point of View popped up on my Facebook feed this morning--reminding me that it has been one year since my adventure with AccuQuilt started.
I must admit up front that I find it hard to resist a quilt contest. You know that kid who was always picked last in school yard recess games--well I was the kid that neither captain even wanted on their team--and for good reason--sports just wasn't my thing and I didn't try very hard to improve on that skill. I mean who gets a D in PE?? This is the reason I think  I so enjoy a quilt contest. It is the place were I excel by using my God-given gift of seeing the world through colors and shapes.



For the past 6 years, AccuQuilt has held a Barn Quilt contest. The winning block is turned into a 17 foot sign on the headquarters in Omaha, NE. I had entered almost every year, even having a few honorable mention finishes. So I thought--let's just try again--because if you don't try you can't complain if you don't win!!
My husband and I took an early spring motorcycle ride, the day turned out much windier than we had anticipated for the first ride of the season. The cross winds that changed when we passed by the groves of trees surrounding farm places here in northwest Iowa almost pulled us off the road. We came to a stop sign on a country blacktop and decided to change our route. Upon arriving home, I sat down and designed this block. It just flowed out of my thoughts on the days activity.  The name came from how each person looks at a situation from their own Point of View. If I had not been riding motorcycle on that day I would have thought it was just a regular spring day in Iowa--wind--no big deal. But on the back of a motorcycle wind can be a scary situation.


Eleanor Burns was the guest speaker at the unveiling event. Funny story here!! I started quilting before the days of Internet and YouTube videos. The only learning events available where books and PBS!! Oh how I loved cooking in my kitchen on Saturday mornings and watching the sewing/quilting shows. My children and husband on the other hand, do not have those fond memories. In fact--Quilt In A Day was their least favorite one of the bunch!! How ironic that she is the quilt celebrity at the unveiling event!! If you know my husband at all--you never have to guess what his stand is on anything. He will tell you straight out if something is not to his liking. So as providence would be--we sat right next to Eleanor at the supper event!! He told her the story of our Saturday morning discussions of how my family did not want to watch her show. Eleanor being the gracious and extremely funny lady that she is genuinely listened and laughed! What a great memory for my amazingly supportive husband!!!
In the year since getting the phone dropping call that my block had won the contest, I have found my confidence and creativity boosted to insane levels!!! From designing patterns for AccuQuilt--click to see the patterns and their blog posts of unveiling--to taking the brave leap of submitting ideas to magazines.  Watch for those in coming posts!!
All of this to say--take the leap--just try--use the gifts and abilities given to you by God!!

Come along and enjoy things from my Point of View!!!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Time for a Happy Soul!!

The March challenge to the Ambassadors was to make a Mini--less than 24 x 24 with either regular paper or English paper piecing techniques. I have never tried English Paper Piecing or EPP--but
would like to someday, just not today.

Several years ago my guild, Sioux Prairie Quilt Guild, had a workshop using a Judy Neimeyer pattern. I bought all the supplies, but couldn't attend the workshop. So I ended up finding a tutorial on where else but, Youtube!! I was quite the skeptic, as I had struggled with Paper piecing--PP. But it was like a light bulb went off watching and learning Judy's technique. The process of using the Add A Quarter ruler and an index card to trim off the excess fabric so you have an actual seam allowance to add the next fabric to was the game changer for me. I don't fear PP anymore--I still don't do it all the time--but when the opportunity is there--I go for it--fearlessly!!

So diving into this assignment--I put one of my favorite oils in my diffuser--love this smell!!
Made myself a cup of tea--Pomegranate Green Tea--and set about designing. The fabrics in Island Batik's Blushing Blooms were too pretty to pass up--so into the pattern they went.


Using 4" pieces of various strips from the collection I was able to quickly put this feather together.



I love how pretty the pieces look after trimming!!!!
Aren't they just sooo pretty?!?! Can you tell I am wishing for the colors of spring and summer?? We still have snow on the ground here in NW Iowa--but it might be melting this weekend--let's all pray for that to happen!!
Then since I wanted to make this project do more than one job--I used the prompt from Project Quilting. I have been following the project this year, but never participated until this week!!
The idea is to make a quilt in a week from the prompt--this week's prompt--Time is Up!!
I went with the "time" theme by finding a quote a wanted to hang in the desk area of my sewing room--something happy and cheerful. This little 9 x 17 mini just fits!!
The FREE instruction and pattern sheets for this happy little mini can be found on my Craftsy site.

What makes your soul happy?? Find it! Do it!!








Friday, February 24, 2017

Fire Hydrant Quilt Block and Kennel Quilts


There were 2 items on the Island Batik Ambassador list for the month of February. The Galentine's Day post here. And the opportunity to make and donate small kennel quilts to pet shelters that are affected by natural disasters. Find more information on the partnership with Island Batik and The Quilt Pattern Magazine here.


Just for the cuteness!!! This is Maya--my son's hunting dog and my daughter-in-love's tv watching partner!! Who knows what she is thinking here!!!

When I think of dogs--fire hydrants come to mind--and then the creativity kicked in. So I drew up a hydrant in the 12" x 18" size that is required for the Kennel Quilt. Then using 2 1/2" strips of Island Batik fabrics pieced together the cutest little quilt. Along with 2 other ones, ready to be sent of to a shelter in need.



 I have written the instructions for making your own Fire Hydrant Quilt Block  or on my Craftsy store. I think they would be cute in all sorts of fun colors or scrappy reds and yellows for the Fireman in your life.



Monday, February 13, 2017

Using Silhouette to cut Island Batik fabric applique for Galentine's Day

Galentine's Day--yeah not a typo, but apparently a made up holiday for the day before Valentine's Day to share some love with your BFF's or any other women in your life....so going with that theme, I have a few gals in my life that are going through some serious health struggles. They were on my mind and in my prayers as I made these little mug rug type quilts for them.
Isn't this just a great palate of colors to work with--the apple one was too cute to cut up this time but keep an eye out for it in future projects!!
I have had my Silhouette digital cutting machine for a couple years and while I have used it for many paper crafting projects, I had never tried to cut out my applique pieces with it...until today. I drew up a couple arrows and some hearts in the machine's software, applied Steam a Seam 2 to the back of my fabric pieces and sent it through the machine with the suggested settings.

And then this happened!! The fabric pieces stayed on my mat nicely..but it didn't cut through the fusible. It took some tugging to get the heart out--and since the arrows where much thinner and more fragile, I had to rethink my approach.
So I tried again...this time with Heat and Bond Lite. And look at the wonderfully cut applique pieces!! Oh wow, a whole new world has just opened up to me!!! If you are interested, the settings I used to achieve these results are:
Blade setting of 6
Speed setting of 2
Thickness setting of 33
As a side note--my blade is pretty old and getting dull, so I probably should have put a new one in..but I like to live life on the edge and just went for it!!
Next, I cut 2--5" squares from these fabrics, making this a charm pack friendly project!! Sew them together to make a four patch. Make sure to "spin" the seam allowances on the back, making for less bulk.
After applying the applique pieces according to manufactures instructions, I layered the batting and backing pieces and took it to my sewing machine. I have recently added a Bernina sewing machine with the BSR attachment to my workspace. I have not played with it much, but when I do, it is super fun and so easy to do small intricate quilting. I like to applique down my pieces with a doodle type quilting design. Going around the designs twice for a sketchy doodly look!! Since the applique arrows were quite narrow, I used a 60 wt Bottom Line thread by Superior for the sketching.
Add the binding to the back and bring it around the front to topstitch down.
And there you have it!! Two gifts of love and prayers to be sent to a couple friends in need. I plan to write an encouraging note and a scripture passage on the back of each before I send them off.

Thank you so much to Island Batik for jump-starting me into creative gifts of love again!!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

New Adventure....Island Batik Ambassador--2017!


So what exactly is Terri doing now you may ask?!? I am going to be an ambassador for the fabric company Island Batik. The company has been in business for 14 years, delivering quality handmade wax resist batik fabrics made in Bali, Indonesia by skilled artisans to independent quilt shops across the United States.
The company launches new seasonal lines twice a year. Each launch corresponding with International Quilt Market that occurs in May and October. Even though the fabrics are ordered by the quilt shops in May and October, they are not delivered to the stores until August/July and January/February. This is because each fabric ordered is made to order!! How cool is that?!
A group of 35 Ambassadors, including me!! Will receive a box of fabric and thread twice a year. In this box is a collection of current fabrics and new--soon to be released fabrics!! Along with gorgeous coordinating threads from Aurifil and Superior. It truely is a 13 pound box of quilty goodness!!
My box arrived this past week. Each Ambassador's box is hand selected according to the tastes and prefferences that were chosen. Although these fabrics have such rich vibrant color that even if I said to "surprise me" everything in the box would be great to work with.
 The bit of blurred out fabric will be showing up later in some super special sewing project!!
We are given a list of events for the year with a special required project every month. The project is to be made with the fabrics from the box and then shared with you all in a blog post, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or any other social media account.
This tower of 5" width of fabric strips are great for stash building, especially for applique projects. Two times a year there will be a Island Batik sponsored Blog Hop, where new fabric collections will be revealed and projects made with those fabrics will be showcased on all the Ambassador's blogs. Watch for some fabric giveaways during these hops!!!
So I hope you will join me on the amazing journey this year!! I can't wait to share all the colors and amazing new projects with you!!!