Sunday, February 24, 2019

Another round with Island Batik!!

Super excited to be selected as an Island Batik Ambassador for 2019!!! This box--all 42 pounds of it arrived at my door the middle of January!! So yes I am a bit late in posting the "unboxing".

On the day set up for the "unboxing" posts to happen--I was in Carlsbad, California at the actual Island Batik home office!!

Caleb Willis, pictured here with me, gave my husband and I a personal tour of the facilities. OH WOW that was super super cool! So glad that my husband was along as he asked the best questions!! And Caleb graciously answered all of them!! I was enjoying myself so much that I forgot to take any other photos!! The place is meticulously organized. Rainbows of colors line the towering shelves holding the bolts of fabrics. Oh the quilts waiting to be made in that warehouse!!

From the Island Batik home office--Quilt in a Day is just a short 10 minute drive--so the first day of our winter get-away in California became a quilt shop hopping day!! Eleanor Burns pulled into her special parking spot just as we were walking up and she suggeted a quick photo op!! Too cool!

I have to admit that I did open the box before we left--but just now took the time to photograph all the lovely for you to view!! Lovely threads from Aurifil they are a sponsor again. Watch for a Thread Play challenge later this year. many pretty colors!! The purple/blue piece is a 2 yard cut of rayon--I am thinking that some kind of kimono might be in my future sewing plans.

The much loved Twilight Chic line for Deb Tucker!!! Might have to try using one of her rulers for a project with these!!

You have to wait until August to see what was in these packages--but I can tell you this--the colors will electrify you!!!

All these amazing battings were supplied by Hobbs!! In all the years I have been quilting, I have never tried black batting. Now I can!!

AccuQuilt is a new sponsor to the Ambassador program this year! Super cool!! I do some freelance designing with them, so I was given the opportunity to choose which dies I would like sent as part of the Ambassador program. I went with the newest Qube Companion sets--for a 10 inch 4-grid block. Most of the other ambassdors were sent the Ready, Set, Go--a great beginner package!!

I just had to add this photo of the Qube jackets. Eleanor Burns again!! The brightly colored sampler quilt at the bottom of each photo was made by me and uses some of the 72 Angles  and 24 Corners blocks that I designed for the Qubes. Way cool!!

I will leave you with this beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean from our last night in California!

Check out the link HERE for all 50 other Ambassadors for 2019!! So many great ideas coming your way this year!!!

Floaters.....miniature quilt...

Super excited to be an Island Batik Ambassador again for 2019!! Let the monthly challenges begin.
February the challenge is to make a miniature quilt less than 24" x 24".

This was the state of my sewing studio before I started--not even a speck of clean space to work!! some breathing room...let the creating begin!! I find it hard to start a new project in a messy studio--although I have no problem making a mess while creating and sometimes find inspiration in the surrounding pieces of previous projects. So a never ending cycle!!

I had a general concept--concept being the key word--when I started. A soft neutralish pieced background, with a "pixelated" circle applique on top. This quilt is going to do some double dipping--Island Batik assignment and Project Quilting 10.4 pixelated challenge of the week.

I like to think outside the box--or Qube--when designing quilts using AccuQuilt dies. The bow tie
dies included in the Corners Qubes. I am using dies from the 6 inch Qube.

Just look at those tiny pieces!!! The half square triangles have a finished size of 3/4 inch!! The pretty multi-colored fabric is called Moonstone. The triangles were cut from one width of fabric. Look at all the variety of colors in just one strip!!

Fabric closeup time!! Love the swirling dots on that neutral. This one is called Almond--a little gray dot swirl with mostly white background and a little bit of light purple/pink mottle.

Background all pieced together--12" x 12"!! Each sqaure finishes at 1 1/2".  Quarter there for reference. Photoshop overcorrected the colors in this photo--as they are a bit too bright.

Now to add the pixels!! I used the circle dies #55484 and #55155--but wanted to remind you to look at all your dies for multipurpose use. The circles included on the dies to the left could have worked also. Use what you have and think creatively!!

Making a mess and changing my mind more than once!! Lite Steam a Seam 2 is the fusible I chose most. The sticky back lets the shape stay put or be moved around before applying heat for a more permanent fuse.

Now to get to the inspiration for this quilt. A picture of my Dad and I at 6 months old. Sad to say that I never lost that precious double chin--LOL.

My Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease when he was only 42. Quite the shock to a hard working self employed farmer and his family.

He fought bravely for 25 years. He passed away 13 years ago--seems like yesterday and a million years all at the same time.

A side effect from one medication needed to help control his tremors would give him "floaters". He would "see" dragonflys floating in his periphial vision for a short while after taking the medication. They would leave after a bit and not come back until he took the medication again. This has prompted my Mom to collect dragonflys over the years.

So I give you Floaters....a memory remade with fabric. Thank you to Island Batik for the amazing fabrics, Aurifil thread for piecing and quilting, and Kim Lapaceke for the Pixel Challenge.

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.” 
― Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Story Girl

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Wooly Totebag Challenge....

...if you know me at know that I can't resist any challenge related to or using design and fabric of any sort!!!

So last Fall when I the Moda Wooly Tote Bag Challenge was issued...I jumped on the wagon....ordered the kit from Fox Cities Quilt Co.....put the kit on the shelf....

...and didn't think about it again until very early one morning after loading hogs. The thought popped into my head---"what if"--a very dangerous thought!!! What if I turn a quilt block design into what I put on the front of the tote bag!! Finally I had a plan---three days before the deadline!!

I pulled a selection of upcycled wools from my stash plus a charm pack of hand dyed wools from Primative Gatherings. Plan starting to come together.

The block pieces were cut out using the line drawing of the block printed from Electric Quilt.

...and stitched down with matching Aurifil threads.

I was a little concerned about stitching through the thick tote bag wool from the kit...but not to fear!!! My Bernina stitched a triple straight stitch perfectly through the layers. I decided to live on the edge and not back the block pieces with any fusible--just placed them down and went for it!! Worked great.

The more I looked at the quilt block design--the more the heart didn't feel right to me. The block was seeming to tell me that it wanted some flowers in it's corners!!
AccuQuilt Circle die #55484 to the rescue!!! Using two layers of wool, I had many adorable 1" circles cut in not time!!

Aurifil thread again....and seven 1" tiny perfectly cut circles....

...fold and pinch wool circle in half....push onto a threaded needle with knot at end of thread...

....keep adding wool circles to needle...

...pull circles to end of thread....

...gather circles....arrange into flower shape...push needle and thread through the back a few times to secure!! There you have adorable little seven petaled flower. Keeping the thread attached to the flower, I simply handstitched the flower in place on the totebag in groups of three on each corner of the block.

What a great afternoon of creating I had doing this challenge!! Finished just in time to enter!!

Imagine my delight upon receiving an email it was selected as one of the finalists that needed to be sent to Moda for another judging!!! Super cool!!! Like I always say...some one has to win!!

Well today this box came in the mail.... it isn't one of the final 5 that will be showcased at Quilt Con next week....

....but it did come home with some great consolation prizes!!!!!

Thank you to Moda and Wooly Felted Wonders for such a fun contest. Can't wait to use the tote bag when the weather gets warmer and maybe some spring flowers are up!!

Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
--George S. Patton

What interests me in life is curiosity, challenges, the good fight with its victories and defeats. 
--Paulo Coelho