Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Galentine's Day is February 13th!


 Here is my Galentine's Mug Rug.  
For the Island Batik Ambassadors, we were given our first assignment - make a mug rug or postcard for one of your Gal Pals to celebrate Galentine's Day. The fabric for this challenge was provided by Island Batik. A little explanation below and you'll get the gist of what this day is about if you never heard of it (I hadn't before this).

If you’re not familiar with Galentine’s Day, it is a holiday created by the fictional character Leslie Knope from the TV show, “Parks and Recreation”, watch this video. As Leslie explains, Galentine’s Day is a celebration of our best gal pals and lady friends, and it’s the day before Valentine’s Day. Why shouldn’t we celebrate our fellow females who encourage and inspire us???

So what to do.  I decided, for a variety of reasons to do something very simple.  In fact so simple that the I forgot to take pictures as I was going along.  I had many elaborate plans in my head, but as schedules collided I decide that KISS - Keep it simple stupid - would prevail.  Squares and half square triangles and I would be there.  So I worked it up in EQ8 and off I went.

The Galentine's bundle I received from Island Batik is shown and I used each piece. 
Here's the formula for this little quilt if you'd like to make it.

Background Pink Dots 6 - 2 1/2” squares 4 - 3 1/4” squares
Heart center  red fern 2- 2 1/2” squares

Pink/Red swirls 2- 2 1/2” squares

Heart Outside Red sunflower 2- 2 1/2” squares 4 - 3 1/4” squares
Backing Beige butterfly 1 - 9x13” rectangle

Binding Pink/Red swirls 2 1/2” strip 50” long 50” long

Brief instructions:

  1. Place the light pint and dark red squares together.
  2. Mark the 3 1/4" light pink squares with a center line, and 1/4" on each side of that line. 
  3. Sew, and cut apart.  Press to dark side. TRIM to 2 1/2".
  4. Lay out all the squares and the half square triangles according to the picture above.
  5. Sew together (I usually pin to be sure I don't sew on the wrong side of the pieces).
  6. Sandwich.
  7. Quilt as desired.

I simply quilted the outline of the heart in a matching pink thread (Mettler 50wt. #803) and the interior of the heart with some free motion hearts (Mettler 50 wt, #960).  I thought it could use a little more so I just drew the little hearts in the bottom corners.  Yes, it was a close call with the one thread (but I did have another spool in case).

My label was attached, then the binding.  The label is from Tagtopia - and is a great way to get that done nice and quickly.  I sometimes do more extensive labels - you can see it in my tutorial.    I did use Aurifil #2600 for piecing and for the bobbin thread while quilting.  The threads played nicely and didn't need any tension adjustment on my Janome 3160 QDC (the machine in Maine).

Imagined, sewed, quilted, labelled, bound and off it goes!  I kept it simple and did my first project as an Island Batik Ambassador.  I hope my friend loves and enjoys it as much as I did!

Linking to:  Linky Tuesday    
                  Main Crush Monday 
                  Let's Bee Social
                 Wednesday Wait Loss

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Island Batik Ambassador Box Arrived!

Opening the Box

In early January, I heard that I was going to be an Island Batik Ambassador for 2018.  The neatest thing about this gig happens 2 times in 2018 - a huge box of Island Batik Fabrics and some items from their affiliates, Aurifil and Hobbs Batting.  All the items that are featured in this post, were given to me by Island Batik and their affiliates - Hobbs and Aurifil.

Let the fun begin!
Surprise Bundle - Fabric Not Yet In Stores
Ok - this is a "pre-production bundle" you can't see until it is released to the public.  Nor can I use it until then either.  Funny, it was so excited to show me what colors were in there, that it busted out of its wrapping en route to me.

Aurifil Thread and Catalog

I love Aurifil thread and this grouping is terrific.  That spool of white will easily get whittled down as the year goes on!   The 50 wt threads are the ones with the orange spool - used for piecing or quilting.  The green ones, are 40 wt - used mostly for machine quilting or embroidery where you want the stitches to go.  They really go with some of the fabrics in the bundle.  Also included were some catalogs which further explain their lines of thread and their uses.  Let me know if you'd like one, happy to share the wealth!

Hobbs Heirloom Cotton Batting, Thermore and Catalog

The next couple of items are from Hobbs - a company that makes a whole lot of batting.  I have used the thermore for a quilt and will post something about that when I use it.  It is helpful in projects where you want less bulk - clothing, folded quilting, etc.  You'll see what I mean soon!  I am anxious to use the Cotton blend (80 cotton/20 poly) as it has been some time since I have used this brand of batting. 

A sh*tload of fabric!!
This is a lot of fabric!  I'll go through most of them individually but wanted to point out the gorgeous  3 yards of Rice - a great neutral that will make many appearances in later blogs/quilts.

Galentines bundle
This will be the first group put to work.   It is for Galentine's Day - February 13th (more about what this means on Tuesday).  In fact, as soon as I finish this blog, that is what I am doing - making a mug rug for a girlfriend!  Two lights, two mediums and two darks - should be able to do something fun!

5" WOF Stash builders in a variety of pallettes

These 5" WOF strips (width of fabric +/- 44 inches) are called stash builders and have a variety of sympathetic fabrics in a roll and are great for filling in!

The gorgeous Alpine Ice Collection

The Alpine Ice collection is a great set of winter blues and creams and greys.  Can't wait to get into this bundle of fat eighths - it really is one of my favorite colorways.  It also has 1.5 yards of a coordinating fabric to help you along.

Mountain Majesty Jelly Roll and Coordinating Yardage
This group - Mountain's Majesty is out of this world with so many luscious greens, purples, and creams!It has a jelly roll strip set along with a 1.5 yards each of light and dark coordinating fabrics.  I have a plan, so if this fits, it would be one stellar quilt.

Rayon scarf and fabric!
And RAYON fabric - what fun.  There is 2 yards of the pink fabric and the other package is a rayon scarf.  Maybe a pink blouse is in my future or who knows?  I wore the scarf to church this morning and have it on as I am writing this blog.  It is a beauty!

Foundtions Bundle
The foundations bundle is a group of some of the basic blenders and other fabrics that Island Batik produces.  Like the stash builders, they will help fill in the blanks. 

All the loot!!!
Finally, a picture of the entire group all together.  It was funny, I reboxed it this morning as I was leaving for our "reverse weekend" to Maine and every time I turned around I found another bundle.  Don't worry, my Galentine's fabric and a few others are on the trip and will get converted into a swell project tomorrow!!

I am so grateful to Island Batiks - for the opportunity, the great fabric, and the commradery of a group of quilters who will have fun rising to the monthly challenge.  Island Batik is a great company, founded in 1997 with an important philosophy - being a part of the community.  Here is an excerpt from their blog on what they try to do:
The philosophy of Island Batik has always been to ensure the success, enrichment and development of the community to which it belongs. This is accomplished is by offering computer skills training, donating to neighborhood functions and village ceremonies as well as sponsoring the Island Batik community volleyball team. These efforts result in a constant uplifting of the people who partner with Island Batik in production. Because of the large group of artisans and workers employment many people have been able to buy land build new homes, send children to school and college as well as improve the community environment for the benefit of all.
Please visit their website and find out more about them and their wonderful fabrics.

Sewing time this week:  Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.  Wish me luck and if all goes well, you will see something on Tuesday!!!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

OMG for February and other activities!

One Monthly Goal:  Fancy Forrest #2
This quilt needs only some quilting and some binding, I think, as it has been awhile since I looked at it.  I was thinking it might be the loon, but as our time in Maine is less this month, due to work obligations, I am committing to getting this one done.  I made another version two years ago (you can read about it here).  I had quite a bit of fabric left, almost enough to make this one, and decided to do the thistles with purple and the lightning bug with a yellow bum.  I love this quilt and think I know who might be getting it! 

This quilt is nearly done.  HA HA.  I always say this when it looks like this.  Really, it just needs a little border, some sandwiching and quilting and binding.  I am keeping up with the group so far, let's see if backing and sandwiching can happen this week!  This quilt will go to our guild's benefit quilt group.  First benefit quilt of the year (for me)!

Well, my internet friend Sandra is egging me on again.  I am doing this at my pace, don't think I'll get 30 but I do think it will help me get my design mojo going.  I used Quiltology on my Ipad and it  took nearly no time to do it.  I am intrigued by the uploading of fabric and the quick way this worked.  I may draw some too or use EQ8, but for now I at least have one done.  Mostly the reason I want to do this is the next story.....

Yes, I am an Island Batik Ambassador for 2018.  

On Monday 22 lbs of fabric was shipped to me! Friday it is supposed to be delivered.   I get to work on projects for and with about 40 other ambassadors from all over this country and a few international quilters.  I have always wanted to design quilts and so, I will try to do a few for the bigger challenges...a lot of things coming together at once.  First up is Galentine's Day, February 13 and MiniLove during this month, too.  Keep your eyes open!!!

And one more thing.  I am looking at increasing my machine quilting skills and noticed a lot of classes are on sale at Craftsy (affiliate link - I make a little money if you sign up).  Browse along with me; some of Angela Walters classes are really calling my name!

Linking up with:  One Monthly Goal

Sewing time this week:
Wednesday afternoon/evening
Thursday afternoon/evening
Friday morning
Saturday afternoon

Sunday, February 4, 2018

#365DaysOfArtPBQChallenge, Week 5, #29-35

 Day 29:  Explore colors that look good together
Well this was right up my alley.  Love this exercise and could do pages and pages of it.  

Day 30:  Add details to the flowers, use cut out pieces if you like or other material.  
Didn't love this one, and didn't feel like getting other types of material. I think I felt limited by the already drawn flowers.

 Day 31:  Draw your desk or table, any materials.....the table, whats on top, etc.
I kind of enjoyed this one.  My ironing board with a quilt that was on it and its new ironing cover.  Not actually orange and green but I didn't have a good way to depict the white and beige cover.

 Day 21:  Add foliage to the rest of the trees
 (leaves, abstract shapes to suggest form of tree)
Some of my trees were more successful than others, some were more fun to draw than others.
Not patient enough to draw a lot of leaves that night.

 Day 33:  Draw a page of stars in any style you like
Liked doing the stars.  Loved the funky orange one in the center of the page.

 Day 34:  Continue practicing calligraphy by using the page to explore mark making.
I am using a paint brush marker for these, not the best.  I do know how to do calligraphy, so I should get a few markers to do a little.

Day 35:  Complete the pattern
This was fun, although free hand circles are not my thing but I loved this one.  

You can expect a few other blogs from me this week: One Monthly Goal, Opening of the My First Island Batik box, and a Squiggle update!  

Linking up with #365DaysOfArtPBQChallenge

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

OMG January Finish - My Funky Pine Trees

"My Funky Pine Trees" table runner is done.  I am glad as it has been a UFO for quite some time.  This was both my One Monthly Goal and one of my UFOs for my APQResolution.  I have to confess, some of those fabrics have been favorites of mine for a long time.  I loved using them again, and for many of them, it is their last appearance.

I heard Beth Helfter at Rising Star Quilters Guild many moons ago.  I bought the pattern, I did a little and then I got stuck.  I don't think the style is really me; that was what made it hard.  I like it done a whole lot more than I liked it half way done.  Trying new things, learning new techniques, new approaches is something I like to do.   I have never put jewels on a quilt before, but I rather like it.  I did it the simple way with Swarovski flatback crystals, like these and an embellishing glue.  I used my tweezers to place them.  Worked rather well, if I may say so.

Here are its stats:
My Funky Christmas Trees
17" x 42"
Batting:  Quilter's Dream Request
Machine Applique Thread:  YLI Machine Quilting 50 wt, #12V Jewel
Pieced and quilted by:  Kathleen Scargle McCormick

Linking up with:  
Elm Street Quilts -  One Monthly Goal
Sew Fresh Quilts - Let's Bee Social

Squiggling along

This pile is being transformed on a weekly basis.  I am making a Squiggles quilt following along with Christa Watson.  Its not too late to get in on the fun, especially if you have the right precuts hanging around.   I won this grouping of fabrics a few months ago and it seemed to work quite well with this pattern.  So, week 1 goal was met. These fabrics are all cut.  I used my new Sizzix to cut the squares and half square triangles.  

Here's the pile of half trimmed and half not trimmed blocks.   I think I have about 132 blocks and will make a 10x13 quilt.  I was a little short of what the pattern calls for, but decided to go ahead.  I could add a little grey border if I wanted it a little bigger.  Honestly, I found the precut to be pretty helpful, but there are always still some inaccuracies.  As you can see the triangles have the dog ears trimmed, so I didn't have to draw the line.  I trimmed with my scissors. Week 2 -  make the blocks - is complete. 

Week 3 is assembling the quilt and by the end of today I hope to be making some progress on that. Last night I started laying it out and today I finished (vinyl tablecloths can be carefully folded and most pieces stay in place on the flannel back.  This afternoon I finish laying it all out on the bed - carefully marked the rows and put in little piles.  

I am taking some time matching things up.  It is almost all working out!  The first two rows I redid most of the join.  It was just off too much.  I.AM.PINNING.  It is much easier to keep it lined up.  Sometimes, I just use my fingers, but today it went better with pins.  Who is to second guess why some days it works and some it doesn't?

Holding my breath as I have 9 more rows to go.

I am quilting along with a few internet friends, check them out at:
Jan at Cocoa Quilts.

Linking up with: Inquiring Quilters Wait Loss Wednesdays

Sunday, January 28, 2018

#365DaysOfArtPBQChallenge Week 4, Exercises 22-28

Day 27:  Continue creating patterns.  Use warm colors.  
This was my favorite this week.  Warm colors are not my preference, so it was fun to color in therm.  I think I should have used flairs to get more color, but still I had fun.

Day 22 - what made you smile today?  A hawk made me smile.  My photo of this bird wasn't great either but this is a pretty sill sketch of a bird!   S/he was right outside my window and just captivated my attention for quite some time.  I am looking for a repeat visit but not yet....

Day 24:  Color in the stripes.  I just colored and had fun.  And yes, this is closer to my normal palette.

Day 23:  Fill the page with colored dots.  I did - easy and fun.

 Day26:  Add your own scene.  Well I went with a campground kind of feel, with forest across on the other side.  I loved drawing the trees.  Hated the campground - but I don't really like to camp so maybe it came through in the coloring!

Day 25:  Fill the squares with different marks.  This felt like quilt as desired so I had fun, but a few were not as successful - but you get the idea. 

Day 28: Design some T-shirts.    Long ago and faraway I wanted to design clothes.  Good thing I didn't! They aren't bad, but they would not have made me a lot of money.

Linking up with: Sherry at Powered by Quilting