Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Fancy Forrest Deux - OMG February Finish

I love this quilt!  It is the second time I made it, using many of the same fabrics from the first but a few changes.  The pattern is Fancy Forrest by Elizabeth Hartman and I just couldn't help myself.  I changed a few things.  I wanted my thistles to be purple and I wanted Frances the Firefly (not butterfly) to have a bright yellow bottom - all lit up - like fireflies are!

I was cutting it close with this thread when quilting!  I made it - although truth be told - I did have another similar looking spool (same color) in my stash.  Must be one I really like!

The back was a fabric I stashed for awhile.  Of course, it wasn't big enough so it has its own border.  I didn't use my printed labels as this is for a baby and I didn't want the label to be a problem. I will sign somewhere discretely or put a small label on this side when I know who is getting it.

 I did quilting with my Westalee ruler set on my Bernina 440.  It allows you to do straight lines and other lines with a little more precision.  I had fun figuring out little ways to enhance the critters and the thistle.

I liked giving Hazel the Hedgehog some spikey hair.

Frances the Firefly just got some curves added to her wings.

I am pleased it is done and think I know where it may go.  That is the really nice part, knowing the quilt will have a lovely wee one to smile at it.   If I hadn't set this goal, I am sure it would not have been done.  Thanks for the encouragement!  This quilt was on my list for OneMonthlyGoal, 2018APQ Resolution and 2018FalQ1.  So great to have it done.  

Linking up:  One Monthly Goal

Sunday, February 25, 2018

#365DaysOfArtPBQChallenge Week 8, #50-56

#50:  Design a pattern from the grid.  
I so wanted this to be spectacular.  First attempt got screwed up.  Then I used my colored pencils and was getting an idea about a tessellating design.  Didn't get there, but liked it better

#51: Add patterns to the vases
I enjoyed this one.  Not spectacular, but fun.

#52:  Continue the pattern

These are always fun. I really want to get some watercolors to enjoy these a bit more.

#53:  Design a pair of trousers
Good thing I didn't pursue fashion design.  Rainbow pants are everyone's favorite...NOT.

 #54: Add trees to the forest
I liked this one.  Some of the trees don't quite fit, but I had fun with them.

#55:  What has the pen just finished drawing
I thought writing so this is what I am thinking.

#56:  Fill the bowl with a mixture of colorful fresh fruit

Kind of enjoyed this, but feeling like I should add a few more.

Well not the best, but not the worst!  It was a busy week professionally, so to get this done in the in between time felt good.   This week will be more relaxed and I may get some of these things I'd like to have...a calligraphy pen or watercolors.

Also, expecting to finish my OMG...keep your fingers crossed!

Linking Up With:  Powered By Quilting

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Amish Mini Love - Island Batik Ambassador - Project #2

Island Batik Ambassadors had two assignments our first month (Island Batik provided the fabrics for this mini quilt).  Minis area so much fun - they are fast.   You can hang them or use them on a table as an accent.  Having just downsized to an apartment, I have a little more wall space!  So some of my minis are hanging on a closet door and some hanging on sides of my storage unit.   The requirements were fairly simple.  Less than 24" on a side, use any fabric except our surprise fabric, and any design and post any day.

Today’s mini is an adaptation of an Amish Hex sign.  I grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania where there are many Amish and Mennonite communities.  I loved seeing the hex signs, which are traditionally a sign of welcome and many had hearts on them.  I haven't always loved the colors, so I thought why not do it my own way.  Hearts - mini love - batiks - my home town melded into this little quilt.

I did a little work in EQ8 to see what I could do.  Two problems arose - time and not enough of the background to make larger pieces.  What to do….  AH - make a drunkards path to get the circle - which could use the fabric I choose.  Furthermore, I could solve problem two by  hand-piece while waiting for furniture fabricators to finish up a job.  Brilliant!  

Hand pieceing while waiting
The rest was easy.  I did do machine appliqué as my quilting - again a time saver for this project. 
A mini tutorial:

1.  Make a 4 Drunkard's Path Blocks (size was 6 1/2" unfinished)
2.  Sew blocks together to make a circle or use this method if you have more fabric
3.  Iron fusible web - per instructions - to fabric for points, hearts, and petals
4.  Cut out shapes
5. Iron shapes to background (for a limited time you can download the shapes here)

6.  Sandwich quilt (quilting will be done as you finish the edges)
7.  Use your choice of finishing for raw edge applique

8.  Bind and label
Up next for Island Batik projects:  A new technique for me and a rep sample of our secret fabric. 

Other quilting:
  • Quilt and bind Fancy Forrest by end of February
  • Bind Squiggles during week of March 5
  • Plan March One Monthly Goal project 
  • Design a few more quilts
Linking up with:  Let's Bee Social
                             Sew can She Show Off Saturday
Happy quilting. 

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