Sunday, December 8, 2019

Fishy Tails: Island Batik 3D Challenge

Our December Island Batik Challenge is 3D.  Our instructions include options for optical illusions or added texture. Since I'm not a big fan of optical illusions, I opted for surface texture.  We are also given some links for inspiration.  December is the first time I've needed to jump-start my ideas.  One link was to this compilation of 41 fabric manipulation techniques.  When I saw #7, Cathedral Windows, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

You may be thinking, "how did she get from Cathedral Windows to fish?!?"  Well, I had made a few fish from this Missouri Star Quilt Co Tutorial for the epic Octopus's Garden quilt and I was dying to make a bigger version of the fish.  The tutorial uses 5" charm squares and I wanted to try out making my fish twice as big.  The method to make the fish tail is essentially a partial Cathedral Window.  Eureka!

You can see the 3D effect in the tail.
I loved the Black Pearl collection so much that I wasn't done working with it.  After confirming my large fish would work, I decided on a 4 x 4 layout.  I picked out 16 of the 20 prints from Black Pearl for my fish and used a 2-yard cut of Cherrios in Waterfall from the Sunny Side up collection. I absolutely love purples with blues so I was excited to see Black Pearl paired with a blue background.

a row of fishy tails
The fish block doubled quite well.  I did straight doubling of the measurements of each cut piece for the block.  I really like the bigger blocks.

Once I had all the fish made, I felt like they really needed eyes.  I pulled out my Accuquilt and used the small circle on the train die that is meant to be smoke--it's a great size for eyes and is a perfect circle.  I couldn't cut a perfect circle freehand if my life depended on it!  I think I've used that train die more for animal eyes than for trains!

I used Auriful 50 weight thread in color 4140; it blended perfectly with the Waterfall background.  I chose to do organic wavy lines to mimic water.  I didn't want to sew down the 3D curve in the fishes' tails, so I did the lines in kind of bursts, avoiding sections with fish tail.  I'm happy with this effect.

The materials used in this quilt were provided to me by Island Batik. I love that I have now made two ocean-themed quilts with the same fabric collection and they look completely different!  It's amazing what a different background fabric will do!

This marks my final project for my year as an Island Batik Ambassador.  It has been an absolutely amazing experience and the program has pushed me creatively so much.  I have enjoyed the challenges, the creativity, the community, and of course the beautiful fabrics!  We've been told that the 2020 Ambassadors will be announced this month.

This was #6 on my Q4 list of goals for the Finish Along.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

December OMG

I've been hit or miss with even setting a One Monthly Goal with Patty of Elm Street Quilts this year.  I have a lot of goals for December to end on a good note!  Most are holiday presents.  But once those are done and mailed out to family, I want to get a few more finishes knocked out. First priority is Elizabeth, a pattern from the book Fat Quarter Baby.

Linking with One Monthly Goal.
December OMG link-up is open!

Friday, December 6, 2019

another fabric doppelganger

A few weeks ago, I showed off my fabric doppelgänger, made for Velda during her turn as Queen in my Stash Bee hive.  Well, another hive member was unable to make a block so I volunteered to do an angel block.  Except I have no idea what that hive member looks like since we've never met or seen photos. So I made my best friend, Laura, in fabrics instead.

Laura is wearing a purple shirt (our shared favorite color) and jeans, because she rarely wears dresses.  I've shown her the picture of her fabric self and she loved it.  Her favorite part was the sparkly hair.

With this block, I end four years of participation in Stash Bee.  I've made the slightly sad decision not to participate next year. I've had a ton of fun and made a lot of friends, but I'm feeling a time crunch in my sewing time especially as I continue to balance sewing with my full time job and my family. I also have only actually completed ONE of my Stash Bee quilts despite four years of participation.  These girls who want to have fun have been a great ending note!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Treasure Hunt Twist

I cut my I Spy scraps into pieces of various sizes.  When I needed a new leader and ender project, I looked through my I Spy scraps to see what size I had a lot of.  Turns out I had a lot of 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles.  I had seen a quilt made by Carla of Creatin' in the Sticks back in April that used a block called Two by Two from the Go! Cube book by Eleanor Burns.  I thought the Two by Two would make a great leader & ender I Spy scrap quilt.  And I was right!

I went through my drawer of 2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles and looked for fabrics that had at four rectangles cut from the same fabric.  I paired the scraps with Kona Goldfish.

There are some fun fabrics in here!  Pigs, crayons, lily pads, elephants with rainbows, 18-wheeler trucks...lots to look at.  I used my one of my favorite quilting motifs and did a big spiral. 

This will be donated to the local children's hospital. Just to prove it is a great size for cuddling, here are some (admittedly staged) shots of how I hope it might be used in the future.

I named it Treasure Hunt Twist, since I think of I Spy quilts as a treasure hunt.  This was #17 on my Q4 list of goals for the Finish Along, listed at Two by Two after the name of the block.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Islander Squares (and giveaway winner)

When I made my August Island Batik challenge quilt, Tropical Stars, I had some strip remnants left from my original Islander strip pack.  I thought the leftovers would make a great leaders and enders project.  I used the Accuquilt 2 1/2" strip die to subcut those leftovers into 2 1/2' squares.  I didn't use the strips from the two lightest fabrics in Tropical Stars, so I had all of those plus some extra of the yellow mini bubbles. I cut those into 2 1/2" squares as well.  I thought that I had roughly equal light yellow and everything else, so a classic 4-patch checkerboard would look nice.

Perfect for island sunbathing
It's not big, but I like it!  It's 28" x 32".  Not huge, but fine to be donated to the local children's hospital to brighten someone's day.

The weather wasn't cooperating much so I had to take pictures on the deck.  I grabbed some of Fire Monkey's toys--can you tell he's on a shark kick?--for a photo shoot.

I did diagonal quilting on the light yellow squares with bright yellow Aurifil thread color 1135. The binding is actually from Flea Market but the greens and dark yellows blend really well with Islander. These are such fun, bright fabrics that I didn't want to let any go to waste!

Speaking of Island Batik, the winner of my giveaway from my stop on the A Piece Of blog hop is Beth T.  Congratulations Beth!  I haven't heard back from her yet, so if you are Beth or know Beth, let her know to get in touch.  If I haven't heard from her in a few more days, I'll redraw.  My prize package includes scraps from Black Pearl, including almost a yard and a half of the octopus print!  Plus a lovely Island Batik black and white scarf.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Quilted Sunshine (Cheryl's Quilt)

Today, I got one of the best experiences I think those of us who makes things can have--I got to give someone a quilt I made just for them.  And in this case, it was a total surprise for the recipient.

My coworker and friend Cheryl is having surgery next month with an anticipated hospital stay of 3-5 days.  I looked into making a cheerful hospital gown but the ones I found are too garment-like for my non-existent garment sewing abilities.  I did offer to convert a nightgown for her and I'm working on that (I ran out of snaps and have to order more; I'll post what I did once I'm done) but I knew that I also wanted to make a quilt to brighten up a dreary, boring hospital room.

Cheryl is a HUGE Disney fan.  I've participated in a lot of I Spy swaps over the years and some allowed licensed character fabrics while others did not.  I keep any licensed character 5" squares separated from my regular 5" I Spy squares.  So my first step was to look to see what I had.  Several Mickey or Minnie, Cinderella, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Snow White & Belle, 101 Dalmatians, Sully from Monsters INC, Tinkerbell, and Olaf.  Okay, great start!  I also pulled Hello Kitty, Snoopy, and some Dr. Seuss characters.

I decided to alternate I Spy squares with bright colors.  I went into my bin of Kona solids and used my Accuquilt to cut scraps into 5" squares. Kona colors used are, in the order that I cut them: Lagoon, Lavender, Leprechaun, Emerald, Marine, Blueberry, Seafoam, Purple, Clover, Robin Egg, Citrus, Lime, Jade, Parakeet, Malibu, Candy Green, Pond, Prussian, Niagara, and Medium Pink.

After I pulled all the Disney characters I had, I started through my I Spy squares to pick the rest.  I picked fabrics I thought Cheryl would like, think were funny, or had significance. 

I bought a Mickey & Minnie fleece print to use for the back.  I love using fleece on the back of my quilts--I don't use batting in these.  The fleece plus the top make a great weight--not too heavy.  I went with a scrappy binding--everything was stuff I already had except for the backing fleece.  The fabrics in the binding are Kona Lime, Blueprint, Hibiscus, Orange, Tomato, Azure, Camellia, and Curry. 

I knew I would see Cheryl today (we work at different locations and don't see each other every day) so I washed it last night and rolled it up, then brought it in this morning.  She was about as speechless as I've ever seen her.  It was fun to see her discover the different fabrics.  I'm so pleased that she liked it and that she will have something cheerful with her at the hospital, as well as at home with her during recovery.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

My fabric doppelganger (bee block catch-up)

I'm behind in posting my blocks for Stash Bee.  This is my fourth year in the online bee and I really enjoy the variety of blocks I am asked to make.

November is Queen Velda of Freckled Fox Quiltery.  She's making a quit inspired by the phrase and song "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and asked each of us to make our likeness in fabric, with the Pippi Longstocking block by Just Jude as the template.  So here's mine:

Yes, I know the bottom is shorter than the rest of the block.  It's improv!
Looks just like me, right?  I made my dress longer than the original tutorial and used a purple batik (from Island Batik, of course!) and kept my feet bare instead of adding shoes.  This block combines my love of batiks with my love of Kona solids--the skin is Medium Pink and the hair is Chestnut.  It's a tad darker than my actual hair but it was the closest match among my Kona scraps.

October Queen Heather asked for a Hunter's Star block with bright colors.  She asked that we keep the quadrants separate and not sew it together so she can mix and match later if she wants.  Here are mine:

This was my first Hunter's Star.  I didn't love the angles of the pieces but I do like how it looks.

September Queen Kim created a fabric wampum block.  Her brother-in-law is a citizen of the Oneida Nation, part of the Iriquois Confederacy.  She plans to make a quilt of the flag of the Iriquois Confederacy and asked for blocks that simulate wampum for the quilt.  Here are my blocks:

Are you interested in joining on online bee?  Stash Bee sign-ups are open for 2020!  I really enjoy Stash Bee!  I get to meet a great group of quilters from all over and it's fun to see the variety of blocks chosen.  Plus I get to make a new block each month without the commitment of a while quilt!
Sign-ups are open through November 17th.