Thursday, September 12, 2019

Scraptastic Spider Quilt: Child's Play

In our July Ambassador boxes, each Island Batik Ambassador was sent a BOB die from Accuquilt.  BOB stands for Block on Board, meaning all the pieces for one block are on the die and can be cut at once.  I was a little nervous when other ambassadors started getting their boxes because many got dies with curved pieces and I *hate* piecing curves.  I was excited when I got the Spider Web die!  No curves, and perfect for the September theme "Child's Play."

The materials used in this quilt were provided to me by Island Batik., Accuquilt, Aurifil, and Hobbs.

When I started thinking about the Spider Web die and Spider Web quilt, I knew two things right away.  First, it was important to have a spider.  Second, I did not want it to be scary.

I decided that going scrappy would look great in with this block. There are scraps from every Island Batik project I've done so far this year (except the rayon from my dress).  The solid gray was perfect for the background. I think all the colors go great with the idea of Child's Play.

I layered scraps onto the die and rolled it through the cutter.  I sorted the three different sizes of web pieces into little baskets, making it easy to mix up all the pieces for a thoroughly scrappy look.  I kept identical fabrics from touching but didn't worry too much about similar color families, knowing there were so many different fabrics that random placement would look great.

One of the campuses of the community college where I work has a great spider web sculpture made by a past group of welding students.  I really wanted to get pictures with the sculpture. 

You can see the large spiral quilting I did with Auriful thread color 2615 (50 weight thread).  I also used Aurifil for the satin stitching around each of the spiders.  The spider template came from The Seasoned Homemaker, though I altered the size a bit and took out the fangs.  Like I said, it was important to me that this not be a scary quilt.   

The batting is Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 cotton batting.  This is probably my all-time favorite batting; it's the perfect weight.  True to the "Child's Play" theme, this will be a child's quilt.  The baby quit I made for a good friend's daughter was damaged by the family dog, and though I was able to salvage some of it, I promised I'd make another quilt.  That baby girl is now almost three.  I asked her mom how Lady Bug felt about spiders and was told, "good."  When I showed the mom photos of the center spider, she loved it and asked if one of the other spiders could be pink.  No problem!

  It's 48" square, a good size for cuddling.  I really love how fun and colorful this turned out!

Quitly Adoption: Flashy Penguins

Cynthia from Quilting is More Fun Than Housework hosts a brilliant event twice each year: a quilty adoption event.  The idea is to pass on projects that you haven't finished that no longer excite you to someone else. 

I have three flashy penguins that are up for adoption.  I made them as samples for my Stash Bee block this year, hen decided that these unconventional penguins were too unconventional for what I wanted.  These guys are each 16" blocks (finished) and are from a free tutorial by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts, so making more is a possibility. I added a border around her 12" penguin to make the larger block.

These fun and flashy friends are free to a good home.  Leave me a comment letting me know you'd like to adopt them.  Comments accepted through the end of the day Friday, September 20th.  I'll pick randomly and mail them out by the end of September.  Penguins aren't native to the US so I'm willing to ship internationally.

Quilting is more fun than Housework

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Damaged Butterflies: A Quilt Repair

In 2016, I used some of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge butterfly blocks to make a baby quilt for a close friend's second child.    I called it Bright Butterflies, and it's young owner is known as Lady Bug.

Bright Butterflies

Early in the summer, I got a call from Lady Bug's mom, Kate. They had just returned from a week-long vacation and it seemed their dog missed his family and did some damage to a few textiles in the house, including Bright Butterflies.

When I finally got to see it in person, it actually wasn't as bad as I expected. The chewed areas were all toward the edges.

Kate was hoping I could just trim away the chewed parts and re-bind it.  And I could have, but it would have looked weird.  I told her a lot depended on how much she cared about *this* quilt, and if it needed to stay intact. We discussed various salvaging options, and ultimately I convinced her that I could turn the six unharmed butterflies into smaller objects and I would happily make a new quilt for Lady Bug. 

I wanted to do a series of doll quilts but Kate didn't think Lady Bug needed more than one doll quilt.  So two butterflies became a doll quilt.

I mentioned in the original Bright Butterflies post that Kate loves scrap quilts and she & I have traded scraps many times over the years.  I used several fabrics that came form her in the scrappy butterflies, including scraps from a quilt her grandmother made without realizing that's where the scraps came from!  It was especially important that the aqua butterfly be saved, since that's where the grandmother's scraps were.  Fortunately, that was not an area that got chewed.  I turned the aqua and dark purple butterflies into a wall hanging with a hanging sleeve, per request.  And the original label was not damaged!  I was able to unpick the stitches and move it to the back of the wall hanging (no photo of that part).

That left two more butterflies, and Kate suggested a small pillow.  She said Lady Bug liked things like that.  Perfect!  Pink butterfly on one side, yellow on the other.

My son loved the pillow and now wants me to make him one.  I don't have any more salvaged butterflies, but I do have a butterfly die for my accuquilt!  It will make a great rainy day project with him some time this fall.

I finished these projects over the 4th of July weekend but only recently got them photographed and returned to Lady Bug.  I completed her replacement quilt yesterday and will work on getting that photographed, written up, and gifted soon.  I'm glad that the damage wasn't extensive and that Lady Bug will still get to use her baby quilt, even if it's now in different forms. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Quilters Meet & Greet Blog Hop

I'm excited to be a part of the Quilters Meet & Greet Blog Hop, spearheaded by Benita from Benita Skinner's Creative Space/Victoriana Quilt Designs. Benita has arranged for some amazing prizes and the fun lasts all month long! Be sure to visit her page to get the full list of participating bloggers.  On each blog, you get a chance to enter the grand prize drawing! (Scroll down for your chance here.)

For those of you who are new here, Welcome!  I'm Emily.  I've been quilting since fall 1997 and started blogging in 2014 as a way of recording what I made-the photo album I kept previous became hard to keep up with after my son was born.  Outside quilting, I'm a librarian living in Charlotte, North Carolina with my Husband, Son (referred to as Fire Monkey) and our dog Ivy.

When Benita asked us each to choose one quilt, I chose Bumper2Bumper, my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt for 2018.  I love scrappy quilts, I love kids quilts, and I love blocks that are a recognizable animal or object, so this seemed like a good quilt to highlight some of those things. This is a pattern by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts; I also used one of her patterns for my 2017 Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt: Rainbow Elephant Parade.

I also love I Spy quilts.  I've made many, but my very first I Spy quilt is one I started for my son before he was born. It's twin-sized and is on his bed.  I then made one for my niece, and my mom loved it so much she asked for one!  I was able to take it to her in January.  Next up is one for our bed--I anticipate 306 I Spy squares!

I Spy fabrics are a recent love of mine, but my first love with fabrics are batiks.  I've always been taken by the nuance of colors and subtle changes of batiks.  This year, I am honored to be an Island Batik ambassador.  You can see all of my Island Batik projects under the tab at the top, but I'd like to highlight the project closest to my heart.  This is Oklahoma Dogwood, adapted from a pattern that my paternal grandmother saved.  With a blog named "The Darling Dogwood," you know I had to make a Dogwood quilt!

In addition to batiks and I Spy fabrics, I love Kona solids and I keep track of which colors I've used in projects (also a tab at the top). 

That's enough about me for now!  Check out all the other blogs featured on the Quilters Meet & Greet blog hop and I do hope you like what see here and come back.  Thanks for visiting!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Tropical Stars

"Oh my stars!" is a phrase that comes up a lot in the audiobook series I've been listening to lately and it's appropriate for this month's Island Batik Ambassador challenge: stars!  I had to wait to get my July Ambassador's box before deciding what to make.  I had already been mentally saving up star patterns, picking a few finalists but waiting to pick until I knew what fabrics I had received to play with.  I had my eye on a pattern called Star Blossoms from the book Scrap-Basket Beauties by Kim Brackett.  A strip pack of the Islander collection was be perfect for this strip-based pattern, and I could use the Accuquilt to cut almost all the pieces!

The original pattern called for the center blocks to be scrappy but by using traditional Sawtooth Star blocks, I could use the Go! Cube set for the Accuquilt cutter.  First step was to choose fabrics for the stars. I planned to use the half-yard cuts that coordinated with Islander but knew there wasn't enough of any single fabric to use only one. In looking through my Island Batik bin for more options, I found a print that was part of a scrap bundle I won from Laura of Slice of Pie Quilts two years ago!  The prize were scraps from one of her Island Batik projects.  This particular print had yellow, dark orange, and turquoise in it, perfect for coordinating with the colors in Islander.  I added star points in Copper from the basics collection for half the stars and Small Pointed Floral in Turquoise from the blenders collection as the other half. 

The background for the stars is a light yellow print called Mini Bubbles. The nuances of color in this print in person are soooo pretty!

I used another Accuquilt die to cut the strips into 4 1/2" lengths for the frames.  I sewed everything together randomly, trying only not to have the same two prints next to each other.  I quilted diagonal lines that followed the star points with Aurifil thread color 1135, a bright yellow.  The batting is Hobbs bleached 80/20 cotton/poly blend.   The materials used in this quilt were provided to me by Island Batik., Accuquilt, Aurifil, and Hobbs.

I love the tropical colors in this and have decided to call it Tropical Stars.  I've never actually been anywhere tropical, but it looks like a tropical beach should look--sand, sun, and deep blue water.

Tropical Stars was #4 on my list of Q3 goals for the Finish Along and is my Favorite Finish for the month of August in the linky party hosted by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs.  I absolutely loved working on this project and was really pleased at how quickly the top came together, especially for a larger quilt. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Beat the Heat with Island Batik

It has been so hot!  The worst part of summer for me is getting into my hot car at the end of the work day.  If you are ready for some cool relief, check out the Beat the Heat blog hop featuring the newest collections from Island Batik! 

In January's Ambassador box, each of us received a special wrapped package marked Surprise!  Each us were given a future collection and tasked to make a quilt featuring that collection.  Ambassadors have been revealing the results since the start of August, and the hop will continue through the end of the month!  Island Batik has a weekly giveaway and many of the individual blogs also have giveaways.  This week, you could win a precut bundle of Quiet Shades.  Doesn't looking at it make you feel cooler already?!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My secret collection will part of the November blog hop, but I've been working on it since March and I am so excited to show it off!  In the mean time, check out what the other Ambassadors have been up to and drool over the gorgeous fabrics, many of them in stores now.  And if you are looking for a quilt shop that sells Island Batik, check out the store locator

Monday, August 5 - Blueberry Patch
Tuesday, August 6 - Clockworks
Wednesday, August 7 - Electric Desert
Thursday, August 8 - Enchanted Forest
Monday, August 12 - Garden Party
Tuesday, August 13 - Geared Up
Wednesday, August 14 - Graphic Gems
Thursday, August 15 - Kaleidoscope
Monday, August 19 - Petal Pushers
Tuesday, August 20 - Quiet Shades
Wednesday, August 21 - Seedlings
Thursday, August 22 - Soil & Seeds
Monday, August 26 - Steam Engine
Tuesday, August 27 - Sunny Side Up

Monday, August 19, 2019

Carolina Hurricane Quilt Delivery

Quilters are amazingly generous people.  My friend Carole of From My Carolina Home has organized many quilt drives, and when Hurricane Florence struck her own state last year, Carole leapt into action.  She has organized a pretty major quilt drive for those who lost everything in the storm.

One of the things she put into place was drop-off locations across North Carolina.  She asked me if I would be the runner from the Charlotte metro area.  Of course!  So glad to help with this project.  Since April, I've been picking up quilts from Quilt Patch Fabrics and storing them until I could get them to Carole.  We met once in April and I took her 11 quilts; 10 that had been dropped off at the shop and 1 of mine.  The plan was for us to meet again in August, but she had so many quilts at that point, she needed help getting them further east.  So I drove to Fayetteville instead and did a drop-off of 32 quilts at Loving Stitches Quilt Shop.

Here is my trunk, full of quilts!  And there are more in the back seat!

After driving almost 3 hours, I arrived at Loving Stitches. They gave me directions to their restroom as soon as they realized how far I'd come!  They had fantastic samples even in the bathroom, but I was so focused on drop-off I didn't take any pictures. When I did the drop-off, a friendly quilter helped me unload into a room already bursting with donations for the Carolina Hurricane Quilts!

you can see my penguins up there on top!
I did a quick walk around the shop and bought a pattern that I think is going to be excellent for my Island Batik December challenge.  Then off to meet my friend Irene of Patchwork & Pastry for lunch at Panera.  We had a lovely chat before I needed to head back home.  I passed a total of 10 fire stations on my trip--too bad the Fire Monkey wasn't with me to exclaim at each one!

So in my two trips, I delivered a total of 43 quilts, including the 2 I donated.  I've been so thrilled to be a part of this donation drive and can't wait for Carole's final count of quilts!