Monday, November 4, 2019

Octopus's Garden, part of the A Piece Of blog hop (plus giveaway)

Today kicks off the start of Island Batik's A Piece Of blog hop and I'm so excited to be on the first day!!  I received the collection Black Pearl by Kathy Engle as my surprise fabric back in January and I started my project in March.  So, without further ado, here is Octopus's Garden!



I pretty much started singing Octopus's Garden by the Beatles from the moment I saw my fabric and haven't stopped since. My inspiration was this guy:


The fabric is aptly named Octopus and is in the color Frozen Pond.  I knew I wanted to start with an octopus.  I looked at several patterns and finally chose this one from a Sew Mama Sew post by Elizabeth Hartman from 2008. This particular octopus is very opinionated.  She told me very early in the stitching process that her name was Petunia.  I told her that was ridiculous, I couldn't name her after the not-at-all nice aunt from Harry Potter!  But she insists that her name is Petunia.

Petunia the Octopus, from a Sew Mama Sew tutorial by Elizabeth Hartman
Once I found an octopus pattern, she needed some clam shells in her garden.  The clam shells were the first part I actually stitched. The template and method I used is now a dead link--the pitfalls of starting months ago! I stitched down the clam shells with Auriful monofilament in smoke. The center panel contains 17 of the 20 fabrics in the collection.  I saved the Octopus print and another with sea turtles to be featured in the rest of the quilt, and I used the 20th fabric (Fern Leaves in Gun Metal) for the sashing and binding. 

Coral and Fish also from Elizabeth Hartman tutorial
My vision for the rest of the quilt was to have other sea creatures and the fabulous Black Pearl fabrics surround the octopus in her garden.  I wanted it to feel fairly random, and I pictured something similar to the Mondrian-inspired quilt patterns that Liz of Savor Every Stitch has created.  I did not end up using her generator--I graphed mine out using graph paper and pencil--but her pattern generator was part of my inspiration. The experience of graphing it out has told me that it's time to consider buying quilt design software!

My old-school design method
There are a total of 18 blocks of animal applique or piecing that surround Petunia the Octopus.  All are on a background of Island Batik's gray solid.  I used a few scraps of the solid black and white as eyes for various animals.  My train die for the Accuquilt Go! has two different size circles and I use those for eyes whenever I can--it's a great time saver and, unlike me, the Accuquilt cuts perfect circles. All twenty fabrics from Black Pearl are included in Octopus's Garden and all make multiple appearances.  

Fish Pattern from Animal Parade by Cheri Leffler
I wrote down a list of sea creatures I wanted to include and went about collecting possible patterns.  I started with those I already owned.  Several fish plus the sea turtle, seahorse, crab, and jelly fish came from the book Animal Parade by Cheri Leffler.

Sea Turtle from Animal Parade by Cheri Leffler.  Trio of fish from tutorial by Elizabeth Hartman
 I picked out the fabric for each animal as I made it, so there wasn't a lot of pre-planning.

Seahorse from Animal Parade by Cheri Leffler
I did not originally have a shark on my list of ocean animals to include, but my son entered a big shark phase this summer and insisted that I add at least one shark.  I let him help me pick the fabric for the shark; he liked the lines in this one and says it's a tiger shark.  The outline came from a downloadable coloring page I found online. 


My son wanted more sharks so we agreed to call this little guy a shark as well, even though I originally meant him as a fish.



The whale is another pattern I already owned.  It's from the book Fat Quarter Baby by It's Sew Emma.  It came together really quickly and is a pattern I'll use again.


whale pattern from Fat Quarter Baby by It's Sew Emma
The whale and this row of fish (below) are the only animals that are traditionally pieced; all others are applique.  I used a variety of Auriful threads for the satin stitch around my applique pieces.  I didn't write them all down, but my main threads were 2783 (a medium blue), 2785 (dark blue), 4020 (bright pink), 2520 (a lovely lavender), 2615 (gray) and 2710 (light blue).

fish pattern is Summer School by Missouri Star Quilt Company on their YouTube channel

I also used the 2710 (light blue) for the quilting.  I considered many different threads but I wanted something that wouldn't be too dark against all the gray solid background.  I used the wave stitch on Willa the Wonder Machine (my Pfaff) because I wanted it to look like waves in the ocean.  The lines of stitches are every two inches.

jellyfish from Animal Parade by Cheri Leffler
The batting is Hobbs Heirloom 80/20, my favorite batting.  This is a queen size batt.  I made the quilt for our guest room bed which is actually a double/full, but the quilt fits even our queen bed.  The guest room is also my sewing space and I'm sew excited to have this special quilt where I will see it every day!


I really wanted a mermaid but man, were those fingers hard to stitch around!!

crab from Animal Parade by Cheri Leffler
I started this when I thought the quilt would be a part of the August Beat the Heat blog hop, and I thought that being under the ocean would fit that theme well.  Then there were some changes to the hops for this year and I was moved to A Piece Of.  Bonus is that I got more time!  Downside is that I wasn't sure how to make this fit the new theme, even though we're told we don't have actually have to fit the theme.  But I put so much of me into this quilt that I now think of it as a piece of me, so it fits after all!


Want the full schedule for the hop?  You can find it here. Island Batik is also doing a giveaway each week of the hop.  This week, it's a precut bundle of Little Sir, Little Miss.  Hop on over and check it out!

starfish from Keepsake Transfer Collection: The Big Book
There are two of us who were lucky enough to get Black Pearl to play with for today's hop.  Be sure to check out Janet Yamamoto at her Whispers of Yore facebook page to see what she did with these lovelies.

fish from Animal Parade by Cheri Leffler
You can see that I added the octopus fabric throughout the quilt. 

dolphin from 150 blocks for Baby Quilts by Susan Briscoe
The materials used in this quilt were provided to me by Island Batik., Accuquilt, Aurifil, and Hobbs.

fish from Animal Parade by Cheri Leffler, squid from a coloring sheet
Now that you've made it through all those pictures, want a chance to win some fabric?  I have scraps of Black Pearl to give away.  You can see two piles of scraps, below.  Some are fairly substantial, meaning you could cut at least a layer cake square.  The pile on the far right has the smaller scraps, but they would be great for improv or EPP.  And there is almost a yard and a half of Octopus in Frozen Pond, plus an Island Batik black and white scarf.

prize package includes yardage of Octopus, black and white scarf, plus scraps of Black Pearl
Enter using the Rafflecopter below.  If you need a prompt for blog comment, tell me your favorite aquatic animal.  We visited the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta last weekend and I particularly loved the beluga whales. Giveaway is open for the duration of the A Piece Of blog hop and closes November 24th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

86 comments:

  1. Whales. We sometimes see them we are paddling and it is always so exciting.😀

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  2. You have put a lot of thought and effort into this lovely and unique quilt. I especially love the dolphin and squid appliqués. An the crab, he made me smile too.

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  3. An amazing quilt, love the colors and all the sea creatures. My favorite is the crab.

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  4. I love dolphins. They are so smart and playful!
    Sandy A

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  5. My favorite aquatic animal is a whale.

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  6. I loved it when I saw it on our FB group. But it was more fun to read about your process here. I think it is the perfect Piece of the sea;)

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  7. Gorgeous! And very creative! Love the colors and all your oceanic subjects.

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  8. Lovely quilt. The seahorse would be my favourite.

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  9. I love dolphins. They seem so joyful.

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  10. Absolutely beautiful! I love turtles!

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  11. This is a great finish. The fabrics play very well with your design.

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  12. Your aquatic creatures all look like they are smiling. I love it. I normally would pick a dolphin, but your octopus is just adorable.

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  13. This is fantastic! I love everything about it! I was in the Altanta Aquarium last year and I loved the belugas as well! I could have watched them for hours!

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  14. Wow, your work is amazing!! Great job and attention to detail. I would pick a dolphin, they are so majestic.

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  15. What a wonderful quilt! You worked hard on this one and it shows. Since you are an Accuquilt girl, for your next clamshell project you can get those dies and ditch the templates! This year my DH and I enjoyed watching the "Aquarium" on Animal Planet and I have to say my new favorite aquatic animals are the Sea Otters!

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  16. This is terrific! I love that line but the diverse colors were hard and you did a fabulous job on it. I love that your son enforced his wishes - a shark is perfect. Favorite ocean creature would have to be a lobster - how New England of me! I definitely think this is a piece of the ocean but you can tell how much of a piece of you it is! I love my EQ8 and do online classes with Kari Schell and have learned alot! You can start with her newsletter and see if you like her style (if you decide to use EQ8).

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  17. I love watching dolphins play! Your quilt is really fun and whimsical.

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  18. Lovely, whales have always been a favoriteof mine.

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  19. This is my favorite so far of all your Ambassador quilts. I really love this one. I especially like the mermaid and the seahorse.

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  20. Wow!! This is totally stunning, and the colours work beautifully for each fish and the mermaid. Lots of fine narrow stitching, all beautiful.Guess my pick for an aquatic one would be the dolphin, so graceful, and we do have them around our own island, New Zealand.

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  21. I love all Island Batik fabrics. And I commented on the wrong post. But I love sea stars.

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  22. Wow! That is an amazing quilt. I love everything about it, especially the mermaid. Thank you for sharing and for the giveaway.My favorite are the whales.

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  23. Whales, dolphins, and many more. You did such a great job on that quilt! Love it!!

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  24. My favorite aquatic animals are anemonies and starfish.

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  25. I have an octopus sitting on top of my longarm!!! They are such fascinating creatures. Love your quilt and the way you gave credit for everyone who contributed to it with a pattern they created - great job of giving credit to those creative folks!!!

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  26. This is so adorable!! I love it! What an incredible quilt!

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  27. Oh, forgot to answer, I'min awe of this quilt.... I love seahorses. They are my favorite!

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  28. I love all the aquatic animals & colors! I live in South Mississippi, so shrimp is my favorite, cooked in all ways, and those Pink's! Thank you, Susan

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  29. I live on the Oregon coast and grew up on Southern Cal beaches ... I love them all but have a special love for the dolphins ... and mermaids, of course.

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  30. I love your quilt! it reconciles me with the idea of applique!
    The colours are wonderful and I like the clamshells too.
    Of course, Octopus Garden was ure to win my heart

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  31. Wow! That was quite a big quilt project, Emily! That'll be so fun to see it on your guest bed in your sewing studio! Fav sea animal--otter. Seals. Starfish.

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  32. Your quilt is absolutely marvelous! Dolphins are my favorite but fish in general come in a very close second (hubby is an avid fisherman). Love how you worked out details of your project with your son being included. Thanks for your inspiration, creativity & sharing all the details that went into Octopus's Garden.

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  33. Gorgeous quilt! I love all things ocean. Whales and dolphins especially.

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  34. Such a sweet quilt! Thanks for sharing!!

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  35. What a fabulous quilt w/ all those lovely sea creatures. I really love sea otters!

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  36. This is an adorable quilt! Thanks from r sharing the process of making it.

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  37. Wow! You did an amazing job on this quilt. It's filled with whimsy and very beautiful.

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  38. I think a turtle. .great quilt ty for sharing....happyness04431@yahoo.com

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  39. I loved the little seahorse! pjrquilter at msn dot com

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  40. I love love love your beautiful and whimsical quilt! The octopus is definitely my favorite sea creature. And I will never be able to look at another one without thinking "Petunia!"

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  41. This is so cute! I love whales, dolphins, and mermaids, lol

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  42. My favorite aquatic animal is otters. They are so cute and smart too! Thanks!

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  43. Your quilts are amazing! I love seahorses. I have a pattern for a quilt called octopus garden by P3 designs that I’m dying to start but don’t have enough batiks so if I win , I can go ahead and start it

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  44. Your quilt is delightful. Thank you. I enjoyed searching out all of the sea creatures included. In our ocean, we have lots of seals, porpoise, close to shore, and then many large residents in the deeps. I really like the seals who will swim along in the water as you are swimming in the bay. Note, they keep a sensible distance, but they are company.

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  45. I love sea otters for their playfulness!

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  46. I hope this post isn't a repeat, my internet died while composing the first one! My favorite aquatic animal would be a dolphin! They are so awesome, like your quilt :) I love the inspiration, the fabric, and the way you put it all together, it's really terrific!

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  47. Lovely quilt! I love your mermaid, but dolphins are my favorites ;)

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  48. The seahorse is my favorite. It is such an interesting sea creature to look at along with the fact that the male carries the babies.

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  49. I like belugas too! Now I can't get the Raffi "Baby Beluga" song out of my head! Beautiful quilt! basaran.family (at) rogers (dot) com

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  50. The mermaid is lovely--as are all the pretty blues!
    barbkaup(at)(yahoo)(dot)(com)

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  51. My favourite is the octopus because of their incredible intellect.

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  52. I think the seahorse is my favorite. Nancy A: SewingGranda@gmail.com

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  53. I am fascinated by sharks especially, and sea life in general.
    susanprincess at att dot net

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  54. What a fabulous idea for your quilt.

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  55. Such a super cute quilt. Love the shark and the "other" shark too.

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  56. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent! I love the mermaid! Where did that pattern come from or did you draw her yourself?

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    1. Jan you are showing up as a no reply blogger so I'm replying here. The mermaid came from clipart with a Creative Commons license. I changed the size and shorted the tail a bit.

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  57. My favorite aquatic animal is the sea otter. Love your quilt and can see that you put a lot of time and thought into it!

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  58. I think dolphins are so graceful.

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  59. You have definitely captured the essence of the sea and all the creatures that live in it! Just beautiful! I admire whales and have seen them while on an Alaskan cruise.
    duchick at gmail dot com

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  60. Otters are my favorite aquatic animal. Their happiness and sense of fun is an inspiration.

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  61. Gorgeous quilt and I
    love your octopus and
    sea creatures! I do
    like porpoises.
    Carla from Utah

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  62. I miss going to the aquarium and seeing the jelly fish.

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  63. I love the fabrics and this quilt - it is totally gorgeous!
    Kim
    tnjmom1 at gmail dot com

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  64. What an awesome quilt! I love your sea life.

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  65. Awesome quilt. You put a lot of work into it and it shows. I have snorkeled a lot in the Caribbean and I have seen so many beautiful fish, dolphins and other creatures that can cause a fright. :) I like them all.

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  66. Fun quilt! Lots of work for sure. Ocean theme quilts are so fun, especially when one has had the opportunity to see such creatures in their own environment!

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  67. my favorite aquatic animal is a sea horse.

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  68. your quilt is stunningly beautiful. I can not pick a favorite, I find all sea life very fascinating.
    thanks for the chance at some wonderful fabrics.🐡🐙🐬🐳🐠🐟🦂🦀🦐🦑🦈🌊

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  69. I love the seahorse - wonderful quilt - I love it

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  70. I love the seahorse - wonderful quilt - I love it

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  71. My favorite ocean animal is the octopus! I love all the details and creativity that went into your quilt.

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  72. I love dolphins! I'm always over the moon when I see a pod of them playing along the seaside. You're quilt is so much fun! I really enjoyed seeing each block and reading a little bit about them. Thank you for the chance to win. Have a fabulous day! curlicuecreations@gmail.com

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  73. Oh my gosh! I must say the sea turtle is my favorite. Your quilt is amazingly fun looking! With a little bit of sinister with that Octopus print in it! Beautiful job!

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  74. So much to look at! Love your applique. It really compliments the fabrics in the collection.

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  75. There's so much going on in this quilt -- what a labor of love! Enjoy this beauty. : )

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