Friday, June 19, 2020

Buffalo Moon--An Island Batik Challenge

June's challenge for Island Batik is a Free Theme, or Ambassador's Choice.  I found this actually made it harder!  So many choices!  I waffled between many choices but in the end, chose a project I had planned for later in the year. This November will be my mom's 70th birthday.  We (my brother and I) have planned a trip to see her for more than a year.  Unfortunately, Covid-19 means that trip will not happen--neither of us can get to my mom without an airplane or a multi-day drive and that's not really an option right now.  But at least the birthday quilt is now ready!

When I made my Mountain Cabin quilt with the Catching Dreams collection designed by Kathy Engle for Kari Nichols of Mountainpeek Creations, I used 18 of the 20 prints in the collection.  The remaining two didn't really fit the color groupings I needed for the mountains.  One of the unused fabrics is a beautiful larger-scale print with bison (buffalo) and dream catchers.  And this fabric is where I hatched this plan, back in December!

Dreamcatcher/Buffalo in Mixed Berry
See, my mom's favorite animal is the buffalo, or American bison. And, like me, her favorite color is purple.  In fact, she commented on Mountain Cabin that Catching Dreams were "her colors."  I already had the plan but her commented cemented that this would be the perfect birthday gift--the right animal and the right colors!

I had a half-yard of the print, called Dreamcatcher/Buffalo in mixed berry. I was able to fussy-cut 16 of the buffalo, and a 5" square would work with the fabric I had.  This would give me a 4 x 4 layout.  Each block is 13 1/2" unfinished, for a finished quilt that's roughly 52" square.

Back when I made Mountain Cabin, I used my Accuquilt Go! cutter to cut all the other Catching Dreams prints into 2 1/2" strips.  Each block got two rounds made from the strips. I didn't count, but I think this has all 20 fabrics from Catching Dreams.

I named this Buffalo Moon because Catching Dreams has several colorways of this moon and stars fabric.  It's possibly my favorite design in the collection and my mom has a strong love of the moon and actually has several moon-related art pieces in her bedroom, so this was just another reason that Catching Dreams was perfect for her. 

My current favorite thread for piecing is Aurifil 2625 from the Carrara color builder set.  I love gray as an all-purpose thread color.  I also used a Schmetz microtex chrome needle, 80/20.  I've been using Schmetz needles since I bought my first sewing machine in 1998.  The salesman told me my very, very inexpensive starter machine would run fine for a long time as long as I used quality thread and quality needles.  Clearly that advice stuck with me!

Materials used in this project were given to me by Island Batik, Aurifil, Accuquilt, and Schmetz.

I love the finished quilt and I think Mom will, too. She reads the blog, so I'll find out soon enough :)  And I made sure it was ok with her that I am posting this in June even though her birthday is in November.  I'll try to mail it early, too, so she can have it.  She's got a leather couch in her den that this will look great on!

And so I have a birthday gift ready early, thanks to the Free Theme.  If I'm lucky, I will have two more Island Batik projects to post his month.


  1. Oh this is so pretty, one of my sisters would be jealous as purple is her favorite color. The collection is beautiful.

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  2. Don't you love it when a good plan comes together? The right fabric, the right pattern, thread and needles! Woohoo! I'm sure your mom will be delighted with this quilt, Emily! Nice finish!

  3. Well that quilt was just meant to be!! What a wonderful gift your mom will soon have.

  4. Wow, love the buffalo fabric, and just right for your mom!!! How neat is that! The perfect gift. Happy (early) birthday to your mom!!!

  5. I share your mom's love of purple and moon anything! The quilt is beautiful! You've made the perfect gift for your mom!

  6. How wonderful! So great that you were able to keep that fabric on hand an use it for your mom’s gift. Done early is such a bonus. Congrats all around.

  7. Very pretty! And such fun that it fits your mom's tastes so well.

  8. Emily ~ Your quilt is so gorgeous! It sounds like it will be a perfect gift for your Mom, too. Purple and moons and buffalo. Just lovely and a little bit mysterious. Have a fabulous day!

  9. Wow, what a wonderful quilt! I love all the love you put inside, from choosing the right fabric, theme and color! Happy birdthday to your mom, a little earlier ;) Thanks for sharing this lovely quilt!

  10. I find it so interesting that so many of us are making more than one project in this free month! (or have plans to...) I just love your quilt; I have several of those 'chops' in my Faded Blue Jeans collection as well as River Valley. I too love that moon and stars one! Fabulous use of the bison fabric! When we lived in Alberta, our road bordered Elk Island National Park where there is a very large herd of bison. In fact, many of them have been shipped to the US to restart the population there...sigh. Yet another atrocity we white people committed when we plundered the Americas. With all the personal touches here, I know your mom will be over the moon (ha! pun not originally intended) with her quilt. We have 9 more days to get our other planned projects done now!

  11. It seems all the stars aligned when you happened upon these gorgeous fabrics. How wonderful your mother's favourite animal and colour are the stars. Your mum is going to be blown away when she looks upon her quilt stitched with so much love by you. It is so sad that you cannot hand this beautiful quilt over to her for her birthday. A most gorgeous quilt!

  12. Birthday comes just once a year but with this lovely quilt your mom will be thinking of you everyday.
    Reading your mom's comment gave me such a warm fuzzy feeling :-)