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!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

A Waddle of Penguins

I am so excited about this finish!  For Stash Bee this year, I asked for the fabulous penguin block designed by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.  (I did ask her permission to use it for Stash Bee.) I absolutely love Lorna's designs and have used many of her patterns before.  This is one of the free block tutorials on her website and I asked my Hive for the 12" version, plus a border to make it a 16" block.   

And boy did my hive mates deliver!  Aren't these guys fabulous??!!!  Many folks named their penguin, which was super fun.  One hive member made three (!) penguins and named them after each of her brothers. I also got a bonus penguin from a hive crash of one of the Bee Mamas, giving me enough for a 4 by 4 layout. This quilt is huge!  I planned it to be twin sized but it fits pretty well on a full bed as well. 

not a great photo, but you can see it fits on a full-size bed (it's not yet quilted here)
Since it's bed-sized, I donated this to the Carolina Hurricane Quilts project, coordinated by the amazing Carole of From My Carolina Home.  She's been collecting quilts for most of 2019 to be donated to folks who lost everything in Hurricane Florence last fall.  Carole specifically asked for bed-sized quilts, so even though I dislike wrangling large quilts, I decided these penguins would put a smile on someone's face.  I know Carole also wants quilts for any age, but I admit that I am someone that doesn't think an animal quilt has to be for a kid!  Based on the number of animal quilt patterns out there, I think lots of adults enjoy quilts with an animal theme.

It's so big, my adult male quilt holder is completely hidden save for a tiny bit of visible fingers

 The sashing in Kona Marine.  I quilted with a line of my machine's serpentine stitch every 5 inches. 

Did you know the collective noun for penguins is different if the penguins are on land versus in water?  These penguins are on land, so they are a waddle.  If I were to take them on a houseboat, they would be a raft of penguins. 

Thanks so much, Hive 4!  This is my fourth year in Stash Bee but only my first finished quilt!  I guess I need to get working on the others!  The Waddle of Penguins was #1 on my list of Q3 goals for the Finish Along and is on my list of projects needed for my PhD (Projects Half Done) with Quilting Gail.  I'm also linking up with Tish of Tish in Wonderland for her UFO party and will use this as my completed UFO for the UFO & WIP challenge hosted by Julie of The Crafty Quilter

Monday, August 12, 2019

August Bee Block

I always look forward to the first of the month because I find out what block I'm making for that month's Queen Bee in Stash Bee.  And this month I was particularly excited to find a super cute cactus block for Queen Pam.  Here is my version.  She wanted solid pink for the background and while I was hoping to find something a little brighter, this Kona Medium Pink turned out better than I expected.  Love this block and may make it again!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Utility Apron

I've been absent here for almost two weeks.  No particular reason other than sometimes it's hard to keep up.  I'm behind on reading blogs, too.  But to get myself back in the rhythm, here is a project I finished two months ago that I still hadn't blogged.

I've had a few occasions at work when I wished I had a utility apron. I've used my clothespin apron (made before the blog) a few times but it's not really ideal.  When inventory at my job was coming up in June, I decided it was the right time to finally make one.  I used this adorable panda book print that came from the etsy shop Bunny's Designs that specializes in Japanese fabrics.  I won a gift certificate to the shop through the Finish Along last year and these pandas with books were my favorite find. The tan and red fabrics came from a fat quarter pack of Shabby by Lori Holt that was one of the mystery prizes from Fat Quarter Shop last year on Black Friday.

I followed a tutorial I found from Sugar Bee Crafts.  I knew what I wanted to be able to have in my pockets, so I adjusted her original instructions to have a few smaller openings for Sharpies, regular pens, and scissors.  I also kept post-its and tissues in the bigger pockets.  I worked great; I got several comments at work, and best of all I had everything I needed during inventory on my person! The book pandas, especially, were a big hit, though I suppose that's to be expected when you work in a library!