Friday, April 10, 2020

Teddy Bear's Picnic: An Island Batik Challenge

Note: Some of my photos are not showing up.  This is a known issue with Blogger and they are working on fixing it.  

Our April Ambassador Challenge from Island Batik is Borders & Bindings.  Truth be told, I rarely use borders in quilts, and pieced borders are rarer still.  Our document each month includes some inspiration links and for this one, I needed the inspiration.  One of the articles mentioned cornerstones and that was all the inspiration I needed to know exactly what I wanted to do.


I've been wanting to make the super-cute teddy bear pattern William from the book Fat Quarter Baby by It's Sew Emma.  The original pattern had a pieced border around it but if I made that border wider, I could use a 6" block as a cornerstone.  And I had just gotten Patchwork Picnic by Gracey Larson from my local library and in it there is an adorable bear block.  I would combine the two!  I also added some narrow borders in blue to unify the whole quilt.



And so I did, and I absolutely love the results!  I chose the Island Batik collection Sunny Side Up that has a lovely bright assortment of yellows and blues with some fun items in the designs, like strawberries and lady bugs.  I used Island Batik's solid white for the background and added a few fabrics from their foundations collections that are always available, including some of the new cobalt solid for the cornerstone bears.


The teddy bear center came together fairly quickly.  It does call for some half-square triangles and I used my Accuquilt to cut those pieces--I love how it trims the dog-ears and even this non-perfectionist quilter gets perfect units every time!



The bears for the corners were, quite honestly, a lot of work.  There are a LOT of tiny pieces in this block.  But the results are so cute!  I love the bears and they were absolutely worth it for the fun touch they add to the pieced border.


Items used in the quilt were provided to me by Island Batik, Hobbs, Aurifil, Schmetz, and Accuquilt.


I was given a 2-yard cut of one of the prints from the collection and I decided to use it for the back, Large Leaves in Buttercup.  I love this print! In addition to the leaves there are some butterflies and other friends hiding.  My original plan was to use the Large Leaves print to add another border, but once I got it this far I really liked the size.  I asked my friend and fellow Island Batik Ambassador Gail of Quilting Gail what she thought, and both Gail and her husband assured me it was great as it was, and they both agreed on my planned next step: flanged binding. It's so great to have quilting friends who will tell you honestly what a quilt needs!

Large Leaves in Buttercup
But before I could bind I had to get it quilted!  I layered the top with Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Bleached batting, which was great for a quilt with a white background.  The white is still so crisp!  Then I quilted wavy lines with Aurifil 2120, a lovely bright yellow.  I used my favorite Schmetz microtex chrome needle, 80/20 and I started the lines at 1" apart.  Wavy line quilting is my favorite at the moment, I love the look and texture and it's so easy with my walking foot!

Flange Binding
I did a flanged binding once before, for the "Try a Technique" challenge last year.  Both times, I used a tutorial by Sandra of Mmm! Quilts.  Sandra is also an Island Batik Ambassador.  I love her tutorial because it is for binding cut 2 1/4" wide, which is my preferred width. 


With a name like "Teddy Bear's Picnic" I wanted to take appropriate photos.  My original plan was to take it on our planned camping trip for this weekend--that clearly did not happen.  So off to my son's room for a teddy bear.  I did find one, though teddy bears are a bit rare in our house do his friends are all of a different species.



As I was finishing the piecing, this quilt told me very loudly that it wanted to go to my coworker Laura who was expecting her first child.  I had a different quilt planned for Laura's baby, but the quilt was really quite insistent.  Isn't it funny how quilts sometimes tell you want they want?! Last week Laura had a healthy baby boy so this will be going to Baby Michael.


So that's my adventure in borders and bindings!  I absolutely love the finished quilt and hope it is a happy plaything for Baby Michael for years to come.







15 comments:

  1. Pretty quilt! I love the small teddies in the corners 🤩

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  2. What a cute quilt! I'm sure it will be enjoyed for years. Those little cornerstones are cute, but boy, those pieces are tiny! You had some good warm up with Awesome Ocean, though, so it looks like you handled it just fine :-)

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  3. That came out so adorable. I usually put some kind of border on my quilts, and I like your scrappy squares.

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  4. I can see why you were so excited about this quilt. It is one of my favorites.

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  5. Love blue and yellow quilts. This one is just so extra sweet, it's wonderful you found a new home for it already.

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  6. Love, love, love your quilt. So sad that it can't become a pattern since you used other peoples design. I would have bought it right away. Anyway, your quilt is perfect! Nancy A: SewingGranda@gmail.com

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  7. Love your teddy bears, Em!!! I'm with you, in that I prefer to skip the borders nowaday. But those bears in the corners are worth it! Love your teddy bear picnic photo! And I'm glad to hear it's going to Michael!💗

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  8. This quilt is adorable. The borders add a lot and those tiny bears in the corners, wow. The flange takes it over the top. I like the picnic photo shoot too. And I am impressed that you had a quilt ready to give to the new baby. I tend to take two or more years to get a quilt done for a baby!

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  9. OMG Emily. This picnic is a hoot and a half. Love the blue and green combo!!! The teddy bears are so cute. I also love the little ones in the corners. Hope you are staying safe and sane. Hugs from afar.

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  10. This is just adorable! I love the picnic and the story of the quilt deciding who to it wanted to go to. Perfect job on interesting borders & bindings!

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  11. It's a wonderful quilt! I actually had made this quilt a year or 2 ago, but it did not turn out as lovely as this one. I love how you adapted the pieced border and especially the corner bears. My quilt is sitting in a dresser drawer, possibly waiting to be used at my house if I ever have a baby around.

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  12. I had no idea you were a librarian, shhhhhhhhh. I enjoyed getting to know you better through the IB post and loved the recap of your quilts. But this one, it will be a classic. So cute and the fabric was perfect for it.

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  13. Adorable, truly adorable! I hope you will bring your bear to the Chameleon's party someday.... the Chameleon is always up for a teddy bears' picnic!

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  14. So very cute! Love the bear in the center and those corner blocks. Sounds like it has the perfect home waiting for it. Congrats on a beautiful and fun finish.

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