Saturday, June 27, 2020

Whale Trio - A Second Island Batik finish

This month's Island Batik ambassador challenge is Ambassador's Choice. Any pattern, any Island Batik fabric, any size.  It didn't even have to be a quilt.  While I ultimately chose Buffalo Moon as my project, I considered a few others.  At the beginning of the month, I set my One Monthly Goal (OMG) to make a Big Sister present for my cousin's daughter, Emma, who will become a big sister any day now.  It dawned on me that I had a two birds, one stone situation.  Well, not so much bird as WHALE!

Last year, I made Ollie the Laid Back Owl by Funky Friends Factory for Island Batik's booth at fall market, and since I had to send it away, I made a test owl that Fire Monkey could keep. We named him Orion the Owl.  When I made Orion, I always thought I'd go back and make a whale for myself, as that was supposed to be one of the easier patterns and I really liked it.  This seemed like the perfect time to make myself a whale and I could make one for Emma, too.  I knew from her parents that she doesn't have a favorite animal but really, really loves stuffed animals.  Annnnd of course if I'm making a stuffed toy for me and for another kid, Fire Monkey would want one too.  So that's how I ended up making three whales!

Mine uses two fabrics from the Catching Dreams collection and one from a stash builder roll.  I named mine Celeste, from celestial, after the moon & stars print that I used for the main body.

I let Fire Monkey pick out his fabrics.  He picked orange and red fabrics from stash builder rolls for the underbelly and his main print is from Sunny Side Up.  He said he thought the leaves looked like kelp which would be perfect for a whale.  He named his Frederico.

 Emma the new big sister's whale has an underbelly of another moon & star fabric from the Catching Dreams collection, a foundation basic called Petal for the throat, and a blue cheerio from the Sunny Side Up collection.  Hers will be mailed with the baby quilt for her new sister.  Since she hasn't seen it yet, this whale is currently unnamed.

The pattern is William Whale by Funky Friends Factory.  I normally do not enjoy stuffed toys, but this is the second pattern of hers I've made and they are better than other toys I've tried.  I still enjoy having made it more than the actual making process, but her patterns are easy to follow and she has a website with step-by-step photos of each toy which really help.  I have not completely sworn off toys; I would happily make more Funky Friends.  I especially appreciate that they are a good, huggable size.  The whales are about 20 inches long and perfect for cuddling!

Proof of huggability
I pieced this with my current favorite tread color,  Aurifil 2625 from the Carrara color builder set.  Some parts of the whales involved top-stitching and I matched the Aurifil thread color to the fabrics as best I could.  I also used a Schmetz microtex chrome needle, 80/20.

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

Celeste swimming in the backyard
Making a Big Sister present was my June OMG in the monthly linky party with Patty of Elm Street quilts.  I hadn't decided what to make at the time I set my goal. The penguin panel I was considering was cute but felt too wintery for a gift in the middle of summer.   I'm quite happy with the whale.


I have one more possible Island Batik finish for the month of June, we'll see if I can finish it in time!


  1. I agree that pattern looks easier than some I've seen. All of your whales look fit for the ocean or fit to be snuggled with 😉

  2. I'm with you on the stuffed toys; the pattern makes all the difference. Some are good, some not so good. The grin on Fire Monkey's face says it all. I'm sure Emma will love hers too!

  3. They are precious and have so much personality!

  4. Love your whales and the story of each of them! You'll have to tell us what big sister names hers!
    Happy Quilting! :-)

  5. Perfect whales for each of the recipients! I especially love seeing FM's face with his creation and that he picked all the fabrics. What a great project.

  6. Gosh Emily, this blogpost should come with a warning - "Cuteness Overload!!!" Huggable toys are a whale of a deal :-D Now, be warned, you just may be receiving more whale requests.

  7. Very fun and pretty whales. Fire Monkey shows just how huggable they are. By the way, when did he get so big?