Monday, March 29, 2021

Ursa Major: Stay At Home Round Robin

Today marks the end of the Stay At Home Round Robin.  The SAHRR is the brainchild of Gail from Quilting Gail.  Her idea is that instead of a traditional round robin, where you pass your quilt from maker to maker, each quilter makes their own.  She invited a small group of quilt bloggers, including me, to join her in choosing different rounds in this Round Robin.  Each maker then used that prompt in their quilt, making the quilt completely their own.

I started with an applique polar bear.  Thanks to Kate from Life in Pieces for the recommendation for the name of this quilt.  Ursa Major is a constellation, which made me think of the stars on the outer border, and it means "greater bear" which I thought appropriate for the polar bear.  

I wasn't sure how to quilt this.  I ended up with one of my go-to designs, wavy lines.  I did them horizontally in a medium blue Aurifil thread.  I used more of Island Batik's Bluebird for the binding--it's the same fabric in the outermost border and the background of the center polar bear, so that hopefully ties everything together nicely.

All of the fabrics are Island Batik.  Most are from the Glacier View collection from last year, with a few of their foundations in whites and blues thrown in to supplement.

I've been excited to see how many people joined in our Stay At Home Round Robin! We've all had such a good time that we've decided to make it an annual event!  While we wait for next year's, be sure to check out the finished quilts from all our hosts.  If you sewed along, be sure to link up with Gail.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

School of Fish: Salt & Sand blog hop

Welcome to my stop on the Salt & Sand blog hop hosted by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt!  Carol challenged us to find inspiration in the ocean, either colors of the sand and the sea or from animals that live in the ocean.  I didn't have anything on my to-make list in beachy colors, so I went with animals of the sea.  I had a charm pack of Kona Solids that I'd been planning to make into a fish quilt using the Missouri Star tutorial on youtube.


Here it is!  The background is Kona pond.  I'm not going to write out all the other Kona colors but I think there are 30 different colors; a few repeat. 

This will be a donation quilt to the local children's hospital.  I had a penguin print for the back that I had to add another scrap to in order to make the right size.  I quilted with wavy lines to simulate water; though I intentionally spaced the lines so I didn't catch the fish tails, which are three dimensional.  (They are peeled back like a cathedral window.)

Here's the list of all the blogs participating so you can check out all the salt and sand goodness.  It turns out that today (Wednesday) was my day on the hop and I thought it was Thursday.  Ooops!!! 


March 22
Creatin' in the Sticks
Selina Quilts
That Fabric Feeling
Days Filled With Joy
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Karen's Korner
Homespun Hannah's Blog
Crafts and Math
March 23
Life in the Scrapatch
Food for Thought
For The Love Of Geese
Becky’s Adventures in Quilting and Travel
Karrin’s Crazy World
Sew Many Yarns
Kathy's Kwilts and More
March 24
Ms P Designs USA
DayBrook Designs
Vroomans Quilts
Kathleen McMusing
Quilt Schmilt
The Darling Dogwood
Daughters of Dorinda
Annie’s Musings
March 25
Stitchin At Home
The Joyful Quilter
Freckled Fox Quiltery
Quilts Fabric and Thread Tales
Words & Stitches
March 26
Just Let Me Quilt
Quilting Gail
Samelia's Mum
Quilt Fabrication
Little Penguin Quilts
Just Sew Quilter

Friday, March 19, 2021

Scrapbuster Express: An Island Batik Challenge

The Island Batik Ambassador challenge for March is scraps, or scrap busting.  I *love* scrap quilts and make a lot of scrappy quilts.  Oddly enough, that made this challenge even more challenging.  I think since I make a lot of scrappy quilts naturally, I felt like this one had to be different or special.  I finally came up with an plan that I think is really fun.  I give you the Scrapbuster Express.

The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, Hobbs, Aurifil, and Schmetz.  

I have AccuQuilt's train die and it's really fun.  I decided to make scrappy trains and surround the trains with super scrappy pieces sashing.  All the pieces in the borders are 2 1/2" (unfinished) squares, also cut with the AccuQuilt.  There are so many different fabrics in this!  I kept out pink and purple, as this is likely to be a donation quilt and I know a lot of places will not give a quilt with even a little pink or purple to a boy.  Beyond that, there's a little bit of everything in here!

I used the neutral Coconut as the background for the train blocks.  The binding is black with circles in it--there were several strips of the same print in my stash builder rolls, and those rolls are perfect for cutting in half and using as binding. I did both piecing and quilting with Aurifil 2000 Light Sand, though I admit that the bobbin thread varied.  Scrappy quilts are great for using up those not-quite-empty bobbins of Aurifil thread in various colors.  I used Schmetz super nonstick needles; they are great with the fusible from applique shapes; there is no gumming of the needle at all.  The batting is Hobbs heirloom 100% cotton.

trains in progress

My favorite part of this was not part of the original plan.  When I cut the trains, I had an engine that was too close in color to the caboose of another train, and with them going different directions, that was too much same together for me. I cut another engine, no big deal.  But the other engine was already cut and had fusible on the back.  So the next morning, I asked my son if he had anything that needed a train on it.  He brought me a plain sweatshirt and I appliqued the train on it.  The train die has a square to be used as a window.  When I went to make a window for his engine, I remembered that I had some penguins from a Glacier View fabric, so I fussy cut a penguin to drive the train.  He loved it.  Thought a penguin driving the train was the best thing ever.

Lucky for me, I had enough penguins to put them on all the trains!!  So each train has a penguin conductor driving and more in the caboose.  It's a fun touch and it makes me smile every time I see the penguins in the train. And the penguins were leftover from this tree skirt I made last year, so they still fit the scrap theme.

Penguin Conductor

It's always fun to play with Island Batik scraps!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

QuiltCon Class: Bias Applique Mastery

I know it's been a few weeks since QuiltCon Together, but I've still been working on finishing my projects from each class.  The first one I finished was from Bias Applique Mastery with Latifah Saafir.  I went to a virtual lecture/demo with Latifah last summer through the Triad Modern Quilt Guild and was excited to explore bias applique in depth.  This class had two main areas of focus: bias applique techniques, and using those techniques in your own original design.

The class itself (recorded) laid out cutting, making, sewing, and pressing the bias binding.  She had us make 6 practice blocks to learn the different types of curves or straight line uses for bias applique.  I knew I wouldn't use one technique so I only made 5, but then I wanted to practice an enclosed shape for my potential project, so I did end up with 6 blocks. 

There were some technical issues with the part of the video that dealt with the practice videos, which meant I didn't have measurements.  I chose to use rectangles 12" x 18" so they could become placemats for my guild's project of placemats for Friendship Trays.  I have not turned the practice blocks into placemats yet but I intend to.

Then it was time to try my own design.  I wanted to do an umbrella with rain drops.  I also wanted to use my beloved Island Batik fabrics.  Latifah has us use traditional quilter's cotton for the test blocks since batiks are more tightly woven and therefor have significantly less stretch, even on the bias.  My first pass at the umbrella handle was a *disaster.*  The tight curve I was trying to do, plus the width of the bias tape I started with, plus the batik fabric meant it just did not do what I wanted it to do.  So I scrapped that version.

I started over skinnier tape and a less severe curve and it went better.  I also ditched my idea of raindrops; I wasn't sure I could get the batik bias to do them small enough to make sense with the umbrella.  There are still flaws in this piece but I'm not going to point them out to you. 😀  Overall I'm happy with the piece and I better understand the limitations of batiks with this technique.  

I enjoyed the class a lot.  Latifah is a kind, thorough, and patient teacher.  She was very methodical in the live Q&A sessions and made sure everyone got a chance to ask questions and share their experiences with the practice blocks and their designs.  I think there are a lot of fun possibilities for bias tape applique and I look forward to playing more in the future--you just might see more of my bias tape applique adventures in an upcoming Island Batik Ambassador challenge!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Tea Time! Dust Off a Book blog hop

Welcome to my stop on the Dust Off a Book blog hop hosted by Bea of Beaquilter!  The idea of this hop is that we all have quilting books on our shelves; Bea challenges us to take one down and use it!  Projects would be from the book as written or inspired by the book.

I knew that February was a busy month for me so I would need a small project.  My guild is making placemats for Friendship Trays as their philanthropy project this year, so something that would work for that size would be ideal.  Say It With Quilts ihas a copyright date of 1997, which happens to be the same year I started quilting.  I'm pretty sure the tea cup pattern is a big part of the reason I bought the book.  It's a 6" finished block, so 6 teacups would make a placemat just the right size.  Perfect!

The teacups went together fairly quickly.  I did some wavy line quilting on the vertical, hoping that it might look like steam coming from the tea.  I used scrappy binding.  I hope it brightens someone's day!

Be sure to check out all the participants in the Dust Off a Book hop:

Monday 3/1

Words and Stitches

 Samelia’s Mum

High Road Quilter

Tuesday 3/2

Karin’s Crazy World

Lemon Tree Snippets


Wednesday 3/3


 Cynthia’s Creating Ark

 A Quilting Readers Garden

Thursday 3/4

Kathy’s Kwilts and More

Quilting Patchwork Applique

The Darling Dogwood  -- You are here!

Creatin’ in the Sticks

Friday 3/5


Quilting at the farm

Kathleen McMusing

Monday, March 1, 2021

Round Robin #7 -- Pinwheels!

Welcome to the final round of our Stay at Home Round Robin. Gail is the mastermind behind the Stay at Home Round Robin and she gathered 7 other bloggers to help host.  This week it is Gail's turn to pick and she picked pinwheels!  

You may remember that after the star round, my corners were empty.  Well, I put those Round #7 pinwheels into a star block! I kept these the same as each other to have some consistency among the corners.

Since this is the final round, I added a thin border of the same blue that is the background for the polar bear in the center.  All fabrics are Island Batik; most are from the Glacier View collection.

If you are playing along, we are saving the final linky party until the end of the month so you can finish up your top or maybe get really ambitious and quilt it too!  I hope to have mine quilted and bound by March 29th, when the linky will be hosted by Gail of Quilting Gail.  Hopefully by then I will have figured out a name for this quilt as well.  Any suggestions?

 Be sure to check out the final round from all of hosts: