Friday, December 9, 2022

Lone Star Jacket

Quilt Coats are quite the trend right now, even beyond the quilting world.  I don't normally care about fashion trends, but I do like the idea of a quilted coat or jacket.  Problem is, I have zero garment-making skills.  I have tried and the results have not been good.  I have wondered if I could go the sweatshirt-turned-into-a-quilted-jacket route, and have watched this tutorial with Edyta Sitar several times for the method.  When I learned that one of the Island Batik challenges was the Lone Star, I thought a lot about making a quilted jacket using a sweatshirt for the challenge since a Lone Star would look fabulous on the back of a jacket.  Ultimately, I decided it was too risky and moved on to design a Lone Star quilt.

But I couldn't get the idea of a Lone Star on the back of a jacket out of my head. Jordan Fabrics has a tutorial for a smaller Lone Star, and I thought if I made the strips narrower, the Lone Star might be small enough to fit on my back.  So once I had chosen my fabrics for Crayola Explosion, I looked at the fabrics I hadn't used and tried to find a combination of 5 fabrics that I liked.  I ended up repeating two fabrics.  I decided to applique the star to the back of a denim jacket.  My biggest problem was that I really didn't want raw edges.  I bought some skinny pre-made bias binding and used that to encase the edges.  That worked well.

My plan is to keep this jacket at work so I have something to throw on when I'm cold.  With the variety of colors, I figure I can wear it with anything.  The fabrics are Island Batik, of course, from the Chickadee collection, and I did use Aurifil thread and Schmetz needles.  I've worn it at work a few times now and gotten many comments on it.  I'm pretty happy with it, and I love that I can kind of hop on the Quilt Coat bandwagon without needing to make the garment!  


If you like the Chickadee fabrics, I have a giveaway on this post until December 23rd to win a set of 2 1/2" strips from the collection--it's not a full jelly roll, just one each of 18 fabrics from the collection, but there are lots of bright colors.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Crayola Explosion--a Lone Star with Island Batik

The Lone Star is a classic quilt pattern.  This month, Island Batik challenged their ambassadors to make a Lone Star with one of the newest fabric collections.  I've made a Lone Star once before, back in 2004 (pre-blog) and I used QuiltSmart's fusible interfacing. Since I used QuiltSmart interfacing for my June challenge, I decided to look for an alternative.  I found a fabulous tutorial on YouTube from Jordan Fabrics.  This tutorial uses 2 1/2" strips AND is made without Y seams.  Sold!  (And I'm not the only ambassador who used this tutorial!)


Though I loved the Jordan Fabrics tutorial, I knew I didn't want my colors to be random. I was feeling low-tech, so I started with a printable Lone Star and got out my colored pencils.  I love this design, but would have to add a purple from the basics collection to the already bright and wonderful Chickadee.  I also wasn't sure this would allow for enough of the 20 fabrics in Chickadee.  So I then turned to EQ8 to plan my fabric placement.  I loved a lot of layouts, but really wanted to showcase as many of the bright fabrics in Chickadee as possible.  My final design includes 15 fabrics in the star itself and a 16th as the binding.  I used the always-available Coconut from the Foundations collection as the background.

I loved the Jordan fabrics tutorial!  I did not use the off-cut sections as she does, but I did save them and I have an idea on how to use them, it's just a matter of finding the time. I did mark and pin my intersections, which is time-consuming but worth it.  I am not normally a pinner but in this case it felt important, and I'm happy with my point intersections. One thing I did do that helped a lot is print out a copy of color placement from EQ.  Then I marked the sections of three that the pattern/tutorial create, so I would have an idea of how to piece it and how to lay it out.


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


One of the best parts about this method is that it uses 2 1/2" strips.  I cut mine with my Accuquilt Go! cutter and their 2 1/2" strip die. I was able to cut all my strips fairly quickly and they are so accurate!  My pressing mat from Prairie Spirit Alpaca was great for helping to press seams as flat as possible. I quilted it with Aurifil Thread color 1135 Pale Yellow.  I used Hobbs 80/20 bleached batting, perfect for quilts with a light background.  All stitching was done with a Schmetz chrome needle.


cutting strips with AccuQuilt

 In addition to the larger Lone Star, which uses 20 2 1/2" strips, Jordan Fabrics has a tutorial for a wall hanging Lone Star as well.  I had a fun idea for a bonus Lone Star project. I used this second tutorial, but I knew that I needed it even smaller for what I had in mind.  So I cut my strips for my "baby Lone Star" 1 1/2" wide but otherwise followed the tutorial.  This one uses 5 different fabrics.  I used 3 that weren't in my full-sized Lone Star, plus 2 repeats, meaning I used 19 of the 20 fabrics in the Chickadee collection.  Here is my baby Lone Star--come back on Friday to see my bonus project!


Small Lone Star

Chickadee was designed by Kathy Engle for the Whimsical Workshop. This collection is full of bright colors and makes me think of the original Crayola marker packs I had to take to school as a kid, So I named this Crayola Explosion.

Want a chance to win some Chickadee fabric? I cut an extra 2 1/2 inch strip of each fabric except the binding fabric, so I have a set of 18 2 1/2" strips to give away. See the Rafflecopter below to enter.  Be aware that I likely won't ship the prize until the new year, as I don't love going to the post office close to Christmas.  Any blog comment will count, but if you need a prompt, tell me what classic quilt pattern is next on your to-make list.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stop by and visit my friend and fellow ambassador Preeti Harris @  Sew Preeti Quilts and see what she made with the Chickadee collection.  And be sure to check out all the ambassadors throughout the month of December for their Lone Star quilts.  You can find the schedule here.



Monday, December 5, 2022

Lone Star Blog Hop

Today starts the Lone Star blog hop featuring Island Batik's newest fabric collections.  Each Island Batik was sent one of the complete collections and tasked with making a Lone Star quilt.

I was sent the Chickadee, designed by Kathy Engle as a signature collection for The Whimsical Workshop.  Chickadee looks like a child's crayon box! It was a lot of fun to work with and I can't wait to show you what I made!  I'm early on this hop, so you'll only have to wait until Wednesday. 


Here is the full schedule, which takes us through almost the entire month of December.  Be sure to check out everyone for a whole lot of Lone Star inspiration! And Island Batik does a new giveaway every Friday during the hop, so be sure to visit them weekly! Some ambassadors will also do their own bonus giveaways, so don't miss anyone!


December 5

Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine
Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail

December 6

Megan Best, Bestquilter
Brenda Alburl, Songbird Designs

December 7

Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts
Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood

December 8

Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations



December 12

Reed Johnson, Blue Bear Quilts
Suzy Webster, Websterquilt

December 13

Gail Renna, Quilt Haven Threads
Jennifer Fulton, Inquiring Quilter

December 14

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese
Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia

December 15

Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights
Andi Stanfield, True Blue Quilts



December 19

Mania Hatziioannidi, Mania for Quilts
Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde Gifts

December 20

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts
Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs
Sandra Starley, Textile Time Travels

December 21

Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting
Lisa Pickering, Lisa’s Quilting Passion

December 22

Brianna Roberts, Sew Cute and Quirky

Anorina Morris, Samelia’s Mum
Elizabeth DeCroos, Epida Studio

Monday, November 14, 2022

Creative Christmas Stockings with Island Batik

November's Island Batik Ambassador challenge is creative Christmas stockings.  We were to make a stocking, and that was the only directive; it could be any color or design we wanted.  Some challenges, I immediately have ideas while others need time to percolate.  This was one of the times that I needed time to ponder the possibilities.

Unrelated, back in September, I saw a block that Laura of Slice of Pi quilts designed for Island Batik's Woodcut Blossoms line.  She called the block Woodcut Roses and I absolutely loved it.  It wasn't too many days after I fist saw Woodcut Roses that I realized those flowers would look stunning on a Christmas stocking. I had the prefect fabric, too, leftovers from Woodblock Bouquets, a signature collection earlier this year for Carol Moellers that includes deep red-pinks, dark greens, and golds.  Perfect for a Christmas color palette!

applique laid out on the stocking

I selected a lovely cream from Woodblock Bouquets as my background.  I used Heat-n-bond Lite for the flower pieces.  When I was happy with the layout, I fused them in place  Then I layered the stocking with Hobbs Thermore batting, a thin polyester batting perfect for small projects and stitched a small cross-hatch with Aurifil Thread color 2000 and a Schmetz mircotex chrome needle.  Since the flower pieces were fused on and the stitching is pretty close together, I didn't do any additional stitching around the applique shapes.  I used Island Batik's solid white for the lining of the stocking.


layering with Thermore

You can still download the free Woodcut Roses pattern at the Slice of Pi Quilts website.  Laura made a beautiful table runner with hers, if you are looking for other ideas. 

Stocking back     

layered together

Ta-da!  Finished stocking!

We haven't started decorating for Christmas yet so I tried to get a picture of the stocking hanging over my fireplace, but it looks empty without other decorations or stockings to keep it company.

Be sure to check out all the Island Batik Ambassadors to see their creative Christmas stockings!  There have been some really fun ones, and the month is only half over!

Brenda Alburl ~ Songbird Designs Megan Best ~ Bestquilter Pamela Boatright ~ Pamelaquilts Elizabeth DeCroos ~ Epida Studio Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts Jane Hauprich ~ Stitch By Stitch Custom Quilting Reed Johnson ~ Blue Bear Quilts Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs . Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood Denise Looney ~ For The Love Of Geese Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine Anorina Morris – Lisa Pickering ~ Lisa’s Quilting Passion Claudia Porter ~ Create with Claudia Gail Renna ~ Quilt Haven Threads Brianna Roberts ~ Sew Cute And Quirky Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail Andi Stanfield ~ True Blue Quilts Sandra Starley ~ Textile Time Travels Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations Suzy Webster ~ Websterquilt



Friday, November 11, 2022

Call for 2023 Island Batik Ambassadors

Island Batik is currently accepting applications for their 2023 brand ambassador program.  If you are active on social media and love beautiful batiks, you might make a great Island Batik Ambassador!


I love being an ambassador!  The monthly challenges are so much fun and have been so great for my creativity, artistic expression, and growth as a quilter.  You can read more about what Island Batik is looking for here, and that link also includes the application.  You have until November 15th to apply, so don't delay! 

Just for fun, here is one of my ambassador projects from my first year as an Island Batik Ambassador. 

This is Tropical Stars and was made with the Islander collection for the Star Light, Star Britght challenge in August 2019.  The pattern is Star Blossoms from the book Scrap-Basket Beauties by Kim Brackett.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Gotham Quilts has created a panel of six fun pillows to celebrate their love of New York City.  The panel coordinates with their My NYC fabric line, which I was pleased to sew with over the summer.   While of course you can use the pillow panel to make pillows, Jennifer of Dizzy Quilter is hosting a blog hop showcasing some other uses for these fun motifs.

I admit, my idea is not super original.  My son has recently started asking to visit New York City and I knew he'd love an NYC-themed shirt.  He has always loved different vehicles, so I knew I'd make one with the taxi.  When I showed him the images, he also liked Lady Liberty.  I bought 2 long-sleeved shirts from Target.

The process for these was not difficult and I didn't really stop in between steps and get many photos.  I rough cut about a half an inch outside the design, I ironed the image onto some Heat-n-Bond Lite, and then I cut carefully cut out the shape. 

rough cut, before fusing

Being sure to only have the top of the shirt on the ironing board, I fused the image onto the shirt, then used a narrow satin stitch to secure it to the shirt. 


Admittedly, these images are fairly large.  I think they'd fit better on clothes for larger people; my son is on the small side for his age, and I even bought shirts up a size so he'd be able to wear them for a while. I did pre-wash both the pillow panel and the t-shirts.  I'm not normally a pre-washer, but since this is clothing, I thought that I should get any shrinkage out of the way before adding the applique to the shirt.


Any of these images would look great on a sweatshirt or on the back of a jacket.  Or, as Jennifer's mom proved, on an apron

I know the assignment was "something other than a pillow" but I could not resist making the pizza rat pillow.  Fire Monkey (my son) loves it!  I put flannel on the back so it is nice and cuddly.  Cuddly for a rat, anyway!  😀

Be sure to check out all the ideas for making non-pillow items with the pillow panel from Gotham Quilts!

November 1: Jen Strauser * Dizzy Quilter

November 2: Swan Sheridan * Swan Amity Studios

November 3: Lissa LaGreca * Lovingly, Lissa

November 3: Emily Leachman * The Darling Dogwood ⮜ You Are Here!

November 4: Deborah Fisher * Fish Museum and Circus

November 5: Siobhan Fitzpatrick * CDM365 Studios

November 5: Autumn Shatto * Geometry And Joy

November 6: Laura Piland * Slice of Pi Quilts


Sunday, October 30, 2022

Double Zip Gear Bag, Patterns By Annie

Island Batik's ambassador challenge this month is one of my favorites: It's In the Bag with By Annie.  Each of us got to choose one of Annie's fabulous patterns and the beautiful Island Batiks to make it with.  I chose the Double Zip Gear Bag and made all three sizes.  The fabrics are from the Bee Kind collection by Kathy Engle for Swan Amity Studios.  I was sent a bit with absolutely everything I need to make all three double zip gear bags!


Annie's patterns all have a page that you can photocopy with little boxes for each piece you cut out, so you know what it is cut out of, the size, and the role it plays in the bag.  Since I was making all three size bags and each would feature a different colored fabric, I photocopied each size onto colored paper that coordinated with the color of the bag.  This helped eliminate mixing up the pieces from the different sized bags.  I made the medium (green) bag first.


I quilted each of my three bags with a slightly different quilting pattern, though all used straight lines.  I matched my Aurifil thread to each fabric and used a Schmetz topstitch needle for the entire process. 

The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, By Annie, Schmetz, & Aurifil.


Annie's bags have a lot of steps but that's part of what I love about them--they are so thorough!  And you end up with very professional looking bags.  Many patterns, including double zip gear bag, have an add-on video that walks you through the more difficult steps of the pattern.   These videos are really helpful.  Annie also has a series of general videos on her website that go over some bag-making basics, like working with zippers and beautiful bindings.


I love my completed bags!  They are really useful and have a lot of pockets.  Each bag has two large zippered pockets on the exterior, one made with mesh and one with quilted fabric.  On the inside, there are slip pockets with elastic on both sides, and those can be subdivided into smaller pockets as desired.  I think the medium is the most useful size, though I know I will be happy to have and use all three. And when I'm not using them, they nest together!  


While Double Zip Gear Bag is not the easiest of Annie's patterns that I have made, if you follow the instructions and go step by step, you will end up with a beautiful, useful, professional looking bag!