Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Giveaway updates plus Pinktober!

I can't believe it's already October!  Fall is my favorite time of year.  October is a busy month at my house, both Fire Monkey and Husband have October birthdays and our anniversary is in October.  Lots of celebrations!

October is also breast cancer awareness month, and I am thrilled to be participating in Island Batik's Pinktober blog hop, hosted by Brianna of Sew Cute & Quirky.  Island Batik has created two beautiful collections honoring the fight against breast cancer, Positively Pink and Hope & Heart.  


For most of the month, featured bloggers will be showcasing these collections and telling how breast cancer has affected them or their loved ones.  My day is October 10th, so come back and see the Positively Pink quilt I made. Other sponsors of the hop are Aurifil and Quilter's Perfect Klip. Here is the full list of participants:

Speaking of Blog Hops, September's Tool Talk blog hop was a success!  The winner of my giveaway of three beautiful blue Island Batik fabrics from the Prairie Blue collection is Maryellen!  I've already contacted Maryellen and will get her prize in the mail.

Looking for another chance to win a prize?  Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts is giving one of my readers a copy of her newest pattern, Arabella's Garden.  Check out this post and leave me a comment there by October 7th to enter.  

Friday, September 30, 2022

Arabella's Garden

I am excited to introduce you to Arabella's Garden, a new pattern by my friend Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts.  When I first saw this pattern in the Island Batik catalog for spring/summer 2022, I absolutely loved it.  I practically begged Preeti to add me to her list of testers for the pattern! 

Preeti used Island Batik's Bee Kind collection, which has blues, purples, yellows, and greens.  I used very similar colors in my version.  I kept the somewhat scrappy look of hers, but was very specific in what colors went where.  

It's a great pattern and very easy to follow.  I was able to cut most of it with my Accuquilt 8" cube but Preeti also gives traditional cutting directions.  The pattern makes a quilt that is 64" x 88", with options for four different sizes.  I chose to make mine square instead of rectangular, so my version is 64" square.  It's a good lap size.

All the fabrics in my version are Island Batik.  I used scraps and stash builder rolls.  The background is solid white.  The pattern includes a coloring sheet so you can play around with color placement.

If you love the look of Arabella's Garden as much as I did, the pattern is now available in Preeti's etsy shop.  Standard price is $14 but she's listing it with 30% off through October 6th.  Thanks, Preeti, for letting me show off your fabulous design! Preeti is very generously giving me a copy of her pattern to give away!  Leave any comment for an entry.  If you need a prompt, Preeti has asked what is your major complain with quilt patterns?  Contest closes October 7th and I will draw a winner October 8th.


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Prairie Meadow with Island Batik and Studio 180 Design

Welcome to my stop on Island Batik's Tool Talk blog hop, featuring Island Batik's newest fabric collections and Studio 180 Design tools by Deb Tucker.  I was sent the Prairie Blue collection by Kathy Engle and the Split Rects tool.

The challenge required using at least 30 units made with our Studio 180 tool.  My final design actually has 60 split rects units!  I also used the Wing Clipper tool, which I was sent last year.  The Wing Clipper makes flying geese units and there are 40 of those in this quilt!  So my Studio 180 Design tools certainly got a workout.  


Here is a part of a single block, can you see the flying geese and half square rectangle/split rects units?

The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design, Prairie Spirit Alpaca, Schmetz, Aurifil, & Hobbs.

more split rect and flying geese units for the outside part of the block

My finished blocks are 20" square, so quite large.  I ended up setting them on point and adding some 4-patch units to connect the blocks to each other. While I used Island Batik's solid white for the background in the blocks themselves, I used the Prickly Pear Cacti fabric from Prairie Blue for the sashing between blocks and the setting triangles.  

After washing, the finished quilt measures at 58" square.  (Photos are from before washing.) I used fifteen of the beautiful blue fabrics in the Prairie Blue collection.  I pieced and quilted with Aurifil thread 2770 Very Light Delft and a Schmetz microtex chrome needle, fresh at the start of this project. I really felt the prairie connection while using Prairie Blue fabrics and my new pressing mat from Prairie Spirit Alpacas--it's like they were meant for each other!  I also used Hobbs bleached 80/20 batting, great for quilts with a very light background. 

Inspired by all the beautiful blues and the collection name, I named this Prairie Meadow.  It makes me think of beautiful blue skies shining over the prairie.  Prairie Blue should be shipping to quilt shops this month, so be sure to look for it if you need a little or a lot of blue for your next project.

special thanks to my friend Cheryl for being my quilt holder!

Island Batik is hosting weekly giveaways throughout September to celebrate the Tool Talk blog hop, be sure to look for the new giveaway every Friday on their blog.  I am also hosting a small giveaway. 


I have an uncut half yard of Longhorn Star and 1/3 yard each of Cacti Mix & Canyon Mountains, which together will make a nice start on a prairie-themed project.  Leave me a comment to enter the giveaway, which runs until the end of September.  Any comment will work but if you need a prompt, tell me your favorite shade of blue  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit my fellow Island Batik Ambassador Andi Stanfield at True Blue Quilts and see what she made what Prairie Blue!

Monday, September 19, 2022

Car Pillow

Over the weekend, I went to visit a friend and former colleague who had a baby over the summer.  I was able to finally take Totally Triangles to its adorable new owner.  Baby Girl has an older brother, aged 2 1/2 years.  When I give a baby quilt to a new arrival with an older sibling, I like to make something small for the older child as well.  I know young Michael loves cars and trucks, so I made him a pillow.

I cut the cars with my Accuquilt Go--the Cute Car is a super fun die.  I loved the roads I made as the borders for my Row by Row back in February, so I added a border of roads as well.  I am pleased to say that Michael loved it!  When he realized that the outer border was a road, he immediately went looking for his small trucks and had them drive on the road.  He also wanted to put his pillow on the couch and made me move the throw pillow next to me to make room for the car pillow.  I call that success!

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Island Batik's Tool Talk blog hop

For most of the month of September, Island Batik and their ambassadors will be showing off all their newest fabric collections. These fabrics will begin shipping to quilt shops this month, so keep your eyes out! For the hop, Island Batik has partnered with Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Design to showcase their fabulous tools.  Each ambassador was sent of Deb's tools plus a complete fabric collection (usually 20 fabrics) and tasked to make at least 30 units with their tool.  All of Deb's tools make multiple sizes, so you could see miniature blocks or huge ones.

I was sent the collection Prairie Blue.  As you might suspect from the name, it's a stunning collection of a variety of shades of blue.  There are cacti, long horned cattle, blue bonnets, and other things that you might associate with the Prairie.  Come back on September 20th to see what I made with these beautiful blues.

Island Batik hosts a giveaway every week on their blog; check back every Friday for a new one.  For this week, you can win either the Baroque or Bee Kind collections.  I got to pick the farbics for my October challenge and I chose fabrics from Bee Kind; don't miss your chance to enter to win these beautiful fabrics!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out all the ambassadors' projects all month long! Many will host their own giveaways, too!

September 6

Gail Renna, Quilt Haven Threads

Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde Gifts

September 7

Sandra Starley, Textile Time Travels

Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations

September 8

Brenda Alburl, Songbird Designs

Jennifer Fulton, Inquiring Quilter


September 12

Lisa Pickering, Lisa’s Quilting Passion

Suzy Webster, Websterquilt

September 13

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese

Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail

September 14

Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts

Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs

September 15

Megan Best, Bestquilter

Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine



September 19

Elizabeth DeCroos, Epida Studio

Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting

September 20

Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood

Andi Stanfield, True Blue Quilts

September 21

Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia

September 22

Mania Hatziioannidi, Mania for Quilts

Reed Johnson, Blue Bear Quilts


September 26

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts

September 27

Anorina Morris, Samelia’s Mum

Brianna Roberts, Sew Cute and Quirky

Monday, September 5, 2022

Get on Board with Sewing blog hop

Happy National Sewing Month!  To celebrate, Brenda of Songbird Designs and Melva of Melva Loves Scraps are co-hosting the "Get on Board With Sewing" blog hop to celebrate all forms of sewing.  




Participants were encouraged to complete and share a project that fits the theme, which I am interpreting to be a beach/surf theme.  I had the perfect project in a By Annie bag that I stalled on about 2/3 through the process.  The hop was fantastic motivation to get it finished. 


This is the Roll With It pattern, designed to hold either a yoga mat or a beach towel.  I had been wanting to make one for both me and for Fire Monkey, my 8-year-old son.  I started with his.  He's been in a shark phase for a few years now so naturally I had to use shark fabric.  I found a fun and colorful clown fish fabric for the lining.  The binding and handles are Kona Ocean, also appropriate for the theme. 😀 The pattern calls for coordinating fabric on one side to differentiate the two side pockets, but I didn't want just solid blue, so I create an applique shark from the same coloring sheet I used on my Octopus's Garden quilt several years ago.  You can't have too many sharks!  Or so Fire Monkey would say, anyway.

I finished this in time for us to take it to our friends' neighborhood pool to celebrate the end of summer weekend before school started.  I meant to take photos at the pool but I got caught up in the fun and completely forgot!  It worked great, though, and I liked that Fire Monkey could now be responsible for his own towel and other things he might want, like sunglasses or goggles.  I will be making another for me for sure!

For the Get on Board with Sewing hop, we are also encouraged to share how we got started with sewing.  The vast majority of my sewing is quilting, and I got started when I was in college.  We had a Craft Center that was an extracurricular.  I had always done different crafts and like to try different things, so I signed up for a quilting class at the start of my sophomore year.  Well, I fell in love with quilting and while I still dabble in other creative things, quilting is really my passion.  

To celebrate the hop, there is a giveaway!  Enter with the Rafflecopter by September 12th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Be sure to visit all the great bloggers encouraging everyone to Get on Board With Sewing!

Thursday, September 1
Anorina @ Samelia’s Mum
Friday, September 2
Karen @  Karen’s Korner  
Sharon & Susan @ Ms P Designs USA
Monday, September 5
Linda @  Texas Quilt Gal
Emily @ The Darling Dogwood     You Are Here!           
Tuesday, September 6
Gail @  Quilting Gail
Carol @ Quilt Schmilt      
Wednesday, September 7
Tammy  @ Tamarinis

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Road Trip!

It's hard to believe that summer is essentially over!  I'm still not entirely sure where it went!  Things were very busy at work as we moved into a gorgeous new library and I am the details person at work, so I was very involved with the move and getting ready to open.  But my family did manage to take two short trips.  I had been wanting to make the Road Trip pattern By Annie and I managed to get it done before our July trip to Ohio.

Annie's patterns are very thorough.  There are a lot of steps so they take some time, but the results are always beautiful and totally worth it.  I love this one!  There are a ton of pockets.  My vision was always to load this up with everything Fire Monkey would want for a road trip, both in the car and once we made it to our destination.  It fit everything: friends (stuffed animals), his tablet, books, extra masks.  Our car bingo set was in there too, but I don't think you can see it in the photos. There are also two other Annie bags in this one, a large clam up that holds his cars & trucks, and a pencil case made with firetruck fabric.  

The main fabric is Little Explorers by Sarah Frederking; I bought it at my local quilt shop from their sale room.  I love all the little animals in it!  The binding/coordinating fabric is Kona Enchanted, their color of the year in 2020.  The lining fabric is a fun multi-color print that was leftover backing from my Exploding Heart teacher quilt.

This is a great bag and it fits so much.  It was great for Fire Monkey to have everything right next to him in the car, and then we could just carry into the house we rented when we got to our destination and he had everything there, too.  I know Road Trip will go with us on many future trips!



Thursday, August 18, 2022

Time to Quilt! A Marvelous Mini

For August, Island Batik challenged their ambassadors to make a Marvelous Mini.  We could use any techniques, the only stipulation was that it be no larger than 24" square. I have long wanted to make a quilted clock and this seemed like the perfect time. 

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

A Dresden block seemed perfect, and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to make a color wheel.  As I've said before, no one can do a rainbow like Island Batik! I went through my scraps and collection of stash builder strips to choose the best color wheel I could.  I used the Chunky Dresden template from Julie of Crafty Quilter.  While I was cutting the blades, I decided to make more than one Dresden since the blades use so little fabric.  The red-orange was my limiting factor; I could only get three blades out of it, so three clocks it is!  The blades after being chain-pieced made a beautiful garland!

Once I pressed all my blades on my alpaca pressing mat from Paririe Spirit Alpaca, I assembled my fans.  I did all piecing and quilting with Schmetz needles. I decided on solid gray for the background and center circle.  I used an Elmer's disappearing purple glue stick to keep the Dresden in place while I stitched around each blade with Aurifil monofilament thread.  Then I switched to Aurifil #6726 Airstream for the quilting. 


The numbers were the hardest part.  I used to do a lot of rubber stamping and I still had a set of small number stamps.  I tested on some scrap and liked it, but then when I stamped on an actual wheel, it bothered me that the stamps didn't really show up well on a few of the darker colors, like the purple. 


I ended up printing out bubble letters from online, using a copier to get them to a size I liked, and then used my light box to trace them backwards so I could print onto heat-n-bond light printable sheets.  I then ironed onto Island Batik solid black fabric. The numbers are small enough that I did not stitch around them after fusing; I'm assuming they won't get much handling since the clock will presumably hang on a wall or be propped on shelf. 


Though the fabrics are all the same, I varied the starting color.  The one for me, I used purple as the 12.  The second clock is a birthday present for my friend Kate, whose amazing photographs I sometimes use here.  Kate's favorite color is blue, so her clock has blue in the 12 o' clock position.  For the third, I stuck with Roy-G-Biv and used red as the start of the wheel.I quilted each clock slightly differently.  The battings are also different, though they are all by Hobbs.  Since this was a small project, I was able to use up smaller bits.  The clock with the red 12 has Hobbs' fusible batting, which I absolutely love because it cuts out the need to baste.  The clock with the blue 12 has Hobbs bleached 80/20 batting and the purple 12 has their Thermore 100% polyester batting.  


solid gray on the back, quilting from the Dresden blades

I bought 14" artist's canvases and Husband helped me staple the quilted sandwich to the canvases.  If I had it to do over again, I probably wouldn't have layered and quilted the clock, I would just staple the top to the canvas.  The bulk of the batting plus top & backing made for a lot to staple, especially in the corners.  The clock mechanisms were pretty easy to install. 

I'm so happy with my finished clocks!  Marvelous Mini was a fun challenge!