Monday, May 16, 2022

Hexagon baby quilt

I have a colleague who recently had a baby boy.  I have made a baby quilt for every born of the library staff at work since starting this job in 2015.  I don't know this colleague very well as they are mostly at a different location, so I didn't have a lot of information to go on.  I had a really fun tractor print that I bought several years ago hoping to use for an I Spy swap, but then realized would have to be fussy cut and set it aside.  

This seemed like the perfect time to use it!  I recently got the Accuquilt large hexagon die that is compatible with the equilateral triangle die I already had.  I used Kona Rick Red for the triangles.  I didn't have enough to bind in red, so I used bright blue Kona Pacific instead.  The back is a fun cow print.  

I had to kind of think about how the rows went together and how to make sure the tractors were all in the correct orientation, but I do think this design and die work really well to showcase a larger-scale print.  It would also work well on a layer cake.  It's simple and it's fairly small, but I'm pleased with how it came out.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Totally Triangles

May's Island Batik challenge is to play with triangles.  I knew from the moment I read the brief that
I would use Accuquilt’s equilateral triangle die, which I had from Christmas several years ago but
had never used.  The timing also meant it would be a good one as a baby gift for a former coworker
who is expecting this month.  Her first child was also gifted an Island Batik challenge project
That one had a teddy bear on it, so I wanted to maybe add an animal to this one, too.  I did
some internet searching and found gold–a pattern called Triangle Friends by Dione
Gardner-Stephen.  The pattern was from Make Modern Magazine issue #26, which I already
owned, and Dione is a former Island Batik ambassador.  Perfect!



Of the seven playful pals in Dione’s pattern, I picked out the butterfly and the puppy dog.  Both are
made entirely of triangles!  I used scraps of various pink foundation basics left from my precious
pinks bundle for the applique animals.  I actually created the animals first, so I would know how
much space I would need on the quilt background for them.



Then I set the appliques aside and concentrated on the top.  I loved the colors of Citified, Kathy
Engle’s signature collection for Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting. I thought the gentle blues,
purples, and oranges would work great as a baby quilt for a baby girl and the collection
even has
4 different white-ish fabrics, perfect as a background for the applique animals.  I added a few
other fabrics from both scraps and stash builder strips.  I already had Citified out for my Row by
Row quilt and went ahead and got my triangles ready. Cutting the 165 triangles needed for the top
was a breeze with the Accuquilt.
Piecing the equilateral triangles was mostly easy, though I did
have to get used to the seams nesting oddly, or at least differently than squares or rectangles do.


I did my piecing with Auriful thread, color 1135 pale yellow.  I used two different pinks for the
applique, both from the Sardinia color builder, 2425 Bright Pink & 2530 Blossom Pink.  For the
applique, I absolutely love Schmetz super nonstick needles.  They glide right through the fusible
web and I have no problem with sticky residue.  I used Aurifil 2134 Spun Gold for the quilting,
which I did in straight lines to really emphasize the triangles.  The batting is Hobbs Heirloom
Bleached 80/20 cotton/poly
, perfect for a light-colored quilt.



you can really see the triangle quilting in this photo

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

I used the foundation fabric Banana at the end of the rows, the parts that would become the
cut-off triangles to square up the top.  I also used Banana for the border and binding.  I love
these colors together and feel like they work well for a baby quilt but won't seem out of place
when she's a bit older.

I had a lot of fun with this challenge.  I use triangles a lot in quilts but I don't know that I've ever intentionally only used triangles.  And this really is Totally Triangles!

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Messenger Bag

Regular readers know that for almost two years now, I've been obsessed with By Annie bags.  I think it's because before I discovered her patterns, I could not sew bags, and now that I realize I can, I want to sew ALL the bags.  One of the ones I've wanted to make is a messenger bag.  And here it is!

This is the Multi-Tasking Messenger Bag from Annie's Craftsy class.  She no longer sells that pattern separately, but my understanding is that MJ's Messenger Bag (which offers 2 sizes) is essentially the same bag. This is the non-quilted version, though you can quilt the fabric first, before constructing the bag.

This was my first time making significant modifications to an Annie pattern and I so pleased that it worked out!  Specifically, I added an inch each to the length and height of the bag so it would fit my laptop.  And it fits perfectly!  I love the design, there is extra padding in the laptop area. 

You can't tell from the photo, but this part is extra padded

My fabrics are all from stash/scrap, the main fabric is leftover from an extra-wide back.  I love it so much!  Now I just need to be able to attend in-person conferences again, which is one of the only times I walk around with my laptop.  I do think I'll find more occasions to use this messenger bag now that I have it.

Thursday, April 28, 2022


I am always looking for quilt patterns that make good leader & ender projects.  When I saw the youtube tutorial for Missouri Star Quilt Co's Lakeview Terrace, I thought it would be a good one.  I cut lots of blue & green Island Batik scraps into 2 1/2 strips (or partial strips) and cut them down to the right size for the pattern. I used Island Batik's solid gray for the background.

As I was making it, I hoped the blues and greens would look like waves.  Waves = water rippling which made me think of the song Ripple by the Greatful Dead.  I love that song so was glad to continually have it in my head while piecing. So of course I've named this Ripple.


Truth be told, I like Jenny's version better than mine.   But it was a great leader and ender and is perfect for leftover bits of jelly roll strips.  I do like these photos, taken at a quilt retreat weekend with my friend Kate last month--we could see the mountains from where we had our sewing machines set up!  It was fabulous.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Rose Arbor, Wonderful World of Color Blog Hop

Joan from Moosestash Quilting is hosting the Wonderful World of Color blog hop this week.  Color is such a fabulous theme!  I think it's really interesting that most people have a favorite color.  Some love the same color their whole lives and others have tastes that change over time. At the start of the school year, my son asked each of his teachers their favorite color.  The art teacher had a very specific answer: coral pink and mint green/turquoise.  I'm using my quilt for this teacher, with what I hope are fabrics close to her favorite colors, as my Wonderful World of Color project.

I used EQ8 to design this and cut all the pieces with my Accuquilt.  It's all Island Batik fabrics--some came from my ambassador boxes, and the others are fabrics I bought from fellow ambassador Maryellen. Maryellen sells Island Batik in her etsy shop and she helped me find fabrics that fit art teacher Ms. R's very specific color palette.  Maryellen suggested the border fabric; I never would have thought to add a border, but it has the darker turquoise and the darker pink in it and is perfect! I had already decided on yellow cornerstones for the sashing and her border suggestion also included yellow. Inspired!

I'm really pleased with how this turned out!  I like the two different blocks together; I'd like to make it again, maybe more scrappy.

Be sure to check out everyone who is featured today on the Wonderful World of Color hop.  And you can see the full list of everyone for the week here

 Thursday April 21

Just Sew Quilter

Days Filled With Joy

Selina Quilts

Karrin's Crazy World

The Darling Dogwood --You Are Here!

Monday, April 11, 2022

Sloths from Funky Friends Factory & Island Batik

For April, Island Batik Ambassadors were challenged to sew a stuffed toy from the Funky Friends Factory.  Pauline, the brilliance behind the Funky Friends, has a ton of fun animals to choose from, and they all have alliterative names.  I chose Slowpoke the Sloth.


There are three people in my house and we all love stuffed animals, so I was pretty sure from the start that I would make three.  I used the Blender Bubbles in Sahara for the body of all three sloths and then each of chose our accent fabric for the face and claws. By using the same body fabric, I hoped they would look like a family.

Fire Monkey named his sloth Slowpoke, though he did not know that was the name of the pattern.  He liked Bubbles in Sprout.


Husband likes ironic names so his sloth is Flash.  This is the only fabric not from the always-available Foundations collection; it is from Citified by Kathy Engle for Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting, and is a beautiful sapphire blue.


 My sloth is Veronica, for t.v. character Veronica Mars, played by Kristin Bell who is well known to adore sloths.  I absolutely loved the foundation Garnet next to the Sahara Bubbles; both were in my most recent ambassador box and when I saw them together, I knew that would be the combo for my sloth.


The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, Funky Friends Factory, Schmetz, & Aurifil.

I love the size of these sloths, they are quite generous and very huggable.  They weren't easy, per say, but Pauline's instructions are very thorough.  There is also a blog post for each individual animal that show you pictures of the steps and I found the photos extremely helpful, though you do have to remember to still read the pattern, as I did find one or two steps that were important but not really visual, so I needed both.  

I love how these sloths came out! In addition to the beautiful Island Batik fabrics, I used Aurifil thread 2340-Cafe au Lait for all the piecing, it matched the Sahara really well, even in closing up all the openings for stuffing.  Each sloth has 5 openings, so that was 15 places to stitch closed!  I did it while watching Bridgerton on Netflix so all that hand stitching went fast.  For the machine stitching I used a Schmetz microtex chrome needle.  Fire Monkey especially loves the velcro in the claws so it can give you a hug or hang off your arm.  

This is third Funky Friend pattern I've made. I let our sloths hang out with the other Funky Friends I've made that still live at our house, all made with Island Batik fabrics, of course.  The patterns are William Whale and Ollie the Laid Back Owl, though our whales are Celeste and Roderigo and the owl is Orion.  


If you want to try sewing soft toys, check out the Funky Friends Factory!  She even has a section on her website of patterns good for beginners.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2022


Since it's spring, I'm working on finishing the quilts for Fire Monkey's teachers at the end of the year.  This year, I'm making quilts for the specials teachers as well (music, art, P.E., etc) since they frequently get overlooked, and all his specials teachers have been at the school since he started.  Knowing that this was a lot to make, Fire Monkey started getting the intel of favorite colors in August when the school year started.  Each day, he'd come home and tell me if he learned of a teacher's favorite color.  When he told me that Mr. S, the music teacher, had a favorite color of gray, I admit I was a bit flummoxed.  Gray?  Gray doesn't really feel like a color.  But, ok, if that's what he likes, that's what he'll get.

I played around with designs that would look good with just two colors, black and gray.  I did a lot of designing as I was working on last November's Storm at Sea challenge with Island Batik, so that pattern was on my mind. I really like Snail's Trail's with Storm at Sea, so I alternated the two.  

The fabrics are both Island Batik solids, which I love.  I cut everything except the diamonds-in-a-rectangle with my Accuquilt and used my Diamond Rects tool from Studio 180 for those units. The quilting is a large spiral with gray thread. While this is perhaps a bit colorless for my tastes, I do like the contrast and am pleased with how it turned out.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Neptune's Grotto with Aurifil & Island Batik

Ready to take an Italian vacation?  March's Island Batik Ambassador challenge is sponsored by Aurifil thread and is inspired by cities all over Italy.  When Aurifil launched their color builder sets in 2020 they used their headquarters as inspiration; each color set is inspired by a different Italian destination.  For this challenge, each ambassador was sent one of the color builder sets and asked to create a small quilt inspired by that color's location.  I was sent the pink color builder, inspired by the island of Sardinia.

The photos of Sardinia I found online were absolutely gorgeous.  I've never been anywhere in Italy and I wasn't familiar with Sardinia, so I had to do some research.  Sardinia is the 2nd biggest Italian island (after Sicily) and features all types of terrain.  I scrolled through lists of attractions and natural wonders and eventually landed on Neptune's Grotto, a stalactite cave.  Since I've never been there, I had no photos of my own to use and I didn't want the copyright complications of using any image I found online, so decided an abstract representation was the way to go, rather than trying to recreate a photo.  I went for the general look of the opening of the cave.

All fabrics are from Island Batik's Foundations collections, available all the time.  I started by layering the background of Muslin over two layers of Hobbs Thermore batting, with solid white as the backing. I started with the shining waters that surround Sardinia, using Icicle as the main water and Mystic for highlights. 


When I was happy with the ocean, I moved on to the entrance of Neptune's Grotto.  Fabrics in the caves are Opalescence, Lavender, Begonia, and Camellia.  


I went completely by instinct and didn't plan anything, and I stitched each piece down as I added it. Once I was happy with all the shapes, I added more stitching.  While I did some in the water, most of my stitching was in the caves, to give the impression of crevices and lines in the rock. In addition to the three pinks in the Color Builder (2410 Pale Pink, 2425 Bright Pink, & 2530 Blossom Pink), I used 5006 Light Turquoise & 1320 Bright Teal.  I used a Schmetz Chrome professional grade needle.

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

This is pretty abstract and not at all like what I normally create.  I decided to embrace the abstract nature so when I trimmed it, I intentionally did not trim it square.  The binding is Opalescence.   Check out my fellow Island Batik Ambassador Jane of Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting for her absolutely gorgeous landscape quilt of Sardinia's coast.  

Thanks to Island Batik and Aurifil for this challenge that was out of my norm and out of my comfort zone.  I only hope that some day I can visit Sardinia!

Monday, March 21, 2022

Stay at Home Round Robin 2022

We've come to the end of the Stay at Home Round Robin.  This great sew along comes from the brilliant and creative mind of Gail from Quilting Gail.  Her idea was to do a Round Robin without needing to trade anything back and forth.  She gathered a few friends and we each picked a round, so the idea is that each person makes their own quilt based on the prompts. Here is my finished quilt!

I don't have a name for this yet. (Suggestions welcome!)  I used a beautiful assortment of Island Batik purples from the Fancy Feathers collection, along with a fun background called Cat Scratch in the color S'more.   I quilted it with a broad cross-hatch pattern and bound with Island Batik's solid Amethyst.  I'm really pleased with how this came out!  I had no plans when I started, just took each round as it came. 

Curious what each round was?  Here are each of the hosts and what they chose for their round:

Did you sew along?  Be sure to link up with Gail for the final linky party.  No worries if yours isn't finished yet, we like to see projects in all stages.  We have already decided to do this again for 2023, so look for the fun to start again in January 2023!