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!


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Time in a Bottle -- Spring Time

Welcome to day #2 of the Time in a Bottle blog hop!  Carol of Just Let Me Quilt challenged us to make something with hourglass units.  As soon as I saw the theme, I knew what I would make.  I had some leftover economy block units (square in a square in a square) from my Bloom quilt that I had been planning to turn into flowers.  Hour glass blocks turned on their side would make excellent butterflies for this garden!

I did decide that the hourglass blocks needed a butterfly body in the middle.  I have the butterfly die for my Accuquilt cutter so I used that body but cut it in half and then shaped it a little, since these butterfly blocks are only 3" finished.  


All fabrics are Island Batik.  The flower centers are leftover from the Precious Pinks bundle and everything else is from the Tickled Pink collection from a few years ago--I made butterflies for that quilt, too!  The quilting is wavy lines to make it look like the butterflies are in flight.

Be sure to check out all the great projects today!

March 15


Becky’s Adventures in Quilting and Travel

The Darling Dogwood -- That's me!!!

Quilting Gail

Time 4 Stitchn




Friday, March 11, 2022

Happy Mail & Time in a Bottle Blog Hop

 Fabric mail is the best kind of mail!  When Island Batik sent the Ambassador boxes in December, the winter pre-cuts weren't ready yet, so we all got a bonus package with a pre-cut plus coordinating yardage.  I got a 10" stack of the Santorini collection by Claudia Pfeil, plus two yards each of Wicker & Cinnamon from the always available Foundations line.  I don't have any specific plans for this fabric yet but I know I will find something great for these rich blues, greens, and coppers.

And what good is fabric without needle & thread?  Aurifil sent me their 2020 color builder box with three spools of thread in shades of pink.  The set is named after Sardinia, the second-biggest Italian island (after Sicily).  These will be featured in this months' challenge, so stay tuned for my Italian island-inspired quilt later this month.  And Schmetz needles sent three packages of their chrome professional grade needles! I have been using Schmetz needles since I started quilting in the late 90s and never use anything else.

Speaking of Happy Mail, it's time for me to send some!  The winner of the stash builder strips from my giveaway on my Busy City post is Lee.  Email has been sent to the lucky winner!

Next week, I'll be participating in the Time in a Bottle Blog Hop hosted by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt.  The theme is anything using hourglass units.  I finished my quilt last weekend on the way home from the zoo and am excited to show it to you!  The hop starts Monday, my day is Tuesday.  Check out everyone participating:

March 14

Creatin' in the Sticks

Vroomans Quilts

Patchouli Moon Studio

Samelia's Mum

Days Filled With Joy

Elizabeth Coughlin Designs

Stitchin At Home


March 15


Becky’s Adventures in Quilting and Travel

The Darling Dogwood

Quilting Gail

Time 4 Stitchn



March 16


Lynn's Blog

Karen's Korner

Stitching Farm Girl




March 17

Ms P Designs USA

Quilt Schmilt

That Fabric Feeling

Quilted Delights

Words & Stitches

Selina Quilts


March 18

Just Let Me Quilt

Bumbleberry Stitches

Karrin’s Crazy World

Lianne Makes Stuff