Monday, August 28, 2023

Overflowing Heart

For August, Island Batik is leaving it up to each of us what to make. Instead of a set theme, challenge, or restrictions, we can use any Island Batik fabric we like and create whatever we want.  Well, Challenge Accepted!  I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  

This is Overflowing Heart, my version of Jen Kingwell's Boho Heart.  I started it in February of 2021 as part of a Quilt Along on facebook.  I kept up fairly well, but this quilt has a lot of blocks.  A LOT.  One hundred and eight, to be exact, in seven different block sizes.  Over the past 2 1/2 years, I've focused on getting a few blocks done at a time.  At the start of 2023, I had 63 blocks completed, which means I still had 45 left to complete.  Plus, you know, putting all the blocks together (and this thing is a puzzle!) and quilting it and all the usual completion steps.  

close-up of some of the left side

Items used in this project were provided to me by Island Batik, Schmetz, Hobbs, Accuquilt, and Aurifil.

The quilt is assembled in 4 vertical panels

One of the things that I really liked about this pattern was that I knew how many blocks of each size I needed, so I could swap out the blocks in the actual pattern and sub in pretty much anything I wanted.  I added several blocks to personalize it.  With a blog named The Darling Dogwood, I added a dogwood blossom, of course!  (Pattern by Southwind Designs.)  There are 2 trees, a house, a fish, a penguin, a butterfly--and that might not even be all!

Knowing I wanted the quilt to be a bit like a treasure hunt for people looking at it, I also fussy cut some of the great Island Batik fabrics I've had over the years.  Like this moose, for example, from the Glacier View collection in 2020.  There is also other fussy-cut treasures to find, and some of them are even conveniently grouped together for a photo!  (Coincidence, I swear!)

Jen Kingwell is known for hand-piecing her quilts.  I do not, but there are a variety of techniques used, including needle turn applique, machine applique, English paper piecing, and traditional (machine) piecing.  I cut a lot of the blocks with my Accuquilt Go, including at least 2 different Block on Board (BOB) dies.  

daisy cut with Accuquilt

This is a truly scrappy quilt.  Every inch of it is Island Batik.  I could not even begin to guess how many different fabrics are in this quilt.  There are at least 50 different fabrics in the background alone.  I think there is at least one fabric from just about every collection I've been sent and used over the last 5 years.  As in Jen's original, I wanted there to be a lot of different colors.  I didn't worry too much as I was making the blocks; I knew if I used a wide variety of fabrics and colors, it would all work out.

detail, bottom right

The finished quilt is 68" x 80".  The background is in 1" (finished) strips, so I quilted with organic wavy lines along those vertical lines using Aurifil Thread 2562 Lilac, which I think blends really well with the wide variety of colors in the quilt.  All piecing and quilting was done with Schmetz needles.  The batting is Hobbs Heirloom 80/20, my favorite batting. 

Sunflower is a Southwest Designs block created in early days of invasion of Ukraine as a fundraiser

The sheer number of blocks and the fact that each one is essentially different made this initially daunting, but being part of the quilt along helped (even if I didn't keep up!) and I made myself a spreadsheet that I sorted by block size.  That way, I could keep track of the blocks I made and the blocks I substituted.  With the project taking so long to complete, I'm glad I created some way to track!

I knew I would change the name, as I don't love the term Boho, but I didn't know what to change it to.  A friend who saw pictures as it was being assembled said the final quilt looks "like a heart that's overflowing with colors and shapes."  Since my heart overflows with giddiness when I look at it, I took his suggestion for Overflowing Heart.  This quilt does make my heart happy!

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Bonus Summer Unboxing

When Island Batik sent out our July Ambassador boxes, the Summer precuts and some of the solid yardage wasn't available yet, so we got a bonus Ambassador box in early August.  Talk about Happy Mail!  I had forgotten there was more coming after the incredible bounty of the July box, so I was pretty thrilled to come home one day and have more beautiful Island Batik fabric waiting for me!


First, I had a strip pack of Morris Tiles, designed by Kathy Engle for Tammy of Tamarinis.  Morris Tiles has a really interesting combination of browns, aqua, and peach fabrics.  I love it!  I started working with it right away and actually have two kid-sized quilts made using Morris Tiles, but you'll have to wait until October to see them.  I love the flower and leafy patterns in these fabrics. Morris Tiles precuts are in stores now and yardage will be in shops in November/December.


With Morris Tiles came 2 yards each of a light and dark from the always-available Basics collection.  I was sent Shell and Mini Dots in Coffee.   

In each box, we usually are send 4 yards each of white, black, and gray, a great variety to use as background.  This time, there was a surprise!  Instead of gray, we were sent the Dark Gray.  I've had 1/2 yard cuts of the dark gray before, and used it making the road sashing on my Busy City quilt last year,  but never had enough to properly use it as a background.  Very excited to have 4 yards!


And, last but not least, I received 3 sets of stash builder rolls.  These are 5" x WOF and are a fun way to get a lot of different fabrics in a variety of colors, from a variety of collections.  I love using stash builder rolls for scrap projects and applique.


Thank you, Island Batik, for all the beautiful fabric!