Sunday, October 27, 2019

International Quilt Festival's 45th Anniversary Sapphire Exhibit

International Quilt Festival Houston 2019 is this week!  Market is going on this weekend.  I arrive mid-week and I can't wait to go.  It's like waiting for Christmas, but even better!  The Quilt Show posted this picture this morning and I couldn't be more excited!  My quilt is hanging in the Sapphire Exhibit celebrating IQA's 45th show.

My quilt is in the forth column, bottom quilt.  Below is a closer picture.  I must admit I made this quilt with the hope and dream of it being hung for this exhibit.  I remember the Ruby exhibit 5 years ago and remember thinking that next time I needed to have a quilt in the exhibit.  My mom has one too, though it isn't in this picture.  

This quilt is called Whirligig and you can read more about it's creation here.  The fabric is all Island Batik.  It's called the Indigo Morris collection.  I had a blast creating a modern looking quilt.  I knew there would be lots of traditional quilt entered, so I decided to go a different route on purpose.  I am really pleased with the results and I can't wait to be in Houston and see it in person!

Be prepared for lots of Houston pictures later this week!  I can't wait!

I hope you get to quilt today!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Let's Talk Needles for English Paper Piecing

I am a Bohin hand needle girl.  I have plenty, but will be buying more at International Quilt Festival next week anyways!  I need to try new kinds after all.  So today I started stitching my Brimfield Blooming Star.  I decided to try out needles after the first piece was hard to stitch.  The needle didn't seem pointy enough to slide through easily.

This got me wondering why.  So I decided to try out every kind of needle I had in my hand stitching bag.  Turns out there were four kinds:  Applique size 9 (the biggest), Applique size 10, Applique size 12 (the finest), and  size 10 betweens which are much shorter in length.  The size 9 was a bust.  The 10 was better.  I then tried the betweens.  They were nice and sharp, but shorter than I personally like to work with so they weren't for me.  However, if you like short needles they should work well for you. 

Here's the pieces I was sewing together with my favorite Island Batik fabrics of course.

I then tried the size 12 applique needles.  The eye of  the needle is very small, but it went through the fabric like butter, so it's worth a little trouble threading.  I was using 50 weight Aurifil thread in a matching color to hide my stitches.

When sewing this curve I tape the front with painters tape (it removes without leaving any residue) to hold my pieces in place while I stitch.  It works like a charm.

Here's the back side.  You can see that I used a flat back stitch as that's the easiest way to do curves while doing English Paper Piecing.

In summary:  

  • Use tape to hold together curved pieces while you are sewing your EPP with a flat back stitch
  • I prefer size 12 applique needle for making my stitches 
  • I use matching thread to help hide my stitches
I hope you get to quilt today!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Island Batik Holiday Runner

Ever had one of those days where you missed a word and it was totally important?  I so did this month on my Island Batik Ambassador challenge.  It said a holiday runner.  No problem.  I had fun designing this one that looks like interlocking wreathes.  I made it, quilted it, bound it, and THEN realized that the project was to include applique.  Oops.  

So here is a beautiful runner made with a gorgeous red batiks, a dotty background, and a bunch of different Christmas greens.  All the pieces were cut using my Accuquilt GO! Big Electric cutter and my 8" Qube set.  It also has my favorite Hobbs 80/20 Cotton/Poly blend inside.

I started my quilting process by picking out some gorgeous Aurifil threads to go along with the runner.  I chose a 50 weight red and cream and a 28 weight green so my stitching would really show up on all the different green fabrics.

I started by quilting the red squares with a long diagonal squiggle.

When I got to a double wide square I did half the pattern in one direction and half the pattern in the other direction so that I could easily continue the pattern.

For the green I decided to make some loops coming up from each red square.  Then on the isde I did a squiggle to really compact the green.

In some places the green squiggle got taller to help fill the space as shown below.  I am so glad I picked the thicker thread because you can really see it.

For the cream I decided to do some large scale feathers.  I wanted to play around with incorporating a variety of styles so I did some curls at the end and some micro feathers around the edges.

In the center I made a dot and then quilted feathers coming out of it towards the top and bottom.  It looks kind of like a Christmas swag, doesn't it?

I made similar motifs in the corners as well.  To fill the space all the way to the edge I did a 3/16" outline around the feathers all the way to the edge.

Done!  I can see this with three pretty candles on it (not lit of wax on my runner!) or a pretty poinsettia plant.

And of course it needed to be photographed in a pine tree!

I hope you get to quilt today!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Ethnic Inspiration

One of our English Language Learning teachers at school has some fabulous ethnic textiles in her classroom!  Check them out.

I hope you get to quilt today!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Island Batik Ambassador's October Top it Off Challenge

This month the Island Batik Ambassadors were challenged to make a holiday table runner using applique.  I finished my project....and then realized that it didn't have any applique on it (oops) so I made a second (don't worry, first coming soon!).

I started with some gorgeous gold, red, and green Island Batik scraps from my pile.  I applied fusible to the back.  Then I ran it through my Accuquilt GO! Big cutter using their tiny circles die.  Oh how fast those circles were cut!  SO worth it.  

Here are my circles all arranged with two gold ones at the top.

Then I started adding more circles on top for the "ornaments."

I decided to quilt the background like a really long winding Christmas ribbon.  The batting is my favorite Hobbs 80/20 Cotton/Poly Blend.  

I used a thick green 28 weight Aurifil Thread for stitching down the circles.  I simply did an overall wavy line until I'd gone around each circle.  The background was a lovely 50 weight cream Aurifil thread.

I love the way the stitching looks on all the circles.

Complete!  Look CLOSELY at the binding.  It was a striped Island Batik that I specially cut to get that texture right at the edge.  Fussy cutting can be so rewarding.

I hope you get to quilt today!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Witchy Stitchy Blog Hop

I LOVE Halloween quilts!  I think it's because of the colors.  Orange, lime green, black, purple.  Such fun.  When Just Let Me Quilt announced this blog hop I knew just what I wanted to do.  I saw a pumpkin at MQX carved with a quilt block design a while ago.  And the idea was born...

Of course I used my favorite Island Batik fabrics to do my wallhanging.

I wanted blocks that were fairly simple and easy to identify by quilters.  I pieced the blocks and then fused down all the pieces.

For the background I used Lori Kennedy's bat design.  It seemed perfect for this Halloween quilt.

Inside each black quilt block I did some fun filler pattern to flatten the black areas.

All done and sew much fun!

I hope you get to quilt today!

Be sure to check out all the other amazing projects on this Witchy Stitchy Hop!

October 7

October 8

October 9

October 10 

October 11

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Lisa's Quilt using the Island Batik Islander Collection

My cousin Lisa happened to be here when my latest Island Batik Ambassador quilt box arrived.  Lisa is an accomplished clothing maker and embroider.  In fact she comes with us to International Quilt Festival Houston every year.  However, she hasn't made many quilts in her life.  She absolutely fell in love with the Island Batik Islander collection of strips and knew they would make a perfect quilt for above her bed.  

We decided on a simple strip pattern of Boomerang by Jaybird Quilts.  I then taught her how to use a rotary ruler to cut the appropriate pieces.

The Islander collection.  It so reminds me of being on a beach.  

It was fun watching her learn something new and seeing her have fun with the Island Batiks of course!  Pretty stacks...

Lisa is a rocket scientist (really, she is!) and she wanted each pair to two different fabrics.  Here is a picture of them all laid out on my kitchen table as we're trying to figure out a layout.

All sewn together!

Quilted!  Lisa used my mom's longarm while she was here to quilt scuba diving masks on each diamond.  She is a certified scuba instructor too.

The final quilt hanging on Lisa's wall!

Teaching someone to quilt is such fun!

I hope you get to quilt today!