Thursday, January 30, 2020

2020 Island Batik Ambassador Unboxing

I'm so excited to be returning for a fourth year as an Island Batik Ambassador!

Today I have my unboxing video to share -- live from my freshly painted sewing room!

Here are all the items, in picture form!

Two king size battings from Hobbs:

Rayon yardage and a rayon scarf:

A block on board die from Accuquilt, two color builder boxes from Aurifil, and Schmetz needles:

Two stash builder packs:

A half yard bundle and two yard cuts of Mesa Verde: (which should be in your LQS soon!)

Yardages of solids and a basic batik:

Half yard cuts of blenders and solids:

A 10" stacker with coordinating yardage:

A 2.5" strip pack with coordinating yardage:

I'm so excited to use these over the next few months for some fun Ambassador challenges!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Clue #7, #8 Progress and a Test Block {Frolic Mystery Quilt}

The good thing about being behind on Frolic is that I can see how other people's quilts are coming together! I have been enjoying seeing all of the blocks people are putting together on Instagram and I am very jealous of those who have had the time/patience/ability to get their quilt tops finished!

The bad thing about being behind is that it seems like somewhat of an insurmountable task! I'm making some progress, most certainly. I've found that it is kind of hard to get to a stopping point with this project because I just want to keep going with the units.

I have *technically* finished all of the units for Clue #8 per the directions but haven't sorted my units into block groupings. I made all of the aqua/blue/coral flying geese and trimmed them.

I also managed to finish up the coral/navy HSTs which will be used to make the pinwheel centers of the blocks. I haven't gotten many trimmed.

I have trimmed a few HSTs though -- because I put together a test block!

First and foremost, WOW! As complicated as the directions seemed to be at times, I have found everything is coming together quite nicely! I have a tentative plan on modifying my quilt to be slightly larger, but for now, I am going to make all of my full blocks using the navy fabrics before moving onto my dark teal blocks. I will need to go back and make the dark teal/coral/aqua flying geese and dark teal/coral HSTs, but for now, I need a mental break from making units.

I also have quite a bit of cutting to do, particularly of my background fabric, to be able to put together blocks and sashing. I wish there was more strip piecing I could do going forward, but it will be a one-block-at-a-time thing to finish this quilt.

Please pop back in on Thursday as I will be sharing all of the goodies in my newest Island Batik Amabassador box!

Sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Refresh {Sewing Room Redo}

When we moved last year, we decided to put off painting the smallest bedroom which I use as my sewing room because it was just plain white (and not a horrendous pink like our bedroom) and the other things we needed to do were much more pressing.

Now that we are into Year Two of home ownership, the pressing things have been crossed off the list and we can start doing some wish list items -- including painting my sewing room!

While the room was white, it was very greyed. I don't know if that's because of how long it has been since it had been last painted, or if it the paint had grey undertones. Either way, even though the room was white, it was still rather drab. My husband and I picked a yellow-leaning tan (Cameo Creme from Sherwin Williams) for the walls.

Here is the room prior to painting:

The second component of this is that the room was in major need of an organization overhaul, which is happening in conjunction with the room being put back together.

We moved some things out of the room, and got the room taped on Sunday. Sewing creates a lot of dust bunnies!

In some lights, the color looks darker than others, and of course there is a color difference in wet vs. dry paint.

Given that my closet doors are white, I wanted to make sure that the paint was dark enough to contrast with the white. I think that the yellow/cream makes it much warmer, which was the main issue with the dingy white it was before.

This angle looks a little darker than it actually is.

My room is put together in nearly the exact same way, but it has been good to mindfully sort through my stuff and reorganize it.

The sort of open drawer in the picture above is my "drawer of shame". It's all the fabric that I have been finding in bits and bobs that isn't in the place that it should be. My plan is to work on a little pile every time that I sew and get those pieces back into the right scrap bins. As of right now the room is about 90% back together and then next week I am hoping to hang a few things on the walls!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Blue Moon {Winter Blues Blog Hop}

Today I am participating in the Winter Blues blog hop hosted by Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks...

...and I am sharing a scrappy project for my Island Batik Ambassador project for January!

As an Island Batik Ambassador, I am provided with samples of various lines of Island Batik fabrics, Aurifil thread, Accuquilt products, and Hobbs Batting to use and share with you!

For my project, I decided to play with the scraps I had left over from the Starburst wall hanging I made for my August Island Batik Ambassador project. I had a quite a few of the 2.5" strips left over from the Sand Bar strip set and focused on using these for my project.

For a while, I have needed to make a new set of placemats -- one set that had six placemats instead of my usual four. Four is usually an easy number to make because you can use a single yard of fabric to back all four placemats and usually I don't need more than four. However, now that we are living in a house instead of an apartment (and I very much enjoy being the hostess with the mostest) I need at least one set of 6 placemats.

I used a modified version of the "jelly roll race" technique to make the base of my placemats. All together, I used about 20 strips. To begin, I sewed all but two of my 2.5" strips together on the diagonal (like you'd join binding strips) and pressed those seams open. I sewed my strip set in half three times so that my strip set was eight fabric strips wide and about 80"-85" long and then added one more 2.5" fabric strip so that my strip set was nine fabric strips wide. From there, I subcut my strip set in to six rectangles, 18.5" wide and 12.5" long.

Some of my subcut rectangles have more color changes than others, but this was much faster than trying to piece each one individually!

Next, I quilted each placemat -- I used two different fabrics for the backings, the navy/teal feather batik and the light blue cheerio print. I used the same teal variegated Aurifil thread as the top thread for all six placemats, however, I used a bunch of different colors in my bobbins to use up bobbin scraps! I used navy, emerald green, light teal, and even a bit of purple!

These pictures show the placemats before trimming -- I roughly cut the backing and the batting for each placemat before I quilted it. And in the effort of using scraps, I also used scraps of Hobbs batting left over from previous Ambassador projects in these placemats. I had some larger scraps that I used for four of them and then pieced scrap battings for the final two placemats.

Since I know these will be going through the washing machine and used repeatedly, I'm not too concerned about the backings not all being the same -- and the same for the binding! I used three different fabrics for the bindings. For placemats, I always sew my bindings completely by machine.

Now my table is ready for my next dinner party!

Make sure to check out all of the other bloggers hopping today and check out the full schedule on Carla's blog!

Wednesday, January 22nd

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Friday, January 17, 2020

Clue #4, #7, #8 Progress {Frolic Mystery Quilt}

After a long delay, I have finally finished Clue #4 for my Frolic mystery quilt! While the final reveal came out today, I am not as behind as I thought I might be.

To finish up Clue #4, I made all of the necessary sets of HSTs in navy, dark teal, and aqua.

I split up my aquas so that I used half of the different prints to make the aqua/navy HSTs and the other half of the prints to make the aqua/dark teal HSTs.

The left and center aquas are from my Pineapple Log Cabin quilt, the gingham check is a fat quarter I pulled out of a bundle, and the dot is from my April Showers quilt.

The umbrella print and raindrop print are from my April Showers quilt, the pearl chain dot is my Pineapple Log Cabin quilt, and the bubble dot print is a fat quarter of unknown origin.

(The beautiful print I used as my background is actually the back of one of my Wanderlust placemats.)

I also finished up the cutting for Clue #7.

But I decided that I needed a break from HSTs (which is what I would be making in Clue #7) and I decided that I wanted to skip to making more flying geese in Clue #8 instead! I am part of the way through sewing the blue triangles to one side of the units.

Some of my predictions about the quilt were very wrong, and some were right! I definitely like the blocks and the setting, but I am not necessarily in love with the pieced borders. I am going to think about actually making the center of my quilt LARGER and eliminating the pieced borders. I have lots of options, and I really love the main block of the quilt!

If you are Frolic-ing, what do you think of the reveal? Is it what you predicted? I predicted a quilt on point however I did not think we would have sashing.

Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, January 13, 2020

Clue #4, #6, #7 Progress {Frolic Mystery Quilt}

Slowly but surely I am making tiny bits of progress on my Frolic mystery quilt. I was able to dig deep in my stash to find two fat quarters to finish the cutting for Clue #4!

Yay for not having to go to the store and buy more fabric! I started drawing lines on the back of the small squares to pair each with a navy or dark teal small square to make the half-square triangles for Clue #4 and this will be the next thing I sew. Most of my aqua fabrics are left over from my April Shower Medallion quilt and my Pineapple Log Cabin quilt. 

For Clue #6, I am making part of my flying geese using my navy fabric and part using my dark teal fabrics. I started off making the navy fabric geese with yellow scraps for the background triangles and had shown some of the sewn but untrimmed geese in my last Frolic post. 

I have really, really used up my yellow scraps -- so much so that the yellow batik in the upper right hand corner was a fat quarter hanging around in my stash from long, long ago that I originally didn't think I would end up using for this quilt. Some of these fabrics were also used in my On Ringo Lake quilt, too. 

For the dark teal set of geese, I am using a single yellow print fabric -- something I had bought on clearance years and years ago, which I think looks really lovely with the coral dot print. I used three of my dark teal prints for these flying geese.

Making and trimming these geese went much faster than the batch that I made with the navy and scrappy yellow fabrics!

Now I am officially *done* with Clue #6! I also started the cutting for Clue #7:

I still have a pile of coral squares to cut for this step, that will be paired with the navy or dark teal to make half-square triangles and pinwheels or used to make more flying geese in Clue #8.

While a lot of people are itching for another clue to be released, I am happy that we haven't had any additional bonus clues! If I could get through finally finishing Clue #4 and making a dent in Clue #7 before Friday, I would be really, really proud of myself.

Are you Frolicking? How is your progress? I applaud those of you that decided to do half sized quilts this time around because sometimes I am regretting going full-scale for this one!

Sharing at What I Made Monday and Oh Scrap!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Announcing the 2020 Island Batik Ambassadors!

I am so excited to share that I am returning for my fourth year as an Island Batik Ambassador!

This year, I am one of 25 lovely ladies chosen by Island Batik to work on monthly challenges using their fabrics and products from our partner companies!

Image may contain: 25 people, people smiling, selfie and closeup, possible text that says '2020 ISLAND BATIK BRAND AMBASSADORS'
As a reminder, you can see all of my Island Batik Ambassador blog posts by clicking on the "Island Batik Ambassador" tab at the top of my blog. I have recieved my first box of Island Batik goodies for 2020 and I will be sharing an unboxing video in a few weeks. This month's challenge is scrappy sewing -- and I have a few ideas up my sleeves!

Here are links to everyone's websites!

Carolina Asmussen ~ Carolina Asmussen
Megan Best ~ Best Quilter
Pamela Boatright ~ Pamela Quilts
Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter
Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts
Joanne Hart ~ Unicorn Harts
Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for Quilts
Carla Henton ~ Create in the Sticks
Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs
Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood
Denise Looney ~ For the Love of Geese
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack's Blog
Kathleen McCormick ~ Kathleen McMusing
Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs
Gail Renna ~ Quilt Haven Threads
Sharon Riley ~ Sew Riley Designs
Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail
Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts
Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts
Janet Yamamoto ~ Whispers of Yore

Here are all of the wonderful program sponsors for 2020! 

We have some great project themes planned for 2020 and I am excited to get sewing on some new projects very soon!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Clues #4, #5, & #6 Progress {Frolic Mystery Quilt}

While I am going to talk about three clues today, I'm actually only done with one out of the three!

When we got home after Christmas, I had some time to do the cutting for both Clue #4 and Clue #5.

For Clue #4, our assignment was to cut pieces and parts for HSTs and for triangle parts to be used later. I had plenty of my navy fabric and my dark teal fabrics for my required number of sets, however I only had enough aqua fabrics for about 75% of the required number of sets. I will need to either dig deeper into my stash or buy about a 1/3 of a yard of fabric. I decided to hold off on sewing my HSTs using these units until I have more aqua.

Clue #5 was a complete diversion from Clue #4, which was very helpful for me! We made more HSTs, this time using background and raspberry, so mine are white-on-white and my coral dot. There was lots of trimming for this clue too but it was good to just have a completely completed clue.

Clue #6 was our bonus clue that came out on New Year's Eve, and is a highly complicated clue that uses some of the units we cut for Clue #4 to make flying geese. For my quilt, I will be using the dark blue and dark teal fabrics combined with yellow to make my flying geese. I prefer to use the fast flying geese method, but this time around I am using a regular piecing method. So far, I have 8 sets sewn (but not trimmed), so I am about 20% of the way done sewing these units. 

Clue #7 came out on Friday and I haven't touched it yet. I should easily be able to start it because I will use my coral, navy, and dark teal fabrics, however, I would like to get all of my flying geese sets sewn and trimmed first. I will still need to go back and finish Clue #4 once I find or buy more aqua fabric.

Happy Monday!

Sharing at BOMs Away!

Friday, January 3, 2020

Scrapping Around {Jingle Bell Square}

In the month of December, I was using my Jingle Bell Square blocks and block parts as leaders-and-enders for my Frolic unit sewing and my "I only have 15 minutes to sew" project. Now that it is the new year, I decided to pack up this project temporarily to clean up my sewing space slightly.

Since I last posted about this project in mid-November, I picked up a few Christmas-y fat quarters and fat eights at the quilt shop and made seven blocks between then and January 1st.

I made four green and three red blocks this round -- which means I have only six green and four red blocks left to go for this project. I didn't run out of background fabrics -- I have about a fat quarter and a fat eighth left currently -- but I was just ready for a break from this project. 

The goal originally was to get this entire quilt top done in time for the Christmas that just passed -- so maybe I will have a Christmas quilt for my bed next year. 

Happy Friday! 

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Show Me Something {Purple} with Sarah Goer Quilts

While a lot of the online quilting community has migrated to Facebook and Instagram, there are still quite a few of us that still love to blog and love to READ the blogs of others. My friend Sarah of Sarah Goer Quilts has come up with a great idea for a new monthly link up and I am hoping you will check it out, share your posts, and enjoy reading some posts!

Each month Sarah is going to pick a theme for the link up -- this month's theme is PURPLE which I happen to know is Sarah's favorite color! You can link up one to three posts at any point in the month centered around that month's theme.

Here are the three posts I am adding this month:

1. Ohio Star Baby Quilt -- This is one of my Island Batik Ambassador projects from last fall, made with my Accuquilt cutter.

2. Tutorial: making Wonky Cross blocks in bulk -- This is a tutorial from a few years ago on making wonky cross blocks in batches rather than one at a time, using strip piecing.

3. Pansy Garden Traveling Quilt Bee -- I realize that purple is not a color I use frequently looking through my older posts! This is a finish from 2018 of a traveling quilt bee-created quilt top.

I hope your new year is off to a good start! I am excited to get back in the groove of sewing and blogging after a very busy November and December!