Sunday, March 11, 2018

Try a Technique with Island Batik

The Island Batik ambassadors are presented a challenge each month of the year. The March challenge was to try a technique that we had never done before. I wondered what to make, and had really settled for reverse appliqué, but, then I spotted several posts on Instagram using the interesting Interleave technique. After a quick search I found this tutorial by Lorrie Cranor and decided to give it a try. Laura Piland, a fellow ambassador, made this beauty using the same technique in last year's ambassador program.

I chose fabrics from this bundle of stash builder rolls that was given to me from Island Batik. The rolls are 5" x width of fabric (WOF), and each roll has four strips. 

I decided to make a small quilt as a test for this technique, using the same modified method as Laura  used. I chose these colors from the 5" strips, cut 20" of each and sewed them into two different panels. The idea is to have good contrast between the strips.

After I sewed each panel into a tube, I drew a free-hand wave on freezer paper and ironed it on to one of the panels and traced the shape. I flipped the paper template onto the other tube and traced the wave onto that, too.

After cutting up the tube (with scissors!) the panels looked like this. The wave shifts the strips to make the interesting Interleave design.

I cut the white foundation fabric, a piece of cotton batting, and backing fabric a few inches wider and longer than the quilt panels. Following Lorrie's tutorial I marked lines 1/2" apart on the white fabric to keep the strips in line. The lines are very helpful in making sure that the strips don't shift. After making the striped foundation, the backing, cotton batting, and foundation fabric were pin basted.

I cut 1" strips from each panel alternately, and sewed through the layers with a 1/4"seam. Then the strips were pressed open. For this small quilt, and to keep everything in line since this was my first attempt with this technique, I found it helpful to cut one strip at a time and then sew it on the foundation. The stripes on the foundation were very helpful in keeping the strips spaced evenly as I kept sewing.

This is the result after sewing 40 strips together. I love the wave effect. A nice side effect using this method is that the quilt is already quilted!

Sometimes it is easier to see the wave effect by tilting the quilt a bit. 

I trimmed the quilt to size, it turned out to be 17.5" x 20". Then I had to decide on the binding. I wanted to use the leftovers from the stash builder strips to create an interesting effect to the wave. After laying out the strips I decided to skip the brown and use only four colors.

Here is the finished product, I call it "Fire and Ice".

The Interleave technique is very interesting and I learned a lot in the process. It is almost a surprise to see how the end result is so different from the starting panels. I had my doubts in the beginning concerning the small contrast between the two lighter blue colors on the right, but it really works out fine!

I used a cotton fabric for the backing, and added triangle pockets for easy hanging. This mini will be a jewel on my sewing room wall!

Friday, March 9, 2018

First Charity Quilt This Year

Last year I made 6 charity quilts to the children's ward at my local hospital. This year I am pretty relaxed  about making quilts for the hospital, I'll just make one when I get in the mood, no pressure concerning numbers.

I had quite a few novelty prints in my stash and decided to design a block to show off these fabrics. The block is 10.5" inch square unfinished.

 I decided that it would be too busy with only this kind of block in a quilt, so I added squares of another fabric in between.

This is the finished quilt. The near solid-looking blocks makes the design look calmer.

The backside of the quilt is pieced together from Debbie Mumm panels.

I quilted it with a free motion design of daisies and loops on my domestic sewing machine.

I made this quilt in seven days from start to finish, that's a pretty quick one.

The quilt is approximately 40"x50", and will be a great quilt for a small child. This is the 21st quilt I have donated to the hospital during my quilting career, and it will not be the last.

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday .

Happy quilting!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Arrival of the Island Batik Ambassador Box!

Ever since I got the message that I was accepted as one of the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors I have been anxiously awaiting my first Ambassador box. I have been tracking the package all the way from California, and it really took a long time to reach me.

There was a long delay in customs, since they claimed that the customs clearance papers were not detailed enough. Island Batik provided a new invoice, but there was a lot back and forth before the box was finally released from the customs office.

It was almost like Christmas when I got this package home!

The box is big!

Look at all the goodies!

The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik.

One item I am not able to show you is the Surprise package which contains a big bundle of fabric that has to stay out of sight until their release date, but I can already tell you that they are really my colors! 

When the customs people saw the wrapped package with the big "SURPRISE" sticker, they did not carefully open it to check it's contents, but completely tore the paper to pieces, so I can not even show you a sneak peek of the big wrapped bundle.

The Galentine's Bundle that was supposed to be used to make a project for Galentine's day in February will be used for another project.

A fat eight bundle of Southern Blooms plus some coordinating fabric, a beautiful collection!

A stack of 10" squares of Paisley Dot Brights with two coordinating fabrics.

The Batik Foundations Bundle together with a neutral fabric (tiny greyish dots on white background).

Five rolls of Stash Builders, which are 5" strips of WOF.

In addition to all the beautiful cotton batiks shown above, I received 2 yards of Rayon fabric which is suitable for garments, and a beautiful rayon scarf.

As if it wasn't enough with all the fabric above, the box also contained coordinating thread from one of Island Batik's industry partners, Aurifil: A large cone of 50WT cotton thread and two large spools of the same quality, and 4 large spools of 40WT cotton thread. I have had the privilege of using their 50WT thread earlier, and I very much enjoy the quality and that the thread is virtually lint-free. I look forward to trying the 40WT thread.

Last, but not least, the box contained Hobbs batting, a twin size cotton batting and a queen size Thermore batting (100% Polyester). The last one I will use for smaller projects since it will not provide enough warmth for a quilt in my part of the world with cold winters and short summers.

Thanks to Island Batik for giving me this opportunity to be an Ambassador.

Follow me here on my blog to see what I make with the beautiful batiks throughout the year. You can also follow me on my Instagram account, @notqnot

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Island Batik Mini Quilt

After being accepted as an 2018 Island Batik Ambassador I have been anxiously waiting for the box that Island Batik so generously has sent me. I have been following the tracking of the package, as shipments from the US always takes a long time.

My package is currently being held "hostage" by the customs authorities, and some extended paperwork is needed to get it released.

In the mean time I am making my second challenge quilt for the month with the only Island Batik fabric I have in my stash, the leftovers from the stack of 5" squares of Tide Pools that I used for my Galentine's Day project .

I used the rest of the stack to make the maximum amount of half square triangles, 2.5" square finished. The inspiration for this mini quilt is the Postcard from Sweden quilt made by Jeli Quilts.

After sewing all the HSTs together the top looked liked this on my design wall.

I used a combination of straight line quilting and stippling, all with Aurifil 50wt thread. The batting used is Hobbs Thermore, which is very thin and perfect for mini quilts and wall hangings.

I outlined a 'postcard' in the quilt with straight line crosshatch design with a teal thread, and dense stippling with a variegated green/neutral thread in the background. I added a narrow grayish blue ribbon to outline the postcard, and stitched it down with a zigzag stitch in golden Aurifil thread.

I named my mini quilt Postcard from Bali. It is 20" x 17.5" after quilting.

Since I didn't have any batik fabric for backing, I used a piece of my Ikea Britten Nummer, which is perfect for a postcard.

Now I am just waiting for my Island Batik box to arrive so I can put binding on my mini quilt and finish it.

Looking forward to the next months' challenge projects!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Starry Sky for Karin

The Rakish Needle round robin quilt top that belongs to Karin in Germany arrived at my home in November last year. Katrin added the large piece on the right with the big planet and Sputnik. I used quite some time wondering what to add to the top. Maja came up with the first idea without even knowing about it. She designed a paper pieced star that I felt fitted perfectly to the scene.

This is my version of Maja's 'Christmas Star' that I blogged about here , I had fun making this beautiful star. It is kind of a nice coincidence that I am sending the quilt top to Maja who will finish the last round of the Rakish Needle Robin before the top is returned to the owner, Karin.

This is how the star looks inserted into the quilt top.

When I was at my quilt guild meeting in January I showed some progress photos of the top to a few ladies. One of them suggested to make something from Star Wars to put into the quilt. I searched the net and found this little beauty designed by Quiet Play. My version of the Death Star fits perfectly into the quilt top.

Then there was the last blue space on the quilt that had to be filled. I decided that a planet would be perfect, and one of the most visual planets is Saturn with its characteristic rings. The Saturn design shown here is my own creation.

I had the perfect fabrics, both for the planet body and the rings. The rings are bias tape of the same fabric in different colors, and it looks as if there are rocks and debris swirling around the planet.

Unfortunately I didn't take any progress pictures when making this. The way I made it was to cut out the planet body first, then I pressed a quarter inch seam allowance around the edge and glued the planet to the background with a few drops of water soluble glue in the center. After having made the bias tape I started with the darkest ring and glued it in place, and tucked the ends under the planet. Then I carefully stitched down both edges of the bias.

After all the rings were stitched down I trimmed the edges of the bias and sewed the planet body down by hand with a matching thread color.

The completed top after my round has gotten really big, there's hardly enough floor space to show it off.

My son helped me in the photo shoot outdoors. The outer space has never looked this good, thanks to the contribution of Karin, Rachel, Ileana and Katrin. Now it will be packed up and sent to Maja in Poland and she will do her magic on the quilt top before it is returned to the owner, Karin.

I am looking forward to seeing all completed tops sometime later this year. It will be a gorgeous display in the end!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Round Robin Quilt for Rachel

One thing I realized, is that I have never blogged about the previous quilt top I worked on in this round robin. This is Rachel's top. I added the grey staggered border around the teal.

I love the movement and contrast my border makes to the teal and yellow inside. In the corners I added paper pieced arrows of my own design. The dark red border on the outside was sewn on as a protection for a somewhat fraying fabric in the corner blocks. Let's see if this border will be kept in the top, or maybe the next person in line has other ideas! Maja is free to choose.

This quilt is going to look gorgeous in the end! I have really enjoyed being a part of this Rakish Needle Robin!