Monday, April 24, 2017

It's Monday

22" x 22"

The theme for this month's Island Batik Ambassador quilt is Adventuresome Applique.

 I think this piece definitely conveys my adventuresome spirit.  I have ridden my bike in the PA, DE, VA, NY, Utah, Florida, PEI, Spain, France, etc, etc.  It's a great feeling to have the wind blow in my face and smell the countryside.  My favorite thing to do on my bike is to ride over a bridge or take it on a ferry.  And the tired feeling that you have after being on the bike all day is empowering.

For 2 months in Key West, I try to get on my bike every day with my favorite companion, Bailey.  You'll have to excuse her fur color change.  She would have blended into the background if I hadn't taken a little artistic license.  And if I'm not on my bicycle, I'm at my sewing machine.

I originally made this quilt for my quilt guild's anniversary with a theme of what does our guild mean to you.  There was a designated size and fabric to be used as the background. Since joining this guild about 20 years ago, I went from an eager novice quilter to someone that travels the country teaching and sharing my quilts and techniques.  
So when I needed my adventuresome applique quilt  using Island Batik fabrics, I knew I had to make it again!  It was fun and easy and I'll share my quilt as you applique technique.

1.  Layer the background, batting and backing fabric and quilt.  I used linear organic quilting with Superior Threads, Fantastico, a variegated polyester thread.  I like a bit of shine.

2.  I used my original drawing to create the fusible appliques from the Island Batik fabrics.  Since you end up with a mirror image, I flipped it over and used the wrong side to create the appliques.

3.  I then placed a piece of parchment paper over the drawing, positioned the appliques and pressed. This forms an entire bicycle.

4.  I repeated the process for the letters.

5.  I placed all the appliques on the quilted background fabric, making sure I was pleased with the placement and pressed all the appliques in place. 

6.  I used a straight stitch with a free motion foot and lowering the feed dogs to stitch around all the appliques.  (Securing the appliques in this way also acts like quilting.)

7.  I also stitched the binding on by machine.

 What a fun project! And it looks great in batiks.

Monday, April 17, 2017

It's Monday

I'm always on the lookout for ways to improve my communication with people who are interested in what I do and to grow my audience.  Recently, I was reading an article about how to have an unsuccessful blog.  Who would want to spend all that time writing a blog post, thinking about interesting content and moving the photos into the right spot for uploading if they wanted to be unsuccessful? It sounds silly, but I guess the title was to grab your attention, and it grabbed mine.  I felt pretty good reading the article.  The tip that would make me an unsuccessful blogger is that my posts are erratic.

The other day, this message was brought home to me.  My husband is not really into much soial media, but the other day hes mentioned that he was looking forward to someone's blog that he reads every Friday.  That surprised me, but it showed me that people do indeed look for certain blog posts on certain days of the week.

So starting with this post, I am committing to blog every Monday, thus the name "It's Monday".  Now that I have a monthly newsletter and post frequently on Instagram, a weekly post seems just the right frequency to blog.

This is my quilt that I created with a new line of fabric from Riley Blake, designed by Betz White called Juxtaposey.  The llamas caught my eye, and I have a certain DIL that loves llamas.  I named the quilt " Llama Kisses" and I constructed it with Curvalicious both to make the blocks and to create the scalloped border.

I started out with a plan to make a 9 patch.

I wasn't happy with how it looked so I eliminated a bunch of blocks and made it into a 4 patch.

It looked a little plain to me.  Curvalicious to the rescue to create a scalloped border.  I find that it's easier to attach  the binding to the border after it is quilted and before trimming.  

The first step is to mark the border.  Any pen will work because it will end up being the cutting line.  I  like to use one that I can see easily.  

To form the corner curve, use a circular template, like a plate or plastic templates in one corner. 

Copy it onto a piece of parchment paper and use it to create identical curves in each of the other 3 corners.

Since I had a limited amount of fabric for the binding, I had to use straight grain binding, even though I would have preferred bias binding. I make double fold French binding.   I lined up the raw edges of the binding with the line I drew using Curvalicious.  The good news is that since the curve was so gentle, straight grain worked just fine.  After stitching, trim along the marked line being careful not to cut into the quilt and then turn the binding to the back and stitch it down.
I do have a video on YouTube that demonstrates using Curvalicious for binding. 
 Click this LINK to be redirected.

And I created the backing to use up the extra fabric.

 What a sweet little quilt and it looks like Spring is finally here! Check your local quilt shop for Juxtaposey and maybe you'll make Llama Kisses.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Island Batik Furry Friday

Don't check your calendar! I'm pretending it's Friday, but I know it's not.  This was supposed to be posted on Friday, but pattern writing got in the way.

Island Batik and Aurifil Threads are a big supporter along with The Quilt Pattern Magazine of The Small Kennel Quilt Project.  In February, as an IB Ambassador, I created 2 kennel quilts using their beautiful batiks for this project.  Do you remember this cute photo of Bailey, hoping her compatriots get a forever home?
There are two featured pets this month that really do need a forever home.  

Just 4 months old, adorable shepherd mix Gracey is waiting to meet you at the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley in Knoxville.
Image may contain: dog
This elegant young tuxedo girl at Okefenokee Humane Society in  Waycross, GA, is ready to bring her sophisticated style to a special home.
Image may contain: cat and text

And remember, even if you don't want to bring a pet into your home or even another pet, you can always make some small kennel quilts for a shelter or even donate food or some time.  For instructions, visit