Its the first Island batik Ambassador challenge of the year and this month is “Lets get scrappy!” the brief is:
Scrappy sewing is one of my favourite kinds of sewing to do, I keep all my scraps, even the tiny pieces! I find it so relaxing and the end result always turns out different to the next/last! I got rummaging through my box of fabric and found lots of scraps from last years shenanigans.
Something I actually need and have been meaning to make is a drawstring bag, big enough to hold my nail varnish collection so that’s what I decided on.
I started by cutting a piece of solid grey fabric and batting a little bigger than I needed (around 13″/14″ square), from there I would keep adding scraps of fabric on top sewing around each piece to secure it until the whole piece was covered. I find that adding the batting underneath gives it a bit more stability and makes it easier to sew, I used Hobbs 100% cotton.
Once all my fabric was sewn on I quilted using my favourite technique, matchstick, this way of quilting is honestly so forgiving, you really don’t need to be precise its still looks great at the end. It also gives your project extra stiffness so is great for bags and things like that. I used Aurifil 2425 50wt from the Sardina colour builder box. I made 5 panels in total and trimmed each one down to 12.5″ square.
I constructed my bag the same way you would a cube and repeated with the lining. For the lining I used Amethyst Petal from the Wildflower collection.
For the drawstring channels I cut a selection of 4 pieces measuring 10″ x 3″ which I put at the centre top of each square and I found some peach coloured rope from my stash that worked beautifully with the colours on the bag.
It turned out a really great size and I even have room for more nail varnish now! 🙂
I’m super excited to share with you, I have been selected to be an Island batik Ambassador again this year! Island Batik are such a wonderful company to work with, the Ambassador program is really great and I had so much fun making with them last year! The program this year looks even better so I cant wait to get started!
My first box arrived a couple of weeks ago and here’s what I recieved:
A whopping 6 yards of a neutral fabric, this one is called Almond, I love dots on fabric and this one is covered in them!
Next up we have a bundle of 12 foundations and I’m super excited about some of these as they are from the new solids range and the colours are so vibrant! I have Pink, Fuschia, Green and Yellow.
The remaining 8 foundations are:
Ivy – Basics
Foulard – Grass
Cat Scratch – Smore
Navy – Basics
Dandelion – Wisteria
Pumpkin – Basics
Geranium – Basics
Mini Flower – Carnation
I received half yard cuts from the Bloomers Collection designed by Kathy Engle which is a lovely selection of pinks and purples and 2 yards each of a light and dark co-ordinating fabric to go with them called Wildflower – Thistle bloom and Tossed Feather – Grape Juice. This gorgeous collection will be shipping to stores in February.
Next we have a rainbow pack of 10″ squares from the Kismet collection designed by Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis, again with co-ordinating 2 yard cuts each of a light and a dark called Bubbles – Salmon and Mardigras – Basics. This collection also ships to stores in February.
Next is the Sundance collection designed by Kathy Engle. I recieved a pack of 2 1/2 strips with 2 yard cuts of co-ordinating fabric called Mustard – Basics and Large netting – Brownie. This ones a bit out of my comfort zone, I’m not used to sewing with these colours so hopefully I can do them justice. This collection is part of winter 2019 and ships to stores in May.
I’m always so happy to receive these stash builders! they come in so handy, adding a little extra to your project when needed, here we have 2 packs with 5 rolls in each pack, each piece is 5″ wide x WOF and you get 4 pieces in each roll.
Next I received 2 yards of a Rayon, this one is called Floral Petals and each year all ambassadors recieve a rayon scarf, this year I got this pretty blue one xx
And finally on the fabric front, I received 2 surprise packages that I can’t share with you just yet, this is a new collection not yet released but stay tuned for the reveal in May!
Now onto the Industry Partners…… Schmetz Needles are new on board this year which is very exciting, Ive used Schmetz needles for as long as I can remember but I have never tried any of the selection we received. Also included in the package is a super handy pocket guide explaining which needles are best for each technique. Also a sturdy plastic colour code chart which shows which needle you have in your machine which is so great! I’m always forgetting which one I have in mine!
Hobbs batting are partners again this year, I love them! and we got 2 kings sized 100% cotton battings in this box.
Accuquilt are a returning partner again, I had a great time last year cutting fabric with their Go cutter and this year I received the Hatties Choice (BOB) block on board die, I love this pattern and cant wait to use it!
Aurifil are back on board with us, and this year we get to try their new colour builder boxes, I couldn’t be happier with the 2 chosen for me, I got Verona Mauve and Sardina Pink and each one has 3 large spools of 50wt thread.
And that’s a wrap on my first box! So much goodness to play with! Thankyou so much Island batik, Schmetz Needles, Hobbs Batting and Aurifil Thread xx
I would also love to introduce you to my fellow Ambassadors, head on over to see them and see what they received in their boxes xx
Thankyou so much for reading guys, I hope you will follow along with with me to see what I make this year xx
Its the final Island batik Ambassador challenge of the year and December’s brief is:
Bring 3D into your project by any method of your choice
I thought about this one for a while and scrolled the internet for inspiration for ages before finally deciding on a stuffed bear. I downloaded the pattern from www.mybearstory.tedsby.com who can also be found on Instagram here. Ludmila, the designer/creator makes the most beautiful bears, if you haven’t already checked her out, you totally should! She offers a free template to make this bear which can be found on the link attached to her Instagram handle. I enlarged the templates to 200% to make mine.
The fabric I chose for this project is the gorgeous Spots -Sun-Tweet.
I stitched her together with Aurifil 50wt 2024 and added some handstitched details with 12wt 2530 which is a salmon pink colour. I used a DMC perle cotton N08 in black, colour 310 to add the face details
I stuffed using a mixture of bean bag fill and these plastic pellets I picked up from Amazon, which also gave it a little weight.
For size reference, I managed to get my fur baby to stand by it for 2 seconds and she is about half the size of an average cat!
Its been such a great year with Island batik, The Ambassador program is really great! A big thankyou to them for having me on board, its been so fun! x
Thankyou so much for reading guys
Happy New Year to you all and here’s to a fab 2020!
Its Island Batik time again and November’s challenge is “Tool Time”.
Lap size or larger.
Use special quilting tool like speciality rulers, templates, dies etc.
For this challenge I decided to use the awesome Accuquilt Go cutting machine i received as part of this ambassador program, (any excuse to play with it some more!) I used the 2.5″ strip cutter die and the 2.5″ square die for this quilt.
I love how this machine cuts up your fabric so quickly, its so easy to use and each shape is always perfectly cut! I had a few leftover jelly roll strips from the Mermaid cove collection I received and then used the dies to cut the rest of my fabric.
I pieced each block using 3 different fabrics, 2 for the checker board centre and 1 for the outside square. I made 25 blocks in total for this quilt.
Me and boys were lucky enough to visit America this month (Yosemite and Colorado) we had the best time and of course I had to bring this quilt along with me for photos!) These photos were taken on our hike to North Catamount Reservoir which was so so beautiful!.
As always, I had so much fun making this quilt and using all the gorgeous Island batik Fabrics. I’m going to gift this one to best friend for Christmas! I hope she loves it! xx
Its Island Batik challenge time again and this month I’m getting my Halloween on!
Create a holiday runner or table topper
Must use an applique technique
With it being October, I knew i wanted to create a halloween project. I started out by creating a Foundation paper pieced spider web as i wanted this to be my background. There were 8 templates in total and 17 sections in each template!
I then found a font I liked, traced onto heat n bond lite, pressed them to my fabric and cut out the letters for the words “Creep It Real” I fused the letters to the centre of my block and did a blanket stitch around each one using my sewing machine. I then made a quilt sandwich and did matchstick quilting all over.
I bound using my favourite technique by Victoria Gertenbach where the binding is invisible from the front and creates a lovely border to the back.
Its Island Batik time and September’s challenge was to work with the BOB (Block on Board) Accuquilt Go die we recieved in our second Ambassador box. I recieved the Ohio Star.
This die comes with all the shapes you need to make the Ohio Star block and also comes with a pattern to follow if you wanted to.
For this project i used the gorgeous collection “Sunny Side Up” which came in the form of a 10″ stack pack and the coordinating yardage to go with it.
With the 10″ squares, i folded them twice to create 4 layers and cut them on the die board to get the perfect sized 4″ finished squares.
I did the same with the remaining 10″ squares and coordinating yarding to create the half square triangles. Once all my blocks were complete, i layed them out in the order i wanted to sew them, and stitched them together.
I also used Aurifil 50wt thread in colour 2615 for the piecing and quilting, this is probably my most used thread colour as it blends really well into most fabrics. i did matchstick quilting for this one, it’s my favourite way to quilt at the moment, it takes quite a bit longer to do but really adds to the modern feel.
My finished quilt measures 60″ x 60″
I got some help with the photos from one of my favourite boys “Mr Darcy” of course after bribing him with treats! 🙂 and here’s the the gorgeous model himself….
This has been another really fun make! The accuquilt Go gets the cutting done in less than half the time it would take to use a ruler and rotary cutter and the sqaures are always perfect!
Welcome to my stop on the Island batik Beat the Heat Blog Hop, I am so pleased I can finally share with the secret package I received in my first ambassador box back in January! This is one of the newest fabric collections called “Petal Pushers” and will be available very soon! You can also see the full collection here
I received a half yard cut of every single fabric in the collection and 2 yard cuts of 2 of the prints aswell! And here they are all together…… Those strawberries look good enough to eat! don’t you think? and oh my gosh! don’t get me started on the mushrooms!
I was trying to think of a quilt pattern I could use that would allow me to incorporate all of the prints together and remembered a quilt I have wanted to make for a while which is the “Pecking Order” quilt by Missouri Star Quilt Company, I have been watching the lovely Jenny Doan on Youtube for as long as I can remember, she is a fabulous teacher! and she shows you how to make this actual quilt on YouTube which can be found here.
I deviated a little from the pattern, instead of using white as the background, I used the white for the little star points and used the prints as the background. I think this showcases the fabric a little more and I love the scrappy look it gives to the quilt. There are a lot of little half square triangles left over that I must make something with! watch this space! 🙂
The finished quilt top…
I mostly use a single fabric for the backing of my quilts, but for this one I decided to piece together 12.5″ squares, I think it makes a quilt more fun and also a great way to use up those smaller cuts of fabric, here’s the back…..
For the batting I was really excited to use the Hobbs Tuscany Collection Silk blend, I haven’t used this batting before and I loved it! it’s so nice to quilt with and it gives a wonderful drape to the finish too. I think this one would be great for wall hangings aswell! its definitely a new favourite of mine and I cant wait to use it again!
I used Aurifil 50wt 2615 to piece and 50wt 2024 to quilt. My finished quilt measures 56″ x 60″ I love how it turned out and its already on the sofa waiting for a good film and a snuggle!
Head over to the Island Batik website here to see the full list of participants in this tour and all their fabulous makes! and also to check out all the gorgeous new fabric collections that will be hitting quilt shops very soon!
Use any fabric art/non traditional quilting/sewing/thread painting technique using 3 Aurifil thread weights.
For this challenge, I didn’t really have a plan and just went with the flow. I started by piecing the background in a log cabin kind of way, adding pieces of fabric as I went, this was great as I got to use up some of my scraps from previous projects. For this part I used a white Aurifil 50wt thread in colour 2024.
I used one of my favourite battings by Hobbs, the 100% Cotton and quilted straight lines in a cross hatch design using a deep purple 28wt Aurifil thread in colour 2568, Not only is this my first time using 28wt but its also my first time using a thicker weight thread in my sewing machine, I used the same 50wt white thread in the bobbin that I used in the previous step and a 90/14 needle. It worked a treat!
I then cut strips of fabric around 1″ wide and sewed them down randomly for form another kind of grid pattern, I stitched these down along the centre of each strip using a 12wt pink Aurifil thread in colour 2479 again using my sewing machine with the 50wt in my bobbin. I love 12wt thread, its definitely my favourite to use.
To finish the front I added some hand stitches in a bright orange 12wt Aurifil thread in colour 1104. This colour is so vibrant, I love it!
The fabrics I used:
Custard from the basics collection
Grey from the solids collection
Plum from the dandelion collection
Aubergine from the basics collection
Raspberry from the bubbles collection
Carnation from the bubbles collection
Chameleon from the basics collection
For the backing I used French Blue from the Berry Vine collection
For the binding I used Chambray icicles from the pine leaf collection
I used my favourite binding technique by Victoria Gertenbach, its called the Non-binding binding technique and you can find the tutorial here. You cant see it at all from the front and gives a lovely border to back.
my quilt finishes at 29″ x 22″
Its been another super fun challenge! thankyou so much Island Batik, Aurifil thread and Hobbs Batting.
Thanks for reading guys, next month ill be sharing that surprise bundle with you I received in Box number 1
I first locked my eyes on this new colour collection from Prym Consumer whilst I was at the H+H Cologne back in March and fell in love straight away! A few of these tools already exist in other colour ways but some are brand new and very exciting indeed!
Im starting off with the one I am most excited about and brand new! This Magnetic Arm Pin Cushion! It has a slap snap closure made from silicone so will fit any sized wrist. It has a decent sized stainless steel magnetic plate measuring 4cm x 5.5cm so you can get a good few pins on there. Its a great one to have whilst your at the your machine taking your pins out of your work as you go, I don’t know about you but I am forever leaving my pin cushion on the floor, on the cutting table, by the iron, basically anywhere but next to my sewing machine and then I have nowhere to put my pins so this will come in super handy!
The next tool I am also very excited about is this little bird Needle Threader. You place the needle onto her beak so the metal beak goes through the eye of the needle, there is a little hook at the end of the beak for your thread to catch on, once that’s done, pull the needle off of the beak and wah – lah your needle is threaded! I love the design of this one, its so adorable, and so simple to use too, I’m starting to do a lot more hand sewing nowadays so its definitely a must have tool for me and I will get lots of use from it.
If your a fan of butterflies, Prym has you covered with these new Flat Head Pins, not only are these great for keeping your layers in check but they also make super cute photo props too! These come in a pack of 50 with 2 different designs and 3 colours.
Prym also do Binding clips, these are the larger sized ones and come in really handy when your working with really thick layers!
Another must have tool for me is a tape measure! I use a tape measure every day, I’m always measuring stuff to make sure this bit will fit that bit and I mean pink polka dot! can you get any cuter!?. This tape measure also comes in blue polka dot and both are available in either 150cm, 150cm/60″ or 300cm/120″.
Next up and continuing on with the polka dot theme is this marking pencil, this pencil is white, a good one to use with darker coloured fabrics, I use mine for marking quilting lines and this one disappears with water.
One of my all time favourite Prym tools are these Vario Pliers, I cannot rate these enough! They are great for bag making. They can be used with snaps which come in an array of colours and designs including hearts and stars, I also use these for eyelets and they can be used with eyelets upto 8mm in size. they are so easy to use, you don’t have to use much pressure to secure each piece to the fabric and they are so much better than using a hammer, a really great tool that I highly recommend! and now they come in Pink! Yay!
The final tool in this post is this corner and edge shaper, it’s not only another great one for bag making, but cushion making too, in fact anything that needs a corner poking out, there will be no more accidently piercing holes with your scissors and you can put those chop sticks back in the kitchen drawer, this handy little gadget will do the job for you.
So, if your a fan of anything pink (like me) then you will absolutely love this new collection. These tools are great quality anyway and having them in pink is just the icing on the cake!
If you are based in the UK, you can pick up a great selection of Prym tools from the following retailers:
Its Island Batik challenge time again, and this month is all about trying a new technique! I went for Needle Turn Applique, its something I have wanted to try for a while, just never got round to it. I went super simple with the design as I was a little afraid but it wasn’t so bad! Infact it was super fun! ( a great little TV watching project 🙂 I definitely want to have another go with a bit more of a complex design.
I began by drawing my shapes onto the fabric and cutting them out making sure to add 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around. I placed them onto the background fabric and matched up my threads as closely to the fabric as I could and stitched them into place, I used Aurifil : 50Wt: 1231,1148, 2437 and 28Wt: 2568.
I decided to try another new to me thing, and put my design into a hoop so it can be hung on the wall, I made a quilt sandwich by basting the top, batting and backing together, I used Hobbs Heirloom 100% Cotton batting, its not so noticeable on a small project but used in a bigger size quilt, this batting has such a lovely drape to it and its super soft.
I searched my 12Wt thread collection for a colour to match the background fabric for the quilting part, but its seems I’m not a fan of blue (I must fix that!) and all I could find was this light blue embroidery floss so I used that to stitch little crosses all over, it worked just fine.
The fabrics I used for this project:
Berry Vine – French Blue
Neutrals – Custard
Basics – Pistachio (my favourite)
Bubbles – Raspberry
Bubbles – Carnation
Basics – Chameleon
a strip from the stash builder rolls
Its been another super fun make and yay! for trying a new technique, this one is off to live with my mom and dad adding to their ever growing handmade collection. Thankyou so much Island Batik, Hobbs batting and Aurifil for these awesome challenges, I’m looking forward to July!