Friday, September 22, 2017

Purrfect Spots: Back to School with Island Batik Blog Hop

Purrfect Spots: Back to School with Island Batik Blog Hop: As an Island Batik Ambassador, we are sent a box of yummy Island Batik fabrics and we have to create different projects each month. For...

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Back to School with Island Batik Blog Hop



As an Island Batik Ambassador, we are sent a box of yummy Island Batik fabrics and we have to create different projects each month. For September we were given a  " Back to School" challenge for our blog hop! Usually we can choose the colors we want for our monthly project, but for September Island Batik wanted us to use a specific collection that was sent to us. My collection is hiding under all the lovely fabrics which I have used in other projects that I have shared.



And here is the collection called Captain's Anchor!  I live on the beautiful Emerald Coast of Florida and I love the nautical theme plus the rich navy, red, gold and white. This collection spoke to me  about the ocean. (Of course the anchors and the lobsters did have some influence.)


Here is a sample quilt that I made which uses all the fabrics. They are lovely, but didn't  speak "Back to school" to me.










But fortunately I had a light bulb moment and decided to make a nautical flag alphabet quilt. I am combining the best of both worlds. You learn your ABC's in school and if you join the Navy or the Coast Guard you are going to have to learn the flags, so Back to School it is.












Now my colors weren't exactly the primary colors like the flags, but they were definitely in the right colorway, so I knew exactly what I was going to do. 


But wait - I can't just do a bunch of flags, I have to spell something. I mean you can't go Back to School and not spell.










I decided what I would spell and started working on my nautical flags. Our project was to be bigger than 36" x 36".  So writing out my words, I came up with eleven 12" x 12" square blocks. What was I going to put in the 12th block?

Staying true to the nautical theme I decided on a Mariner's Compass which I paper pieced.

Now paper piecing can be a real challenge to me at times, but I persevered and was pleased with how it turned out. And I have to say it was just the "purrfect" touch for the quilt. 















I just did straight line quilting to give the illusion of the flags standing straight out on the windy sea. I used a lovely navy thread by Aurifil.







Of course I had to draw lines to follow for my stitching. And now for a little quilter's tip! 

How do you get the yellow chalk marks off?

It is so simple. See below.

Just use the air duster you use for your computer or sewing
machine!





As you can see, the marks are gone and my navy Aurifil thread is all you see. It is just like magic!













 

Here is my quilt! What do you think? Now in order for you to know what it says, you are going to have to use the nautical flag chart above because this is Back to School remember and it's Test Time!                  













Here are some pictures taken at my beach. It was very windy.



 
 

I walked down to the beach and took a picture there. You can see our sugar white sand has gotten on the quilt, but it absolutely goes with it and it shakes off easily.

OK now when you know what it says, please leave a comment saying "Got it". Don't spoil it for others! When the blog hop is over at the end of the month,  I will be choosing some lucky winner using Random.org to receive a charm pack from the Captain's Anchor Collection made from the colors that I had left over. But wait there is more. 

All month long, the Island Batik Ambassadors have been having the Back to School Blog Hop plus they are offering goodies and so is Island Batik  - get all the information for lots of goodies here!

Thank you for stopping by.

Until next time Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Nan


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Quilt As You Go Challenge with Island Batik

The August challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was a "Quilt As You Go" project. I was very excited about that as I do a lot of QAYG. I don't have a long arm. All I have is a domestic machine. It is difficult to do a large quilt on a domestic machine. And for those of us who have occasional back and neck issues, it can be very difficult. 

I first had to choose my colors and a design. So I went to the "Magic Box" of Island Batik Fabrics!
See the pink fabrics in the lower right corner. I used some of those fabrics in February for our Galentine challenge, but I had some left over. 




Now I am not a pink person! It is my least favorite color, but there was a lot of fabric and I wanted to use it, so nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Now in all fairness, the Island Batik  pink fabrics are lovely and great for sewing. But pink is just not my favorite color.





I decided on a design (an original) and I chose the colors.  So much pink! 

















 

 I started cutting.

















 I started sewing - lots of pink chains!














 And then sewing the blocks together.














 
 

Here is my block on my design wall with so many threads that refuse to come off. It is like the Quilt History wall with threads from different projects. I think they have all become friends.






Batting and backing on the blocks and ready to go.







 






I chose a lovely Variagated Pink Thread by Aurifil and started quilting. 


I was going to try the QAYG method of sashing between each block,
but then realized it would
mess up my design. 

Uh Oh, switch to Plan B.










I checked many QAYG You Tubes and found a wonderful solution for my project. It was a You Tube by the Queen of Stitching!  I found it to be quite fun and easy! See below.


  
 So I started joining my blocks! I really liked the way this was shaping up. I would be done in no time!

Wrong.



Hurricane Harvey came and interrupted things!







 

I work with The Quilt Pattern Magazine -TQPM Kennel Quilt program. We make Kennel Quilts for shelters affected by disasters. As a former Disaster Responder for The Humane Society of the United States, I knew things were going to be bad with all the weather forecasts. 

I turned from my QAYG project to making Kennel Quilts. Then on Saturday, I started checking with my contacts and found shelters that needed help.I have spent many hours coordinating efforts to get Kennel Quilts to shelters. I am happy to say that within four days over 500 Kennel Quilts have been mailed to five different shelters helping with the displaced pets thanks to the TQPM Kennel Quilt Team and we are expecting more to be sent. 

But I digress. 

Today I was able to get back to my QAYG project and started stitching on the binding.








Tonight I have been hand sewing the binding. I haven't finished yet, but plan to this weekend (lots of football to watch - Go FSU)  so I will share it early next week.

This is one of my designs and it will be available later this year. The quilt measures 48" x 48". 

I am calling it "Pink Plunge".

Thank you for stopping by.

Until next time, 

Nan




























 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

It's all about the Moon!





Who would have thought that when I made a quilt with Island Batik Fabrics for Spring Market last January, it would be shared by Island Batik and Aurifil Threads the week of the Solar Eclipse?  Who would have thought that both of their collections spoke to me in a way that spread across the universe to the moon. Just goes to show you that even a blind pig finds an acorn! (One of my husband's favorite sayings.)

And yes this week has been all about the Moon and the Solar Eclipse.  If you didn't see it personally, you probably watched it on TV. It was interesting to say the least and a once in a lifetime event for many.

My quilt was made using the Zen Collection from Island Batik. Don't you just love all the beautiful blues with a nice pop of green?










Since the fabric collection was called Zen, I wanted to name the quilt something that made me think of peace. While working on it, I was drawing a blank. However, once I looked at the finished project, I  knew immediately what the name had to be. Working with the star fish fabric, the sand dollars, the ripples in the water, and the name of the collection, I chose "Sea of Tranquility" which spoke quiet, stillness and peace to me. Do you agree?



                                                 Sea of Tranquility - 53" x 71"

And if you didn't know the Sea of Tranquility is on the moon and that is where the first astronauts landed in July of 1969. 


No one has been back to the Sea of Tranquility site where the Apollo 11 lunar module (LM) deposited Armstrong and fellow NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin in July of 1969. 


 

I love looking at the moon as it is so beautiful and still. However I have no desire to visit it or be an astronaut. The closest I want to get to the Sea of Tranquility is my quilt. 

Now to make this quilt, I had to have thread and for me the "Purrfect" thread was Aurifil.
I love working with Island Batik Fabrics and Aurifil Threads.They blend beautifully together. Stitching the batiks with these threads is magic like a match made in heaven.

So to get you in a "tranquil" mood where you can "Zen" out - check out these gorgeous fabrics and threads. Aren't they just out of this world?

Island Batik Zen Collection 

See the "Starfish" and the "Sand dollars" and the ripples in the water. They are all involved with the sea.



Island Batik Zen Collection with coordinating Aurifil Threads
"Sew" many beautiful blue "moon" colors and "green cheese" splashes!

 Which is your favorite color thread?
 Is it this lovely Royal Blue - 2730





or this lovely turquoise - 2810












 or this fun lime green  - 1231










or this rich royal navy - 2784

or this light blue - 2720












 or this aqua blue - 5006?














It is really hard to choose a favorite as they are all beautiful. I am so pleased that I got to share my "Zen"  or "Moon Walk" experience with you.

Please leave a comment and tell me which is your favorite color thread and whether you ever wanted to travel in space. I will be choosing a winner through Random.org and giving away three Sea of Tranquility patterns to some future moon quilt explorers. 












Be sure to blast over to the Island Batik Blog where you will learn more about their Zen Fabric Collection.

Then fly over to Auribuzz, the Aurifil blog for an out of the world experience as there is a   great giveaway that will send you to the moon and back.

Before I close, I do have to share that these two wonderful companies have hearts as big as the universe. They support the "Piece for Shelter Pets" project which works with The Quilt Pattern Magazine and the Petfinder Foundation by helping with TQPM Kennel Quilts for shelter pets. Thanks and kudos to them!

Until next time,
                 Nan


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Purrfect Spots: Santa Claus AKA FedEx

Purrfect Spots: Santa Claus AKA FedEx: Happy August to all! A new month with lots of exciting projects ahead, but before we start with the new month, I have to let you know th...

Santa Claus AKA FedEx

Happy August to all!

A new month with lots of exciting projects ahead, but before we start with the new month, I have to let you know that "Santa Claus" AKA the FedEx guy arrived late last month. He arrived on July 29th at my house at 5:30PM. Talk about a wonderful Happy Hour. He brought me the most beautiful fabrics from Island Batik.

I am so proud to be an Island Batik  Ambassador. I share that title with many talented designers and we have so much fun creating our projects.   

As Ambassadors, we receive two shipments a year of gorgeous fabrics.  So when the BOX arrives, we love to "Show and Yell". 
















And here are the contents! I can't show them in detail as some won't be  introduced until International Quilt Market in Houston this fall.  Aren't they gorgeous?















I can't wait to get started on these. So many ideas are spinning around in my head. 
So check back as I will be sharing a new project each month! The challenge for August is "Quilt as You Go". I love to do that.

Thanks for stopping by.
Until next time,

                   Nan

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Purrfect Spots: Oh Baby - Island Batik July Challenge

Purrfect Spots: Oh Baby - Island Batik July Challenge: The challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors for the month of July was to make a baby quilt. This couldn't have come at a better ti...