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December Holiday Celebration

This month for Island Batik was Holiday Celebration! I chose to go with "Happy Holidays" with a winter theme. I typically am a Halloween girl, but my Island Batik fabrics were calling for a colorful Holiday themed quilt. I didn't have enough variation for a cute Halloween quilt so had to change my idea and go with a fun winter, snowy, ice themed Penguin Holiday quilt.

The idea I had once I decided Halloween was out, was I wanted to do something cute with Penguins! I loved the idea of them in scarfs and beanies. I even thought about ice skates on ice and in the snow with snow covered trees. Once I started designing the pattern for the penguins, I decided to not add the ice skates and to just do a snow covered background. (I later added some trees).

Concept idea for the penguin FPP pattern.

Fabric choices. Black and Grey penguins, white for the background the rest are from random collections and the basics.

The FPP pattern ended up being 40 x 40 inches big. The paper was everywhere and the sections were large, which actually made it so much easier than my usual piecing. (I typically do a lot of tiny detail piecing).

Each section, sewn and ready to be assembled.

The four main sections sewn together.

Sewing big sections together is always a challenge. Fighting with paper and fabric, always a great laugh.

All the sections put together.

I wanted to add something with a holiday feel so I decided to add some simple traditional pieced presents. Typical square or rectangular presents with added ribbon.

I did want to show you two of the presents and how I sewed them together. I figured they were the easiest and yet more simplified designs.

The first one is just the simple present with the t style ribbon. Start with a box and some strips of ribbon (accent fabric).

I then cut the block in half one way:

I then sew one of the "ribbons" in-between the two halves.

You then end up with something like this, after trimming the ends.

I then cut the block in half again, adding the second ribbon in-between, and then trimming again.

At this point its done but you could applique a bow on it, or add another piece on top with a bow. I wanted to stack my presents so no bow for mine.

The other present I did was on point. I used a smaller present size for this one, a square block and a thinner ribbon strip.

This time I folded the block diagonally, and decided on a size to trim off the corners.

I then opened the square back up and sewed the ribbon into the one side. The trick is to get the point of the triangle lined up with the center of the block (fold the block in half to find the center).

I then repeated the same thing on the other side, and trimmed the block up to the size I wanted. If you want a specific size block cut about 1/2 or so inch bigger. This will allow for that room and seam allowance as well as trimming the block back to a square.

Done. It looks great too.

Once all the presents were on the sides, I now had a 70 inch wide by 40 inch tall quilt. Thats too wide, right? So, had to add to the top of it. I knew I wanted it to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS but was trying to figure out how to fill in the extra space around it. I decided to revisit the trees, and thought "oh I will straight stitch applique them on so that they will fray and look like trees".

The Happy Holidays letters were FPP patterns as well. I just did a very simple basic design to allow the fabric to shine. I wanted the sign to almost be like neon lights. Bright and bold and colorful!

Happy was about 40 inches and Holidays was about 64 inches. So I added some more white fabric in between to get the top half of the quilt, and then began to cut random trees at random sizes.

I added heat N bond to the back center of the trees to allow them to fray as much as I could.

You can see I did not pay too much attention to making them perfect because I knew they would fray later on and it would look completely different.

My next step was to choose a batting and backing. I knew I wanted to add some fleece since this would be a winter quilt. However, I had never used wool batting and I know that its great for keeping you extra warm. So I decided on the wool batting from HOBBS.

Now, let me start by saying; I have never used wool batting before. After 20 plus years of quilting and this is my first experience with wool batting. This batting had a very high loft. I was kind of shocked at how fluffy it was. I always assumed wool would be dense and thick. It was the complete opposite from that. The only thing I didn't love was the feeling of it. Cotton and most polyester battings are soft and not itchy. This batting was rougher than any other batting I have ever touched. Now, again, this is my first time using it so please let me know in the comments if that is normal for wool, but I just decided the next time I use it I will slip my quilting gloves on, as the texture was just hard for my ADHD brain to deal with. Just a note for anyone who deals with sensory issues like me.

I spent a lot of time spray basting the quilt as again the batting was different and I was just trying to get the feel for how it was absorbing the spray and what not. Again, any tips please leave them in the comments as this was a struggle for me and I usually don't have issues spray basting.

I then spent a lot of time free motion quilting it. I absolutely LOVE free motion quilting and I have to say I was worried about the wool batting and the Aurifil thread together, but no issues at all. They went together like butter and the all over quilting looked amazing.

Doesn't that just look amazing! I absolutely love the many colors of my Aurifil thread, and I still would love to order more as I always find I need a specific color and some how I don't have it yet. This time it was that ice blue color. I had so very little of it left, and was thankful that it did last for this project but I will need to order more of those colors.

Next thing was deciding on the binding color. I spent a few minutes squaring up the quilt and was shocked that I was really struggling to pick a binding color. By this point I usually already have a color in mind but this one was hard. Do I coordinate the blue and white, or do I do all white (YIKES) but in the end I decided to frame the quilt with the black as the penguins were the original inspiration for this quilt so had to tie it back into them after all.

Trim into a perfect square: 70 x 70 inch quilt!

Add that gorgeous black binding, and finish this binding by hand sewing it to the back.

Thats it, its done!

Now each year here in England at our base, we have a tree lighting ceremony at the beginning of the month. The tree is huge, but its not a traditional tree, its a tree made out of lights. Its gorgeous and this year they added this adorable little penguin riding a sled right in front of the tree. How perfect is that. I told my husband, we have to get the photo with the penguin, it just was meant to be. I wish I could get pictures of the lights and the quilt but its been nothing but wet and cold and windy here. So, my husband and I had to kind of do this start and stop photoshoot while the wind was starting and stopping. It made for a great laugh but I didn't get a ton of photos like I usually do. However, I hope you enjoy the photos and you can see what I was trying to do.

At night the tree and streets are full of beautiful lights. Heres a photo from the tree lighting ceremony:

Alright, back to the quilt and the beautiful fabric. I do want to show off the free motion quilting and how much loft this batting has. You can also see how well the aurifil thread blended with the quilt.

Just a simple quilting on top of the tree to hold it in place, and you can see they fraying is already starting. I love it.

Thats it for this one! I hope you enjoyed this quilt and all the fun colorful bright and bold fabrics just as much as I did.

Be sure to check out Hobbs batting and the selection of Aurifil thread. Thank you to both for the amazing products.

Happy Holidays to everyone and thank you for taking the time out to read this blog. I appreciate every single person who has joined me on this exciting trip as an Island Batik Ambassador this year. I can say that I have learned a ton, used products I have never used, experienced new things and loved the journey of it all.

I hope you all have an amazing rest of your year and I will hopefully see you all very soon!

Stay safe, stay healthy and be kind.

5 comentarios

Brenda Parker Alburl
Brenda Parker Alburl
26 dic 2023

Adorable penguins, Sarah!!

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26 dic 2023

Oh my! This quilt is so adorable! I love every thing about it. The penguins are so cute and the colors are so bright and I can see you have a fantastic time with the quilting. Love it. Have a great day!

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24 dic 2023

Fantastic quilt! I find that you don't need more spray with a wool batt than with any other. When you use a black batting, you'll see the overspray that happens and realize that you don't need as much as you think you do! I LOVE your quilt!!! And the quilting is great!!!

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Pitchers Boutique
Pitchers Boutique
26 dic 2023
Contestando a

Good to know. The high loft really made it challenging for me. Like do I need more spray, less spray.

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Quilting Tangent
Quilting Tangent
24 dic 2023

Cute quilt! Happy Holidays.

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