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It's All Up To You

This months Island Batik theme is "Its all up to you!"

So far this month the other ambassadors have made some great designs. They have been posted on the Island Batik instagram, so be sure to go check them out and give them some love. So far we have seen table runners, a bowl, luggage tags, arrow quilt, star quilt and even an Elvis Presley quilt.

To get started this month, I pulled a bunch of the fabric out to see what I had. I found a few and just could not decide which one to use. I had some great fabrics that were the 2.5 inch strips:

Fire and Ice which is this volcanic and ice like batik with these black dark strips, curves and unique designs on them. I also had these:

Strips from the River Walk designs. These have a leafy green, blue and cream color-way. Together with my layer cake of browns:

I decided I wanted to do something way out of my comfort zone. I wanted to do some applique design. I loved the fire and ice collection because it gave me outer space feeling, but the river walk said leafs and grass to me; (but I could see a planet or two in that fabric as well). I sat down and used some internet inspiration that I have saved on my phone from days past. I then kind of added a little to it, and took some things away, and eventually got this okay drawing (I am by far not an artist in this sense):

(Its okay to laugh: I told you it was rough.) I then used that drawing to make an applique design:

I was able to then print this out, cut out the pieces, place it on my heat-n-bond and then spend about an hour or so cutting it all out and making sure I had it all labelled. Labelling is important with this many pieces. I started numbering my butterfly pieces, and used the original applique paper to write out where everything went.

(You can see the center of the bottle all drawn out in the back, still waiting to get cut out and placed on the heat-n-bond. The butterfly pieces are placed on the heat-n-bond in the front of the photo. If you look real close, on the far left you will see the applique piece I printed of part of the bottle.)

Cutting out my planets from the heatn-bond.

Once I had everything cut out of the heat-n-bond, I then laid it with what fabrics I wanted to use for what. I did use some scraps from other projects in the past, and I loved that I could use those up. If you recall I was using the 2.5 inch strips and if you look my planets are not all smaller than 2.5 inches, so I did in fact sew strips together to make larger pieces. It worked out well as I felt it gave each planet even more movement. (Can you even tell?)

I then sat down with my iron and started to place each piece where I wanted it to go. I started with the bottle and planets because this would be the item that goes the furthest into the distance. With applique, if you did not know, you place pieces by working from furthest back to everything thats closer to you, which is typically how you iron things down. This took me actually 2 days. I cut pieces out, laid them down, cut more out, laid them down, moved things around a little, ironed and then did that over and over and over again.

The background fabric is the Island Batik solid black and the background fabric for the space is charcoal from the bodacious blacks. The bottle is made up of Scuba and French Blue from the Brilliant Blues of the basics.

Starting to iron things down.

I then spent several hours cutting out the green and green/blue pieces from the River walk strips. This took some work as I wanted it to feel full but not be bulky. So I spent time cutting pieces to look like they were behind each other when they really aren't.

Once I had all the grass down I then decided I wanted to add a pink poppy like flower. I then pulled out my drawing pad, some paper and did a quick size reference. I then drew out some petals and divided them lights and dark, and added a stem.

I then added that to the top with some finishing touches, and it looked like this:

At this point I was really happy with the top and could not wait to finish it up. I decided I would do free motion quilting to applique the pieces down. I used all my different colors of Aurifil thread. They worked wonderfully with these batiks.

So many threads to bury, which took me about two hours while watching some videos and getting lots of love from my dogs. Eventually the quilting was done and I put the binding on and was so excite to take photos of this quilt.

Also I did use the HOBBS cotton wool blend and I actually love this blend a lot. I had issues with the wool, so was curious how this cotton wool blend would act and I think I have found my new favorite batting!

If you haven't tried this cotton and wool blend, I would say check it out. I do love cotton and cotton poly blends but this wool cotton blend was soft, easy to quilt and I didn't have issues with it like I did with the wool because the loft is smaller. Which I think I am realizing I like a lower loft more.

Well, thats it, now I have the quilt finished and its roughly 40 x 40 inches. I can see this hanging as a wall hanging but also as a center piece on a circular table or square one. Its bright and bold, as well as whimsical and yet still has a hint of masculinity in it. Lets see how it turned out:

I also love to show off the back as you can see all the gorgeous Aurifil thread.

The back up close:

and lastly the front up close:

This month was a great month to allow my imagination to run wild and get to play with the many different batik fabrics. I love how this quilt is so many different styles of batiks but yet they all work cohesively together. Would you agree? Let me know if the comments below.

Be sure to come back soon as the next patreon pattern will be out soon and I might get another blog up on some how to with foundation paper piecing.

As always be sure to come back soon to see what we do next month for the Island Batik challenge and be sure to check out all the ambassadors blogs and instagram posts as well.

Stay Safe and Happy Sewing!


May 06

Amazing!!! I am just speechless. This quilt is so fun to look at in detail. It is gorgeous!


May 06

Who would know from that stack of fabrics this fabulous, stunning, amazing bottle with planets would emerge. Beautiful, I hope it is hung where you see it every time you walk past.

May 06
Replying to

From Jean McKinstry at All Points of the Compass


Mar 26

Holy Toledo girl ‼️ this is sew very AWESOME The batiks work very well together. I would never guess that you were out of your comfort zone. WOW


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