This has been an exciting and fascinating Blog Hop! Former and current Island Batik Ambassadors have created beautiful and stunning quilts from the wonderful patterns in this special book by Nan Baker and Margaret Brewster Willingham.
I was fortunate to learn about Christmas Rapping when it was in the planning stages thanks to the privilege of knowing Nan. Naturally, I wanted it so bought a copy just as soon as it was published. I am delighted with it for three reasons. One, of course, is because of the new and unique Christmas patterns in it. (We can never get started too early in the year when making Christmas gifts and decorations!) The second is that many of these patterns, with different colour choices, will suit every time of year. The third is that we can use these patterns and our creative imaginations to build on them and create different patterns entirely. This definitely makes the book the kind that keeps on giving!
By now, all of you know why the title is Christmas Rapping and if by chance you don’t, take another look at the book’s subtitle. 😀
The Island Batik fabric line chosen by Nan and Margaret for their wonderful patterns is the Batik Foundation Collection. I would love to have yards of each of these! However, I decided to use some of the gorgeous fabrics I had from my exciting, challenging, wonderful 2 years as an Island Batik Ambassador. If you, too, fall in love with any of those I used, have fun searching for my choices here. While searching for them, you are sure to enjoy seeing all their other fabric lines as well.
Nan and Margaret used these wonderful Aurifil Threads for their projects. I mostly used them too, for both piecing and quilting. Having been introduced them back when I was an Island Batik Ambassador, they immediately became my favourites. One exception is the gold metallic thread I happened to have on hand and used for the rays in the quilt below in my version of Miracle At The Manger.
They also used June Tailor‘s Perfect Piecing Foundation Sheets which make paper piecing so much easier.
Having decided to use the fabrics I had on hand, my next challenge was how to make the best use of them. I decided to try to do things a little differently in regard to design and technique. For the first of my projects, I decided to make a wall hanging inspired by their Miracle At The Manger.
I chose to use the center portion with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and enlarged their figures. Instead of appliquéing them, I cut them out in silhouette form and fused them to my background fabric with my favourite fusible web, Steam-A-Seam 2. For Joseph, I used machine stitching in place of fabric for the inner sleeves, belt, and so on. For Mary, I simply used a triple stitch to outline her silhouette, which may be difficult to see in the photo below.
After creating the center portion, I began planning the borders. Instead of using the entire pattern for the Mini-Star of Light (seen in ornament size below and in the sky in Miracle at the Manger), I paper-pieced each section and used one section in each corner.
The lovely Radiant Christmas Wreath pattern provided elements to use in embellishing the borders – again, by cutting and fusing them. (You can see the Mini-Star of Light pattern in its corners too. Of course, when making these patterns, you can substitute these with the other patterns from the book, or even use more than one.)
I chose the fabrics used in the separated sections of the Mini-Star of Light for the rest of the borders. I also decided to make the halo in one piece and used gold metallic thread for the rays of light (though the shine doesn’t show up in my photo, unfortunately). As you can see, my binding is done in 2 colours to match the borders. This wall hanging finishes at a 25-inch square.
After finishing it, I went on to experiment with some of the ornaments.
The O Tannenbaum Quilt Pattern includes small, ornament-size Log Cabin Blocks so I made one of those as an ornament. However, I decided to make it just a bit on the wonky side, as you can see. I rather like that little bit of charm the wonky look creates.
Mini Star of Light is paper-pieced and finishes at a 4-inch square. Here is mine turned on its side.
I decided to make it again by fusing the sections and turning the outside corners to the inside and at a slightly larger size with a smaller center section. When I make it again, I will choose a different fabric colour for the corner sections.
I also made Mini Star of Wonder using the fusible method. It finishes at 4 inches. Unfortunately, although taking several photos of these next two, the green fabric looks very dark and doesn’t show its various shades.
After cutting the pieces from my fabric square, I realized that what was left could also be used and since I don’t like wasting even small pieces of these beautiful fabrics, I made another ornament with it.
Then I made it again at a 5 ½ inch square which makes a nice Christmas Mug Rug. Any of these ornament patterns can be enlarged to make more Mug Rugs.
Here is another example using the Tree Top Ornament from the Christmas is Coming wall hanging.(The green fabric pattern shows up a little better in this photo.) It turns out to be exactly like my cut-out version above.
For another Mug Rug, I used the Swirl corner blocks from the Radiant Christmas Wreath pattern. Again, I cut the design from a square of fabric, then fused the sections to the background.
And again, I decided not to waste the rest of the square of fabric so fused it to another fabric square to make yet another Mug Rug. I don’t have a name for it yet though. It’s a bit on the wonky side too, but again it gives it that little, unique something. I expect to see it start rolling off at any moment.
I had lots of creative fun experimenting with the patterns and methods from the book. Between following the patterns exactly and creating your own variations and sizes, you will be referring to the book often and using it for years to come! Click here to buy your own copy and start enjoying the wealth of patterns and possibilities!
If, by chance, you just now joined in, be sure to go back and view what you have missed. You may have to scroll down for some blogs because they have made additions since their turns, but you will be happy you did. Look for the schedule posted down at the end.
Win a Prize!
Two lucky people are going to win a bundle of 9 fat quarters and 3 spools of Aurifil thread, thanks to Island Batik and Aurifil. Be sure to click here to register!
– Maria Hrabovsky – Maria Michaels Designs
Blog Hop Schedule
April 29 – Joan Kawano of Moosestash Quilting.
April 30 – Linda Pearl of One Quilting Circle.
May 1 – Kathy Bruckman of Kathy’s Kwilts and More.
May 2 – Bea Lee of Beaquilter.
May 3 – Sherry Shish of Powered by Quilting.
May 4 – Jennifer Strauser of Dizzy Quilter.
May 5 – Barbara Gaddy of Bejeweled Quilts.
May 6 – Nancy Myers of Patchwork Breeze
May 7 – Vicki Schlimmer of Vicki’s Crafts and Quilts.
May 8 – Gail Sheppard of Quilting Gail.
May 9 – Michelle Roberts of Creative Blonde.
May 10 – Maryellen Mcauliffe of Mary Mack Made Mine.
May 11 – Denise Looney of For the Love of Geese.
May 12 – Maria Hrabovsky of Maria Michaels Designs. (Me!)