I’m so excited about today – my turn in Island Batik‘s Seaside Summer Blog Hop!
I’m sure you’ve enjoyed the first 3 days of this great Hop. If, by chance, you happened to miss the 3 previous days – and believe me, you won’t want to have – scroll way on down for the links. Be sure to read through to the end for patterns to be won!
First, I must say that it is such a privilege to be an Island Batik Ambassador and for so many reasons! We are spread out far from one another; nevertheless, there is an online friendship and camaraderie between us that is special. Another reason, of course, is the boxes of beautiful fabrics we receive to work with twice yearly. Yet another, this year, is the challenge of coming up with a new quilt design each and every month. It has inspired us to go in design directions, we might not have otherwise. I look at the quilts I’ve designed and made this year with the greatest pleasure. Were in not for Island Batik, they wouldn’t be, and what a shame that would have been!
I have to laugh at myself because at the start of this Island Batik Ambassador year, I was determined to create pieced designs. Instead, the fabrics seem to inspire me more often towards applique. This month, I tried something new to me – raw edge applique. It is generally done by fusing appliques to the background fabric, then stitching just inside the raw edge. I skipped the fusing step; just pinned them in place and started sewing. As with Christmas in July, I got ahead of myself with our themes by creating Coral Reefs back in February. The Holiday Hills and Sea Salt Sandy fabric lines, just begged to become those reefs. This time, it was the Seashore fabrics I had to work with and after spreading them out and admiring them, they told me what they wanted to be – an underwater scene – and so, Under the Sea was born. Get your scuba-diving gear and come along. The fish, turtles, sea horses, and others don’t seem to mind us at all. The mermaids, though, are diving out of sight. Obviously, they prefer not to be seen.
My Wonderful Seashore Fabrics
Seashore is a luscious line of fabrics! Just looking at them is inspiring! Working with them is a quilter’s dream. By clicking on this link you can see the entire Seashore line. Below are the fabrics I chose from among them to use for Under the Sea. You may recall from my turn last month, that both my sewing machines decided to need repairing at the same time. When I finally got them back, I was in a rush to get started, so 20 lashes with a wet noodle for me! I just hurriedly took fabric photos without pressing them first, then began planning and preparing.
Here is a view of the above, plus the others in the Seashore line. Aren’t they delicious? And, so is the recipe below them!
Recipe Time! – A Seaside Snack
Quick and easy to make, this cake needs just one bowl, measuring utensils and a fork. Because of that, the washing up is easy, which is a bonus. Perfect for a picnic at the beach dessert! – I don’t recall where this recipe came from, but our family has been making and enjoying it for years.
One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- Either: 2 squares (ounces) of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate or 6 tblsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup sugar
- 1-¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 6-ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- (⅓ cup of chopped nuts – optional)
- If using chocolate squares, heat oil and chocolate in an 8″ square cake pan, in 350°F oven for about 4 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add water, sugar, egg, flour, salt, baking soda and vanilla (all the remaining ingredients except for chocolate chips and nuts) to the pan.
- If using cocoa: add milk, oil, sugar, egg, flour, salt, baking soda, and vanilla (all the ingredients except for chocolate chips and nuts) to the pan.
Then, for both methods:
- Beat with fork until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Spread evenly across pan.
- Sprinkle with chocolate chips (and nuts, if using them).
- Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cut into squares to serve.
Now for Prizes!
Leave a comment and your name will be entered into a draw to win 1 of my 2 patterns below, just on time for the upcoming celebrations. Winners can choose whichever one they would like.
There will be 3 winners chosen and announced after the last day of this Hop – September 3rd.
Boo Bags in 3 Sizes by Maria
Santa Stocking by Maria
Hope you enjoyed your visit today. I enjoyed having you drop by!
Be sure to visit all the other stops on the way!
Blog Hop Schedule
15 – Rain Forest
16 – Red Tide
17 – Sand Dune
18 – Seashore
19 – Surf Squirt
22 – Tradewinds
23 – Equinox
24 – Sea Canyon
25 – Sea Foam
26 – Spoolin’ Around
29 – Tide Pools
30 – Wind and Sea
31 – Spring Zing
1 – Splash
2 – Landscapes
We start Island Batik’s Summer Blog Hop by visiting Marlene Baerg Oddie’s Blog, Kissed Quilts. Marlene is featuring the Rain Forest Collection. Don’t miss seeing what she has done with her beautiful fabrics!
Be sure to visit every stop along the way to view the different, marvellous, fabric lines, see dazzling quilts, and win prizes!
I’ll see you here on Thursday!
Dates and Fabrics
15th – Rain Forest
2nd – Landscapes
For Quilts Sake
Island Batik’s Christmas in July
We Island Batik Ambassadors were challenged to design for the Christmas in July theme, which is a very popular one. We lucky people were given their absolutely beautiful Holiday Happenings line to work with.
Two unfortunate things have happened while preparing to share my version of Christmas in July.
First is that my two sewing machines, which sit side-by-side on a long surface my husband built for me, must have had a conversation that went something like this. My newer (2001) Bernina Virtuosa 163 said, “Hey, Bernina 930, how about we both lose proper tension together this time around instead of just me? Then you won’t have to be lonely while I’m in for repairs! Great idea, right?” Bernie 930 replied, “Hmmm . . . not a bad idea. I haven’t lost tension since I arrived in 1985 and we’ve both been used constantly. Maybe it’s time for a new experience. Okay, I’ll go along with it.” And, so they did, leaving me with quilting/sewing withdrawal pains while they are in for repairs. They’ll be returning home next week, but sadly, not in time to complete my Christmas in July projects.
The second unfortunate thing was a sudden realization. I didn’t catch on to the fact, way back in February, that we would be doing Christmas in July, so guess what I did? I made my Santa’s Visit quilt using the beautiful Holiday Happenings fabrics along with others. If you missed it, click on its photo to go back to February’s blog and read all about it. (I hate to say this, but I did the same thing with fabrics for next month’s project. Can you hear me groaning? You can be sure I’ve checked out the themes for the rest of the year!)
As a result, I used up a lot of my lovely Holiday Happenings batik fabrics. This meant I couldn’t do a large project this month. However, I made a smaller and important one! It’s a Kennel Quilt to either remind you, or introduce you to, TQPM‘s (The Quilt Pattern Magazine’s) Kennel Quilt Program – a volunteer organization available when disasters strike to help our animal friends in time of need by doing what we love.
Island Batik is becoming a partner in TQPM’s Kennel Quilt Program! At this autumn’s International Quilt Market in Houston, Island Batik will introduce its new, adorable, pet fabric lines! Kennel quilters are sure to love and welcome them, as will all pet lovers! Aurifil Threads will be introducing 2 new thread collections to go with those special new Island Batik fabrics. Island Batik will also be joining and working with others, including PetFinder, and Bernina, all of whom are supporting this worthy program, each in their own special ways.
My Kennel Quilt was made with the lovely Holiday Happenings fabrics and one of their Neutral Whites. As mentioned, I didn’t get to finish it. The open seam on the right has yet to be closed and the quilting done. Still, you can see just how attractive it is using these wonderful fabrics. Once I have my machines back in working order, I will post the finished version. I will send this Kennel Quilt, along with others I plan to make, to a shelter here in Canada.
With the rest of my Holiday Happenings fabrics, I started making a wall hanging to add to our Christmas decorations come December. This is as far as I got before my machines quit on me. Only the center is finished. Stay tuned! I’ll get it finished next month and post it, too.
Be sure to visit all of our Ambassador’s websites and look for their Christmas in July designs. You’ll find great inspiration and there will be lots of Oohs and Ahhs to be heard! Most have been posted. Keep watch for those who will add theirs soon!
For all those who will surely want to see all the modern-style quilts created by our Island Batik Ambassadors last month, click on this Moose Stash Quilting link. You won’t want to miss all the creativity!
A reminder – this is the one I posted.
LaDan Abosein is a multi-talented artist. Her range goes from pencil drawing to Persian Miniatures, embroidery, knitting, cooking, gardening, decorating and quilting. Quilting is what she finds the most personally satisfying. In that regard, she has been featured in several magazines.
She has recently published a book – Art Quilts: Embroidery & Drawing.
Quilters looking for inspiration need look no further. The quilts LaDan features in her book are true works of art. Readers will enjoy meeting LaDan, learning more about her and her experiences, and feasting in the colour and joy of her work.
What is a Modern Quilt?
I actually find it difficult to decide on what qualifies. The dictionary meaning is, “of, relating to, or characteristic of contemporary styles of art, literature, music, etc., that reject traditionally accepted or sanctioned forms and emphasize individual experimentation and sensibility.” Even so, after looking at images of what qualifies as modern art, the variety and range is wide. In regard to quilts, the best explanation I’ve found so far is that by MQG – Modern Quilt Guild.
That being said, the Island Batik Modern Quilt Challenge had me making my 4th modern quilt. (More on them below.)
Although I do create and design my own patterns, with my husband’s wealth of art work, I often turn to it. When a theme presents itself, I usually remember something he’s done that will work perfectly and is eagerly awaiting its chance to be made into fabric art. My Island Batik Modern Quilt design is from another of his examples of just “doodling”.
For the horizontal lines in this quilt, I used Island Batik‘s French Roasted precuts strips. However, this time even narrower strips, were needed so I cut them all in half lengthwise. (You can see more of their wonderful precuts here.) The rest of the fabrics used in the quilt top were chosen from their beautiful Seashore Collection. The black border and binding are from their Basics Collection. (When you go to visit Island Batik, don’t forget to click on the small fabric images so you can view larger ones. That way, you get a much better idea of just how gorgeous these fabrics are!)
Opening Night – is another title by quilt-namer extraordinaire, Nan Baker of Purrfect Spots. Isn’t it a much better name than my original idea – Spotlights? (Yes, I knew you’d agree! )
I used EQ to create the pattern. It gives me the choice of printing either paper-pieced patterns or templates. As mentioned in an earlier post, I prefer working with templates.
An interesting thing about this type of modern design – it can be rotated and create somewhat different looks. For example, here is it is upside down. Hung in this direction, it would need a new name though.
Be sure to watch for all the terrific Modern Quilts our Island Batik Ambassadors will be posting this month! I’ll begin listing them below as they appear so do come back and visit again!
The first 2 of my designs – both crib-sized baby quilts – were pubished in The Quilt Pattern Magazine and a 3rd is scheduled to appear in future. Both quilts are quick-and-easy to make when a baby gift is needed in a hurry or to use for charity quilts. They make use of any leftover, cute, border strips or child prints you may have. If you would like the patterns, you can order back issues. (Modern Baby #1– August 2014; Modern Baby #2 – January 2015)
Last week, I asked for your votes and recommendations for naming my Island Batik Paper-Pieced Project. My thanks amd appreciation to everyone who left a comment or sent an email – all very good names, too! Look below the photo to see the name that was chosen.
We have more chipmunks around this year than last. They are so cute and we love seeing them. They scurry so quickly it’s hard to get a photo of them that isn’t a blur. I managed 2 yesterday.
Here’s an old “chipmunk” joke. Warning! It’s a real groaner!
One day while driving home from his fishing trip in the pouring rain, a man got a flat tire outside a monastery. A monk came out and invited him inside to have dinner and spend the night. The motorist accepted. That night he had a wonderful dinner of fish and chips. He decided to compliment the chef. Entering the kitchen, he asked the cook, “Are you the fish friar?” “No,” the man replied, “I’m the chip monk.”
As you may already know, the theme of this month’s Island Batik challenge is Playful Paper Piecing. My project was meant to be presented in mid May. Unfortunately, circumstances decreed otherwise and here I am presenting it to you on the last day of the month.
I must admit that paper piecing is not a favourite technique of mine. I much prefer working with templates, but sometimes it is the only way to deal with very small geometric or unusual shapes. There have been paper-piecing tips along the way in our Ambassadors’ blogs. Mine is about removing the paper after the sewing is done. – Wet a cotton swab and run it along the stitching lines to dampen the paper. It will pull away much more easily and leave your stitches intact. Should your fabric become dampened, leave it to air dry or press it with your iron.
This time around, it took me a long while to think of a design. I loved, then discarded one idea after another. Finally, I spotted a little block I had sewn several years ago. It was from another of my husband’s geometric drawings and my intention had been to create a pattern for it. (He’ll draw large squares on paper, then put a different design in each.) This one is perfect for a quilt design and for paper piecing as well.
When the center of the top was finished, but not yet pressed, I picked it up just as the sun poked through a cloud and shone into the window next to my cutting table. The effect was interesting and surprising, so I quickly taped the quilt top to the window and took a partial photo. It looks just like stained glass, doesn’t it? I love the effect and was tempted to leave it just as it was. Were it not for the fact that the sun would fade it, I would have! What a delight it would be to see it like this every day. I playfully thought of commissioning it to be made in glass, but the lovely Island Batik Fabrics I used could never be duplicated so the effect would be lost.
Where else does the “Playful” come into this quilt? Well, first I had fun playing around with possible ideas in my mind, while rejecting one after the other until finally narrowing it down to this one. I had fun playing with my Island Batik Fabrics delightfully looking through them, then choosing as many of the beautiful blues and yellows as possible. It was even more fun to play with positioning the fabrics for the best effects. I chose fabrics from the Seashore Collection and from Island Batik Fabrics used in my previous blogs.
Want to have some playful fun identifying them? Click on the fabric link just above. You’ll enjoy viewing all the gorgeous fabrics and playfully dreaming of all the things you can do with them! Just be sure to click on each for lovely larger photos! “The better to see you with my dear,” to quote a line from Little Red Riding Hood.
The next bit of playful fun was deciding where and how to place those colours for best effect. More playfulness happened when trying to determine which part of the quilt shape stands out most, the stars or the skies behind them. It’s fun – and playful – seeing how our eyes point out one area of the quilt, then bring another to the fore. They seem to go back and forth as you look at them – almost like 3D. There is definitely a primary pattern, a secondary pattern, and even a third. Do you see them all? Do you see any others?
More playfulness! I quilted the borders in an irregular, straight-stitch design all around. By “irregular” I mean that I started at one point and when turning at the corners, varied the width between rows with no rhyme nor reason. You can see 2 examples below. It was fun and a bit scary because the idea was so new to me. Interesting, I thought, but also effective in its own way. We should allow ourselves to play and to experiment, and to do both much more often!
The next part was, and still is, choosing a name for this quilt.
I’m hoping you’ll help me with it by leaving a comment with your preference. Please either choose from the list or create a name you like better. Here has what’s been suggested by family and friends so far.The next playful part was, and still is, choosing a name for this quilt. I’m hoping you’ll help me with it by leaving a comment with your preference. Please either choose from the list or create a name you like better. Here has what’s been suggested by family and friends so far.
Stars and Beach Balloons
Stars and Beach Umbrellas
Stars Light, Stars Bright
Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars
Dancing with the Stars
I’ll tally the votes and announce this quilt’s name either later this week or next week when I hope to post our June challenge.
If you haven’t seen all of the Playful Piecing projects our Island Batik Ambassadors have created, you won’t want to miss them!
My Canadian Flag Pattern is a good way to show your patriotism and to celebrate by including it in your decorations. It also makes the perfect gift for Canadians working and living abroad.
You can also use just the Maple Leaf pattern on jackets, sweatshirts, T-shirts, tote bags, pillows, and whatever else your creativity inspires. It’s also a stash-buster needing only small pieces and strips of your red fabrics.
To learn more about this pattern or to buy it, click here. If not for the 149th, you’ll definitely want it ready for next year’s big celebration – Canada’s 150th Birthday!
Once you have made your flag, I’d love to see photos and also, if you grant permission, post them in a future blog.