Island Batik Alumni Ambassadors Blog Hop

Today I will show my project for the Spring Fling Use It Up blog hop. Some of the Island Batik alumni ambassadors, and some of the current ambassadors, are participating. 
The idea came from Alumni Patti, with the idea of "Use it up." We were to make any FUN - SMALL project. The goal is to use up our Island Batik scraps, leftover from when WE were blogging - with what was the current IB fabrics.
I have quite a few scraps:

I wanted to use my Accuquilt Go! cutter (I haven't used it in a while) and chose the Flying Geese die. I cut out more pieces than I needed. I did not use the yellows or the red and orange scraps, so another project is in the works with those. I liked using the blues, greens and sandy colors. I laid out two options:

I chose the second layout because of the movement I got with the flying geese units. I kept thinking SAND and SEA every time I positioned the units. So the title of my table runner is "OF SAND AND SEA."

And here is the final project, free motion machine quilted and bound:

But, darn it! I still haven't used up all the scraps of Island Batik fabrics! Perhaps, there will be another Alumni Ambassador Blog Hop. That would be fun!
Thank you for visiting.

If you haven't seen all the Alumni projects, here are the links:

Monday, April 16, 2018
Lemon Tree Snippets

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Seams To Be Sew
Mary Macks Blog

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
One Quilting Circle
Seams Like a Dream

Thursday, April 19, 2018
Kathy's Kwilts and More

Friday, April 20, 2018
Inspired Layers
Masterpiece Quilting

Saturday, April 21, 2018
Purrfect Spots
Patchwork Breeze

Sunday, April 22, 2018
For Quilts Sake


Sunny Quilt Day

It's been a busy day from the start!
It began with me fixing hubby's cell phone. It said the SIM card was not recognized and there was nothing on his network. I told him I would research what to do while he and his cousin went river fishing, hoping to catch a steelhead or two. I cut two tiny pieces of post-it note paper to pad the SIM card and give it enough pressure to make a connection with the inner workings of the phone. I also wiped the copper curcuit on the SIM card with a micro fiber wipe and a dab of alcohol to clean it. All is working well now! Glad his cousin has a cell phone with him.

The sky was dreary until about noon. The sun finally came out and the snow is melting! (OK, there is some rain coming in this evening and maybe a little snow over night.)

I'm sitting at the dining room table working on a pattern for an upcoming blog hop listening to the drip, drip, drip from the roof. But it is great to have the sun shining in the windows. 

The pattern is for the September Row Along hosted by Seams To Be Sew. The theme is My Happy Place. We are required to have the pattern ready and sent to our host in June. I am trying to work through EQ7 with the piecing and have not learned the ins and outs of the paper piecing printing in EQ. But if I can fix a cell phone, I'm sure I can figure this out, too.

I have this binding to put on a T-Shirt quilt that is a graduation gift. I'll press it and get the sewing machine to the dining room table, because this quilt is BIG! (75" x 84") This young man is tall. I used all the t-shirts his parents gave me. I am sure this quilt will cover his dorm bed.

I am following 2 blog hops.
I made sure I visited today's blogs for the Island Batik Alumni Ambassadors blog hop. A list of the participants can be found HERE.
And the other is a blog hop in which some of my bee mates are participating. They are using Simone's fabric collection, On You Mark  by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics. You can find a list of the bloggers HERE. Her fabrics are so fun looking and the projects that have been made with them so far are wonderful.
Thanks for visiting. I wish you a sunny day and hope you get time to craft.


Spring Fling Blog Hop Begins

Today is the first day of the Island Batik Alumni Ambassador Spring Fling Blog Hop!

Wow, that was a mouthful!

Well, those of us who have been ambassadors do have some pieces of fabric leftover. I haven't done much with my scraps in the two years that I have been away from creating with Island Batik. I liked the opportunity to get spurred into using those beautiful scraps.

My blog post date is April 21, so come back to see what I made with my scraps (or some of them)!

In the meantime, visit the other ambassadors (alumni and current) who have some projects to show you.

Monday, April 16, 2018
Lemon Tree Snippets

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Seams To Be Sew
Mary Macks Blog

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
One Quilting Circle
Seams Like a Dream

Thursday, April 19, 2018
Kathy's Kwilts and More

Friday, April 20, 2018
Inspired Layers
Kissed Quilts

Saturday, April 21, 2018
Purrfect Spots
Patchwork Breeze

Sunday, April 22, 2018
For Quilts Sake


Projects This Week

This past week I worked on a number of sewing projects.
I've been using my paper calendar to keep up on what I needed to do to keep up with deadlines.

I embroidered Michigan potholders for the shop I consign with. These take about 30 minutes each to make--AFTER I choose the fabrics and threads!

I finished sewing the long middle strip of fabric in the quilt top my daughter worked on 2 weeks ago at her house. 

She and her husband got a very pretty grey day couch for the living room and she wanted these colors in a pattern she saw on Pinterest. We drew out the design (we even got to look up the Pythagorean Theorem to find the width and length of the quilt), figured the fabric amounts, went shopping and started! 
We cut the strips and layed them out before sewing anything. 

She did change out small orange strips with the small yellows strips--there was just too much orange for her. She did most of the work, I just gave her tips for ease in making it. 

I finished squaring it up at my house. I have a 56 x 36 cutting mat on the pool table (Hubby has given up trying to keep me off of it.) and used a few rulers to get everything right. 

This weekend I will visit her and she can decide on how she wants it quilted. How would you quilt it? Matchstick, lines parallel with the base of the white side triangles? Or something all together different? 

I also am the Queen Bee of the Gridsters Bee 2018 this April. I look forward to the mail deliveries. I got 2 blocks today from Rachel. 

This is the schoolhouse friendship block I designed. When I get it the pattern corrected and the quilt done (hopefully by June) I will post the free pattern. I am keeping up with adding the sashing and using my design wall. 

And I continue to work on The Endeavourers Challenge quilt that will be revealed on May 1, 2018. The theme of "Change/Transformation" really had me pondering for a month.

What have you been working on?


Quilty Mail

This month I am the Queen Bee of the Gridsters Bee Group. The block I asked my fellow beemates to make was one I designed that I'm calling "Schoolhouse Friendship Block." I have wanted to make a schoolhouse quilt for 20 years. I thought by asking for help making the blocks, I might finally get the quilt done.

Here are the two I made when I tested the pattern. 
The roof is paper pieced and the rest of the block is pieced units. 
Here are the 4 blocks that came in the mail. 
I only expected one block from each member.
Mary made the top two. and Joan made the bottom two. 
Joan even made a pincushion with a schoolhouse. 
The pieces around the door are 1/4" wide!

I'm working on my projects for:

Island Batik Alumni Ambassadors 
Spring Fling Blog Hop
Begins April 16, 2018

The Endeavourers Quarterly Quilt Challenge
Reveal May 1, 2018
Theme of "Change/Transformation"


What are you working on today?


Spring Fling Blog Hop

As a former Island Batik Ambassador, I am in the ranks of IB Alumni Ambassador. We, the Alumni, try to stay in touch and share our quilting on a private FB group. 

Fellow Alumni, Patti Bochey, wanted to get some of us together via the internet for a blog hop. We all have some pieces, bit, scraps, chunks, and such, of Island Batik fabrics left in our stashes. So the Spring Fling Blog Hop is focusing on the idea: 

 Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!

We are making small items. I really like Island Batik fabrics and have some scraps that are 2 inches and larger. I am going to use these scraps

and these larger pieces. 

I haven't used my Accuquilt Go! in a while, so I am going to cut pieces for flying geese units. I am not sure of the final project, but I will be ready to show my project on April 21. 

Be sure to follow along starting April 16. 

Here is the list of participating alumni and their post dates:

Monday, April 16, 2018 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Sunday, April 22, 2018


Week's Quilting Summary

My quilting accomplishments this week:

I made four hotpads for The Yellow Window Boutique with the hopes of selling them. I get loads of  free motion quilting practice when making these. My binding work is better, too!

I found these items that I began Y-E-A-R-S ago! I kept them so long, I decided I should finish them. 
The first two are quilt-as-you-go log cabin sofa pillows. I added a pocket back. They are ready for the pillow form and then I will donate them to a local charity for kids. 

I made this block in the early 80s. I heard that Y-seams had to be done by hand, not with a sewing machine. That challenged me way back then to sew the pieces with my sewing machine. The fabrics are not all cottons but that's what we had back then. (What colors!)
 I layered it and am free motion quilting on my machine! I am going to put it in a frame for "old time's sake."

I am making a T-Shirt quilt for a graduate. It took 2 days to wash, cut, attach fusible and sew the top together. It is 72" x 98", he's very tall. I only use woven fusible on t-shirts. I find it backs them very well and doesn't shred or rip. Next week I am going to my friend's to use her longarm  machine. I am only showing a bit of it for privacy. 

Upcoming Blog Hop!

I am participating in the X-Block Blog Hop hosted by Amy at Sew Incredibly Crazy. You can read about it HERE

I bought this template about 10 years ago with all the best intentions of using it. I haven't used it yet, but NOW I will! I am looking forward to making a small quilt. I hope you will visit and see what everyone makes. You can see what the template designer has been up to HERE.

I wish you happy quilting. 


Quilting Anew


Yes, that is how I am working at my quilting today.  "More positive" describes my attempt.
For a month my husband and I wintered in Florida. We enjoyed the weather, the excursions to museums, and the beach--fishing for him and collecting shells for me. (I am not a sunbather!) We enjoyed the people we met.

But! (Yes, a "but.") We missed home! I missed my sewing machine and my projects, my friends. While away, I did little with social media. I think that was somewhat good. I realize I enjoy sharing what I am making and finding out what others are working on.
Arriving home, we unpacked, stocked the refrigerator, and got back into our regular routine. Except my routine now includes truly sorting, organizing and cleaning out my crafty areas (we have a small room makeover planned where I sew). I am approaching it in a new way.

I read a post by my friend Elizabeth at and I, too, need to use a paper calendar. I will  see what I have committed to doing, upcoming events, and better plan my blog posts.

I decided to sew up projects that are stacking up instead of moving them back and forth, here and there in my room. I'm calling it Get It Done--Don't Move It! I've wasted productive time moving things around.

Today, the first thing I saw was fabric for a pillowcase for my son-in-law. Half of it was cut. I completed and packaged it to mail out tomorrow! Oh, how happy that makes me. I will move on, one project at a time, and am sure I will make progress.

Now, off to get the calendar and fill in my quilting commitments.

How do you keep focused on your projects?


Craft South Quilt Shop Visit

I visited Anna Maria Horner's quilt shop, Craft South, recently while visiting my sister in Nashville. 

The shop is located in the 12 South neighborhood with stylish shops, eateries, and more. 
That Saturday morning we found a parking place a few blocks away. 
We walked in and behind the cutting counter, I saw these beautiful bolts of fabrics! 
Those on the table are Anna Maria's new designs. 
The classsroom is large and bright. 
Classes are offered for clothing construction, knitting, crocheting, weaving, quilting, and for kids!
Here is a view from one end of the shop to the other. 
I am standing in the yarn end and the other end holds the classroom, with fabrics in the middle. 
Wish I did more with yarn, it is lovely.
There were many craft ideas. 

I was happy to have visited Craft South. Just a few weeks after that 
Coats & Clark, the sister company, shut down production of 
Free Spirit and Westminster brands of fabrics.
Anna Maria Horner is one of the designers for Free Spirit Fabrics. 
I am sure that the designers affected will be working with other fabric companies very soon. 

I will treasure the fabrics I did buy that day, since they were definitely "limited editions."
Now to plan a special project with these lovely fabrics pictured here. 


Valentine's Day Rewind

Happy Valentine's Day!

I thought I would take a trip down memory lane on my blog, focusing on those that show hearts.

I hope you might find an idea for a new quilt project.

This first project is one I blogged about and the link to the post is HERE.

Below are some other projects I have designed and sewn. You can read the blog about these HERE.



Machine Binding a Quilt

I have a photo-filled post showing how I bind quilts completely by machine.
I began using this method years ago when hand-stitching the binding caused my fingers to go numb because of carpal tunnel syndrome. The more I used this technique, the better I got.

I am showing how I put the binding on the Valentine mug rug from yesterday's post.

I had to join 2 strips of fabric for my binding (as we do when binding a large quilt). I use 2.5 inch wide strips for binding.

To join the strips:
Cross the ends of 2 strips at 90 degree angles.  Extending the ends allows me to see the start and end of the stitching line (blue line). Sew a 45 degree seam to join the strips. Trim the excess, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance (green line).

Fold the binding in half lengthwise and press, creating a long strip of binding.
Use a walking foot for the rest of this technique.
On the BACK of the mug rug, line up the raw edge of the binding with the raw edge of the mug rug (or quilt, etc).
Pin the spot to start stitching (about 5 to 6 inches from the end of the binding strip). Use a ¼ inch seam allowance, sew toward the corner. STOP ¼ inch from the bottom edge, near the corner, with the needle down.
Turn the corner so it is pointing toward your body. Sew at a 45 degree angle to the corner of the mug rug and off the corner. Cut the thread. 
Fold the binding away from you, making a 45 degree angle into the corner. Notice how the edge of the binding flows away from the edge of the quilt? 
Keep the 45 degree fold in place (pin if needed), bring the binding strip down so it covers the folded 45 degree angle. The edge of the binding will align from the corner, along the edge of the mug rug.
The fold of the binding, on the edge just sewn. The fold should not extend past the edge of the mug rug. (There is actually a small red arrow above my thumb pointing to that edge!)
Begin sewing at the fold using a ¼ inch seam.
Before the next corner, stop ¼ inch away and continue in the same manner as the last corner.
Sew all 4 corners in this way. Stop about 6 inches from where you first began stitching the binding on the first edge.
Remove from under needle.
Make sure the two binding ends overlap or lay across each other by 2 or 3 inches.
Square the end of the first binding tail about 4 inches from the beginning stitches, but make sure it still overlaps the other end of the binding.
Lay the other end of the binding over the end just squared. Make sure there is 2.5 inches or more beyond the squared end. With a pin, mark where the squared end lines up (green circle).
From the pin, measure 2.5 inches and trim off the extra from the top tail. I like to use the Creative Grids 6 by 2.5 inch ruler for this. 

Open the two binding ends. The top one is right side down. The lower one is right side up. Turn the end of the top one a quarter turn to the right. The binding is not aligned end to end, but  in the same manner used to join strips to make a long length of binding (first step).
I pin the 4 corners. A 45 degree diagonal stitching line can be drawn; but with practice the seam can be eye-balled.

Sew on the diagonal line, remove pins as you go.
Make sure the binding fits the edge of the quilt it will be stitched to.
Cut off the excess leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance.  Press seam to one side.
Sew to attach to mug rug.
With front of mug rug down, press binding on back toward seam allowance. 
Turn over to see the right side.
Wrap binding around edge to front, covering the stitches that attached the binding. Pin binding if needed.
Align needle and walking foot, so the top-stitching line is about 1/8 inch in from the folded edge of the binding.
2 inches from corner, stop with needle down. Fold up the binding closest to you covering the stitches. Fold the corner section you are sewing at a 45 degree angle. Pin if needed. 
The edge being sewn will lay on top of this next edge and create a mitered corner.
Continue around the entire mug rug. Sew a few final stitches over the first stitches and backstitch to lock in place.The back looks like it has been quilted with an edge line.
Thank you for taking time to read about my technique. Perhaps you will find a time when you can use it in your quilting. 

Happy Valentine's Day!