Sunday, June 4, 2023

Fly Away Challenge

The Island Batik June Challenge reads as follows:

Use one of your precut bundles and play with the versatile Flying Geese blocks to create a fun quilt or table runner! Your project must use Flying Geese blocks as the focus but you can combine other blocks to enhance the project. 

Now, I am not a fan of Flying Geese Blocks. The construction is a fiddly multi-step process, regardless of the method you choose.  Even when the method works for you, you need a specialty ruler for precision points. In my opinion a flying goose block is made up of two half square triangles with several construction methods and no need for special rulers. 

Therefore I had never considered a project with Flying Geese. And when I looked for inspiration, everything seemed dated. So what does an Island Batik Ambassador do - Highlight the fabric!!!

Project # 1 - I chose a super simple pattern that would show off the fabric. I used the Celebrate Stack (10" squares) to make tiny roofs.  

I used my Accuquilt 8" Go QUBE to cut flying goose triangles from the Celebrate Stack and the sky triangles from Solid Black.

Accuquilt Cut Triangles

The flying geese units finish at 4" by 2" and the house/wall units are 4" squares.  I used 17 out of 20 fabrics. It is a simple design but it shows off the Celebrate collection perfectly! 

Be My Neighbor

The backing is Fondant and I love its subtle blue-gray color. The background and binding is Solid Black. I used Hobbs Black Batting and Schmetz 80/12 Microtex Needle. I quilted with my walking foot using Aurifil 40wt thread and a squiggly stitch with horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines. My little houses mini quilt finished at 24" square and I have named it "Be My Neighbor". 


I showed my bright mini quilt to Paul. 

Me: Look at my bright and happy homes.
Paul: Are they homes?
Me: Yes, why?
Paul: They look like pencils or crayons to me.
Me: I'd think the pencils would be more pointy.
Paul: Houses would have doors or windows.

He had a point.

That is when I made Project # 2, using the 2.5" Strip Pack of Juicy Mosaics.

For background I chose Island Batik Neutral Egg White.

Row Houses

I chose those fabrics that had bricks/tiles pattern to reinforce the house effect. Paul agreed that these looked like houses.  I happily fashioned them into a cute zippered pouch :-)

Love this!

I live here :-)

With these two projects, I had completed the requirements of this challenge. I was done. Officially! 

But these Juicy Mosaics are so gorgeous that I wanted to continue playing with them. After I spent few hours of playing in EQ8, I didn't know whether I was coming or going.

Yellow Won this round!

For this design, I needed one other color in addition to the black background.  With a choice between sunny yellow and lime green, I chose yellow.

Once again, I used Accuquilt to get precise flying goose units. It is good to be an Ambassador :-D

In process

Ooh Shiny!

And here is my fabulous, flying goose-focused finish!!! Ta Da!!!

Coming or Going?

Do you see fish? How many?  

Finishing at 28" square, I have named this fishy finish - "Fishful Thinking" :-D

The backing is pieced from leftover backings of larger quilts made earlier.  The binding is Solid Black.  I used Hobbs Black Batting and Schmetz 80/12 Microtex Needle. I quilted with my walking foot using Aurifil 40wt thread and a squiggly stitch (my default style).  

Wonky Pieced Backing :-P


Of course I love quilting. I love playing with fabrics and colors and trying new things. But if it was not for Island Batik's Challenge, I would have never come up with this design.  

So even though I began this post whining, I am grateful to Island Batik for pushing my buttons, month after month. Thank you Island Batik (hope you can overlook the whining).

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar. 

For some reason, I want salmon for lunch. What is on your plate (food or quilt)? Do let me know.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Positivity 2023 QAL - Leaf Block Tutorial

Finally, here we are!  The Positivity 2023 QAL begins today.

I am so excited to share this tutorial with you.  
To make two leaf blocks, we need the following:

One strip of light green - 2.5" by Width of Fabric (WOF)
One strip of dark green - 2.5" by WOF
One background strip - 4.5" by WOF
Four rectangles of background - 5" by 6"
Two rectangles of black/brown/grey (stem) - 1.5" by 10.5"

Step 1. Sew one light green strip (2.5" by WOF) to the background strip (4.5" by WOF) along the length. 
Sew one dark green strip (2.5" by WOF) to the other side of the same background strip.  Press seams open.

Stitched Strips 


Step 2.  Fold the strip set in half, along the length, so that the light green and dark green strips are facing right sides together. Stitch along the length to make the tube. 

Fold along the length

Stitch here

Step 3. Starch and press the stitched tube. Very important step. Do not skip.

Step 4. Using the Companion Angle Ruler and Rotary Cutter (new blades will ease this process), cut out triangular sections from the tube. You should get eight units. Separate the cut units into two piles - Positivity Project and Bonus Project. Set aside the Bonus Project units. See pictures below.

Stitched, Starched and Pressed Tube, Ready to Cut

Align the flat tip of the ruler with the edge of the fabric

Cutting Units

Total of Eight units 

Step 5. Cut each of the units at the fold in the background fabric. Press and square to 6".  

Cut at the fold

Ready to press

Pressed, Ready to Trim

Step 6.  Gather two rectangles of background fabric 6" by 5" and one strip of stem fabric 1.5" by 10.5". Follow the pictures below to construct the first leaf block.  First, stitch the leaf units to the background rectangles, noting the placement of the background rectangles. Then stitch them to either sides of the stem strip. 

Components for the Leaf Block

Leaf Units stitched to the background rectangles

Completed Leaf Block

Step 7 - Similarly make the second leaf block.  They should be about 12.5" by 10.5". 

Positively Lovely Leaf Blocks!

Time for a happy dance!!! 

Two jelly roll strips (plus background) will yield two leaf blocks. 
Don't you just love it when the math works out so perfectly?

Yes, the blocks are cut on the bias. That is why it is important to starch before we cut the tube. 
If you have questions, please ask in a comment and I will respond her so that all can see. If you know the answer to a question, feel free to respond. 
Please include your name and email address, since many comments show up as Anonymous.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Positivity 2023 - Fabric Requirements and Cutting Directions

Positivity Grows!
This was my initial thought. 

Positivity Grows

Then I had another thought. What if the leafy stems had a flower on the top?  That thought led to this Layout Option - Positivity Blooms!!!

Positivity Blooms

Positivity Grows has 32 Leaf Blocks.
Positivity Blooms has 27 blocks - 23 Leaf Blocks and 4 Flower Blocks. Five blocks are left blank.

Let's discuss each one of these in some detail.

Positivity Grows is simple. It is soothing, has universal appeal and is gender neutral. Green is a neutral color. However, the leaves don't have to be green.  Check out the different color options here.

Positivity Grows - Finished Flimsy

Positivity Blooms - I like that the leafy journey has a floral destination. I like the flowery focus and the uneven height of the columns. 

So I have decided to make Positivity Grows (using Kaffe Fassett Fabrics - Green Jelly Roll) for Mercyful Quilts.  But I will also make the Positivity Blooms (using Island Batik Fabrics) but keep it for myself.

Quilting Positivity Grows

Does that help?  Of course, you too can make both. 

Whatever you choose, please make sure that you follow the correct fabric requirements and cutting directions. I have used black font for Positivity Grows and purple font for Positivity Blooms.

Positivity Grows Fabric Requirements (32 Leaf Blocks)
Background Fabric (White/Beige/Low-Volume Prints) - 4 1/3 yards

16 Light Green Strips - 2.5" by WOF
16 Dark Green Strips - 2.5" by WOF

Black/Brown/Charcoal - 1/3 yard

Binding - 1/2 yard. Cut seven strips 2.5" by WOF. 
Backing - About 3 3/4 yards. 

You are welcome to use a jelly roll for the leaves. You will have eight strips left over to make a scrappy binding. That is what I am doing :-)

Leftover Strips for Scrappy Binding

Positivity Grows Cutting Directions
1. Cut 16 strips 4.5" by WOF (to make Strip Sets)
2. Cut eight strips 6" by WOF (for Offset Rectangles). Sub cut into 5" by 6" rectangles. You should get eight per strip. We need 64.
3. Cut six strips 3.5" by WOF (Sashing). 
4. Cut seven strips 2" by WOF (Borders).

Cut eight strips 1.5" by WOF. Sub cut each strip into 1.5" by 10.5" rectangle. You should get four per strip. We need 32.

Tutorial coming on Sunday, 5/28/23.

Positivity Blooms Fabric Requirements (23 Leaf Blocks, 4 Flower Blocks and 5 Blanks)
Background Fabric (White/Beige/Low-Volume Prints) - 4 1/2 yards

12 Light Green Strips - 2.5" by WOF
12 Dark Green Strips - 2.5" by WOF

Black/Brown/Charcoal - 1/4 yard

Flowers (for four blocks) 
Four Light Pink (or a color of your choice) - One Strip, 2.5" by 24".  
Four Dark Pink (or a color of your choice) - One Strip, 2.5" by 31". 

Binding - 1/2 yard. Cut seven strips 2.5" by WOF. 
Backing - About 3 3/4 yards. 

You are welcome to use a jelly roll for the leaves and/or flowers. You will have enough strips left over to make a scrappy binding. If a fabric (from the jelly roll) doesn't work well with others, you can replace it with another fabric from your stash. 

Positivity Blooms Cutting Directions
1. Cut 12 strips 4.5" by WOF (to make Strip Sets)
2. Cut six strips 6" by WOF (for Offset Rectangles). Sub cut into 5" by 6" rectangles. You should get eight per strip. We need 46.
3. Cut one strip 12.5" by WOF. Subcut into two rectangles 12.5" by 20.5". (Blank Blocks)
4. Cut one strip 10.5" by WOF. Subcut one rectangle 10.5" by 12.5" (Blank Block). Save the rest for flowers.
4. Cut six strips 3.5" by WOF (Sashing). 
5. Cut seven strips 2" by WOF (Borders).

Cut six strips 1.5" by WOF. Sub cut each strip into 1.5" by 10.5" rectangle. You should get four per strip. We need 23.

Tutorial coming on Sunday, 5/28/23.

Tutorial coming on Sunday, 6/11/23.

These fabric requirements and cutting directions are provided in advance, so that you may get ready. The QAL begins on Sunday, 5/28/23, when I share the leaf block tutorial. 
Sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.

If you have questions, please ask in comments. I will reply here so that all can see. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Its Wednesday!

Marrying someone from halfway across the globe has its perks.  There is always something new to learn. Recently Paul introduced me to the Addams Family.  I fell in love with Wednesday and she is the inspiration for my May project! 

Wednesday Mock-Up in EQ8

But let's start at the beginning. The May Challenge requires that we use the Studio 180 Design Tool and the Winter 2022 Collection to  make a project of any size.  The guidelines included the following:
1. Work with two or more different size units. 
2. Must use at least 30 units total, made with the Studio 180 Design tool you received.

May Challenge

I received the Square Squared Ruler and the Wild Blooms collection, designed by Kathy Engle, coming to stores in May 2023.

Tool and Fabrics

Wild Blooms is gorgeous collection with yellows, greens, pinks and purples.  I am excited to work with this collection.

Wild Blooms - Arranged by Color and Value

Designing in EQ8,  several ideas were made and discarded. Here are the rejects.

35 units, 3 sizes

32 units, 2 sizes

27 units, 3 sizes

Only one size units

Only one size units

If it met the design guidelines it looked blah/dated and when it looked fresh/interesting it failed on the guidelines. What a bummer!!! 

That is when Paul suggested we watch the new Netflix Series - Wednesday Addams.  I said yes, welcoming the distraction.

I fell in love with not just Wednesday's dark vibe but also her sparkling wit and doggedness. Later I returned to EQ8.  Starting over, I chose a 6" grid because that is the largest unit I can make with the Studio 180 Tool.  And I let Wednesday's intuition guide me with the design.

EQ8 Mock-up

In the end the quilt design has a total of 29 square in square units. 22 of those were made using the Square Squared ruler - three units finishing at 3", 16 units finishing at 4", and three units finishing at 6". 

3" units

4" units in process

4" units

Seven units are larger (three of 8" and four of 12") than what can be made by the ruler. 
Four leftover square in a square units are used on the back.  

12" unit in process

So I did not meet the guideline of at least 30 units, made with the Studio 180 Design tool.  But I believe that I tried to follow the guideline (the best I could) without sacrificing the design. 


I used Schmetz 80/12 Microtex Needle for both piecing and quilting. I used Aurifil 50 wt thread for piecing and 40 wt for quilting. I used Hobbs 80/20 Batting. The backing is pieced from Island Batik Foundation fabrics leftover from previous backings.  I incorporated the leftover units into the back.  I used my walking foot to quilt at 2" intervals using a squiggly stitch.

The binding (and the background) is Island Batik Solid Black. I stitched the binding to the back of the quilt sandwich and used a zigzag stitch to secure it to the front.

Wednesday finished at about 44" by 50". It contains 26 units (22 on the front and 4 on the back) made from the Tool, falling short of the suggested 30 units.  This continued to bother a nagging voice in the back of my head. Temporarily subduing it, let's proceed to the photoshoot.

Here is the completed quilt. Emily of The Darling Dogwood is the photographer. My painted toes are the bonus :-)

Thank you, Emily!

Pieced Backing

Did I mention that Emily and I got together for a brief meeting of Island Batik Ambassadors? It was a very select group of Island Batik Ambassadors. Actually, it was just the two of us :-D 

With Emily!

It had rained all morning but the clouds parted and the sun smiled when we met :-) 

Technically, this should be the end of the blogpost. But this is Wednesday, after all. So here is the thing (pun intended).  I took her with me to my trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. I visited the Huntington Beach State Park.  The Atalaya Castle on the beach was the perfect setting for Wednesday's photoshoot. 

On the brick floor

Matching Green of the wrought iron grills :-)

In the courtyard

Climbing a tree

Swinging from the window shutter

Hanging from the window!!!

That Wednesday!!! She is a handful. But she is mine.


And a few close up shots.

Pretty Purples

Zigzag Binding Stitch

Wednesday Sparkles!

Be sure to visit the Island Batik blog and all the Ambassadors’ blogs to read more about the Studio 180 Design‘s tools they used, discover their inspiring creations, read the stories behind each project and participate in their bonus giveaways!

The full list of Ambassadors’ names, collections they will be using in their projects, and their post dates are as follows:


May 1

Susan Deshensky, Lady Blue Quilts

Randi Jones, Randi’s Roost

May 2

Elita Sharpe, Busy Needle Quilting

Mania Hatziioannidi, Mania for Quilts

May 3

Brittany Fisher, Bobbin with Brittany

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts

May 4

Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese

May 5

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 1 and Giveaway


May 8

Reed Johnson, Blue Bear Quilts

Sandra Starley, Textile Time Travels

May 9

Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail

Lana Russel, Lana Quilts

May 10

Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia

Anorina Morris, Samelia’s Mum

May 11

Brenda Alburl, Songbird Designs

Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations

May 12

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 2 and Giveaway


May 15

Victoria Johnson, Forever Quilting for You

Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights

Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine

May 16

Renee Atkinson, Pink Tulip Quilting

Sarah Pitcher, Pitcher’s Boutique

May 17

Suzy Webster, Websterquilt

Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts (You are here)

Lisa Pickering, Lisa’s Quilting Passion

May 18

End of Blog Hop + Final Round Up

Here is a small zippered pouch made with four square in square units, bringing the number up to the suggested/required 30 units. 

The last four units

Very nice

I like you a lot!

No more nagging voice. I am done...unless you have something to add. I am always up for that :-)

Did I forget something?
Oh yes, oops.

For a chance to win one of these two sets of 5" squares (26 each) from the Wild Blooms collection, please leave me a comment on this post, mentioning which one of the Island Batik collections is your favorite. 

5" squares - Giveaway

I will announce the two winners on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
Update on Sunday, 5/28/23 - The two randomly chosen winners are KathyE (12) and Sara (41). Emails are sent.