Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Island Batik and ByAnnie Challenge

Me: I am so excited that I can explode!!!
Paul: Surprise that the new bag cannot "contain" your excitement.

Let's ignore Paul for now.  I have been consumed by the bag making process and my excitement sometimes (okay, often) spilled into his area.  

Island Batik teamed with ByAnnie for the September Challenge.  We picked a pattern of our choice from ByAnnie. I chose the backpack Got Your Back 2.1.  All fabric was provided by Island Batik. ByAnnie provided the detailed instructions, a coupon code for online videos, and all other bag making supplies. All this came in a neat package in the second box of goodies.

Fabrics and Pattern

Hardware from byAnnie

There were 11 pages of detailed instructions. 

Staying organized

Managing the curves

Checking and rechecking

It was an intimidating task and I was definitely anxious.  I made a couple of mistakes and eventually corrected them.

Looking good

Looking like a bag

Was overwhelmed and received good advice from other IB ambassadors. Hit a wall and managed to overcome it.

Th end is in sight :-)

And finally, here we are!!!

Got Your Back Bag 2.1

The successful completion of a difficult task is reason for excitement and celebration.  So, I took my newly finished bag out for a lunch date. 

On location

Sideways look

Got Your Back :-)

Inside Peek

I wore my brightest hot pink dress and Paul was kind enough to take our pictures. 

Bold and Bright


Happy me :-)

Loving it!!!

Yes, but that is not all...

During one of the online videos, Annie said "this can be used for another small project" referring to the quilted scraps leftover from cutting the bag front and back etc.

Once the big bad beautiful backpack was completed and I started tidying up, I noticed those quilted parts, too big and too pretty to discard. Hmm... small projects. 

That is when I discovered free patterns on Huge squeal of delight.

I downloaded "A Pencil case for Lola" and "Easy Does It" and made these two additional bags all from the leftover bits. Well, except for the zippers (I have plenty of those). 

Easy Does It

A Pencil Case for Lola

Two additional bags :-)

So now, I have a coordinated set of a pencil case, a vanity bag and a backpack.  Gosh, I am spoiled rotten.

The whole set!!!

Backpack, Vanity Case, and a Pencil Case

I am spoiled!!!

Here is the best part - these two smaller projects came together so quickly, I was absolutely amazed. It was because I now understood how Annie thinks and I understand her process and I could anticipate the next steps. It became so easy and intuitive...that I feel like an expert (somewhat).  Truly I am looking forward to making more of these bags.

I recommend going to the website and register. Download a free pattern and make it. You will love it and then buy one of her patterns. It will be a breeze!

I will be sharing with all  my favorite linky parties as I sing Annie's praises :-)  See full list on the sidebar.

In other news, we received the summer precuts (and matching yardage) from Island Batik. These were delayed but here they are in their yummy goodness.

Constellations from Island Batik - 10" Squares

Free to Fly 2.5" Strips with matching yardage

Disclosure: The fabrics, thread, batting and needles were generously supplied by the following companies:

Monday, September 6, 2021

Positivity QAL - Winners

We have come to the end of our journey.  This is the final stop in the Positivity QAL 2021.

It took many emails, phone calls, scribbles and scrawls, and test blocks.  There were a couple of disappointments but many pleasant surprises. My hope was a dozen new quilts for the Mercyful Hospital. Bernie tells me that we have 19.  So far.

From Janine (Quilts from the Little House)

From Mary (Quilting is in my Blood)

I know Diann's quilt is in progress. Joy is working on (at least) two quilts and quilting one flimsy received from Astrid. Mari is working on a second Positivity quilt.

In the works, from Joy (Joyful quilter)

In the works, Positivity and Community, from Joy (Joyful Quilter)

I am certain that Mercy Hospital will receive about 24 Positivity quilts.  So even if I say it myself, the QAL has been a success! 

Kisses From Roseanne (Home Sewn By Us)

From Sylvia (Treadlestitches)

Bernie has been the reason for Mercyful Quilts initiative and I cannot thank her enough. From encouraging the very idea up to the announcement of winners, arranging for the prizes, mailing the prizes and delivering the quilts. 

Thank you to all of you who supported and encouraged this journey. Most importantly thank you so much to all of you who selflessly spent your time and energy into these comfort quilts. Sending lots of love and hugs to Wendy, Mari, Nikki, Janine, Kathleen, Roseanne, Alycia, Mary, Judy, Bonnie, Cheree, Susie, Liz, Sylvia, Katie, Arlyn, Cynthia, Julie, Diann, Astrid and Joy!!!

Since I have a quilt in the mix, it is only fair that Bernie should draw the prizes.  And here they are - The Positivity QAL Winners

Let's do it again in 2022.  The Positivity QAL in 2022 will begin on Sunday, May 29 and run till Sunday, September 4, 2022.


In other news (and there is plenty), I will be participating in the Blog Hop to promote Kelly Young's new book - Scrappy Improv Quilting

My post will go live on October 6, 2021.  Here is a sneak peek followed by the complete schedule.

Low volume background

Red on White :-)

Scrappy Improv Quilting Blog Tour Schedule-

8/31- Intro, Single Block Beauties, and Simple Shapes 

9/7- Seasonal Sensations, Standards With a Twist

9/13- Summer BlossomLori @ Crossquilt
           Up, Up, and AwaySandra @ mmm...quilts!

           BotanicsDiann @ Little Penguin Quilts

9/20- Face the SunLaura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
           Full SpectrumJayne @ Twiggy and Opal

9/22- PrismaticAnja @ Anja Quilts
           DownpourNancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting

9/27- FunkytownVasudha @ Storied Quilts
           Cherub WingsMichelle @ From Bolt to Beauty

9/29- Chapel WindowKris @ Sew Sunshine
           Winter FrostLeanne @ Devoted Quilter

           Star SpangledChristine @ Triangles & Squares

10/6- Birds of a FeatherPreeti @ Sew Preeti Quilts  this is me :-)
           Fall FoliageSusan @ Quilt Fabrication

10/11- OrnamentalGail @ Quilting Gail
            Churn, Churn, ChurnCynthia @ Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

10/13- Sunset CrossingKate @ Katie Mae Quilts
             Positivity- Sarah @ Sarah Goer Quilts

10/18- All Dressed UpLinda @ Flourishing Palms
             ShockwaveAnne-Marie @ Stories From the Sewing Room

10/20- Sweet Bee (a bonus thank-you pattern), Finishing, and Wrap-Up 

Signed copies of Scrappy Improv Quilting are available in Kelly's Etsy Shop.  It is also available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other major booksellers.  


Finally it is time for ORANGE!!! Here are my September blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Will be linking with Angela's Linky Party.

Medium Orange 

Light Orange

Dark Orange

All of them :-) 

In making the star points for the Sister's Choice Block, we get the off cuts from snowballing corners.  Well, since they are too large to throw away I have been saving them for a bonus RSC project and it is coming along nicely :-)

RSC 2021 - Bonus Project


The September Island Batik challenge is to make a bag. The pattern is All fabrics were provided by Island Batik and bag making supplies from  I made the Got Your Back 2.1 backpack. That blogpost is coming next.

Staying organized

Coming along

The tricky parts


I wasn't going to buy any more fabrics but then Connecting Threads decided to have a sale and generally I can resist that. But when this gorgeous wide backing fabric was 40% off, my resolve dissolved completely.

108" Wide Backing from Ruby Star Society

But hurry, Labor day sale with 15% off site wide ends on 9/8/2021.

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

This blogpost contains affiliate links.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Random Acts of Cuteness

Our office recently moved to a new location.  There are no lunch places within walking distance but there is a cafĂ© in the basement. The food is good and the service is great. Naturally, I became a regular :-) Fami works in the cafe and she is usually behind the counter so it was a few weeks before I noticed her pregnant state. To be sure, I asked Frank - Is she expecting a baby. Frank nodded. When I asked, he told me that the baby is due in October. She'll be going on leave soon.

So I did what most of us quilters do. Make something for the baby, and in a hurry.

First stop was burp cloths. 

Flannel Burp Cloths

Set of Four

Terry Cloth on the back

That took an hour, even with the ergonomic design.

Could I make a quick quilt?  Once upon a time, before the great calamity, when I was browsing a thrift store, I came across a cute alphabet animal fabric. As I started reading the animals in alphabetical order, my mind jumped ahead.

Animal Fabric

 "What animal begins with an X?"  "Are they just going to skip X."  "Only 25 letters in the alphabet???" And then I found X-tinct. Very clever indeed!!! 

Used Easter Snoopy fabric as backing. Walking foot quilting following the printed lines. It finished at about 42" by 31". Not quite a quilt but maybe it can serve as a play-mat? 

Cute Koala bear

A turquoise binding completed the look.

Snoopy Rules



It is cute and soft and the baby has lots to see.

Paul, the model

42" by 31"

For the baby, I said, as I handed Fami the bag with the quilted play-mat and the burp cloths.  Her face lit up and she thanked me. "It is perfect for a boy," she exclaimed.  

I hadn't known but the universe always does :-)


Jill is one of my co-workers. One day she came to me with a "random request". 

Jill: And you can tell me to go fly a kite if you are not up for it.
Me: I am listening.
Jill: My nephew turns five next week and he has been asking for toy underwear. 
Me: Underwear made with toy fabrics?
Jill: That he has.
Me: Oh. What then?
Jill: His toys do not have underwear.
Me: Like doll clothes?
Jill: Not quite. Underwear for Miss Piggy, Gerald, Tiger and Bus Bus.

It was the sweetest thing. A 5-year old was concerned that his toys were running around without proper covering.  If we cared for each other half as much we could solve most of world's problems.

It can be done but I need measurements, I asked.  Once I had those I dropped everything to make underwear for Gerald, Miss Piggy, the Tiger and Bus Bus. It became my Dreami (drop everything and make it) for August.

My first try using ugly fabric

Chosen Fabrics

Toy Underwear - Models Needed

These looked cute but I wasn't sure if they would fit the toys.  Fortunately (and for no valid reason other than this) we have a plush frog who happily modeled for me. 

Model Frog - This worked!!!

Thank you Froggie :-)

Very good model :-)

Model with a Smile :-)

The toy underwear were delivered to Jill and I anxiously waited for the verdict. I got a text from Jill and then the pictures followed. 

My heart just melted. 

The remaining fabrics from the toy underwear were quickly turned into zippered pouches which Jill purchased immediately. 



In Space

Stuck in Traffic!

No butt was left uncovered. Crayons, pencils and erasers found a safe haven. And everybody lived happily ever after. 

Sharing with Sandra's Dreami Linky.  Also sharing with all my favorite linky parties.  See full list on the sidebar.

Last Call - The Positivity Linky Party ends at midnight on August 30, 2021.  Prizes announced on Sunday, September 5, 2021.