Saturday, June 12, 2021

Island Batik June Challenge - Novella

The Island Batik Challenge for June 2021 reads as follows:

The challenge for you is to use the 8” or 12” finished BOB dies from your Ambassador box, the GO! Qube 8" Mix & Match Block and create a whole new pattern by combining the two!

Here is my response

Novella, 11" by 66"

And here is the Story.

BOB means Block on Board. In other words, the complete block is on a single die. I received Snails Trails Die.

Snails Trail BOB Die

All units in one place

Cut Pieces

First Block

In my opinion, the best complement to Snails Trails is Storm at Sea (SAS). But I did not want to use SAS because that is the IB challenge for November 2021. SAS is not for the faint of heart and having to do it twice in one year...even I was a bit cutter shy.

The 8" GO! QUBE comes with a book with So. Many. Options. Which one would work with the Snails Trail to create that wow factor?

Loads of Options

But none of them really worked with the Snails Trail Block to create a secondary pattern. This was the real challenge - to create a cohesive design.

Me: It is not working.
Paul: Sup babe?
Me: I am not getting the desired effect.
Paul: What is that effect?
Me: You know - chemistry.
Paul: I definitely do not know Chemistry.
Me: OK, you like mashed potatoes with gravy.
Paul: Yes. That I do know.
Me: So I have the main dish and a whole lot of side dishes but I cannot find the right side dish to enhance the main dish. I am sure it is there. I just need to look harder.
Paul: Some main dishes are great on their own. Like fried chicken - nothing else required.
Me: Yes, I agree. But that is part of the assignment. Must find a block to match.
Paul: Forget the assignment for a minute.
Me: And go the fried chicken route?
Paul: It is worth a try.

My mind kept going to cats' tails that swirled into the Snails Trail Block. I made a test cat block. It worked.

I like this

But but but the need to check that second box - "combine with Go QUBE block" continued gnawing at me.

Paul: What if the side dish was a palate cleanser?
Me: Like lemonade? Or watermelon after fried chicken?
Paul: Sure. Sounds like a perfect meal to me.
Me: YOU are the perfect match for me. I LOVE you.

I had been looking for the wrong block. I needed a separator block, not a combination block.

Finally I got it.

Four Patch Variation

Complete Block

Half Block

Quilting in Process

Completed Runner

I prefer the Wall Hanging Mode

The runner/wall-hanging finished at 11" by 66".

I used four fabrics - yellow, turquoise, green and black for the blocks. One complete cat, one tail and one diamond per color. The background is Yolk and the binding is Dark Gray.

Me: I don't have a name for this runner/wall-hanging.
Paul: YOU??? Struggling for a name?
Me: Yes, I am stumped. WAIT. How about Stumpy?
Paul: How did you get that?
Me: Well, since we have four extra tails here, I wonder about the cats who lost their tails. Hence the name Stumpy in honor of those four tailless cats.
Paul: That is mean. How about Novella?
Me: Novella? Please explain.
Paul: Because it is a very short tale.
Me (after I had stopped laughing): That works too. This is a small project.
Paul: Smaller than a quilt, at least.
Me: I miss Jonesie.
Paul: Once we return from our beach vacation, we will get a new cat. I have been looking at the adoption websites.
Me: Thank you.

Time for some close-ups.

Green Cat

Turquoise Cat

Two Halves 

A few firsts for me here. First time using the Accuquilt Go cutter. First time making the Snails Trails Block and first runner, although I prefer it vertical as a wall-hanging. Not only there is less distortion in viewing, it is also harder to spill wine/food on a vertical surface :-D

I used Hobbs Cotton Batting. Thank you Hobbs. I used Schmetz Microtex Needle 70/12 for piecing and Schmetz Needle 90/14 for quilting and binding. Love Schmetz Needles.

I used Aurifil Thread 50wt for piecing and 40wt for quilting. 

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

But wait, there is more. Once the assignment (WORK) is done, it is time to play (with the SCRAPS)

The fabric carcass left after BOB die was used

Having fun with slivers

Looking good

I played with the slivers to make a zipper pouch or two :-D

The flat pouch finished at 7" by 9". The flat bottomed pouch finished at 6" by 9" by 3".

Two zippered pouches

Turquoise inside :-)

Ready to travel

Take me too!!!

Oh goodness, I love these bright colors. Dark orange zippers and grab tabs to match. Ooh la la!!!

Happiness :-)

The bonus pouches with a touch of improv piecing was super fun.  What is your opinion about improv piecing? I look forward to your thoughts.

Overall, I declare June a success. The challenge for July is Christmas theme. I already have an idea (or two) with a bonus pouch being highly likely :-)


In other news, I have picked out the layout for my Positivity QAL quilt and I have also cut the fabrics.

For the border blocks

For the Plus Units

Although I have started making the blocks, they are not yet ready for prime time. Next blogpost, I promise.

According to the QAL Schedule, I need to make the first 12 blocks by June 20, 2021. Totally doable.

Have you chosen your layout? Did you cut the fabrics? How are you coming along?


Angela announced the color for June - it is purple. And suddenly I began seeing purple everywhere. Does that ever happen to you?

Mulberries = Yum

On my morning walk

Here are my fabric picks.

Purple can be tricky. There is the reddish purple (turning pink and fuchsia) and bluish purple (closer to blue than to purple) and the true purple, of course. Here I have attempted to keep these three separated. Can you notice the subtle differences in hue?

True Purples

Reddish Purples

Bluish Purples

Linking with Angela's Linky Party. As usual, I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. Your wall-hanging is so fun, Preeti! I love how the Snail's Trail block can turn into a cat's tail. But even better is what you can do with the scraps - they made perfect pouches!

  2. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful post. Love your runner! I must pull out my go cutter and make more cats! I've been making pouches also. They are heading off to Nigeria, China and North Carolina. Today I start my cutting for my positivity quilt. You have inspired me once again.

  3. I love what you came up with for your challenge. And I also love eavesdropping on your conversations with Paul

  4. First and most important, I am excited that you get to adopt a new fur-baby! I know losing one takes time to heal before you're ready, but some lucky kitty is gonna have a wonderful life very soon!!!! Okay, on to the awesome quilt. It's awesome and the two (three?) blocks all come together so nicely. A whole quilt would be fun, too, but I suppose that is a squirrel for another day. The bonus pouches are fun, too, and something I need to keep in the back of my mind for when I have leftovers I'm unsure how to use. (Tossing them in a bin is a bad, dangerous idea, but I do it...) And finally, I like the quilt along fabric choices. Bright and cheerful!

  5. You are always so clever, Preeti. Transforming the snails trail into cats! My sister will want this. You have so many clever projects going. Love the pouches.

  6. Hi Preeti! Wonderful wall hanging or runner. The snail's tail block seem to be made to go with the kitty cat. And your separator block does its job well - the perfect choice. I'm not sure we have that many choices in our purple stash but we'll see when we get to working on the RSC block. We have finally selected a layout and colors for the Positivity QAL. We should easily have our first 12 block finished by the 20th. {{Hugs}} to you. Love your little zipper bags, but even more love that you will soon be adopting a new kitty to join your home. ~smile~ Roseanne

  7. Fantastic wall hanging, Preeti!! Great imagination and wonderful use of the BOB!!!

  8. What a fun novella :) And how creative to make cats out of the snails. I am seriously impressed! And as you made me hungry, I am off to finish my strawberries - with wipped cream of course :)) xo

  9. Novella (aka Stumpy) is an adorable wall hanging! I think you did a fabulous job. While I've never tried Improv piecing, I usually love the effect. Your pouches are super cute!

  10. Wow I would never have thought to make cats appear from the snail's trail, great work Preeti!

  11. Even though I don't really love cats, your runner, or wall hanging, is beautiful. I love that one. And I also love your use of the scraps.

  12. A very short tale! That Paul is too funny. This is lovely, of course, and works as a wall hanging, but would also be great on a table. Perhaps your new cat will be turquoise? That would be fun!

  13. Well done with the lovely Snail Trail block, I love your cats! And it's a great idea to use it as a wall hanging ;) Love your improv pouches too!
    Thank you for linking up today ;)

  14. Wonderful runner! I'm so glad you explained about what happened with the extra cat tails. Your hubby is a hoot!

  15. Another successful IB Challenge, Preeti. Kudos for using your cute kitty scraps to make those fabric pouches, too! My first Positivity block was a dud. Cutting errors positively stink! :o((

  16. OH Preeti Novella is a beutiful wall hanging.
    Love your purple blocks as the fabrics for your next Positivity quilt.

  17. Love your kitties. Great use of BOB and the cube. I know I have made a snail’s trail, but I think in the context of a sampler. I love this layout and the spacer blocks are perfect. Fun extra project too!

  18. Love it, love it, love it! I know you really wanted to make a cat with tails and you did it! Looks fabulous, and I like it on the wall, too! (And way less likely to get stained.) Great bock choice to set your cats. Tell Paul I love his name for the quilt :) I hope you two adopt a kitty soon; whenever it feels right.

  19. Thank you for sharing your process. What a fun evolution your runner took. I love the effect.

  20. Many years ago I found a sewalong of cats made from 4 snails trail blocks. Many people contacted me for the pattern, but it was not mine to give, once taken down from the site. You’re very good at figuring out the right proportions for the cat body. Love your colors. Thanks to Paul for the witty name! Your improv is always beyond my skills! Our cat is 15 and slowing down. It will be hard when she goes.

  21. Great job! The fabrics, the colors, the blocks, the execution of your idea and the name are terrific. I agree that it looks great on the wall. You also did well with the scraps. Thank you for sharing your thought process as well as the finished project.

  22. Oh my, I LOVE the cat wall hanging! So clever!! I too think the best combo is SAS with the snail’s trail, and *that* quilt is on my bucket list as the ultimate make. I will likely get the B.O.B. first. I hope you DO get another kitty soon - maybe another ginger!? And those zip pouches turned out So.Dang.Cute!!

  23. I'm not even a fan of cats and I adore this! The colors, the design, the quilting...PERFECT!

  24. This looks so great as a wall hanging. I like the Stumpy name. Hahaha.

  25. Very cute design! I agree--it makes a stunning wall hanging. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

  26. Well, it has taken me forever and a day to get to reading this post! I keep seeing that darling quilt pop up all over my social media, and I finally got over here to read the post. I love the kitties, of course! Cute, cute design! Stumpy the Stunner, for the win! LOL

  27. This is the cutest darn quilt! Love how you put it all together.

  28. Yea for playing with your Accuquilt Go and dies. Somedays I get so much cut out using my dies. Your cats are great. You are so clever to use the sliver left overs into those cute pouches.