Saturday, October 23, 2021

A, B, Sea and YAY!!!

A is for Abacus.

Abacus is a bonus quilt made from leftover triangles while making the RSC blocks this year.  I made a total of 30 Sister's Choice blocks, resulting in 60 bonus blocks. In the pictures below you can see how the herd grew.

In the beginning

Red ones

Purple Ones

It grows!

Almost there

Finished Flimsy

Baste, shall we?


Since the leftovers triangles had bias edges the blocks are wonky which is just perfect for a baby quilt :-) Abacus finished at 39" by 41" and I am very happy with it.  Here are a few close ups.



Black Binding

Houses on Hills Backing

Happy Finish

And the back!

Backing Fabric - So much fun!!!

On Location

Kayaks made a great backdrop


Since the quilt is only 39" wide a strip of backing was leftover.  It was dutifully pieced and turned into a zippered pouch .  You'd be surprised if I didn't :-)

No Scrap Left Behind

Zippered Pouch

I hope to make the primary RSC quilt (using the Sister's Choice blocks) over the Christmas break.


B is for Baby's Breath.  

Baby's Breath

Dinosaur Backing

I met the mom-to-be (Maya) in summer when we went to Berlin, MD for our mini vacation. When Maya mentioned that she was expecting a baby, my mind went into quilt mode. Her favorite color is green. She also mentioned that her husband was fond of dinosaurs. I knew what I had to do. 

The journey of this quilt follows in pictures.  

Choosing Fabrics

Low Volume Background Fabrics


Design Wall

Finished Flimsy

Backing and Binding

Brightens my Office

Purple Binding :-)

No caption required

Hiya Bob!

Ready to go!

Dinosaurs Backing

Baby's Breath finished at 42 inches square and was sent to the parents-to-be, where it awaits the new baby, due at Christmas.


And Sea is yet to be. Island Batik Blog Hop and Challenge begins on November 1, 2021. The theme is Storm at Sea. There may be a giveaway (or two) involved. Only one way to find out :-)


And YAY for all my dear quilty buddies who are making and sharing the Masala Box quilt.  
Check out the visual feast!!!  Which one is your favorite...cause I cannot pick one.

Golden Hues by Cathy

All Brights by Karen of KaHolly

Caribbean Blues By Mari

Glorious Purple by Wendy!

Muted Blues by Joy

Fun in Aqua by Bernie

Cheery by Sue

Check out their blogs!!! 

The Masala Box pattern is listed in my Etsy Shop.

I will be sharing with Angela's RSC linky and all my other favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Iberian Lynx - Back from the Brink

 The Island Batik Challenge for October was as follows:

The 2021 Aurifil Color Builders are a capsule of 12 mini-collections dedicated to an incredibly worthy cause that falls in line with Aurifil’s goal to increase sustainability and positive environmental impact — Endangered Species. Each collection contains three large spools of their supple and strong 40wt thread — a warm, a medium, and a dark.

For the October challenge, Aurifil is asking you to create a piece inspired by the endangered animal featured on your assigned Color Builder box. Use each one of the 3 provided colors somewhere in the challenge piece, how the thread is used is up to you!

Iberian Lynx (Picture from Aurifil)

I got Iberian Lynx. This animal is so magnificent and so striking that one thing became immediately clear to me - it was impossible to capture its beauty with thread and fabric. At least not for someone with my skill level. 

Let's take a look at the threads in my Color Builder Set.

Warm, Medium and Dark

According to Wikipedia, the Iberian lynx has a short bright yellowish to tawny colored spotted fur. 
Tawny, according to Wikipedia, is a light brown to brownish-orange color. 

Bright yellow, light brown, and brownish orange!!!  So I gathered all Island Batik fabrics within (and adjacent to) that color range.  

Island Batik Fabrics - Yellow, Orange and Brown

Many of these are from the Autumn Sunset collection, designed by Kathy Engle.  I included some Island Batik Foundations in gold, coffee and rust. Finally, I included some fabrics from an Island Batik Fat Quarter bundle (Island Harvest) I had purchased from Hancock's of Paducah earlier.

Well, this was a start. What next?
I reread the assignment - create a piece inspired by the endangered animal

Inspired could mean using the same colors as Iberian Lynx.  I could be inspired by the paw print of Iberian Lynx. I could be inspired by the rabbit (main diet of the Iberian Lynx). The characteristic ears of the Iberian Lynx with dark tufts can be an inspiration, as the distinctive bearded face, or the short and curving dark tail. This was exhausting.

Paul: Sup babe?
Me: I have to be inspired by the Iberian Lynx to make a project and I am clueless.
Paul: What are other ambassadors doing?
Me: Thread painting, fabric fusing, free motion quilting...I don't know. They are all more experienced and accomplished than I am.
Paul: They are playing to their strengths. 
Me: I guess.
Paul: What is your strength?
Me: Improv Piecing
Paul: Start with that...

I followed Paul's advice and began random improv piecing. 

Begin Improv Piecing 

A silhouette of Iberian Lynx in these colors, made out of the improv pieced slab with a slogan like
"Save Iberian Lynx"  or "Save the Iberian Lynx" would do it. Let's draft/sketch.

Ya Basic!!!

Split Sentence? UGH!!!

Disappointed with my lack of progress, I returned to the computer and started reading about Iberian Lynx, threats to their survival and the efforts to boost their populations. Loss of habitat, decreasing food base, car hits and illegal hunting had brought the Iberian lynx to the brink of extinction with just 94 adults in 2002. But due to the joint conservation efforts of the Spanish national and regional administrations, different NGOs (WWF) and the European Union, the species has recovered from the brink of extinction.

According to the WWF, "In order to be classified as non-endangered, the Iberian lynx population would need to be above at least 3000, including 750 breeding females. This could be achieved by 2040, but much still needed to be done to eradicate threats to the Iberian lynx."

It occurred to me that Iberian Lynx is not just an endangered species. It is also a success story. 
I had to tell that story in my piece...

Oh yes, we are in business...

The framework

I chose to make the Iberian Lynx silhouettes (using a royalty free outline), from almost faded depicting 94 adults in 2002 through strengthening numbers in 2015 and 2021 reflected by the darkening values. Since the challenge continues, I chose to add the fourth silhouette showing projected numbers in 2040.

Improv Piecing

Ears - Skinny and Tricky to secure

The four silhouettes were appliquéd on to the Cream (Island Batik Neutral) background, and secured in place using zigzag stitching with invisible thread.  The year and the population numbers were also similarly appliquéd. 

Strengthening Populations - Adding Statistics

I centered the news headline/slogan making sure that no letters were too close and that the words were spaced evenly. I added a top and bottom border using the leftover improv bits. A nod to my playfulness can be seen in the word "bounces" where I used a few different fabrics - a reason to celebrate.

Almost ready to quilt


I used the light grey (6724) to quilt, dark champagne (6731) for accent, and light champagne (2375) for binding. 

Aurifil Threads - Warm for Quilting, Dark for Accent

Aurifil Thread - Medium for Binding

And here we are!!! I love these warm colors. 

Iberian Lynx returns from the brink of extinction

Source -

Source -

Source -

Source -


If someone told me 20 years ago that we would achieve such results, I would have thought they were out of their mind,” says Miguel Simón, the recently retired director of the Lynx LIFE program.

Thank you, Paul!!!

The piece finished at 25" by 36". I did not capture the majestic beauty but I believe I captured the indomitable spirit of the Iberian Lynx. 

I encourage you to read this article ( which quotes the program directors expressing their pleasant surprise at the remarkable success of the captive breeding initiatives, especially at the survival and adaptability of the captive bred cubs in the wild. 

This is a lengthy description of my process. But projects don't happen magically.  Even when inspiration strikes, it is a long journey to make meaningful progress. In the end it is about persistence. My persistence with the project, the persistence of the continuing conservation efforts, and the surprising persistence of the Iberian Lynx. 

Here are my sources for the exact numbers for each of the years
2002 - 94
2015 - 404
2021 - 1000
2040 - 3000 (projected)

The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, Aurifil, Schmetz, and Hobbs

Do check out what other Island Batik Ambassadors are making by visiting their links below:

Megan Best ~ Best Quilter
Pamela Boatright ~ PamelaQuilts
Elizabeth DeCroos ~ Epida Studio
Jennifer Eubank ~ Archipelago Quilting
Jennifer Fulton ~ The Inquiring Quilter
Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts -
you are here!!!
Joanne Hart ~ Unicorn Harts
Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania For Quilts
Jane Hauprich ~ Stitch By Stitch Custom Quilting
Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs
Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood 
Denise Looney ~ For The Love Of Geese
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke, Fiber Artist
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine
Claudia Porter ~  Create with Claudia
Gail Renna ~ Quilt Haven Threads
Brianna Roberts ~ Sew Cute and Quirky
Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail
Andi Stanfield ~ True Blue Quilts

But wait, there is more. The leftover butter, honey, melon, orange, caramel, coffee and chocolate scraps were too yummy to discard. They were dutifully fashioned into zippered pouches. 

A coordinated set!!!

No surprise there :-)
I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. As usual, I am anxious to hear your thoughts.