Saturday, April 22, 2023

A Fishy Story - Pattern Release & Giveaway

It was a heavy lift. The net was bursting with a huge catch. 

It took a lot of effort to haul it out of the river.

Ooh it is heavy...

The fish wriggled and pulled against the net and Paul struggled. 

Paul struggled

I heaved a huge sign of relief when he prevailed.

And finally managed!

Such a proud angler Paul is!!! Now, you may think that catching all these fish on the banks of Potomac is a load of bull. But honestly, it is a fishy story :-D

The one that got away...

Well, here is the true back story of this quilt. I made my first fish blocks for the Island Batik/Studio 180 Design Challenge and Blog Hop in 2021.

We catch so much fish on the banks of the Potomac :-p

I loved these fish so much that I started making them as my RSC blocks in 2022. Initially I had used the Corner Pop 3 Ruler to make these fish blocks.  But not everyone has specialty rulers and this was such a fun pattern that I wanted it to be accessible to all. So I wrote the pattern such that it needs no special rulers.  

RSC 2022 Blocks

In September 2022, Make Modern published Frolicking Fish (Table Runner) in Issue #48.  That runner now lives in Manveen's house, in her husband's study/office.  But I digress.

Frolicking Fish, at Manveen's House

This year, I completed all the RSC blocks from 2022, with the exception of yellow

This is what happened to yellow?  Sorry, too many tangents. 

Finally, the quilt was completed.  I revised the pattern, including detailed step by step instructions for on-point setting, complete with coloring sheets for two sizes. 

In process

Paul was kind enough to give in to my antics by the river.

Paul, the model

Cathy was kind enough to test drive the pattern and Reed (fellow Island Batik ambassador) provided the technical review. 

The pattern is listed in my Etsy store for $10, but on 20% discount till Thursday, 4/27/23. That is $8 for 12 pages of detailed/color instructions.

What is a pattern release without a giveaway? Leave me a comment on this blogpost, making sure that if you are Anonymous/No-Reply Blogger, I can reach you by email.  One lucky winner will receive a PDF copy of the pattern - A Fishy Story.

For a second chance to win, head over to Cathy's blog.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties (See full list on the sidebar), including Angela's.

Sunny Day, Happy Fishes

Did you see pigs fly? No, but I saw fish climbing the tree :-D

A Fishy Story continues... I will announce the winner next week.  

Update on Friday, 4/28/23 - The winner is #12 Kathy Quilts. Email has been sent!

Monday, April 10, 2023

Vicky and the Zips

The Island Batik challenge for April is Crazy Quilts with Aurifil Threads.  

The Zippered Pouches - in progress

The challenge is to show off the thread from the Color Builder set in a Crazy Quilt! Try out different block combinations and layouts and experiment with decorative stitches and embroidery to highlight the tread you received.

I received the Frangipani Color Builder from Aurifil Threads.

To ensure that these threads/embroidery/stitches showed well on the fabric, I decided to use Island Batik solids.  Since I also wanted to make a modern interpretation of Crazy Quilts, the solids were a perfect choice.

I also tested various decorative stitches on a piece of scrap fabric. I kept a list of stitches that would look good, the ones to avoid and what modifications to make, if any.

I was at a loss for a name so I asked Mari, what should I name my Crazy Quilt. Mari suggested that I name the quilt, Victoria, because Crazy Quilts are from the Victorian era. Since my crazy quilt is a modern version, I have named her Vicky. Let's meet Vicky.

Vicky likes to play outdoors

Vicky likes to embellish

Although I started with the three threads in the Frangipani Color Builder set, I soon added in other threads in colors like Orange and Purple, all Aurifil, of course.

Binding with Zigzag Stitch

A black binding on a black background with a black thread is blinding. So I used a zigzag stitch to secure it in place. That way I don't have to strain my eyes to make sure that the needle hits the fabric in the 1/32" width.  This is a relief for my eyes and goes so much faster. 

Labelled - Vicky is mine

I used Island Batik Solid Light Gray for backing.  Used Hobbs Thermore batting. Quilted with my walking foot.  Can you see the zig-zag stitching on the label? I used 80/12 Schmetz Microtex Needle for both piecing and quilting.

Vicky is bright

Vicki is ready to party :-)

Vicky finished at 38" square and I am very happy with her but...
But there is more.  Meet the Zips.

Two Zippered Pouches

They are the Zips :-)

So what do you think of Vicky and the Zips? I think they rock. But I am dying to know your thoughts.


The winners of the Celebrate etc. charm pack giveaway are #25 and #33. That is TerryK and MissPat. Emails have been sent. 

In RSC news, I have completed my Purple blocks for April. Here they are.

Reddish Purple

True Purple

Bluish Purple

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties (see full list on the sidebar), including Angela's RSC Linky.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Bourbon Street Bash

Designing for the May/June 2023 Issue of Quiltmaker Magazine, I chose the fabric line Celebrate. Designed by Kathy Engle, this fabric line will be available in stores in May 2023.

Imagine my surprise when the magazine was published in March 2023.  It is Island Batik's guidance to release patterns as close to the fabric availability as possible. If the fabric is not available (at the time of pattern release or shortly thereafter), then it feels like a tease or even a torture, especially when the fabric is this gorgeous!!!

For this reason, I have been slow/reluctant to share this quilt.  It is April. I can safely say that the fabrics will be coming to the stores next month.

Picture Courtesy - Quiltmaker Magazine, May/June 2023

Here are the pictures showing my journey of making Bourbon Street Bash.

The first block

Pieced Border

These fabric screams Spring. The colors make the blooms blush and the bright hues are reminiscent of a party or a bash. Since no one parties like the Bourbon Street, I named it Bourbon Street Bash.

Balloons and Streamers = Celebration


I quilted slowly, enjoying the deep greens and bright citrusy prints.


The backing is Pistachio (Island Batik Basics) and it is yummy enough to eat :-) 

The binding is Egg White (Island Batik Neutrals).

Bound and Labelled

Bound and Labeled, it was time for the photoshoot. Paul, my love?  

Will you please...

You are the best!!!

Can we get one with the reflection, I asked. We can try, Paul replied. Although it was a beautiful day, it was just too breezy for a good reflection picture.

Sunny but too Breezy

Garden Party, indeed!

Very Happy Me!

I received many comments and emails praising this gorgeous fabric line. So, I cut up the leftover fabrics into 5" squares.  Since I only had 17 fabrics (out of the 20 in the Celebrate line), I added three matching fabrics from Island Batik Foundations (top three fabrics in the picture below - orange, yellow and pink) to make two complete sets of 40 squares (2 squares of each fabric).

Giveaway Prizes - Two Charm Packs

Yes, there is a giveaway.  Two prizes. I will announce the winners on April 10, 2023.  To be eligible to win one of the two charm packs, please leave me a comment telling me your favorite party food or drink, along with your instagram handle. Please make sure that I have your email address.

And one last look because you are such a juicy quilt :-)

Citrusy Yumminess

My friend and fellow Island Batik ambassador, Connie Kauffman also has a quilt in the same issue. Her sweet mini quilt is called - Have a Cuppa. Do check it out.


In other news, Purple is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for April. I have picked out my fabrics - some reddish purples and some bluish purples. 

Plenty of Purples from Island Batik

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties (see full list on the sidebar), including Angela's Linky Party.  As usual, my bash is incomplete without your input :-)