This month as an Island Batik Ambassador, I was challenged to create a small quilt and be adventurous with applique. If you remember last month, I tried mini English Paper Piecing the Dresden Plate. This month, I combined Clamshell English Paper Piecing, needle turn applique and a scrappy pieced binding. It was an adventure.
It all started with the box from Island Batik which I received in February. There were a lot of new fabrics which will be out this April at market for shop owners to purchase. I used some of the new fabrics in the pineapple. If you like those fabrics, share your enthusiasm with your local quilt shop owner. They can look for them and order them at market!
I chose the pineapple because in Vermont I have enjoyed buying and tasting such sweet pineapples this winter. It is the sign of hospitality. I feel so welcomed into the Barnard community. I enjoy local concerts with world class talent. I enjoy quilting with two different groups of women. I enjoy skiing right across the street along an old wood road with snowmobile trail. I hope I am as hospitable to those who venture up our long dirt driveway to our log home as this community has been to me. This quilt resides at the door of my studio.
What makes this adventurous to me is that I combined several skills. I learned that I like the look of English Paper Piecing when I stitch with silk or fine polyester thread. I found the silk thread stronger than the polyester thread. I must admit that I stitched part of this while I was stuck in Keene, NH due to snowstorms, with no silk thread, so I opted to continue to work on the project with the aurifil thread that I had on hand. It’s a bit thicker (40wt.). When I quilted the quilt, the stitching began to show….Lesson learned! Below is the front and back side of the quilt. I cut away the fabric behind the English Paper Piecing so that I could remove the papers. I left the fabric behind the needle turn applique. I could have removed that fabric too.
I purchased a few new rulers to use when free motion quilting. As many of you know, I love to freemotion quilt! I am relaxed and thoroughly enjoy the process. After attending the tour with Cathy Wiggins at MQX, I was encouraged to buy a few rulers. The judges give you more points for more perfect free motion or hand guided stitching. I decided this was the perfect quilt to try one of my rulers. I did the roping in the outer border with D’Loa’s Rope a Dope 1.5″ ruler. I did look at her video and draw the rope on paper before I stitched the quilt. It’s important to draw the centerline for this rope to look best in a straight border. I felt my shoulders raise a bit. It was more mechanical and not fluid for me. With a bit more practice, I hope this ruler remains in my tool box. Time will tell. I also learned that since I stitch on a sit down Sweet 16 Handi Quilter, it’s time to purchase the mat. I have never had trouble with smoothly moving the quilt over the machine and table area until I had a ruler in my hand. I have already ordered the mat and look forward to trying this ruler again once the mat is in place.
Here’s the finished quilt again:
Now I have a question for you…Would you change the slant of the rope on the bottom border to be opposite of the top border? Same question for the left and right side. Should they be opposite to one another?
One more adventurous element, the binding! After being inspired by an award winning quilt at MQX, and not having enough dark blue batik to make a binding, I knew I had to introduce some of my scraps. I cut the binding only 1 1/4″ wide and sewed a single fold binding. I chose little scraps from the 5″ squares left over from the leaf fabrics, I sewed triangles pointing in the same direction as the leaves into the dark blue strip. Then I selected a green batik from my stash builder fabrics to fill in the rest. Even if this quilt will never be judged, it’s nice to put to use some knowledge from my recent tour at MQX. It certainly made this quilt a memorable adventure for me.
I hope you with fill your April 2017 with more adventurous quilting.
Book me to speak to your guild or women’s group in 2018 to hear a new talk on my 2017 Island Batik Journey. I’m collecting stories and creating new quilts and patterns every month!