Welcome to my Island Batik Blog Hop day…

This month is all about ‘The Storm at Sea block’ a block which vividly depicts the rolling waves of a stormy sea with its simple color palette and wave-like imagery.

Storm at sea block

A few interesting facts about the block… The illusion of waves is created by a few geometric shapes with very simple dimensions. The large center square is twice as big as the small center square. The rectangle is the height of the small square block and the length of the large square block.

Changing the color palette could emphasize different elements within the design, creating stunning stars or wavy lines – creating a new look for an old design.

Such an exciting block… I designed my blocks using the EQ8 program, which enabled me to play around with designs and colours.

My surprise bundle of fabrics was now ready to be torn open, to reveal the new collection ‘Sea Glass’ a beautiful collection a sea greens, blues and purples, with super cute sea shells and fish prints

My quilt is made up of 624 pieces, all hand cut and sewn together…

I used Aurifil thread with Schmetz needles in my Brother sewing machine

Aurifil thread

I was also super excited to try the new fusible cotton batting from Hobbs – wow!! its a game changer!!

No more pins, or basting spray – this you NEED to try

Hobbs fusible batting

I completed my large lap quilt, with some hand sewn binding in a gorgeous dark purple

I absolutely love the backing, it captures all the stunning fabric colours from the top quilt.

My finished lap quilt

I hope you’ve loved seeing my progress and finished quilt.

To enter this week fabulous giveaway and be in with a chance of winning these,click the link below…

Giveaway Prize

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d463e29d35/

Be sure to head over to https://www.facebook.com/islandbatik to see all the other gorgeous Island Batik Ambassadors quilts

Medallion Quilt challenge…

This challenge is the last one for all the 2020 Island Batik Ambassadors, and is also the first time I’ve made a Medallion Quilt.

I wanted to use what I had left from the ‘Tread Brightly’ collection by @bellanonnaquilt for @island_batik.

“A medallion Quilt is made of a central motif surrounded by multiple borders. … The center and borders can be pieced, appliqued, or embroidered, in any number of combinations.”

I really wanted something striking for my central motif, so I designed this star… and I was super pleased with how is turned out. I do love a crisp sharp point…

It was time to add my first border, I went with something simple, so as not to detract from the center star. I used the gorgeous Cobblestone – Forest, from the Tread brightly collection.

My next border I wanted to be eye catching, so I decided on some Flying Geese. I wanted it to appear as they were moving around the centre star, so I arranged them in groups of 6.

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My final boarder was another simple stripe, using the Cobblestone – Pinecone, from the Tread brightly collection.

I used Hobbs Cotton batting inside, and backed my Medallion Quilt with a lovely Vanilla – neutral from Island Batik.

I decided on a bit of crazy binding, which I thought would complete this quilt perfectly, I chose Texture Stripe – Marble from the Tread Brightly collection.

Would to love to know what you think of my first Medallion quilt, please leave me a comment, they really do make my day.

Wishing each and everyone of you a really special Christmas, and I hope you get to spend time with those that mean the most to you.

Follow me here on my blog, and share with friends, you can also find/tag me on Instagram and Facebook with your makes.

‘Do what makes your heart smile’
Happy Sewing


Michelle

Inspired by Nature Blog Hop plus giveaway…

During this month, all the Island Batik Ambassadors have been taking part in the ‘Inspired by nature’ blog hop, using the new summer 2020 collections. Head to www.facebook.com/islandbatik/ to see all the stunning quilts and to enter this weeks giveaway.

Welcome to my day, I have an amazing giveaway to tell you about, plus this gorgeous quilt to show you that I made with the new summer 2020 collection ‘Tread Brightly’ designed by Bella Nonna Quilt Design. Which hits the shops this month.

I took my inspiration from Rainbows and a beautiful windmill I often drive past in Kent…

This quilt is made up of HST, using a beautiful Island Batik cream, paired with the stunning new ‘Tread Brightly’ collection.

The finish of this quilt coincided with the return of my cat ‘Roo’, he has been missing for 81 days, and last night he returned. We are over the moon to have him home, and still cant quite believe it.

He was super keen to be in the photos of my quilt, so I thought id share them with you.

This quilt has Hobbs cotton batting inside, and all sewn together using Aurifil threads.

Island Batik are giving away two beautiful bundles of fabrics, enter below to win…

www.rafflecopter.com

Thanks for stopping by, I hope this quilt has inspired you to make something colourful, or simply to stop and spare a few moments to appreciate the beautiful nature around us.

Here is a list of all the Island batik Ambassadors, please head over and take a look at all the beautiful quilts they have made and the stunning new fabric collections

Week 1:November 9
Jennifer Fulton – Bliss
Carla Henton – Bliss
November 10:
Denise Jackson Looney – Coco Cabana
Carolina Asmussen – Coco Cabana
November 11:
Alison Vermilya – Heart to Heart
Janet Lael Pedersen Yamamoto – Heart to Heart
November 12:
Megan Stanionis Best – Just My Type
Jennifer Strauser – Just My Type
Week 2:
November 16:
Joanne Hart – Love & Kisses
Maryellen McAuliffe – Love & Kisses
Jennifer Schifano Thomas – Love & Kisses
November 17:
Gail Sheppard – Ohana
Mania Hatziioannidi – Ohana
November 18:
Sharon Riley – Sweet Hearts
Sandra Walker – Sweet Hearts
November 19:
Carol Moellers – Tickled Pink
Emily Leachman – Tickled Pink
Week 3:
November 23:
Connie Kauffman – Tiki Punch
Suzy Webster – Tiki Punch
November 24:
Pamela Boatright – Tread Brightly
Michelle Roberts – Tread Brightly
November 25:
Vasudha Govindan – Tropicana Twist
Leah Malasky – Tropicana Twist
November 26:
Sally Manke – Venetian Marble
Gail Renna – Venetian Marble

Follow me here on my blog, and share with friends, you can also find me on Instagram and Facebook.

Looking for handmade Christmas items?

Please check out the ‘pages’ listed on my home page (or click the link below), you will find all my quilts which are for sale, most of which have been published in UK, American and Australian quilting magazines.

https://wordpress.com/pages/creativeblondeblog.wordpress.com

During the month of November, I’m including FREE UK delivery.

‘Do what makes your heart smile’

Happy Sewing

Michelle

Island Batik June Challenge…

Can you believe its June already…

If I’m honest everyday seems to feel the same at the minute, but today I will celebrate June by sharing with you my Island Batik June project

6 - Free Theme

This months challenge was a ‘free’ theme, that meant we could make anything, using any fabric from box 1… I couldn’t resist using more fabrics from the stunning ‘Northern Lights’ collection from Kathy Engle for Island Batik.

Copy of Northern-Lights

I had been given a sample of Vlieseline R200, a new thermo insulating wadding… Its is lush. Vlieseline have developed two new thermo-insulating waddings made using 100% recycled polyester: R80 and R 200. These exceptional waddings have a high migration resistance so they will retain their shape and smooth handle, even after washing. They are suitable for use with all fabrics and are great for quilts, patchwork, bag making and garment applications. R200 is a more substantial, extremely bulky wadding with a soft handle.  It can be hand sewn and is washable to 40°

I chose to make a cat bed, I have four cats, and they love to sleep on my quilts (usually when I’m trying to quilt them), so this one could be theirs…

I made a row of 6″ hearts using different fabrics form the collection

I quilted the row of hearts and this created the surrounding edge for my cat bed

I self covered 4 small buttons, and these were added to the base of the cat cushion

I hand sewed the surrounding edge to the base, and the cat bed was ready for its first guest…

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One very happy and comfy mog

I couldn’t resist sharing a few more photos of my cat making herself comfortable

Follow me here on my blog, and share with friends, you can also find me on Instagram and Facebook

‘Do what makes your heart smile’

Happy Sewing

Michelle

Island Batik May Blog Hop, plus Giveaway…

Welcome along to the May blog hop, this month we get to use our ‘surprise’ fabrics, they are new fabrics from the Winter 2019 collections.

5 - Ultimate Home Decor Blog Hop

I received ‘Northern Lights designed by Kathy Brett Engle for Island Batik.

–> See the full collection here <–

Be sure to check out all the Island Batik Ambassadors to see which new collections they are using, see what they’ve made, and be in with a chance of winning some fabulous fabrics along the way. See the full list of Ambassadors at the end of the post.

The challenge this month was to make something for the home…wall hangings, cushions, rugs, linens, and decorative craft projects like bowls, wreaths, lampshades and baskets.  I choose to make a cushion cover, and as the collection is called ‘Northern Lights’, I wanted to create something that looked like stars. I decided to use my periwinkle paper piece sets from www.linapatchwork.com/.

The 9 fabrics I chose from the collection were…

Tossed feathers – cotton Candy

Sun – Hot Pink

Saskatoon – Berry

Vertical feathers – waterfall

Star – Lilac

Beads – Blackberry

Triangle – Merlot

Star – Mystical Berry

Triangle – Tournaline

 

After removing the papers, I machine sewed them to the cushion cover (rice – neutral) using a silver metallic thread from Gutermann.

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My backing fabric was Tossed feathers – midnight blue

Here is my finished ‘Northern Lights’ Cushion Cover…

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Island batik are giving you the chance to win this incredible bundle of fabric ,this time they will select TWO winners, each getting a FQ River Valley pack each.

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–> Enter Here <–

I’m hosting a little giveaway of my own, I want you to be in with a chance of winning 4 half yard bundles from this gorgeous collection… I’m giving away; Blanket Diamonds in Iris, Tossed feathers in Midnight blue, Star in Pool and Blanket diamond in Universe.

WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN

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To enter to win, simply click on my Rafflecopter link below…

(Please note these are two separate giveaways)

–> Enter My Competition Here <–

Congratulation to Michelle @peetmichelle, you have won my giveaway 🙂

Below is a list of all the other Ambassadors taking part in the blog hop, I’m so excited to see what everyone is going to make with the new 2019 Winter collections

May 4:

Janet Yamamoto American Frontier

Carol Moellers American Frontier

May 5:

Carolina Asmussen Cascadia

Suzy Webster Cascadia

May 6:

Megan Best Glacier View

Emily Leachman Glacier View

May 7:

Connie Kauffman Nordic Nature

Denise Looney Nordic Nature

Week 2:

May 11:

Pamela Boatright Northern Lights

Michelle Roberts Northern Lights

May 12:

Leah Malasky River Valley

Sandra Walker River Valley

May 13:

Gail Sheppard Santa Fe

Maryellen McAuliffe Santa Fe

May 14:

Vasudha Govindan Season’s Splendor

Carla Henton Season’s Splendor

Week 3:

May 18:

Jennifer Thomas Smooch

Joanne Hart Smooch

May 19:

Mania Hatziioannidi Sundance

Sally Manke Sundance

May 20:

Jennifer Fulton Whispering Feathers

Jennifer Strauser Whispering Feathers

May 21:

Alison Vermilya Winter Forest

Sharon Riley Winter Forest

Week 4:

May 25:

Gail Renna Wonderland

Follow me here on my blog, and share with friends, you can also find me on Instagram and Facebook

‘Do what makes your heart smile’

Happy Sewing

Michelle

Island batik Ambassador – November Challenge…

Hello… welcome along to the Island Batik November challenge, this month we have been asked to make a lap quilt or bigger using special quilting tools – rulers, templates and dies.

Tool Time

Earlier this year, all the Island batik Ambassadors received a AccuQuilt ultimate cutting machine  – wow… right!! … I know , I couldn’t believe it either… and oh my goodness, it really is an amazing cutting machine…

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As an Island batik Ambassador we receive two huge boxes, filled with gorgeous Batik fabrics, Hobbs batting, and Aurifil threads, twice a year. This year AccuQuilt joined in as a sponsor, and I was blown away with the goodies we received – the Ultimate cutting machine and the dies… So couldn’t resist having a go at using the Cleopatra’s Block…

“90% faster than rotary cutters*, the AccuQuilt GO! Fabric Cutter is one for the quilters, accurately cutting up to six layers of cotton fabric at a time!

With an easy-to-use design, developed to help reduce hand and arm strain, this innovative machine is portable and easy to store – weighing just 15lbs.

The double roller design provides clean cuts, while the rubber feet grip and hold the cutter in place when cutting. But it doesn’t end there – the comfortable roller handle grip is easy and safe, eliminating the aches and pains often caused by using a rotary cutter

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With my fabrics chosen… to be honest with purple and teal being my favourite colours, they literally leaped into my hands, screaming ‘pick me’…

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This cutting machine doesn’t just cut up to six layers at a time, but if you look closely you can see the very clever points, which makes matching up your points, a dream.

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With beautiful, clear instructions from AccuQuilt, this pattern wasn’t as over whelming as I first thought it was going to be

The Island Batik fabrics I chose for the top quilt were Mosaic Burst, solid black, Fan Mardigras, and Jelly basic in Lilac.

I love the contrast of the black against the vibrant Fan Mardigras and Mosaic Burst fabrics

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I decided to create 4 blocks all the same, to create a bold centre to my lap quilt, framing it with the gorgeous jelly basic in Lilac

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The backing  I chose was Opal Escence. Finished off with hand made solid black binding. Inside I used the very cosy Hobbs Tuscany 100% wool batting.

An alternative to hand sewing your bias binding, is to machine sew… but have you tried using Gütermann variegated threads… They add a beautiful finished. I’ve used thread colour 4033.

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Follow me here on my blog, you can also find me on Instagram and Facebook

‘Do what makes your heart smile’

Happy Sewing

Michelle

Artsy Fartsy…

Welcome to the Island batik July challenge , the fabric and threads used in this project were given to me as part of the Island Batik Ambassador program 2019

Artsy Fartsy Challenge

Artsy Fartsy using three different Aurifil thread weights.

I’ve used thread weights 28,12 and floss.

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The larger the number, the finer the thread.

I’ve used the Aurifil floss to hand embroider the letters in the center, 12 weight cotton thread for bold decorative machine stitches, and the 28 weight threads was used to machine applique my fabrics in place, using free motion embroidery

I had such fun fussy cutting lots of bright and bold flowers, butterflies and dragonflies from my gorgeous Island batik fabrics, which i fused to Vlieseline Bondaweb.

After I fused all my gorgeous fabrics into a 10″ circle, and used free motion quilting and thread weight 28 (slightly thicker then my everyday thread, I wanted it to be a little bolder) to secure my applique.

Before starting this project I fused the 16″ square piece of main fabric to Vlieseline Interfacing, this gave it extra strength, so I was ready to hand embroider the letters using floss and a darning needle. I chose a simple back stitch. I love the reverse of this piece too

To finish this piece, I used thread weight 12 (make sure you change your bobbin thread to match your top thread weight). I wanted to create a strong bold decorative stitch that would stand out

I framed my finished piece in a 12″ embroidery hoop. I’ve never made ‘Artsy Fartsy’ before, but I’ve had such fun – love a good challenge!

Thanks for reading, be sure to head over to the Island Batik Facebook page to see what the other ambassadors are making this month, and throughout the year…

Follow me here on my blog, and you can also find me on Instagram and Facebook

‘Do what makes your heart smile’

Happy Sewing

Michelle

May is Make Modern…

Make It Modern with Hobbs… I have been sooooo excited to use the Tuscany Silk Batting By Hobbs since I received it in box 1 as part of the Island Batik Ambassador Program, so this was the perfect opportunity

Here is a little info about the Batting 

“Hobbs Tuscany Silk Batting is soft and supple, quilts magnificently by hand or machine, and drapes like no other batting. The luxurious feel and lightweight nature of this batting is ideal for both quilts and garments.

Hobbs Tuscany Silk Batting breathes naturally, making it an excellent choice for airy, lightweight quilts and coverlets, and while it’s a ‘cool’ quilt, it can also provide excellent warmth.

Hobbs Tuscany Silk Batting is a blend of 90% very fine imported silk filaments and 10% fine polyester, ingredients which are carded and bonded to help retard bearding and fiber migration. And, unlike other silk batting, this batting doesn’t need to be handled with gloves or encased in cheesecloth”

So what is a modern quilt?

As defined by the Modern Quilt Guild “the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, alternate grid work”

Make It Modern

I woke up on Saturday with this idea in my head, of a 3D effect box, with butterflies being set free.  I called on hubby to help me design the 3D look of the box – thanks hubby  – he knows all about those important ‘vanishing points’

Once the box was designed, and drawn out, i just had to work out how to create it from fabric…

The butterflies were cut from the gorgeous bright, bold fabrics from Island batik, a collection called ‘Caribbean Breeze’, which I backed against the black batik to really make the colours sing

I laid the butterflies out in so many different arrangements, I think I must of taken over 30 photos, until I finally decided on the layout I was happy with…

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I’m thrilled with the flowers I quilted all over the quilt, it gave the impression of the butterflies flying free in a meadow full of flowers, this batting was a dream to quilt.

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Thanks for reading, be sure to head over to the Island Batik Facebook page to see what the other ambassadors are making this month, and throughout the year…

Follow me here on my blog, and you can also find me on Instagram and Facebook

‘Do what makes your heart smile’

Happy Sewing

Michelle @creativeblonde66

Christmas RAPPing… plus Giveaway

Christmas… are you for real, its not even the middle of May!! Stick with me though, you are going to like this post, plus there is a giveaway which shouldn’t be missed – be in with a chance of winning 9 Island Batik FQ’s and 3 Aurifil spools of thread to 2 lucky winner…

So why Christmas… its Margaret Willingham and Nan Baker new book of course, a book packed full of beautiful Reverse Applique & Paper Piecing projects

Rapping

“The patterns in this book reflect the individual styles of both Nan and Margaret blended together to create gorgeous quilts for the Christmas season celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Some are very elegant while others are whimsical. The 20 +projects vary in size from table runners to wall hangings to full size quilts and even Christmas tree decorations.

 

There are multiple quilt size options and alternative color variations. Because they could be for all seasons! The variety of designs all include the unique Star patterns found throughout the book. Two projects,Christmas is Coming and Miracle at the Manger,are interactive quilts that help children, young and old, countdown to Christmas Day with excited anticipation! There is something for everyone.

 

All the designs feature Reverse Applique by hand or machine and Paper Piecing so quilters can learn new techniques using the book’s easier, more streamlined methods. Great for quilters to develop and grow their skills, and great for classes in shops. We hope that quilters of all abilities will enjoy making these gorgeous quilts to celebrate the Christmas season,and that they will become Christmas favorites and family heirlooms”

The book is available to purchase NOW!!

I made my block using some Island Batik pieces I had in my stash, its a 12″ x 12″ block using Paper Piecing – perfect for some Christmas place mats

 

Quilted using the luscious Vlieseline Cotton batting

 

 

Now before I go I must tell you about the giveaway being hosted by Margaret and Nan

 

–} Enter Here {–

 

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers taking part in this blog hop

 

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‘Do what makes your heart smile’

Check out my Instagram and Facebook page @creativeblonde66

~Michelle~

x creativeblonde x

Vintage Re-Imagined…

Just in the nick of time… March Island Batik Challenge was;

 Vintage Re-imagined

Vintage quilts inspiring new creations

36” x 36” or larger

Vintage Reimagined

I’ve always loved the hourglass block, so I wanted to take this and add to it. I also wanted something bold and bright – so I set to designing my quilt on my EQ8 software…

Its quite a lovely feeling seeing a design come to life. I would like to take you on a little journey of photos to see my quilt come together…

All the fabrics used in this quilt, were given to me from Island batik, as part of the Island Batik Ambassador program 2019

My cat was keen to try out the quilt, i think she approved of the Black Batting from Hobbs… Yes BLACK!!  – have you ever used black batting before?

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So why use black?

Hobbs Heirloom® Premium 80/20 Black Cotton Blend Batting is highly recommended for quilts made with black or dark-colored fabrics

It is made using color-fast, dyed cotton fibers to provide quilters with a batting that not only keeps the fabric colors true, it will not create light fiber lint on the quilt top during the quilting process

Hobbs Heirloom® Premium 80/20 Black Cotton Blend Batting is manufactured in the same manner as our Hobbs Heirloom® Premium 80/20 (Natural) Cotton/ Poly Blend Batting – it is lightly bonded and needle-punched for exceptional strength and durability and it’s machine-washable, with no worry about the black dye in the cotton bleeding.

Hobbs Heirloom® Premium 80/20 Black Cotton Blend Batting is wonderful to quilt by hand or machine. Close quilting yields a flat, low-loft appearance, while more space between stitching lines yields a slightly higher loft.

Quilting/stitching should be every 4″ inches, or closer, and quilters may experience shrinkage of 3-5%.

I quilted this using Gutermann Sulky Thread, and used Black binding

It was such a beautiful evening here in the UK, so I was super keen to grab some shots with the evening sun shining onto the quilt…

And guess who wasn’t far away? yes you guessed it, my cat was happy to have a comfy quilt to sit on, as she watched the sun set.

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Be sure to leave a comment, I’d love to hear if you’ve ever used Hobbs Black batting before, or quilted using Gutermann Sulky threads

Follow me here on my blog, and you can also find me on Instagram and Facebook

‘Do what makes your heart smile’

Happy Sewing

Michelle @creativeblonde66