October’s endangered animal awareness challenge…

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 asked the Island Batik Ambassadors to create a piece inspired by the endangered animal featured on their assigned Color Builder box.

I received the Sumatran Elephant…

The Sumatran elephant is native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and are one of the smallest of the Asian elephants, and known for their bright skin. Sadly there are are only between 2400 and 2800 Sumatran elephants left in the world, which puts them on the critically endangered list.

There has been a huge decline recently, largely due to habitat loss and illegal killing of the elephants for their ivory.

WWF Indonesia aims to protect the sustainability of the Sumatran elephants through collaborations with the government and other organizations. They have established elephant patrols, that serves to prevent hunting and dismantling of traps that can endanger the elephants.

Auriful thread have drawn their color inspiration from 12 magnificent animals, currently in dire need of attention, advocacy, and compassion. They are dedicated to highlighting their stories, helping to educate on their struggles, and working to create valuable change via awareness and fundraising. To help achieve these goals, Aurifil are collaborating with Earth League International and are looking forward to a strong and effective partnership, to read more about their work, head to

https://www.aurifil.com/2021-color-builders

I’ve created a wall hanging, using some gorgeous Island Batik fabrics, and the 3 Aurifil threads from my pack

I love the effect of the Island Batik blue fabrics

The light thread added a lovely shimmer to my project

Using the other two thread colours, I added some thread painting details to add depth and shading

Be sure to check out all the other Ambassadors projects, by heading over to the Island Batik Page

This wall hanging was quilted with Hobbs cotton batting and I added some hanging hoops to complete my project

I’ve really enjoyed reading about these elephants along with all the other Ambassadors projects, I hope you have too.

Michelle x

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

The Big Reveal…

Wow, can you believe its been over a year since myself and Dawn begin this mystery quilt along sampler, today I’m going to take you a little journey, so you can see this quilt come to life…

Block One – Cherish; was designed me. After the very sad loss of my Nan (my best friend), I took time to reflect on the love around me, the strength I found from friends and family to keep going. Sometimes we are all guilty of not finding the time to call family or a friend, and this I know, I’m guilty of. So this block was designed for my Nan, to let her know I love her and miss her every single day, and I cherish every memory we shared.

 

Block 2 – A spring basket; was designed by Dawn, and this is what she said about her block ‘

Seeing the daffodils and primroses peek out from the melting snow means spring is here, so this month’s Sweetest Things Sampler block is an Easter basket, full of springtime wonders

‘The first Easter baskets I remember were little paper and glue ones, made in primary school. When we returned from lessons, they’d been filled with speckled candy eggs. So now whenever I see little Easter baskets, I’m reminded of this and how little acts of kindness, mean a lot’

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Block 3 – April Showers bring may flowers; was my turn… my inspiration cane from ‘April showers, bring May flowers.

In this block you will find, free motion embroidery flowers, little silver raindrops and a  padding which gives a lovely 3D effect to the umbrella

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Block 4 – Nest; is Dawn design, here is where her inspiration came from

‘Inspired by our little feathered friends’ who put so much care and effort into nest building, weaving twigs, moss, and feathers together – it reminds me of the loving care which goes into making our quilts.

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With the first few block made, I decided to get busy making the Irish Chain blocks, which would join our sampler blocks together. Using the quilt-as-you-go method, this quilt started to come together quite quickly

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Block 5 – Basket of Strawberry sweetness; and I was up… and would could be sweeter then a huge basket of juicy strawberries

This block includes a basket woven from Brenda Riddles’ “Caroline” ticking fabric, juicy looking strawberries, and the sweetest little quilted butterflies.

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Block 6 – From our little hive to yours; is dawn design, and nothing gets sweeter the honey

Here is what Dawn said about her inspiration for the block…

‘It’s lovely to hear the little bees humming, busily working together, nurturing the hive – it reminds me of the hum of the sewing machine, and how just like the busy little bees, so much can be achieved when we work together’

 

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Block 7 – Quench your thirst;  was my turn…and yes i know its food related again 😉 But it was a beautiful summer in 2018, and I enjoyed many warm evenings in the garden, with a fresh juice or two, while the kids ate ice-creams

Block 8 – Prairie Point Hedgehog; Dawn had created the cutest block of all time, with the very clever idea of using prairie points to create a 3D hedgehog! Hedgehogs are one of my favorites, so this block was so lovely to make

This is what Dawn said…

‘Spending time in the outdoors, among the little wonders of nature is lovely any time of year, but a fine autumn day, when the fruits are ripening, the leaves turning colour and the possums making themselves a cosy spot to overwinter, is especially sweet

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Block 9 – Birthday Treats; Inspired by my Birthday (did anyone notice it was food related again?) I say you cant beat a cuppa and slice of cake, I love the little bow I added in this one, and the quilted bunting

Block 10 – Mistletoe and Mittens; and it was turning chilly, Dawn designed the perfect block, here is what Dawn said…

‘In winter, when trees have shed their leaves, there’s something kind of wonderful in the big bunches of mistletoe, hugging the tree branches. Mistletoe is fairly common in this corner of the U.K. It’s rich green leaves and bright little berries, welcome colour this time of year. So let’s put on our warm woolly mittens, and go find some mistletoe…

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Block 11 – Deer in the snow; This block was designed by Dawn and here is where her inspiration came from…

‘Even in the middle of winter, you can still find little moments of wonder. It might be the bright winter sunshine, shimmering snow, the shy doe in the woods, or perhaps the little snow globe which shimmers when shaken, that comes out this time each year’

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Block 12 – Sew Happy;  Was the last block in this sampler, designed by me.

My inspiration came from the one thing that gives me joy everyday… yes it could really only be about one thing, something which makes our lives a whole lot happier

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I had to get busy now, cutting and joining the rest of the Irish Chain Blocks, so my quilt could be joined together

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Thanks so much to each and every one of you, who has followed us along this journey, whether you have been sewing the whole quilt, or just chosen a block or two, or simple just left beautiful comments along the way – we thank you. If you have been sewing along, be sure to tag us @creativeblonde66 and @dawn_honeybeecloths using the hashtag #sweetestthingssampler and you will automatically be entered in to win this fantastic giveaway

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***MY BIG REVEAL***

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‘Do what makes your heart smile’

Check out my Instagram and Facebook page @creativeblonde66

~Michelle~

x creativeblonde x

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#sweetestthingssampler…

Hey guys, i thought id give you quick update and show you how we are progressing in the gorgeous quilt along… its not to late to join in, and the patterns are all free.

Dawn at Honeybee Cloths and myself – Michelle at Creativeblonde have been designing the blocks alternately each month, there are fab prizes up for grabs too, below id what i’ve made so far…

Block 1: Designed by myself, called ‘Cherish”

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Block 2: A spring basket

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Block 3: April showers, bring May flowers

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Block 4: Nest

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Block 5: Basket of strawberry sweetness

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We have tried to include many techniques along the way, so you can join in and have a go at everything. The sampler blocks are being placed between Irish Chain blocks, I am using the method ‘quilt as you go’, but both methods are explained in full in each free tutorial.

To join in this quilt along, simple head over to Honeybee Cloths website, and join, you will get each months tutorial sent to you via email for you to download, and all the ones above can be found there too.

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Thanks for reading, i really hope you’ll come join in, and start sewing with us

To see more of my tutorials, you can follow my blog here at www.creativeblonde.co.uk and/or Instagram page www.instagram.com/creativeblonde66 and www.facebook.com/creativeblonde66

Happy Sewing

x creativeblonde x

 

Mini Love…

The second project in the wonderful world of being an Island Batik Ambassador, the challenge was to create to a mini quilt, titled ‘mini love’.

Mini Love

 

 The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik. I have to confess this is my first mini quilt, don’t get me wrong, I’ve made small quilts and mug rugs, but this mini quilt is for hanging up, this mini quilt will have its pride of place in my bedroom, this mini quilt has a special meaning…

Fabrics were chosen, from my box of gorgeous batiks and my design was on paper. All my favorites colours, and for anyone who knows me, or follows me on Instagram, will know my love for purples

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This mini quilt was inspired by love, that special warming feeling of getting a hug when you need one, whether it be because your upset, scared, lonely or simply just because, a hug can say so much, without saying a word.

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I enjoyed doing my favorite blanket stitch, and finished the quilt off with some free motion embroidery

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Thank for reading, happy sewing

x creativeblonde x