What’s Happening in the Studio?

First, I need to show you a finish … not a quilty finish, but a finish. While I was at Essem Textiles, I spotted some super cute knit teddy bear fabric. I LOVE teddy bears! Years ago, in the last century, I made a cute nightshirt with teddybears on it. That nightshirt was loved for years and years. This summer, I noticed that it was pretty thread barren and it’s time was near! Well, I might have noticed it much longer than just this summer! When I saw the fabric at Essem, I just knew I had found the perfect fabric to replace the nightshirt with. And the old night shirt is re-purposed as cleaning cloths in the garage. However, I did rescue the button off the old one and put it on the new one!

I’m not going to model it, but here it is on my design wall:

It was fun to use my serger and complete a project in less than a day! That doesn’t happen when I’m quilting!

Island Batik’s Storm at Sea Blog Hop

Did you get to see all of the Storm at Sea quilts? They were all based on the Storm at Sea block. Some people used Paper Piecing (me), some used Studio 180 rules, and some used the Accuquilt Block on Board die. Andi (from True Blue Quilts) made a great youtube video that showcases all of the quilt. Watch it and Enjoy!

Design Wall

#1 Scrappy Improv Quilting 

Absolutely NO change from the last month! None at all!

#2.  A Christmas Tree Skirt

These are fabrics from Essem Textiles. I have started piecing the tree skirt … such pretty fabrics to work with!


Quilting: 

#1  The last Secret Island Batik project is being quilted

#2 Scrappy Improv Quilting This is from the pattern “Prismatic … just made bigger … lots bigger … (from Kelly Young’s book “Scrappy Improv Quilting.” This book is SEW much fun … make sure you order yours before it’s too late!


  • Fabric Used this week      yards
  • Fabric Used this year:       100.25 yards
  • Fabric Bought this week:  0 yards
  • Fabric Added this year:      50. 75 yards  (my husbands amounts as well)
  • Net Fabric used                  49.5 yards 
  • Husband’s purchases:  0 yards (which are added into my total amount of Fabric added this year). For those of you who don’t know … my husband often buys more fabric than I do … so, I’m keeping track! Unfortunately, he doesn’t sew!

Stitchin’ Time

  • January – October –  292/ 303
  • Nov – 21 / 21
  • Total: 313 / 324
  • Percentage = 96 % 

For more Stitchin’ Time, you can check out Kate’s blog: Life in Pieces

To Do

Linda from Texas Quilt Gal is now hosting “To Do” every week. You can check out her blog HERE.

The To Do list from 2 Weeks ago:

  1. Quilt Island Batik Secret #2 √   DONE 
  2. Quilt Island Batik Secret #4 in progress
  3. Do NOT be distracted by any SQUIRRELS!  Got inspired to make a tree skirt  not done
  4. Tidy & clean studio for 30 minutes   √   DONE  

This week’s list:

  1. Finish Quilting Island Batik Secret #4
  2. Finish Tree Skirt
  3. Do NOT be distracted by any SQUIRRELS! I NEED this continual reminder! 
  4. Tidy & clean studio for 30 minutes

I have finished enough UFOs for my PHD, but I still have a few “Starts in 2021” to finish …

One who sleeps under a quilt is covered by LOVE!

Happy Quilting! 
Gail 

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Island Batik Projects – 2019 Review

What a YEAR!!!

This has been a year of growth for me as a quilter.  Becoming an Island Batik Ambassador has been a highlight of my year! Thanks to the monthly challenges, I stepped outside my comfort zone and made things that I NEVER would have.   As well, a short photography class helped me go beyond my “quilt on a clothesline” photos!

Island Batik provided all of the fabrics for the quilts and projects this year.  My heart is over-filled with gratefullness for their generousity and that of the co-sponsers (Aurifil, Hobbs batting & Accuquilt).  I was totally spoiled this year by being an Island Batik Ambassador!

I am also grateful to my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors!  They offered a ton of support and encouragement.  Not to mention the plethora of ideas that flowed … it’s been a fun year!

February: Magnificent Mini

The first challenge for the year was to make a mini.  I wasn’t sure what to do … My love of fall colours and the desire to make something I would use, lead me to make this Suduko mini quilt.  For more details, go HERE.

Magnificent Mini

On the huge boulders on the side of our yard.

March:  Vintage Re-Imagined

What happens when you have beautiful fabric, an idea and EQ7?  Stars on Ice became the reality of that dream. See HERE.

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April: Accuquilt Baby Quilt

All ambassadors received an Accuquilt cutter and dies.  I used the 8″ cube dies to make this beautiful baby quilt.  See HERE.

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May: Make it Modern

Me? Make a modern quilt???  Find out more about how it came about HERE.

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Christmas RAPPing

This table runner was made for a Blog Hop celebrating the book “Christmas RAPPing” by Margaret Brewster Willingham and Nan Baker.  You can see the blog post HERE.

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June:  Try It

We were challenged to try a new technique … sew, I used one of Angela Walters quilting tutorial series and this table runner was born.  See HERE.

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A Zipper Pouch

This little zipper pouch was made with my embroidery machine, using an AnitaGoodesign pattern.  For more details see this POST.

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July: Artsy Fartsy

I do not do Artsy-Fartsy … I’m a more traditional quilter.  However, this project was enlightening.  I remembered how to do some simple embroidery stitches … and with it being “Artsy-Fartsy” I didn’t need to worry about it being exact.  You can read about it HERE.  This bag was made for travelling and I used it on my month long trip to Europe & Africa.

Quilt of Valour

One of my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors organized a group of us to make Quilts of Valour out of a wonderful line of fabric called “Freedom.”  It had lots of red, white & blue fabric.  Since I was making one for a Canadian veteran, I just wanted to use the red and white.  I did have to dip into the blue fabric for a few squares (scattered randomly) and the binding.  It is my own pattern.  Read more about it HERE.

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August: Beat the Heat

This was made for a blog hop.  The line is “Soil & Seeds.”  I loved the line and wanted to be able to showcase each fabric.  This quilt was perfect for that.  For more details, see HERE.

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September: Child’s Play

This quilt used the Accuquilt Die “Cleopatra’s Fan.”  It was an intimidating block for me to make: it had CURVED piecing.  However, I did learn that with the die, the pieces are cut perfectly and sewing the curves was not all that difficult.  It was fun to design the butterfly. Except for the antenna, the butterfly was cut with the Accuquilt 8 ” Cube dies.  You can read about the post HERE.

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Biscournu Pin Cushions

These little pin cushions were made with the “mistake” blocks from making the Christmas Rapping table runner (May). I think they are so stinking cute! And a fantastic way to use up those orphan blocks.  For more details see HERE.

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October:  Top it Off – using Applique!

Nothing says “October” to me more than pumpkins.  I had some great orange fabric, a great background fabric, my embroidery machine and this table runner fell into place.  For more details, see HERE.

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Island Batik Rayon

I needed new clothes … I had an ancient T-shirt pattern, I had this beautiful rayon fabric … SEW this top, which fits me perfectly, was made!  Check it out HERE.

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November: Tool Time

We needed to use our favourite tool.  My favourite is the Tri-rec ruler … and the Shape-cut ruler … and … a zillion other tools that are necessary for my quilt making … Visit THIS BLOG POST to see a video on how I used these tools.

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The Tool Time Mistake

I forgot to take pictures as I was making this quilt.  And it can easily be made with the Accuquilt Go, 8″ Cube dies. See HEREand HEREI love how this quilt used the same fabrics as the quilt above, but with a white background instead of black.  It certainly gives the quilts a very different look!

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Randy the Rhino

Many fellow Ambassadors made various “Funky Friends” for quilt market.  After my trip to Africa, I just HAD to make the Rhino!  See this POST for more details.

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December: 3D Challenge

This quilt pattern has always spoken “3D” to me. It was the obvious choice for a quilt!  See HERE  for more details!

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Sewing Machine Cover:  3D Challenge #2

I needed to make sewing machine covers for all of my machines.  I used the extra fabric from the 3D quilt to make this serger cover.  To find out how I did it, go HERE.

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Snowman Table Runner

You can call it a squirrel, you can call it a DrEAMI, but I’m calling it DONE.  Check out the details HERE.

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Alice Alpaca: 3D Challenge #3

Alice was fun to make!  See this POST for more details!

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Disclaimer: The products featured in this Blog post were given to me by Island Batik, and their co-sponsers Aurifil, Hobbs Batting & AccuQuilt!  And the Patterns for the Stuffed Animals were from Funky Friends.

One who sleeps under a quilt is covered by LOVE!

Happy Quilting! 
Gail 

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Serged Top is done

Here are the questions I had before I started serging this quilt together and the answers to those questions:

  • Which serger will I use?  I used a serger at work (Pro-4DX) and my own serger at home.  I actually prefer the Pro-4DX over my own serger
  • Will I be able to finger press the seams, or should I use an iron? I did do some finger pressing, but as usual, the iron made a much nicer job of pressing the seam.
  • Will I be able to chain piece using a serger? Yes, there was no problem at all with chaining
  • Will it make the quilt “lumpy” at the seams? I don’t really see much different than when using a regular sewing machine
  • Will I be able to web or lattice the final blocks?  Absolutely! The first picture shows the first webbing, the second shows the top pieced together.

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Serging a Quilt top?

Yes, I’m going to attempt this.  The pattern is Wonky Logs.  It’s a free pattern by Custom Kwilts.

The pattern calls for 12 fat quarters … but I discovered that I can get away with using 6.  First, I used paper scissors to cut out the templates.  Then I laid them out on the fabric. This picture shows the background fabric – all 6 layers of it.  (I cut 3 pieces, each 17 ½” long, and then layered them.  You can see the pins holding the templates in place.  If you’re not comfortable cutting through 6 layers of fabric, then make it 3 layers or 2 layers.

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