Storm at Sea Blog Hop!

This month’s challenge, Storm at Sea, was a JOY to make! I love the Storm at Sea pattern and have made it many times in the past.

The first time I made it was about 1996 or 97. I made it as a going away gift for a paraprofessional in my classroom. It was purple, cream, salmon and had silver metallic lightening bolts in it. I only tell you all the colors because, unbeknownst to me, I only had black and white film in the camera.

See those sweet girls in the first picture? They turned out to be the mommas of the babies I gave these two quilts to:

To get ready for this month’s challenge I started early with a couple of newer patterns printed at 50%, a bunch of scraps, and ideas swirling around in my head.

Orange/blue pattern by Sylwia BK of I Love to Quilt,
Blue/green/purple/pink pattern is Ripple by 3 Dog Quilting

Both patterns were very fun to make at a smaller size. I love how the Ripple turned out–I think it looks like an eye with all it’s 45 degree angles. It willl make an amazing back of a quilted coat someday. The orange and blue is a little too big to be a placemat so I think it could be a nice table topper eventually.

When I opened the package to find out my color way, I completely fell in love with the Passion Petals collection. This collection was designed by Kathy Engle for Carol Moellers of Carol Moellers Designs and its colors are soft and BEAUTIFUL.

I was trying to figure out how I could incorporate one of the circular Storm at Sea patterns I had when I stopped by my quilter to drop off a quilt. Martha had been going through her patterns and had A Little Bit More Storm at Sea quilt pattern from Cindy Edgerton that she was looking to get rid of. PERFECT for one of my ideas. I snapped it up and ran home! These patterns are printed to a “meatier” tissue paper and are really fun to work with. The pattern instructions are just a page and really are simple and straightforward. Its original size is 52 1/2 by 52 1/2.

I decided to also quilt the Storm at Sea 3D pattern I had gotten from Sylwia BK of I Love to Quilt which is approximately 34 inches wide and place it in the center of the “flat” Storm at Sea pattern. So I got to work using the delicious “Butter” foundation fabric included with the collection color way.

It turned out great except I didn’t use enough of the collection for my liking–to show off the delicate, soft pinks and purples in the rest of the collection. I also decided I needed more of the butter fabric and so I ordered five more yards thinking I could back it with the left over. Once it arrived I got busy working on the background Storm using A Little Bit More Storm at Sea pattern. I kept placing the circle as I worked on it–wondering if I was doing the right thing!

I finally got all background pieced. I made a few decisions about color/pattern placement: I only had four different pinks and didn’t want to have too much of one pattern “clumping up” in the design. Also, with only two blue on blue fabrics I wanted to be purposeful on where they were placed. The purples were too lovely to make super scrappy so I deliberately pieced them on same blocks, hoping it would give the quilt a solid background to place the circle in so it would sort of “float” off. I reversed the butter fabric on the background Storm hoping that the dark purple on purple would define the sphere and have it lift off the background.

I have found on previous quilts the trick to something like this is to place the circle into the background rather than appliqué it. In order for the placement to work out, I needed to find the center of both the background Storm and the 3D Storm.

To make sure I placed the 3D block correctly I pinned north, south, east and west with longer pins to the background and then really pinned down the rest of the circle to the back of the background. The trick to dropping in a circle is that the cut away circle has to be 1/2″ SMALLER than the circle you are putting in. Well, these were monster pieces–a 34″ circle?!? What to do? Mark it with a pen? Chalk? How to do it?! I needed to cut UNDER the 3D Storm. For the sake of ease I decided to sew around the 3D block (using Schmetz 70/10 needle) with a different colored Auriful thread–bright red!

Once I had my red thread guide, I unpinned the two pieces, grabbed my small ruler and cut 1/2″ inside the red line.

I found my north, south, east and west pins and repinned the background to the 3D center. Sewing such a nice gentle curves on my Bernina 350 is just so easy–as long as I pin the heck out of it! Then, once placed, sewn and pressed I simply snipped out the red thread.

While I “drifted” a little on the placement–it’s not quite centered on west/east placement–I like how it turned out! After the bubble was placed, I finished up the border using, Opal, another great foundation fabric that was sent with this collection.

This made the quilt size stretch out to 52 1/2″ by 60 1/4″. Once the center was placed, the border added, I pieced the left over butter fabric I bought for the backing (perhaps five yards was a bit overkill!), grabbed my Hobbs Batting and raced off to my friend, Martha, who is my long arm quilter. She quilted a pattern that looked like a wild wind.

Students holding up my Storm at Sea.

Kodiak is an island where the storms at sea last for days, sometimes weeks! The storms are unforgiving, ferocious and wonderful. This will be a quilt I will give to a graduate next year–to remind them where they come from and how wild it can get here–to keep them warm wherever they go.

Don’t forget to enter the Island Batik Blog Hop giveaway!

Click on picture to take you to Rafflecopter entry form.

There are some beautiful quilts already posted and more to come! Jump into the hop and see what the other Ambassadors have made–I predict you will love them!

November 1:

Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail 

Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts

November 2:

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts

Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting

November 3:

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese

Megan Best, Bestquilter

November 4:

Gail Renna, Quilt Haven Threads

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia

November 5:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 1 and Giveaway

November 8:

Mania Hatzioannidi, Mania for Quilts

Jennifer Fulton, Inquiring Quilter

November 9:

Joanne Hart, Unicorn Harts

Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs

Jennifer Eubank, Archipelago Quilting

November 10:

Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations

Janet Yamamoto, Whispers of Yore

November 11:

Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood

Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine

November 12:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 2 and Giveaway

November 15:

Elizabeth DeCroos, Epida Studio

Andi Stanfield, True Blue Quilts

November 16:

Brianna Roberts, Sew Cute and Quirky

Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde

November 17:

Sally Manke, Sally Manke Fiber Artist

Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights

Suzy Webster, Websterquilt Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail 

November 18:

End of Blog Hop

Aurifil’s Endangered Species Challenge

This month’s challenge is about an amazing thread program Aurifil has been doing this past year. The focus of the program is highlighting endangered animals by challenging sewists to paper piece an endangered animal and using 3 coordinating threads to quilt the mini quilt. Great way to highlight right?

I was challenged to use the tread related to the Pink Land Iguana.

Information from the Galapagos Conservation Trust stated “One of Galapagos’ most recently described species is also one of its genetically oldest. Pink iguanas are not just a different colour from other land iguanas; they are a completely separate species. There are only around 200 left, and they are confined to the slopes of Wolf Volcano on Isabela, making them one of the most vulnerable species in Galapagos, as the volcano is still active.”

I started to get curious… Pink animals? Like, how many can there be?? (I could only think of flamingos off the top of my head.) If there are some pink animals, are they endangered as well? I started my Google searching… and what I found was there are A LOT of pink animals out there! Sadly many are endangered or on the brink of extinction.

I started to look around at the number of extinctions that happen every year and some studies, cited by the World Wildlife Fund, indicate that between .01 and .1 percent of all species go extinct yearly, which doesn’t seem like many–only if there are 2,000,000 different species worldwide (scientist don’t actually know the numbers of species we have as we keep discovering new ones) that means between 200 and 2000 animal species go extinct annually. Which, again, doesn’t seem like many unless you consider extinct means GONE FOREVER. The other thing to consider is that, unlike the past, we–PEOPLE–are responsible for the mass extinction occurring now.

I decided that since Aurifil is highlighting the Pink Land Iguana to bring up a level of awareness that I would highlight another pink animal. I found a page on that highlighted 14 different pink animals that are endangered. From the birds to bugs to sea animals it took my breath away the first time I read the article… I found it to be so sad! However, it also inspired me to focus on another interesting animal–the pink Amazon dolphin!

The problem with making a block with the Pink Amazon dolphin is there were no quilt blocks I could find–so what to do? Appliqué? Paper piecing? Traditional piecing? Finding a pattern was hard so I decided to make my own… easier said then done–I pulled some paper piecing patterns and tried to elongate the nose and “square up” the body. Nothing looked right or represented the shape of the Amazon dolphin. Then along came a pattern… like a tiny miracle. Elizabeth Hartman came out with Rainbow Rainforest and one of the blocks, in this traditionally pieced pattern, was an AMAZON DOLPHIN!

It was time to get busy! My Bernina was set up with Schmetz needles and Aurifil thread:

My trusty pattern guides me as I piece my block together.

The prep is really easy in this pattern as it works through each fabric needed and size to cut and teaches you to label each for ease of construction.

Once pieced I decided to quilt the heck out of it and then turn it into a pillow cover using Hobbs Batting:

The way I like to do my pillow covers is to create a “pocket” cover.

Once completed and stuffed, I snapped a quick picture:

This was a SUPER fun project to illustrate a great cause and the tread to hold it all together!

As always a huge thank you to:

Please check out my co-Island Batik Ambassadors:

Try a Tool: Studio 180 Design

This month’s challenge was to use at least one of Deb Tucker’s tools and a new fabric collection to make a fun quilt.

I was sent the Midnight Dazzle collection in my July Island Batik Ambassador box. This BEAUTIFUL fabric collection spoke to me immediately—I love some bright jewel tones!

I was also lucky enough to get the Split Rects tool. I own some of the Deb Tucker quilt patterns and have been meaning to do a few of her patterns for a while. (Don’t we all have one or two!?)

My sew sister, Tina, just happened to have several of Deb Tucker’s tools and a couple patterns. As I was rummaging through her ruler organizer, I decided to borrow her Deb Tucker’s Corner Pop tool and make a baby sized Fiesta quilt. The fabric seemed to be a perfect match for this project.

Deb also had a really GREAT video about how to use the Split Rects tool where she demonstrates how to use if you’re right handed or left handed. The video really helped me see the potential of this great tool. I can’t wait to create more quilts using it!

This quilt started off fairly fast and easy. I love “spinning” the lumps out by pressing the blocks in the same direction. It makes everything lay down so nicely.

And I worked quickly through the pattern using all the fabrics for this project. I was given two coordinating blues from Island Batik that I decided to incorporate into the quilt.

Background and border.

I used the lighter fabric, Rain, as the background and I elected to set off the border on the quilt by using the darker coordinating blue, Waterfall.

I felt an urgency to complete this quilt ASAP and I wasn’t sure why.

While I was working on this project a tragedy struck. In Canada in a tiny town named Lytton, there was a wildfire that raced through their town leveling it in about 15 minutes. I knew why I was working so hard to complete this baby quilt!

I used the Hobbs Tuscany 100% Wool Batting that was sent in July.

A call went out from Katja Marek in Kamloops, BC, Canada over Instagram, they were asking for quilt donations for the homeless residents of Lytton. I went to the Kodiak Bear Paw Quilters guild and urged them to donate to our Canadian neighbors. When it was all said and done the guild donated over 15 quilts to them. I was so happy to include the baby sized Fiesta quilt in one of the donation boxes!

This quilt would not of been possible without the Split Rects tool from Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design, Hobbs Batting, Aurifil thread, Schmetz Needles, Island Batik, and my trusty Bernina!

Don’t forget to enter this week’s Island Batik giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also check out my sister ambassadors:

August 10:

Mania Hatzioannidi, Mania for Quilts
Gail Sheppard, Quilting Gail 

August 11:

Elizabeth DeCroos, Epida Studio
Preeti Harris, Sew Preeti Quilts

August 12:

Emily Leachman, The Darling Dogwood
Jennifer Thomas, Curlicue Creations

August 16:

Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts
Gail Renna, Quilt Haven Threads

August 17:

Denise Looney, For the Love of Geese
Sally Manke, Sally Manke Fiber Artist

August 18:

Brianna Roberts, Sew Cute and Quirky
Suzy Webster, Websterquilt 

August 19:

Jennifer Eubank, Archipelago Quilting
Jennifer Fulton, Inquiring Quilter

August 23:

Jane Hauprich, Stitch by Stitch Custom Quilting
Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine

August 24:

Megan Best, Bestquilter
Janet Yamamoto, Whispers of Yore

August 25:

Claudia Porter, Create with Claudia
Michelle Roberts, Creative Blonde

August 26:

Leah Malasky, Quilted Delights
Andi Stanfield, True Blue Quilts

August 30:

Joanne Hart, Unicorn Harts
Connie Kauffman, Kauffman Designs

A HUGE thank you to:

Red and White Challenge Quilt and Tutorial

redandwhiteFor the Red and White Quilt Challenge Make It challenge I am going to do a tutorial on how to put in a little piping for a decorative touch.

I have been working on a Fire Island Hosta by Judy Niemeyer now since late May/early June.  I have to say I did not think that making a red and white quilt would be so difficult–creating depth, contrast, and visual interest has been hard!  One thing that I looked at was the “clamshell” part of the design–I needed to find a way to set it off.  It was getting to be a little too much red-white-red-white-red-white-red-well, you get the idea.  I solicited some input from friends with no real consensus.IMG_9291

I was wrestling with the process when a friend, Judy, suggested I put in a little piping. I was using a paper pieced block in this quilt so will explain this like a person who would be doing just that.

To begin you need to cut several strips of fabric on the bias.  In my case I used 1 1/2″ strips of red.  To make that bias strip I took a length of fabric (a rectangle) and folded a corner of it down so it formed a triangle and then used my regular ruler and mat to cut the strips.  This makes your strips have a “stretch” to them.  IMG_8712IMG_8711 I wanted it to have enough fabric to “cover the curve” on the corner so I pinned a strip on the front of NY Beauty portion of the block with a bit of a tail hanging over. IMG_8714I then sewed a 1/2 inch from the edge of the block. This will give me a 1/4 inch of color on the edge of my block.IMG_8713Once sew on I ironed it over.  This is the critical part for keeping the same sized block.  IMG_8715There are three major steps to this.

First, trim that corner keeping the same angle of the block.IMG_8717Second, trim the newly added fabric to the edge of the original block.IMG_8718Third, you need to trim the edge of the block so that when you sew on the next part of the block it isn’t too thick.  Flip the 1/2″ strip of fabric back.IMG_8719Trim the excess off to just inside the 1/4 inch of the original block.IMG_8720Once all trimmed up, iron the piping back down.IMG_8721After putting on the piping I sewed the next section of the block on and I press it to create the least amount of fabric thickness.  **You will notice the clamshell already has piping in it–I used the sew and cut lines on the paper piecing papers to place the red stripes in it before sewing the clamshell and NY Beauty blocks together.***

First, press the back.

IMG_8725 Then, I press the front. IMG_8726I then placed the block in it’s space on the design board.  This will work to create a little visual interest.IMG_8710

A Month at Flathead Lake

I have had the best time this summer!  I was fortunate enough to work for the month of June for Judy Niemeyer. Here was my work space in Kalispell:


Here are a few (but not all) of my summer projects for Judy:

IMG_8641   IMG_8682   IMG_8764  IMG_8647IMG_8824   IMG_8826  IMG_8769  IMG_8639  IMG_8732

These were projects for myself:

IMG_8852   IMG_8737

The new Technique of the month. IMG_8854 

Here is a fun little gift (not a Judy pattern) I made for a new 8 year old friend! IMG_8791

I drove back to Alaska and, after a quick trip to Anchorage, I ran up to Fairbanks for a class and to visit with those people I love.  Here is my temporary work space in Fairbanks before my class starts:


Red and white challenge and beyond…

Which is sort of like to infinity and beyond! but more fun as it involves quilting. 

I have been working on my Red and White Challenge:


I like this but think that I will go for a whiter white and a redder red.  This will end up as a bed quilt for a new resident of the Care Center (or the Elder House as it’s now called!).


I also have been working on my Osprey’s Nest… I was worried about it but as it’s coming together I have decided I LOVE IT!


Now, I just have to FINISH IT!!

Bags and more BAGS

So, I have been working on bags for a few things–one type of bag to show off Judy Niemeyer’s Charm Elements for my favorite quilt shop, Compass Rose Quilting.  I bought the “Janet Tote” pattern from Sandy Lueth (Totes by Sandy).  I really liked this pattern!  Quick and easy to drop that sweet compass rose into!


The second bag I made this week was one for a friend who would be doing a little traveling this summer.  The is Aeroplane Bag by Sew Sweetness.  I had a tad bit of trouble with the zipper but that’s because of my skill set–not the directions!  All in all, I really like this pattern and have a couple more of these to make (one for me, one for my sister!).



Red and White Make It Challenge!

So this is going to be a new little fun Challenge for me…  It’s being put on by SewCalGal.  I’ve got about three or four quilt ideas running around in my head!  Thank goodness the timeline is March 24th through September 30th.  Now to start shopping for red and white fabric!

ImageI’m thinking about something like this:  IMG_7998I also have a pattern in mind that just came out (and is winging it’s way to me RIGHT NOW!)…