Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Friday 6 July 2018

Full Of Surprises

The Island Batik Ambassador challenge for July is to use blocks that create an unexpected design - i.e., a secondary surprise - when placed side by side.  Imagine my surprise when fiddling around with my blocks to find not just a secondary but also a tertiary (third) design emerging.

I started out sketching what I knew as an "orange peel" block, only to discover that when there are four peels in a single block, EQ8 calls it Joseph's Coat. Regardless of the name, it's a great block, and one that provided great structure and movement to this very simple quilt.  This is Joseph's Coat:

 I placed it next to a plain block.
I love the rather arabesque shape it gifted to the plain block.
Pretty...but with a little tweaking of colours, this emerged.  The orange peels no longer looked like flower petals, they were now more of a curvy chain, dancing between the coloured blocks.
With a little more colour play, immediately, the tertiary design of small border stars emerged.  
I love it!
Now to find fabrics in my stash that would work in this quilt... Island Batik very generously provided a good amount of fabric in the first ambassador box which arrived in February.  I confess, I have used nearly everything in that box! It's a very good thing that a second box is on its way here now. I chose "milkshake" from the "Foundations" line for the peels;  I started to cut the pieces out with a seam allowance to piece my blocks with curved seams, only to realize I would not have enough fabric.  Plan B was to use raw edge appliqu√© instead, which meant I did  not have to have a seam allowance.  Gaining that extra 1/2" per peel was just enough for me to cut enough shapes (88 peels) for a 42" square quilt.  Whew!
The pieces were fused in place, and blanket stitched using Aurifil 2021, Natural White. My favourite Hobbs Tuscany wool batting was used for the fill, and a plain piece of robin's egg blue for the back.
I had a stencil from Mrs Pugsley's Emporium that was perfect, and it fit the plain spaces to a T when placed on point.
My Bohin marker is quickly becoming my go-to marker. Its fine lead is great for a stencil, the lines show up clearly, and it's easy to remove afterwards.  

One of the most enjoyable parts of this project was choosing which threads to use.  I admit to a rather extensive Aurifil stash, and it was great fun mixing and matching the colours. Variegated threads work particularly well with batiks, IMHO.

I had just enough pale mauve dot to bind the 42" square quilt.
It looks a bit dreamy;  I think this would be spectacular in a bed-sized quilt.  I will work away at sewing it again a couple of times to tweak the design before I release a pattern. Please check back later.
 It looks very summery on a table. (Thank you for the flowers, Taylor :))

Thank you to Island Batik, Hobbs Bonded Fibres, and Aurifil thread for supplying the materials used in this full-of-surprises project.


  1. Love it! That would make a great bed-sized quilt, Karen.

  2. I love those fabrics. They look so summery.

  3. Karen, it's beautiful! I too love it! Great choice for the secondary design!

  4. Doesn't this just put a happy smile on your face Karen? It does mine. Whee, love it!

  5. It is very beautiful with all those summery colors, love it!

  6. Beautiful, and love those colours together.

  7. Another WOW!! Absolutely stunning - well done!!

  8. So pretty, and it looks great on your table.