Most of the quilt world is off to Spring Quilt Market in Kansas City this weekend. I am not there, but I am thrilled to be represented by one of my quilts in the Island Batik booth! Designing quilts for the new lines of Island Batik fabrics is not one of the requirements of being an Island Batik Ambassador, it's a separate pursuit. It's awfully hard not to be inspired by the gorgeous fabric scans of these hand-stamped fabrics from Bali when they arrive (I want to sew them all!!). I totally fell in love with this one, designed by Kathy Engle, called "Black Pearl".
When I plugged the scans into EQ8, I played around with blocks that would show large pieces of these gorgeous batiks. I settled on this block which is one of my favourites, decided on my layout, and sent off the proposal. That was last August. The proposal was approved, the fabric was shipped from headquarters in California, and it arrived to me here in Nova Scotia in late October.
October is always a time-crunch month for me because of the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, where I was teaching two workshops and vending at a market. I also had an Ambassador challenge quilt to make. As always, organization is the key, and before the fabric arrived, I contacted Denise White of West Branch Quilt Studio to see if she was on board to longarm this queen-sized quilt for me. She was as excited to quilt it as I was to sew it! I did a mock-up of the tessellating clamshell design in scrap fabric and mailed it off to her, so she would know what was coming and we could hit the ground running. She came up with all kinds of quilting ideas, and we both agreed on a kind of feathery shell she sketched out. I pieced the quilt and couriered it to her (she lives a couple of hours away.)
Her design fit the space perfectly. Denise quilted with Aurifil 2600 Dove Grey in a 40 weight, used in both top and bobbin. I really admire Denise's quilting, her confidence, and her passion for her art. Naturally, with a layer of Hobbs Tuscany wool batting inside, the quilting plumped up nicely.
Here's the back of the quilt; the fabric is mostly plain grey dots but I added a row of blocks from the front down one side.
Island Batik has the very talented photographer Jerry Khiev on staff who clearly had no problem photographing the quilt for the current catalogue. You can see "Pearls" on page 92. Jerry graciously shares his pictures with the designers, so with his permission this one graces the front cover of my pattern.
|Photo credit: Jerry Khiev of Island Batik|
For shop owner, the pattern is being distributed by Island Batik, or you can contact me directly to order wholesale. Fabrics from the Black Pearl collection, along with many more, are being shown at Market this weekend, and can be ordered by shops. I encourage you to please ask your local quilt shop to carry this beautiful collection!
As you can see, there were lots of hands involved in making this project happen. I'd like to thank Island Batik for supplying the fabric, Denise White for her quilting, hubby Jamie for help with my photo shoots, Cheryl Coville for editing my pattern, and Jerry Khiev for a great photo.