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Tuesday 14 May 2019

The Apple Of My Eye

May's Island Batik Ambassador challenge is "Make It Modern".  Our industry sponsors are each singled out for one of our challenges, and this month it is Hobbs Batting.  (Last month was Accuquilt, and July is Aurifil!)  Our parameters include: "the use of...graphic areas of solid colour ...minimalism...and expansive negative space". Clearly, it also needs to include some Hobbs batting! :)
In flipping through some of my pictures for inspiration, I came across this photo taken a few years back, which I really like. It's a Royal Gala apple, with symmetrical stripes around the fruit, which showed nicely against the white background. This could be fun to make in fabric!
I decided to start with the background - a solid white Island Batik- and quilt that first.  I've never done a quilt this way before, but part of the "modern" approach is one of improvisation and deviating from the norm a bit.  Our quilt was to be crib sized.
I've been saving this special cream-of-the-crop Tuscany silk blend batting, which Hobbs sent in our first Ambassador box, for a special occasion.  I confess to being a bit of a batting snob, because a good quality batting can make a huge difference in your quilt.  This silk batting is one of my favourites...along with Tuscany wool.
I free motion quilted simple wavy lines running top to bottom on my quilt using 4 different weights of Aurifil: 80, 50, 28, and 12. Using the different thicknesses of thread creates great texture.
Once it was all quilted, it was time to add some applique.  I pulled five reds from my stash of Island Batik.
Improv curves are such fun to sew;  each piece of patchwork is unique. (I will trim off those weird shapes on the right hand side when I add the next strip; this was leftover from another project.)  My stripes for the apple will be the same plain white used in the background.
Once I got the reds pieced, I moved on to a couple of greens, for a leaf.

  I cut the whole thing into a giant apple shape, and turned under the edges.  I then used this piece as a pattern to cut a layer of Hobbs wool batting, which will add a bit of loft to make the apple stand out from the background(trapunto).
I auditioned the placement on the quilted background, and decided it needed to be nearer the bottom, rather than centred.

The appliqués were stitched in place using matching Aurifil 80 weight.  I love this thread!
You have to look really closely to see the stitches.
Last year in one of our Ambassador boxes, Aurifil sent a spool of the same colour green in all the different weights. I've gotten a lot of use out of this collection.  Again, it was the 80 weight I chose to use for applying the leaf.
With 28 weight thread, I stitched in the ditch along the curved seams through both layers of batting.  

 Hard to tell from the picture, but the apple is really quite plump.
Our apple tree would have been the perfect spot to shoot this, but sadly, it is probably a month off blooming!! You can see I added a snazzy green binding, using one of the fabrics in the leaf.

The quilt ended up at 40" x 42" which is a generous size for a crib quilt for the apple of someone's eye.

Thank you to Island Batik, Hobbs Batting, and Aurifil thread for supplying the beautiful products used in this project, and for creating a truly fun challenge.


  1. Very cute quilt. The technique you used is very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Your apple quilt is gorgeous! Great idea to use trapunto.

  3. I am almost speechless!!! This is absolutely wonderful! Congratulations on the Perfect Baby Quilt -- indeed, it is the Apple of My Eye!
    Jeanne Kaye

  4. WOW!!! This is so innovative, very modern, and that apple, so real, puffed up to show those lines. LOVE it all.

  5. I've never been much of a fan of 'modern', but you may just have changed my mind. I. Love. It!

  6. How fun is that......I love your apple, Karen! Well done on 'modern'. We get Royal Gala apples here too, in fact I need to buy more today - thanks for the reminder.

  7. Love it! Makes me want to go eat an apple LOL

  8. Great finish. Interesting that you quilted the background first, but it has a great effect. Well done.

  9. What an adorable quilt, just love it

  10. I love this!! 💕 It is so sweet and so much fun. I really need to go back to my inspiration photos and do this. Thanks for the nudge. I am thinking now of pulling my batik reds (what I got all the thread for from Aurifil) and seeing if something inspires me for July???