The Island Batik Getaway Blog Hop has been fabulous and now it is my turn!! The fabric collection Island Batik gave me to work with is called Midsummer Night by Kari Nichols. It is gorgeous with its dragonflies, bears, moose, mountains, and leaves – all speak summer to me. The colors are the height of summer in New England, blues, greens, and purples. My getaway was to my island in Maine, where the stars are bright, the greens are lush and the purple flowers are abundant in our short but wonderful season.
Our charge is to make a quilt that displays or uses all of the fabrics! One of the challenges when showing all the fabrics in a large quilt is working with what you are given. My collection had 20 fabrics, with about 15″ of useable yardage. We cut some off earlier in the year for a rep sample when they are selling the fabric, so we no longer had a full half yard. I used up nearly every bit of it on my quilt.
I knew I wanted to show the fabrics that had more of what I call the features: the dragonflies, the animals and the beautiful leaves. I used Electric Quilt 8 for my design because with the fabrics loaded into the program, design decisions could be made without cutting up precious fabric. I liked the sawtooth star with the on point square. Adding a half square triangle in the corner of the star made a nice pattern with the pin point square.
First up, was making the stars. I started with the half square triangles and then moved on to the flying geese. I used the 4-in-1 flying geese method, watching closely to make sure each piece was accurate. I trim with my Wing Clipper, it makes the process so much faster.
As I began to work on the diamond block, I found I need to adjust my colors a little more, I didn’t quite have enough of the mottled opal, so I used the other light that was shipped with the group. Custard has a similar twiggy print as the dark purple in the star above.
I worked on this quilt during December and January and found that it really did bring me back to summer – the dragonflies buzz us all the time on our walks around the island in Maine. The sky shines with gorgeous stars at night; contrasting with the strong bright blues you see most days. The stars really were perfect, my summer getaway has the clearest skies at night and it seems like stars go on forever in that sky.
When it came to the borders, I didn’t really have enough to make a wide border. As I looked at the pattern, I really wanted to extend the squares into the border and I had just enough fabric to do that! Phew! I hemmed and hawed but finally the borders were constructed with another one of the twiggy prints, that I hadn’t used in other parts of the quilt. Hobbs Batting, another one of our partners in the ambassador program, supplied this lovely batting – one of the 80/20 cotton/poly heirloom batts.
For quilting, first was in the ditch in the big horizontal and vertical lines to stabilize the quilt. My Bernina 440QE was the machine that did the honors. This quilt was a touch bigger than what I usually do on my machine, but I managed to get it all done. I did ruler work in the stars; which made trails that criss crossed the quilt. I thought of the many paths that we cross as summer, the different paths we take and the stars ever accompanying us on our journeys. The feature fabrics were done in a traditional stencil that was “pounced*” onto the fabric and free motion quilted. The binding, a fabric called “mini sprigs desert”, was put on by machine and used the last of the 20 fabrics. I love the Aurifil threads that I worked with – colors #5011 rope beige, #2562 lilac and primarily used #1310 medium blue grey. I wouldn’t have that that blue grey would have been my primary quilting thread but it really worked nicely with most everything.
For the backing, I used leftover strips of the fabric. I had a little extra of another green not in the collection (on the left and right side) to give me some extra width. I love that you get to see some bigger pieces of the feature fabrics on the back too!
The dragonflies have become a sign of summer in full bloom on the island in Maine. I think Dragonfly Island is a terrific way to pay homage to Midsummer Nights by Kari Nichols.
There are two giveaways! One from Island Batik and one from me. I will send the luck winner the leftover scraps from this project. There is still about 2 yards of fabric and may through in one or two of the coordinates that I have!
Connie Kaufman also had my fabric collection. See what she did at her blog: Kauffman Designs. There are a few more ambassador projects left, be sure to visit them:
Friday, February 1- Candy Cane Lane and Icicle
Terri Vanden Bosch Icicle – Meanderings along Lizard Creek
Anne Wiens- Icicle – Sweetgrass Creative Designs
Mania Hatziioannidi Candy Cane Lane- Mania For Quilts
Barbara Gaddy – Candy Cane Lane –Bejeweled Quilts by Barb
Getaway Giveawaysa Rafflecopter giveaway