As you may have heard, this month’s Island Batik Challenge for the ambassadors is called Vintage Reimagined. Our charge was to take something from the past and give it a personal touch that is yours. Inspiration can come from anywhere!
The creative process:
I began to look through the vast world of the internet. Checkerboard quilts caught my eye, especially the one above. I worked at it for awhile using the check it out fabric I had and some foundations fabrics from Island Batik. (The fabric, batting and thread was given to me by Island Batik). However, the blocks are about 1/2″ square and that made for a teeny tiny quilt. We were to do something in the 36″ square or larger range. Uh oh. Off to the drawing board again….but that meant more internet hunting.
Something about this made me smile. I think it was the cheddar orange. I looked into it further and found this explanation of the color:
Cheddar Orange, Antimony, or Chrome Orange:
Chrome orange, or antimony, was commonly used in appliqué, especially in Pennsylvania, from about 1860 to 1880. Thus, this dye can help to both identify both the date and location in which a quilt was made. This dye was often made in the home from store-bought powder, however, the high lead content of the dye made it (in retrospect) a dangerous substance with which to work. While the color was called antimony or chrome orange in the nineteenth century, historians and collectors often call the color ‘cheddar’ today.http://www.quiltindex.org/wiki/index.php/Fabric_Dating_References
I kept looking for more information but couldn’t find any on this quilt – just that it was for sale on Ebay at some point. I did find these though if you really like Cheddar Orange! Perfect for Spring….
These colors became my choices for my version as I had no cheddar orange check but I had enough pink check and bubblegum pink (I thought – more later on that fiasco) to make it work.
- COUNT your pieces – really! Usually, I am pretty good at math, but something strange is happening. I make these rookie mistakes and then I wind up short on fabric – nearly every other Island Batik project this happens. I was thinking 80 pieces for the star points – wrong. I was using the stitch/flip method that meant no cutting in half, but 160 squares.
- Don’t trim up your fabric scraps early! I may have had enough to compensate for 2, but I thought I had this in the bag….NOPE. I needed more fabric.
- I ordered some from Four Pines Quilting . They carry Island Batik Foundations and are in Calremont, New Hampshire. I called to be sure they had it (having been burnt recently by another company), ordered it and I received it promptly. Highly recommended by yours truly.
- Pay attention to your sewing! I was putting up the piece to check on my sewing and low and behold an end lattice piece (only 1 set of points) was in the center of the quilt. I would have had a lot of unsewing, and while I like spending time with Jack (the seam ripper), I went for the surgical excision of the piece and replaced it. (That Percy is a mini quilt you can see here)
I had fun using my Accuquilt* die. I feel like I want to design all my quilts around this now – it is so easy. I used it to cut the strips for the 2 1/2″ squares and then subcut the strips into squares by changing the orientation of the strip. I also am using it to cut binding ALL THE TIME. It is a time save, and wastes so little fabric. I am in love with this Go Cutter*. My friend Rose at SomethingRoseMade is always talking up her die cutter; I know why.
I use my camera a lot when making decisions on borders and bindings. Here were my 3 choices – the solid pink, the checked pink and the grey. I liked the punch the checked fabric gave the quilt so it won!
I wanted something simple but elegant. I need to have more time in the month to play with quilting – this wasn’t the month. I first secured some of the major lines of the quilt with Aurifil “Silver Fox #4670″, a beautiful subtle variegated grey for the back and”Grey #2605” for the top. For quilting I turned to the bright pink “Medium Orchid #2479”. It was stunning! And, just to keep it all in the family, I am stilling using a lovely cone of “2024 White”. Aurifil is a generous sponsor of the Island Batik Ambassadors.
I also used my Hobbs Cotton Batting* for this project, again another wonderful sponsor of the Island Batik Ambassador program.
I love the end result of this vintage reimagined quilt. I think it has a modern feel – more open space and modern bright colors. I felt like this older quilt was too busy, so that the modern sensibility made so much more sense. This was also one of my quarterly goals (here), so I am pleased that it is done on time and early!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!