This is one of my favorite but also one of the most nerve wracking parts of being an Island Batik Ambassador. Today, I get to show you what I created with the new collection, Enchanted Forest which is available in stores right now! I hope you enjoy the story of Morning Glory Mosaic!
The Beat the Heat Blog Hop is happening this month AND Island Batik is giving away prizes all month as are many of the ambassadors. So stick with us, read our blogs, enter our giveaways and you too may get to play with a new collection of fabrics. My giveaway will be at the bottom of the blog – open until the end of the month! As for the official part, the fabrics, thread, and batting were given to me by Island Batik and their industry partners.
When I saw these gorgeous fabrics, I thought oh – this makes me so happy. My cottage in Maine is green with purple accents. My garden has a lot of purple – asitble, butterfly bush, salvia, Russian sage and Joe Pye Weed. In my mind I had this image of lavender fields in France and a way to portray them….well that didn’t happen.
But then, I was playing in Electric Quilt 8*. I ran into this picture of a morning glory (from EQ8) and started playing with special effects. I came up with this mosaic and had to make it. I consulted with Kari Schell and others in the Tech Know Quilter’s group, where I am learning about EQ8. I would have to draw each patch (OMG) and go on from there. Morning Glory Mosaic is her name and I am in love with this fabric and quilt!
So, I decided to go with proof of concept and start. I decided to make a 1/4 of the circle. Now, this was no small feat. 20 pieces of fabric, attach 6″ x 42″ pieces of HeatNBond Lite*, cut into a bazillion rectangles ( 2 7/8″ by 3″). That picture is just the purple stack – the green hadn’t been cut. I then laid them out and decided I could do this. I knew I had enough material to go with something else if it failed. It looked like it would work.
Yes, I was nervous, so I took it to a photo editing software and made a collage of 4 quarters to see what it looked like. I also did a test of quilting it on the frame as I realized going around all these pieces on a domestic machine then quilting would be crazy. The picture on the right is 1/2 half the quilt. I spaced the rows with a small ruler, about 1/4″. Each section was made on top of a prior section to keep things lined up – and it worked.
Off to the quilt machine…. The SS Tabitha, my Handiquilter Sweet Sixteen on a Little Foot frame with Little Buddy, worked hard. We quilted together, 1/2 the quilt then the other half – that way I would not have to baste (the little foot frame is a hoop), as it would be small enough to go on the LittleBuddy frame – 50″ quilting space!! Now, I had to give up a little precision….there was a trip to MN and I could not see using a ruler to go around each piece. I got this done before our trip, knowing I had time to finish upon my return.
I took very few stitches out and am anxious to wash it as I think it will be so much happier – or I will – as I won’t notice my weebly-woobly stitches. On the other hand, I like the irregular look like stone, and it is a mosaic, so I think it is just fine.
Yup, the struggle wasn’t over. I had two perfectly lovely pieces and now to finish.
I have done some QAYG (quilt as you go) but never of this size. I connected the two halves sewing the front pieces, one half of the batting and one back side together. I trimmed the batting from the “unattached side” and then pinned down the seam. I only had a 1/4″ to turn under, so that’s what I did! I hand sewed the backside down. The ironing board was extremely useful in this endeavor.
For threads, I pieced with my favorite Aurifil white # 50 wt. thread. For quilting, I used Superior Threads King Tut Nefertiti (#901) 100%Cotton and a Madeira AeroQuilt 40wt (#8990) 100% Poly that is finished like cotton. Both were terrific in the HQ Simply Sixteen. I loved this 80/20 Belaced Cotton Batting. It really has a lovely loft to it when quilted. Both the Aurifil thread and Hobbs Batting were given to me as part of the ambassador program – thank you!
The back is pieced. I love seeing the quilting definition on the back. It has to be my favorite thing about quilting on th SS Tabitha – we are learning and having fun. It is impossible to hold a quilt this size – but my husband does a good job. However, I do keep thinking I need to have him make me a quilt holder like Yvonne did (here).
It was a gorgeous day so we went to one our favorite outcroppings of rock on the island! Many sunbathers couldn’t figure out what were doing but I loved it. The sky was so clear, and the air so crisp – a perfect day for Morning Glory Mosaic to make an appearance.
Here she is on my outside porch.
Here’s the link to all the Island Ambassadors blogging this month. Do check out Pamela’s version in the same fabric line! I will put a page on my Island Batik tab with the links and update them as the links become live so you can get in on all the goodies (by Saturday that will be there and updated as the weeks go on).
I have 2 sets of 2 1/2″ strips from the Enchanted Forest fabric line that I cut with my Accuquilt Go Cutter*! I cut over 80 strips in less than a half hour – sweet.
Morning Glory Mosaic: 81″ x 83″
Fabrics: Enchanted Forest Fabric line & Almond from Island Batik
Batting: Hobbs 80/20 Bleached Cotton Batting
Piecing Thread: Aurifil thread #50 wt white
Quilting Threads: Superior Thread King Tut Nefertiti #901, Madeira AeroQuilt Sour Apple #8990
Pieced and Quilted by Kathleen Scargle McCormick