As my perennial beds slumber away under their warm thick quilt of snow, I am dreaming of the blossoms to come. Until then, I'll make my own blossoms in my studio. It's the next best thing!
I'm so happy today to be a "detour" on the Island Batik Getaway Blog Hop. If you're visiting here for the first time, as part of the hop, welcome! (I hope you'll linger a bit and have a look around.) If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read on. Island Batik is a manufacturer, importer and distributor of cotton and rayon batik fabrics and hand-printed cottons from Indonesia. (You can read more about the company here.) A number of very talented quilters act as ambassadors for Island Batik - several times a year they receive the new collections of IB fabrics to work with, and each month they show the projects they have created, on their blogs. Twice a year (January and August), there is a blog hop to showcase all these beautiful fabrics and the creations that have been made by the ambassadors. The Island Batik Getaway Blog Hop runs from January 7- February 2. You can read more about it here and see the list of all the participating ambassadors. Be sure to visit each one (yes you can still go back and see all those who have already posted in the first two weeks, it's now into week 3.) Best of all, there are some giveaways so be sure to leave comments to enter!
|This is the Blossom collection.|
|Figuring out my design... one at a time...|
The wheels were beginning to turn... Karen told me she was going to do something with the hexagon shape and that the collection was called Blossom. I quickly decided I too would do hexies, not with EPP, but the "modern hexagon" approach. (If that sounds like Greek to you, you can visit a previous post here for an explanation of modern hexagons and how they're done.) Karen is always on the ball, and had a good deal of her piecing done before Christmas so she sent me some scraps in early December. She did send me a few partial shots of her design/partly-put-together quilt which helped with those slowly turning wheels, but I didn't reveal to her what I was planning.
|Masking tape and a ruler's edge keep it all straight.|
Then Christmas consumed all my "free time" (Ha! What woman has free time in December?!) and I didn't get going on this until early January. Still with no concrete plan on paper, I set about making little 1/2" hexies. I made about 175, and then started playing with a design. At this point, Karen still had no idea what I was planning, other than using up her scraps. Once I had it pretty well laid out, I asked for more purples and the yellow for centres. Canada Post came through and I had her envelope in a few days (last week.) We do not live in the same province; we're only about 3 hours apart, but neither of us had time to simply "pop by." Finally she sent me a few quick shots of parts of her quilt and I revealed to her my rough design, laid out on my cutting board (photo above.) But she has not seen the end result- she will see the finished quilted miniature this morning for the first time. I can't wait for her response!
So... here it is. I'm calling it "Winter Blossom." It is 12.5" square.
Without a good straight-on shot of her quilt, I tried to do a representation of hers- not identical, as I did not receive scraps of all the fabrics, and had very limited amounts of most. I thought, when I saw her photos, that she had several blossoms "falling off the edge" so I did the same. Turns out I was wrong about hers, but although it caused me a little grief in the finishing, I'm glad I did it this way... adds a bit more interest I think.
Here are the details. The 166 hexies are 1/2" (measured on a straight side) and are 1" in diameter. The overall quilt size is 12.5" square. The hexie fabrics are from Island Batik's Blossom collection, the background fabric which I also used for the backing and the facing, is called Almond, from the Neutrals collection. It is quilted with 50 wt. Aurifil #3840 French Lilac. Love my Aurifil thread! ♥
|Whoops! I had already removed some of the tissue paper before taking this photo|
My spiral lines, quilted with the walking foot are 3/8" apart. I googled spiral images and found a clockwise Archimedean spiral which printed out to 1/2" spacing. I wanted 3/8" (the distance from the edge of my walking foot to my centred needle) so I printed it at 75% and it came out just perfect. Whew! I traced the first few rounds of the spiral on white tissue paper, pinned it onto the quilt and stitched through the tissue paper, then just continued keeping the edge of the walking foot along the previous stitching.
Spirals are not hard, but the beginning must be done slowly and carefully to keep the curve smooth. You may be able to see I used a shorter stitch length at the beginning of the spiral.
I chose to face rather than bind the piece. This was my first time doing a quilt facing! Of course the two "irregular sides" made me stop and think "how do I do this?" I made a prototype first to be sure what seemed so straightforward in my mind would actually work. (It did! :)) Nothing like giving yourself a little extra challenge when you're down to the wire! All stitching was done on my home machine, a Bernina 1260 Quilters Edition.
If you haven't already visited Karen's blog - you will want to see her full size quilt - you can find her here. A big THANK YOU to Karen for persuading me to join in the fun with this blog hop. Bouquets of blossoms to you, my dear! Of course I must say a thank you to Island Batik as well for their wonderful fabrics ♥ and to Aurifil for producing such fabulous thread. ♥
Thanks so much for stopping by today, I hope you have enjoyed reading about my
Now you must continue hopping along to the next blog in line and that's Leanne at Devoted Quilter.
She also used the Blossom collection. If you wish to "hop backwards" to visit other ambassadors' Blog Hop posts, you can find the complete list with links here. Have fun!
I am also linking to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.
"The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination."
~ Terri Guillemets