Friday, January 25, 2019

Oh! The Places You'll Go! Finish!

My first finish for 2019 is a wrap! This is also a goal on my Q1FAL. My list is here.
It's not the greatest of photos, but let's just say my trusty quilt-holder was a little exasperated that a quilt put us behind schedule...
This is the quilt I made as my final challenge for being a 2018 Island Batik Ambassador, a position that has really helped me grow as a designer. I am so grateful for being accepted as an ambassador, I'm honoured to have been able to showcase these rich beautiful fabrics, I'm happy to have made new friends, and excited to have been offered new opportunities. Most of all, I am still in awe of receiving such beautiful fabrics from Island Batik, gorgeous threads from Aurifil, and wonderful batting from Hobbs Batting. All shine in this quilt. I'm also super-excited to start my second year as an ambassador in February!
The line I worked with is called Crystal Ball.
If soft mauves and a couple of more saturated ones, blues and turquoises, with a little green and pink thrown in, excite you, this collection will satisfy! You may like to read my blog hop post about the designing and making of the quilt top. There you will find a few giveaways I am hosting, as well as a list of all the participants in the month-long hop where there are tons more giveaways, and be sure to go to Island Batik's blog to enter their huge giveaway, two packs of fat quarters up for grabs! I will wait...

Okay, glad to have you back.
I'd honestly told myself, "Time is of the essence, Sandra, so you are doing a fast, all-over meander, or wavy organic lines quilting job on this one."
The quilt said otherwise...
And who was I to argue? I needed to do justice to these incredible fabrics. That's one of my favourite fillers, is this 5-petal flower, sometimes echoed, sometimes not, connected by loops.

Another in-progress shot. Another couple of fillers.

Above is the 6" house block. I gave it two windows, some siding, dot to dot on the roof, wavy lines on the door. Why does one not notice threads until posting the pictures into a blog post?👿

The handles got straight lines and the wheels got swirls, something I knew I would do from the get-go. A simple jigsaw-style meander wove through the background. I was going to meander or wavy lines the entire background...but each suitcase wanted to be unique, so they each got their own filler.
I love that signature motif of Angela Walters' in this blue suitcase. Straight lines on either side of big beads went in the mottled mauve fabric and a dot to dot design in the rich turquoise one.

I used a few different coloured threads.
The big cone of white Aurifil was for piecing and mostly in the cream background, although I used the mint Aurifil in some. I also used the white in some of the suitcases. Each 6" block was custom-quilted, and each suitcase body has a different filler. Here you can see I used the fabric motifs to inspire the quilting motifs, something I've loved to do since I started machine-quilting. All the Aurifil except the 28-wt turquoise one was supplied by Aurifil. The one in the middle is a 30-wt Sulky Blendables.

The 100% wool batting from Hobbs is a dream to quilt, a dream to show off the texture, and a dream to drape on your body.
The sun was at a pretty good angle, though it could have been higher, but that was my fault, just could not get the binding done about an hour earlier. Here you can see a few motifs, two different style of feathers (obvi I would) in the lower right and upper left suitcases; do you notice my name in that same suitcase?! I intend to write some lines from a favourite book for the book 6" square. Ribbon candy in the green tall suitcase, and a motif of Christina Cameli's (finishing writing this post on vacation, so doing it from memory, which failed there!) in the marble blue/purple suitcase. I like the way the arrow 6" square quilting turned out!

I love the look of that palm tree all quilted up! Another motif of Christina Cameli's is on either side of that 'pocket', and Kathleen Riggins' echoed feathers run up the long sides. Boy did I have to keep reminding myself NOT to quilt the real pocket you see in the top middle!

Here's the label:

And here's the entire label!!! This is me jumping up and down squealing at the idea that was born of cutting one too many parts for suitcase handles!

Tee-hee! So the label is the 6" 'pocket' on yet another full-size suitcase!

I didn't have quite enough of the woodgrain wheat-coloured batik left, so I added in this fabulous Art Gallery one I got on sale from Fat Quarter Shop (no affiliation) a few years ago.
Here's the entire back:
Keep in mind this quilt is literally minutes old, out from under the needle of my Bernina as I madly stitched down the binding. You see, we were leaving on our actual IRL getaway early early the next morning, and had to take care of dropping animals off at various locations the afternoon prior. I intend to block it once I'm back home.

It all works I think! That wheat-coloured batik now reminds me of sand, and the fabulous flowers in the AGF fabric remind me of the glory I've been seeing and sniffing here in Mérida and Progreso, Mexico.
Mexican Plumeria


Here's one last shot of the quilt the day before we left home. From FaceTime today with Dayna, I see we've had a decent snowfall, and I'm probably going to be wrapping this quilt around me all day once I'm home in a couple of days as I kind of think I'll be wanting extra warmth!

People have asked will there be a pattern? The answer is a resounding yes! I'd hoped to have it ready to release with this post, but it's not quite there, although in some down time in the evenings I've been able to work on it. It should be good to go shortly though, and I will let you know where you can buy it, and of course, it will be on sale when it first comes out!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: original design available in my Etsy shop
Size: 69 X 84"
Fabric: Island Batik Crystal Ball
Backing: Island Batik basic and AGF (details to be updated)
Batting: Hobbs 100% wool
Quilted: on Avril my Avanté; 206 960 stitches
Threads: pieced on my Bernina with Aurifil; quilted with Aurifil 50 wt and 28 wt, and Sulky Blendables 30 wt

Linking up:
Sew Fresh Quilts
Quilt Fabrication
My Quilt Infatuation
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
TGIFF at Alycia Quilts
The Madd Quilter
Free Motion by the River
Dizzy Quilts for the Q1 FAL

Linky tomorrow!
I've been seeing some squirrel-chasing going on on Instagram this past month. If you've had a quilt pattern attack grip you so tight that you had to just Drop Everything And Make it! aka a DrEAMi! then I hope you'll link up a blog or Instagram post confessing your furry ways, and show us what you made. Remember this isn't just starting a project; it's beginning and ending one in a frenzy of focussed activity to get it done and get it done now, never mind the other projects/deadlines/meals/housework, ha!


  1. Of course, you couldn't do simple quilting LOL You made great decisions, and it looks amazing.

  2. Stunning, Sandra! Of course this quilt deserved more than just something simple for the quilting. I'm glad you listened to the quilt and were able to get it done before your big getaway.

  3. Don't you love it when your work talks to you and tells you what it wants you to do!
    By the way, the patterns of the quiltling show up beautifully in these photos.

  4. What great quilting. You did it on a Bernina! not your longarm? I love what you did and it reminds me to get back to AW's classes. I really love it and am glad you are on your own getaway! She is a beauty - and it seems it should have gone with you but you will probably need in more in CA than in MX.

  5. All that glorious quilting gives this great quilt even more personality. LOVE IT!

  6. This quilt is amazing, Sandra! I'm really enjoying all of your photos of your vacation on Instagram, too. Have fun! You deserve it.

  7. This quilt is amazing. I love the fabrics, design and the quilting on it. The colors of "Crystal Ball" are wonderful. The blues and purples are so pretty together. I see a nice bit of what I call "Caribbean Blue" - which is perfect for your "Mexico Getaway."

    I hope your time in Merida and Progreso was amazing.

  8. Its a perfectly timed quilt! Love that you finished it just as you were escaping!!! Enjoy your vacation!

  9. So how long does it take you to quilt something like this? I always wind up resorting to something fairly simple because of the time it takes to individually quilt blocks in different motifs. It's a very creative project and the colors are wonderful. I need to use more of my large batik stash.

  10. what a novel idea for a quilt! love your interesting back so much!

  11. The quilting on that quilt is absolutely amazing! What a terrific job you've done, and to have done it under the gun... Amazing. It makes the quilt, which was terrific as a flimsy. Congratulations!

  12. This is such a great quilt on all levels. Amazing fabrics, design, quilting, label, everything.
    Hope you had a great time away, refreshed for another huge year! :)

  13. You totally out did yourself again! All that glorious texture! Those fabrics are to die for and where perfect for this project. I'm glad to hear you are releasing a pattern for this one. I think it will do extremely well! Have fun snuggling under this quilt...I'm pretty sure you will need it...brrrrr.

  14. Fabulous quilting, Sandra! Great job listening to your quilt!

  15. Beautiful quilt design Sandra, and so appropriate as you set off on your trip. The quilting is inspirational as always, I love all the intricate detail you have included. You have had some fun as an Island Batik Ambassador over the last year or so. And I love your heading

  16. Your quilting is always gorgeous but I really love the design idea on this.

  17. Beautiful quilt Sandra and as always.....your quilting is outstanding! Thanks so much for sharing!

  18. Lovely design, Sandra, and the incredibly beautiful! I am so glad you listened to your quilt.


  19. Sandra! Your quilt ended up being so adorable. Look at that quilting. You devised the perfect name for your quilt.

  20. Beautiful fabrics and quilting - well done!

  21. Of course you have to listen to the quilt when it tells you what kind of quilting it wants! Especially if your quilt is telling you it wants gorgeousness like that! I giggled about you reminding yourself not to quilt the real pocket as that is exactly something I could see myself doing, lol.