Friday, July 31, 2020

Antarctic Tiles - AccuQuilt Challenge for Island Batik

Squeaking in under the wire with my July challenge for Island Batik. Foof! This has been a crazy busy month, with four quilt finishes, three of them big ones, and three begun and finished within the month. Oh and let's not forget the three patterns I released this month (wow!) in my Etsy shop
So this challenge was quite unique. We were given the AccuQuilt GO! Me cutter with two dies. It was not for us to keep, however. We were to make a quilt using only the two dies that come with the GO! Me, and make a small quilt. Then we would give the quilt to someone who is new, or fairly new to quilting, along with the cutter and dies! Merry Christmas indeed!

I have several quilter/yogi friends. It's really quite marvelous how many I've found through teaching yoga. Some are very experienced, and some are fairly new to it. I chose my friend Nancy. She is a teacher too. Like me, she recently retired, and, like me, she has a deep love of trees and nature. She is a creative soul. I thought she would enjoy using this cutter to go a little deeper into quilting. 
Ready to take to Nancy's house

All of the fabrics, thread, batting and needles were supplied by Island BatikAurifilHobbs Batting, and Schmetz Needles. As you read, AccuQuilt supplied the cutter and dies.

This little cutter is so sweet and portable! Nancy got into quilting when she wanted to finish an old quilt top she found in her mother's cedar chest, and needed help finishing it. She would meet with another quilter in town at our library to stitch together and so that she could learn how to quilt. Nancy invited me to go to the library and sew with them, which I did. It's a small but lovely group. We were getting together just once a month. I envision Nancy bringing this cutter once we are able to do these kind of activities agian. It's a pretty sweet little cutter:

GO! Me Fabric Cutter Starter Set promotional copy

  • Ultraportable - allows quilters to take the GO! Me with them anywhere

  • New quilter gains confidence in their art form faster

  • Elevates workmanship of the quilter

  • Same cutting performance as the GO! - Fast, Accurate, Easy and Safe

  • Includes two GO! Dies, cutting mat and pattern book

  • A great gift for any quilter

I knew I wanted to use Glacier View. I mean Christmas for me in the Northern Hemisphere means snow and ice, so this one was perfect. It works for the deep Southern Hemisphere too with the penguins. 

I spent a lot of time playing around with various designs using quarter square triangles and half square triangles. I almost made one of the free patterns on AccuQuilt's website. Did you know they have free patterns? I ended up playing around in EQ8, and ended up with a 9-block layout of this star, coloured in with the fabrics I intended to use. I love this green, Parakeet, which is a little more teal than shown below, but this was pretty close. I 'saw' a kind of overall diamond shape if I fussy-coloured in some of the patches. I liked the effect!

However, the solid in my box, Lime Green (which to me seems more of a yellow-green) kept calling me, and so I went with it. It's so lovely with a click of the mousepad to recolour a design!

I started cutting, as you saw on Instagram, and piecing, and in no time had the patches on my design wall. I have always always used Schmetz needles, and always used Microtex ones for batiks. I am in love with these Chrome professional grade ones we got in our box!

Somewhere along the way of cutting and placing on the design wall, I realized I was not going to have enough of the Berries chop for all the inner white areas. I'd already cut some of my neutral yardage for the lime-framed stars. It's a great one if you're ever looking for a light batik, Egg White. Anyhow, there wasn't another in the fat quarter stack that was similar in value to Berries. Well, there were the penguins, but I didn't want to chop them up...

Inspiration hit, also as you saw on Instagram, when I thought what if I fussy cut them and made them the background of the central star? That would give me enough Berries for the navy-framed stars!
I am always amazed at how much shrinkage there is from layout on design wall to sewn blocks. Those observant types will note there is a fifth fussy cut penguin triangle. I oriented my 'template' (a yellow-green die-cut triangle!) incorrectly. Not wanting to waste it, I put it in the top right corner.😇 I like that little surprise.

Flimsy complete!

You may also notice there are two medium blues. Didn't have enough of one fat quarter, so luckily there were a couple that read the same in value. These challenges definitely are challenges!

So I started to make the backing, and when I laid down the flimsy, it just seemed unfinished. I badly wanted to add borders and make it a bit bigger, but didn't think fat quarters would be best for borders, as I'd have to piece every one. Then I thought, ooh! I could put two HSTs on point to make a square and that would finish the diamond design! It seemed like it needed that final full stop.
Laid out some blue 2.5" squares to see the effect. Yes!

So a little surgical removal and new implants happened, lol, not squares, but triangles. I was allowed to use my 2.5" strip cutter in the quilt, but making the double-HST squares didn't work out to that size, so triangles it was.
It took an hour to do those four! Well worth it though. Constructed the back, again a puzzle because of only working with fat quarters, but I love how it turned out. Started quilting, because I'd known how I'd quilt it once I decided to input those navy triangles.

Lines emphasized the suggested diamond, with ditch-stitching the navy star points, followed up with continuous curve in the centre penguin star block.
I used this lovely new in my latest box blue Aurifil to piece and to quilt this quilt.

Ta-da! An overall paisley design went in the four corners, and I love the effect where the lines crisscross, something I was going for and it worked out like I'd hoped!

Oh, the binding. It's one of my 5" stash builder strips in this latest box. I thought the pops of yellow and orange were perfect for this quilt.

Here is the back I mentioned making:
Nancy lives on an acreage that reminds me a lot of the one we lived on in Alberta. The forest is comprised of completely different types of trees though, and there are no moose here in southern Ontario as there are in Alberta, seen many a time on our acreage there. However, I thought the moose worked, a nod to my home province, and better not to chop them up, right? You can see I remembered both labels!

After supper I got a good shot to show the texture, and how the blue Aurifil sinks perfectly into the quilt.

Front and back and binding. All work so well! Not working is the poor dried out grass....
Do you spy my initials? They're pretty well-hidden amongst the paisleys.

I texted Nancy but go no response, but that isn't unusual. She could be outside and not have her phone on her. So off I went. Well, she wasn't home. No.... I wandered around a bit, in love with her acreage, pond, fountain, pool, forest, ahhh. Still no Nancy, nor her husband. So I decided I would set the gifts on her patio table set by her pool and let her know via text, and we'd FaceTime once she was home. 
Magical setting no? To the left is a pond with the most gorgeous vibrant lilypads in bloom, arrowhead ferns, singing adorable frogs, fish...idyllic indeed.

I turned onto the main road from her road, and a small dark pickup pulling out to pass a small white car caught my eye as I pulled onto the road. They drive a Volt... the little white car was going slow... maybe it was them... So I turned off at the next road and doubled back.

Rewarded! Yes it was them! They'd been out for a hike on (another shared love) the Greenway! So with masks on, I explained why I'd been there, took her to this table, and had her open her loot. She was blown away.
Hey! I just realized our masks coordinate with the quilt! Mine is, of course, Island Batik fabric.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Original design
Size: 27" x 27"
Fabric: Glacier View by Kathy Engle for Island Batik
Backing: as above
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom Natural 100% cotton batting
Quilted: on Avril: 16 906 stitches
Threads: pieced on my Bernina with Aurifil; quilted with Aurifil 50 wt, The Bottom Line in the bobbin

Dave said, "That's a LOT of triangles in there..." after he took the photo. True. However, with the AccuQuilt (affiliate link) system, you cut six layers of fabric at a time, AND there is no need for squaring up. The little pointy ears are already cut off for you and the notches make aligning patch to patch a snap! These triangle dies are worth every. single. penny.

Thank you Island Batik and AccuQuilt for this fun challenge that allowed me to connect with a good friend, even though we couldn't hug.


  1. A lot of triangles made into a beautiful quilt! Love the quilting and Nancy is one lucky lady to have you as a friend.

  2. This is darling! On my screen the lime green reads as a yellow, which is a perfect complement to all the blues. The penguins are fun, and I love the moose on the back, too. Turned out great!

  3. That is gorgeous! It is indeed a lot of triangles. I love how your use of value brings out the diamond shape. The moose and penguins are super cute as well. I used my mom’s cutter to make 40 pinwheel blocks. I’m excited to sew them together when I have time.

  4. Such a darling quilt and a generous gift from your sponsors. I love the way you added the border and finished out the diamond. Your creative mojo is blowing me away. Your friend must be thrilled for the gifts....Christmas in July! I'm really interested in your new needles.

  5. What a striking quilt! It's a great example of the importance of contrast and depth of colour making a statement. It would have been nice without the dark blue, but with it, a gorgeous secondary design appears. How lucky Nancy is to have a talented friend to bring her such a wonderful present! The cutter is a good present too.

  6. Love, love the quilt design, Sandra! That binding fabric makes my little heart go pitter patter! What a fun, kind gesture for your quilting friend!

  7. Glacier View is a lovely line of batiks, and made a beautiful quilt for your friend, Sandra! The addition of the lime green is really wonderful, too. I love the picture of you and your friend taken from a little distance away you can really see the pattern as a whole there.

  8. Hi Sandra! Another fun post to read. And another fabulous finish for July - is that a record for you? Four finishes in our month - that one per week. Thanks for the closeup on the quilting. I love all of it - the paisley in the corners along with the crossed straight lines - ooh-la-la. I can just FEEL the quilty greatness through the computer screen. This is a fun line of fabrics, and the more I see of this little Go! makes me want to investigate it more. ~smile~ Roseanne

  9. Your beautiful quilt made a lovely gift (and the cutter is pretty cool, too!!)

  10. Sandra, this is a fantastic quilt! And I love how your masks match the quilt!
    The quilting is absolutely fabulous and of course, the Aurifil thread is perfect!
    What a lovely surprise for Nancy! And a gift that will keep on giving (or cutting!) :-)

  11. What an amazing gift for a new quilter.

  12. That is a lovely quilt--really, a tender keepsake. I am impressed that Island Batiks thought of this as an element of this month's challenge, to have each Ambassador create something to give away. Clearly they knew their creators have generous hearts and wouldn't object to sharing their time and talents.

  13. A very fun finish! Love how you used the penguins as an accent. Hope Nancy gets some good use out of both her mini and her cutter.

  14. Beautiful quilt! Thanks for sharing your design thoughts. I agree the dark triangle switch-out was a great idea. Sandy (yes, another one of us!) at

  15. That quilt is absolutely stunning Sandra, wow. How lucky is Nancy to get the quilt and the cutter. Must admit I keep looking at the cutters.

  16. What a great delivery story! Love the quilt and that your friend has a lovely new go!

  17. A gorgeous quilt and a fun story :-) I see why you changed out the white triangles to dark blue triangles. It works beautifully and the quilting is a perfect complement to the patchwork. Blue and Yellow seems to be a winning combination. I see it popping in many places. Hope you are staying safe and sane.

  18. What a fun quilt story! I love the moose in this line. It’s one of my favourite Island Batik collections. Your addiction of the dark triangles was a stroke of genius. It’s perfect. So nice that you managed a visit while you enjoyed such a beautiful yard.


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