May Island Batik Challenge

I'm very happy--I finally got my May Island Batik challenge done!

The May challenge for us Island Batik Ambassadors was to make a pillow using batiks. Since I already had a shop sample that fit that exact description on my To-Do list, I thought I'd use my monthly challenge to finally get the sample done.

The pattern for the pillows is called Haute Dog, and it's by Bella Nonna. The pattern offers two versions---one long pillow or two matching pillows. I chose the two pillow option.

I've actually made these pillows before, as a gift to my niece who loves dachshunds. If you'd like to see that version, click here.

To make the dog and the sweaters for this version, I used the City Culture 2 collection by Island Batik.

For the background of the pillows, I chose this print from the Island Batik Surf and Sand collection. It's called Seed Circles, and the color is Lagoon. This collection is retired, but you can still get some of its fabrics from Always in Stitches (the shop where I work) if you want. (No, I don't work on commission there. <grin> I just love the shop!)

To make the pillows special, the pattern calls for you to add decorative stitches to the dog's sweater. This part was real fun as I got to use a lot of the stitches on my machine. I don't know about you, but it seems like I never get to use those extra stitches for anything, so I was really pumped to play!

The pattern also calls for you to add zippers to the pillows so you can remove the pillow inserts for cleaning. I was once afraid of zippers, but not anymore. You can read about my zipper triumphs here and here and here.

When it came down to it however, I thought putting zippers in the pillows was a whole lot of fuss so I used an envelope finish instead.

If you do add a zipper though, you can also add cute zipper pulls (engraved dog tags) just like the pattern shows.

The dog's nose is "scribble stitched" by simply free-motion stitching around in a circle to draw the nose with thread. I have to confess that I love "drawing" with thread. It's fun! You just lower your feed-dogs and move the fabric around. Relaxing!

Here are the details:

"Haute Dog" by Bella Nonna
12" x 16" each
Fabrics: Island Batik City Culture collection
Pillow forms: Soft Stuff by Hobby Lobby, 100% polyester fiber filling
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt. #5011 (Rope Beige)
Applique Thread:  Aurifil 80 wt. #2468 (Deep Wine), Sulky 40 wt #1019 (Peach) and #1190 (Medium Burgundy), Guterman 50 wt #8780 (Olive Drab)
Pieced and appliqued by Jennifer Fulton

If you like my pillows, you can purchase the pattern in person or online at Always in Stitches (the store where I work). You can probably purchase it elsewhere, but again, I love the store where I work.

Disclosure: The products featured here were provided to me free of charge by Island Batik.

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Tell do you like to finish your pillows--with a zipper, velcro, envelope finish or something else?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Dog Gone Cute Pillows!

My niece Kailani is getting married soon, and her aunties (my three sisters and me) decided to host a shower. For her gift, I decided to make her some pillows with a dachshund on them. Dachshunds are popular in my family so I hoped she would like them.

I'm also making these pillows as a sample for the shop, and I hoped this would push me to finish that project. Anyway, for Kailani, I choose a dog print for the background. For the dog's sweater, I chose bright, fun prints in various shades of blue.

For the dog's body, I chose a dark red. I wasn't trying to match the color of Kailani's dog. Instead, I was trying to choose a fun color that would go well with the sweater fabrics. I tried bright blue, green, yellow, and orange and nothing worked. In the end I chose something kind of realistic, but not exactly and I feel like it works well.

You can make two small pillows with this pattern, or one large one. I decided to make two smaller ones for Kailani. I really love how the dog is stretched across the two pillows. So fun for a long doggie like a dachshund!

The pattern calls for you to add decorative stitches at the edge of each of the sweater pieces, and I had a lot of fun with that.

If you follow the pattern, you're supposed to add zippers to the back of each pillow and I didn't think that was really needed so I overlapped the two pieces of the back to create an envelope pillow.

We had a lovely day for the shower and the bride was so happy with her pillows!

Here are the details:

"Haute Dog Pillows"
12" x 16"
Fabrics: Various brights from my stash
Pattern: Haute Dog by Bella Nonna
Batting: Quilter's Dream Request
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt. #2024 White
Embellishing Thread:  Aurifil 50 wt #2345 (Raisin), #2785 (Very Dark Navy), #2145 (Yellow Orange), and #1104 (Neon Orange), Mettler 40 wt. #673 (Twilight), Gutterman 50 wt #7544 (Very Dark Turquoise) and #710 (Bright Green), Wonderfil Konfetti 50 wt. #KT606 (Peacock Blue)
Pieced and embellished by Jennifer Fulton

Special note: The pattern I used is Haute Dog by Bella Nonna. I wish I could say that it was well-written and easy to follow. Maybe it's me, but I didn't find that to be true. To make the pillows I ended up writing my own set of steps on a separate paper and following them. If you're interested in the pattern though, I will say that the pillows sure turned out cute! Here's a link to the pattern.

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Happy Hannah the Hedgehog

A few weeks ago, I showed you this.

I was working on a sample for the quilt shop but I hadn't gotten any further than cutting it our. The pattern is by Funky Friends Factory, and it's called Hannah the Hedgehog. The shop wanted the sample made with Island Batiks so of course I jumped on board!

The Funky Friends patterns are so easy to make, even if you have little to no experience with making stuffed animals. Okay, a pattern might contain 30 steps, but each one is illustrated with a photo in an online tutorial that comes with the pattern. I figure I can make just about anything if the pattern is clear enough and these definitely are. If you've ever wanted to make a stuffed animal, I say give these patterns a try because they are awesome!

I've made several Funky Friends because Island Batik likes to put them in their booth at Quilt Market. In fact, I just made Fleur the Flamingo for Spring Market but I can't show you much because most of the fabrics I used aren't released yet. I can show you her lovely legs however. <grin>

Here are Diggles the Dragon and Puppy Dog Pete, which I made last year for the Island Batik Market booth. Diggles was fairly complicated I must stay, but man he turned out cute.

Back to Hannah. I played a lot with the fabrics, choosing ones that I thought would show her off. For her photo session, I put her in front of my Freshly Fallen quilt.

Hannah was very good, holding perfectly still while I took her portrait.

Hannah didn't mind a bit when I turned her on her side so you could see her tummy and her lovely smile. The smile is embroidered using 3 strands of embroidery floss. Her cheeks are appliqued.

When I took her to the store, Hannah made herself instantly comfortable. As you can see, the store carries a variety of the Funky Friends patterns.

The snake might make you nervous, but Hannah and Silly Scrap Snake are good friends.

Hannah was so comfortable in her new home, she held very still for her closeup!

Here are the details:

"Hannah the Hedgehog"
10" x 12"
Fabrics: Island Batik fabrics from the Sunflower Serenade collection--Hot Pink Dot (nose), Mixed Berry Acorn (tummy), and Bermuda Bark (ears and feet) and Morning Sunshine collection--Rainbow Sunflower (spikes)
Pattern: Funky Friends, Hannah the Hedgehog
Stuffing: Poly-fil
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt. #2600 (Dove)
Pieced by Jennifer Fulton

Disclosure: Although the store provided the Funky Friends Hannah the Hedgehog pattern and most of the batiks used, I used a batik from my Island Batik stash for her back because the others weren't big enough. Also, the other Funky Friends shown here were made with products provided to me free of charge by Island Batik.

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Tell me...if you could be a stuffed animal, what would you be?

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I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Happy Galentine’s Day!

Galentine’s Day (February 13th) is a day to celebrate our girlfriends and eat breakfast food.

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Yep,Galentine's Day is a thing.

As the fans of Park and Recreation already know, Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) created Galentine's as a way to celebrate the great women in her life.

Since it's my gal friends who feed my creative energy, it just makes sense to me the Island Batik Ambassadors are celebrating Galentine’s Day!

Our challenge was to make quilted postcards and mug rugs featuring gorgeous Island Batiks.

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Before I show you what I made, here are some of my favorite Leslie Knope quotes to get you in a Galentine's Day mood:

  • "You know my code: hoes before bros. Uteruses before duderuses. Ovaries before brovaries."

  • "I'm a feminist, okay? I would never go to a strip club. I've gone on record that if I had to have a stripper name, it would be Equality."

  • "I am big enough to admit that I am often inspired by myself."

Ready? So sit down with your favorite breakfast food (mine's coffee <grin>) and read all about what I made for Galentine's.

Like last year, I used some of my Stash Buster rolls on this project. Stash Buster rolls contain 5" x WOF strips of various batiks rolled up like sushi. Stash Busters are so perfect for small projects like this and larger, scrappy projects because you can cut them into common units like 5"  and 2-1/2" squares, 2-1/2" x 5" rectangles, and anything smaller than 5".

Last year, I made mug rugs by creating a lot of small HSTs and arranging them in different patterns.

This year, I decided to design a new pattern I call Heartwheel (kinda a play on cartwheel) to create my mug rugs. The first one I made for Sherry, a gal friend who helped me get started in this business. I owe her a lot.

Sherry is simply joyful! A traditional girl who isn't afraid of modern touches, I chose for her a bright blue, warm yellow, and this lovely batik that combines both colors.

On the back, I put this funky pine cone print that combines the warm yellow and darker blue from the front.

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Next, I made a mug rug for Susie, who invited me to join her bee years ago and who unhesitatingly supported my move to quilting as a career. Susie loves traditional colorings as well, and when I saw this fall-themed batik in brown and navy it instantly reminded me of her. I paired it with a bright blue and a cream batik.

When I found a cream batik with butterflies on it for the back, I knew the combination was perfect. Susie loves butterflies.

My third mug rug I made for Alice. Alice is steadfast and true--the best bestie to have. I've known Alice for years, having worked with her as a technical editor for a book publisher years ago. Alice encouraged me to join my local quilt guild in 2001 and to become its President back in 2011.

Alice is fun-loving, bright, and totally unafraid to be different. For her I chose her favorite color combo--teal and orange.

For the back, I chose this wonderful sunflower batik.

I quilted all the three mug rugs the same way--echoing within the inner pinwheel and outside the heart. Inside the heart, I did a simply curly meander.

Here are the details:

6" x 6"
Fabrics: Island Batik Stash Builders scraps
Pattern: Original Design
Batting: Warm and White
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt. #2600 (Dove)
Quilting Threads:  Gutterman 50 wt #6410 (Monaco Blue), Wonderfil InvisaFil 100 wt #138 (Soft Gold), Aurifil #5022 (Mustard), Gutterman 50 wt #6340 (Bright Navy), Sulky 40 wt #1126 (Tan), Wonderfil Invisifil 100 wt #703 (Tangerine), Wonderfil Konfetti 50 wt #KT606 (Peacock Blue), Wonderfil Invisifil 100 wt #711 (Pure Orange)
Pieced and quilted by Jennifer Fulton

I had so much fun using the 5” strips from my Stash Busters to make my mug rugs! If you’re wondering what I’ll make next with my Island Batiks, you won’t have to wonder too long! Just watch for my special Valentine’s post.

If you need help making a mug rug for your Galentine’s, check out my tutorial.

Happy Galentine’s Day you poetic and noble land-mermaids! Be sure to return tomorrow for my special Valentine's/Galentine's project link up!

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Disclosure: The products featured in the post were provided to me free of charge by Island Batik.

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Tell do you celebrate your girlfriends?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!