Thursday, April 30, 2020

Creative Borders - April Island Batik Challenge

Lily Patch Pads. That is what I am calling this one. As I was making it, he white squares in the small nine patches along background fabrics remind me of flowers on lily pads.

This quilt came about in a unique way. It was made for the April Island Batik Challenge Creative Borders and Bindings and I actually designed the borders first. Then I figured out what I wanted in the center.

It actually started out Blue and Yellow in EQ8 and had an extra  outer border, but I really wanted to play with the Cascadia strip set by Claudia Pfeil for Island Batik (Shipping in May)  so I went with a colorful scrappy sort of look.  As I was making it scrappy I fell in love with the background fabric I was using, an Island Batik foundation called Moonstone, and I wanted more of that showing in the quilt, so I swapped out the paper pieced outer border and made it all Moonstone fabric and cut it curvy like lily pads.  It was probably a good decision, I had another 20 hours or more of sewing needed to paper piece that second border and not enough craft hours left in the month.

Look at all these fun colors in Cascadia. These made up the nine patches and star blocks.
For the center of the nine patches and the Ohio stars I used the Island Batik foundation Sunshine.  And the white background is of course my new favorite foundation Island Batik print, Sprinkles.

The 2.5 inch strips fit perfect on my Triangle in a Square Die for my AccuQuilt cutter. I trimmed a few inches from each 2.5 inch color strip and ran it through the cutter along with the Moonstone fabric.

I love cutting odd shapes with the AccuQuilt.  When piecing everything lines up perfect.

Since I was using 2.5 inch strips, I had to cut the quarter square triangles with my regular ruler, which meant squaring things up when they were finished. 

I sure was wishing AccuQuilt had a die that catered to 2.5 inch strips for Quarter Square Triangles, that would have been perfect for this project. They do have a 2 inch Quarter Square die, and I own it, but it isn't laid out for 2.5 inch strips. Maybe I will drop them a line, I would love a whole set of dies just for use with 2.5 inch strip sets! Can you image all the small 6 inch blocks I could create full of color and scrapiness from 2 inch strip sets!

These nine patches were small. I had to cut those strips 1 3/16 inches. I don't even have a ruler with 16ths on it. So I eyeballed it. Had to trim some down to size, but it worked.

Next was the layout.  It was hard to not get same fabrics to touch, but I made it work. This is when I kept seeing flowers on lily pads.  There has to be a watercolor print out there with flowers and lily pads on it somewhere.

Adding the nine patch border. I love nine patches and actually added created this border first.

As I was making this one I knew I wanted to try some fancier quilting in the blocks and definitely in the wide outer border so I gave myself some extra time for quilting this month.  I used the Chrome Microtex needles by Schmetz that came in my ambassador box.  They worked great in my machine.

I quilted it using Hobbs Natural Cotton batting with Scrim binder.  
I really love this batting.  It quilts up so nice!

The quilting started out fantastic.  I used some Yellow Aurfil 50 wt Thread #2210 that came in my last ambassador box.  It is a light yellow and even looks good on the white background.

I got one side of the outer border quilted along with all of the blocks in the center.

The quilting was humming along not a problem. I even filled several bobbins of thread and then...

As I was quilting around the 9 patch border my needle kept skipping stitches.  I thought that was odd since I hadn't changed anything recently, I was already halfway through a new bobbin.  So I thought maybe I wore out the needle.

I re-threaded the machine and put on a brand new needle. Still skipping.  I re-wound the bobbin, tried new thread, changed tension settings, and even made sure my needle size was the right size for my thread even though I had already quilted more than half the quilt with that same combo.

I tired everything I could think of and everything I could find on the internet but to no avail.
The machine kept skipping stitches.

After playing around I realized I can move the machine left, right, and down and nothing skips, but when I push it away from me it won't grab any stitches at all.  If anyone knows how to fix this please let me know!  

After hours of playing with it and ripping my hair out I decided to take it off the frame and go ahead and put the binding on without all the quilting in it.

I did finish quilting the first inner binding and the 9 patch binding on my regular machine, but the outer border will need to be marked so I can make it match the other side.  I don't like marking my quilts, it takes too long and that will take me longer than April is long, so I am calling this one finished for now.  It measures approximately 64 x 50.

Even without that other side of the outer border quilted I still love it.  All those wonderful colors, and that Moonstone fabric is a new favorite!  It plays well with every print in the Cascadia line.