Getaway… Island Batik style… Oh, my thoughts just naturally turn to a tropical vacation! I can’t help it! I know I am blessed to live on the Texas Gulf Coast, just 23 miles inland from Galveston Island, so thankful I’m not shoveling snow. And yes, my favorite getaway is usually a cruise out of the Galveston port to tropical destinations ~ but today we are going to journey to a beautiful island paradise a little further from our coastlines as an armchair traveler! So put one of those little umbrellas in your hot chocolate, kick back, relax and join me on this quilting journey The Quilt Rambler style! For the next little while, we are on island time!
As a 2018 Island Batik Ambassador, I received two shipments this year full of beautiful fabric from Island Batik along with goodies from their industry partners, Aurifil thread and Hobbs Batting in exchange for meeting monthly challenges and sharing through my social media. What a joy it was to open my boxes ~ the first one in February was opened in my “studio without walls” as we were just beginning our reconstruction after Hurricane Harvey, and my second box was revealed on a hot humid Houston July day sitting outside under my Tiki Hut for a truly tropical atmosphere as much as I can achieve living on the mainland.
Inside my July box was a wrapped bundle of fabric labeled “Surprise!” and I’ve had to keep the contents under wraps until now ~ do you know how hard that has been for this rambler!!! Ah, but today is the day! The big reveal!
Let me introduce you to Bazaar, a beautiful collection by Kathy Engle for Island Batik with 20 different SKUs ~ which Island Batik generously supplied me with a half yard of each for this Blog Hop.
If you know me very well you just have to imagine the squeal of delight when I opened this bundle off camera ~ oh such happy colors! Salmon to Apple Green, flowers to fern, dragonflies, and butterflies.
I’m an endless summer sort of gal so this collection was just perfect for me! That was July, and this is January ~ we’ve been through lots of Island Batik Ambassador challenges since then, each one with equal squeals of delight as I dearly love working with these fabrics.
Finally, it was time to settle in on this month’s project. Bazaar…hum…okay, so I’ve attended a lot of craft bazaars and such…hum…the official definition is a market in a Middle Eastern country such as a “Turkish bazaar” but I’m working with “the best of Bali” …. hum… I bet they have marketplaces and “bazaars” in Bali… So let’s go to Indonesia for our Getaway!
The Best Of Bali
Did you know that Island Batik currently employes 80 to 100 Indonesian Artisans to transform the white base cloth into the beautiful fabrics that I personally have come to love and adore? I enjoyed reading more about the batik process on the Island Batik website. I think visiting Bali would be the best field trip! Wouldn’t you love to “tour the factory?” I can just imagine this as a small village of people working together to bring us “the best of Bali” ~ actually bringing to life the beautiful designs and colors created by the Island Batik fabric designers. Wouldn’t it be a glorious sight to see the fabrics drying in the fields, yards, and yards as far as the eye could see! Makes me truly want to go there and experience the process for myself! If Island Batik needs a crew to make a documentary I’m the first one to volunteer that’s for sure!
A tour of the batik facilities isn’t on the agenda today but as your travel guide for this little getaway, I’d like to share some of the beautiful sights I’ve found showing the market place (bazaar) and few scenes around Indonesia. With all the beauty of the island, along with the beautiful people, it’s no wonder they produce such exquisite fabrics with so many vibrant colors!
The Inspiration For My Bazaar Quilt
Last year I designed a pattern called Mint Chocolate Chip using Northern Woods, a signature collection by Kathy Engle for Nan Baker. The blocks were cut using the AccuQuilt Go Cutter Drunkard’s Path dies (by the way, AccuQuilt is an industry partner for the 2019 Ambassadors, shh, it’s still a little bit of a secret to be revealed soon by the upcoming ambassadors, its a big deal so stay tuned). After seeing all the colorful displays of the marketplaces I thought how wonderful it would be to remake this quilt with the colorful Bazaar fabric line imagining the design to be baskets of goods sold at the market!
Time to pull out the Go Cutter and get this party rolling…
Typically I like to sew the “pie” to the “L-shape” to make all my blocks then sew my blocks together into rows to make the quilt top…but I thought I was clever in my plans to sew a few blocks, make a row, sew a few more blocks make the next row….the thought process was that I would only have to do the color layout once instead of remembering to place which block where…sounded organized. I had a plan!
The idea was working great until…
I bumped the design wall by opening just the right side door to access the washer and I’ll be if the dryer side (left door) didn’t come unlatched ~ Humpty Dumpty had nothing on my bazaar quilt layout as I saw it scattered on the studio floor!
I was so frustrated that I sent a text to my hubby so he could share in my debacle (or perhaps console me)… this was our text exchange.
Da humor ~ what on earth did he mean by that! This wasn’t funny at all, I tell you! I not only had to refigure the block layout for the entire quilt, but the blocks weren’t even sewn together yet as to which “pie” went to which “L-shape”! Humor indeed! Some help he was.
Then I started laughing, I was making a drunkard’s path quilt after all! Okay, so I found the humor…Later I asked him what he meant by the response, was he trying to make me laugh instead of cry? He didn’t have a clue what I was talking about…apparently auto spell check on his phone changed his reply which was “dad-gum-it” to “da humor”. Oh, the humor indeed!! And where was spell check when my design WALL came out as design walk? Smartphones really aren’t that smart if you ask me.
Enjoy the Process
Okay, so back to Bazaar – putting the parts and pieces back together wasn’t as horrible as I first imagined since I loved how the colors were brightening up my studio. Who could be upset when working with batiks!. At least fabric doesn’t break on the tile floor!
I was enjoying my process of sewing a few blocks, the sewing a row… I did end up moving the design wall to another location in the studio as I didn’t want to experience da humor anymore! Couldn’t trust the laundry room doors to stay properly latched (until hubby came home and tightened the hinges or something). Nope. The design wall was now safely in the corner behind my sewing station and I was ready to carry on! By the way, the setting triangles were made using Island Batik’s neutral fabric called Yoke, of which there were several yards in my ambassador box. I really like the way this was coming together.
Soon it was time to audition the fabric to use as the flange that separates the center of the quilt from the pieced border. I love having that little pop of color. I decided on the raspberry print that was featured in the center and found it to be a good choice. (Plus I had enough of it left!)
And that’s when I gasped. Do you see it? Right there mid to lower right? GASP indeed! A block was turned the wrong way! Da humor of my drunkard’s path struck again. It’s a good thing I have a master’s degree in frogging (rip it rip it) AND that I found the error before adding the smaller drunkard’s path blocks around the edges.
That taken care of I was eager to load this beauty on the longarm. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but decided that I really just wanted to mindlessly quilt feathers instead of trying to “custom quilt” based on the block design. I haven’t had much time on the longarm since moving back into the studio early fall, at least not on personal quits, so this was indeed, as they say, “quilt therapy”. What could be better – bright bazaar fabrics, a good book on audible alternating with praise and worship music, there I was ~ happily quilting free-flowing feathers! I hid a couple of my signature butterflies in the quilt as well as the “signature” at the bottom with my initials and the year. First personal quilt of the year!!!
But Wait, There’s More!
If you’ve been following me for any length of time ya’know I love saying “but wait, there’s more” ~ I had been blessed with twenty, count them, twenty half yard cuts and I hadn’t used all of them yet! The fabrics certainly warmed my heart and brightened my studio during this crazy weather January (we’ve had equal amounts of days in the 70’s as well as days that plummet down to the 30’s)…I did have a workshop coming up…, so why not make a miniature “bonus” quilt for both my ambassador challenge and a little companion quilt to share with my students. Why not indeed!
I’ll Take Mine Tuckerized Please
I’m a certified instructor (CI) with Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 Design, along with two of my fellow ambassadors whom you met on Friday’s blog hop, Jackie and Tina. The CI’s as a whole love to take an existing block or design and convert the construction process to utilize Deb Tucker’s methods and tools, we fondly call that “tuckerizing”.
Deb is friends with Marie Bostwick, author extraordinaire, with the two of them collaborating on quilt designs that correspond with Marie’s books offering patterns as free PDF downloads on Marie’s website. Back in 2017, I fell in love with Deb’s pattern Stormy Stars made from Island Batik’s Blue Moon signature collection with Jackie Kunkel. Well, this also happened to be the inspiration for the free mini Stormy Stars pattern offered on Marie’s website (click here). This pattern is a paper piecing project but I’m not a paper-piecer ~ give me a Deb Tucker ruler any day!
It just so happen that this past weekend I taught a workshop for Stormy Stars …. you guessed it, I tuckerize the mini using my Bazaar fabrics and had an additional teaching opportunity to challenge my students to be a block detective and tuckerize designs for their own quilting pleasure! (PS, they did a great job on their lap sized Stormy Stars quilt ~ I’ve shared a few photos on my Facebook page.)
While I love the original design of the mini Stormy Stars in Blue Moon, I think Bazaar is over the moon beautiful…too bad I couldn’t have captured the quilt under the Blood Moon the other night, but there I go chasing rabbits again…I couldn’t wait to finish my little quilt (it did sew up very quickly) and get it on the longarm. Again, free-flowing feathers were in my mind, as were butterflies. If I can’t have endless summer I can at least dream about butterflies in the spring!
Oh, I almost forgot ~ I was given yardage of an Island Batik basic called Sherbet which was perfect for the backing on this little quilt. The camera lighting is off a tad, but trust me, it’s as yummy as it sounds. As a longarm quilter, I always like to share the back (grin).
Now, what to name this version of Deb’s Mini Stormy Stars…I kept thinking about the storm at sea block and wondering the history of it. I found it very interesting that my fellow ambassador Carol had her own interpretation of a Storm at Sea block on Thursday ~ proving once again that King Solomon knew what he was talking about when he said: “there’s nothing new under the sun“. I like the think that “great minds think alike” ~ grin.
There are all sorts of storms in life ~ some of you are currently experiencing blizzards (I hope you have enough quilts!), I’ve survived several hurricanes, which in Indonesia are called typhoons….but this is a happy little quilt – bright colors ..I’d rather think of this as raining down butterflies flooding my studio in a joyful way ~ so in keeping with our Bali getaway theme, may I introduce my Butterfly Tsunami.
I know, I’ve rambled on, not only is it my style to do so, but this is extra lengthy because it’s time to say goodbye as an Island Batik Ambassador. I have more than enjoyed my tenure these past two years, I’m very grateful for the fabrics, fun, and friendships I have formed with this experience. Thank you also to all my blog readers who found me via the ambassador program. I know you are going to enjoy continuing to follow the upcoming 2019 Island Batik Ambassadors with their monthly challenges. and I do hope you will subscribe to my blog, if you haven’t already, and continue to check in with The Quilt Rambler’s happenings. I promise lots of beautiful quilts (many with Island Batik fabrics, trust me I have my own Texas-size personal stash) as well as the many quilting adventures schedule with more patterns to come!
Please take the opportunity to register for Island Batik’s giveaway by clicking here to be taken to their blog ~ and be sure to continue on this next week or so with the remaining Island Batik Ambassador’s Getaway Blog hop ~ there are no travel restrictions! Schedule located on yesterdays’ recap post.
Here are a few parting shots as I attempted to find a tropical setting on this blustery winter day.
This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, still dreaming of the all-time ultimate field trip to Bali! In the meantime, I’m keeping “the best of Bali” Island Batiks well stocked in my studio!
Thank you again Island Batik for a wonderful two years as one of your Island Batik Ambassadors. I look forward to a continued relationship as one of your pattern designers and alumni ambassadors. #iheartIslandBatik #theBestOfBali
** Update: the photos from Indonesia are from an online membership with Pixabay, a community of photographers who release their images under Creative Commons CCO into the public domain. All photos watermarked with The Quilt Rambler logo were taken by me, Karen E Overton, and may be shared across social media without altering as a means to draw people back to my blog post or to Island Batik whose fabric is depicted in my creations. The pattern Mint Chocolate Chip is available for purchase from The Quilt Rambler, the mini Stormy Stars and Stormy Stars are available though the links. No affiliation to Deb or Marie except as a fan 😊