Monday Musings: Try a New Technique

Little Lion Judah and Island Batik

Ever heard the saying “A day late and a dollar short“? That’s kinda today’s Monday musings as I am actually two days late in posting my March Island Batik Ambassador project. For the record, it was actually made the last day of March but I was traveling home from my “quit retreat” and didn’t arrive until way past dark-thirty, too late to unpack and try to blog. With yesterday being Easter Sunday I decided to take the day off to be with family. So…without future excuses here’s my Try a New Technique challenge! 

Try A Technique Challenge

As an ambassador, we are given an outline of the entire year’s challenges to assist us in planning. The challenges look, well, challenging, and a whole lot of fun! I remember all the ambassadors chatting about their ideas for the try a technique – and they all did such a fabulous job of interpreting the theme. I had to really put on my thinking cap, as a quilter since before the turn of the century there’s not a lot of things I haven’t tried. Some I’ve learned that I would never try again! But that’s the fun of trying, ya’ just never know if you are going to stumble on the next best thing since sliced bread!

mosaic parrot
Inspiration comes in all forms

March was a busy month, I promise I wasn’t procrastinating, just putting out the biggest fires first! I was inspired while getting my hair done back in February as sitting right in front of me on the hair dresser’s counter was a beautiful ceramic parrot mosaic. The wheels started turning as I remembered meeting, then fellow Island Batik Ambassador, Cheryl Lynch at Fall Market…

Cheryl Linch and The Quilt Rambler, Karen Overton at Houston Fall Market 2017


Kit available from Cheryl Lynch Quilts

Cheryl’s designs are truly inspirational! She has a technique where you create beautiful mini mosaic quilts using batik fabrics. I was tempted to purchase the little camper one as we are living in our RV during Hurricane Harvey reconstruction. In a way, I wish I had purchased the giraffe kit as that one just makes me smile. At the time, however, I just enjoyed window shopping and learning about her technique.

Make Mine a Parrot Please

Hurricane Ike blew in this beauty in 2008

You know me, there’s always a back story….years ago I was inspired to recreate a photo of a little visitor who showed up on my studio window not long after Hurricane Ike in 2008. There’s a really detailed story about this beauty on my old blog if you care to read about it – click here. I was trying a new technique back then where you quilted first and then used Fabrico Markers from Tsukineko inks to “color” the design. This is one of those unfinished projects – my purple markers ran out of ink…hum…sounds like another challenge – finish up this project!

My quilted parrot almost finished

So jump ahead nine-plus years and you guessed it – when it was time to rebrand as The Quilt Rambler I wanted “my parrot” to be in the logo. Fast forward a few months to the March Island Batik Ambassador Challenge and yep – you guessed it – why not try to make a mini quilt with “my parrot”.


Gather Supplies To Learn a New Technique

Fortunately, Cheryl has an online store so I ordered her template and instructions. I printed out my logo version of the parrot, gathered supplies and started the process. Now before I go any further, please understand that my creation is an abbreviated version of Cheryl’s technique. More like the kindergarten version. Kinda a trial run!

All fabrics used in this project was provided by Island Batik as part of the Island Batik Ambassador program monthly challenges.

After printing out my parrot I searched through my Island Batik Ambassador Box for just the right fabrics


Cheryl’s template and instructions give direction to cut out tiny squares of batik fabrics


Even tiny scraps can be used with this technique. I may never throw away trimmings again!


What a great organizational tip – use a muffin tin to keep colors separated.


Following Chery’s instructions and using a handy dandy pair of tweezers purchased from her website the process begins


This is where I do have to repeat, Cheryl’s technique has a bit more precision in placement including trimming the squares to shapes to follow the curve of the design. Again, my project was just a practice run to test the technique. Things were going really well until the fan blew my little pieces across the table (grin) such is life! Also, to be a true Cheryl Lynch technique the background would have been mosaic also.

The mosaic was layered on Island Batik background fabric with a netting fabric over it to keep the parts from shifting during the quilting process. I used Hobbs Wool batting and Auriful thread to quilt.


My two parrots


Things I Learned With This Technique


I learned that this is something I do want to do again! Next time without a deadline – or a fan blowing!

Things I would indeed do differently….(1) when all else fails follow instructions. Cheryl recommended a particular fusible for the process and I “made do” with what I had on hand. Big mistake! One that resulted in me not doing the background as little squares and determining that this was my trial run. (2) to take more time in precision placement and trimming of little squares to help with the design shape.

I learned that even practice pieces can be fun. I created this while on my “quilt retreat” with my mom and sister. My sister liked it so much that she wants to make one too, so I left her the muffin tin full of tiny squares (it was her tin to begin with!). She’s a slow and steady tortoise (perfectionist) to my race ahead hare (finished is good)…and I’m sure it will be beautiful. I do see doing this again and graduating from kindergarten in my process! In addition, this has also inspired me to purchase more of the Fabrico markers and finish my colored parrot wholecloth!


How about you? Have you tried a new technique lately? Would you try this process? Be sure and visit all the Island Batik Ambassadors to see their March challenge, as well as check to see those who have already posted their April challenges!


This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, who really does like parrots for some reason!








13 thoughts on “Monday Musings: Try a New Technique

  1. Sally Johnson says:

    OM Goodness Karen this is amazing! You never cease to amaze me with all that you do. Continued hugs and prayers for your recovery efforts with your home and looking forward to seeing more beautiful things you create.

  2. Dione Gardner-Stephen says:

    I love your parrot mosaic, and that you used your technique challenge to make something so meaningful to you. I’m glad your new-to-you technique turned out to be something that you’d like to do again. 🙂

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      Thanks Dione – as i look at my “practice” parrot I’m thinking I’m off to a good start and perhaps I need a parrot wall including the original photo ???? I do hope to try this technique again – maybe a hibiscus to hang next to it – who knows!

    • TheQuiltRambler says:

      yes, I do know how things like this are not your cup of tea Dianne, but you have to admit, you’ve been pretty adventuresome lately with all the projects you have on your Christmas to do list – I’m proud of you getting started so early!

  3. Kathleen McCormick says:

    That is one fun technique! I would have been furious with the fan blowing those tiny pieces.

  4. Pingback: Looking back - Island Batik Ambassador 2018, so far - The Quilt Rambler

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