Monday, April 24, 2017

Adventurous Applique - Round 2

We're at it again...Island Batik Ambassadors are on another challenge and as much as I really don't like applique projects, I'm amazed that I did two this month. #adventurousapplique #islandbatik
Both satisfy interests of mine to finish started projects and to use my co-authored book "You Can Quilt! Building Skills for Beginners" as a jump off point for new pieces. In this case I used Chapter 10's first block -- Orange Peel Block. I also enjoy doing multiple sized shapes in order implement the golden ratio of design. In this case I used 2" peels, 4" peels and 6" peels. Each with a different Island Batik Fabric from the Seas the Day collection being released at market in May.

I traced the shapes onto Steam-a-Seam Lite 2, applied to the backside of the fabric and then cut them out.

I might call this Sea Anemone given the fabric line, but  I'm calling it Orange Blossom in ode to the shape and the colorations.

If using shape sizes that change on the golden ratio, it is easy to just keep building and building the size of your square. In this case I just took a square piece of fabric that I knew would be oversized from my finish size, folded it on the diagonal and pressed it, and did the same for the opposite diagonal. This gave me a guide for placement. Line up the first four peels at the center point on the lines and just keep adding until you are done. Use a long ruler to keep the outer edges in line as well.

Once they were in place and I was happy, then I ironed it down with a pressing sheet between to keep any possible 'fusing' from getting on the iron. Then I stitched a small zig zag with Aurifil thread around all shapes in one continuous path. This helped to highlight the green peels that are similar in value to the background.

I quilted this with one layer of wool batting Aurifil #2340 40 wt on top, A&E Tex 30 Taupe on the bottom. After stitching a continuous path around all peels, I stitched a similar shape using the background fabric as registration marks for the entire background. The largest (green) shapes have a smaller shape stitched into them since they were too large for me to comfortably leave un-quilted. It also gave them a bit of 'leaf' dimension. I then blocked it and used a faux piped binding method (also found in my co-authored book) to complete it.

This is just one way it could have been quilted, but given the busy background I thought it interesting to have the same similar shape as a continuous background texture against the larger orange peel shapes.

Hope you enjoyed today's presentation of this month's IBA challenge. You can see this quilt in person and several of my other quilts at the Odessa, Washington Spring Fling Quilt Show, April 28 and 29, 2017.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Adventurous Applique - Round 1

Our Island Batik Ambassador Challenge this month is 'Adventurous Applique'.
#adventurousapplique #islandbatik

I had worked on this RaNae Merrill designed paper pieced heart in February for our Valentine's/Galentine's inspired challenge and just wasn't sure what to do with it. This month's challenge gave me an idea and this is the result.

To the paper pieced heart, I stitched mistyfuse to the front of it, by stitching on the paper line exactly the size I wanted it finished. I happened to have some scraps that two pieces coming together at the center of the heart were just wide enough. That gave me my automatic 'split' to turn it inside out. The 'valley' of the heart and the 'point' of the heart gave me a bit of a challenge since the two pieces of mistyfuse didn't stitch well right there, but I got it ironed in place on the backing and was satisfied. The finished edge with little bulk added by using the mistyfuse makes this a super each stitch down too. Next I did a very small blanket stitch in red on the lower 2/3 of the heart and in white on the upper 1/3. Then I put it on a piece of wool batting that fit the size of the heart and basted it right next to the heart (this is where I should have used water soluable thread) and trimmed the batting close to the stitching. yes, I even did my first attempt at trapunto. For a first go, I'm really pleased. I think stuffing a piece of batting cut to the shape and stuffed inside the mistyfuse would also work.

Now I loaded it on my long-arm with backing, a layer of 80/20 and then a layer of wool on top and stitched right next to the heart and in the shape of the inversion of the paper piecing --this got a little tricky as it is quite thick with the many small sections. I also wanted a thin string hanging below the heart as if it was a big balloon in the sky. One stitch path and I decided it needed dimension so added a second one close to it. Then I stitched in the cumulus clouds, inspired from Gina Perkes book.

A simple all machine binding finished it up to make it a fun whimsical wall hanging that I'm calling "Love is in the Air".

The adventure this love balloon is on represents me and my husband and our taking off into the sky tomorrow morning for a big adventure ourselves!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Design Wall Monday

Our Island Batik Ambassador Challenge this month is 'Adventurous Applique' ...I took an adventure with two different pieces. So, today you get the progress! Full posts about this will occur over the next week or so. Watch for them!

Love is in the Air
 -- remember my paper pieced heart in February it is used as an applique on this whimsical wall hanging.

Still needs binding.

Orange Blossoms
 - using the orange peel shapes and concepts from my book "You Can Quilt!" I used different sizes to create an effect of smaller to larger in a nice sequence.
2", 4" and 6" orange peel shapes. I used pieces from a new line called "Seas the Day" --you might recognize some from my Sea Bubbles quilt that will be revealed at market next month.

This one is in the 'blocking' stage.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Design Wall Monday

Had a wonderful time at a retreat last week. Great to be home though too. Today was a bit rough (under the weather), but still got a bit more done at our local all day sew-in. (Like I needed more sew-in time! HA!)

This still needs a top and bottom strip of the beige and then the top will be ready for quilting...but alas I need a bit more fabric!!

And here is a first reveal at my row for this year's 2017 Row by Row Experience. A better shot with completed elements when it gets quilted and bound.

ta ta for now.  M.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Furry WIPs

I've got lots going on this week while I am at a retreat on Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho. Loving my time out so to speak to just get lots done on piecing projects.

Today is Furry Friday with the Island Batik Ambassadors and I'm sharing with you two adoptable furry friends.

This week’s edition is courtesy of Hancock’s of Paducah.


Bristol and Carlee are looking for new homes. I hope you can help them, if not, please consider spreading the word, even if you share their info on your FB page, perhaps someone can help them out.

Today, you can also visit these blogs to read more about Furry Fridays…

I blogged about making Kennel Quilts a few weeks ago here.

Here is a new Kennel Quilt with a brand new line called Fresh Pickins that will be released at market next month. I quilted it with Fantastico friend--thank you #Superiorthreads!

These are a fun way for anyone to use up scraps because these little kennel quilts are all only 12"×18", you can easily use up old leftover squares, orphan blocks, swap blocks, scraps, panels, just anything and then left over batting, flannel, and fleece to fill them.

When you make these kennel quilts to give to your local shelters or send them to shelters that need them, please consider the guidelines that TQPM has made so that you get the best possible kennel quilt for the pet they are giving them to.

Update on my retreat progress on many WIPs:
Here is a Beginning Paper Piecing sample that I got the binding on the front side and need to finish by hand.

A commission that will be all 'Texan' in attitude when I am done. Lots of fussy cutting on this one.

An Island Batik upcoming challenge project...piecing done! 5" squares are from Lake Life and the background is from Twilight Blush.
This month's IBA challenge-Adventurous done using Aurifil thread to top stitch. Fabrics are from Seas the Day collection.

A future IBA challenge project with "Glowing Embers" collection.

This is a bit of a fixer from a shop hop in 2015. The fence ends in white instead of green now, and I'm thinking a green grass border might just finish it off.

Mitered symmetrical borders just give a quilt one more level of polish.

 Sometimes it is fun to envision and create a group project all in a day. Here is my block in a bigger team project that was very spontaneous while we were here at retreat.

Linking up with Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter's WWL -Wednesday Wait Loss Program to show off my progress. 

Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 3, 2017

First view of NEW Design

Sea Bubbles is my newest design that will be out at market in late May. Pattern will follow that and fabrics ship later this year.

Featuring Fabrics from Island Batik's new collection, Seas the Day

I'm just sharing a quick photo with you now and will talk more about it in future posts.

Photo taken by my sister on the beach we grew up at, right on the Monterey Bay.

Design Wall Monday

Gearing up for a retreat this week on Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho so hope to have lots of UFO tops finished by this time next week!

This past week I had the Rondure intensive with 3 other students and we were exhausted by Friday. But so much got accomplished. It was very exciting!  Here is what my design wall looked like at the end of the 3 days. Hope this is one that I can finish up this week, but might tackle some lower hanging fruit first!

I did get one thing done!! Our Island Batik Ambassador challenge for last month was to make a mini using English or foundation piecing. Using the Eastern Star block from my co-authored book "You Can Quilt!" I made two regular blocks --sized down to 10" blocks and then did some variations on it so that the small corner elements completed but then didn't go any further into the star field.

More details on a previous blogpost.

I'm in my shop today, but will be closed the rest of the week. Have a good one!

Friday, March 31, 2017

IBA March Challenge

Our March challenge as an Island Batik Ambassador was to do a 'mini' (24"x24" or smaller) using English or paper piecing techniques.

I chose a block, "Eastern Star", the second block in the paper piecing chapter from my co-authored book "You Can Quilt!" There are two complete blocks, shrunk to 10" finished, and stacked and then partial blocks to finish the corners of those blocks and then just background fabric beyond that. Somehow there was a conversation in our group about modern and as I was designing what to do I got distracted and changed it up to be more modern than traditional. 

I've been working on developing an idea of quilting to look like lace and had hoped with this dark background I might test the idea, but chickened out. Here it is at various stages of progress.

 I used two layers of 80/2 batting and #Aurifil threads.

I'm calling it Winter Night Sky. It measures about 20" x 25". With good sunlight (today!!) I was able to at least photograph it in a way that you can see the quilting.

Back (just for fun!)


The fabric used is from the new collection "Frost" that I also have a new design called "Winter Bright" being released through Island Batik or directly from me wholesale or retail. Enjoy!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Design Wall Monday

Progress on two from last week

The Lake Life 5" squares .... (#islandbatik stamps). Photo is final placement, but this one still needs each row to be sewn to the next and a simple border added. In the pile now to go to retreat next week to be completed.

The Glowing Embers 10" squares (#islandbatik stacks)

I posted today on Instagram as part of the #igquiltfest for 'inspiration' with this particular one. Last year the hill burned from the top to the bottom across the water from our home. This collection made me keep thinking about that experience and I thought the colors could be set in a way that would represent the fire coming down the hill.

Will work on finalizing the placement and sewing it together next week at retreat.

My March Island Batik Ambassador challenge is "March Mini Madness" using English or Foundation Paper Piecing. I have mine quilted now.....just need to get it bound to do a final post. Here is a sneak peek.

This week I'm hosting an intensive Rondure experience here in Grand Coulee. I've got students from the westside of Washington that requested a class...with a 10 session sequence it is too much for them to travel once a month, so we're doing nine 3 hour sessions; 3 per day. yikes!! I'll explain the final session which is borders and some may stay on Friday to finish up. Not for the beginner, but it should be fun. Everyone got moved in today and we finalized fabric selections. We're going to have some beauties!! I'm even hoping to get another version done myself.

The inverted version is on the left and my original 1892 Rondure is on the right.

If you'd like to follow along, check out postings daily at and on Instagram at marlene.kissedquilts

Monday, March 20, 2017

Design Wall Monday

Today was a special Monday. Odessa, WA is about 1 hour from where I live and they put on an annual event called "Quilt 'til You Wilt". It runs from 6am until 10pm ...or until the final person wilts!

It is a great event and I always enjoy reconnecting with quilting friends that I only get to see occasionally.

I took two projects to work on and got all the stitching done on both of them. It was the sub-assemblies using pre-cuts for future Island Batik Ambassador challenges.

One is using the Lake Life collection 'stamps' (5" squares) and the other is using Glowing Embers collection 'stack' (10" squares).

This Friday I'm hosting a pre-cuts class. Choose your pre-cut and I'll help you select a pattern and work through it. Several years ago I hosted a class 'Any Turning Twenty' ....and it was a super fun challenge for me to be running around the room keeping track of everybody and their particular pattern and fabric selections (scrappy or set fabrics). So, I'll talk through what I've done with two pre-cuts that I chose and got the blocks pieced today. yeah!!

Here is a possible setting for the 5" squares from Lake Life. I added background fabric along one side, and then another along an adjoining side and have just kind of put them on the wall.

I'm taking inspiration from Heather at from back in 2012 when she did her Chrysalis quilt. I was working on a commission at the time with the Chrysalis fabrics and found it and saved it for inspiration some day. This seemed like just the right time to give it a go.

I will continue to play with the placement and might add some more blocks. I have some leftover yardage from my Lake Life Zig Zag quilt (free PDF download Zig Zags at the Lake). that will give me more charms if I choose to add to this.

The 10" squares from Glowing Embers were made into HSTs (8 at a time). This pile will make their way to the design wall on Friday where we'll play with them until we like the placement.

This last week I did make progress on the commission. But the expected need date by the client has been greatly extended, so not such an urgent project right now. I got all 12 blocks completed and started to add the setting triangles in denim. The center 4 of the 2nd row are all sewn together.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Design Wall Monday

Lots of progress today!

Commission - 6 blocks now complete. Six to go.

Block #3 --a study in color -- in my book, You Can Quilt! Thanks to #islandbatik for these beautiful fabrics.

And more #islandbatik fabrics used here. Tomorrow's class that I am teaching is the Ribbon Box Quilt from Cloud 9 fabrics. I'm making another version with similar #islandbatik fabrics as I did last year.

You might remember my previous version.

I'm looking forward to seeing the various versions that my students will create of this fun quilt.

I'm also working on my Row by Row Experience (TM) 2017 design! Although I had gone one direction, it just didn't feel right for the situation. So, last week I had an epiphany and I'm excited about where it has led. I hope to work it up in real fabric this week.