Monday, May 29, 2017

IBA Modern Batik Challenge and Tutorial

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you know I've been away on an extended vacation with my husband. It has been a long time since just the two of us went on truly JUST a vacation! Not a working one or to see family or friends or whatever, but just us. We had an incredible time going to Easter Island and Machu Picchu and enjoying a cruise up the coasts of South, Central and North America from San Antonio, Chile to San Francisco, CA. We really had a fantastic time especially at these two highlights.

We had planned to be gone just short of 4 weeks and in the end both of us got sick on the cruise (not food borne) and on the way home our flights were delayed, we missed flights and my husband ended up having a kidney stone in flight so at our connection airport we went to an Emergency Room for help, missing our rebooked flight. Fortunately Alaska Airlines was gracious and booked us out the next morning and we had a friend in the area who helped out immensely with transportation to leave the ER, get meds, get to a hotel, etc. so we could leave out early in the morning from the airport. So, we were gone 4 weeks! It took almost another week for him to finally pass the stone, so even though we got home, we weren't really 'over' the vacation! HA!

Some of you may remember my thyroid and food journey ...I was nervous that I would have difficulties on the trip, but it turned out to go quite well, lost more weight, felt great most of the time, but after potatoes were an easy option the first week on the cruise, my muscles were restless at night so I decided to quit the potatoes and I felt much better. My main 'trigger' categories are gluten and dairy and I have been questioning nightshades. Well at least for now potatoes for sure. I was able to get a standing order of avocado while on the ship and that helped to get some healthy fat and I could combine that with gluten free bread that was available upon request to make a great sandwich or add to eggs for breakfast or whatever. East Indian food was a common option and for the most part was the best option for lunch/dinner meals.

#modernbatikchallenge #islandbatik
I worked hard before I left to get several things made in anticipation of our Island Batik Ambassador challenges in the coming months, but still needed to quilt them! This month's "Modern Batik Challenge" I chose to use the "Glowing Embers" line of fabric. It came as a set of 42 - 10" squares (Stacks) and two pieces of yardage.

I started thinking about our personal experience last fall when we had a fire occur across the lake from our home. We arrived in the dark from a weekend away to the flames moving down the hill towards the water. Here you can see the night we arrived and the smoke the next morning where it was still burning. Given the name of the fabric line, I chose to be inspired from this and create something using the fabrics that in an abstract way perhaps represents the stages of fire.

I laid out the squares so that they sort of progressed in coloration from already burnt, to burning, to not burnt yet. Choosing two squares together and making sure no two combinations were the same, I put right sides together, drew diagonal lines and sewed a 1/4" seam on both sides of each line. Then cut vertically, horizontally and on the diagonals to yield 8 half square triangles (HSTs).


Trim them so you have a consistent size.

Starting with 42 squares in the stack, this yields 168 squares.

I decided 10 x 16 (160) and the extra 8 could float in the border.

Using a design wall, I just put them up randomly and played with it until I was satisfied. Here are a few stages. Ultimately the idea of the burnt out areas on the upper left moving towards the actual fire on a diagonal and in the lower right the unburned areas. Taking photos along the way really helps to see what works to your eye or what doesn't. If you move too far you can always use the photo to go back to something you liked better! There were more iterations, but here are the key transitions.

Using the yardage I thought the dark purple made for a nice border and allowed the extra HSTs that were in the same color to float into the border. I used warm & natural batting, Superior Threads Omni-V thread on top and So Fine! on the bottom. Using Fantasy Flame 2 pantograph I hand guided the stitching.

The dark purple was also used for the binding and attached completely by machine using #Aurifil thread.

Here is the backing with the other yardage and a bit more of the purple to make it big enough.

Will still add a label later today and it will be complete!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Have some "Stacks" (10" squares) sitting around? Hope you are inspired to make something.