Come join in Sew Sewcial with Custom Batiks Fabrics by Island Batik available in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

One of the fun things I get to do as an Island Batik Ambassador is tell you about fun events. Here is one you will not want to miss. It is called Sew Sewcial. Come join the Sewing Sewcial event at our very own Iowa store, Inspired to Sew in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the other 11 participating shops.

Perfect custom Island Batik fabrics were created for this shop hop. These fabrics are exclusive and only available at the 12 participating shops and Inspired to Sew in Cedar Rapids, Iowa is one of the participating shops for this event.

All 12 participating shops have chosen a quilt block for this event featuring the custom-made Island Batik fabrics. The 9 inch blocks are pre-cut for ease and accuracy, and are available from April 1 to May 31. Each block is just $6.99, which includes the pattern and shipping! All the participating shops have also created a one-of-a-kind finishing kit that features all 12 quilt blocks. 

Visit for links to all 12 blocks.

Steel Magnolia Stars

Steel Magnolia Stars is the quilt which has been designed for this special Sew Sewcial shop hop for Inspired to Sew. The finished size 94 x 94 inch.

For all the latest news & updates be sure to follow the Sewing Sewcial Facebook page!

And there are prizes!!!!

Grand Prize – A Singer Featherweight C240 ​Sewing Machine with bonus extension table!

MSRP: $899.99


GO! Me Easy Fabric Project Maker by Accuquilt
MSRP: $199.99 each

With the GO! Me Fabric Project Maker, you’ll be able to transform fabric into keepsakes with step-by-step instructions and everything needed from start to finish.

​The starter set includes: 2 GO!® dies, a cutting mat, a fabric & thread kit to make the first project right out of the box, and 8 patterns with easy instructions designed for all skill levels.

We will be giving away TWO  of these Accuquilt Machines! 


Aurifil Thread Collection

Thank you to Alex Veronelli of Aurifil Thread for the donation of this collection of 48 stunning spools of thread! (A $671 value!)


Fabric kits featuring four, two yard cuts of Batiks!

(Each are a $100 value!) 

We are giving away THREE fabric kits kindly donated by Island Batik! 

All the details are on the Sew Sewcial .

All you need to do is collect your 12 code words from the participating shops and enter.

Don’t delay!!!!! This exclusive shop hop is only available until
May 31, 2019

March 2019 Island Batik Challenge – Vintage Reimagined

Beacon’s Pointe

A step back in time to the 1700’s, that is when the pattern we know today as the mariner’s compass was first designed. This design was also referred to as Chips and Whetstones, Explosion, and sun related names like Sunburst and Rising Sun. It is a stunning pattern and complex in design. I am fascinated looking back at the tools available to be able to make this stunning design. In the 1700’s they did not have software to aid in designing a complex pattern like this, or the quality fabrics and threads we have today. They simply used their design skills, paper, pencil, templates, scissors, needle, cotton thread, and what ever was available to make their quilts. I am amazed at how these stunning quilts were created and this is the reason I choose a mariner’s compass designed quilt for my March Island Batik Vintage Reimagined Challenge.

I designed Beacon’s Pointe using Electric Quilt 8. It is a combination of flying geese, New York Beauties, diamonds, and of course the beautiful mariner’s compass as the center focal point.

I selected a beautiful array of Island Batik fabrics for my challenge and corresponding Aurifil threads to coordinate the batik fabrics. The Island Batik fabrics I used were from the Basic’s collection – Blueberry, Bermuda, Taxi, and Waterfall. From the Blender’s collection I used a beautiful orange leafy batik BE27-C1. and for my background fabric I selected from the Neutral’s the Yolk batik. The Aurifil threads I selected coordinated beautifully with the Island Batik fabrics. I used 2735, 4140, 2870, 1133, 2135, and 2000 for my thread color choices.

Beacon’s Pointe is created using a combination of templates and paper piecing.

Each template was cut from the corresponding Island Batik fabrics and carefully sewn to create the mariner’s compass for the medallion center of the quilt.

I thought it would be fun to use my vintage Singer sewing machine to make the quilt. It is a model 128 and from the serial number was made in 1926. It sews beautifully and it was like stepping back in time as I worked on making Beacon’s Pointe. It is hard to believe this sewing machine is 93 years old and it sews beautifully.

I quilted Beacon’s Pointe on my Gammill longarm using 40wt Aurifil threads and the Hobbs Heirloom cotton batting.

I hope you enjoyed Beacon’s Pointe as much as I enjoyed designing it and making it using the wonderful Island Batik fabrics.

I want to thank Island Batik, Aurifil, Hobbs Bonded Fibers for providing me the wonderful materials for making this months challenge.

Be sure to check out the other Island Batik Ambassador March Vintage Reimagined challenges and see all the beautiful projects that have been created for you to enjoy.


February 2019 Island Batik Challenge – Magnificent Minis

Magnificent Minis

This is my first challenge post as a new Island Batik Ambassador.  The February Challenge was Magnificent Minis.  I choose to make my mini using the “Stash Builders”.

“Stash Builders” are wonderful to use for a scrappy project like this mini.  They contain lots of variety in an array of Island Batik fabrics.  The strips are pre-cut to 5″ wide and one package contains almost 3 yards of fabric.

This is my Magnificent Mini – Aomidori, which means Blue/Green in Japanese.  Let me share with you how I made this cute 24″ x 24″ little quilt.


I selected 2 packages of Island Batik “Stash Builders” for a nice selection of medium and dark fabrics in two colorways.


I choose a purple and teal color combination with using the Island Batik “Yolk” fabric for my neutral background. I selected 8 purples and 8 teals for the project. A total of 16 – 5″ strips to make this miniature quilt.

The Stash Builder strips are pre-cut 5″ wide.  I cut the 5″ wide strips in 8″ sections.


Now here is where the fun happens.  I used my Accuquilt GO! to cut the 1″ strips.  I used the GO! 1″ strip cutting die #55052. In a matter of minutes I had all the strips cut to start sewing my mini blocks together.


Place on cutting die

The GO! will cut perfect 1″ strips. The strips finish to 1/2″, to make the 9-Patch and Fence Rail 1 1/2″ finished blocks.


I cut my Island Batik “Yolk” neutral fabric for the background the same way.


I used Aurifil Cotton Mako 50wt. thread, a 70/10 topstitch needle and a 1/4″ presser foot.


Next sew 2 strips together to insure you have an accurate 1/4″ seam.  It is very important you sew with an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance for this project.


Sew your 1″ strips together to make the fence rail blocks. Sew 2 – background neutral strips on either side of a batik strip. Cut them into 2″ squares. The blocks will finish to 1 1/2″ square.  You will make 64 – 2″ unfinished mini fence rail blocks. Press the seams open to reduce bulk.


To make the 9-patch blocks, sew a purple strip in the middle of 2 teal strips and 2 purple strips on either side of a teal strip.  Then place these strip sets on the GO! 1″ cutting die and cut them into 1″ units to make the 9-patches.


You will make 81 – mini 2″ unfinished 9-Patch units.  Press the seams open to reduce bulk.


Cut 36 – 2″ squares from the neutral background fabric.  Lay the units out on a design wall, alternating 9-patch and fence rail units.


Sew the 9-patch and fence rail blocks into rows and then sew the rows together to make the center of the mini quilt.  Press the seams open to reduce bulk.  This is a picture of what the back should look like.




Trim off the outside points to make the center square.  When trimming make sure you are leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance on the outside edge.


Attach borders to the sides, top and bottom.


To make the mini 1/2″ border, sew a number of strips together.  Lay the strip on your 1″ GO! Strip cutter and cut 7 perfect 1″ fabric strips all at one time.  A quick and easy way to make a perfect pieced border.


Attach the mini pieced border to both sides, top and bottom of the quilt.


Now attach the outside border.  I edged my mini with cute little prairie points. Adding this border will make arranging the cute little prairie points on the quilt top so easy to do.  If you prefer to not do a prairie point border, then just layer the quilt with batting and backing and you are ready to quilt.


I used a Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Bleached Cotton batting in this little mini.


For the finishing edge of the quilt I made 1″ prairie points.  To make the prairie points cut 44 – 2 1/2″ squares from a variety of purple and teal batiks.  Fold the square in half and then fold again to make the prairie point.  Place the tips of the prairie points on the inside of the pieced border.  11 prairie points will fit on a side.  I glue basted to hold them into place.


Layer the quilt top with batting on the bottom.  The quilt top is place face up on top of the batting and then place the backing on top of the quilt top.  Pin the layers together around the edge to keep everything from moving as you sew around the edge of the quilt top.


Sew the layers together, stitching a 1/4″ from the edge of the top layer. Leave a 8″ wide opening on one side of the quilt for turning the quilt inside out.  Trim away the excess batting and fabric a 1/4″ away from the stitching line.


The 8″ opening on one side will look like in the picture below.   Leave the opening un-trimmed.


Trim the corners to reduce bulk before turning inside out.


Turn the quilt inside-out using this 8″ opening.  To help straighten the outside edges and corners gently pull in the prairie points.  Press both from the front and back sides ensuring there are no creases in the fabric. Press the opening to form a straight seam along the back side edge of the prairie points. Whip stitch closed, using the stitching line on the back of the prairie points as your guide.  Your stitches will be slightly past the stitching line.  Give the top a good press on both front and back.


Now you are ready to quilt as desired.  I quilted with an all-over stipple but you could quilt it with just a simple stitch in the ditch.


This miniature was so quick and easy to make.


I hope you enjoyed following along on how I made this cute little miniature quilt.  Each month I will be sharing with you more projects as your new 2019 Island Batik Ambassador.

Subscribe to my blog and the other ambassadors blogs to see all the new Island Batik fabrics and the projects we will be sharing with you in 2019.

Happy Quilting!

CM Designs Newsletter Header

Links to all the 2019 Island Batik Ambassadors web sites.

Asmussen, Carolina
Carolina Asmussen
Black, Gene
Gene Black
Boatright, Pamela
Campbell, Connie K
Freemotion by the River
Clyke, Anja
Anja Quilts
Dillard, Tina D
Quilting Affection
Fenstermaker, Becca
Pretty Piney
Fulton, Jennifer
Inquiring Quilter
Gaddy, Barbara
Bejeweled Quilts by Barb
Gardner-Stephen, Dione
Clever Chameleon
Goer, Sarah
Sarah Goer Quilts
Govindan, Vasudha
Storied Quilts
Haase, Lori
DakotaCityQuilter II
Hart, Joanne
Hatziioannidi, Mania (Magdalini)
Mania for Quilts
Henton, Carla
Create in the Sticks
Jacobson, Stephanie
Steph Jacobson Designs
Kauffman, Connie
Kauffman Designs
Kawano, Joan
Moosestash Quilting
Lapacek, Kim
Persimon Dreams
Leachman, Emily
The Darling Dogwood
Leanne Parsons,
Devoted Quilter
Lee, Bea
Lischko, Toby
Gateway Quilts & Stuff
Locke, Bill
Bill Locke Designs
Looney, Denise
For the Love of Geese
Malasky, Leah
Quilted Delights
Manke, Sally
Sally Manke
McAuliffe, Maryellen
Mary Mack’s Blog
McCormick, Kathleen McCormick
Kathleen McMusing
Moellers, Carol
Carol Moellers Designs
Neary, Karen
Sew Karen-ly Created
Nielsen, Lisa
Lisa Lisa and the Quilt Jam
OBrien, Jackie
If These Threads Could Talk
Piland, Laura
Slice of Pi Quilts
Roberts, Michelle
Creative Blonde
Schlimmer, Vicki
Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
Sheppard, Gail
Quilting Gail
Shish, Sherry
Powered by Quilting
Skjellanger, Anita
Quilt in a not-Shell
Stemple, Laticia “Tish”
Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland
Strauser, Jennifer
Dizzy Quilter
Thomas, Jennifer
Curlicue Creations
Vanden Bosch, Terri
Lizard Creek Quilts
Vermilya, Alison
Little Bunny Quilts
Walker, Sandra
mmm! quilts
Webster, Suzy
Adventerous Applique and Quilting
Weins, (Debora) Anne
Sweetgrass Creative Designs
Wilkins, Geraldine
Living Water Quilter

Island Batik Local Quilt Shop Day

My first event as a new Island Batik Ambassador, was participating in Local Quilt Shop Day.  The weather was not cooperating so I only was able to visit the 2 shops in my town of Greene, Iowa.  I was hoping I would be able to go to Stitches in Charles City and Prairie Rose in Clarksville, but the roads were just to snow-covered and slick.   Stitches also has a Facebook page.  I hope you click on the links and take a visit.  Before I started my adventure, I had a little bit of snow removal to do.


My first stop was on our main street in downtown Greene, Iowa.  This is Dralles Dept. Store.  Dralles has been in our town for 127 years.


It is an amazing store inside.  The vintage metal ceiling welcomes you as you walk in the door.  20190126_122731

My friend Jean is there to assist you with all your quilting and sewing needs.  20190126_122943

The store is full of inspiration – patterns, fabric, and sewing and quilting supplies.  This is my quilt “Country Roads”.  It was one of the feature quilts in the 2018 Sew Iowa Magazine.


Each year in Iowa we have an All Iowa Shop Hop.  The Sew Iowa magazine is the road map for quilters to use as they travel around visiting our 99 quilt shoppes in the state.


My next stop was Little House Quilts, an adorable little shoppe about 3 miles away from downtown. My friend Melodie is the owner of the shoppe.  She provides long arm quilting services and offers an array of classes for all levels of quilters.


Melodie was not in the shoppe when I stopped, Margaret, her friendly assistant, was there to greet me.  This is my shoppe where I go to get my Aurifil thread.


The shoppe is so cute inside.  The walls are painted in hues of robin egg blue and fun little things adorn the walls.

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Instructional videos are always playing on the TV.  As you shop, something just might grab your attention. You could be there for longer then you have planned.


The store is well stocked with pre-cuts, and bolts of fabric.


If you are ever in Iowa make sure you pick up a copy of the Sew Iowa magazine. It will be your guide to our beautiful quilt shops we have in the state.  A complete list of them can be located at the All Iowa Shop Hop website.

Happy Quilting Adventures Everyone!!





Island Batik Getaway Blog Hop


I am getting to know my fellow Island Batik ambassadors.  The 2018 Ambassadors are ending their year with a fun Getaway Blog Hop.  As new IBA I am learning about all the great things Island Batik Ambassadors get to do.  Jackie O’Brien from “If the Threads Could Talk” is a past Ambassador and will be a returning 2019 Ambassador.  I wanted to share with you Jackie’s blog on her Island Batik Getaway Blog Hop Challenge project for January.   Jackie is a Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor and created her beautiful Getaway challenge with some of Deb Tucker’s Studio 180 rulers.

Check out Jackie’s Getaway Blog Hop. and her beautiful quilt she has created using the Island Batik “Twilight Chic” collection designed by Deb Tucker for Studio 180 Design.

Be sure to visit Island Batik to enter their give away of 20 fat quarter bundle.

Below I have a list of all the 2018 Island Batik Ambassadors who have created some beautiful project for this month-long hop!

Enjoy visiting all my new fellow Island Batik Ambassadors blog sites and get inspired by all the creativity during the month of January.

In February is when I start as a new 2019 Island Batik Ambassador.  With all my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors will begin sharing with you fabulous miniature quilt projects.

Follow all the ambassador’s blogs for a fun and creative year.  We will be sharing new Island Batik fabric lines, How-Tos for using innovative tools, and having lots of fun.



Monday, January 7 – Crystal Ball

Maryellen McAuliffe– Mary Mack’s Blog

Sandra Walker- mmm! quilts

Tuesday, January 8  – Ditty

Stephanie Jacobson – Steph Jacobson Designs

Michelle Roberts – Creative Blonde

Wednesday, January 9 – Elk Lodge

Connie Campbell – Free Motion by the River

Anna Branch– Ark Angel Creations

Thursday, January 10 – Feline Fine

Bea Lee– Bea Quilter

Sharon Parcel– Yellow Cat Designs

Friday, January 11 – Flea Market

Geraldine Wilkins– Living Water Quilter

Jessica Caldwell– Desert Bloom Quilting


Monday, January 14 – Fortune Teller

Sarah Goer– Sarah Goer Quilts

Sherry Shish– Powered by Quilting

Jennifer Fulton– The Inquiring Quilter

Tuesday, January 15  – Gypsy Rose

Jen Strauser – Dizzy Quilter

Janet Yamamoto– Whispers of Yore

Wednesday, January 16 – Paisley Park

Dione Gardner-Stephen– Clever Chameleon

Nancy Scott– Masterpiece Quilting

Thursday, January 17 – Soul Song

Carole Lyles Shaw– Carol Lyles Shaw

Toby Lischko – Gateway Quilts & Stuff 

Friday, January 18 – Twilight Chic

Jackie OBrien – If These Threads Could Talk

Tina Dillard– Quilting Affection


Monday, January 21 – Winter Park

Jennifer Thomas– Curlicue Creations

Anita Skjellanger– Quilt In a Not Shell

Tuesday, January 22  – Bazaar

Karen Overton– The Quilt Rambler

Alison Vermilya– Little Bunny Quilts

Turid Bakken– Den syende Himmel

Wednesday, January 23 – Blossom

Karen Neary – Sew Karen-ly Created

Leanne Parsons– Devoted Quilter

Thursday, January 24 – Boho

Laura Piland– Slice of Pi Quilts

Suzy Webster– Adventurous Applique and Quilting

Myra Barnes– Busy Hands Quilts

Friday, January 25 – Brookview

Vicki Schlimmer – Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting

Amy Warner– Sew Incredibly Crazy


Monday, January 28 – French Blue

Pamela Boatright – PamelaQuilts

Joyce Mullis– Hearts Creations

Tuesday, January 29  – Midsummer Night

Kathleen McCormick – Kathleen McMusing

Connie Kauffman– Kauffman Designs

Wednesday, January 30 – Oh Deer

Jen Shaffer– Patterns by Jen

Jeanette Jones– Inchworm Fabrics

Thursday, January 31 – Snow Berry  

Sally Mannke– Sally Manke Fiber Artist

Joan Kawano– Moosestash Quilting

Friday, February 1-  Candy Cane Lane and Icicle

Terri Vanden Bosch Icicle – Meanderings along Lizard Creek

Anne Wiens- Icicle – Sweetgrass Creative Designs

Mania Hatziioannidi Candy Cane Lane- Mania For Quilts

Barbara Gaddy – Candy Cane Lane  –Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

Whooo Hoooo!!!! I am an Island Batik Ambassador

Hold on to your rotary cutters. It is going to be an exciting 2019 and I am bursting at the seams to share the news. I received notification I have been selected as a 2019 Island Batik Ambassador. I am thrilled and so excited!!! As an Ambassador I will be sharing the new Island Batik products with you in new quilty projects I will be designing. It will be a year full of creativity and fun beginning in February!!!!

Creative projects from all the 50 – 2019 Island Batik Ambassadors will be showcased in our blogs, on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. So you don’t miss out on the fun make sure you follow Island Batik on Facebook and all the other social media sites (Pinterest, Instagram, and the other IBA’s Blogs).

Also check out Island Batik’s website to see all the beautiful lines of batiks and follow their blog. There are lots of free downloadable projects and information.

I received my first 2 boxes of goodies yesterday. I will be posting an unboxing video around the first week of February so you will be able to see all the wonderful things I will be creating my first projects with. There were also a few very wonderful surprises in the boxes I received.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to Island Batik, Aurifil, Hobbs Batting and Accuquilt for sponsoring all the 2019 Island Batik Ambassadors and providing us with all the fabulous items that are in our IBA boxes .

Looking forward to a fun year with the other 2019 Island Batik Ambassadors!!!

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