Another year is coming to an end and a new year is beginning. As I look back on 2019, there are so many things to be thankful for. One of which is having the opportunity to be a 2019 Island Batik Ambassador. I designed “Joyful Orbs” for my Tool Time Challenge to share with all of you the joy I have experienced this past year as being one of their ambassadors and designers. Working with the beautiful Island Batik fabrics brings joy to my creativity and I hope it also has inspired you to create and design your own beautiful creations.
I created “Joyful Orbs” using the new Wonder Curve ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful.
Curved piecing can be a little intimidating but with the Wonder Curve Ruler (WCR) it is easy to create beautiful curves in any quilt project. Joyful Orbs is made with the traditional clam shell block. I used the WCR to make cut out my squares with a perfect curve, so when sewn together they meet perfectly.
I started out with assorted Island Batik fabrics from the Summer 2019 Islander collection. For the background fabric I used Vanilla from the Island Batik Neutrals. I cut strips of 5 3/4″ from the fabrics and then sub-cut them into 5 3/4″ squares. I stacked the squares together in sets of 4. These squares were then cut on the diagonal from corner to corner. With the WCR, I cut off the tips as show in the diagram below, aligning the ruler on the 5 inch mark of the ruler.
With the tips removed, I rotated the WCR and with the blue line set on the corners I cut out the curve for the outside of the block.
To make the inside curve of the block I cut 4 1/4″ squares from a variety of Island Batik Islander fabrics. Using the WCR I aligned the Blue “V” of the ruler on one corner of the square and cut the inside curve.
The inside and outside curves were sewn together. The blocks were squared up using the WCR to 4″ unfinished squares. The blocks were sewn together using Aurifil 50wt #2026 Chalk cotton thread. The borders of my quilt were also sewn using Auriful thread in the top and bobbin of my sewing machine.
I played with the arrangement of these blocks on my design wall and came up with my final “Joyful Orbs” design. The possibilities are endless and you can have fun arranging them in any manner to create your own unique designs.
I decided to use 2 Hobbs battings for extra loft to define the dense quilting. I used the Hobbs Tuscany 100% Wool and the Cotton Wool Blend battings. I wanted the quilt to drape nicely on the wall but have a soft look.
The quilt was quilted with an dense orange peel design around the orbs and a contemporary art nouveau motif in the center of the clam shells. I wanted the quilt to have a little sparkle, so I used Superior Thread’s Gold #007 Metallic thread in the top and Auriful 50wt Cotton thread in the bobbin. I often do this with quilting my quilts. I like all the options and color choices that are available in the market today. Choosing high quality thread is important to me and so I go with the names I know and trust.
There are so many wonderful tools to help you improve your piecing skills. The WCR by Sew Kind of Wonderful has improved my curved piecing skills 100%. I hope you give it a try. It is simple to use and full of possibilities.
Enjoy a wonderful, creative New Year!!!