June 9, 2019

Island Batik June 2019 {Try It!}

The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik and Hobbs.

June’s Island Batik Ambassador challenge is Try It! We were invited to have fun trying a technique that is new to us. In an attempt to stay organized and on top of deadlines, I have a spreadsheet where I note ideas for each month's Island Batik Ambassador challenge. I considered using my beautiful Island Batik rayon fabric to make a dress. I thought about making a Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt or a jelly roll race quilt because I've had both on my to-make list forever. But when the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild revealed the challenge due in June would be hoop quilts, I knew that was the perfect technique to try. (I love a project that does double duty!) I used some of my beautiful Island Batik scraps to create my "be a rainbow" hoop quilt.

I sketched and cut the rainbow shape out of HeatnBond Lite then fused my fabric scraps to my rainbow. I used the book Scrappy Bits Applique by Shannon Brinkley as a reference to make my scrappy applique rainbow. (This was another new technique for me.) Because I was using scraps, I chose to adhere the scraps to a rainbow-shaped piece of fusible web because I didn't want to apply HeatnBond to all the little scraps. It worked out okay on this small wall hanging, but it would definitely be easier having the fusible web on the scraps as instructed in the book.

AnnMarie Chany had a Hoop Quilt Along a few years ago, and I used this blog post as a reference for making my hoop quilt. I wrapped my hoop with skinny strips of fabric. I machine quilted it on my domestic machine (a Bernina Activa 230) and used Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Bleached Cotton/Poly Blend batting. Finally, I embroidered the phrase "be a rainbow" with embroidery floss.

The phrase is from Dr. Maya Angelou's January 2011 appearance on Oprah's Master Class.

“The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud...be a blessing to somebody. That’s what I think.”

So that's what I try to do every day...be a rainbow. It's not always well received. (I'll never forget when one of my perpetually-cranky customers asked me why I was so damn happy all the time. Her question caught me off guard, but I laughed and told her I just couldn't help it.) For the record, I'm definitely *not* all sunshine and rainbows all the time. (You can ask my husband. Or my coworkers.) I do make a concerted effort to try and look at the positive side of things. I see firsthand everyday how the smallest acts of kindness affect other people, and I invite you to be a rainbow as well!


  1. Beautiful--everything!!! Message and project!!!! Over the top lovely!!

  2. Lovely rainbow fabrics, and words that will echo in my heart for a very long time.

  3. I so love the message behind this....just wonderful!

  4. Wonderful fun quilt and great sentiment. I love this phrase as a guiding principal - thank you. I will forever see it in this quilt.

  5. What a great idea. It's bright and colourful.