Saturday, October 19, 2019

A Christmas Table Topper Island Batik Challenge

The October Island Batik Ambassador challenge almost stumped me.  The rules said "Create a holiday runner or table topper" "Must use an applique technique ( hand or machine)"
The description said "The theme could be Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or another holiday that you love and hold dear."

Hmm.... I love most holidays but picking one was a challenge. I pulled out my Island Batik fabrics and tried to see what holiday I could find the colors I needed to make something interesting. I have several "white/ white-ish" fabrics. Hmmmm....Snow. And in Alabama we may see snow once or twice a year - or not at all. I like the idea of snow, but honestly I prefer that if it snows it is a light snow that lasts one day or less because we simply don't have the preparations in place to deal with it in the South.
I also had several greens, perfect for Christmas trees. Yellow was there also, to make stars for the trees. And since the color blue is often used in snowy scenes, I pulled out some of that also.

I had decided to make an eight pointed star shape for my topper. Why? That was the question I asked myself several times as I worked on this. But, I persevered. And I told myself - it will be more interesting on a table.

I used the blue blender and did a machine embroidered snowflake on it. Then I centered it on my top and appliqued it in place.

Here is a closeup of one of the appliqued trees. I used a decorative stitch on my Janome to sew them in place.

I got the top put together with some embroidery added to the applique pieces. In this photo you can tell that the embroidery stabilizer hasn't been fully removed yet. The background is actually three different Island Batik neutrals. I love how the all go together so well.
Nevertheless, I backed it with another Island Batik neutral and a layer of Hobbs batting and quilted it.
Hmmmmm... it really lacks color and is not what I envisioned. "How can I fix this?" I asked myself. "And how can I add color???" Then I remembered at some time in the past using Derwent Inktense pencils to add color to fabric. I found the pencils and started coloring in the applique designs. All the while I was thinking "If this goes bad, I will have to start over." But it went nicely.
To make the colors from these pencils look nicer, blend and be permanent, I painted over them with some textile medium. (As I am writing this, there are plans to make a video showing how to do this. I will hopefully post that soon.) After it dries, it does need to be heat set. I use a press cloth and a hot iron.

Then came the question " What should I bind it with?" A good friend and designer said "Use the fabric from the center circle applique." Brilliant, I had just enough to do it. Plus, I had a great Aurifil thread that matched the binding fabric perfectly. I sewed the binding to the back and pulled it to the front to topstitch it in place.

The binding unified the design and it looks great on a red tablecloth! I pulled out a few Christmas bits and place them with it for a festive layout.
Now I just need a hot cup of mulled cider and some Christmas goodies - maybe gingerbread or Pfeffernüsse or even sugar cookies and I am all set.

 The Island Batik fabrics, Hobbs batting and Aurifil thread were supplied to me at no charge as an Island batik ambassador. A big Thank You to all of the sponsors of the Island Batik Ambassador program.  I couldn't have done it without you! 

Until Next Time,  
Stay Creative 

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger"- I can not reply. Links in comments will result in the entire comment being deleted.


Quilting Tangent said...

Looks great, Gene. The colors add so much to the project. Looking forward to the coloring video, how you set it, etc.

A Left-Handed Quilter said...

Yes - it certainly did go nicely! I LOVE how you mixed applique - embroidery - and your coloring pencils - and got them all to play together nicely! It will be perfect for the holidays - if you can wait that long - LOL - ;))

Barb said...

I really really love the table topper, I love the shape you chose and I so want to do one and I love your applique.

Barbara said...

Hard to believe we are seeing Christmas ideas already. This project is pretty. I like the specialized machine appliqué stitch. It must be fun working with all those special IB fabrics!

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Being creative paid off. It's an awesome topper.

Joyce Carter said...

Your topper is so awesome Gene! I love the colors and the embroidery and applique is so pretty. The shape is very nice too.
Question--How do you cut it out to get that shape? If you don't mind me asking. I would love to make one with this shape.

Pamela Arbour said...

You did an outstanding job as always! Thanks for sharing your journey with this project.

Frog Quilter said...

You sure over came this challenge. Good job Gene.

Kathleen said...

Wonderful table-topper! I love how much the pens changed it but brought in just the color you needed! Need to add them to my list of must haves.... I can see they would come in handy.

Emily said...

This is so great! My favorite part is the shape--the 8-pointed star looks great and different. I also love the blue of the center repeated in the binding and such a great color too! And then there are the designs colored in--I'm now dreaming of some of those pencils and look forward to your tutorial with the fabric medium. Beautiful!

Vicki W said...

Challenge met!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Wouldn't it be easier to color in the parts before you embroider (or do you machine embroider)? We have snow here. A couple of inches of snow yesterday, and we're expecting several inches today. Poor trick or treeters.