May 31, 2019

Churn Baby Quilt - May Island Batik Ambassador Project

Note, the fabrics, batting and some of the threads for this project were given to me by Island Batik and their industry partners as part of the Island Batik ambassador program.

The Island Batik ambassador challenge for May is Make it Modern with Hobbs Batting and the idea was to make, you guessed it, a modern quilt using Hobb's batting 😊 I chose to make the baby size of my Churn quilt.
Churn baby quilt |
I started by pulling out my blues. You know I love these Island Batik blues! Some of my pieces were too narrow to be used for the patchwork background, but they were perfect for the small churn dash block.

I also pulled scraps of bright orange and Rice, which is a creamy white with hints of blues/greys. Churn requires good contrast between the patchwork background and the other fabrics and these two definitely fit the bill!
Churn baby quilt |
I used Hobbs Heirloom cotton batting and whenever I picked up the basted quilt I was surprised by how light and fluffy it felt. I haven't quite figured out why it felt so different, since I've used Hobb's cotton batting before without noticing it being so very light. Maybe it was because this was also a small quilt, so the airiness was magnified by how small the quilt is. I'm not sure, exactly, but it was really noticeable and I still find it softer and lighter than I'm used to even after being quilted. I'm curious about how soft it will feel after it has been washed.

I used Aurifil threads (50wt) for all of the quilting. In the orange, I used 2210 to quilt simple back and forth lines, turning them into diagonal teardrops to fill the corners of the churn dash block. I'm surprised by how often this particular orange is just what I need.

The teal fabric in the very center needed something special, so I quilted it differently from the rest of the quilt, using 5005. I really like quilting these little flowers!
Free motion quilting churn dash block |
You'd think white thread would have been the perfect choice for the white fabric, but it was actually a little stark against the creaminess of the fabric. 2311 was just right for some quick wishbones. I don't usually quilt wishbones that are this wide and it felt very different from quilting them in a narrow sashing strip. I managed to take all the pictures for this post without getting a good closeup of one entire white section, so you'll just have to look at the wishbone quilting in other pictures, lol.

Choosing a thread for the blues in the patchwork background was the hardest part of this whole quilt. I have a few different blues, but none of them seemed to work in the variety of blues included in the fabric. Some were way too light on the dark fabrics while others were way too dark on the light fabrics. In the end, I chose 1158. It's a fairly dark grey, but somehow that seemed to be the nicest on all of the fabrics.
Before I started quilting the background, I worried I wouldn't have enough thread since the spool is getting a bit low. I needn't have worried, though...this is what is left after I finished quilting, lol. I swear some spools last extra long.

For the back, I chose this Pinecone print. I have to admit that I often have a hard time knowing what to do with larger scale prints like this one, so it was nice to be able to use it for this backing. As a bonus, it was just barely wide enough to use as the back for the 42" quilt without needing to be pieced. You can really see the loopy meander I used to quilt the background in this picture. The Aurifil 1158 was perfect for this fabric!
Loopy meander free motion quilting |
I pretty much never cut the binding until I'm ready to put it on, in part because a lot of the time I don't know what colour I want the binding to be. That was definitely the case with this one. I considered orange, but I worried that would take the eye away from the center. I pulled all the blues that were big enough to use for a scrappy binding since none of them were enough to bind the whole quilt. I also brought out the white, though I thought that would detract from the center, too. My friend Michelle was over sewing with me while I was trying to decide and she suggested I do a flange binding, with the white as the flange. Perfect!
Flange quilt binding |
Flange quilt binding |
Of course, I've never done a flange binding before, even though I always love it when I see it on someone else's quilt. A quick search for a tutorial brought up this one from Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts and it was so easy to follow. This is yet another thing on the list of "I've never done it so I assume it must be hard to learn, only to discover it's not at all." You'd think I'd learn, lol.

The little bit of white is just right. Not enough to overwhelm the center, but enough to add a little zing to the edge of the quilt. Plus, it keeps the binding from blending in when it's on a square made of the same fabric. I see more flange bindings in my future.

Want to make your own Churn baby quilt? Or a throw size? Both are included in the pattern 😊 Click here to get the pattern.
Churn baby quilt |
After discovering that I can attach my labels on the diagonal, I'm now putting them on all my quilts that way and I am so happy with the way they look. It's so much nicer than having them flap around. The labels are from Finer Ribbon. I started out with 1,000 of them a few years ago and I still won't be needing new ones soon, lol.
quilt label |
As you can see, my machine binding stitches always seem to veer up onto the binding somewhere along the perimeter of the quilt, no matter how hard I work at keeping everything straight. Does that happen to you, too?
Churn baby quilt |
I'm squeaking in under the wire with this finish, posting only a couple of hours before the month of May is over. I'm not sure how the month has flown by so fast, but I am excited for June. June means there are only 4 more weeks of school/work and then we'll be free for summer break. I'm hoping it also means the weather will start being warmer than it has been as I'm ready to stop putting hats and mittens on the kids I babysit when we go out for our morning walks. Plus, I'm really excited about my June Island Batik project. I don't know if I'll get a chance to start this weekend, but I'm itching to get at it! We'll see if I can get it finished before the end of the month is looming again 😊


  1. The pop of orange is such a fun little surprise! I love that you did the flange binding - I think it is exactly right. It has been a long cold spring, and May did fly by! This is a fun pattern and the spot of color is really just perfect.

  2. Well done. It's a great finish, with some great quilting. I've never tried a flange binding. Mostly because I don't think about it. LOL

  3. Love that little pop of orange! Fun quilt!

  4. Turned ot wonderfully, my sister loves doing her borders that way, I have not tried it yet.

  5. Your flange binding was the perfect finish Leanne, like you I have never tried one but often admired them!

  6. This is a really beautiful quilt and I agree that Hobbs batting is really light.

  7. Yes!!! I get you and you get me on not choosing the binding until after the quilt is done! And on choosing a flanged one, AND on it being not hard at all! That fine line of white is perfect. Love how you quilted this too, especially the wee flower in the centre. And yes! as well on always veering onto the binding no matter how hard I try not to...


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