Thursday, September 19, 2019

Triathlon Gold Quilt--An Island Batik Special Project

I have been waiting since June to tell you more about this quilt, but all good things come with time.  Back in May Island Batik contacted the ambassadors and asked for volunteers to make quilts for members of the Triathlon Gold Team.  What is Triathlon Gold?  Glad you asked.  Triathlon Gold is a team of talented athletes coached by Jarrod Evans training and competing for their shot at an Olympic gold medal.  (read more about them here)  So where do we fit into this?  Earlier this year, Island Batik became one of the sponsors for the team.  As a way to cheer all the athletes on as they work hard and compete, Island Batik asked us to make comfort quilts they could take with them on their journeys.  I said COUNT ME IN!  My own little triathlon endurance race of piece, quilt and bind. This post is my sort of open ended letter to Megan Foley, the recipient of my quilt, on how her quilt came to life.

Our mission--to create a paper pieced string quilt using Island Batik's new line of fabric, Freedom.  The prints and colors in these fabrics are amazing!

With athletes from the US, Canada and Australia competing on the team, this line was perfect for creating quilts to represent them and their countries.

I'll be honest, I was a little nervous taking on this quilt.  Paper piecing is not my strong suit.  I was limited to using two strip sets and needed as little mistakes as possible.  Thank goodness for my Crayola Light Up Tracing Pad...not just for kids.

This made making sure I had everything lined up correctly a breeze.  As you can see, there wasn't much wiggle room on either side of the strips.  One nice thing I can say about paper piecing...perfect blocks every time.

Blocks were arranged and sewed together.

And decisions on how to quilt had to be made.

Island Batik also sent a lovely dark blue batik for the quilt backing and Hobbs Batting supplied us a with a roll of Heirloom cotton batting.

I found myself scratching my head when it came to the quilting.  I knew an overall quilt job would work just fine, but I thought Megan deserved a custom quilt job.  I decided to do straight lines in all the sold white fabrics and quilt each scrappy square with a spinning X block.  All the quilting was done on my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen using a light gray Aurifil thread and quilting rulers.

A view of the quilting from the back.

To finish this quilt off right, I went with a scrappy binding.  One of my favorite little details on the quilt is a label made by Jackie Kunkel.  She made each quilter/triathlete a personalized label to be attached to the back of the quilt.

"A river cuts through a rock
not because of it's power
but it's persistence."

A perfect quote to send this quilt off.  It applies to anything in life from training for a gold medal to just finishing off your quilt tops.  We gain experience and improve only by continually trying.

I washed this quilt with an entire box of color catchers (I was so afraid of the red and blues bleeding on the bright solid whites) and sent it on its way to its new owner.

So to Megan, even though I've never met you, this quilt is made for you out of love and encouragement.  Know that from my little part of the world I am cheering for you and following along with your journeys.  I hope this quilt brings you warmth and comfort in all your travels and can help you relax after a long day of training.

And thank you to Island Batik for providing us beautiful fabrics to make the quilts.  These fabrics are truly mouth watering...I may or may not have consumed several Bomb Pops in the spirit of this quilt.  Go Megan!!


piecefulwendy said...

Fantastic quilt, Tish! Love the quilting you chose for it; it's perfect!

Nancy J said...

The design is stunning, and the quilting lines,Wow!!! This is from your heart and will be a treasure for Megan forever.

Sharon said...

Great project!

Home Sewn By Us said...

Hi Tish! What a fabulous post. I love this whole idea, from inception to completion. You did such a nice job. I hope Megan sends you a photo of her wrapped up in your quilt. Imagine all the love and good vibes it will bring her - and a whole tribe of IB enthusiasts cheering her on as well. Makes me proud to be an American. Really nice job and the quilting looks fabulous! {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

Kathleen said...

What a great job you did. I should have washed mine too but felt under the gun. How did the color washers do?

Emily said...

Love this, Tish, and the quilting is amazing!!!!! I'm intrigued by the Crayola light up tracing box--perhaps an addition to my holiday wish list! The cat riding the popscicle is the funniest thing I've seen today!

Sandy Panagos said...

What a special project to be involved in. Megan will love her quilt!

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