As Island Batik Ambassadors, we get the privilege to work with new Island Batik fabric designs, new quilting tools, wonderful thread, needles and fabric cutting dies.
Island Batik was looking for some volunteers to create quilts with their new Breast Cancer Awareness fabric, as part of the Pinktober with Sew Cute And Quirky, I quickly volunteered. I have been wanting to make a Breast Cancer quilt to give to my physician’s office, Lakeland Medical Associates, in Athens, Texas to display in the Mammography room. Many of Lakeland Medical’s patients get their breast cancer screening in this room. I felt like it needed something to brighten the room. Lorie Weaver, the lady that does the Mammograms is very nice, and she tries to keep our minds off the exam and does a great job of it. I remember coming to the office each year, to find out more about her children and how they have done for the previous year.
Island Batik fabrics has two different Breast Cancer fabrics, and I chose “Hope & Heart” The fabrics are hand dyed by skilled fabric artists in the garden village of Sanur, Bali. Island Batik sent me this fabric free, and it contained 42 pieces of 10″ Squares. There are 20 fabric designs in the pack.
With the fabric I received some pink thread from Aurifil, a wonderful pink variegated thread. It matched the fabric so much. Aurifil is a family-owned business based in Milan, specializing in producing 100% Cotton threads. Not only does this thread work great to piece my quilts, and it also works wonderful in my Janome embroidery machine. It produces virtually no lint.
I used four different Aurifil Pink Threads, in addition to white Aurifil thread, all sent to me by Aurifil.
My History with Breast Cancer
I have not personally had breast cancer, but when I was 27, I found out I had ovarian cancer, luckily the doctor caught it early, and it was surgically removed, however, I did not have to do chemotherapy or radiation treatments. I have been cancer free for 28 years and counting.
However, 20 years ago, my mother, Penny found out that she had breast cancer on her left breast, and because of my history of cancer, the doctors decided she needed to have both chemotherapy and radiation treatments. At that time her home had caught fire, and she was living in temporary housing. Breast Cancer itself it hard to deal with, but not being in your home makes it harder. With all of this going on my mom did great, she was in a good mood, and was thinking positive.
My sister, Shawna is younger than me and was in 8th grade during this time. Here is a picture of my mom, my sister, Shawna, and my stepdad Jerry at Shawna’s Confirmation, taken at the same time my mother was battling her cancer.
Around five years later, my mom, found out she had breast cancer again, this time in her right breast, and she was lucky to only need radiation treatments.
This year, 2022, my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. She has been receiving Chemotherapy and has had complications of the Chemotherapy. The complications include blood clots, and one moved from her leg to her lungs causing an embolism. She was in the hospital ICU for a week, it was touch and go during this time.
My mother is still having complications on her right leg causing her extreme pain. She can’t lay down, and can only sleep in the setting position, otherwise the pain is extreme.
My mother stated that the Chemotherapy is doing its job. With new drugs she has been given a better chance to live a more normal life.
She stated, “at first I was given a death sentence and now there is hope”.
My mother’s battle with Breast Cancer is the reason I wanted to participate in the Island Batik Pinktober Challenge.
Breast Cancer can be a death sentence if not caught early, and it is recommended that starting at age 40 women get mammograms annually. That one of the best ways to find breast cancer and give you a chance at survival.
If you are over 40 years old, when was your last mammogram? If is has been over a year, go see your doctor and get your mammogram done.
My Quilt “Hope & Heart“
I used Electric Quilt 8, to help me plan out my quilt and see how it would look with the fabrics. I decided I wanted to include the word “Hope” in the quilt, to give women coming in for their mammogram hope that everything will be ok. Hope that the Doctors will take care of them, and Hope that if something is wrong, that they will catch it early because of the exams.
My hope is that the bright colors will lifts someone’s heart to feel better and know the physicians care about them.
While trying to come up with a design, I showed my design to my family to get their input, and normally my sons really don’t have much to say, however, my youngest son William, said that he thought the “O” in Hope should be a Heart. I loved the idea, as that brings the fabric line “Hope & Heart” together in my Quilt, that I am calling “Hope & Heart”.
I decided to make the blocks finish at 9″ x 9″, and have four rows of four blocks, with a small border. The quilt finishes at 42″ x 42″.
I used my design wall to help pick the fabrics I wanted to use for the letters of Hope and which ones I wanted to use for the Awareness Ribbons. There are 20 different designs in this fabric line.
I started working with the Awareness Ribbon blocks, as there are 12 of these. I printed templates for the block, as the pieces are not shaped for rotary cutting.
I finally decided that I wanted to do Paper piecing for the blocks using Freezer paper, and folding back and not sewing thru the paper, this way I could reuse the pieces over and over for all the blocks. I did print two sets and did the blocks two at a time. Paper Piecing helps make sure the block size is exactly what you want.
The background fabric is “Flour” by Island Batik. It has little swirls in the design which matched the Hope & Heart fabric. I like that they are not bright white, just a little off-white.
I pieced the Ribbon blocks together, using Aurifil thread that was sent to me. The light pinks and some white worked great. I love working with this thread, it doesn’t break as easily as some cheaper thread, less lint in my machine and looks so good with the fabric.
After finishing 12 Ribbon Blocks, I displayed them on my design wall to figure how I want them laid out, so I make sure I had the right colors for the Letters.
I used three of the 10″ squares to create the H, P and E letters. I used some of the “Mini-Pink Carnation” coordinating fabric for the heart, as it takes a little more than a 10″ square to create all the Half Square triangles (HST).
Once I had all the letters completed, I put them together to make sure the Ribbons were balanced around the quilt. I then pieced them together to create the center of the quilt top.
Added 1 1/2″ strips of the Flour fabric around the quilt top for the first border.
Using my Accuquilt 2 1/2″ strip Die, I cut four strips of Pink Island Batik fabric, “Mini-Flower Carnation” to add as the outside border. The Accuquilt die’s make cutting the strips so much easier, and more accurate.
My quilt top was finished.
Quilting the top
I backed the quilt with the Island Batik Pink “Mini-Flower Carnation” fabric and used a piece of Hobbs Heirloom® Premium Cotton Batting I had left from a previous quilt. This batting was given to me as part of the Island Batik Ambassador program. The Cotton Batting can be quilted as close as 1/4″ and as far apart as 4″. It is very lightweight and is perfect for a Wall Quilt. The quilt when done weight around 3 pounds.
To quilt the top, I used my Janome 550e, and used an end-to-end design given to me free by Designs By Juju called Awareness Ribbons End-to-End Quilting Embroidery Design. This design matches the “Hope and Heart” theme perfectly with the hearts and the ribbons.
I love working with these End-to-End quilting embroidery designs, as they give a nice finish to the quilt tops and are very easy to use. Designs By Juju sells these with multiple hoops sizes, so any embroidery machine can finish quilts this way. Once you get the first hoop laid where you want to start, it is so easy to just continue across (or down) the quilt.
This design could be used for any type of Awareness Ribbons, for Ovarian Cancer, Leukoma, childhood cancers, Kidney, Colon, etc. The options are endless, and add a nice finish to the quilt for those who are not comfortable with Free-motion quilting, or who want to finish the quilt themselves, instead of paying someone to finish.
As this quilt will be used as a wall hanging, I used two 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ squares, folding in half to create a corner triangle, then tacked down to the top two corners of the quilt. When done, we added a dowel rod to hold the quilt on the wall. To command strip hooks and it is displayed and done.
I created flange-binding using the Mini-Pink Carnation fabric and the Flour fabric. I then stitched to the back of the quilt, and folded towards the front, then stitched down.
As part of this challenge, I received from Quilters Perfect Klip, two bags of large clips that are perfect for holding the binding on the quilt. There are several features besides the size that make them stand out from other clips. They are much easier to squeeze and hold firmly. I really didn’t realize how hard the little ones where until I was using both sizes. The inside of the clip mouth is 3/4″ so that they can hold more fabric and are great on the corners as they won’t slip off.
I used them while piecing the blocks as well, but really love the size and how they can hold the binding in place as I move around the quilt. This is a special sponsor for the Pinktober, and they were pink to match. You can purchase these at different quilt stores, Amazon, and Hobby Lobby.
I even used them on my design wall to hold the completed quilt up for pictures. I left several on the design wall to use for other quilts or even just the blocks as I plan my layouts.
Here is my finished Quilt.
The Hope & Heart Breast Cancer Awareness Wall quilt was delivered to Lakeland Medical Associates and with the help of Laurie Miller, Sheila Clark, and Lorie Weaver we hang the quilt in the Mammography room. Lorie decided to put on the back wall, so as patients walk down the hall, they can see the quilt as well.
I had so much fun making this quilt, and I had only used part of the 42 – 10″ squares, so I decided to make a second one. I had enough of the pink to do the border but did not have enough of the background Flour fabric to do a second, so I used some Island Batik White fabric for the second quilt.
I decided to change the look of the Heart, by adding some of the lighter Awareness fabric to the center of the Heart. The light fabric blended in too much with the background fabric, and didn’t stand out in the design I created, but I wanted to showcase the lighter fabric. It looks great as the center of the Heart.
This quilt is being taken to my mother, Penny. I hope it gives her Hope that everything will be worth the pain of Chemotherapy, and that she will beat Breast Cancer for a third time!
If you are interested in making this quilt, you can purchase a downloaded copy of the instructions with templates, and a paper Piecing option for a donation of $5.00 or more.
Thank you to the great Sponsors and to Sew Cute and Quirky for hosting the Pinktober blog hop.
If you enjoyed my quilt, check out the other Ambassadors Pinktober blogs. Here is links to their blogs and the date their Pinktober quilts will be released, along with their fabric choice.
Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations – October 3rd (Positively Pink)
Lisa Pickering ~ Lisa’s Quilting Passion – October 4th (Hope and Heart) – You are here!
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine – October 6th (Positively Pink)
Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood – October 10th (Positively Pink)
Jane Hauprich ~ Stitch By Stitch Custom Quilting – October 11th (Positively Pink)
Marlene Oddie ~ Kissed Quilts – October 12th (Positively Pink)
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail – October 13th (Positively Pink)
Jerry Stube ~ The Quilters Quarters – October 14th (Hope and Heart)
Brianna Roberts ~ Sew Cute And Quirky – October 17th (Hope and Heart)
Terri Vanden-Bosch ~ Lizard Creek Quilting – October 18th (Hope and Heart)
Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts – October 19th (Hope and Heart)
Laura Piland ~ Slice of Pi Quilts – October 20th (Hope and Heart)