October's Island Batik Ambassador challenge was exciting and fun. Aurifil sponsored this month's challenge with their Color Builder's collection. Each ambassador received a set of color builders that included three 40 wt thread spools of a warm, medium and a dark of a color group. I received a green color builder set representing the endangered sea turtle. This set included various shades of green: 2908, 1147 and 2890.
The Color Builder Sets were chosen to represent an endangered species. There are twelve sets, one for each month that includes an endangered animal. Awareness and fundraising is raised through this effort and Aurifil has a partnership with Earth League International.
I was thrilled to receive this set and I was going to get an opportunity to create something with a sea turtle theme! Yeah! The sea turtle is close to my heart for a couple reasons. One, I love many different animals and having a chance to help raise awareness of endangered species gives me great joy. Two, I lived in Hawaii for six years and had many opportunities to see sea turtles and learn more about them. Three, I now live near the ocean in Florida and I get to see sea turtles as well as their nests regularly. They are fascinating creatures and need our help so much!
Sea turtles are endangered throughout the world. There are only between 85,000 to 90,000 nesting females. Sea turtles are poached for their skin, shell, meat and eggs. They face ongoing habitat destruction and are commonly caught in fisherman's nets as by catch. This means that they are caught in the net and cannot free themselves which ultimately results in their death. Turtle nests are also destroyed by humans running over them or smashing the eggs.
The sea turtle struggles to survive as a hatchling as it fights its way to the shoreline into the water and then finding protection from predators. Even our lights at night can disorient them when the hatchlings head toward the sea. The lights mimic moonlight and they will go the opposite direction into the sand dunes or beach rather than towards the sea. So you see, it is so important to be aware of other species struggling to survive as they are declining.
Using this color builder set was fun and I had so many ideas! I had to narrow it down to something that I felt would represent sea turtles and hopefully provide awareness of their endangerment. While I was in Hawaii, sea turtles are watched and protected by several organizations as they are throughout the world including here in Florida. I learned that the sea turtle's Hawaiian name is, "Honu" and that, "Kokua" means to protect or help. So I wanted to add these words to my creation. I also chose other words that are related to the environment. I wanted to design my mini quilt with a silhouette of a sea turtle and incorporate images of Polynesian tribal art. I saw several different designs, but ultimately came up with my own. I drew the sea turtle and thread painted or did free motion embroidery using the three colored threads.
First, I drew the silhouette lightly with a pencil to have a basic design started. I used two layers 80/20 Hobb's Batting, one black and one natural to provide loft. My silhouette was drawn then traced onto parchment paper. I used misty fuse to adhere it to the black batik fabric and then cut out the turtle silhouettes. I then placed the turtles on top of the green fabric. Using the manufacturer's instructions, I adhered the black to the green fabric.
Island Batik's foundations fabric line was perfect for this challenge. It provided the best backdrop to highlight the thread set I was given and it complemented the thread perfectly.
When free motion embroidering, using a free motion or darning foot is best, lower the feed dogs on the machine and use a larger eyed 90/14 topstitch needle. The tension may need to be lowered as well. I used 40wt thread on top from the color builders set and 50wt thread in the bobbin.
When free motion embroidering, I went over my initial thread design several times to emphasize each pattern. It allowed it to pop and provide more dimension.
It was a joy and an honor to make this piece. I wanted to challenge myself by showcasing the thread and only using the three thread colors given to me as well as only using two fabrics.
The thread, fabric, batting and needles were all provided by Island Batik, Aurifil Thread, Hobb's Batting and Schmetz Needles. #aurifil #islandbatik #hobbsbatting #schmetzneedles #quilting #threadpainting #freemotionquilting #freemotionembroidery
Each ambassador was assigned a different color builder set and endangered species. Check out their blogs to learn more.