Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Welcome to my "Summer in the Country" Blog Hop!

Welcome  to my blog for the Island Batik "Summer in the Country" Blog Hop. 

As today is September 1, what better way to enjoy these last few days of summer than with a picnic.

I got the idea from the lovely fabrics that Island Batik sent me.  They are fall colors and fall is my favorite season, so these colors are just "purrfect" for me! The grouping on the bottom is from the Countryside Collection,  the middle stack is from Jewels and Gems.
The top stack is strips from several collections including Meadow.

All these lovely fabrics, now what to do? Well one fabric in particular became my inspiration. It is from the Jewels and Gems collection.

What do you think this Florida person with Louisiana connections thought about? 

Any ideas?

Well, just like Louisiana, we have lots of bayous and their inhabitants here, so won't you join me for a picnic after we see the  bayou? 

I have found just the right music to get you in the mood (good toe tapping music)  and you will like the scenery too, but don't rock the boat!

Now that your boat ride is over and you are back home safe, let me show you what I did with this wonderful Island Batik fabric. I mean we are having a picnic, so we have to have some proper table toppers! Think placemats - but not ordinary placemats. These are for the Bayou!

Ok, I have a confession to make.

I love small squares and when I saw the strips of fabric that I received, that was it.

I received three sets of strips and I used all three sets to make three different placemats. 

I made them all the same way and here is how I did it.

I took one set and  spread them out and put like colors together. The strips were 10" long.

I  chose seven  2 1/2"  strips that complimented each other, but gave contrast as well. I sewed six of these together in pairs of two.

Then I cut the strips into  2 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles and the lone strip into 2 1/2" squares. I was now ready to play. 

My design wall which is  the flannel side of a table cloth and covered with hundreds of threads was ready for me to go to work. 

I tried different combinations with the rectangle pieces to see which looked the best. I would tuck the 2 1/2" squares here and there.

Once the pieces were in place, I then used some of the leftover strips to fill in the holes to make my placemat 12" x 18". 

I moved them around several times, before I came up with a design I liked. 

 I stitched it all together. What do you think?

I cut out my backing 12" x 18" along with the batting. I placed my backing and placemat top right sides together. 

I then placed the batting on top of the placemat top matching raw edges. After pinning it all together, I stitched around the edges leaving an 8" opening on one end to turn. 

After trimming the corners, I turned it inside out and whipstitched the opening. 

 It was now ready to add the finishing touch, so I appliqued some "black bears" which are native to Florida. (There is an issue with our bears right now - but I won't go into that.)

We also have the Florida panther and they are very elusive. I love the way the panthers kind of blend into the fabrics because that is what they do in the wild - just blend in. There are very few left. 

Ok - now I have saved the best for last! 

My Florida "Gators" that inspired this blog are on the new collection  Meadow

Aren't the colors wonderful and don't my gators fit "purrfectly"?

Well now that we have seen the sights of the Bayou from the safety of our homes, what better way to end our tour than with "Bayou Brownies". This recipe is from my dear friend, Virginia.

Bayou Brownies

1 cup chopped pecans
1 egg
1/2 cup melted butter
1 box (8.25 oz.) yellow cake mix

Combine and blend well. Press in bottom lightly greased 9" x 12" pan.

2 eggs
1 8oz. cream cheese softened
1 16 oz. box powdered sugar.

Beat until smooth. Pour over cake layer.

Bake 320 degrees for 40 minutes.

Now you can use your lovely placemats to serve you brownies and of course have some Iced Tea! ( I prefer mine unsweetened, but the south has long been famous for Sweet Tea.)

I have really enjoyed making these fun placemats with the gorgeous Island Batik fabrics. But I have a confession to make. Instead of using these for placemats, I will be using these for Kennel Quilts. They will be sent to a shelter that has been affected by a disaster and needs help in taking care of the animals. You can read all about the Kennel Quilt  program here.

I hope you have enjoyed your trip to the Bayou. I want to thank you for stopping by so I am giving you a chance to win one of my newest patterns that was presented at Spring Market by Island Batik. It is called "Sherbet Delight".

Just leave a comment telling me your favorite place for a picnic. I will use Ramdon.org to choose some lucky winners when the hop is over.

Thank you again and tomorrow, check out Maria Michaels Designs as we continue the "Summer in the Country" Blog Hop!

Here is the list for all the "Summer in the Country" Island Batik Ambassadors. Please check it out in case you have missed one. (Gorgeous fabric and designs plus recipes on each one.)

8/17 – Island Batik
8/18 – KISSed Quilts – Part 1
8/19 – Kauffman Designs
8/20 – Adele Mogavero
8/21 – MooseStash Quilting
8/22 – Pamela Quilts
8/23 – Freemotion by the River
8/24 – The Patchwork Pearl
8/25 – Fun Threads Designs
8/26 – For Quilts Sake
8/27 – Lemon Tree Snippets
8/28 – Bejeweled Quilts
8/29 – Tamarinis
8/30 – KISSed Quilts – Part 2
8/31 – Beaquilter
9/1 – Purrfect Spots Designs
9/2 – Maria Michaels Designs
9/3 – Mary Mack Made Mine
9/4 – Made In Scraps
9/5 – Happy Cottage Quilter

Also head on over to Island Batik for a chance to win some of their beautiful fabric!

Bye ya'll and good luck!


  1. I just love fusible applique. These are the reason why. What a great way to dress up anything! Your brownies sound fabulous and I need to make something for our stitching group tomorrow. Now I know what! Thanks!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the brownies!

  2. The alligators are hilarious!!! Love them!

    1. Thanks Allison,
      The fabric was just "purrfect" for them!

  3. Love the Gators and brownies My favorite place for a picnic would be anywhere in the UK(home) Living in AZ is like living on the surface of the sun..too hot for outdoor grazing. Have a great day Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Thanks for stopping by!
    AZ is hot!

  5. Fun use of the fabrics. I love the picnic area in my state park, under the trees, with the view of the lake. There's a lovely breeze and lots of birds and squirrels to watch, plus the people biking or hiking past, or fishing and canoeing. And it's 5 minutes away.

    1. Thank you for stopping by. Your park sounds very nice.

  6. wow I love your placemats and your quilt is so very pretty too. great recipe, thanks
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

  7. My favorite picnic spot is at the beach. I love your gator placemat! What a great use of the fabric.

  8. In my back yard is where I like to picnic

    1. Lynnette, backyards are always good. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. A nice grassy place under large limned, tall, old trees, preferably very close to a babbling brook. And very secluded from population!

  10. We have a little park we found in Columbus, while I was doing weeks of daily Radiation...and it was our quiet spot to sit & enjoy...we often took our lunches there. (way better than sittin in the hotel room)

    1. Thanks for sharing. I hope you are doing well now.

  11. My favorite place for a picnic is our own back yard! sarah@forrussia.org

  12. Love the animal shapes...must do this one. I love to picnic ON CEMENT with a table and gazebo above. Spoiled I guess. Just hate little biting bugs. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  13. I like to picnic by a quiet river park or the shore of a pleasant lake with a picnic quilt on the ground or on the table.

  14. You are very creative and I like how you incorporated the animals into the placemats. I had no idea black bears were native to Florida!
    My favorite place to picnic is in Eagle Point Park, a large historical park in my hometown that overlooks the Mississippi River. It sits high on the bluffs and is just gorgeous.

  15. Sweet. Enjoyed the music, too. :)

  16. I used to picnic at a park but now I live on a farm so I can picnic in my backyard, front yard, anywhere. I like the placemats.

  17. What cute placemats Nan, love the alligators!

  18. The placemats are very cute with the extra detail of the appliqué which I love.

    My favorite picnic spot in the entire world would have to be one of the beautiful waterfalls in the Smokey Mountains. I can almost hear the waterfall and smell the cool crisp mountain air!

  19. Cute placemats, especially the alligators. My favorite spot for a picnic is at the beach.

  20. I love how you added those animals to the placemats. And the gators were perfect. What great fabric. We have a small lake near us that makes a wonderful picnic spot.

  21. We have a park called Yellowcreek. It's a very pretty place . We picnic there and feed the ducks. They also have a sprinkler spray park. Your placemats turned out great! Love the fabric.

  22. My favorite picnic spot is Falls Park in downtown Greenville, SC. A bit of heaven in the middle of the city. Love your placemats!

  23. I like to pic nic on the beach - so do my grandchildren
    perry94022 at hotmail dot com

  24. My favorite picnic spot is anywhere next to a body of water.

  25. We love to picnic on the beach! :)

  26. I love to picnic in my backyard on my deck or gazebo. I just don't do it enough. I loved your idea of bayou music which I let play in the background as I read your blog; it really added some nice atmosphere. Love the placemats. I didn't know black bears are native to Florida? Are you sure? I thought they only roamed up north like in Minnesota. kthurn@bektel.com

  27. My favorite place for a picnic is in our backyard.