Day three of Island Batik week and we’re getting ready for our second giveaway! We’re having so much fun with this and hope that you are too. These gorgeous batiks from Island Batik have us yearning to get started on a new project and we hope that they are stirring up some fun and creative ideas with you too! To recap, we’ll be featuring one Island Batik designer each day this week to showcase new fabric & coordinating Aurifil collections. Each post will offer a fabric + thread giveaway so make sure to come back daily to learn more about our talented designers to enter-to-win some gorgeous prizes!
ISLAND BATIK WEEK SCHEDULE
7/18 – Introduction to Island Batik
7/19 – Seashore by Tammy Silvers
7/20 – Equinox by 4th & 6th Designs (Today)
7/21 – Surf Squirt by Claudia Pfeil
7/22 – Tide Pools & Sand Dune by Kathy Engle
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Fall in love with Autumn all over again with Fourth & Sixth Design‘s Equinox for Island Batik! Warm cider oranges and marigold yellows will find a special place in any project. Caramel and mocha browns add an array of warm colors amidst baby spring greens. There are so many hues to choose from – you’ll certainly find a few to fit on your shelves! The coordinating Aurifil Thread Collection features our 40wt.
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
100% Aurifil Cotton
Large – 40wt, 1094yds each, 12 colors, Large Spools
1135 – 1147 – 2135 – 2230 – 2235 – 2260 – 2385 – 2460 – 2975 – 4012 – 5016 – 5022
To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.
What first inspired you to start sewing?
Our mother was our first teacher. We are from a family with six children, five girls and one boy. We were each taught to use the sewing machine when we turned ten. Our mother made all of our clothing back then and she was always sewing. If she wasn’t sewing for us she was sewing for an event at school. It has always been in our lives.
Do you remember the first project that you made and how you felt after it was complete?
Mary: The first quilt I completed was a queen size sampler quilt made in a beginner quilting class at the local high school. I hand quilted each block differently so I could learn as much as I could on one quilt. I did indeed learn a lot. I still love to hand quilt but no longer have the time.
Barbara: My first quilt was also a sampler and was hand quilted and put together in the Row-Row-Technique. It was done using cardboard templates and I am so glad we no longer do it that way. It is one of the few quilts that I have completed by following a pattern.
When did you first start working together and was it exciting to have the opportunity to collaborate as sisters?
Mary was the owner of a quilt shop and in need of someone to sew shop samples. Barbara didn’t so much as volunteer as she was coerced into the job! The rule was that she could make anything she wanted but she only had a week to complete the project. Customers began requesting the instructions for the things we were making so Mary began jotting down some directions. In a very short time we realized that we were a pattern company. Our name reflects our birth order, Fourth (Barbara) & Sixth ( Mary) Designs.
What would you say are your individual strengths within the business – have you settled into particular roles?
We both design. Each one of us may start a project but it’s never truly complete without collaboration. Barbara is the exclusive longarm quilter. Mary is the technical writer. She is also the shipping department because Barbara still quilts for clients full time. We both answer email but phone calls go to Barbara. Piecing projects falls on whomever has the most time in their schedule.
What do you love most about working together?
We love that we don’t have to explain our ideas to one another. As soon as we are in a room together we each just “get it”. It’s the shortest shorthand you could imagine. There have been times when we would be working on our own designs independent of each other; each working in our own homes. When we came together, we’d realize that we were each working on different aspects of the same design without ever discussing it.
How did you first get involved with Island Batik?
When Mary owned her shop she would make samples for their booth. That continued when Fourth & Sixth Designs was formed.
What do you love most about Batik fabrics?
The depth of color and variety of texture. Our designs are texture and color driven.
What inspired Equinox and how did you work through the design process?
Equinox was inspired simply by the color palette of Autumn. We both live in the Northeast where fall is a wash of beautiful colors. We’ve always been inspired by that particular palette. We had an idea to design a quilt using the leaves of deciduous trees, so we designed the line with that in mind. It also made sense to follow Full Bloom with another seasonally inspired quilt.
Do you have a favorite project that you’ve made using the fabrics and threads of Equinox?
We love the Equinox quilt. It was one of the most difficult quilts to design, we had many late nights. We are so pleased with the end result.
How did you first discover Aurifil threads?
Barbara first discovered Aurifil when she was quilting art quilts and needed to find a thread company that would have enough colors to match the many subtle tones and shades of the fabrics she was using in her quilts. The thread also needed to be 100% Cotton, have a great look when stitched, and run well in her longarm. This was a tall order. Once she started using Aurifil there was no going back. It is the most amazing thread and we both love the 50wt and 40 wt for our projects.
The Equinox Collection has such rich Autumn colors. What is your process for selecting the colors for the coordinating Aurifil thread collection?
Again, taking advantage of Aurifil’s extensive color range, we can always find the perfect color match for our Edge Coloring Appliqué technique. And we always use the 40wt for our appliqué.
Do you have a favorite color or weight?
We both love bright colors. We can’t get enough of orange and fuchsia, but we don’t really think we have a favorite. Our designs frequently use upwards of 20 fabrics because we just can’t get enough. The more the merrier!! 40wt is probably our favorite, it is great for piecing and also for quilting.
What advice would you have to offer to designers just getting started in this industry?
The industry is going through some major changes and is a lot different from when we started. Social media is so prevalent and time consuming that it is hard to find the time to design and write patterns. A designer has to wear many hats in order to succeed.
To enter-to-win 1 Large Equinox Thread Collection and one Fat Quarter Bundle of Equinox fabrics from Island Batik, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have! Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, July 26! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Wednesday, July 27. Good luck!
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Beatrice Sekeras!!
ABOUT 4TH & 6TH DESIGNS
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Barbara and Mary are award winning quilt artists and their quilts have been published in many quilting magazines and have been featured in Keepsake Quilting and Clotilde. They were born the fourth and sixth children in a close knit family in south Jersey. Their mother taught these Jersey girls garment sewing at the young age of ten. Skilled in all areas of sewing, Barbara began quilting in 1983 during the long New England winters while her husband attended the University of New Hampshire. She moved to Pennsylvania in 1990 and continued quilting as a hobby. In 2000 she left the corporate world to start her long arm quilting business, Quilted Heirlooms. Mary began quilting in 1992 when she moved to upstate New York. As a stay at home mom, she needed a creative outlet and immediately knew quilting was the answer she was looking for. She began teaching quilting classes in 1993 and eventually opened a quilt shop in 1999. Despite living 300 miles apart, Barbara and Mary began collaborating shortly after the start of their own businesses. This collaboration quickly became a partnership which has grown into the pattern and design company, Fourth & Sixth Designs. In 2008, C&T Publishing released their first book, StrataVarious Quilts. And in 2013 became fabric designers for Island Batik.
ABOUT ISLAND BATIK
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Island Batik is a manufacturer, importer and distributor of cotton batik, rayon batik and hand-printed cotton from Indonesia. Originally established in 1997, Island Batik’s mission is to share the ancient cultural art of batik and hand-dyed fabric with our many valued customers around the world.