Hop to be Square: Colour & Inspiration Tuesday

22-05-2019 12:05

Croc colours

Eye’ve got a confession to make

I changed my mind (shock). Several times. (More shock….. you are shocked…… right?!). When I got out of bed on Sunday I was all set to use my sewing time to make a modern quilt for Island Batik and HOBBS. I was going to make a large colourful graphic improv block…. maybe a wonky log cabin or a star. And float it in a big black background.

It was going to be Modern As. After all, this month’s Island Batik Ambassador challenge is “Make it Modern with HOBBS”.

Instead this happened…..

Hop to be Square quilt top with HOBBS batting

“Hop to be square”. Modern, yes. Improv, no. Bright and colourful, no. Floating block, still no. Not my fault though. I am just the medium the quilts use to get here….. 😀

Make it Modern badge for Island Batik

May with Island Batik

This month’s challenge is a crib-size or larger modern quilt, featuring HOBBS batting. I’ve had several plans for this quilt since the challenge schedule was announced in January. But I knew I was going to need a fast project, so a simple, single improv block in a big blank background was going to be my go-to idea. But…. when I sat down to it, I remembered. Improv is not that easy to get right in a hurry, is it? Not the way I do it, anyway. And the thought of a huge empty black background to quilt was really intimidating. And, worst of all, I had no Reason to make such a quilt. Nada.

squirrel with nut

Yes, I know being an Island Batik ambassador is A Reason. But it’s not really Reason Enough. I’ve always made quilts either for a person in particular or because the idea will near-kill me with pestering if it is not given a physical embodiment…. I hope you know that experience…. Sandra of mmm! quilts calls them squirrels, and they even have their own DrEAMi linky party at hers. But I digress…..

What actually happened

I looked at my Island Batik supplies, and I was uninspired for the bright improv block idea. I still had a couple of 5″ stash builder rolls untouched. The not-very-bright ones, and they caught my eye. Black on black prints, animal skin prints and a few beige/grey-green low-volume prints.

As I stood there wondering where to start, an old zombie idea raised its hand….. black…. and light drab colours…. I had always intended to make a checkers (draughts) board quilt. Hmmmm.

Batik stash rolls from Island Batik

And I had promised myself not very long ago that I would use my new found accuquilt frog die shapes to make a “leapfrog” quilt of some kind….. Alternating crouched frog shapes with extended-legs frog shapes – frogs playing leapfrog. Frogs jumping each other…. like checkers…….. Hmmmmm.

frog shapes

So Hop to be Square happened, almost without me.


I took these fairly quiet Island Batik fabrics…..

Island batik fabrics

And these bolder black ones…..

Island batik fabrics

And cut 64x five by five-inch squares and arranged them into a checkerboard layout like so.

batik fabric checkerboard

I cut one blue-green 5″ strip into 4 strips lengthways to provide the inner border. And I added black batik-weight yardage borders to make a quilt that is about 53 inches square.

Hop to be Square quilt background completed


To decorate the checkerboard, I cut 24 frogs from scrap batik fabrics backed with fusible adhesive. Twelve crouched frogs and twelve leaping frogs, using my accuquilt leaping frog die. I alternated my frog shapes so they were playing leapfrog around the edge of the checkerboard like so.

Leapfrogs around the edge of a checkerboard quilt top

I have them all fused and appliquéd down now. But before I did, they all went a bit curly and one happened to land like this….

three-dimensional fabric frog

That got me wondering about using the frog die on some modge-podged (or similarly treated) fabric to make three-dimensional frogs…… but that’s a squirrel for another day.

Before that, I need to get this done. I need to piece a backing next…. you’ll have to wait to see the perfect fabrics I have put aside for that. 😛 Rude, I know, sorry. And then I need to layer it up with some HOBBS batting. The black batting I’ve been dying to try. That is the one initial specification for this project that hasn’t changed. I think it might be the only one!

HOBBS black batting and Hop to be Square quilt top.

I’ll show you Hop to be Square again when it’s done.

Frogs are fun, but now let’s find some colour to appease the Chameleon

Seafarin' Chameleon

Susan of Quilt Fabrication linked up her pattern release “Seafarer” last week. So simple and brilliant, this design. The Chameleon instantly fancied himself as a seafarer……

He assures me he didn’t feel as green as he looked! No waves here, Susan’s sea is as smooth as glass. Adelaide, where I live, is on a gulf, and sometimes we get seas this calm. This quilt reminds me of those amazing occasions when our sea is as still as a swimming pool.

Seafarer by Quilt Fabrication
Waves Clever Chameleon logo

The obvious support act (and also contrast) for such an escapade is a quilt called Waves. Waves is a terrific impromptu make by Marie of Octopus Patchwork.

The Chameleon would actually like to make one of these quilts…. and call it Chameleon Tails. 😀 But that is yet another squirrel for another day. Today it is Marie who is making Waves at our inspiration party.

Waves by Octopus Patchwork

Spin us your own Quilting Tail

whale tale

Tell us, what are you working on, or have recently finished in your sewing room? We want to know so we can visit, admire and be inspired. Link up a blog post, an IG post or simply a photo from your computer.  See if you can get the Chameleon to turn quilted with happiness. We’d love to see your quilting colours!

How to be a part of the Chameleon’s Quilting Inspiration Party….

  • Link up your latest or recent quilt excitement. All quilt construction stages welcome – finished quilts, quilt blocks – even fabric pulls! Or inspiration sources!
  • You have 50 characters in the link description…. tell us who you are and what your fantastic project is.
  • URL links are not necessary to link up…. non-bloggers 100% welcome! If you don’t have a URL, you can link up with just a photo.
  • Do it now……. before you forget!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Clever Chameleon logo

The Chameleon turns rainbow with pleasure when he hears from you. I am more reserved, so I will respond in gratitude by email instead. Now that it’s your turn…. Scroll right to the end, leave me a comment and tell me, what do you think? Thanks for connecting!

Would you like to keep in touch with Clever Chameleon and the fun quilty ideas I design as well as find all over the internet? You can follow directly for email updates, or through Bloglovin’, Pinterest, IG or FB. All your follow options can be found here. Don’t forget to link up all your current quilting projects on Tuesdays at our Colour & Inspiration Linky parties! And if you’d like to road test my newest patterns, I am always on the hunt for keen pattern testers.