Free quilt pattern: Island Four Patch
A package of Tonga Treats batik fabric strips buried in her fabric stash called “Island Punch” by Timeless Treasures inspired APQS Dealer Cindy Schellenberg to create this simple but striking pattern. This quilt definitely feels like it should be draped across a beach chair the tropics!
With the Pacific Ocean a few hours to the west and her home studio tucked between Shannon Lake and Okanagan Lake in West Kelowna, BC, it’s no surprise that Cindy appropriately named her longarm quilting business “Seashell Quilts!” Nor it is a surprise to know that this quilt hangs in her studio to bring a little sunshine to even a dreary, cloudy day.
Cindy’s always loved working with bright colors—especially blues and yellows (perhaps the deep blue and turquoise waters and abundant sunshine have subliminally influenced her!) The sharp, clean white background and four-patch blocks create a striking mosaic pathway across the sea of blues—almost like pebbles in the sand.
Though you may not have a Tonga Treats fabric pack to take you back to the islands, you can use any colorful jelly roll with 40 strips. Or, start whittling down your own stash by cutting 2 ½-inch strips the width of the fabric to create your own personal oasis.
Cindy quilted Island Four Patch with Glide Cornflower yellow thread to help bring out more of the yellows in the fabric. She used her APQS Millie equipped with Quilt Path to stitch the pattern “Pink Hibiscus” by Patricia Ritter—how perfect for a tropical theme!
Like many little girls, Cindy started her sewing journey by making doll clothes. She progressed through garments, a wedding dress, grad gowns and even a winter coat before finding quilting, adding “that’s when I found my path.”
When her third child was born and with three kids under six years old, Cindy still found time to take her first quilting class. That was back in the days of cardboard templates and hand piecing. That class project took seven years to finish! But she was hooked, finding quilting to be relaxing, creative, and challenging—“it ticks all the boxes for me.”
Thankfully, quilting tools and techniques have advanced a lot since then. In 2016, Cindy was thrilled (and a little scared) when she quit her admin job, purchased her APQS Millie and Quilt Path and started her longarm quilting business. She says it felt a bit like jumping off a bridge, but she’s never looked back, and she loves her new career. “I have amazing clients who bring me beautiful quilts to stitch, and it’s always nice if they can stick around for a little chat as well!” With quilts like this one hanging in her studio to greet guests, it’s a warm welcome that no one can resist!