Monday, January 16, 2017

Finish #2 in 2017

Hi!  

I'm so excited about this finish.  First, some background.  I've been sewing for almost my whole life.  I've made tons of things, including a number of "quillow" pillow quilts.  I had used pillow panels and coordinating fabrics, and made tons of these for friends in the 1990's.  My son loved snuggling with his when he was little, and his favorite thing was to put his feet in the pillow pocket.  I think over the years I had made him 2 or 3, because he wore them out.  Yup, it was before I knew about cotton batting, and free-motion quilting.  It was a craft item, and I was making dresses and doing alterations.  I had only quilted down the lines with the edge of the pillow pocket, so 2 lines in a 45" width.  I don't think I have any photos, but it is fun to remember all the ones I made.  

About 3 years ago, after making many real quilts, including one for his bed, I asked my son if he wanted a lap quilt.  I had a beautiful pack of  Island Batik strips in blues and greens.  I had been making the Quilt In A Day Zig A Zag quilt, and knew these strips would be beautiful in it.  He agreed, so I purchased fabric for the setting triangles, border, and binding.  I had the green for the inner border from Island Batik.  I started the quilt, and then it was put aside for other projects.  I needed more stock for my store.  I got a special order, and then more.  I was doing costumes for a high school.  I moved.  You get the picture.  

So, my goal before September was to get this top done, so I could give it to him for Christmas.  I finished the top, added the borders, and got it pinned.  Then my machine broke.  The support for the needle arm was loose, and would require ordering a new head, which basically would cost more than the machine was worth.  I know I'm tough on my machines.  I ended up trading for the same model, but rarely used.  I love Pocono Sew & Vac.  I'll take the 2+ hour trip for the best machine prices and support!  

Then Matt said he was unable to come for Christmas, and I also had the Island Batik quilt to design, and finish to send to be included in their Spring catalog, and to write the pattern.  Quilting this was set aside again.  Until this week.  Matt was coming down to visit this weekend, so I wanted this done.  
Finally!  It's done!  



Matt loves it!  


I added a label to the pocket for his feet.  This was quilted with an all over loopy design, with a feather variation in the border.  I used Aurifil 50wt thread in a beautiful dark teal.  I used about 7 bobbins in the quilting and binding.  It's long enough for him to really snuggle, with his 6'4" length, and he's thrilled with the pocket for his feet.  

While I was finishing his quilt, Matt built the #Arrowsewingcabinet I had won last May.  I can't wait to get it filled with things!  It's perfect for the side of my table, and I've put a rotating cutting mat on top, and can just turn to the side to trim blocks.  I had put the mat next to my machine, but it wasn't the best place to keep it.  This will be awesome! 


This is my January #APQResolution.  I knew January was #6, so I wrote this quilt on that line.  It needed quilting, the pocket, label, and binding.  I need to finish my list, but hope to get many UFOs done this year.  

Now, back to making something for my shop, and memory bears for some family members. And the donation quilt.  And...

Thanks for visiting!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Beginnings Blog Hop

Displaying New Beginnings Blog Hop.jpg
Hi, and Welcome to my day for the #IslandBatikAmbassador's New Beginnings blog hop! 

These fun collections have been out since Fall Market, so they're arriving in stores now!  If your favorite LQS didn't order this, you're going to have to ask them to get this for you. If you're a pet lover, you need this!  My collection is Fifi and Fido, an adorable group of bright batiks featuring paw prints and a variety of dogs.  You may have seen this collection when Aurifil Thread, Island Batik and some other companies had information about October's National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog blog hop.  You can read more about that HERE.

Photo from Island Batik.

So, here's my reason to love dog prints!  
This is Hazel.  She's 7 and was adopted from North Shore Animal League when she was only 7 weeks old.  She's a sweetheart, and loves to play ball, and snuggle on my quilts.  She approves of this new top!  
I received this bundle, and had no idea what to make!  I thought of a purse, and of some kennel quilts for shelter dogs (and I'll make some), but what could I do that was different?  A friend suggested Attic Windows featuring the dog print, but I needed to use 8 prints.  Finally, an idea popped into my head.  I had been seeing lots of posts from the Be My Neighbor by Moda quilt, and I purchased a copy of American Patchwork & Quilting, which had Wendy Sheppard's Close Quarters house quilt on the cover.  
So, I figured the neighborhood also needed a dog house!  

I checked on EQ7, and they didn't have an actual dog house, and most of the houses looked more like people houses, so I drew my own.  Here's what I did.  

Dog House Block
1 12" finished size block.   Use 1/4" seam allowance.

From Red FQ (I used 2 from previous Island Batik collections):  
Cut one 6 1/2 by 10 1/2" rectangle.   
Cut one 5 1/4 by 7" rectangle (you'll need 2 if using regular prints, but 1 will work for batiks and solids) (1 FQ will give you 2 house blocks).  

From Blue Sky fabric:  Cut 1 strip 2 1/2" by 12 1/2", and one 5 1/4 by 7" rectangle (again, 2 if using regular prints).
Green scraps for side lawn:  2 pieces that are 1 1/2 by 6 1/2"
White Accent Trim:  Cut one 1 1/4 by 20, pressed in half, wrong sides together, to make a piece that's 5/8" wide.  

Dog House Opening:  Black piece about 3 1/2" square.  I fussy cut dogs from the Black Dog print, SKU 121614795, backed it with fusible web, and then trimmed it into an arch top shape.  I was thinking of adding a template for this shape, but since each of my dogs has a different size, it didn't make sense.  



Directions:

1.  Sew the green to the sides of the base of the house (6 1/2" by 10 1/2" rectangle) to make a 6 1/2" by 12 1/2" rectangle.  Press to the red.  

2.  Place the blue and red 5 1/4 by 7" rectangle right sides together, and cut on one diagonal.  

Sort the pieces so they look like a peaked roof, with the red on the bottom and blue on top.  I wanted to have the accent, so I layered the triangles and the accent together, and sewed in 1/4" seam.   Line the white accent cut edge along the diagonal edge of the red triangle, and the flip over the blue, and match all cut edges.  The corners are close to matching, but there's extra to trim, so if it's a little wonky, it's fine.  
   
Press this seam to the blue.  

Now, trim your roof/sky section to 4 1/2 by 6 1/2" 


The white section should be 1/8" away from the top corner.  Note where that is, as well as the white on the bottom left section.  Since it's a weird angle, the ruler doesn't have a line to place the white on, so just make sure it looks even and square, and that you've left 1/8" at the top of the peak so you won't chop it off when sewing.  

Do the right side, reversed, lining up the white on the top left side, again, down 1/8" from the left top of the ruler.  

Join the left and right peaks together, matching the top roof line, and press this seam open.  




3:  Sew the 2 1/2" by 12 1/2" sky strip to the top of the peak, (press to sky) and sew the peak/sky section to the house/grass section (press to house).  Choose your puppy, and applique it on!  I used Aurifil 40 wt in black, and a blanket stitch.  

Your Doghouse Block is done!  


For my quilt, I made 3 doghouses, chose 3 different dogs, and set them apart with a 2" by 12 1/2" black paw print sashing.  


I set aside the multi/dog and multi/paw print for border and binding, and cut the other fabrics with my 6 1/2" Accuquilt GO! Tumbler die.  I wanted something that would be fun to show the prints, but not be just blocks.  I sewed 9 tumblers into a row, and made 5 rows.  I trimmed the tumblers even with the doghouse blocks, added the black paw print inner border, and the multi/orange dog outer border.  My top measures about 50 by 53", great for a toddler bed or a fun lap quilt, or Tummy Time quilt.  


If you make some Doghouse Blocks, please share on my Facebook page!  I would love to see them.  I would also love it if you would "LIKE" my page while you're there.  


I have a great idea for some quilting, and plan to use a Minkee type backing fabric.  I'll get this finished soon, hopefully before the blog hop ends.  I can't wait to show my idea for quiltig! 


So, have you been following along with the other Ambassadors? Check them out for inspiration and chances to win prizes. 



Here's the schedule...

Monday, January 9 – Coastal Mist
Stone Cottage Quilts
Wednesday, January 11 – Drizzle
Webster Quilt
Thursday, January 12 – Fifi and Fido + Happy Hounds
Mary Mack Made Mine
Quilting Affection
Friday, January 13 – Fresh Catch
Bejeweled Quilts by Barb
Monday, January 16 – Glowing Embers
Purrfect Spots Designs
Tuesday, January 17 – Lake Life
Freemotion by the River
Wednesday, January 18 – River’s Edge
Ark Angle Creations
Jennifer Sewing
Friday, January 20 – Blushing Blooms
Desert Bloom Quilting
Monday, January 23 – Gone Fishin’
Maria Michaels Designs
Wednesday, January 25 – Surf and Sand
Linda Pearl
Beaquilter
Thursday, January 26 – Twilight Blush
KISSed Quilts
Friday, January 27 – Happy Harvest
For Quilts Sake
Monday, January 30 – Jolly Holly
Connie Kauffman
Tuesday, January 31 – Frost
MooseStash Quilting
Wednesday, February 1 – Merry and Bright
Patchwork Breeze
Sally’s Quilting Corner
Also, I have a prize for someone.  Just comment below with the name of your pet, or what you would do with this collection.  I'll be sending someone some Island Batik fabrics, a few FQs for you to play with.  I may even include some Fifi and Fido 1/4 yd cuts.  (International winner will be asked to help cover the difference in shipping).  I'll draw a winner on Feb. 2.  
And Island Batiks is giving away 2 bundles of fabric, so please use the Rafflecopter link for more info on that.  
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks so much for visiting!  Enjoy the rest of the hop, and I hope you have fun with my block!  

Maryellen

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Finished! Update on Creative New Quilts.

Hi.  Back in March, the @IslandBatik Ambassadors were asked to participate in a blog hop celebrating Wendy Sheppard's newest book, Creative New Quilts.  

Here's my post from then.

I finally had a chance to get this quilted, so here it is!  Done, and listed in my Etsy store.  



   I love how the green stars add sparkle to the design.  

 The London Fog fabrics are gorgeous, and the backing, using Sea Salt Sandy, is just wonderful.  Wait until you feel it!  It's so silky and smooth!  

I hope to get more quilts finished soon, but my machine is being a little grumpy right now.  I must admit I broke over 12 needles quilting this.  I think the timing is off just enough to not like quilting, but it does sew other things well.  I guess it needs a spa day at Pocono Sew & Vac.  

Thanks for visiting, and have a wonderful week.

Maryellen





Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Island Batik Winter Wonderland



Hi! Welcome to my entry for the @IslandBatik #IslandBatikWinterWonderland Ambassador challenge. We were asked to do anything winter or holiday related, any size. I picked the more modern color assortment of fabrics provided, and played most of the month with ideas. I loved the Reindeer Print on the grey background. I wanted to feature it, so I fussy-cut the center blocks for the Monkey Wrench quilt block. I used Frost in a deeper blue, Merry and Bright red trees, Merry and Bright Rainbow Snowflakes, and Frost lighter blue/gray snowflakes.

I decided not to use a traditional background, and I also changed the direction of the surrounding blocks, to make each of the 4 blocks a little more interesting, and create a secondary design.  I also added a darker blue Island Batik basic as a folded inner border to accent the darker blue of the reindeer, and separate the blocks from the border, where the red touches.  I added it as the border went on, so it made a cute frame.  



If you made a larger quilt with the same swapped Monkey Wrench Block, it may look like this sample below.  I used basic colors in EQ7, except for the Merry and Bright rainbow design, because it would help show the secondary design.  I love it!  I may try this again, and the Monkey Wrench is such a great basic block. 


So, I'll be quilting this soon, and sharing that when it's done.  Thanks for stopping, and please look for more of the Island Batik Ambassador Winter Wonderland projects.  I'll share a link for the list soon!  Have a great Holiday season!  Make something fun and pretty and consider using Island Batik! 

Maryellen

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Eerie Nights Blog Hop

Welcome to my day on the Eerie Nights Blog Hop!




It's the last weekend before Halloween!  I've been enjoying seeing all the decorations around my neighborhood.  I am amused by the skeleton bones "climbing" out of the lawns, and all the "cobwebs" and blow-up lawn decorations.  Do your neighbors decorate?


Thanks to Sew Incredibly Crazy and Marian at Seems To Be Sew for coordinating this fun hop.  There are great prizes and lots of inspiration.  Enter, if you dare (insert squeaking door sound, lol)  


I also had a challenge as an Island Batik Ambassador.






We were asked to create something with a pumpkin.  Between the Ambassador posts and the other Eerie Night posts, it's been so inspiring to see what everyone has been creating! Search the hashtag #IslandBatikPumpkinFest for more from the Ambassadors.


I picked 4 orange batik fabrics, and put it with solid black.  I used a gorgeous green Island batik for the leaf and stem, and added a border from Fabri-quilt that is for sale in my etsy shop.  The pattern is Pumpkin Grins by Quilt In a Day..  And I created a smirky grinning face after looking at some suggestions on Pinterest.  

I like mixing batiks and regular cottons.  I've done it before, and it's fun, and it looks great.
Some of the "big" name designers do it, and the oranges from the batiks are a great match to the pumpkins in the print.  






I used Aurifil clear nylon thread to quilt spider webs to the pumpkin.  And I added LED lights. There's a small pocket on the back that holds a flat battery pack, and has a switch.  I've done quite a few lighted pumpkin grins, and they are always so much fun to create.  


I put a hanging sleeve on the back, so it can either be on a wall, or you could add magnets to hold it to a steel door.  If you look at the close-up you can see the tiny light bulbs.  I had a friend who put Fibre-Optics in some of my quilts, and made these small LED light sets for me.  

So, I hope I've given you some ideas, and that you've enjoyed the hop.  Please remember to enter the give-away below for the Quilters Dream batting!  Just tell me your favorite Fall activity.  

And check the others posting today to check out the other give-aways.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  


October 20th




October 21st



October 24th




October 25th




October 26th



October 27th




October 28th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Maryellen

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Folk Art Quilted Traditions Blog Hop


Hi! Thanks for stopping in for my day on Suzy Webster's Book Launch Blog Hop!



I LOVE being asked to help an author launch a book.  It's fun, and I get the challenge of creating something new.  Have you ever done layered applique?  I hadn't.  It wasn't even on my "bucket list" of quilting things to do.  I've done applique, except for needle turn.  I was satisfied.  Until I saw this book.  The 12 Hungarian inspired applique blocks are so pretty!  Suzy asked the Island Batik ambassadors to pick one block, (or more, if you were adventurous) and use it to make a project from the book, or something else.  

I decided to do a table runner.  I figured I would have time to finish it.  LOL.  Not exactly.  Almost.  

I read through Suzy's great directions, and picked Block 12.  I really liked the way the flowers looked.  And since it was my first time, I didn't want to go too crazy with the layers.  This one had 5.  I went through the box of Island Batik fabrics I had, and picked some from Red Tide, as well as some random squares and scraps for the colors, and a background, Parchment, for the Jeweled runner from the book.  Although I could have created more applique blocks, or created my own setting blocks for the block I made, I really did like the look of Suzy's design, and wanted to use it.  

And then I got some special orders, had a craft show, went on vacation (although I did prep the Light Steam a Seam 2 while away, doing the tracing, and some of the fabric pre-cutting).  
We got home from the trip, and I've been working on the stitching for the applique.  And working on another project, and working on getting things organized, and repaired.  

Did I mention living with my mom, and taking care of her, is a full-time job?  Did I mention my brother is moving, and when he comes back to visit, wants to stay in the other upstairs room, across from my sewing studio?  Did I mention we needed to replace the tile floor in the upstairs bathroom, because it was broken and leaked, plus paint and refinish the floor in  the other room?  And we're also fixing up my childhood bedroom?  And I needed emergency dental surgery to pull a broken tooth that was so painful?  Yes, and more.  Although we had tried to schedule the tile 2 weeks ago, something came up with the installer.  It was rescheduled for today (Wednesday).  Yup, the day I needed my machine and studio the most, I had no electricity for a few hours, because they were installing a new mirror and light, plus ripping out the bathroom floor, and painting the hallway and doors upstairs (the one to my studio, etc).  

So, before they turned off the electricity to the 2nd floor, I was able to press the pieced units for the side blocks.  But I couldn't sew, because the bathroom vanity (which was removed so they could rip up the tile and fix the holes) was IN FRONT of my sewing desk!!  YIKES!!

I pressed, and trimmed the sections, and went back down to my vintage machine to sew the sections together.  The worker said he would move the vanity.  He did, but couldn't put the electric back on.  Back up 2 flights to trim the blocks and back down to sew them together, set up the iron and board in the basement, press everything, and go outside to take some photos.  
So, here's my version of Suzy's Block 12 and Jeweled Runner. 





Yup, just for fun, to show you what's on my lawn today.  The toilet is a kid's height one, and we're replacing it with an adult (chair height) one.  

After I took the photos, I waited until the power was back on, layered the runner with Warm & White batting, and a white backing, and got a little bit of quilting done.  I tried to quilt more after dinner, and broke 3 needles.  I give up for tonight!  lol



We'll see.  On days like today, I wish I had a Fitbit.  I would love to know how many flights I did.  I'm also glad I can work around the issues when things get wacky!

So, it's not finished, but I hope to have it done soon.  

I do recommend Suzy's book!  I hope you consider adding it to your library and trying one of the projects.  I LOVE the Indigo Star quilt.  I would love to make that one one day.  
Indigo Star, designed by Suzy Webster, pieced, appliqued, and quilted by Kathy Shier

Which block or blocks do you think you'll try?  Remember to check out the other bloggers, and to enter to win a copy of the book and some Island Batik Fat Quarters.  

Yes, my day is that wacky, that the photo loaded upside-down! lol

Folk Art Quilted Traditions Blog Hop
October 10-14
Monday, October 10

Connie Kresin Campbell - http://www.conniekresin.com/

Tuesday, October 11





Wednesday, October 12

Thursday, October 13
Maryellen McAuliffe - http://teachpany.blogspot.com/

Friday October 14
Adele Mogavero - http://adelemogavero.com/
Lara Buccella - http://www.buzzinbumble.com/


a Rafflecopter giveaway