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

Friday, September 23, 2016

Island Batik Bountiful Table Topper and more


#Bountifultabletoppers
Island Batik Ambassadors were challenged to make something for the table for September.  We recently got a new box of fabric, and I was drawn to the orange, gold, brown and green bundle for this.  I love making the Autumn Leaves table runner from Quilt In A Day, and decided to make the leaf blocks from the bundle.  
All the pieces were cut out.  The colors are so much prettier in person.
.Blocks are done!  I love the options that the Autumn Leaves pattern offers.  


I decided to create the 2 block runner, which is the bonus pattern.  I've done this before, with a neutral center square, but I wanted this one to be a little more colorful, and use another piece from the collection.  I'll use the other 2 leaf blocks in a similar one, using another of the assortment for a center square.  I also added a full border with the same fabric.  I did cut out the strips for the pieced border, on the cover of the pattern, but plan to make some place mats, so I'll use them for that.  

I wanted to share tonight, so these photos were taken with indoor light, so it's not the best, but when I get a chance to quilt it, I'll take better photos.  

I did happen to notice that Mom had the perfect platter to accent the runner.  It's a vintage ceramic triple leaf dish, and the perfect shade!  



So, I hope you like my #bountifultabletopper top!  

Other things have been nuts over the last few weeks.  I did get 2 runners and a quilt finished, and had lots of fun at the St. Anne's Spirit Day craft fair.  But I also had a broken tooth that splintered again, and broke below the gum line.  Any time I ate something, I had shooting pains.  I was able to get an appointment with a new dentist (new insurance).  He recommended emergency extraction. The dental surgery place he recommended had no surgeons available this week, so I had to call my insurance and try to find one who was available.  I finally got one who did the extraction last night, and it seems to have gone well.  We're going on a group trip to a resort for a few days soon, and I wanted to be able to eat all the yummy food they make.  I knew if I didn't have it removed this week, I wouldn't be able to eat.  I was so excited to try ice cream tonight, and it was fine!  I'm excited about healing and having a great time on vacation.  I'll be bringing some projects with me, though.  I have a blog hop coming soon, and can prep the applique pieces soon, cut out some other projects. 

Here are the recent finishes.  



It felt great to finish these!  
Thanks for visiting!  

Lori S was the winner in the Island Batik #SeasideSummerHop.  I hope she likes the assortment of Island Batik FQs plus a little roll that I sent.  See you soon!  Happy Fall, and I hope you can find inspiration from more of the Island Batik Ambassadors.  Just search #Bountifultabletoppers.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Island Batiks Seaside Summer Blog Hop

Hi and Welcome to my day on the Island Batik Ambassador's Hop!  I'm glad you're stopping by. 




My collection is Red Tide.  It's a mix of colors, and I had an assortment of orange and red, purples, and greens.  There are some lovely designs in this collection, and I especially love the purple swirls.  




What would you do if you were given a group of 1/2 yard cuts?  I  wanted to make a quilt.  Nothing too big, as it's hot and my new studio only has fans, so far.  I don't have a long arm, and do my own quilting.  So, smaller works for summer projects.  


I wanted something different, too.  Not a published pattern, but something fun.  I went looking for block designs for inspiration.  Nothing was named for Red Tide, or Seaside.  I didn't want boats, because I was going to use the orange and purple selections.  So, for inspiration, I went to Quilters Cache and found the Triangle Chain block.  I love the look.  It's different.  But I wanted it bigger.  Marsha has it as a 9".  
I played in EQ7 #EQ25 to change the size and make it easier to cut.  I decided a 16" block would work.  That made each quadrant  8".  The lighter purple Half Triangle Square finishes at 4", the sashing and "cornerstones" are 2" (cut 2 1/2"), and the smaller orange HSTs finish at 3".  Large purple HST piece is an 8 7/8 square, cut on one diagonal.  Larger orange HST is a 6 7/8 square, cut on diagonal.  Each section should be 8 1/2" before you join them to make one square.  




Then the fun begins!  What happens when you play with the layout??  


Here's the EQ7 layout.  
 I love it!!  

And then I found the green/purple fabrics I had actually set aside for a different top, and liked them better.  So, change the orange to green.  I made 4 large blocks, added a 2" border (cut at 2 1/2") and a 4" (cut at 4 1/2) border, because that would need 4 strips, and I had 1/2 yard.  






I went to the Island Batik website and downloaded the actual photos from the fabric, to upload into EQ7, and see what the prints will look like.  I also played with a dark blue for the cornerstones, but liked the bright green better.  
I love being able to get an idea of the quilt using only EQ7 on my computer.  I knew I didn't have lots of fabric, and couldn't afford to make a mistake in cutting.  
Although I knew I wanted the quilt to look like a large star, I put the blocks on my design wall to see how they worked in a different arrangement.  I put the border fabrics next to them, just to double check.  While this is a fun layout, and the purple and green sections make really interesting designs, it didn't have the impact I was hoping for.  

Ah, Eureka!  That's it!  I love the purple star points!  Don't be afraid to play with your blocks to see what happens when you change the direction.  The difference here is just turning the block, all pointing a green section to the center.  

So, here's the finished top.  

Here's one of the blocks, with a hint at the quilting.  

Yes, I actually, finally, have something quilted!! It's been a while.


This one finished at about 45" square.  The larger blocks were fast and easy to make, and made a quick top. 

And my summer recipe!  
I love zucchini bread.  Since it's something you can make ahead and freeze, it's the perfect thing to bring to the beach, for a treat after swimming.  Although when I'm eating it at home, I prefer it lightly toasted and buttered, it's great for a quick snack, too.  

Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom (optional)
¼ tsp baking powder
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups peeled, grated raw zucchini (I always add a little more).
1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans).
  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Grease and flour 2 large loaf pans (as in photo), or 3 small pans. (My small ones are about 4 x 6).
  2.  Cream eggs, oil, sugar and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Sift together the remaining dry ingredients, and stir into the egg mixture. Add zucchini, nuts and vanilla, and stir until combined.
  4. Pour into the prepared pans, and bake for about 1 hour. Knife inserted in center should come out clean, but moist.
Hints: Double the recipe, and freeze the extras. To freeze, wrap each cooled loaf in aluminum foil, and place in a large zipper freezer bag. It keeps well for about 2 months.

Seaside Summer Blog Hop Schedule
Monday Aug 15 - Rain Forest


Tuesday Aug 16 - Red Tide




Wednesday Aug 17 - Sand Dune




Thursday Aug 18 - Seashore




Friday Aug 19 - Surf Squirt




Monday Aug 22 - Tradewinds




Tuesday Aug 23 - Equinox




Wednesday Aug 24 - Sea Canyon




Thursday Aug 25 - Sea Foam




Friday Aug 26 - Spoolin' Around




Monday Aug 29 - Tide Pools




Tuesday Aug 30 - Wind and Sea




Wednesday Aug 31 - Spring Zing




Thursday Sep 1 - Splash




Friday Sept 2 - Landscapes


Now for the fun!  Island Batiks is sponsoring a sweet give-away.  Follow the directions on the Rafflecopter link below.


I'm offering a second give-away, and I'll use Random.org to choose a winner on Saturday, September 3rd.  US winners only, unless you wish to pay the additional shipping fees.  Just become an email follower of my blog, and follow my Mary Mack Made Mine Facebook Page and leave a comment that you follow, and if you've tried Island Batik fabrics.  You have a chance to win something from my Island Batik Ambassador box.  It will be a surprise!  

Thanks again for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my novel, lol.  Please remember to visit the other Ambassadors!