Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Behind the scenes

Hi!  I've been a little quiet on my blog, but I've been working on things.   A friend sent me fabric to make 2 quilts for her.  I played with a few designs, and decided to go with Quilt In A Day's Piece of Cake, using 10" squares.  It seemed the best for the amount of fabric she sent, as well as the size of the prints.  Both are ready to baste and quilt, and I hope to get them basted today.

One features a cute assortment of duckies, butterflies, and flowers.  The other features Disney Cars fabrics.  I pieced both backs with leftovers.  I added white sashing to the Ducky one, and blue to the Cars, as well as some scraps I had of Cars fabrics.  These will be a gift for twins, so I used the same pattern for both.  

I also pieced another baby size quilt top, using fabrics I purchased from Fabrics N Quilts called Little Brown Bear.  I pieced it on my vintage Singer 15-91, and added the borders on my Viking Sapphire.  Why switch machines?  Because I can sew to a certain point with only using finger pressing.  Once it needs to be ironed, I have to go downstairs to the studio, and laundry room to iron.  I don't want to set up a second iron in the living room/dining room.  So, once down there, it's easier to finish the next steps, which need pressing after each, on the other machine.  This is so sweet!  I plan to get Minkee for the backing, just to make it really soft.  

 When this is done, I'll be adding it to my shop.  I have a few other baby quilts planned, as well.  I'm using up smaller pieces of batting, and finishing some UFOs.  

I also finished this table runner, for me.  I had made one quite a few years ago, using Moda's Candy Kisses, in the same design, only with smaller borders.  But I ruined it.  I had a candle lit one day, and it melted funny.  I think I was downstairs, and didn't discover until it had poured melted wax over a large area, that seeped into the batting, and even through the backing, to leave a red mark on my table.  Luckily, I had purchased more of that charm pack, which is now out of print, and some yardage.  I had planned to make placemats and more, so I pieced another top last year, and finally got it quilted.  I used a design similar to the Feathered Heart pillow I did last month, to quilt this.  I can't wait to clean off my table and put this on.  And I know not to burn candles if I need to work down in the studio, unless it's in a jar.  

LOL, Ooops, I guess I forgot to erase the blue marking line I drew to help shape the feathers.  

So, that also knocked a UFO off the list.  I was going to try to get it done for the Project Quilting challenge on Sunday, but used up 4 bobbins when quilting it.  Then I pulled another red for attaching the bindings, and used that up.  Pulled a 6th similar red bobbin, and used that up, as well.  I still had half the binding to machine stitch, so I decided rather than wind a bobbin, I would go to bed, and that was at 1 a.m. Sunday morning.  I decided to sleep, rather than get up, finish it, and then take photos and blog.  My son was coming for dinner, so I also needed to prep that, and make a pie.  But I'm thrilled it's done now, and that my quilting has improved since I made the first.  That one used stencils, and the quilting wasn't as good.  This is all free hand feathers, and I think it's awesome.  I used Aurifil 2440, a faded red, for the hearts, 2423, a pale pink for the inner border and surrounding the hearts, and another red for the border.  

So, what have you been working on?  Thanks for visiting, and Happy Valentine's Day!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Winner!

True Random Number Generator  73Powered by RANDOM.ORG
Thanks SEW much for all your comments and visits to my Island Batiks Sock Hop Blog Hop post!  I really appreciate it.
Joyce was comment #73, and I've sent her an email to get her address.  
She'll win these fabrics.  

Thanks again for visiting!  I do hope you come back soon.  I'll have new things to show, and more fun planned.  

And, as many know, the North East US had a huge snow storm.  Luckily, in the mountains of Northeastern PA, it wasn't as bad as predicted.  Between the clipper and Juno, I got about 8 new inches of snow since Sunday.  Not too bad for us, but parts of the coast are devastated.  Hugs and prayers for them.  I hope you are all safe and warm, and hopefully enjoying a quilt!  Have a great day.  I'm off to get a mug of hot chocolate.  


Monday, January 26, 2015

Last Chance!

Today is your Last Chance to enter to win this 3 YARD selection of Island Batiks fabrics!  

The cat print is a full ONE YARD piece!  The other 4 are half yard cuts.  

If you haven't tried Island Batiks, you are in for a treat!  The fabrics are such a high quality, and the prints are gorgeous.  

Go enter HERE.  Leave a comment (or 3) if you haven't already visited.  Winner will be announced Tuesday!  

Thanks again for joining the Hop!  I do hope you visited the other bloggers, and especially Island Batiks, to get inspiration and a chance to win fabric or other prizes!  

Comments on this post will not be eligible for the prize.  I'm only selecting from comments on the original post.  Thanks again for visiting!  


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Quiltsy Team Mug Rug swap

I'm a member of the Quiltsy team on Etsy, a sellers team.  We share just about everything in the chat thread, like good friends in an international quilting guild would.  Yes, international. I chat with Astrid, in Mauritius, and Steph in Australia, and Paula in Ireland, and Cathy in Hawaii, and many members from all over the US and Canada.  We all share a love of fabrics and thread, and quilting, and fiber arts.  We cheer on each others sales, and support the shops of our friends, as well as their family lives, and professional accomplishments.  I consider these women and men friends.   In 2013, we learned one of our members had lost her house in Superstorm Sandy.  Many sent her tools and fabric to replace her lost stash, and we collected quilt blocks and made a king size quilt and a large lap quilt to comfort her as she rebuilt.  Another member was diagnosed with breast cancer, and we sent a prayer shawl and a quilt to comfort her as she battled.  She's now cancer free.

Later in 2013, I asked for about 6 quilts to augment the ones I received from Quilts of Honor, to be presented to Veterans at the West Hempstead Kiwanis, my brother's club.  The team came through.  Some just made blocks, and others made tops, while others quilted them. The Vets were very touched by the quilts, and I was so proud to be a member of such a generous team.  

We've also made group quilts, and done swaps.  The current swap is for a mug rug.  A mug rug is a small quilted mat, smaller than a place mat, where one can place a cup of coffee and a snack.  It's larger than a coaster.  Members were asked to sign up, and the coordinator paired us up, one on one.  I was paired with Barb, of Down Home Designs. Through our chats, I've learned many things about Barb, and her family.  She loves vintage stuff, and collects vintage sewing machines, like me.  She and Mike have been married for about 40 years, and she often cares for her grandchildren, and they have cows.  Mike loves vintage cars, and often posts photos on Facebook, which I love seeing.  

So, I needed to design a mug rug for Barb.  She's making one for me.  What fabrics do I use?  I know she loves 30's reproduction prints, and I have a small collection.  I plan to make a Double Wedding Ring quilt with them, but I also adore the Dresden Plate block in vintage fabrics.  I decided to look through my Quilt In A Day patterns, knowing I had at least 2 that featured Dresden Plate designs.  I used the Mini Dresden Plate pattern, since it starts with a 6 1/2" block.  Since mug rugs average between 5 and 8" tall, this was perfect.  I cut tiny wedges out of 8 different fabrics.  Each wedge, when stitched, measured 3/4" wide at the widest, and was about 2" long.  

Isn't that just adorable??  I had fun sewing those tiny pieces together.  It's not often that I work with miniature size blocks.  I usually like to go large.  But, this is for a friend, whom I've never met in person.  I made the rest of the Dresden Plate ring, appliqued it to the block, and added a side section to make the block about 6 by 9:.  I layered and quilted it, and had a brainstorm to also make one for Mike, just because.  I had fabric with vintage cars on it, so I made a border, and quilted that, also.  

Here are the finished mug rugs. 

Detail of some of the quilting on Barb's.  

I had fun making something special for a friend!  I do plan to make other mug rugs to sell in my shop, and would love to participate in another team swap like this.  If you need inspiration for a new project, try making something for a friend.  

I'm so excited that I can share this!  I kept it a surprise until Barb got her mail today.  She said Mike was very happy, and already using his under his coffee mug.  She loved hers, as well.  I'm just so glad I made something they would both enjoy.  

Have you made mug rugs?  If you look on Etsy's Quiltsy Team for mug rugs, you'll find some fun ones.  If you can't make one, buy one!  It's a great way to add a little color and a smile to your snack time.  

Thanks for visiting!  


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Today's news

Hi!  I want to thank all my new followers on the blog.  The response from the Island Batik Sock Hop Blog Hop has been wonderful.  I'm truly honored by all the positive comments on my bed runner.  

A note about the furniture store:  My bedroom is lavender.  My quilt is purples and lavender ( it's the one in my header).  My bedroom furniture is a mix of furniture I refinished, and fabric covered tables, and I don't have a headboard.  I love my bed, and my room suits my purposes, but it's NOT suitable for photographing a teal and olive brown bed runner.  I asked another local friend, and her room is purples and grey.  The idea of asking to take some "lifestyle" photos in a furniture store was born more of desperation (and snow on the ground) than creativity.  It worked out wonderfully for me, as I'm happy with the look of my quilt on elegant furniture.  I do suggest you call your shop, first, and ask permission.  The first place I called said I would need permission from their corporate office.  Rich at Ashley Furniture in Wind Gap was very helpful.  Most often I can use my guest room twin bed for photos, but in this case, with a queen size runner, I needed a queen size bed.  So, I made some calls, and got lucky. 

This is what I've been working on this week.  

First, I wanted to do the Aurifil Designer of the Month Mini Quilt.  One of my goals this year is to work on piecing accuracy.  I LOVE the block that Gudrun designed, and picked 2 batiks, one a rich purple, and the other a grey, to create this block.  The directions were good, (just check your margins before printing, I lost a few lines in the header/footer) and it was fun to do.  

Here's my version of the top.  I'm hoping some inspiration will strike and I can get this quilted, and hang it in my PURPLE bedroom.  I have just the spot for it.  But this is a challenge piece, and entries posted to their Flickr page have a chance to win Awesome Aurifil Thread!  It really is the best thread. 

On Tuesday, I took a ride to Tunkhannock, PA, to Endless Mountains Quilt Shop.  Jeannette had decided to close her shop, and I'm sad about that.  It was a great shop, and I loved visiting for past NE PA Shop hops, as well as Airing of the Quilts.  I was able to pick up a few pieces of fabric, before she closed the store.  These were priced at $4 a yard.  The woman in line before me got quite a few pieces I would have purchased, but I'm very happy to add these to future quilts, or a tote bag.  I picked up the Cigar print for Christine, though.  
These average about 2 yards each (some were end of bolts).  Thanks, EMQ, for being a great shop.  

And, I worked on the Quilt Shop Gal's January FMQ Challenge.  
I picked some lavender fabric, and lavender Aurifil 50wt Mako cotton thread, and used the inspiration from LuAnn Kessi's feathered heart post for my design.  I cut a heart shape from some large paper, and used a blue washout marker to trace the heart shape, and drew lines inside to help guide my feathers.  I haven't done many curvy feathers, so I really needed this practice.  Here's the finished pillow.  It measures about 20" by 22", and I just sewed the top, left an opening for turning and stuffing, and hand sewed that closed.  Outside the heart, I drew a frame around, at about 12 by 14", and did just a stipple in that area, then added another 3" frame, and did a feathered border in that.  Warm & Natural batting, and some muslin for the quilting part, and I used the same fabric as the front, on the back.  I'm pretty happy with this effort, and it's going on my PURPLE bed.  

I'm very happy with my challenge results.  Both pieces were good practices for my goals this year.  I do suggest you try the Aurifil mini quilt, as well as one of the choices for QuiltShopGal's FMQ challenge.  Let me know if you do!  I would love to see your work.  

Remember, the Sock Hop Blog Hop is still happening, and there's lots of fun inspiration and chances to win fabric.  I hope you've entered mine!  The details are HERE!

Thanks again for visiting.  I'll announce my winner soon!  I've selected some really pretty batiks, so make sure you leave a comment on the Sock Hop post at that last link.  

Have a wonderful weekend!  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Island Batiks Sock Hop Blog Hop And Give-Away

Welcome to the Sock Hop Blog Hop!  I'm Maryellen, from Mary Mack Made Mine, and I'm honored to be an ambassador, and your host for today's fun!  

Don't you just love classic hits from the 1960's?  The collection of fabric I used for this hop is called Down in the Boondocks.  This song was a hit in 1965.  Here's a video of Billy Joe Royal's live version.  I loved that Island Batiks named the collections after classic hits.  What fun!

This collection from Island Batiks is just so pretty.  I love the pineapple print and the teals.  I used the following SKU's in my bed runner, featuring the Sister's Choice block.
Dark teal (fish print) 12146099.  Light teal floral 12142097  Cream with pineapples 121414101
Olive brown pineapple 121414104  Cream with grass texture 121416098 and Olive Brown Sea Grass 121411103 

The Sister's Choice block is also a classic, and so easy, but looks tricky.  I made mine a 15" block to make the math easy for a beginner, and to let the fabric shine.  Each square will be 3" finished, 3 1/2" unfinished.  You can do one, by making EIGHT 3 1/2" HST (Half Square Triangle) units and 3 1/2" blocks as needed, or make the runner that I made, with the directions attached below. This this could be a 12" block if you use 2 1/2" squares (and make a sampler quilt featuring all the designs from this hop).

Here's a photo of one block.

I picked both cream prints from my collection, to add a little more texture to the block.  The center 9-patch area uses the Pineapple in cream, and the outer blocks feature the seagrass pint.  

I had fun designing the quilting, too!  I used Aurifil 50wt Mako in 2324 for the background.  I did a circular feather in the blocks, like sea anemones, and waves in the sashing.  I used 2810 (dark teal) to quilt shell designs in the cornerstones, 5006, Light teal to quilt the feathers in the inner border, and 2372 to quilt the outer border.  5 bobbins were used, and no thread breakage in the entire top.  And not much lint.  I just adore Aurifil!  The colors work so well with Island Batiks, too!  

I also made a pillow, from the extra fabrics.  It makes a nice set to add a little color and warmth to your bed.  

The full pattern is downloadable on Island Batik's FREE Pattern page. 
Thanks so much to Katie for all the work you did to make that possible.  

And thanks, also, to Rich at Ashley Furniture Homestore in Wind Gap, PA for allowing me to photograph my quilt on your furniture.  

The other collection I had was Dancing In the Moonlight.  I love this one, too.  Those purples are so rich!  But when I was choosing, I felt Down In the Boondocks played better in my design.  
So, about the give-away!  Leave me a comment for one chance to win.  Get a second chance (second comment) by following my blog via email.  And a third chance by "liking" me on Facebook.  You can leave up to 3 comments. 
You will win a selection of Island Batiks fabrics, including 1 yard of the cat print in the Boondocks collection.  3 chances to win one prize.  This will close on Monday, January 26 at midnight.  I need to contact you, so make sure I can reach you.  

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you went to the Island Batiks Blog and entered for their prizes, 2 complete collections! 

And, make sure you visit the rest of the bloggers, especially Island Batik.  They are giving away 2 bundles.  Some other bloggers have give-aways, too.  And inspiration.
1/12 – Island Batik – 
1/13 – Susan Vassallo Quilting Arts – Topsy Turvey Log Cabin
1/14 – Freemotion by the River – 54-40 in Running Water
1/15 – Beaquilter – Hunter Star in Crimson Tide
1/16 – One Quilting Circle – Flying Geese
** ME!! lol 1/17 – Mary Mack’s Blog – Sisters Choice in Down in the Boondocks
1/18 – Happy Cottage Quilter – Nine Patch in Johnny B Goode
1/19 – Kauffman Designs – Drunkard’s Path in Downtown
1/20 – Tamarinis – Pinwheel in Saturday Night Fever
1/21 – Bejeweled Quilts – Maple Leaf in La Bamba
1/22 – Six Gables Designs – Friendship Star in Full Bloom
1/23 – Purrfect Spots – Duck and Ducklings in No Particular Place to Go
1/24 – Inchworm Fabrics – Another Star in In the Summer Time
1/25 – Sew Fresh Quilts – Stepping Stones in Cry Me a River

Enjoy the rest of the hop, and thanks so much for visiting! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Let's go to the HOP!!

It's starting!  The Island Batiks Sock Hop Blog hop starts today!

Go visit Island Batiks to get the list of bloggers participating, and take the chance to win 2 gorgeous bundles of stunning batiks.

Come back on Saturday to see what I've done with this collection, called Down In the Boondocks.

Tomorrow's blogger is:

1/13 – Susan Vassallo Quilting Arts – Topsy Turvey Log Cabin

Get your chocolate malt ready, and find your poodle skirt!  You are in for a fun time!