Monday, April 20, 2015

Little Gems Winners!

Thanks SEW much for participating in last week's Blog Hop!  It was so much fun, and the Island Batiks Ambassadors who participated really enjoyed your comments.

Without further ado, the winner of the ebook, Little Gems by Connie Kauffman on my blog is Comment #46,

46 
Anonymous said...
I'm fairly new to paper-piecing but it has become my favourite new quilting technique. It' the perfect way to make a mini quilt!

wlinda_ca at 

Linda has been contacted.

The winner for a collection of Island Batik Fat Quarters from me is:

39 
VickiT said...
Beautiful pink mini!
I'm following your Facebook page. 
Vickie, please contact me with your address at marymackmademine at gmail dot com, or through Facebook.  Thanks for being a follower.

I tried clicking on your name and using your "contact me" link, but it goes to an email through Microsoft, and I don't remember my password.  I wish I could make it go to gmail, instead! Oh, well, I hope this works!

Also, thanks to everyone for the likes on my Facebook page.  Although I had over 20 new likes Facebook "deleted" the inactive likes, so I'm currently at 221.  When I get to 250, I do have a prize, so please keep sharing my Facebook Page page.



AND, Stay tuned!  There's another blog hop I'm participating in, where you can win a gift certificate to Fabrics N Quilts.

ANDDDD! if you are going to Paducah this week, and tell Shannon at Fabrics N Quilts that I sent you, you will get a little gift!  She's in the Pavilion, booth #4503, so stop by!

Thanks again!  And, just to add a photo, here's my Aurifil March Mini Challenge, featuring more fabrics from Full Bloom by Island Batiks.


See you soon, with info on Fabrics N Quilts new and improved online shop!
Have a wonderful day!

Maryellen




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Little Gems Blog Hop and Giveaway!











Have you seen the quilts made from this book yet?  You need to go visit the other blogs, and see the designs.  Little Gems by Connie Kauffman is great!  I've had foundation paper piecing on my bucket list for a few years.  I've looked at videos and read about how to do it. But I kept putting it off. When Connie asked the ambassadors to participate and make a quilt, I realized it was the perfect time to try this!  I picked a design, and said I was in.  I LOVED the look of the quilt, Radiance, in her book. 

Images from Little Gems by Connie Kauffman, Martingale, 2015;  used by permission.  Photos by Brent Kane.  All rights reserved. 

I decided to play with colors from the Full Bloom Collection by Island Batiks and Fourth and Sixth Designs.  I picked some pinks and the pale green for the lighter purple, above.  

But, as a beginner to paper piecing, I hadn't realized that this particular quilt has 143 pieces in it's stunning 12" finished size.  The units were really easy to create, though.  It didn't take long to get the little units done.  I really enjoyed working on this on my vintage machine.  


I know you will want to make more than one Little Gem!  I'm already saving scraps for a second!  You can purchase this book from Martingale HERE, or find it on Amazon.  I highly recommend this book.  The photos are gorgeous, the directions clear and the designs just so varied and cute!  There's something for everyone in the designs.  

I need to get a cute hanger for this Little Gem and display it.  
 Maybe even on my pale pink walls. 

And, if you haven't tried Island Batiks, you really should.  The fabrics are just gorgeous, and the texture is wonderful.  

Today, you have a chance to WIN a FREE copy of the EBook, courtesy of Martingale.  And, since my Facebook page now has over 200 followers, I plan to give away some FQs of Island Batiks fabric. You'll be surprised.  2 winners, one for the book, and one for fabric.  If I get over 250 followers by April 20 on Facebook, I'll add in a 3rd prize from comments here.  

Leave a comment below about anything, and please follow me on Facebook and my blog. Thanks so much for visiting!  Enjoy the rest of the hop!  

All HOP winners will be announced and contacted on April 20th.  

April 8        http://kauffmandesigns.blogspot
April 9        http://blog.shopmartingale.com/
April 10      www.conniekresin.com   
April 13      Ackfeld Wire hosted by www.kauffmandesigns.blogspot.com
April 14     www.tamarinis.typepad.com  
April 15     www.teachpany.blogspot.com    HERE 
April 16     www.beaquilter.com   
April 18     www.islandbatik.com/news   

Maryellen

Friday, April 10, 2015

For My Mom



A while ago, Mom asked me to make something for her dresser.  I'd done simple toppers for the coffee table and the buffet, just using home decor fabric and the rolled hem feature on my serger.  We picked up fabric place mats for the side tables in the living room, and her nightstands, but she had plastic (gasp! ruin the wood) lace on the dressers.

I knew I wanted to make something in the lavender/purple shade to compliment her walls, and floral to go with her bedspread (yes, she insists on that.  I won't make her a bed quilt, because she won't use it.)  So, I was always on the look-out for some pretty purple floral fabric.  I found some at JoAnn's around Christmas.  I went through my stash for coordinates, and then to EQ7 for blocks and to design something that would fit, and accent the floral.

I decided on the Contrary Wife block.  Mom probably wouldn't get the joke, but I thought it was funny.  It's a great block to feature pretty prints, and accent colors.  I picked a deeper purple and a pinky orchid, and white tone on tone for the background squares.  I played with sizes and borders until I had the size I needed, about 18 by 70", using 5 12" squares and 3 1/2" borders.  I pieced the top on my vintage 15-91, and finished it on the Viking, over Easter weekend in NY.  Mom was excited, and almost didn't want to wait for me to take these pictures!  It was fun to see her happy with a quilt, that I knew she would use.

So, here's Mom's Contrary Dresser Runner.


 I quilted it with Aurifil 50wt variegated in 3840, a soft lavender purple mix.  It was the perfect thread to use on the whole top.  I did feather wreaths in the blocks, and feathers in the borders.  I used it in the bobbin, too.  It works so well, and adds just the perfect touch. 
 Doesn't it look great with the walls?  
 Mom does sew but doesn't quilt.  I'm just glad she'll use this.  I gave her a quilt that she loved, also purple, but she put it away.  I want the things I make to be used.  
The only thing I wished I could have done before putting it on the dresser was to use Howard's RestorAFinish on the dresser, and a coating of the Feed and Wax.  Her dresser is damaged from spills and years of plastic.  I thought I had left the right color of Howard's with Dad, but he couldn't recall, and I didn't take the time to look.  I do have to make something for Dad's dresser, now, and I'll look for the Howard's next time I'm down.  I bought a lighter shade to use on the wood I have here.  If you have minor issues with wood furniture, and want them to look better, I really recommend Howard's.

Thanks for stopping!  I'm sharing with #Creativegoodness at QuiltShopGal.
Check back in a few days for more stuff!  Including the Little Gems Blog Hop, and maybe some photos of my day at the Philadelphia Zoo.  That was fun!  See you soon!

Maryellen

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Little Gems Blog Hop Kick Off!


Have you seen this adorable book by fellow Island Batiks Ambasador, Connie Kaufman?  
The designs are cute, and it's a great use of scraps.  Check out some of the designs during this fun blog hop, and get a chance to win the book, and other prizes!  

April 8        http://kauffmandesigns.blogspot
April 9        http://blog.shopmartingale.com/
April 10      www.conniekresin.com   
April 13      Ackfeld Wire hosted by www.kauffmandesigns.blogspot.com
April 14     www.tamarinis.typepad.com  
April 15     www.teachpany.blogspot.com    HERE with ME!! Wait until you see mine!
April 16     www.beaquilter.com   
April 18     www.islandbatik.com/news   

I've never done foundation/paper piecing before, and found the directions and designs fun!  

Go to Connie's blog to start!  See you soon, with a finished Little Gem!  
Thanks for visiting!

Maryellen


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ohh Baby Baby

Sweet baby quilt!  

Yes, there is still snow at my house.  This is the same rock I usually use for my photos, and there's about a foot of snow still in front of  it.  It borders the drive, so some of that is from shoveling, but there's still plenty of snow elsewhere.

This fabric collection is Little Brown Bear by Janet Jones for Quilting Treasures, and available at Fabrics N Quilts.  I had won a gift certificate for entering the Scrap Quilt Challenge last year, and purchased these fabrics.  They are so sweet!  Cute bears, bumble bees and a fun pindot in aqua.

I used the pattern Girls Best Friend by Quilt In A Day.  Are they diamonds or are they stars?  Great pattern!  I sewed it on my  1954 Singer 15-91, and quilted it on my Viking Sapphire 850.  I put super soft minkee fabric on the back.  When I brought the top to JoAnn's to get the backing, I knew I wanted cuddle fleece or something soft.  I love that for a baby quilt.  I picked out the few I thought would look good.  One was pale pink with embossed stars.  The other was blue, and I picked the brown.  I would have gone with a lighter tan shade, but they didn't have it.  I prefer the cuddle fabrics that have a knit back, so they are not too stretchy.  That would make the quilting really difficult.  The customers all said the quilt looked more boyish, and that the brown would be best.  I had already decided on the brown, but it's always fun to get opinions.  As for the boyish, I actually thought it looked more girlish, with the peach.  It's always fun to hear the different viewpoints.




I used the awesome Aurifil 50wt Mako thread to quilt it and piece it.  All of my machines use Aurifil. I never have any problems with it.  No breaks, great color matches, and it just looks so good!   I used 2320, a sweet honey tan color, that looks awesome.  I tested a peachy pink, and creamy colors, and even the blue/aqua, but this one looked the best.  Because of the minkee, it really sinks into the fabric, and looks great against all the colors.  I accented the diamond design by just doing a curved diamond to the points, in all of the blocks.  The inner border was left open, and the outer has feathers.  I didn't want the quilt to be too stiff, and lots of dense quilting can do that.  Since minkee has a nap and can stretch, the less quilting you do on it, the better, I think.   Batting is Warm & Natural, so this quilt is totally cuddle-worthy.


I'm linking with QuiltShopGal's #Creativegoodness.  You really need to check out the other posts and see what others are working on.  You can learn something and be inspired!


Visit #Creativegoodness HERE

Creative Goodness at QuiltShopGal
Thanks for visiting!  Have a great week!

Maryellen

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Christine's #Tulapink Machine Cover

My friend Christine LOVES Tula Pink.  She often gets the collections when they come out.  She also LOVES hexagons, English Paper Piecing.  She works on them constantly, and often has 2 or 3 different projects going.  Last year, on one of our sewing days, she showed me this pretty Hexie fabric she made.  We had just unpacked her new Juki sewing machine, and were discussing what to do with the pieced rectangle she had, and knowing it was Tula fabric, I suggested a machine cover.



Do you cover your machine?  Many recommend it if you don't sew daily.  I don't often cover my Viking.  It's used very often, and is not near a window.  Although it can get a little dusty, the plastic will not be affected by UV light.  You've seen some plastic items turn yellow from sunlight, right?  It's not really good for it.  It can make the plastic brittle, and who wants that ugly discoloration?  I do recommend covers if your machine will be out near a window.  Christine had just gotten a desk to set her machine on, and it's right under the window in her dining room.  So, the idea of using her Tula fabric as a machine cover was perfect.  She wanted the machine to be available when she had time to sew.  Before she got the desk, she needed to clear the table, set up the machine, and then take it down again for meals.  So, she didn't get as much sewing time as she wanted.  Now, she can sew, just by turning the dining room chair around.

I offered to finish the machine cover for her, as a birthday gift.  She had the yard of fabric that I used for the back and sides, and I added the lining fabrics and batting.  I opted to applique the hexagons onto the strips on the side to make the piece wide enough for her Juki, and added the piece for the back.  I quilted the pieces for the body and sides using Aurifil 50wt thread in a dark olive green.

I did a feathered heart over the center front, and feathers and stipple around the sides and back.  I want the quilting to be dense enough to help this stand up.   I may add a fabric handle at the top to make it easier for her to get it off the machine, but I'll talk to her about that.  I used my serger to finish the inside seam edges, and binding from the yard of Tula fabric for the bottom edge.

Here's the inside, and a peak at the quilting.


So, here it is on my Viking.  It fits well.

Hmmm, maybe I need a Tula cover for my machine, too.  Christine's birthday is just a few days after mine.  I hope she loves it!

And if you need a cover, there are lots of tutorials on the web for making one.  I do plan to make one for the vintage machine (first photo) but that's a smaller machine than the Juki.  I need to come up with a cute idea for it.  Measure your machine's width, height, and depth, and have fun!



Thanks for visiting.
Maryellen

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How Charming!

Creative Goodness at QuiltShopGal

#Creativegoodness again!  Since I decided to participate in the Project Quilting challenge, using charm squares, (5" pieces), I discovered a few that I had purchased years ago.  When I first started quilting, and buying cottons, I did quite a bit of buying from Ebay.  A few sellers often had good deals on either manufactured packs of charms (the collection) or ones they cut and packaged.  I have a few packaged sets I didn't know what to do with, so they got stored in baskets on the shelf in my studio.  The collection bundles are multiple packs, with some yardage to match (for most, after I realized I needed the coordinates for binding and borders) and enough to make a quilt.  The seller cut packs are...not.  Not enough to make a quilt, and without coordinates for borders or binding.

That poses a challenge!  Especially when the packs are older, as the fabrics are most likely out of print.  Some may be available, but since I'm on a Use the Stash challenge with Christine, I'm trying NOT to buy.  I'm allowed to purchase border and binding, but I'm trying not to.

One of the packs was an assortment of 4 prints from the Park Slope collection by Erin McMorris for Free Spirit fabrics.  I had to google Park Slope to get that info.  I have 8 charms of each print, with just a label of the name and the name of the shop.  Nothing in my stash was similar in design, and although I could have added a solid, I chose to just sew the squares together, and quilt it.  I decided to do a table runner.
Yes, that's a thick layer of ice on my patio table, under the runner.  After I had cleaned the table for the last runner's photos, it snowed again on the first day of Spring, and that melted and turned into the ice you see there.


I was inspired by the flowers so I did loops and flowers in the quilting design.  The back is a solid white muslin, with Warm & Natural batting.  Thread is the sweetest lime green by Aurifil, 50wt, Color 1231.  Although I have a blue variegated, and some aquas that would work, the lime just added the right touch to this bright runner.  


 Here I was testing out the photos using props on the small dresser.  I'm not sure I really like either, but the top was perfectly sized for this dresser, which was part of my son's nursery set.  When he was little, we made a changing table frame for this.  It was made with wood and covered in fabrics that matched the quilt a friend made for me, and had a vinyl covered foam pad inside.  We took it off when Matt was out of diapers, and he used this dresser for years.  It's now in the guest room (and still filled with his toys and books, lol)  Although the walls and accessories in the guest room are mostly blue, they really didn't accent the colors in the runner.
 I also tested out a few different fabrics for the binding.  I felt the pink was just too bright, and although it accented the pink in the flowers, was just too much.  Taking a photo can sometimes help show the better choices.  I picked the one on the bottom left, the leaves.  It was the best color match, and least glaring choice.  The one at the 12 o'clock position was just off in color.  The next was too dark, the next too light.  I had one in lime green, but it was not the right shade for this.



This was a fun, fast and easy project.  Perfect use of the charms, after all this time.  And great to play with creating a quilting design, and using colors I seldom use, like aqua and lime.  I worked on this during International Quilt Day, and used fabrics from my stash, and leftover pieces of backing and batting.  I do think that's the perfect thing to do for #quiltygoodness.

What have you done lately?
Thanks for visiting!

Maryellen