Saturday, November 22, 2014

#Creative Goodness

I'm linking up with SewCal Gal's #Creative Goodness party.



The theme is #FallGoodness this week.  I wanted to share my table runner.  I love the pattern Autumn Leaves by Quilt In A Day.  You can watch the video by Eleanor Burns HERE. And there's a free pattern to make a turkey out of the same block HERE.

I've made this pattern a few times, and love it!  The leaves come out so pretty, and the directions are great.  Plus, you can change it up and make the borders the way you want.  I love stitching the veins on the leaves.  I basically pretend I'm drawing in the veins, only I do it with my sewing machine.  Start at the stem, go up to the top, come back down, add a few angled veins, and before you know it, you have a leaf!

Here's the most recent one I've done.


I love this one, too.  There are fiberoptic lights surrounding the center square.  

So, if you're looking for a great pattern, check out Quilt In A Day.  I checked the website, and they're currently out of stock, but you can find it elsewhere.  There are also free Leaf block patterns available.  Make something fun for your Autumn table!  
Thanks for visiting. 

Maryellen

Christmas is Coming

Normally I can wait until after Thanksgiving to begin decorating my house for Christmas.  This year, because I was working with this gorgeous Island Batiks fabric group, I've been itching to hang my stockings and put the wreath on the door!  I'm in the spirit!

As an Island Batiks ambassador, I receive collections of various prints.  I can use the collection as I wish.  But that can be a little intimidating.  First, you get a bundle of fabrics, often 1/2 yard pieces of each.  I want to use them to show off the gorgeous colors, and that wonderful hand dyed texture, but what can one do with just 1/2 yard?  I don't like wasting the fabrics, and want to use as much as possible.

I also love Quilt In A Day, and have subscribed to their Block Party this year.  These last few months have been new patterns.  Sew Radiant is one of the latest, designed by Pat Knoechel, Eleanor Burn's sister (and someone I've met a few times at her show at Pocono Sew & Vac).

Well, this pattern uses fat quarters and some yardage.  I picked 3 reds, 3 greens and 3 golds from the Island Batiks bundles, and one more print for the binding, and used almost all of it on this quilt.  I think I have 2 4" strips left, and some 1" strip scraps.  Yippee!  I can make some mug rugs out of the remaining fabrics.

The Island Batkis fabrics are gorgeous. 
After cutting the blocks, I had pieces that were about 4" wide, so I pieced them to the right length for the borders.   

 The red fabrics have stars and snowflakes, in gold metallic paint, and a batik print with green leaves.  The greens have pine branches or reindeer, snowflakes and words like Rejoice, Joy, and Noel in gold, or a batik pine print.  The gold had the gold pine branches, stars and swirls.  All the backgrounds are hand dyed batiks.  And the threadcount of the base fabric is wonderful, too.  It's so nice to work with gorgeous colors and fabrics that are sturdy and don't fray.  
 Backing is a poinsettia print with gold accents, but not from Island Batiks. 

Quilting was done on my Viking Sapphire, all hand guided (FMQ) with Superior metallic thread in light gold.  I did a snowflake in the center block, and feathers surrounding it, and in the border.  6 bobbins of Aurifil 50wt for the backing, in red.   Most metallic threads are difficult to work with.  Superior is the best I've found, and it gives a lovely accent to the fabrics from Island Batiks. 

So, don't you want to light a fire in the fireplace, turn on It's A Wonderful Life, and snuggle in with a cup of hot chocolate, next to your favorite person or dog?  Yeah, me too.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Catching Up

I can't believe I haven't written in a while.  Things have been a little crazy, though.  Other things have been more important, so...

I'm working on a quilt top featuring Island Batiks and the Sew Radiant pattern from Quilt In A Day. I need to figure out the last border, and then get it quilted.  It's gorgeous, though.  Pictures to come. 

I am also getting ready to do some craft shows.  I made some stemware coaster sets.  If they don't sell at the show, I'll list them in my Etsy shop.

I built a display rack for my quilts, for the shows.  It's similar in design to the ones I borrowed at Memorytown over the summer, but not "furniture" grade.  I don't have the tools to really build it like that, so I did what I could,  I purchased the wood pre-cut to the lengths I needed, at Home Depot.  I used Red Mahogany stain, and need to do another coat or 2 of polyurethane, but since the first craft sale is this week, that'll have to wait.  It stands about 4 feet high and is 5 feet wide, and is made out of pine.  I discovered that I need a new sander.  The vibrating one I have is very old, and barely moves.  I laughed when I plugged it in.  Anyway, this design may hold up to 10 quilts, if I fold them correctly.  I can fit it in my car, and I can lift it.  That's some of the reasons I did it this way.  Plus, it folds for storage.  



The yellow and blue Log Cabin quilt is one my cousin Liz's mother-in-law started for Liz's son.  When Leona passed away, Liz asked me to finish 4 quilts for her.  Two are done, this is the third (needs a label) and the last one will be done next week.  This will be given to Leona's great-granddaughter.  I'm honored to finish this hand pieced, quilted as you go quilt.  I'll share more details on Leona's quilts soon. 

And, I needed to get my car inspected.  I had been told that the headlight lenses would not pass inspection again.  That's a sore spot for me, since I complained about them when I purchased the car.  The dealership promised to replace them, but instead did a really bad job of using a "restore" kit, making them look worse, and charging me $99.  I seldom drove at night, because the lights were not bright, and with keratoconus, it's a huge issue.  I decided to check with the auto parts store, and the guy recommended a 3M kit, basically a series of sanding disks that attach to a power drill, and some cream polishes and wax.  The kit cost about $28.  It took about 30 minutes per light.  Here's the before and after shots. 



How about these for after?




It's not perfect, but for a 10 year old car, I think they are wonderful.  I am finally able to drive at night!  I can even see the overhead street signs.  It's amazing.  

I've also been working on the machine Liz gave me, Leona's Singer 15.  The cabinet was in bad shape.  I thought it only needed sanding, but I ended up having to strip the finish on all the horizontal surfaces.  There was either black paint or thick black oil imbedded into the wood.   I got it out, and so far have a nice coat of red mahogany stain, and one coat of polyurethane.  I'll get to the rest after this weekend.  The body only needed some Howard's RestorAFinish and wax, and looks good.  I plan to get a 1/4" foot with guide for this machine, and use it for piecing blocks.  It's similar to the 15-91, and they will both be getting good use.  More details on that soon, too.  

AND, I picked up some of the chrome polish and carnuba car wax that the vintage sewing machine group on Facebook recommends.  I decided to play on the 15-91, and I think it came out great.  
The chrome polish did a great job of removing the gunk in the cover on the back of the machine.  It was yellowed and thick with crud.  About 5 minutes did this. 


I plan to use this on Leona's as well.  

And I finished a Fall leaf table runner.  

And I attended a quilt show and did the Eastern PA quilt shop hop.  See?  I told you I was busy.  More to come and photos soon!  If you're in the PA area, come see me at the craft show at the American Legion hall on East 5th Street in East Stroudsburg, Saturday, November 15, 2014.  I think it starts at 10.  Proceeds benefit Relay for Life.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Another Braid


I'm starting this post with a photo!  Isn't this sweet?  Another Braid In A Day by Quilt In A Day featuring Island Batiks strip pack called Orchid.  This is the second quilt with this pack.  I love how this came out.  It's so pretty!  And my feather quilting stitches are improving.  
This one features more of the lighter shades in the pack, and I brought in the pale Periwinkle as a frame.  I love the crackled look on the sashing and inner borders.  It's aqua and magenta, and picks up those colors in the strips.  The outer border is a deep, rich, purple, that has birds on it. 


Backing is a purple blender print with gold painted accents.  It's called Gilded Greenery in Pansy by Blank Textiles.  It's one of the fabrics I have for sale in my store, from Enright's.  


 I think my quilting is improving!  This features Aurifil Mako 40wt in the purple variegated, and another purple, a solid, in 50wt on the outer border.   


I now have 2 purple braid quilts in my shop.  Although both started from the same strip pack, Orchid by Island Batiks, they look different because of the supporting fabrics.  It would be really neat if someone bought both for a girl's room.  They would be similar, but different.  Just like twins!  



They are HERE and HERE in my shop.  Thanks for visiting!  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Quick Catch Up

HI!  I can't believe it's been so long since I've blogged!  I've been busy, though, and have lots to share.  I'll break it up into a few posts, though.

First, I went to Airing of the Quilts in Tunkhannock, on Saturday , October 4.  According to the website, it is supposed to be the last.  I'm hoping it's not, and that someone else decides to take it over.  I understand it's a huge project for one day, but it makes me, and so many others really happy.  The whole town participates.  They hang quilts everywhere, on houses, on fences, in store windows, etc.  Then there are 3 indoor shows, including the PA Invitational.  The charities and churches in the area also do fundraisers, so it's beneficial to the whole town.  I've gone a few years.  If you want to see some photos, go to my Picasa album.  It's easier than trying to upload almost 300 pictures here.  The day started out rainy, but it turned out gorgeous.  Great Foliage colors, stunning quilts, and a nice drive.

I also finished this baby quilt.  It was a custom order, to coordinate with a lavender and grey nursery, with a throw rug in a tile print.  She requested the flannel backing with baby footprints, which is available in my Etsy store.  I had the tile print lavender fabric, and decided to do a strip quilt using the tile and some lavenders and grey.  I think it will look great in the baby's room, and my customer is very pleased.  I used a few ideas from famous quilters to come up with a stitch that I liked for this.  It's a combo of a flowered feather and Jester's Hat to move between the feathers.  It was fun, and gave a good texture to the quilt.  Oh, Aurifil 50wt to piece this, plus 40 wt in the lavender variegated to quilt the top, and white in the back.  4 bobbins used, in total. Warm & Natural cotton batting.   It measures about 42 by 48".  I hope the baby has many peaceful nights with this quilt.





I've finished other quilts, too, but need to add that info in another post.  Thanks for visiting!
I'll be back soon!

Monday, August 11, 2014

How I spent my Summer vacation.

Hi!  I finished a new quilt, and drove with my brother and parents to Colorado.  Over 3500 miles.  We went to see my niece, her husband and their kids, who happen to be my great-nephew and great-niece, as well as the great grandkids for my parents.  My sister-in-law, her twin, and brother-in-law flew out.  We drove John's Sprinter van, a 10 passenger, out, so we could go on day trips without renting a car, and bring my parents, who didn't want to fly.  We were gone 2 weeks.  It was my first time crossing the Mississippi, as well as going into 6 states I've never been in, for a total of 26 states I've visited.

My first view of the Mississippi River, off Route 80.  

We went to Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs (found a quilt shop there, and bought a book), Dinosaur Ridge, Buffalo Bill Cody's grave and the view into Golden, and did some shopping around Littleton, and painted ceramics at Arts on Fire, while visiting.  We also went to the Colorado Renaissance Faire.  Noah had asked me to make him an Archer costume.  He worked with me to draw and color the design that I sewed, and he loved how it looked. 

 We stayed in the Hampton Inn and Suites in Ken Caryl, and the room I shared with my parents had a wonderful desk.  I had brought my 1957 Singer Featherweight, and had a very comfortable area to work while we were there.  That was a great place to stay!  The staff was wonderful, and we enjoyed the breakfasts, the fruit infused water in the lobby, my first taste of Blue Bonnet ice cream (sold in their Suite Shop), and the great service.  
I was able to finish piecing the pink and orange floral Hole In The Wall quilt blocks.  I need to press them, add sashing, and the borders, and then I'll get that quilt finished and listed.  I pieced the July Aurifil DOM block, and started on the Island Batiks All Star quilt, the new design by Eleanor Burns.  I was very happy with my progress, and the location.  

We enjoyed the views, seeing all the wind turbines, and lots of horses and cows, as well.  I had hoped to see some Quilt Blocks on Barns, but didn't see any.  John did most of the driving, and I gave him a few breaks.  On the way back, we stopped at my dad's brother's house, outside of Cleveland.  My cousin, Ann, surprised us with a quick visit, and we met her daughter, Emily.  I got to sleep under a 1930's vintage Triple Irish Chain quilt top, that was all hand pieced and quilted.




Aunt Joan wanted to take me to visit 2 of her favorite quilt shops, but both happened to be closed.  This area of Old Olmsted, outside of Cleveland, was adorable.  I guess I'll have to visit Aunt Joan and Uncle Bob again, on a day when Abigayle's Quiltery is open.  I did get to see Aunt Joan's quilts, and her fabric stash, too.  It was a fun afternoon, and we had wonderful meals there.  

When I got home, I started quilting this large tossed 9 patch (Quilt In A Day).  I had made the top with Moda fabric, the Spa collection by Deb Strain.  It's such a pretty collection of blue and white, with text, tile and floral prints.  It measures about 76 by 88", and I used 8 bobbins of Auriful Mako 50 weight, in white, just for the quilting.  I used Aurifil 4755, the blue and white variegated, for the top, for quilting.  I did lots of feathers in the borders, and love how it looks.  Warm & White batting, and white premium muslin for the back.  




It's been an exciting few weeks!  Thanks for checking in.  I'm off to finish some table runners.  I'll share when I finish!  See you soon!

PS, Hazel stayed with my son.  They enjoyed the time together, but she missed me, too.  It's good to be home, and back to lots of sewing.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Latest Finish and a Winner!!

Hi!  It's Friday!  Yay!  I had planned this post for yesterday, but Random had picked another Island Batiks Ambassador for a winner, and she said I should pick another winner.  So, the new name has been picked, and I've contacted them.  

So, first, photos of the FQ bundle I chose as the prize.  These beauties are from the Sangria and Plum Wine bundles I received.  


The green and purple leaf print is stunning!

I also love the other light print, and the gold with the painted gold stars. 
The colors are so rich and deep!  I hope the winner has fun creating something from this! 

My latest finish was a custom order.  She liked the Hexagon Flower table runner in my Etsy shop, but wanted something longer, in different colors, with matching place mats.  Although these are batiks, they may not be from Island Batiks.  I can tell the difference in the base fabrics.  Since batiks don't have a selvage with printed information, it's difficult to say unless you tag them before they go into your stash.  I may begin doing that, although the Island Batik Ambassador bundles are in a separate bin.  

So, here's the new Flower Power runner.  I must say I like how it came out, and really appreciated the additional info I got from Sue at Quilt In A Day.  This is a great pattern!



I used the blue binding on the runner, and switched to the burgundy fabric for the binding on the placemats.  The runner measures 58 by 15" and the place mats are 15 by 17".  I hope she loves them!  They are on their way to Wisconsin now.  

I picked 4 colors of Aurifil Mako 50wt for quilting, from left to right, 2123, 4030, 2275, and 4653.  I love having an assortment of great thread.  It makes it so easy and fun to do what I do!  

I especially enjoyed making the green hexagons look like leaves between the flowers. 
The green variegated really added to the visual appeal!  


More finishes in another post!  Thanks for stopping by!