Saturday, April 23, 2016

Island Batik #AprilShowersIB Tulip Garden

The Island Batik Ambassador challenge for April was to make anything, any size, that relates to April Showers or Spring Flowers.  I had designed a foundation pieced table runner for my Sister-in-Law last year, when she asked for something Spring, but I was going to use regular print fabric, because she loved the bunny and tulip fabric I had.  I still plan to make that one (yes, I'm behind) and figured a similar design would be fun in Island Batik.  I was right!  I think any design, either traditional or modern, works just as well in Island Batik fabric.  Maybe even better, because Island Batik doesn't fray like most other prints.  I LOVE NOT having to trim so many threads from the backside of my quilt top before quilting.  
 I found the Tulip block and stem in the foundation pieced section of EQ7.  My original plan was to use 6" blocks, but for this runner, I made them 4", then I played with layouts.  Did I want it to look like you were standing in the middle of a garden filled with tulips, or have the stems in the center, and the tulip flowers on the outer edge?  


As you can tell, I picked Option 1, flowers in the center.  


I foundation pieced all the blocks, and then played with the border sizes.  I added a 1 1/2" border in the light yellow fabric I had used for the center of each tulip, Island Basics Butter, and picked the orange and deep pink print, that is also in the tulips, for the 2" outer border.  The Tulip flowers are all from Coral Reef.  The background is Basics Cream.  The green stem fabric is from a different collection of Island Batik.   The flower colors were all left over pieces from the Coral Reef quilt I shared in March, with the Ocean Waves blocks, and are still available in your favorite LQS that carry Island Batik.  I tried to use the scraps to the best use, which is why the outer border is only 2 1/2" cut.  






I still need to choose a backing and quilting design, but I couldn't wait to take photos!  I was driving home (the back way) from the grocery store yesterday, and passed the entrance to the Garden City Pool.  They had 2 full sections of orange and yellow tulips!  I couldn't believe they matched my runner!  I had to grab my camera and the top and get some shots today.  Mom waited in the car while I jumped out and took a few photos.  Although the sun was a little bright, I still thought it was a perfect location shoot.

Until the police officer came up next to me...

Actually, I had stopped in the turning lane for the entrance and put on the hazard lights.  I knew the few cars that would want to enter the park could easily get around me, and it was the closest to the area I needed (the parking slots were closer to the pool, not the entrance).  I took some with my camera, and some with my phone (for Instagram) and got back in the car.  The officer was going to make a left turn from the corner behind me, but saw the flashers, and made the right, to come up next to me (I saw him in my rear view mirror).  He asked if everything was fine, and I said, "Yes, just stopped to take a few photos of the tulips.  Thanks."  So he waved and drove off.  I didn't mention the quilt top, lol

I wonder how many quilters he's asked that question to?  Mom just laughed.  She thought I would get in trouble.  I also wonder if the Garden City police will read my blog, and see what I was doing today, lol.  The flowers were perfect, though.  I think Mom's enjoying my quilting adventures.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you come back to see how I quilt this.  I hope to get it finished and in my shop soon.  But I have a baby quilt to make and a special order to finish.  I'll share details on those soon!  And check back for May's Island Batik challenge!  And I can't wait to show you the fabrics that will be available at Spring Market.  I have the Red Tide collection.  Just wait until you see them!

Have a great weekend!
Maryellen

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

March Madness with Island Batik

Hi!  Thanks for visiting!  This is a #MiniMadnessIB post, plus announcing the winner of the #Creativenewquilts blog hop.  


First, the winner.  Random.org picked #29, so I've contacted Janet for her information.  

Now, onto the #MarchmadnessIB challenge. 
Island Batik has challenged the Ambassadors to come up with something each month, using the fabrics we've gotten in our boxes.  Since this is my 3rd year as Ambassador, I have a small stash of pieces, and I've been using it for challenges for other blogs.  My schedule was a little crazy, aka madness, lately, so I decided to finish at least 1 of the minis I made using Island Batik for last year's Aurifil DOM (designer of the month) challenge.  I was hoping for more, but it's March 30.  Maybe I'll get the others finished soon. 

So, Kimberly Jolly designed this mini. 

Kimberly Jolly photo from Aurifil's blog post

I was working with a gorgeous rainbow of FQs from Island Batik, from the 2015 Full Bloom collection.  It was the gorgeous collection of colors used in the 4th and 6th designs Block of the Month quilt, the appliqued flowers in various sizes.  

I played with the design from Aurifil, using colored pencils, and came up with this version.  

And I put it in a project bag, until I could figure out how I wanted to quilt it.  And it sat!  For a year!  Until the Ambassadors were challenged to create a mini.  But I must admit I never liked the pale yellow border.  It just didn't balance with the clear, bright colors in the rest of the quilt, although it did match the center yellow square.  I just didn't know what else to use for a border.  

If you've been following me, you know I recently moved, and I'm (still) in the process of organizing and painting my new studio, but I do have my main machine set up in my basement apartment.  The studio is on the 2nd floor in my parents' house, and needs some more work.  When I pulled out the minis to finish, I looked through my Island Batik box to see if there was something I liked better for the border.  I pulled a deeper purple, and a brighter yellow, and even one of the oranges from Coral Reef Ocean Waves quilt (you can see that on the link).  And it still wasn't right.  

Then I decided to organize my little cutting space in the basement, and found the perfect border.  Yes, it's from Coral Reef!  It's the multi colored print, with all of the colors from this mini and I think it looks so much better.  

 I LOVE the border now.  It has orange, hot pink and purple, and even a touch of green and yellow (although my mini doesn't have green).  I also love that the collections from other years go so well with the newer collections from Island Batik.  
 I quilted it with concentric feathers, to accent the colors in the radiant rows.  I used Aurifil 50wt cotton in 4651, named Bari, a mix of yellow, pink and lavender pastels that looks great on the yellow, orange and light pink sections.  I used Aurifil 50wt 4020, Fuchsia, for the deeper pink diamond, and finished with Aurifil 50wt in 2540, medium lavender, for the lavender, purple and border areas.  

So, sometimes, a UFO gets finished because of a challenge.  Yay for challenges!  I used Warm & Natural batting, and a scrap of the peach mottle dyed muslin for the backing, and added a hanging sleeve.  I'm very happy that it's now done, just in time for #marchmadnessib.  

I did make 2 mug rugs, too.  Those are minis, right?  I used the scraps from Coral Reef Ocean Waves to make these.  I did a craft fair, and usually make a few mug rugs, and offer one for the vendor raffles, if asked.  

 Yes, that's the same purple/fuchsia/green fabric from the border on the larger mini.  These measure about 8 by 9", and they're perfect for using scraps, practicing free-motion quilting, and putting under your favorite beverage and cookie snack.  


Have you made a mini or a mug rug?  I have more to make!  I realized some of the Sea Salt Sandy FQs I have that I didn't use on the pyramid quilt would be great in the Aurifil Winter Stars mini, and would match the towels in my new bathroom.  That may be next on my list, after I finish painting the bathroom.  

If you want to see more of the Island Batik Ambassador's mini quilts, please visit Joan at Moose Stash Quilting.  She's sharing links to all of them!  

And I know what I want to make for the April Showers challenge!  

I hope you'll visit again to see how we play with @IslandBatik.  Thanks!

Maryellen

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Creative New Quilts and Projects and Giveaway

Hi and Welcome to my day on this fun Blog Hop featuring gorgeous fabrics from Island Batik in the wonderful designs in the 2nd book by Wendy Sheppard, 
Creative New Quilts and Projects from Precuts or Stash.  
I'm honored to be a part of this!
I've been an Ivory Spring fan for years!  Wendy's designs are always so pretty, unique, interesting and fun.  Many of her designs are based on classic blocks and quilts, but she adds her own flair to everything she does.  And you NEED to check out her quilting.  Totally swoon-worthy, and she gives tutorials and hints on how to try to do what she does with a domestic machine.  I've purchased her first book, and knew I wanted this one.  I've also purchased calendars and magazines just because her designs are included.  I even want her Aurifil thread collection!  

So, when a message went out to the Island Batik Ambassadors asking who would want to participate in this blog hop, I wrote back within seconds, begging to be included (really, about 5 "please's and memememe").  I was SO relieved to get the "yes" email back!  
Then the fun began!  We got a preview of the designs in the book, and were asked to pick 3. (Very difficult to pick only 3, I want to make so many of them!)  We were then told which of our choices we could make, and asked to choose fabrics.  I picked Stars over Columbia. 


Talk about fun!  Let's go play in the warehouse at Island Batik and pick from ANY of the current collections, which are now available in your favorite LQS (No? Ask them to order it!)

So, how can I use a collection from Island Batik to make this quilt, but do something a little different?  Which colors do I want to use?  Although I loved the red, cream, blue and grey that Wendy used, I wanted something different.  I picked London Fog.  

(I took a quick picture on my brother's classic Mercedes, because it matched the light teal inner border from Island Batik, lol) 


For the main colors, I picked the aquas, purples, and lavenders.  For the accent color (red in Wendy's) I picked green, SKU 121506022.  My background is Egg White.  I chose to keep it all the same, but you could easily use scraps for yours.  I also wanted to make it larger, and added 2 borders.  Wendy's quilt measures 36 by 45".  Although I've recently had a new great-nephew and a great-niece is due any day, and this would be a sweet Baby size quilt, I wanted to show you that you could take this design and change it to make it your own.  I added 10 extra of the "blue" star blocks, and the first border is 2 1/2" cut WOF (need 5 strips) and the outer border is 6 1/2" wide (finishes at 6", cut 6 strips)  My quilt measures about 62 by 72", which I think is a great Lap size.   



  
I made sure I placed the green (aka red) stars in the same location, even though I now had 30 blocks and a 5 by 6 grid layout, and I LOVE the splash of color and interest.  I know Wendy's used this technique in other designs, and it just adds so much sparkle to the quilt.  

This first fabric above is the detail of the outer border, which I felt would pull all the colors together.  It's SKU 121510004.  The middle is for binding, and that's SKU 121508006.  The backing fabric is Sea Salt Sandy SKU 121500348

You NEED this book in your collection.  There are so many great projects using 2 1/2" strips, general scraps (which is what Stars over Columbia uses, but I used FQs) and charms and FQs.  And there are great suggestions for quilting these.  I'm sure you'll find something you want to make, or inspiration for quilting your project.  
So, to purchase, please Click and order from Landauer or to get a signed copy, email Wendy through her blog.  If you can't wait, or you're outside the US, you can purchase a PDF copy here.
Wendy was also a guest on Pat Sloan's Podcast.  You can listen to that HERE.
To see the other Ambassador's posts on this book and get a peek at the rest of the designs, here's the list.

Monday, March 14 - Island Batik Intro
Tuesday, March 15 - Crossings - Adele Mogavero, The Fit Quilter
Wednesday, March 16 - Flight of Colors Pillows - Pamela Boatright, Pamela Quilts 
Thursday, March 17 - Care for a Cuppa - Joan Kawano, MooseStash Quilting
Friday, March 18 -  Birds of a Feather Placemats - Barb Gaddy, Bejeweled Quilts

Monday, March 21 - Birds of Feather Runner - Linda Pearl, One Quilting Circle
Tuesday, March 22 - Childhood Memories - Bea Lee, BeaQuilter
Wednesday, March 23 - Winter Blues - Connie Campbell, Freemotion by the River and
Marlene Oddie, KISSed Quilts -
Thursday, March 24 - Stars Over Columbia - Maryellen McAuliffe, Mary Mack Made Mine
Friday, March 25 - Count My Blessings - Patti Bochey, Lemon Tree Snippets

Some of them still have the chance to win a copy of the book available.  Go enter!  
And to win a copy of the book from me, just comment below!  I'll choose one random comment on Monday, March 28, to win a copy from Landauer.  Must be US address to win.  

Since my dad got so sick, I haven't had much time to quilt.  I'm taking my mom to visit him every day, as well as taking care of things for their house.  He's in Rehab now, rebuilding his strength, and we think he'll be home in about 2 weeks.  We can't wait to get him home!
I'll get this one quilted, soon, though, and share the finish here.  I can't wait to show you!  And if you make anything from the book, make sure you share it on Instagram, either tagging @IvorySpring or #Creativenewquilts.  I can't wait to see what you make! 

Thanks for visiting!  
Maryellen
Displaying Wendy Sheppard Blog Hop Graphic.jpg

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

#PTABloghop Winner and Save the Date

Were you as sorry to see this hop end as I was?  Were you as inspired by the colors and designs and quilting as I was?  The Ambassadors did a wonderful job with all the fabrics showcased.  And, now, or very soon, you can be using these collections in your quilts, too! Just ask your favorite store to carry Island Batik.  

I used random.org to pick my winner, and Christi from North Carolina was the comment number drawn.  I'll be sending her an assortment of 5 FQs from Island Batik, plus a 5" roll (that was in the newest Ambassador shipment) and I'm throwing in 2 small spools of #Aurifil Mako 50wt thread, in 2600, Dove, which is perfect for piecing her next project.  I won a package of 10 spools, so I'm sharing!  I've been filling bobbins with one spool (usually about 3 1/2 bobbins for my Viking Sapphire 850) and then use the other new spool for the top thread. You can piece a lot of blocks and quilts with that much thread!  


I've been working on quilting designs in the purple/cream squares on my Ocean Waves quilt, and painting my "new" bathroom, among other things.  I've also been working with #IslandBatik London Fog on a project for the next hop.

This inspiring hop starts March 14, and goes through March 25.  You'll have lots of chances to win a copy of the book, and maybe even more!  You do want to get this book!  

You'll have to wait and see what I've done with Wendy's gorgeous design and stunning Island Batik fabrics.  I'm so excited to show you!  It's so pretty!  

Thanks so much for hopping along with the Island Batik Ambassadors!  I hope you join us as we share projects from Wendy's book!  See you soon!

Maryellen

Friday, February 26, 2016

Sea Salt Sandy Surprise

Extra! Extra! Sea Salt Sandy is Awesome!

I'm thrilled to be an Island Batik Ambassador.  Look at the gorgeous fabrics I get to see before they come to your quilt shop, or seen at Market.  This is NEW and so different from your usual batiks.
Sea Salt Sandy  is a gorgeous collection of blenders with a sandy fun visual texture, by Kathy Engle.

The design kind of reminds me of the speckled Boontonware Melmac bowls from the 1950's (My mom has a few, but this is a web photo).  


I was given an assortment of colors, with 2 different textured designs.  One is more dotted than the other, but the colors and dots coordinate.

Want to see my inspiration?

Do you have your passport ready for a Bucket List vacation stop? Somewhere sandy??  To see something geometric?

http://www.thinglink.com/scene/510514548650803201
Pyramids of Giza
http://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/pyramids-of-giza-egy-giza-giza.htm

Let's go see some pyramids!  Photos of the Pyramids of Giza from the above web sources.
I've never been, but would love to see them in person.

I've also wanted to make a Pyramid quilt.  I recently got a Quilt In A Day 60* Equilateral Triangle ruler.  I played with it for one runner, but wanted to make something fun that would look 3-D if I planned the colors correctly.  I have a new Great-Nephew, and was thinking of something like this for a baby quilt for him.  I'm not sure if I'll use this for him, or make something similar to what I made for his bigger brother.  But I digress...



I picked 7 colors, in both textures, for a total of 14 FQs.  I cut 2 6 1/2" strips from each (by 18") and was able to get 6 triangles and extras for the ends.  Although I played with a design on EQ7 first, I ended up changing a little after I sewed the triangles into strips.  I may eventually write a pattern for this, but it was an interesting learning experience (lots to think about while sewing the strips and making the top).  I made sure I had the flat top (tips cut off) part of the triangle either N or S on the strip, and alternated the 2 designs in the same color for each strip.  I chain pieced, using 2 colors as leader-ender.  When one strip was done, I started the next color.

My hint here:  Make sure you know where the 1/4" seam line should be, as your tips need to hang out a bit.  Adding the leftover ends from cutting the triangles out of the 6 1/2" strips allows for a straight edge.  When sewing the rows together, I started by matching the triangle points, not the edge of the "starting" shape (the leftover, kind of like a trapezoid).


Close up of the top (on my ironing board, after I trimmed the top/bottom straight.) 
You can see how the different designs in Sea Salt Sandy play against each other to give a 3-D effect.  

 The whole top, done!  It measures about 44 by 48" (I left 1 1/4" beyond the last triangle to make it longer, and use most of the trapezoid shape.  It's a little more than 1/2 a triangle.
 An angle view, with a  great look at the visual effect of the fabrics playing with their match.
Another up close shot.  The photo of the fabrics spread on the table was taken outdoors, in natural light.  These last 4 were taken in a room (it's been a long day, and I wanted to share this top!) So, the colors are not as beautiful in these last 4 photos.   I'll share more after I decide how to quilt it.  I do plan to use a scrappy binding, with all the colors in the top.  I'm not adding borders.

Any suggestions on quilting?  I don't have a long arm: I use my Viking Sapphire for all my quilting.  I do plan to get Minkee for the backing, though.  It's a great design for a baby.  I know I have the perfect colors of Aurifil thread in my stash. 

So, my pyramids from Sea Salt Sandy.  I love it!

I also had some purple/lavender/magenta colors of Sea Salt Sandy.  I'm planning a table runner with them.  Maybe with a smaller triangle.  You'll be among the first to know (if you follow my blog).


Stop by the other blogs for today!  I'm sure you'll LOVE Sea Salt Sandy and find more inspiration, fun, and give-aways.
Friday, February 26 – Sea Salt Sandy
Tamarinis
KISSed Quilts
Moose Stash Quilting
Pamela Quilts
Bejeweled Quilts

And if you haven't already entered,
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for visiting.  I hope you've seen my last post about Coral Reef, and left a comment there.  Enjoy your weekend, and remember there's more hopping on Monday. And check with your favorite fabric store to find Island Batik.  Ask them to carry Sea Salt Sandy.  

I hope you spend time quilting!

Maryellen

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Island Batik Planes Trains and Automobiles Blog Hop

Hi, and welcome to all my new visitors.  I'm SEW excited to share my project with you, as you hop along with the Island Batik Ambassadors.  I hope your passport is up to date, because we're going on a tropical vacation, to explore some coral reefs.  



My collection is CORAL REEF, and the colors are bright and fun and perfect for our tropical trip, with time on a sunny beach, and some snorkeling and scuba diving thrown in.  Have you ever gone Scuba diving?  I did, and it was awesome.  I swam through a sunken ship on a coral reef, near St. Thomas Virgin Islands.  We saw fish in so many beautiful colors, and the reef and the blue water, and gorgeous turquoise sky.  It was a perfect day.  


(Photo from web, ScienceClarified.com, not my photo)



This is my favorite from the bundle I received:
This print is also in the bright pink colorway, too.  
The dragonflies and butterflies are so cute!  I would wear this as a shirt or skirt, too. 

There are so many great fabrics in this line!  I had used the Coral Reef purples for this table runner, for a previous hop (See HERE for that post)

So, this time, I wanted to use the orange, yellow, red, and pink fabrics and make something that reflects the fun and scenery of the coral reef, with a block that ties into our destination. 
I made Ocean Waves on the Reef.





The background is GLAZE

I quilted it with Aurifil 50wt in 3840, the pale variegated lavender thread named French Lilac, and used 4225,  eggplant, for the borders.  I stitched waves on the smaller triangles, and feathers in the border, and plan to add shells, fish and other Coral Reef inhabitants on the larger purple/white sections.  I needed to get photos done for this post, so I'll add finished detail photos when the quilting is done.  

(Thanks, Mom, for being a trouper and holding my quilt while I took photos at the Freeport Nautical Mile, Long Island, NY)

There are several free versions on Ocean Waves blocks and quilts online.  
Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville has THIS scrappy version, with smaller blocks.

Eleanor Burns and Quilt In A Day had a larger size block in Quilts from El's Attic now in preorder. I love both of these versions, and the directions.  I'm a member of Eleanor's block party series, and I had a copy of the directions from that, which I used to assemble my 20 blocks.  But I wanted my blocks to be larger (Hers are about 8 1/2") , so I went to EQ7, and drew the block design, and played until I had a 12" block.  I made the larger triangles 2 colors, to get the different blocks in the center, and made sure the corner triangles were the same, so I could create pinwheels where the blocks meet.  I love secondary designs! 

For a 12" block, you need 10 assorted HSTs (half square triangles) measuring 3 1/2" (3" finished), plus 2 light triangles (cut a 4" square in half, once on the diagonal) and 2 dark triangles (vary these, but again 4" square cut on one diagonal).  You'll also need the larger triangles.  Cut 7" triangles on one diagonal.  I used 12150719, and each square cut was enough for 2 blocks (I needed 10 7" squares of purple, and 10 white for the whole quilt).  

CORAL REEF - 12150719



Lay out your HST units like this, with the 2 light triangles at the bottom in rows 1 and 2, and the darks at the top in 3 and 4.  

Follow Eleanor's video to sew the block together.  
Ocean Waves is the second half of this show.  Trim the tips and the block shape.  
 To sew the large purple triangle and the background triangle, fold the triangle in half, to find the center of the long side.  Finger crease this.  Put a pin about 1/4" from edge at this fold, and use the tip of the pin to locate the match point on the block, the place where the triangles and square meet.  Wiggle the fabrics together until your pin is straight up and down, and the edges are even.  Stitch.  Remember to sew the dark triangle to the side with the light HSTs and the light triangle to the darks (in my case, the purples).  Also, notice that the top left HST is red/purple (the same in each block) and the bottom right HST is the multi-colored print that looks speckled.  These form the pinwheels when sewing the block together. 

I did put a pin at the center, to make sure, when I trimmed my block to 12 1/2", I would have enough on the corners.  I only needed to really trim these last 2 large corners to make the block square.  
I made 20 blocks, and added 3" strips (6 strips cut) for border.  I used 6 2 1/2" strips for binding, using a variety of the other prints for a scrappy look. 
My quilt measures about 54 by 66".  

I think my larger block really shows off the design and the gorgeous colors in this collection.  
So, now for some hopping fun.  I hope you've visited the other blogs, so here's the list.  

Monday, February 15  – Caribbean Splash
Bejeweled Quilts
Pamela Quilts
Tuesday, February 16 – London Fog
Moose Stash Quilting
Wednesday, February 17 – French Roasted
KISSed Quilts
Made In Scraps
Happy Cottage Quilter
Thursday, February 18 – Crystal Cove
Freemotion by the River
Friday, February 19 – Florida Oranges
Fun Threads Designs 
Kauffman Designs
Tamarinis
Monday, February 22 – Coral Reef
Mary Mack Made Mine  You're here!
Purrfect Spots Designs
Tuesday, February 23 – Sweet Georgia Peach
One Quilting Circle
KISSed Quilts
Wednesday, February 24 – Hollywood Hills
The Fit Quilter
Maria Michaels Designs
Thursday, February 25 – Desert Rose
For Quilts Sake
Lemon Tree Snippets
Monday, February 29 – Jersey Shore
Beaquilter
Lemon Tree Snippets
Tuesday, March 1 – Tuscany Sun
Tammy Silvers
Wednesday, March 2 – Lavish
Freemotion by the River
Moose Stash Quilting
Thursday, March 3 – Fire Island
KISSed Quilts
Friday, March 4 – Tinsel, Holiday Happenings
Purrfect Spots Designs
KISSed Quilts
Moose Stash Quilting
And Island Batik has a give-away, too!  

AND, leave a comment on my blog to be entered in a give away from me!  I'm not sure what it'll be yet, except that it's Island Batik fabric, at least 4 FQs or some fat 1/8's!  I recently moved, and my studio isn't set up yet.  I have a little more painting to do, and then I'll share my new space.  My Island Batik collection is in that room, somewhere! (It's in a special bin, but just not within reach!).  Now that this quilt is (almost) done, I can get back to painting and setting up the space.  This give-away closes on the last day of the hop, March 5, and I'll ship international if you don't mind paying the additional charge in postage.  

Thanks for hopping along, and I hope you enjoyed our little scuba excursion!  You can find Island Batik at many great online shops, but please also ask your favorite shops to carry it.  I promise you'll love it! 

Maryellen