Tuesday, July 14, 2015

My Favorite Things Blog Hop Tour

Hi, and Welcome to my day on this fun hop!  This is my second year as an Island Batik Ambassador, and I'm having lots of fun!

I'm Maryellen.  I've been sewing since I was about 4, got my first little Singer machine when I was 6, and was given my mom's old machine, a Bendix,  when I was 7 and she got a new one.  I've owned many since then, and sewn everything from dresses, doll clothes, wedding gowns, slipcovers, curtains, and quilts. Quilting is my favorite now, though.  I even did alterations for dry cleaners and bridal shops, and fixed tents!  I've made costumes for local schools, some of which were on TV during the Freddy Awards.  

 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Music Box Dancer costume, and Joseph's Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. are among my favorites that I've made.

My training is as a teacher, with an art background.  I've taught every age, from preschool to college. Some people still call me Professor, which makes me grin.  I've taught sewing, too. That's my favorite thing to teach now.  

So, where do I work?  I have a few spaces.  The main space is a sewing room/studio in my basement.  I love that it's next to the laundry room, and I can sew while the machines are running.  Plus, the ironing board is set up in the laundry area, and I have some storage shelves for batting.  It also provides space for my design wall.  I wish I could step back and see the designs better, but it does help to have a place to put blocks as you work.  This one is a flannel backed vinyl fabric from JoAnn's, a little heavier than a table cloth, and I used simple strips of wood to frame it.  I used a brad nailer to nail the strips over the edge.  When it was just nailed, it tended to rip.  The frame helps support it and it doesn't rip.  My favorite thing is it cost about $15 to make. 




The sewing area is a small room.  It has a built-in desk in an L shape.  There's a tall cabinet to the right of the serger, and a cabinet above it.  There's a shelf over the sewing machine area, and a cabinet to the left of that.  Beyond that cabinet on the left is the entrance to the laundry.  The drawers under the machines hold needles, zippers, rotary blades, buttons, tapes, patterns and other notions.  The cabinets hold other fabric.


Above the machine is the thread rack my dad and I built about 25 years ago. It's one of my favorite things.  It's made out of 1x4 boards in a stair step design, and long nails.  We designed it to fit the space between the shelves, and the nails to be long enough to hold coordinating bobbins and spools.  As you can see, I have quite the collection of Aurifil.  I prefer that thread when piecing and quilting, so I'm replacing the other brands.  I also have 3 plastic kits of Aurifil, the 12 spool boxes, that are not on the wall, and my tool box has thread colors that I use often, as well.  I have a pink tool box (from Lowes) that holds many of my notions and tools for sewing, and since I travel to New York fairly often, that is easy to grab for trips.  I bring my Viking machine and some projects and sew there.  I have a desk in the basement apartment in my parents' house, where I stay during the visit.  There's a gate-leg cutting table there, too.  My favorite thing is sewing with Christine (you'll meet her tomorrow) while I'm in New York. 

Side note on the thread rack:  I have a friend who will make one for you, if you want.
Dietrick Woodworking  He's building racks for me to display my quilts at shows, and another to organize my rulers.  He has a shop on Etsy, as well, and makes doll furniture.  



This is my ribbon rack.  It's above the serger, and my dad and I built it, as well.  Slide the dowel to the left to remove and replace the spools.  And funny thing about the TV, I don't use it.  I don't think it's been on more than 4 times in 25 years.  Below this rack is a hook that holds my quilting stencils (and a funny calendar).  The wall behind my chair has serger cones on a thread rack. 

The wall to the left of the laundry room is fabric storage.  I'm showing a photo, but it's very messy right now.  I've been digging for a few projects lately, and haven't gotten around to tidy it again.  The fabrics are by color, but Christmas and Autumn, and Patriotic are in separate bins, on shelves near the cutting table, which is in the main part of the basement. The project bags have jelly rolls or charm packs and the coordinating yardage.  The section on the top right is batiks and solids, but my Island Batiks are in a separate bin, as well.  I love being able to see the fabrics.  But this is just too messy right now. That door to the right is to the laundry room.  And under the fabrics, in front of the shelves, is a vintage sewing box, the kind that opens to both sides, which I love.  Vintage sewing finds are just so much fun to collect!  I have a few special things I love, including the iron that was my grandmother's.  
My cutting area is outside this sewing room, as well as additional storage for fabric.  And it's really messy, so you're not getting a photo.  I also have bolts of fabric that I sell on Etsy for a friend, plus the bins of vintage fabric I sell.  

But my other favorite thing is the vintage machines I have in my dining room.  




I love sewing on my vintage Singer machines!  The big one is a 15-91 in the trapezoid cabinet I refinished, and the little one is a Featherweight.  I have a cutting mat and some basic rulers on the corner of the dining room table, just to the left of this.  I placed the Featherweight on this side of the table, because it has a 1/4" foot, and I can piece flying geese units and half square triangles on that, but the 15-91 has a seam guide that is great for assembling units and piecing strips.  The guide gets in the way when trying to sew in the middle of pieces, so using both makes it easy. I've been making sampler blocks and pieced tops on these cuties.  I also love the view here.  My sewing area down in the basement has a window over the cutting table, and I can see my back yard, but I can't see it when I'm sewing.  This window has a nice view of the trees in my neighborhood.  (Churn Dash blocks featuring Island Batik).  I also have an Accuquilt GO! Baby in the dining room area (along with other vintage machines) and the GO! and rest of the boards and mats on shelves in the basement area.

I love to bring the cutting mat and even the featherweight onto the deck, just outside this window, and work/play out there.

So, that's a few of my many favorite things, and more about me.  I hope you enjoyed my little tour and very long post.  The Ambassadors will be doing another hop in August to share the newest Island Batik fabrics that you can purchase.  I hope you choose to visit again and discover what i'm doing with these beauties!





Leave a comment to be entered into a random drawing for something sweet.  It's a surprise!  
And be sure to check in with the other Island Batik Ambassadors for their favorite things!

Here's the full schedule.

July 13:  Linda Pearl www.onequiltingcircle.com
July 14:  Barbara Gaddy www.bejeweledquilts.blogspot.com
July 15:  Maryellen McAuliffe (HERE!!) www.teachpany.blogspot.com
July 16:  Christine Martinez www.madeinscraps.blogspot.com
July 17:  Maria Hrabovsky www.mariamichaelsdesigns.com/blog
July 18: Tammy Silvers www.tamarinis.typepad.com
July 19: Joan Kawano www.moosestashquilting.blogspot.com
July 20:  Marlene Oddie www.kissedquilts.blogspot.com
July 21:  Nan Bakerwww.purrfectspots.blogspot.com
July 22:  Adele Mogavero www.adelemogavero.com
July 23:  Pam Geisel www.forquiltssake.blogspot.com
July 24:  Bea Lee  www.beaquilter.com
July 25:  Connie Campbell www.conniekresin.com
July 26:  Pam Boatright  www.pamelaquilts.blogspot.com
July 27:  Connie Kauffmann http://kauffmandesigns.blogspot.com/
July 28:  Patty Bochey  www.lemontreesnippets.wordpress.com
July 29:  Carol Steely www.funthreads.blogspot.com


Thanks for stopping!  See you soon!
Maryellen

56 comments:

Grandma Barbara said...

I love your space and the DIY storage items.

JANET said...

Great storage ideas. I need to get more organized!

Connie Cain said...

I used to make the costumes for our church plays. :) Loving the inside scoop to everyones sewing space. It has definately given me ideas for mine. :)
craftyccain@gmail.com

Vicki H said...

Wow! You do it all. I like your sewing room, thanks for the tour.

MissPat said...

It's fun seeing other quilter's work/storage space. Amazed at your thread collection. I like Aurifil, too.

Cecilia said...

Nice set up! Thanks for sharing.

Anita said...

Thank you for letting us see your sewing room!

Lynnette Lamance said...

Thank you for sharing your space with us, it has given me some great ideas!

adele said...

Love it! Your sewing space is wonderfully creative!

Barb said...

you don't need to enter me, just came by to say hi and enjoy your space...love it!!

delaineelliott said...

It is a pleasure to get to know more about you and your sewing space. Thanks!

Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

Connie Kauffman said...

Love your fabric storage overflow - don't we all have that! Ha!

LInda Pearl said...

I love that your Dad helped you make such practical things for your room...you are lucky! Thanks for sharing - and now I know we share a love of Aurifil.

Pam Geisel - For Quilts Sake said...

Great space! Love the vintage sewing machines.

Linda said...

HI,how fun is this Tour! Love your storage ideas! Thanks for sharing a sweet giveaway too! msstitcher1214@gmail.com

PK Sews said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! I love looking at other people's sewing spaces and seeing what they have made. Your costumes are gorgeous. And I was intrigued by the thread and ribbon holders too. I can understand why this post is titled My Favorite Things!

Pamela said...

I think I would be right at home in your sewing areas! I envy your collection of Aurifil thread, definitely my favorite thread for sure. And I'm pretty sure my fabric closet has been in the same condition many times :)

Janie said...

Great ideas. I need help! Thank you for the giveaway.

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Thanks so much for sharing your sewing space! I have a 15-91 and also a Featherweight. Vintage machines are the best!

cdore44 said...

Love your post and your vintage sewing machines! Thanks for sharing your favorite things!

Anonymous said...

Good post ME!
atthebrightspot.etsy.com

Sally said...

Love your costumes as much as your quilts! Keep up the good work ME! You are a super Batik Ambassador!

beaquilter said...

Fun to see your room :)
(count me out for the giveaway of course)

PatsPassion said...

Your costumes are great! Love your sewing areas.

annmarie said...

Great post. I love learning about other quilters & their quilty spaces!

moosecarol said...

Wonderful ideas for storage. Love Island Batiks

Debbie said...

I didn't think anyone was as cluttered as me!
Hi this is DebiDesigns on Etsy.

Kathy L said...

You have quite a collection of thread. We do seem to accumulate a lot, don't we.

Calicojoan said...

Looks like a quilter dream space. Lots of things to catch the eye and motivate the creative mind!

Michele T said...

Awesome storage ideas!!! I think it's time for me to organize my stash!!

Quilting Tangent said...

Pretty batiks, waiting to see what you make with them. 24Tangent@gmail.com

Joyce Carter said...

I loved seeing your storage area. I get lots of ideas from seeing how others have their sewing space.

Sheila Ivany said...

You are so talented. Adore the costume Joseph Amazing Colours. Thank you for sharing your sewing room. Hope to win. Happy Quilting :)

Createology said...

How fun to learn more about the talent behind the blog. Your sewing skills and costumes are amazing. I love that you have your supplies right at hand. You are very fortunate to have sew many machines. Thank you for sharing and hopping. High on Life July...

Sewgirl said...

What a great thread rack your dad made. You are lucky to have such a talented dad. Thanks for sharing the giveaway

Lori said...

how fun to make costumes. I loved making Halloween costumes for the kiddos when they were young. I like your thread holder.
quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

Quiltingranny said...

Love the thread rack. I have mine all over and it would be nice to have it in one spot on the wall!

Maria said...

Enjoyed the tour. How very nice and special it is have things made by your Dad!

Gill said...

I love your thread rack!

Allison CB said...

I like your creative space! :)

Beeshebags said...

I feel so at home looking at your fabric...I dream of having a tidy stash, but doubt it'll ever happen, so I'm comforted that not everyone's stash is in pristine order!!!

Hugs
Naomi

Lisa Marie said...

I love peeking into other people's sewing spaces! Looks like you make lots of lovely and interesting projects!

Marlene @ KISSed Quilts . com said...

Thanks for the woodworking referral and how fun to have an IBA so close to collaborate with!

LJ said...

It takes a lot to share 'working' sewing spaces. Thanks for sharing yours. :)

Anonymous said...

The sewing room is wonderful including the thread holder. I, too, have a Singer Featherweight which I purchased 60 years ago. Love
surprizes. Beverley ----- ebhaloha@gmail.com

Lorie Bugaiski said...

Great room thanks for sharing!

Mary said...

I also love sewing on vintage Singers. Thanks for sharing your space with us.

Anonymous said...

these photos look like my favorite place! I go in to reorganize and get busy sewing instead. what a dilemma-sew or clean? Mary E

Sallie said...

Love the vintage machines! Thanks for the design wall tip.

Marly said...

Thanks for the tour of your sewing area. What a great storage rack for thread and for ribbon. You've given me some ideas.

Laura said...

Thanks for showing us your space. Always nice to see how others work.

Joey S said...

Loved reading your post ME!!!

OhioLori said...

What an AWESOME space you have!!! Love the storage ideas too!! Thanks so much for Welcoming us all in to see your Special Spot! :)

Emily C said...

What a great play area! I love the star blocks on your design wall. What pattern is that?

joanne roberts said...

For the 1st time I have lots of room to sew. I can leave my sewing machine out and not worry about anyone touching it. Lots of room for fabric too. I'm blessed. Hope to win cuz I'm learning new stuff. Joanrob8@aol.com

patw said...

I have just decided to organise my stash, no more buying until I have used some., (possibly!)