Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Finishes this week

 Hi.  First, I want to say I'm so excited to announce I'm an Island Batik Ambassador for the 8th year!  I have my boxes and did the video, which you'll see next week.  The new members of our team are excited and already showing wonderful inspiration for you.  

I have some finishes this week! 

Pam, one of my Quiltsy team friends, asked in the chat about doing a binding that doesn't have mitered corners.  I suggested something like a waistband, but mentioned I needed to know how to do a 2 color miter, for this blue and orange Make it Modern with Hobb's challenge quilt I made in 2019.  I hadn't taken the time to do a search for information on it, but Pam had found a link.  I decided to find the yardage set aside for binding, and looked for other information.  I found one from CMT, but again, it wasn't exactly right, but her idea would work for my purpose.  I'll explain it in another post.  I didn't take photos of the process, but love the finish.  

I wanted the mitered binding to follow the diagonal line of the top.  I also looked at my quilting.  This was the second I had done on Vanna, my Handi-Quilter Amara with Prostitcher.  I think I've greatly improved!  It's great what a little practice and time will do.  This quilt measures about 49" square, and has a minkee back and Hobb's Cotton Wool blend batting. 

Another finish is the practice block for the Accquilt GO! challenge that year, which was using the Spider Web BOB die.  The block I made didn't seem to have enough contrast, but I didn't want to waste it, so I made it a mug rug/snack mat, or candle mat.  I wanted to use the same orange binding, so it was easy to cut an extra strip, sew it to the other 3 needed, and bind the square first.  I only needed a few inches, and knew that the baby quilt would have extra.  

Both of those are now listed in my Etsy shop.  

The other projects I've worked on this week include the baby quilts for the Evening Star Quilters guild.  Someone donated 4 tops, and I took 3 to finish.  
Two are finished quilting, and my friend is bringing the binding for one tomorrow, and we'll make the other binding, as well.  

Here's some photos of them.

I used orange Aurifil 40wt thread on the top, and a light grey Forty-3 on the back, since the backing is a white tone on tone.
I thought the Spaceman panto was perfect for the rockets on the fabric.  I think it's adorable!  
The yellow/blue quilt has a variety of bugs in the print, so I used Flutterby for the panto, in Aurifil 40wt Marrakesh, a variegated thread in red, yellow, blue, green and orange.  Christine has a striped fabric that should look cute for binding, and I have orange solid from Island Batik, for the space quilt.  The third is red, white and blue stars, and Christine will use it as a practice for loading a quilt on Vanna.  

The progress so far on the Medallion challenge for Island Batik's Ambassadors December is good.  I have about 1/2 the star done, and 3 of the 4 triangles.  When I get the bottom border done, I'll take it off the frame and turn it to do the remainding borders.  I don't have enough info on chunking the borders using Prostitcher, but an educator said to just take it off and turn it.  I'm using a combination of Prostitcher, ruler work and Free Motion quilting.  I hope to have it done by the weekend. 

On top of all of this, I've been teaching my sister-in-law and her twin how to sew.  They've made some memory pillows from their mom's clothes, and asked to make pouches for masks.  I'm excited to share this with them, and they're doing really well, and having fun.  

I have to get back to the other goals I set in the beginning of the month, as well.  The Island Batik Ambassador challenge is Placemats, and if you check the Island Batik Facebook page, you'll see links to many of the finished ones so far.  Mine?? Not a plan yet.  I have a couple of ideas percolating, then need to choose fabric.  I also want to start my son's quilt, and 2 pairs of pajamas and the APQ challenge is #7, which for me is the Apple Core quilt I started many years ago.  It needs borders and quilting.  But I jumped in with the orange and blue because Quiltsy team's challenge was a baby quilt listed this month.  

Am I doing too many challenges??  Maybe, but I hope to have progress on them all.  It's good to have goals.  It pushes me to sew something every day, and hopefully make something that someone wants to buy.  I enjoy knowing that I make something that gives someone a pretty item in their home, or that hug and warmth that only a handmade quilt can give. 

Thanks for visiting, and wish me luck on the rest of my goals for this month! 


Sunday, January 10, 2021

Project Quilting Season 12 week 1

 Surprise!  While I love challenges, I seldom, if I recall maybe even never enter the Project Quilting challenges.  Mostly because I have other challenges to do, the monthly Island Batik Ambassador (yes, I'm an Ambassador for my 8th!!!!! Year).  I usually don't have time, nor do I need to make something in the color/design chosen. 

But this time, I did, so I am entering.  Maybe I'll win a prize, but even better, this is already sold.  Win-Win.

In their 12th year, Project Quilting is a challenge where you make a project in the color or design of the posted challenge within a week, and write details on your blog, etc, and link to the post.  It must be either applique, patchwork, or 3 layers stitched together.  This week, it also needed to be yellow and gray, the colors for Pantone's Color of the year.  But last week my Sister-in-law's twin asked me to make her a gray table topper like the other she has, but for year-round use.  I am not sure if she has Valentines and Halloween, but I do know she likes the Center Stage pattern by Pieced Tree Patterns, because it fits on her table in her fairly new condo.  So, the question was, did she also want yellow?  Well, our mutual niece got the grey and yellow topper I made for the Island Batik and Accuquilt challenge in 2020, so yes, she loved the colors in that.  She was over last night, and I just asked again, and showed her the fabric.  She loved Sterling, an Island Batik neutral, and I have enough of the yellow from Lisa's topper to accent it.  

So, this afternoon, I grabbed my Pieced Tree pattern, and precut the fabric into strips to use with the Accuquilt GO! 3 " finished HST die, and cut the required pieces, plus the setting triangles.  A few phone calls later, the top was pieced (it was a chatty sewing time).  I grabbed a section of Island Batik Grey solid from the Ambassador boxes, and loaded it on Vanna, my Handi-Quilter Amara.  I knew I wanted to do a feather wreath in the center, and decided to try the Fairy Feather triangle and border blocks in Pro-Stitcher.  I loaded Aurifil 40-3 long arm thread in 2600, Dove, for quilting and grabbed a scrap of Warm & White batting that was just the right size.  Within the hour, I had it quilted, and took a break for left-over lasagna, and watched tonight's Hallmark movie.  I had already prepped the binding, so I went back up, changed the settings on the machine and put on Aurifil 2600 to finish the binding, and add my name tag.  I'll write washing directions and the year on the back with a sharpie.  

Anyway, here are some progress photos.  
Just finished piecing, and sent this to Ellen for approval. 
Starting quilting on Vanna.  I thought the Fairy Feather triangle design was pretty, and would look good with a traditional Feathered Wreath center.  
I used Rice for the background, an Island Batik neutral. That's often supplied to the Ambassadors, too.  I did purchase the bolt of Sterling, and the yellow is from a previous collection provided to the Ambassadors.  I use Aurifil for piecing, and quilting.  

Okay, it doesn't really work with my red table cloth, but it will look lovely on Ellen's grey and white 

Backside, solid Grey from Island Batik, and detail of the quilting, Fairy Feather border.
I love how Sterling has a touch of yellow in it, it's a great basic, and works so well with today's theme.
Bound and done. 

Details:  Made by Maryellen McAuliffe on Saturday, January 9, 2021 in Franklin Square, NY
Aurifil Thread, Warm & White batting, all fabric from Island Batik.  Machine pieced and quilted.  

I had fun with this challenge, and will be back to working on the December Island Batik Medallion challenge tomorrow.  But this is the first finish of 2021!  

Thanks for visiting.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

January 2021 One Monthly Goal

Linking Up with Elm Street Quilts

Time to set the monthly goals!  

1.  I need to get the December Island Batik Challenge done.  It's a Medallion, and I'm doing the Blazing Star by Eleanor Burns.  Here's the current progress.  

I need to finish the smaller stars (frame them) and then add the triangles, and borders.  It's a medallion, so a few borders, I guess.  I have an idea for one of them.  This is going to be a large lap/maybe twin size.  Then I need to get it quilted!  I have a few ideas, but it's more custom than edge to edge, just because of the nature of the quilt. 

I'll share progress when it's done.

2.  I want to make a quilt for my son.  It's designed, and fabric is picked. 

3.  Island Batik Ambassador challenge for January is place mats.  I want to do a set of mats and a table topper, but haven't picked the fabric yet. 

4. Make some pajamas.  3 of these items were left-over from December's list.  But that's okay, I did get stuff done in December that wasn't on the list.  

5.  I volunteered to quilt 3 child size donation quilts.  Someone made 4 tops and donated them to the Evening Star Quilters Guild in Mineola, NY.  I took 3 to finish, along with my friend's help.  One is already quilted, and I'll do the second tomorrow.  

This was a progress shot, but it's done. 

I have other goals, as well.  More cleaning, some organizing of sewing room and the Long Arm room/closet, and baking, too.  I also plan to start a cross stitch project, a stitch-along with Fat Quarter Shop.  

What are your goals this month?  Share them with Elm Street Quilts!  

Thanks for stopping, and have a great month.  


Thursday, December 31, 2020

December 2020 One Monthly Goal

The end of a Challenging Year leads to the December 2020 One Monthly Goal post.

First, I want to thank all my readers for joining me, especially this year.  It's been a year of challenges, not always welcome ones, to say the least.  I have many wonderful memories, though, and although I lost 2 aunts, one to covid-19, I must say that overall, I've been lucky.  I know many cannot say the same, and know that I've been praying for all who have lost during this time.  

As far as my goals go, I think I did pretty well, considering. I've had many finishes, and hope for more.  I had 2 custom quilts, and orders for more.  I made a first communion dress out of a wedding gown, and the family was thrilled.  Plus, I started my long arm quilting business, and joined a guild.  My Etsy shop has been doing well (record year for supplies sold), and I'm starting a joint venture of an online, and hopefully soon brick and mortar quilt and craft shop with my friend.  More on that later.  I also had a trip of a lifetime, except for losing the night in Las Vegas, and made some good friends.  I choose to look at the positives.  

For December's goals, I wanted to finish the Island Batik Challenge, and it's been started, but not finished.  I did finish the Secret Sewing project, which will be in the Island Batik Catalog for May's Quilt Market.  I got fabric for the pajamas, but didn't get to sew them, and did do the design for my son's Grand Canyon quilt, and pulled the fabric, but didn't get to make it yet.  The catalog quilt took about 2 weeks longer than planned to do.  

There will be more progress on this tonight, and hopefully lots of progress tomorrow.  I can't show the catalog quilt, but here's a shot of it being quilted.  Well, at least the backing.  

I did quilt the two Moose in the Holly tops for my friend, and finished the ABC applique quilt, as well as 2 other quilts for my business partner, Christine. 
One of Christine's quilts. 

Journey to Nebula Candy Dish pillow is finished, too.
Advent Calendar is finished and was sent to my niece and her family.

Alphabet Applique quilt was finished and sent to my friend/customer by 2 day Priority shipping, a distance of about 3 hours drive to Pennsylvania, and took over 20 days to arrive.   It was so scary to think this one of a kind quilt for a great-grandchild yet to be born was lost.  The maker is having medical issues, and I know we were both worried, so please say a prayer her procedure goes well and she's back to health soon.  

I do plan to continue the One Monthly Goal link ups through 2021, and hope to have more finishes each month, as well as some UFOs and the remaining custom quilts.  I plan to spend more time in the sewing room.  

Thanks for stopping by, and I wish you the best in 2021.  I hope you continue to follow my quilting journey, as I plan to continue growing my business and sharing more!  
Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 3, 2020

December One Monthly Goal

 Time for the last month of 2020's goals.  I'm linking with Elm Street Quilts.  You have time to join in, and also to start off next year with a way to keep projects moving forward and stay motivated.  I'm motivated by finishes and a chance to win a prize.  Are you? 

As usual, my main monthly goal is the Island Batik Challenge.  This month is Medallion quilts.  Here's my idea, but it may change.  I have 2 ideas, and I'm not sure which I want to do.

I'm working on a Secret Sewing project, first, though.  It's a design for the May 2021 Island Batik Catalog, so I can't show you any part of it.  I have to get that in the mail by the middle of the month, so that comes first.  

I also plan to make a quilt for my son (he usually doesn't read my blog, lol) for Christmas, or at least some pillow covers, and our usual Pajamas for Christmas.  I have a few little things to make, also.  

This is a pillow panel, which may go with my son's quilt.  

I'm almost done with an Advent Calendar panel I want to send to my niece for her family, and another of the Journey to Nebula projects is now quilted, so I want to finish that as a pillow.  I have to finish the customer quilts, too.  Alphabet needs only the side borders.  I want to put it back on the frame, turning it, to make it faster.  I have 2 other customer wall hangings to quilt as well.  I better get working!  

Thanks for stopping in, and I hope you check out the other goals, and root for us!

Have a wonderful December!


Monday, November 30, 2020

November One Monthly Goal

 Just in the nick of time, I'm posting my finishes this month to link with Elm Street Quilt's OMG.

I finished my Island Batik Ambassador Inspired by Nature blog hop quilt.  If you haven't seen it yet, please check it out.  The give away is open unitl December 4th, so you have time to comment and enter mine.  Island Batik's is closed.  

This pile became that quilt. 

Queen size, even.  

I also finished some of the Journey 2 Nebula projects, with Jaybird Quilt's patterns.  

This is a top, only.  It will be quilted this week.

Jawbreaker is done, complete 20" pillow. 
These placemats are done, too.  I won the strata pieces in a blog hop from PamelaQuilts, and added a strip to make it my preferred size.  Of course, Island Batik fabrics.  Each has a different quilting pattern, so I have easy samples to grab to show customers.  Bound, and being used until I change the table for Christmas. 
I quilted this pretty runner with a holly leaf pattern for a customer, and the below quilt for another customer.  This is Sea Swirl Ribbons and the fabric is Bonnie and Camille for Moda. 

This is Candy Dish, still a top, for a pillow.  Pattern by Jaybird Quilts, fabric is stash builder rolls from Island Batik.  

This is also from Jaybird Quilts, and I chose a variety of black solid, black tjaps and grey solid from Island batik, and quilted it with a spider web design.  Done!  

It was a pretty productive month, but I'm feeling the crunch for December.  I have to finish and ship a design for May 2021 Island Batik Catalog, and then have the monthly challenge, a medallion quilt, plus a few gifts for my son.  More details on that soon, but it's partly secret sewing, so no photos.  

What did you finish this month?  Link up and see what happens when you set a goal. 

Thanks for checking in.