Monday, September 7, 2020

September OMG Monthly Goal

This needs to be quick!  I have a lot to do, but forgot to write the post and it ends in an hour!! lol
First, I want to finish the Island Batik Ambassador and Patterns by Annie challenge, the Round Trip Duffle
The Island Batik Ambassadors were provided everything we need to make the bag or project.  I have fabric from the new Sunset Plumes collection available in stores soon, and the hardware, Soft and Stable and other supplies from  My blog hop date is September 23, so I know it will be done by then.  
I got the fabric for the top and lining quilted last week.  

Next step is zippers.  I need to change the foot and thread, and will change the needle, too. 

I'm also working on the #Journey2Nebula projects.  This month should see 2 projects done.  I have the Seaside runner cut out, but it's on hold until I get more of the duffle done.

I also want to finish the Studio 180 challenge from last month, and start a Halloween quilt kit that I won a few years ago.  There's more, but that's all I can do for now.  
Still have to decide on borders. 

What are you working on?  Do you have any you want to finish and challenge yourself to do?  Do it! 
Also, please share any projects you're doing with me on Instagram.  Use the hashtag #SewSomethingSeptember and I'll cheer you on.  Try to sew at least 15 minutes every day, and you'll see progress, and I'll cheer.  

Have a great week!  The Island Batik In the Bag hop starts Tuesday.  Remember to enter on Island Batik's post to win the weekly fabric give-aways. 


Monday, August 31, 2020

August One Monthly Goal


Do you make a list of projects you want to complete?  It's been a HUGE help in me getting them done.  This month was pretty good.  I wanted to finish the white, blue and yellow top, and I did.  I wanted to finish the red and cream quilt, and I did.  I wanted to finish the Island Batik Ambassador and Studio 180 tool challenge and I didn't, but there are reasons.  
I wanted to make the blue and black quilt for my great nephew. Although I planned a twin, he has a full size bed, so I have to go a bit bigger.  I ordered another bolt of Island Batik Navy basic, but it's on back order, so I set the project aside for a bit.  I wanted to use the Navy in the blocks, as well as some Stashbuilder strips, and for the border.  I may decide to finish the blocks with the Navy I have and wait to add the border when the fabric ships.  

I changed directions, though, so I have a different top finished, after having issues (bad planning on my part).  Here's the blue and black, and the top I did get done, except for the outer border and quilting and binding.  

This uses Floralicious, which has precuts available now, and Coconut and Aqua basics. 

I did get the red and cream top done.  This is a commission, and was delivered yesterday.  I will be making shams to match, and actually have to make this bigger.  We forgot she wanted it to cover the wood on her sleigh bed, when she agreed on the design.  Fabric is Red Elegance by Nancy Zieman for Riley Blake.  Panto is Heather by My Creative Stitches, and I used Red Wine Aurifil 40-three thread top and bottom.  

The other was a vary satisfying finish.  I started this for a book blog hop, but ran out of the blue and yellow fabric (the book didn't have accurate info at the time) and finally found some for sale.  I replaced the wrong units, and got it quilted and bound. 

And I did the binding on the blue ornaments runner.  

So, except for the Island Batik challenge, I did actually get it all done!  Very exciting, and I'm really proud.  Check out the rest of the one monthly goals projects here.  

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts.  

Island Batik Tool Time Challenge


This month Island Batik worked with Studio 180 Designs and Deb Tucker to create a design with a tool that was provided.  We were also provided with the optional extra worksheets for the tools, and were encouraged to watch the free videos that Deb's created to show how to use the tools and create designs.  The tools and fabric were provided as part of the Ambassador program.  I also use Aurifil Thread 50 wt for piecing, and Schmetz Microtex needles.  

My tool was Split Rects.  It makes multiple sizes with the correct angle for the split, from 1/2" by 1" to 4 by 8" finished size units.  The unit is similar to a half square triangle unit, but it's a rectangle in even proportions.  The optional designs include a single and double diagonal seam, too.  I looked at that, but with the other projects I needed to get finished this month, I wanted to go simple.  

My original design was to add the Split Rects units to 4 patch centers, for 12" blocks, and to make a scrappy blue and black quilt for my great nephew.  I got 6 blocks done in June, then set it aside to finish another project.  

I used some of the Stash Builder rolls to make the 4 patch units, and yardage of the blues and Solid Black.

This is the EQ8 version.  I liked playing with the direction of the blocks, and finding the twisted star as a secondary design.  But when I found out Noah has a full size bed, and I don't have enough of the Navy Basics fabric (it's on back order) I played with a second plan. 

An easier plan.  One that is also smaller.  And possible to finish this month.  But you all know about the best plans, right?  

I grabbed the 10" Stack of Floralicious, and the Aqua Basics and Coconut neutral, and played on EQ8 again. 

I used the Split Rects tool to create the sashing.  Long story short, I made a mistake in the sizing.  I looked at the tool, saw it had a 2  1/2 by 5" size, and cut to make lots of the units.  I cut 16 pieces of Floralicious into 5" squares.  But that would make a 4 1/2" finished unit, not 5", so I had trim down the Split Rects units, and squares to 4 1/2" or 4" finished.  

I also opted to make it a smaller size, basically a baby size quilt, instead of lap.  Here's the top.  I also opted to piece all the Split Rects units going the same way, not as illustrated above.  I used units in both directions, but piecing was easier to just keep them all the same.  It's actually a very fast assemble with a little bit of sparkle for a quick project.  It allows Floralicious to shine, but it's more than a simple sashing.  

Chain piecing for the win!  

Then comes the precision trimming.  I use a Highlighter Tape to mark the lines I need to follow and the corner of the unit, so I can easily find them and make sure I'm accurate.  I use this removable tape on many of my rulers.  It makes finding the right spot so easy.  I'm sure you can find it in stationary stores. There are other similar ideas on the market, one with arrows.  

But once I realized the 5' finished was too big, I carefully pulled up the tape and moved it to the 4 by 8"  line.  There was a little waste because of my mistake, but not much when trimming the properly cut size, according to the tool. 

Here's the current top. 

I added a border of Coconut and I'm thinking about the next border I want to add.  I have squares I can cut for piano key, or more of the Aqua if I want to go solid.  Or maybe I'll use some of the Split Rects to make a wavy border, then add the Aqua.  I'll let you know when it's done. 

But using the tool was great.  I have a few of the Studio 180 tools, and like them all.  The directions and videos are great, and the options are many.  You get perfectly sized units each time, so your top is almost perfect!  There are also tons of supporting patterns, where you can use the ruler again.  I love that, most of all.  So many templates are only for one purpose.  These have multiple sizes and many patterns, and since the unit sizes are standard, you can use them for patterns that call for the same size pieces, too.  

Please visit all the other Ambassadors to see what they've done this month.  I actually feel like a slacker after seeing how creative they were.  Jaw dropping designs! 

Carolina Asmussen ~ Carolina Asmussen Designs
Megan Stanionis Best ~ Best Quilter
Pamela Boatright ~ Pamelaquilts
Jennifer Fulton ~ The Inquiring Quilter
Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts
Joanne Hart ~ Unicorn Harts
Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts
Carla Henton ~ Creatin’ in the Sticks
Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs
Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood
Denise Jackson Looney ~ For The Love Of Geese
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke, Fiber Artist
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine
Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs
Gail Renna ~ Quilt Haven Threads
Sharon Riley ~ Sew Riley Designs
Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail
Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer Schifano Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts
Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts
Suzy Webster ~ Websterquilt
Janet Lael Pedersen Yamamoto ~ Whispers of Yore

You have to look at Megan Best's blog.  Her quilt went traveling!   So funny. And Carol Moeller's design, Vasudha's, etc.  Really, go look at them all.  Get some inspiration and then get the tools.  Sally's design is great, too.  Have fun reading!

Thanks for visiting

Friday, August 7, 2020

One Monthly Goal August

 This One Monthly Goal link up has been such a help to spur me on to getting things done.  I challenge myself to pick something that needs to get done, but also that I can get done.  I always add more than one thing, though.  What is your goal this month?  Link up with One Monthly Goal and let us know.  

My first goal is to finish the Red Elegance commission quilt.  I am working on the stars round, and then have a few solids and a Piano Key.  I want it quilted, bound and delivered this month.  
The second goal is to finish the blue and black Island Batik and Studio 180 Split Rects challenge.  It needs to be done by the end of the month.  I'm making a fairly large quilt, but the blocks go together fast, and I already have 6 done.  The hard part on this one is the layout.  I've played with the blocks on EQ8 and have 4 options I love.  
Minor goals would be to bind the Christmas Then and Now top, and to replace the "substitute" squares in a quilt, because I finally found the actual fabric I've been searching for for a year.  I want to get this quilted as soon as possible, then as well.  I'm just going to keep stitching until these things get done.  
Have you seen my #AlwaysSewingAugust hashtag?  I challenge you to do something sewing related for at least 15 minutes a day, and share a photo with the hashtag on Instagram.  I'll cheer you on.  You can spend more than 15 minutes, but it's so good for your brain and stress level to do some sewing related project, and you can make good progress in 15 minutes.  Garments, quilting, hand sewing, mending, it all counts.  Just use the hashtag!  Let's see what we can accomplish, and support one another doing it.  

Thanks for reading, and get your goals started! 


Thursday, July 30, 2020

Christmas in July Then and Now

Welcome to my day on this fun hop.  Have you checked out the previous days, and gotten inspired?  Feeling a little cooler after seeing so many great projects?  Christmas in July is fun to celebrate, and anticipate.  And get the list of possible projects started. 

Here's my table runner project.  

I LOVE fancy ornaments, as well as home-made and quaint.  My tree mixes it all, because that's what I love.  When I saw this embroidery collection on Embroidery Library, I wanted to make them. 

I also had this fabric with beautiful blue and cream ornaments so picked a creamy tone on tone snowflake fabric and started up the embroidery machine.  I used Aurifil 40wt in shades of blue.  I love how it looks.  I kinda sorta started this maybe 2 years ago, when I was still caregiver for my mom.  (She's doing okay, in the nursing home now, but I haven't been able to see her since March 10).  It got set aside for a while.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the embroidery and fabric, and had so many ideas.  But that was then, and this is now.  Get it?? lol.  I have been spending this year trying to get more finished, and clear up some UFOs.  This blog hop came at the right time.  

I decided to just allow the embroidery to stand out.  I trimmed them to square, cut 3 squares of the printed fabric, and stitched it in a row.  I often have something special in the center of a table runner, but realized that may be where people put flowers or another centerpiece, and maybe it was better to put the embroidery blocks out of center.  I added borders to make it about 15 by 50".  

I loaded it on my Handi-Quilter Amara with Prostitcher, and did the cross hatch around the embroidery with Aurifil 40-3 thread, in cream.  I quilted snowflake designs in the other squares and the border.  I think it came out pretty!  I will be binding it soon, but there are so many "end of month" deadlines, this had to be put off again.  

I love how it replicates vintage fancy ornaments, but has the more modern blue, silver and cream colors.  Then and now.  

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you've enjoyed my project, and choose to follow my blog and Instagram (marymackmademine).  Please also visit the other bloggers listed below, and leave them a positive comment.  We all work hard to make your visits fun and inspiring.  Please enjoy!  And make your Christmas project list.  Stay cool!  


July 27
July 28
July 29
July 30
July 31

Monday, July 27, 2020

Diamond Anniversary

I can share this now! 

Last week's secret sewing was a gift for some favorite people in my life.  My wonderful Aunt Joan and Uncle Bob, my dad's brother, are celebrating 60 years married.  
Photo courtesy of Anne's Facebook page. 

I have so many wonderful memories of time with them and my cousins, and they've been wonderful to me over the last 4+ years, while I was caring for my parents.  Before my dad had the stroke, we had visited them in Ohio.  After Dad passed, we took Mom to see them again, and it was great for her, and wonderful for me.  Mom loves them, so I could actually get a break and got to do some sightseeing, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, on one trip.  Aunt Joan is also a quilter, and Uncle Bob jokes that he can't understand why she cuts up perfectly good fabric just to sew it back together again.  I'm sure he's looking at this and trying to figure out how it was built.  If only he knew how many pieces of fabric were cut!

Because of Covid-19, they couldn't have a big party, but were able to celebrate a little.  I wanted to send something that would celebrate them and thank them. 

I searched for diamond quilt blocks, and saw Andrea Tsang Jackson's  Gemology book, which has 9 foundation pieced gemstone shapes, and color suggestions for birthstone colors, and a few great projects.  I was happy to see that the foundations can be printed to make 4 different size blocks.  I made the 18" version.  I picked white, grey and Charcoal of the Island Batik solids, plus Opal and Sterling of the Basics to add the sparkle of a diamond.  The book directions are great, and I have experience doing foundation piecing.  I was able to increase the copy size on my printer, and used Carol Doak's foundation paper, which I keep on hand.  

 I didn't do an actual count, but there are over 50 pieces of fabric in the stone. 

After assembling the block, I added the borders to make it a little bigger, using Opal.  I quilted 60 and a heart on the "top" of the stone, and did ruler work along some of the facets, using Aurifil 40-3 thread in 2021, Natural White.  I free-motioned the feathers for the background and border, and added a hanging sleeve to the back.  

Happy Anniversary, Aunt Joan and Uncle Bob!  I wish you many more years together, and thank you so much for all your prayers and support for me over the years.  You've blessed us with love. 


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Christmas in July with Island Batik and Accuquilt.

I love being an Island Batik Ambassador, and enjoy when the partner companies give us different challenges.  This month, Accuquilt wanted us to make something using the new GO! ME die cutting set to give to someone, and then give them the cutter, too.  We were asked to pick someone who would enjoy using the GO! Me.  

It took me a little time to figure out who I would like to share this with.  I know others who have the GO!  Who could use a ME!?  I know my niece Lisa wants to get more involved in quilting.  I taught her to sew when she was little, and gave her a Janome Magnolia for her wedding gift.  And a serger later.  I kind of had hopes she would do lots of sewing, lol.  We've made a baby quilt together for a mutual friend, and her college friend convinced her to take a quilting class, too.  Lisa lives in Colorado, and was having a house built, which was going to include a craft room for her and her 3 kids.  I knew she would like a new table topper for the house, and that Noah, 12, and Abigail, 7, would be perfect ages to learn to sew.  Eliana is 4, and will be learning soon.  I called Lisa and asked if she was interested, and she was thrilled.  She said she had just purchased curtains for the sun room/dining area, in shades of grey and yellow stripes on white.  

So, my plan, using the Accuquilt GO! 3" half square triangle die, was to create quarter square triangles, larger than the 3" finish, and make a topper.  I picked Island Batik Sterling, which is a Basics, along with Grey solid, White solid, and an older Butter yellow.  Here's the EQ8 version

My original plan was to not have sashing, but when I played with the die, the 3" finished half square triangle die made 4+" units, not 6" as I was hoping.  The die is the right shape, even if 4 sewn in the Hourglass unit block is not a standard size.  I think they were about 4 5/8" along each side.  It's still a great way to make the unit, if it's not being added to another block.  So, to make the top about 32" square, as Lisa requested, I added 1" sashing and corner stones.  
It took just a few minutes to cut all the units for the Hourglass blocks, and then I used a rotary cutter to do the strips and squares, and the 2 1/2" strip die (I used my GO! for that) for the border.  

 Because the dog ears are already cut, I started chain piecing from the square corner, with half sewn with grey on top, and the other half with white.  
 Match up the centers (pressed towards the grey) and stitch the units.  
I love webbing the top together.  I sewed the Sterling with the sashing, then the horizontal sashing, to a square.  Keep going down the column, joining 1 and sashing.  Then add column2, sashing,  3, sashing, 4, sashing, and 5.Then you just sew the rows together, nesting seams along the way.  You can check that it's perfect before you have the whole top sewn, and fix if needed.  So smart!

 TaDah, it's a top!  Press it with seams going towards the white sashing, add the border (skip the outside sashing and cornerstones from the EQ8 plan, if you wish, lol)  and choose backing and batting.  I used more of the solid White for backing and a scrap of Warm & White, and put my Handi-quilter with Prostitcher to work.

I picked an all-over floral design and Aurifil 40-3 in white, 2021.  

 I wish I could have given this in person, but we're over 1800 miles apart.  I would have loved to share the cupcakes and lemonade with Lisa and her family.  But I can't mail cupcakes.  

I packed up the topper, the GO! Me and some additional Island Batik fabric, some elastic (she was planning to make more masks) and some Aurifil 50wt thread, and sent it off to Colorado.  

Lisa got it just in time to use the runner for Sunday brunch!  

Good match to the curtains, right? I love having such a great supply of Island Batik.  
I wrapped the GO! Me in Christmas tissue paper, because I wanted to add to the fun.  The topper was wrapped, too. 
 Lisa is exited to try this!
Lisa and I will be doing some Zoom calls to help Noah and Abigail learn about the sewing machine and GO! Me, and I provided fabric for them to make pillow cases, as well as Stash Builder rolls to use on the GO! Me.  Lisa is looking forward to trying the GO! Me as soon as she gets the sewing room set up.  She's thankful that I first shared my love of sewing with her as a child, and for this gift, to make quilting easier so she can share it with her children.  She said she loves that we've always had this connection.   I'm excited about passing quilting on to the next generation, even if we can't meet in person.  I do hope to visit them again soon and can't wait to see what they make.  

Thanks for stopping by!  
Maryellen and Lisa