Friday, June 27, 2014

Tumbler Flag Wall Hanging

Hi!  I finished this last night.  I think it's adorable!  It's a Flag!  I used scraps of the fabrics from the 2011 PA shop hop.  The hop blocks that year were for Quilts of Valor, so the fabrics were reds, creams, and blues, reproduction prints from Jo Morton's Hurrah collection, with others from Andover fabrics.  I made all the blocks, in a 12" finished size, while doing the hop, and had lots of scraps left, so I cut them with my Accuquilt GO! 3 1/2" tumbler die, and pieced them on my 1954 Singer 15-91 machine.  (That cool one in the Trapezoid cabinet).  It was FUN to make this, and I cut the rest of the scraps into 2" squares, and I'll play with them another time.  I've seen this style quilt, and thought it was really cute, so I had to make one.  I'll probably make more than one.  It's that fun!  This one measures about 22 by 24".  Maybe I'll make the next one bigger?

I also pieced scraps from the fabrics for the binding, which adds to the fun.  I've made quilts and table runners with the larger Tumbler die, but this is the first with the smaller, and a first for a scrappy binding.  I think it's also the first time I've used the wavy edge of the tumblers, and not cut them off.  I love it!

I also did a cool feather design in the blue, and feathers across the stripes, in coordinating thread.  I love using Aurifil!  Not one break, and the threads blend so well.

It has hanging loops on the back, so you can put it on a decorative rod.

I need to find more scraps!  I want to do another one!  I better go dig in my Fat Quarter stash!

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tablet Case

I got a Samsung tablet, and wanted to make a case, rather than purchase one that is like a million others.  I've made cases for my camera and camcorder, so I thought this would be fun.

I grabbed 5 strips left from the Island Batiks Orchid strip pack, from the Braid quilt {see here.)  I picked my 4 favorites, then grabbed a 5th, cut it in half to make it 1 1/4" wide, and sewed the strips together.  I wanted this to look like an envelope, and have room for a pocket and a holder for the stylus.  I grabbed some Island Batik (IKF13F-V1) for the lining and pockets.  I used 2 layers of Warm & Natural batting, did some fun feathers on the top, cut and made the pocket and stylus holder, and used another strip for binding the edges.  I called Verizon, and they said it's fine to use a magnetic snap closure near a tablet, so this has a matching purple closure.  I'm thrilled with how it came out, and have plans to improve the next version.  This is great for slipping into a tote or briefcase.  The pocket can hold the booklet and extra note paper or cards.

Inside, with pocket and stylus holder.
Tablet inside, with stylus.
I made it a little roomier than the one the salesperson showed me at Verizon.  I'm very happy with it!  I think it's much prettier than black vinyl.  Plus, it's washable.  The tablet is reflecting the leaves in the tree over my deck.

I plan on offering this for sale in my shop.  I'll do it as a custom at first, until I get a few made, and can offer them for sale.  Do you want one?? Let me know!  Any fabrics can be used, and any color!

Monday, June 16, 2014


I'm happy!  I love finishing quilts!  It's such a great feeling to know that something that started with bits of fabric and thread is now something that will brighten someone's day, provide warmth, and beauty!

This one is a purple batik braid.  Here's one of the first photos of the process of making this quilt.
I got the strip pack, and picked the frame, lattice and border fabric, and put them with the pattern, Braid In A Day by Quilt In A Day. 

It was pieced on the 1954 Singer 15-91 in the rare trapezoid cabinet.  I sewed the frames and lattice and border on with my Viking Sapphire 850.
Here's the top, now called a Flimsy.  It's ready to be layered with the backing and batting, and pinned.
I did that when I rented time on a large table at American Ribbon.  The table is about 8 feet long, 5 feet wide, and is about 36" high.  It's great for doing this.  Many other tables are too small and not comfortable for standing and working.  The height helps prevent back aches, as each quilt can take about 20 minutes to pin.  I did 3 quilts that day, in about 45 minutes, because I got there late, and the store was closing.  Lots of standing, reaching, pinning, smoothing, etc, and moving quickly!

This is during the quilting process, showing the 3 colors of Aurifil thread I used, and Christine's Sapphire 835, which I borrow when I visit my parents.  Each braid section has feathers.  There are large "pebbles" in the darker purple frame, more feathers in the aqua lattice, and more feathers in the outer border.  Aurifil colors are:  Aqua (Ice) 40 wt green spool #4225.  The center is 50wt 1243, for the braids and border, and the left is 4225 for the dark purple frame.  I have a lucite table under the quilt that fits around the machine, to make stitching easier.  It's a larger flat surface.  I wear gloves, called Machingers, while quilting, to help hold the fabric and move it to make the shapes. The gloves are a light nylon stretch material, with rubberized fingertips.  I pull out the safety pins as I go.

Once the quilting is done, I cut strips for the binding.  Those are sewn end to end, to make a long strip.  In this case, 7 strips.  This is pressed in half, to make a long narrow strip, then sewn to the edge of the quilt.  I have a way to join the ends, then I trim the batting and backing.  I turn the binding over, and stitch it down again by machine, on the back of the quilt.  Here's the quilt, done.

A view of the backing, and the binding.
This is over the twin bed in my guest room.  Normally I tape quilts to the rail on my loft, and take a photo from the living room, but the sun was setting, and this room still had daylight.  I'll have to take one from the rail tomorrow.  

Thanks for reading!  I hope you learned something, and understand why handmade is better than store bought, and also why it's worth more!  It's also much prettier in person.  The fabrics are silky and smooth, and it just feels great as a throw or over a bed.  

See you soon!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

SewJo Saturday June 14

Another week!  Wacky and busy, but fun!

Here's the update on Abigail's dress.  I made the tie.  Should have taken about 15 minutes, but my Viking Sapphire decided to have an extremely rare hissy fit.  It took more than 20 minutes to get her to behave, and make a second buttonhole.  The pattern recommended the ties be buttoned at the shoulders, instead of one long piece tied behind the neck.  The machine has a great computerized buttonhole feature, which I've used successfully millions of times.  Plug the special foot into the computer link, set the machine for the button hole length, and place the fabric under the presser foot, with a piece of tear-away stabilizer.  The first one came out perfectly.  I started the second one, and the machine didn't start the zigzag part, it just kept going backwards.  Way longer than it's supposed to, for the size of the buttonhole.  I tested on scrap fabric, and it worked fine, but as soon as I put the piece for the tie back, it only went backwards.  So weird!!  And very frustrating.  Usually a 15 second thing took more than 20 minutes.  I shut the machine off twice to reset the computer, cleaned everywhere, and yelled a bit.  Finally, it worked.

Anyway, here's the finished dress.

I'm also working on the purple braid quilt.  I need to finish the border and bind it.  I also need to press the pieces for the linen quilt, and get that top together.  I want to make a case for my new tablet, too.  Fun!!

Thanks for stopping by! Go visit the others on the list and see what they are doing!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dear Abigail

I worked on a little dress for my great-niece today.  I LOVE making little girl clothes, and haven't had a chance to make much for the last few years. This is for Abigail.  She's turning 1 this week.  I still need to make a red tie for the front, but I thought this fabric was sweet, and would be cute for a Summer dress.  It says I "heart" USA.

Pattern is McCalls 6913  Thread is Aurifil Mako 50wt, plus serger thread (Maxi-Lock).  

Cute little red ball buttons, and jumbo ric-rac accent the fabric.  The white is a tone on tone with little stars on it.  I have other fabrics to make more dresses for her.  I just have to get on it!  It's fun to make something like this. I enjoy the variety.  It keeps my love of sewing and quilting active and fresh, and prevents the quilter's version of "writer's block". 

 Abigail? I can't wait to meet you! See you soon!
 Hugs and kisses, Great Aunt Maryellen

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sewjo Saturday Link Up

Hi! I'm linking up for SewJo Saturday!

 Here's a quick photo of what's on the machine.  I'm quilting A Braid in a Day by Eleanor Burns featuring Island Batiks strip pack.  I think the pack is named Orchids.  I'll have to check when I get home.  This isn't even my machine!  My friend Christine let me borrow her Viking Sapphire 835.  I have the 850.   Her machine rocks for FMQ!  I'm visiting my parents, and have a sewing space here.  I had been bringing my machine, but one time I lost the power cord.  Christine lent me her machine, while she finishes the repairs after Hurricane Sandy damaged her house.  Once she gets set up, her machine will be going home.  In the meantime, it saves me a little weight lifting.

I hope to have this finished and listed by Monday!  

Christine and I went to the Eastern Long Island quilt show on Saturday.  Great time!  We both needed the day for fun, and seeing quilts and listening to Victoria Findlay Wolfe and Marie Bostwick, as well as shopping through the vendor mall, was our idea of a fun!  I'll be sharing more photos later.  This one is from Victoria's lecture.  This quilt is part of her Double Wedding Ring series, which will be at the Wisconsin Quilt Museum.  You can get more info about Victoria and the show  HERE.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mango Salsa

I'm pleased to present my latest quilt, Mango Salsa Zig A Zag.  The fabric is from the Mango Salsa strip pack by Island Batiks, with another Island Batiks fabric in the border.  The pattern is by Quilt In A Day.

This is bright and fun!  I love working with Island Batiks!  The colors are vibrant and the fabrics are silky, with very little fraying.  It's a lovely tight weave, which means more threads per inch (high thread count).  It's smooth and so easy to work with!  I added some batiks from my stash for the setting triangles and inner border.

I used Aurifil Mako 50 wt for piecing, and quilted with color 3817, a great variegated, on the top, with 2255, a great brick red for the borders, and 2315 in the bobbin, to blend with the peachy backing.

It's available in my Etsy shop.  I love making these!  Thanks for visiting!