Friday, February 22, 2019

Monthly Color Challenge and a finish or 5.

Hi! The Monthly Color Challenge block for February is the cute Hourglass block.  

I was adding pink borders, the darker sunflower print from Island Batik, to a quilt top, and decided to use the scraps to make this block.  I had to pull the light pink floral from the Spring Blossoms collection scraps from the Blog Hop quilt in September of 2018.  Fast, and so pretty.  It's a block that looks more complicated, and is great for creating a secondary design.  If you haven't tried the Monthly Color Challenge, you should.  Click on the links above for more info.  

I'll show the other quilt top soon. It's a UFO from an Island Batik Ambassador challenge last year.  I hope to start quilting it soon.  I have a few other little things to do first.  

Also, I wanted to share that the Christmas Lights quilt is done!  I love it. This was the Cozy Cabins challenge in November, 2018 

I'm working on setting up a way for you to get the Light bulb embroidery design, if you want it.  Contact me for further info. 

Here are some of the photos. had a cute label with deer head and Christmas lights, so I purchased it, and used that as the base for the embroidered label.  Perfect! 
I added 6 1/2" Log Cabin blocks for the corner patches on the outer border.  Island Batik supplied the fabric for the top, and there wasn't quite enough to make the full border in green, so I decided to shrink the 14" block down.  Took a little math, and recutting some strips, but I knew I had enough of the gold and red to make them.  So cute!  Just adds a touch of fun to the border.
 I used Aurifil 50wt for all the quilting.  The light sections use 2311, Muslin, and the colored sections all have 2885, Medium Spruce.  The embroidered lights use a variety of colors, mostly 40wt, but a few 50wt, depending on the colors I had on hand.  I'm buying a box that has a 48 spool assortment of 40wt, because I prefer that for the embroidery machine.  All the colored parts have feathers, and the cream has a swirl and loop design, all free-motion quilted by me on my Viking Sapphire 850.  The Pfaff Creative 1.5 was used for the embroidery, and the design was digitized for me by QuiltshopGal. I'm so grateful for her friendship, and her ability to make this work for me.  

 Some of the texture can be seen here. The backing is a Christmas fabric I got at JoAnne's.  I used Warm & Natural batting. It measures 82" square, so it's large enough to top a queen size bed.

And a fun photo because it was windy.  I'm just glad it didn't blow off the fence at the high school.  If I can't get to a better place to shoot a photo, this usually works.  I just carefully tuck the edge of the quilt between the top of the fence and the pole.  It's across the street from the house, and Mom can watch me from the door, if she doesn't want to walk with me.  Her Alzheimer's disease is progressing, and she prefers to be close to me.  I don't mind being her caregiver, and we've worked out the best solutions for when I need to get something done for my shop, or for the Island Batik Ambassador challenges.  She often cooperates when I ask her to watch TV, or she'll come upstairs to visit.  

I also finished 3 Valentine's Table toppers.  One was for my Sister-in-Law, Arlene, who helped sew the pieces, the second was a gift to my Respite volunteer, and the third was for the February Magnificent Mini challenge.  I also finished Reed's Farm quilt, and Liliana's Girls' Best Friend quilt.  

 This pink and grey one is for sale in my Etsy shop.  
 I think I need a better photo of this one, it's so much prettier in person.  I used really soft minkee on the back.  The white background is actually Island Batik White solid!  It's awesome.  It's a better thread count than many of the whites on the market, so there's less show-through.  And so much less fraying.  The light pink was fraying constantly.  I'm so spoiled when I use Island Batik.  I forget about fraying seams! 

 Arlene's and the volunteer's are similar.  I ran out of the darker pink and substituted a different Chop in the same colors.  Both loved putting them on their tables.  

This one has the animal sounds and tractor sounds quilted in the polka-dot border.   Cluck, Moo, neigh, rumble, peep, arf, bark, meow.  I had a lot of fun trying to come up with words that go with the animals in the print. 

I'm so happy that this short month has actually been rather productive.  I hope to have more Island Batik finishes to share soon, and March's challenge is Vintage Re-imagined.  I'm still trying to come up with a great project for that.  

Thanks so much for reading.  Have a wonderful day, and productive weekend! 


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Magnificent Mini that's Bigger than a Breadbox.

Disclaimer: Fabrics  and Aurifil thread were provided by Island Batik as part of their Ambassador program. Accuquilt GO! Die cutting machine was also provided.  Other materials, Aurifil thread, the embroidery design and the die were purchased. 

I'm sharing a One project fits 2 challenges deal!  Island Batik Ambassador challenge this month was Magnificent Mini, which is anything smaller than 24".  At the same time, Project Quilting's challenge was "Bigger than a Breadbox" so it needed to be larger than 17 by 9", and must have been started and completed between February 3 and 10.  I did it!  I actually have my Island Batik challenge finished, (before the end of the month) and I'm able to finally enter Project Quilting. 

I am trying to use my embroidery machine as much as possible, and made 2 Valentine table toppers last week, but they didn't have only Island Batik fabric.  I decided to do another for the Mini challenge, and picked the grey solid for the background, and 2 pinks and Candy for the piecing and the heart.  I chose 3 colors of Aurifil thread, a variegated and 1 other, in 40wt and one in 50wt, for the applique, and got that made Saturday morning, while I was finishing the binding on a baby quilt. That will be another post.

I also used my Accuquilt GO! die cutting machine and the 3" finished half square triangle die to cut the 12 pairs of each I needed.  
I layered the fabrics right sides together (or preferred, with batiks) and ran it through the machine so I got 12 matched pairs of HST units in each combination. 
You can tell I've used that die before.  Look at the mat! 

36 pairs of triangles in minutes.  Chain feed them through the machine, and you're almost done.  No trimming needed. 

I had the top assembled before lunch.  Then I had to keep Mom company, as that's her most challenging time with Alzheimer's.  We did order in pizza, because it's National Pizza day, and my favorite place was giving a free mini pizza with any order.  I freeze the extras and we'll use them over the next few weeks when we need an easy dinner. 

After I got her ready for bed, I was able to finish the top. I layered it with a scrap of Warm & Natural cotton batting, and pulled some cream tone on tone for the backing.  I used Aurifil 50wt in 2600 for the quilting, since it was a perfect match for the Island Batik solid grey.  Added Candy for binding, and a label and some info on the back, and it's done!  

Pattern is Center Stage from Pieced Tree.  I often grab this one because it makes a fun 24" wide table topper, and changing the fabric adds to the fun.  Using the embroidered and appliqued heart as the center, rather than a great focal print, is fun. This embroidery design is from Embroidery Library.

This will be for sale in my Etsy shop.  Made by me, Maryellen McAuliffe, in Franklin Square, Long Island, New York.

Here's one of the other ones I made, so you can see the difference by just changing the fabric.  My sister-in-law wanted one for her table, so she helped pick the fabrics, and pieced the triangle and most of the top.  She loved watching the embroidery machine, too. I'm hoping she wants to keep learning.  This one is a gift for a friend.

Thanks for stopping by.  
Linking up with Project Quilting 10th season, and Island Batik monthly challenges. 


Thursday, February 7, 2019

Island Batik Ambassador Unboxing #1 2019

I'm THRILLED to announce I'm still an Island Batik Ambassador. 
I'm even more thrilled to share that Accuquilt, Hobbs and Aurifil Thread are also sponsoring our monthly challenges. 

There are a few requirements for being an Ambassador, and I'm so happy to be accepted again.  I love creating with these products, and sharing them.  I'm so honored to be among the 50 Ambassadors this year.  

There's a secret/private group on Facebook where we can share info and ask questions, and while we were waiting for the announcement as to who was accepted for 2019, a flurry of messages were popping up because we were getting shipping notices, but not the final "you're accepted" announcements.  That was so much fun for us, but probably not for Island Batik, and our new contact, Kim, because it was a little confusing.  Then we got 2 big boxes delivered.  2!  One from Island Batik, and the other from Accuquilt!  That was a total surprise.  Did I mention the fabric box was over 24 lbs?  There's over 30 yards of fabric!  And 5 battings, 3 in queen size.  And thread!  Then we get the Ready Set, GO! box. 
So generous and so much fun in store. 
I'll be sharing more, with other photos along the way, but here's my unboxing video. My brother, John, was visiting and he's a retired professional videographer and editor (he's done some of the Fashion Week specials for HBO and worked for them for years).  But he had to use my older Sony Handycam and was unable to do the best editing because my computer and program is limited.  We tried.  Plus, I had been really sick for a number of days before, and my voice was a little raspy and catchy.  I'm surprised I didn't start coughing.  

Unfortunately, the Eleanor Burns book, included with the GO! system, was edited out.  I'm looking forward to seeing all the designs and blocks.  I have a number of other GO! dies and 2 Cube companion boxes, as well.  I can't wait to play and design something fun. 

Special Thanks to Island Batik, Hobb's Batting, Aurifil and Accuquilt for this wonderful opportunity to share products with others.  

I also contacted Bonnie, who was comment 134, the number chosen by for the winner on my Getaway blog hop post.  I will be sending her a fun assortment of batiks.  
I'll share a photo before it goes in the mail.  

Thanks so much for visiting, and please follow me by email and on Facebook and Instagram (MaryMackMadeMine) for all the fun to come.