Friday, November 13, 2015

The Daphne Bag

I just finished making this lovely bag. The pattern is Daphne, a downloadable pdf from Jennie and Clara of Clover and Violet. I have made a few of their patterns in the past and always love the way their bags turn out. 

This bag is made from several of my Sultan’s Garden fabrics.  I used a floral from the apricot/turquoise colorway for the body of the bag and accented the edge and handle with the bold striped fabric.  The liner is made from the subtler dotted pattern that complements the strong colors on the bag's exterior. The base of the bag is an aqua colored faux leather, which I picked up at Mood. It gives the bottom form and makes it more durable than fabric alone.

This bag has a number of nice features including an adjustable strap and zippered closure. Inside are zippered and slip pockets. I'm sure this one will be a favorite.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Fairy Tale Dress

When my niece, Grace told me she needed a new dress for a special occasion, I knew it would be a great opportunity to put my new fabric collection to use.  I chose Oliver + S’ Fairy Tale dress pattern. Not only is it cute but I know that Liesl Gibson’s designs are thoughtfully made and the directions are excellent.


For the dress, I paired the small dot pattern for the top with the bolder iconic design for the bottom. A pink bow and matching collar completed the look. As usual we had a fun photography session in the park and got quite lucky with the weather.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Star Bright, Article and Kit!

The current issue of American Patchwork and Quilting is featuring Star Bright, a quilt that I designed for my The Sultan’s Garden fabric collection. It is a simple quilt to make, and measures 48 1/2" x 60 1/2”.


Here is a mock-up of the quilt design that I submitted when I pitched the fabric line to RJR Fabrics. Since then, the quilt was pieced by Laura Boehnke and quilted by Sue Urich, a solid team effort.

The December 2015 of American Patchwork and Quilting is available now, so be sure to pick up a copy. Even better news is that the quilt is available as a kit at Cotton and Chocolate.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sew-Along Winner Announced

Thanks to everyone for joining me on my sew-along. Also, thank you for your comments and suggestions on basting. 

The winner of the giveaway (chosen randomly) was comment number 3, Sandy A (scottylover) .  Sandy, I'll send you an email through your blogger account to get your address. Congratulations.

A special thanks goes to RJR Fabrics for gererously donating The Sultan's Garden fat quarter bundle set.



Sunday, October 11, 2015

Final Sew-Along Post and Give-away!

Welcome to the third and final part of my Point of View Sew-Along. In this post I’ll be working on basting, quilting and finishing up the quilt.  For the instructions you can download the free pattern at the RJR Fabrics website, here.

I used to baste my quilts with a needle and thread.  When I found out I could simply pin my quilt top, batting, and backing together with curved safety pins I was delighted. I know there are several other new ways of basting. I would be curious to know your favorite method.

Now for the quilting… pattern instructions always say “quilt as desired”, let me show you how I quilted mine. I am a fan of expert machine quilter, Angela Walters. I took her Craftsy course, Dot –To –Dot, and since then, have used what I learned in the class in several of my quilts.

First I stitched the major seams in the ditch with my walking foot, then free motioned as shown in the diagram shown below.

 Machine quilting is always somewhat of a challenge, but in a good way.


I love striped binding, there is just something fun about it.

Finally the finished quilt! I'm so pleased with the finished piece.






To celebrate, RJR Fabrics is giving away a set of The Sultan’s Garden fat quarter bundles. Just leave me a comment here on my blog. If you like, tell me which color story you prefer, Apricot or Berry. I’ll select a winner randomly in the coming days.

Good Luck!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Point of View Sew Along Part II

Welcome to the second part of my Point of View Sew Along. In this post I’ll be discussing cutting and piecing the patches.  For the full instructions you should download the free pattern at the RJR Fabrics website, here.

From each of the seven prints, I cut 8 large triangles from the 9 3/4" squares (as described in the pattern download). In the same manner I created 8 smaller triangles from the 7 1/8” squares.


Cutting the striped pieces was a bit trickier. Not hard but I had to work slowly and carefully.

Here are the finished pieces for the quilt top, all spread out. I’m ready to start piecing.

First, I chain pieced the white squares.

After I attached and trimmed my white triangle tips, I arranged all the pieces on my design wall.  By doing so, I was able to distribute the fabric patterns to my liking.

I sewed individual patches, and then replaced them into the design on the wall. This way I could keep the quilt top organized and see how it was progressing. 

Tip: Before I started piecing I took a photo of the arrangement so at any time I could refer to the placement of each patch. I printed the photo and marked which way was up. I referred to this “blueprint” constantly.

 There are several ways one might choose to create the decorative stitches.

Once the units were formed, I embroidered them by running two strands of thread through my machine needle so that the stitches really stand out.    

Some quilters can't or don't like to turn the quilt during the quilting process, but you could add this embellishment later on as quilted stitches.  Another alternative would be to use hand quilted stitches in a pretty color.


For me, the best part of piecing is when I sew the last pieces together. I know... finally, right?



Here is the finished top! All ready to be basted, quilted and bound. More on that in my next post along with a give-away announcement!


Monday, September 28, 2015

Point Of View Sew-Along

Please join me in a Sew-Along. I’ll be making Point of View, a quilt which I designed featuring my latest fabric collection, The Sultan’s Garden. The finished size is a manageable 48” x 48” which will be perfect as a throw or wall hanging. You can find the instructions for the quilt as a free download on the RJR Fabrics website, here. The collection is available in two color stories, berry and apricot. I’ll be working in berry. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting my progress. 

I have started by gathering the materials. Here are my fabrics, laid out and ready to go. In the next post, I’ll review cutting and piecing.    
  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Frida Kahlo, Art - Garden - Life


The exhibition, Frida Kahlo, Art - Garden - Life is underway at the New York Botanical Garden. Of course, I like to visit the Garden whenever I can and this was a great excuse. 
Located in Mexico City, Casa Azul was the home and studio where Frida Kahlo and her husband, muralist Diego Rivera lived and worked. The show’s curators and horticulturalists transformed a section of the Haupt Conservatory to a resemblance of Casa Azul. Frida’s long time home served as a connection to the beauty of the landscape as well as a source of inspiration.

 This is a re-creation of how a portion of her studio may have appeared.

The Mertz Library has a number of her drawings and paintings on display. Photography was prohibited, sorry…


As you would expect the gift shop had a beautiful homage to Frida, overflowing with fun items for sale.


The event runs through November 1st but if you are not in the area, you may want to see the slide show at the New York Botanical Garden’s website.



Monday, August 10, 2015

The Sultan's Pillow





One thing the Sultans had were plenty of pillows! 

I love working with The Sultan's Garden fabrics. This is a quilted pillow cover I just finished using the apricot color range.   
It would have been practical to simply use a wedge shaped ruler but I used Marti Michell’s Tumbler Template. This template is nice because it gives one the option to easily create eight different size tumblers. My finished shapes are 4” high, and did not take long to create.
I decided to keep the quilting simple by echoing the seams...

...and bind the cover as if it were a quilt.
If you would like to see my work in progress, you can now follow me on Instagram:
https://instagram.com/marymcguiredesign/


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cute Coin Purses

These coin purses are fun and relatively easy to make, provided you take a deep breath while attaching the handle…

The frames are from NYC's Purl Soho but I’m sure you can find them at craft stores. The purses will be unique gifts for special occasions.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Time to Start Cutting


It's an exciting day for me! I’ve just received the first samples of my latest line from RJR Fabrics. Looking at them reminds me of my trip to Istanbul and the magical time spent there. It’s time to start cutting…




The Sultan’s Garden, available in August    

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Sultan's Garden - Sneak Peek


Here's a preview of my new collection, The Sultan’s Garden. The line, inspired by a trip to Istanbul, will be available through RJR Fabrics later this summer. It will be offered in two color palettes, Apricot and Berry. I can’t wait to see what everyone creates with the fabrics!





Monday, May 11, 2015

Winners Announced

I would especially like to thank those of you who found your way to my site even though Quiltmaker's had an incorrect link to my blog. Looking on the bright side, the broken link meant a better chance of winning for those who made the extra effort! As always, I would love to see a photo of any blocks created from the pattern. 


I randomly selected three winners from the list of comments. Each will reveive a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, volume 11. Congratulations to:

JoyceLM, Debby E, Anna Brown. 

I will send you each an email to ask for your addresses.



Thursday, May 7, 2015

100 Blocks

I’ve been included in Quiltmakers 100 Blooks, volume 11! Welcome to my portion of the 100 Blocks blog tour. 

My block, named Just Go With the Flow is number 1056.  Just Go With the Flow is made from Licien’s Color Basic Dots as well as RJR Fabric’s Supreme Solids.
The design is a raw edge appliqué, with a generous sized blanket stitch in pearl cotton number 8, my favorite hand quilting thread.


Quiltmaker is currently hosting this tour on their Quilty Pleasures Blog. Today is the last day of the tour but there is still time to check out the other designers and a chance to win today’s giveaways.

Now for the exciting news, Quiltmaker has generously donated one copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks for me to give away and I have two additional copies to add to that. Just leave a comment here, on my blog and I will randomly select three winners.

Good luck, and enjoy the rest of the tour.


-Mary

Monday, February 16, 2015

Goodness Gracious

I was excited when I found the latest issue of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting in my mailbox because the magazine features one of my quilts, Goodness Gracious. I created this quilt using fabrics from my Grace collection.

The blocks consist of three, 60-degree triangles which are made from 2 ½” fabric strips.  I decided to do the quilting by hand because I love the folksy look of hand-quilted stitches in pearl cotton.

Love of Quilting March/April 2015 is available now, so be sure to pick up a copy at the newsstand. The pattern can also be ordered as a digital download at the Fons & Porter website.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Killer Heels

With two weeks to spare, I barely made it to Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe, one of the Brooklyn Museum’s current exhibitions. The show includes historic as well as wild and wacky shoe designs that date from the sixteenth century to today. There is something for just about everyone’s taste as long as you’re a little eccentric. The only design I found missing is one we could really use in NY right now, high heels designed for walking through slush and snow.

Killer Heels will be up until March 1st, but if you can’t make it, here is a link to the museum's website and a video featuring curator Lisa Small and her description of the show.