Friday, September 26, 2014

Relaxing Hawaiin-style

Some of my Mom's orchids and the inspiration for my latest designs!
Are you ready for something easy- or at least mindless?  I know I am!!  Especially, after a grueling week at the office, NOTHING fits the bill like Hawaiian-style needle turn appliqué!  Easy and relaxing with rewarding results. 

Original designs ready to be basted
I had some gorgeous fabric my husband  hand dyed that I was 'dyeing' to tryout.  

For the two tone, matching fabric - he's calling them Tropical Twins- I wanted to design something very simple that would showcase the color- in other words let the color do all the work.  The design itself is really EASY appliqué.  All large shapes and gentle curves perfect for practicing points.

Basted and ready to start applique
Very easy applique

For the mottled purple I knew I could design something a little more intricate.  My Mom's orchids where my inspiration. I chose a simple Kona white background because that is the classic Hawaiian choice and because I wanted to showcase the beautiful texture of the purple fabric.

My original design inspired by my Mom's orchids

Closeup of my Orchid design cut out of my husband's hand dyed fabric
More closeups of my quilt top

I prepped and basted the quilts last weekend.  These two plus one I have been stitching on and off for about a year now should keep me busy for quite a while :)
Until next time... 

Best stitches from Mercy in Miami

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hawaiian-Style Applique by Faye Labanaris

Faye Labanaris project in progress, pattern by Meg Maeda
In my humble opinion, nothing is more relaxing or rewarding than Hawaiian-style applique.  First of all, you make all your decisions at the beginning of the project.  And, once you cut and baste the two fabrics, the rest is all happy, mindless stitching.  Actually, if you go the traditional route, all you have to choose is ONE fabric because your background will be a plain white fabric.  Even your quilting design can be a no brainer if you follow tradition.  Of course, you can deviate from tradition at any point and the results are just as gorgeous.  I first took a one day class in Hawaiian quilt making from Faye Labanaris in 2003. It was creative, rewarding and so much fun - my personal definition of quilting :)  

The photos in this blog are Faye's Hawaiian-style quilts in various stages of progress.  The designs are by  Meg Maeda.  Faye is using fabrics hand dyed by my husband.  He began experimenting with hand dyeing fabrics for about 6 months. As a quilter, I can't be more thrilled with my husband's new found creative outlet! It's ALMOST as good as when he decided to learn how to bake the perfect cheesecake last year :)
Faye Labanaris project in progress, pattern by Meg Maeda
Anyway, he mailed some of his sample creations - the fabrics not the cheesecakes - to Faye and she created some amazing Hawaiian-style quilts using his fabrics. Faye graciously agreed to let me share her quilts in progress! I am speechless!!

Faye Labanaris project in progress, pattern by Meg Maeda

Faye Labanaris project in progress, pattern by Meg Maeda

Faye will be teaching Hawaiian-style Appliqué at the Kathy Dunigan Appliqué Academy in February 2015.  This is a NOT TO BE MISSED opportunity.

Until next time...

Best stitches from Mercy in Miami

Friday, September 12, 2014


My Bits of Baltimore auction donation is finished and will be in the mail this afternoon!!!  Click on the link below for more info...

You would all like some photos of my block.  It is completely untraditional and features fabrics hand dyed by Sharon Schamber and my husband.  
It took me 6 months of weekends and evenings to complete. It's the first piece I have hand quilted in almost 10 years.  I hope it raises lots of cash for a great cause!

Until next time...
Best stitches from rainy, steamy Miami