Meet Island Batik Ambassador Maryellen McAuliffe!

The talented Maryellen McAuliffe joined the Island Batik Ambassador program back in 2014 and it has been great to see her grow as a quilter with our monthly challenges and events, that sometimes pushed Maryellen out of her creative comfort zone!

Maryellen started sewing when she was a little girl, by hand, and got her first machine, a kid’s Singer, when she was 6: “I got Mom’s machine when I was 7 and she got a new one. I made clothes for my dolls, and started making clothes for me when I was 6. I mostly made clothes, including wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses, and did alterations after moving to PA, and then went back to quilting, because it was more fun to make what I wanted and then see if I could sell it. I decided to make it a business once every person I knew had a quilt, and all the tables had runners”.

Quilt, made for the 2020 Island Batil Log Cabin Blog Hop. Maryellen used the fabric from Island Batik Primo collection, designed by Ebony Love of Lovebug Studios, AccuQuilt GO! cutter and Aurifil thread. To learn more about the quilt, please visit: http://www.marymackmademine.com/2020/02/island-batik-log-cabin-blog-hop-and.html.

Maryellen has been quilting for over 30 years: “I made a lot of raggy style quilts, and enjoyed using different stitch patterns on my Viking Sapphire 850 to quilt the layers. Later on, I started machine quilting, using a walking foot, and progressed to free motion, using a stencil. I’ve used a domestic machine to quilt even king size quilts. I’m thrilled to have been able to get a Handi-quilter Amara long arm, and I’m enjoying learning , and ability to quilt with ease. I have the Prostitcher computer, as well. I’m blessed to have a good studio space and room for the long arm. “

Quilt, made for the 2018 July Island Batik Ambassador challenge, Pattern Play. Maryellen used Island Batik fabric and Aurifil thread. To learn more about the quilt, please visit: https://www.marymackmademine.com/2018/07/island-batik-pattern-play-challenge.html.

To Maryellen, quilting is not just a hobby, but a business that she loves: “I’m also a designer, and hope to start long-arm quilting for others. I’ve taught quilting to others, and did my first trunk show last year. I hope that my business continues to grow. My degree is Art and Education. My plan when I was in high school was to be a fashion designer, but my college choice didn’t have that as an option. I also wanted to be a teacher, and I’ve taught all levels, including college. I think quilting and teaching others to quilt is the fulfillment of those early dreams.”

Quilt, made for the 2018 Island Batik Four Seasons Blog Hop. Maryellen used the fabric from Island Batik Paisley Dot collection, designed by Kathy Engle and Aurifil thread. To learn more about the quilt, please visit: https://www.marymackmademine.com/2018/01/four-seasons-blog-hop.html.

Maryellen prefers more traditional designs, but being an Ambassador has challenged her to make things more modern: “It’s fun, and I know it makes me a better quilter and designer, when I play outside of my comfort zone.”

When it comes to color, Maryellen loves a cool palette: “Purple is my favorite, but not many of my quilts actually have purple. As an Ambassador, most times the colors are picked, because the collections are already coordinated, but I do enjoy mixing things up, when I can. I do get to pick the designs and background, and that’s always fun. For non-batik fabric (yes, there is some of that in my stash), I pick a main fabric I want to use, and then pick out coordinates based on that. When in doubt, I check the selvage and pick fabrics based on the color dots.”

Quilt, made for the 2016 Island Batik Seaside Summer Blog Hop. Maryellen used the fabric from Island Batik Red Tide collection, designed by Kathy Engle. To learn more about the quilt, please visit: https://www.marymackmademine.com/2016/08/island-batiks-seaside-summer-blog-hop.html.

Maryellen loves piecing, and enjoys foundation piecing, fusible appliqué and embroidered appliqué; “I also love quilting, and adding the binding. It’s so satisfying to start a project, cut it out, sew it, and quilt it, and see the finished item. It’s even more fun if I’ve designed it, too. I love the whole process!”

Make sure to follow Maryellen on social media and subscribe to her blog for great quilting ideas and inspiration:

Facebook: Mary Mack Made Mine

Instagram: @marymackmademine

Website: Mary Mack’s Blog

Etsy shop: Mary Mack Made Mine

2020 Island Batik Ambassadors: https://islandbatik.com/2020-ambassadors

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