Summer Slice & Stitch: Mary Davis

Today, we’re excited to share our second OLFA/Aurifil Summer Slice & Stitch! This Summer, we’ve challenged 3 Aurifil Artisans and 3 OLFA Experts to create and share small, on-the-go projects that could be stitched up on a camping trip, by the pool, on your deck, or in the car… We’re naturally busier in the Summer and it’s sometimes hard to find ways to fit all of the projects in, so why not plan to take the projects along with us!? Participants were provided with all of the OLFA tools & Aurifil threads that they needed to make their projects a success. Wherever you’re headed this Summer, whether it’s overseas, across the country, or simply to the other side of your backyard, these projects will keep you busy along the way.

Mary Davis AND Sarah Gozzo

Mary and Sarah are boldly leading us into Summer. We absolutely love their projects — equal parts functional and super stylin’! You’ll find Mary’s project right here on Auribuzz. For more on Sarah’s project, follow the link at the end of this post.

Thanks so much to all of our makers! This is going to be our favorite stitchy Summer yet!

Let’s go on an adventure… an OLFA Slice & Stitch adventure! The theme is all about quilting on the go. How do you prepare your projects to take on the road, vacation, or… to your own back yard? For this project I was given some OLFA products including the 12” Rotating Self Healing Cutting Mat, a 45mm Quick Change Rotary Cutter and Blades, a 4.5” Square Frosted Acrylic Ruler and a 6” x 12” Frosted Acrylic Ruler.

When presented with this challenge, I knew immediately what I wanted to make. A long time ago, I bought my sister a mesh water bottle holder to take along when she went on walks. I have been wanting to make a quilted version of that holder for quite some time. It was absolutely perfect for my OLFA + Aurifil project!

I did not have a quilt pattern for this design. I knew generally how I wanted it to look and I figured out the dimensions by measuring the circumference and height of the water bottle, added a couple inches all the way around for seam and batting thickness and went to town. Luckily, it is a small project, so I was able to work through my stash using some leftover charm squares. Some of my favorite blocks to make are half square triangles (HSTs). You can create so many cool designs with these cute little blocks. Naturally, I used my go-to Aurifil 50wt in White to prep the blocks!

Normally I cringe when doing eight-at-a-time HSTs because I know I will have to move my ruler around in all kinds of funky ways trying to make sure my pieces stay together. It always reminds me of playing Twister as a kid– right hand blue, left hand yellow… But have no fear, enter the 12” rotating cutting mat. I am in LOVE with this cutting mat. It’s a game changer for quilters who want to keep their pieces in place while marking and cutting from different angles, without having to lift up and reposition your block. The cutting mat has a separate base, which allows you to swivel the mat a full 360 degrees! The markings on the mat make it easy to line up your squares to ensure straight marking and cutting.

Combine that bit of magic with the OLFA Rotary Cutter (the blade slices through the fabric like butter) and the 6″ x 12″ ruler (just the right size to take on the go, and NONSLIP so it doesn’t shift around on your fabric) an you’re fully set up for success. To trim my HSTs to the correct size, I used OLFA’s 4” square ruler, which made quick work of trimming all the HSTs needed for my bottle holder.

All of these OLFA products are compact and super easy to stow in a bag for on-the-go quilting.  The products are easily portable for a quilting retreat, vacation, or even just to your own back yard.  So… load up your bag of goodies, add a cold beverage, and let’s head on outside. 

My small project would require me to do some hand quilting. Hand quilting is the perfect task to take with you to your own back yard. Find a cool spot and start stitching. Since this bottle holder would hold cold ice water, I went with the insulated batting. One side of the batting has a silver coating that keeps cold things cold. 

This type of batting was a little tougher to get the needle through, so I went with big quilting stitches. Aurifil has so many cotton colors to choose from, but I managed to narrow it down to two: #2410 in 28wt (Lt Pink) and #2850 in 50wt (green). When choosing a thread for hand stitching, you need to decide whether you want your stitches to stand out or blend in with your project. I chose the 28wt because I wanted my stitches to be noticeable and the thread color to pop. The 28wt is heavier and stronger and held up well against all the tugging as I stitched through the bulky layers. Ultimately, I marked my lines and hand quilted a diagonal cross hatch design.

For piecing the bag together, I used #2310 in 40wt (light beige). I did this step back at home, on my domestic machine.

Now I’m all set to keep hydrated on those summer walks… or visiting festivals.  Hope you enjoyed my quilty process. Have a great summer!

HUGE thanks to Mary for playing along with us this month! We absolutely love her project which has upped out Summer style game!

Head on over to OLFA’s blog to check out Sarah‘s project!

Find hand quilting threads on Shop Aurifil via the buttons below!


Mary has always been a crafty person. She started out as a garment sewer and did that for many years. Mary taught herself to quilt after seeing her mother pick up the hobby later in life. Her first quilt was a sampler wall hanging. She has been quilting for over 25 years and still enjoys all aspects of quilting. Mary considers herself a traditional quilter with a modern twist. Some of her favorite blocks are the Ohio Star and Log Cabin. She prefers floral prints over solids and loves free motion quilting. Mary is a quilt pattern designer and also hosts of an online membership that features quilters of color.

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