May 31, 2012

Is quilting cool?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Recently was talking to a shop owner newly back from Quilt Market in Kansas City. She was pleased with the influx of so many young (35 ish) quilt and fabric designers. It bodes well for the future of the industry that young people are getting involved in the business. How do we interest, and then keep, young quilters coming to the hobby we love so much? How can we make quilting “cool”? How do we make young quilters aware of our guild? Get them to visit? Actually join? What kinds of activities would they like to be a part of? We who are members of the “older” quilting contingent should find ways to pass the needles and frames on to the next generation of quilters. If you, or someone in your life, is a fan of Anthropologie or Pottery Barn then you probably have seen […]
May 27, 2012

checking up on Beth

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. If you’re a guild member or a blog follower, you know that Beth Ferrier will be one of the national teachers at seminar this fall. I check in at her blog now and then to see what’s up with her. Look at this cool thing she is doing on some of her windows (April 20 post). Applique patterns as window designs! One of my bathrooms has a small window where this could be a very nice screen of the outdoors. Hmm…thinking about what design I might use. Start keeping an eye out for her new book which was to debut at Quilt Market this spring. She has only been giving hints-so it’ll be a surprise for all of us. Here’s a bit more of a hint from the publisher. I see it’s due out in October-if we’re lucky maybe she’ll have some for us at […]
May 26, 2012

patriotism

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Found a wonderful collection of patriotic quilts at the International Quilt Study Museum. Women (and a few men) have often expressed their patriotism through the things they’ve stitched. Type “patriotic” in the keyword blank at this site and you will find a collection of quilts, some with many supporting details and some not. What a wide array of styles expressing patriotic feelings and influences. Going to put out a few flags around the yard and get down to the business of yard work. I regret that I don’t have a patriotic quilt to bring out this weekend. I think I’ll have to do something about that, perhaps for a subsequent Quilt-a-Long. Have a safe, and happy holiday weekend everyone.
May 23, 2012

This and That

Hello all, ME here. Spent some time exploring Pinterest this morning. Here are a few of my best quilty finds. I don’t know if I’m too old for these scrap necklaces or not. Hmm…they look cute against the plain white T shirt. Definitely could be an idea to do with kiddoes. Love this girly quilt. The dress mannequin and the parasols are the best! If I spy this pattern somewhere I’ll have to have it. What a great pieced border too. This quilt  (Dec 6, 2011 post) is gorgeous. The fussy placement of the flowers in the clamshells is especially nice. I certainly admire the patience of some quilters–my patience is used for other things. I won’t ever be making a quilt like this but I sure do like it! Here’s a very cool dresden fan block. Love how you can make it look very circular or more octagonal. I […]
May 22, 2012

Missed Monday

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Where did Monday go? Flew by with only laundry accomplished. Shouldn’t one get more done than that in a day? So what’s up with you? How does your garden grow? I’m into transplanting now, and taking the absolutely humungous Christmas cactus plants outdoors for the summer. I have one that came from a start my Nana gave me when I started my first apartment. It now is so large that I have to turn it on its side to get it through the door. That was in the fall when I brought it in for the winter. I’m going to take it outdoors today-if it has grown much over the winter, I’ll be in trouble. It weighs a ton-I know that from attempting to vacuum up the fallen blossoms behind the plant stand. I may have to call for reinforcements from next door to help […]
May 20, 2012

bloggers’ quilt festival

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I love surfing the internet for quilt “stuff”. You can find everything you’re looking for and more. So many quilters are getting into blogging these days-like us. There are even online quilt shows to visit, where you can vote for viewers choice, favorite baby quilt, favorite… just like a “real” show.You can’t fondle the fabric or visit the vendors (but you can follow their links to the online shops!), or chat with the other quilters, but you can look at a quilt for as long as you want without feeling that you’re holding up the traffic and you can zoom in for a close look. Here’s a link to a bloggers’ quilt festival for you. Enjoy it at your leisure, maybe we can aspire to doing something like this in the future. And be sure to visit our guild site and look at the photos […]
May 18, 2012

Baptist Fans

Hello all, ME again. I’ve wanted to try quilting the Baptist fan motif on a quilt of mine. I love this stitch pattern. It’s so old-fashioned looking (that’s a good thing in my book). Originally it was hand quilted with no marking. Amish quilters would just swing the arc of their lower arm and trace a mark with the needle tip. Once they got that line of stitching established they would just echo it several times using the needle length as a guide for spacing the arcs. Sounds easy enough when stitching by hand. However I want to do this by machine. I did quilt this once with my walking foot. I would trace around a template for the first arc and then used my walking foot’s spacer bar “thingie” to evenly space the echoes. What a pain in the patootie that was! Lots of maneuvering of the quilt top […]
May 17, 2012

It was worth it

Hello all, Mary Ellen again. Finished up reading the most recent issue of Quilters Newsletter (J/J 2012) and was very interested in the article about Robyne Melia’s crazy quilt. The photos are amazing. Robyne started embroidering the blocks for the quilt in 1992.  She used a grandmother’s fan for the borders and heavily hand stitched each one. She said she planned to try historic embroidery designs from a book by Dorothy Bond Crazy Quilt Stitches. Well, as she progressed the quilt plan grew. She added a cross stitched horse as the center. Then she thought more pictorial blocks would be nice. Maybe a new stitch to learn. It eventually finished at 75″ square. After finishing the quilt in 1996 she entered it into a quilt show. Although she had no intention of selling it, she was required to put a price on it. She wanted viewers to understand and appreciate […]
May 16, 2012

gray days are great for quilting

Hello again, it’s ME. Just came in from running some errands. Having a bit of lunch, then have to get busy. It has stopped raining, but looks like it might start again. So…can’t mow the lawn, can’t weed the flower beds, probably could do a bit of transplanting but don’t want to, can’t weed-whack so what’s a girl to do? Why quilt a bit of course!! Lori and I got together last evening over dinner and planned our demo for guild night. We’re bringing the Accu-quilt machine to show any newbies how it works and explain this great resource we have for our members. It hasn’t gotten much use of late, so we’re hoping to re-generate interest in it. With the onset of quilters using die cutting machines like the Accu-quilt Go machine, perhaps there will be more interest. We, as the guild, own quite a few very useful dies […]
May 14, 2012

Make It Monday

Hello all, it’s ME again. The brownies were a hit yesterday. Very rich! About 1/2 of a regular brownie size and a bit of vanilla ice cream and you’re good to go. Definitely a keeper recipe. I’m going to write it up, and figure out how to start a recipe file. Oh! I’ll just send it to the file over at our website for now, and get to the file here eventually. Finished my first block for Loosey Goosey. Not real happy with the slight hole at the center, but I think when I take all the paper off the back, I’ll be able to fix it up with some steam. I’m leaving the papers on until I attach this block to something else. I’ve used all sorts of scraps with no regard for grain so I’m sure my block’s edges would get really wonky if I take the paper […]