July 29, 2012

Lucy Goosey block #4–wonky star

Hello all,  Mary Ellen here. I know that this fourth block is going to make some of you very antsy. No, it’s not paper piecing again. It’s a liberated block-I prefer to call them wonky (love that word!)–inspired by the work of designer Gwen Marston. If you are of fan a quick cutting, no measuring, and relaxed precision (is there such a thing?), you will love her work and will enjoy this block. If you are of the camp that will take out a seam 5 times to make sure the points match, then this block is going to send your blood pressure up. Have a glass of an adult beverage, just enough to relax your standards but not enough to make you dangerous with a rotary cutter! Take a few deep cleansing breaths, maybe do a few yoga stretches and then read on! Here is a link to the […]
July 29, 2012

plan for the stash dawgs

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I had an inspiration over coffee this morning. I know that there are dawgs out there in your stashes even though no one has yet admitted to one. How about if each of us with a dawg, cuts a fat quarter of it, puts it in a plain brown paper bag, and seals it up tight. Then at an agreed upon guild meeting we swap bags. A few months later we all reveal the project we made which includes the dawg fabric. Anyone game? If I get a few of you who are willing to play, I will organize (what little is needed!) the swap and come up with  1 or 2 ground rules.  Or maybe this could be one of our next guild challenges? Lynne, are you out there? What do you think?
July 27, 2012

stash dawgs

Hello everyone, Mary Ellen here. First I’ll fess up that I have an extensive fabric stash. Certainly more than I can ever use. I should be developing a plan for its dispersal in case I am hit by a bus. There is no one in my immediate family now who would want the fabric mountain I have accumulated. I have donated quite a bit to a variety of charities this year and I have made a concerted effort to use what I’ve got instead of buying more. That said, it has not made a dent. It seems like there may be fabric hanky-panky going on when the lights are off. It’s got to be reproducing itself somehow! Do I love each and every fabric in my stash? Well, I must have loved every one of them when I bought it. There are some in the mix now though that I […]
July 26, 2012

Who made this quilt?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Imagine this scene. Fifty years from now as someone is admiring a gorgeous quilt made in many hours of loving stitching, she says to her companion “I wonder who made this quilt. It’s fabulous. Do you think it was for someone’s wedding? Or maybe it’s a graduation gift. OOh! And look at this baby quilt. Do you suppose a grandmother made this-or an auntie-or maybe the mom while she was pregnant? ” Wouldn’t it be terrible to be looking down from wherever we go after life, to be looking down trying to say “I made those quilts. That blue one with the flowers was for…” You know where I’m going with this. Do you put labels on your quilts? You really should. If you’re an Antiques Roadshow fan, you know how having the provenance of an antique really helps its value. And even if not […]
July 23, 2012

foundation paper piecing

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I am getting back to some serious sewing time. I’ve taken a bit of a break for about 3 weeks now where I have only sewn a little bit here and there. Now it’s back to my usual mode-several hours each day at the machine. Some of it is sewing for my part-time job making samples or preparing for lessons I’ll teach, some is working on my own pattern pieces to sell, some is for myself (or friends or family). Generally I love it but it’s been nice also stepping back a bit to spend more time at other interests I have. I’ll soon be teaching a class to paper foundation piecing beginners. I am working on my notes. Is it just me or is this technique one that needs demonstration much more than written instruction? I’m finding even in notes for myself to refer […]
July 20, 2012

a little of this, a little of that

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Yay! It’s raining! I can hear my lawn saying “AAH! That feels great.” Nice guild meeting last night. Here are a few random thoughts. 1. Had a few questions last night about supply lists for seminar . Everyone will get printed copies of the supply list(s) for their seminar class(es) in the mail in early August. The supply lists for our national teachers are available at their websites if you would like them early (see your registration form or our guild blog for addresses). You do not need any proof of registration to get them; they are available for everyone. We have the lists for the majority of our local teachers now posted at our website as well; the rest will be added as we get them. If you know of a friend, who does not have internet access, who would like a national teacher’s […]
July 19, 2012

must see?

Hello ladies, Mary Ellen here. I will admit I’m not much of a movie goer. That said, this clip from the “HeyQuilty blog” caught my attention. “And I don’t mean to be crude, but if you think he looks good with a suit on, I’m telling you: Joe Manganiello NOT in a suit, sitting at a sewing machine? It’s good, folks. It’s real, real good.”( a plug for the movie “Magic Mike”) There’s Joe, in the photo below. What a cutie. So maybe I’ll be going to the movies soon.
July 17, 2012

Lunch time chat – who loves paper-piecing?

Hello everyone, I am here with just a quick, lunch-time chat to let you know that I have a new tutorial on my blog! If you love paper-piecing this small project might just be a thing to do while cooling down from summer heat: I call this one a Summer Song – hey I might even add a small appliqued bird in the center! 🙂 Anyway, this wreath is made from 4 similar blocks, both paper-pieced. Instructions on what you need and how to make it are here, on my blog. What I like about this block is that it can be very versatile, used in borders, small projects, to make a larger block…This is the exact project I use when teaching paper-piecing to beginners and the joy on their faces when EACH block turns perfect, EVERY time is what thrills me every time! I hope to see some of […]
July 16, 2012

guy quilters

Hello everybody, Mary Ellen again. When you see a man in a quilt shop, do you assume he’s there to buy a gift for his wife? If you see a man hand stitching under a shade tree, what do you surmise about him? Do we take for granted that stitching/quilting is a female domain? What about those gorgeous stitched kites that were in our quilt show this spring–made by a male stitcher? Whenever you see or hear about a guy who quilts, do you have a little voice in your head whispering something about his manliness? Is there a divide between sewing projects that are manly and those that are for the rest of us quilters? I sure hope we are beyond those stereotypes. Here’s an interview with a dad who quilts who is making quite a name for himself in the world of modern quilters. And here’s a link […]
July 15, 2012

what I’ve been up to

Hi again It’s ME. Got away from blogging for a bit, didn’t I? I was surprised to see how long it had been since my last posts, since I didn’t have anything impressive accomplished during my “hiatus”. I have been taking 2 online classes this month–one based on sewing, and one on my other favorite hobby of paper crafting. In a way the 2 classes are related. The sewing class is from Craftsy.com called Stupendous Stitching. The final project will be an “art” piece suitable for framing, based on machine decorative stitches, hand embroidery, and embellishing through couching etc. Right now I am working on what the instructor is calling a “stitch bible”. The idea is to make a sample book (fabric actually) of all the stitches that your machine will do, in the default mode and with changes to the stitch length and width. I have done this for […]