April 30, 2013

morning musings

Hello all, I’m back. Mary Ellen here. I’ve been doing a lot of stitching lately. I’m getting my samples for my seminar class (Get out of the ditch, class K) ready. Actually I have many samples of the quilting techniques around my house in a variety of projects. Your friend the walking foot is capable of many fun designs, once you free yourself from the “quilt in the ditch” box. I’m making up another set of the placemats we’ll be making in class to use as bases for the quilting. It’s hard to choose which fabrics will photograph well for our website, and to choose the 4 quilting motifs to use that will entice you all to take my class. I’m certain you’ll be pleased with the class if you attend, but I need to get a good teaser prepared to convince you of that. I’m also finding that all […]
April 16, 2013

love those hexagons

Hello all, Mary Ellen here again. I think I’ll share a bit more hexagon love today. Nothing quite as neat as the way hexagons will nest together and provide so much more interest than some of the other shapes that will nest (tessellate actually). Even Mother Nature loves a hexagon–think snowflakes, honeycomb cells, crystals… There aren’t very many regular shapes that will do this-squares, rectangles, equilateral triangles. There are ways to construct shapes that will nestle nicely–but they aren’t easy to piece as quilts, and it would require a math lesson to talk about those, so I’m not going there. Here’s a bit more of hexagon math for those who might want to design something of your own using this versatile shape. This is from the Quiltmaker magazine blog: click here. At the Hexie Love board at Pinterest that Quiltmaker has set up (click here) you’ll find wonderful ideas for […]
April 15, 2013

the latest pre-cut

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Are you a nut for those gorgeous pre-cut bundles that every quilt store puts out to tempt us? I know we could cut them easily enough ourself, but we’d never get the little sample of every fabric in the line without driving some poor salesperson nuts cutting little bits for us. And the ladies behind us in line would be shooting daggers at us with their eyes. So much time is saved when someone else (actually some computerized machine) has done all the cutting for us. And then there are all the beautiful patterns written specifically for pre-cuts…I could go on and on. It seems, from the ads I’m seeming of late in the newest quilting mags, that a new pre-cut is coming along–pre-cut hexagons. Don’t flinch at the thought of sewing those. They don’t require hand stitching. Here’s a free pattern and a very […]
April 14, 2013

some new books

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. It is a beautiful morning here in the neighborhood-truly, not tongue in cheek this time. The canine and I had a great walk in the sunshine, and by the end I had taken off my gloves and hat. (whisper-I think spring is in the air) When we returned home, I took a circle around the garden in the spots that aren’t too squishy wet to see what’s up. It’s time to do some clean up of the parts I can reach from the paths–too early to walk on the beds. Don’t get overly anxious you gardeners out there. It’s not good to pack down the dirt walking on it too soon. Lots of leaves are in the beds from our Snyder trees-no matter how late the last fall raking occurs, more leaves come down after. The daffodils are looking great, the hellebores too. Starting to […]
April 12, 2013

this and that again!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What a lovely day in the neighborhood! Fortunately I can find plenty to keep me busy up in the craft room. I’ve been working on things to be posted at our guild website soon, all seminar details. We’ve gotten the brochures and bookmarks back from the printer and will be labeling those this weekend. If you attend the guild meeting next week, you’ll receive your copy there. A friend can pick yours up if you’re not able to attend. Those remaining after the meeting will be left at the museum for mailing. Anyone who attended last year’s seminar, but is not a guild member, will also receive a brochure in the mail. If you’d like to keep up with Pat Sloan’s quilting adventures, have a look at her April newsletter. She’s posted a free scrap buster pattern called Traffic Jam that I really like, and […]
April 5, 2013

Modern Quilting – lets talk about it again!

Hi everyone, happy Friday to all! Isn’t just beautiful outside? Morning was sunny but still fresh and crispy and birds seem to be in a specially good mood today – singing with a rhythm given by several woodpeckers! Have to say – it was hard coming back into the house and getting ready for work…:) OK, back to subject – we talked about modern quilting here before. And we could talk forever about it all, in terms of what it really is, where it comes from, is it really “new” or “modern” and all that…lots and lots of views, opinions and topics for discussion, right? I hope we talk some more too! For me – like in any creative expression or art – there are things that speak to me and there are things that don’t, quilts that move me and quilts that don’t…but here is what I hold the […]
April 5, 2013

back in business

Hello again, Mary Ellen here. As I strolled around the garden beds this beautiful morning, I enjoyed seeing the daffodils coming up every where. Those are the only bulbs I plant, because I find that my local squirrel population eats any other bulb I put in. I’ve got quite a variety of them-early to late bloomers, singles, doubles, ruffles–whites, yellows, pinks, multi-colors. Many of them are what my grandma used to call narcissus, but now it seems they all get named daffodils. Soon I’ll be having to put the rabbit repellant on the new shoots of the perennials to keep the bunnies from bringing their friends to Mary Ellen’s rabbit salad bar.  The hellebores are unfurling; cutting off the weathered leathery leaves will be a chore soon. I enjoy getting out there in the dirt-I even have my nail girl trained now that when gardening season begins she needs to […]
April 4, 2013

legos for quilters

Hello all, Mary Ellen’s back. I’ve been busy working on our seminar brochure so we can get it to our members at April’s guild meeting. It’s off to the printer’s now, so I have a bit of time until my next deadline! We (actually Kit and Marija) have lined up wonderful teachers for this year, please join us for 4 days of quilting camaraderie. (Sept 18-21, 2013…go here for more details as they become available) Quilters are often very creative in incorporating tools and gadgets, which are seemingly unrelated to sewing, into our craft. An easy example could be my method of organizing piecing for blocks and quilts with paper plates. Many of you use blue painters’ tape for a variety of quilty tasks. Here is a tutorial from a mom, who is apparently surrounded by her children’s Legos, on how to make a mini sewing machine from them. If […]
April 3, 2013

Wednesday’s Wanderings

Hi everyone, hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend! I just looked at the date of our last blog post and said – yeiks! – almost 10 days? Well, I hope you missed us a bit, but not too much to be upset? 🙂 Busy, busy is the name of the game…holiday, family, sewing and even some…just a bit…yard work? Whaaat? Yard work? Well, there was that one gorgeous weekend, so we did do some rose pruning, some cleaning and of course – some grilling! You wouldn’t know it looking outside today – it is snowing, it is cold….But hey – no complaints! We do live in western NY, we are tough and yes – spring is here! Look what is in my front yard: Snowdrops were the first…             Then crocuses came up – yellow are always first!         And […]