legos for quilters
April 4, 2013
Modern Quilting – lets talk about it again!
April 5, 2013
legos for quilters
April 4, 2013
Modern Quilting – lets talk about it again!
April 5, 2013
Show all

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 cut my nails much shorter and really lay on that top coat! Although I am not a “tanner” anymore, the warm sun really feels great on your back after our long cold winters.

Got those taxes done last evening! Phew!-it was close but I’m getting a refund. I was worried that I might be paying this year. I wish I kept my papers for my tax prep as well organized as I do my quilting supplies. I spent about 3 hours yesterday cleaning out my desk and organizing the papers that I had stashed in there to be filed. I often just put papers that I know I should keep for one reason or another on top of the file cabinet, telling myself I will file them in a day or two. (LOL!) Then when it’s the day before the cleaning lady comes, I stick them into my desk, telling myself to file them when I have to go into the desk the next time. Do you know you can just keep telling yourself all sorts of things and never get around to filing those papers!? I did take some time to clean out a few overflowing folders in the file cabinet yesterday. That has given me a bit of space in each drawer so I should be able to slip things into the proper folders with less pushing and squeezing. Hmm…I’ll see how long it takes until my rationalizing gets the better of me again.

I find this unlike my ways with my quilty stuff. Fabric gets put back in color order. At the end of each project fat quarters go into their bins, scraps into their bins, thread onto its stand or into its drawer, patterns back into the envelopes, etc.  Maybe it’s because I spend so much time in the sewing/craft room that I’d be buried if I didn’t keep it in relatively good order. Now as far as dusting the sewing machine and lamps,  and vacuuming that room as often as I should, that’s another story. Do you have any tricks for motivating yourself to keep your supplies (and paper files) in good order? We all know how to do it, the problem is more making ourselves take the time to do it.

Today I’m starting to work on some class outlines for a series of beginner/refresher quilt projects. My concept is to make small projects which teach or review one basic skill, with the option for some of my students to save the pieces to make into a sampler quilt if they prefer that to the series of small projects. This is not a new idea I know. What I am puzzling out is how to structure the classes to be beginner friendly, but also worthwhile for more experienced quilters. In my previous life as a math teacher, I believe the buzz word was “differentiating” the lesson. If you are a relatively new quilter, what skills would you want to learn first? If you are a self taught quilter, what skills would you want to go over? Any thoughts will be appreciated. The fabric for my first project sample is a veggie print-kind of like a tossed salad-with a bunch of coordinating fabrics. I think I was drawn by the fresh produce look on one of those blustery days not too long ago.


There are quite a few of these clever quilty quotes at the Quiltmaker web page. If you make cards for your quilting friends, you might find just the perfect thing there. Click here.

TTFN. Off to cut into the stash!



  1. JoAnn Castiglia says:

    If I try to organize and file everything, I get overwhelmed and nothing gets filed. So I took a hint from the Fly Lady ( the queen of organization), and now I tell myself I’m going to file ONLY 10 things, then I’ll do something I love, like quilting!!

    • Marija says:

      Ha – JoAnn, I LOVE that! I am going to try it next, because I do exactly the same thing…either I spend all the time on organizing and then I am frustrated, or I don’t so any…this “10 things only” might just be the way! Thanks!

  2. Mary Ellen says:

    My gosh JoAnn, I followed Fly Lady for awhile and still do her tips for shining the sink everyday, and my bathrooms are always company ready. The trouble is the rest of the house between the entry and the bathroom isn’t!! You are right that doing only 10 filings and then giving myself a reward could be motivational! Of course, already in yesterday’s mail, I got two papers which should be filed. Should I wait until I have 10?

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