June 30, 2013

Simplify again.

Back again, it’s ME. Yesterday since the selection of TV shows was so dismal, I started to go back through some of the things I’ve recorded on the DVR. I was way behind on the Sewing with Nancy shows and started there. I watched two episodes of a series where Nancy super-sized some of Grandma’s favorite one patch quilts. She did the tumbler block (thimble shaped) in one episode and Grandmother’s Flower Garden in the second. Those hexagon pieces are the latest pre-cut from Moda, joining the jelly rolls, charm packs, etc.  I’ll be interested to see how the designers show new quilters how to work with them. Usually the dreaded “Y-seam” puts people off. In Nancy’s technique she actually used half-hexies, (trapezoids to me the former math teacher), to completely avoid the Y-seam issue. You can watch those shows at her website I believe, since most of her past […]
June 29, 2013

a quilted Michelin man

ME back again, Here is a big name designer including our worst nightmares of quilted clothing in her ready-to-wear collection for this fall. If the model, who probably is as big around as one of my arms, looks like this in it, can you imagine any “real” woman’s figure being flattered by this coat? Couldn’t find many quotes of the price, but one I did find was $650. No there is not a missing decimal point. Six hundred fifty dollars. Yowza! Have a look here, and see if you will be see wearing one this year. If you will, I take it all back. It looks great on you!!
June 29, 2013

simplify

It’s ME again, After I finished perusing the book I talked about in yesterday’s post, I went to my other quilt book purchase: Simplify retro by Camille Roskelly. Camille is one of those “modern” quilters who is building a following on a national scale. She and her mom are the team of Moda fabric designers known as bonnie and camille. You might have loved the very popular Moda lines Ruby or Sky or Bliss that they designed. Camille’s premise in this book is using classic blocks, with modern fresh fabrics, often super-sizing the blocks. I’ve been looking for ways to make some of what I think of as the bedrock blocks of quilting, like a churn dash, or a log cabin, more fun for beginners. Generally I’ve liked those classic blocks in a smaller size, like a 4″ or 6″ or even smaller finished size. Seeing them over-sized has given […]
June 28, 2013

“We Love to Sew”

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. How are you this fine rainy day? I just finished marking a set of place mats for quilting. They will be another set of samples for the seminar class I am teaching this fall: Get Out of the Ditch. I borrowed some hand quilting stencils from our guild library and am adapting them for walking foot quilting. I used my favorite marker for this task: Crayola washable markers. That’s right, the ones kids buy for school. I have been using them for this sort of thing for several years and love it. They are very easy to work with, to see while stitching, and to wash out when you’re finished. It’s actually time for me to start watching for them as loss leaders in back to school supplies since some of mine are drying out and/or have worn out tips. Also time to stock up […]
June 26, 2013

shakin’ your booty

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Get up off that chair, step away from the machine and do the Quiltmaker Shuffle!! How fun this would be at a class or a meeting after we’ve all been sitting for too long!?  Give it a try, you already know the motions: hand stitching, free motion quilting, shopping, sewing, you’ll see. Lots of giggling to be had. click here to do the Quiltmaker Shuffle!
June 24, 2013

the next generation of quilters

Hi y’all, Mary Ellen here. If you’ve been following this blog for awhile then you know that I like to listen to Pat Sloan’s podcasts for American Patchwork and Quilting while I walk the dog. One segment of the most recent one was about a new author, Annabel Wrigley, and her book, We Love to Sew, containing projects for teaching tweens to sew and quilt. Great things at her blog too. click here to visit. I have a little sewing buddy who lives next door. She is the official babysitter for my dog, whenever I need someone to feed him or let him out when I’m at work or gone for long periods. She works for fabric. When she was tiny she asked me if I would teach her to sew. I told her when she turned 9 that we would start. She never let me forget it. We got […]
June 22, 2013

your inner finger painter

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. We all know that quilting is good for the soul. We do it for a variety of reasons-seldom, in this day and age, is it a necessity for warmth and shelter. We get more esoteric value from it. But most of this confidence that quilting is a “good thing” is just a “hunch”. No science to confirm it. … Until now. At the guild meeting the other evening a friend shared an article from Prevention Magazine for me to use here at the blog. It’s from the June 2013 issue, and the article’s heading says “Medical research says: Put Some Fun in Your Summer…and the surprising reasons why you should”; the author is Sarah Mahoney. Here’s the excerpt she thought we’d be interested in: “FIND YOUR INNER FINGER PAINTER  While most of us gave up coloring by middle school, any creative endeavor–whether painting, writing, or […]
June 13, 2013

what goes on in our heads?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ve been sitting here with my coffee watching the rain come down. It’s such a rarity these days. (NOT!) Actually I think I’m watching my grass grow. I missed my opportunity to mow yesterday and will now pay the price for procrastinating. That lawn will be too heavy to mulch it, so I’ll be emptying the mower bag repeatedly whenever I am able to get out there. I only have only garbage can which I dedicate to yard waste and my lawn will over fill it. I either need to mow more often, or buy another can. The compost bin is full so that will not be an option til I use more of it.  Oh well..this makes for a great day to sew! I’m working on some fabric scarves from an Amy Butler pattern. She calls for voile but I’m using some regular quilting […]
June 10, 2013

there’s an app for that…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. How many times has a tech savvy, usually younger, person said to you “you know, there’s an app for that”? Well here’s an app that you might find useful if you are one of those folks who collects apps like the rest of us collect fabric. It’s an app from Schmetz needles, that will tell you just about anything that you might need to know about sewing machine needles. What size needle should I use with this fabric?  on the app What kind of needle  for this project? on the app What’s the difference between all these kinds of needles? on the app I often get asked needle questions while making demonstrations or teaching classes and this app answers just about all of them. See what you think: click here. I last wrote about the skirts I was making from the “Cute Skirts” pattern from […]