December 30, 2014

2014 in review

Hi everyone! Survived preps and enjoyed holidays, I hope? Back in your sewing room? I hope Santa brought you everything you wished for and you were surrounded with love of family and friends. And if we are honest – those two are two of the same thing, right? 🙂 As for me – most definitely they are the same thing and I count my blessings every day. Needless to say holiday preparations were busy and crazy, topped with a “lovely” event of our tree falling down this year…yeah, and right after we finished putting on the last ornament and the top and went to dining room to have dinner…A first for us, but hey, it is all good at the end – few broken ornaments but none that are important memories, and after few “repairs” – voila: With the most important part here of course: Our little granddaughter Juliana is […]
December 15, 2014

Where has the time gone?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I was quite surprised this morning when I looked at the date of my last post. Almost a month has gone by–where has the time gone? Anybody else running around like a chicken with no head trying to get everything done for the holidays? Yikes! What have you been up to in the sewing room (if you’ve had time to get in there!)? I have made a few adult bibs for  elderly patients in a nursing home.  I copied the outline of the institutional one that is given out, and then make them with hand towels from the dollar store and novelty fabrics around the upper body and neck. They have been quite popular-I did pumpkins in October, wacky turkeys for November, and birds in Santa hats for this month. Those have been sent off so the patients can enjoy them for a bit before […]
November 20, 2014

Buried? In Quilts?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I hope you are safe and warm and buried only in quilts. What a storm some of us have been through! It’s not bad here in my neighborhood, but one doesn’t need to go far from here to either find an other-worldly scape, or to be turned back by driving bans. What have you been doing to keep busy these past few days? I hope you got to sit at your machine or in your favorite chair for at least a bit of stitching time . I got a wall hanging cut and pieced and have begun the layering and pinning process. It’s a modern take on the old favorite drunkard’s path block. Love it. There are blocks of bright colors in the midst of white sashings. Not sure what color of thread to use in machine quilting it. I recently finished an online machine […]
November 11, 2014

What are your values?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What a beautiful morning we have today! The first canine perambulation of the day was so refreshing! Both of us enjoyed meeting some of the neighbors out walking too, since many of them are working today due to the holiday. I’ve been playing with a new computer program (EQ7 is new to me and my Mac) which makes it so easy to move the placement of values in a quilt block. I once heard a big name quilter (can’t recall exactly which one though!) say that “value does all the work, but color gets all the credit!”. Definitely is true. Here’s a link to a short video (click here) which makes this point so well. I think a fun challenge for our guild might be to choose a block, give just a line drawing to participants, and see what everyone does with it. If we […]
November 11, 2014

folded fabric ornaments

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Title is self-explanatory so I won’t say anymore. star 1: click here pentagonal star: click here Very easy–my personal favorite (can use 60 degree triangle ruler): click here demo night ornament (I think it is anyway, I was giving a demo myself so I didn’t get to visit the others. I did see one of this type of ornament on the table though.: click here
November 9, 2014

recent finds…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Still not adjusted to the new times yet (nor is the dog!). I find myself wide awake quite early and find it’s better to get up and moving, than to just stare at the ceiling wishing I could sleep for another hour. Instead of heading out on the morning walk before the world awakens, I have explored the web instead. I’ll share a few of my recent finds. fabric twine–love this! Can use up very narrow scrappy strings since she says 1″ wide is the maximum! Does anyone you know make blocks with pieces narrower than that?! click here Houston Quilt festival (on the bucket list!) click here Recently I made fabric baskets from a pattern from Aunties Two. Their patterns are very well illustrated and explained. I went to the website to see what others they have that might be fun and found a […]
October 30, 2014

Don’t hurt yourself!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’m sure if you’re more than a rank beginner to quilting, you know that quilting does use a lot of muscles. It’s not difficult to make your body tired and sometimes sore after an extended period of any of the processes involved in producing a quilt. We had a speaker at a guild meeting not long ago who gave some tips, but perhaps you weren’t at that meeting or you would like a review. Check out this video. Tips are given for finding more comfort or less strain in each step along the way, starting from cutting the fabric all the way to the hand stitching of the binding. If you are an embroiderer the hand stitching tips and the stretches suggested would be helpful for you as well. Have you got your project ready to work on in between tomorrow night’s trick or treaters?
October 28, 2014

Ruby Jubilee

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. A Ruby Jubilee is a 40th anniversary of an event. This fall marks the 40th anniversary of the International Quilt festival in Houston. The exhibit of red and white quilts, inspired by the red and white exhibit that was in NYC a few years ago, is spectacular. I’m sure there will be more and more about that on all the social media etc before too long. Have a look at this newsletter from Quilts, Inc. to read about the birth of the quilt festival, pick up a free pattern, and some great recipes. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to do some of your own internet surfing to find more about those “ruby” quilts. click here You might also enjoy this summary of all of the special events to take place at the quilt festival this year. Wouldn’t this be a great quilters’ trip?! click here.
October 24, 2014

odd bits

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What have you been up to lately? I recently drove down to Penn Yan with a friend to have my sewing machine serviced. Discovered that Mapquest and Yahoo maps can’t always be trusted. After having a very detailed tour of the Cayuga Lake shore neighborhoods, we eventually ended up at the shop we were aiming for. Fortunately it was a nice day, and the hillsides were gorgeous with fall colors. After dropping the machine off at the shop, we headed further on for some quilty fun. Our first stop was at Quilters’ Corners in Ithaca. I had known of this shop from quilt show venders malls, but had never been to the brick and mortar place. Wow! Lots of eye candy. So many samples to look at, and of course many different fabrics than our local shops. I love seeing the different choices that each […]
October 17, 2014

decorating for the holidays

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Most quilters have made a piece or two to bring out during the Christmas season, but I wonder if you’ve made anything for the Halloween or harvest time of year. I’ve read that more money is spent in the US on decorating for the Halloween season than for any other time of the year. Perhaps that includes all of the costumes, outdoor “freaky” fun and pumpkin villages as well as the typical indoor stuff. How about you? Do you have any quilty things for this time of year? As I sit here at the kitchen counter and look around the house, I can see that I have quite a collection amassed over several years. I’ll share a few of my things and I hope you’ll tell us about yours in a comment. Here’s a list in no particular order: Stuffed cotton apples and pears in […]