January 31, 2014

a little of this, a little of that

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Were you able to spend any time at your machine during our recent arctic spell? I’m working on some Dresden plates for a class, and trying to come up with a fabric adaptation of a knitted shawl pattern for myself. It’s cold in my favorite reading spot and I’m trying to find the perfect shoulder wrap. If it works, I’ll be sharing it in a demo at the shop.  I love that classic Dresden plate pattern, but not so much in the classic way–with 30’s reproductions and lace. I’ve been exploring to find other ways to use the plate or fans and have found some that are “out of the box”. I’ve made a wreath with the blades in the past, but these are beyond that. The internet is such a great source for inspiration. I started with a google image search and then just […]
January 29, 2014

Wednesday’s Wanderings

Hi everyone, how are you keeping warm? I find that these days I need that extra 20 minutes after coming in from the cold to just sit under the quilt, with hot tea or coffee – just to warm-up and bring myself to normal – and only THEN I can function properly! Of course all this winter stuff is nothing new for us here, but sometimes just listening to all the media talk makes me feel apprehensive and nervous, then Marley and I go out and I realize – oh it’s not that bad, just normal Buffalo stuff… 🙂 Granted, even our walks are shorter a bit and I even saw my snow-dog lift his paws few times during the walk, when it starts being a little uncomfortable… but just look at his face after the walk! I swear he is smiling every time! This was just the other morning. […]
January 21, 2014

running reds

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Are you a pre-washer or not? This seems to be one of the BIG quilt questions that can separate a group of quilters into 2 camps pretty quickly. (Another one of those questions–Do you use steam when you press your seams? but that’s for another day) I am a pre-washer. I have had a few nasty surprises in my quilting career that took all the fun out of some projects. I almost had another one yesterday. I finished a log cabin quilt to be used as a class sample. I had used some dressmaker’s chalk to mark a garland in the outer border. When I got the whole thing done and bound, I threw it in the washer to get the chalk out, and to give it that nice crinkly look a quilt made with 100% cotton batting will get. Yep, I had used a […]
January 18, 2014

this and that

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I enjoy looking around the blogosphere at what other quilters do with the old tried and true quilt blocks. You know the ones I mean–the classic half square triangle, log cabin, flying goose (do you say geese when it’s just one block?), four patch, nine patch, and so on. You wouldn’t think you’d see too much new done with those since they’ve been around for so long.    New look (to me anyway) for half square triangles (or friendship stars if you want a bigger unit): click here. I know many quilters are knitters as well. I just finished some warm mittens for my godsons and a friend, and have some bulky yarns remaining. I was looking around on the internet for an easy cowl neck that I could wear under a coat or perhaps with a turtleneck. Here’s a link to the one I settled […]
January 15, 2014

Wednesday’s Wanderings…wondered back! :)

Hi everyone, Happy New Year!! Yeah, I know, I am a bit late for that and a bit MIA lately and I so very much apologize! It seems that all together, holiday hustle, polar vortex, flooded basement and few other “fun” things combined lately to take me away from regular blogging. I also realized that I needed few days to joust RELAX, do whatever, do nothing, NOT have a schedule…just chill (as my kids would tell me). So I did that too. Loved it. However, now it is time to get on with this year. 🙂 One thing I realized these days (you know, that old year-new year re-cap, re-evaluation, resolution and ….thing? yeah, that one.), is that blogging is a very important part of my life now and when I am not doing it, or when I lag in realizing all my ideas and inspirations – it makes me […]
January 14, 2014

the most beautiful sewing machine in the world

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. That’s the opinion of the man filming this video. ( most beautiful video) I ran across him totally by accident at YouTube and have watched just a couple of his videos. Love his Sussex accent. If you enjoy this video, look over his list and I’m sure you’ll find some others of interest, particularly if you enjoy old/antique machines.  If you have the time have a look at the one featuring the toy machines.
January 10, 2014

getting back to a routine?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. It seems that life is ever so slowly getting back into a normal routine. The holiday decorations are back in storage (except for the outdoor wreath on my gate), the kids are back to school (except for the snow days), and I’m back to the machine (except for when I’m knitting).  Do those exceptions all mean it’s not a normal routine? Hmm… I’m working on my favorite type of quilt now. It looks fairly tricky, but it’s actually quite simple. Don’t you love that kind of pattern? This one is from one of the jelly roll and pre-cut books by the Lintotts. I have several of their books: well written and clever ideas for those pre-cut bundles that are so hard to resist. I’ll get the exact title for you shortly. (Here it is at amazon.)The only ever so slight trickiness comes from the fact […]
January 7, 2014

it’s back…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Just finished watching the last bit of Downton Abbey’s first episode of season 4. Won’t say too much specifically since some of you fans might not have seen it yet. Several interesting developments-planting seeds for new story lines obviously. I will say that the dowager was surprisingly nice-for her, I thought. Have you seen the fabric lines inspired by the ladies of Downton? When they began to appear in ads in magazines, I was not impressed at all. Too dull in color for my taste. But now that they are appearing in stores, and I’m seeing a few projects made with the fabric, I’m starting to change my mind. Here’s a link to the photos over at Andover fabrics, with free project plans. What do you think? The purples hint at the Pantone color of the year, just muted down a bit. (Radiant Orchid images) […]
January 5, 2014

resolutions

Hello all, Mary Ellen back. It is amazing when I say 2014 out loud. How can I be this old?! I was reminiscing with a friend about a football party when the Bills came back from behind to the great enjoyment of the crowd and the consternation of the dogs in the room. I ended up with a Doberman in my lap who was very upset by all the shouting! Twenty one years ago! How can that be?! Yikes! Anyway, back to resolutions. Are you like me, resolving every year to work on your UFO stash? (Don’t tell me that you’re one of those quilters who has no UFOs because you always finish a project before moving on to the next one!) I want to actually do something about some of my UFOs this year instead of my usual tactic of just shuffling them. A few days ago I was […]