February 27, 2014

checking your work

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. That heading really sounds like a math teacher wrote it.  (a retired one!) I’m working on a sample of a block for a demo I’ll be doing in a month or so. The book has great ideas but was not edited carefully at all. I wonder who it was who fell down on the job…the designer, the copy editor, the technical writer…   This is very irritating to me every time it happens. And it happens much more often than it should. (In a perfect world it would never happen!) I’m sure many a quilter has come upon errors in a pattern and blamed them on herself. Actually I find that many times the errors belong to some one else. Why don’t they check their work more carefully? That said, our own inaccuracy in a 1/4″ seam cause us problems often. The block I am testing […]
February 22, 2014

Modern Applique

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What can be changed in applique to make it modern? I’ve seen a new book, The Modern Applique Workbook, talked up quite a bit in “the blogs” of late. And I’ve wondered what’s new under the sun in applique land? I’ll be honest up front. I’m not a big applique fan. I’m more of a piecer. I do fusible raw edge applique sometimes, but I am not a hand stitcher, needle turner. But one thing I am is curious. So I’ve been looking for some peaks into this new book that is getting a lot of press. Here’s a peek for you: click here.   At the end of the post to which I’ve linked you up, there is a list of bloggers participating in a blog hop for the book. I must say I found the close-ups of the quilting on the projects more […]
February 21, 2014

a UFO completion

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Yesterday I finished a Phd from 1999. How do I know that date? The issue of Miniature Quilts magazine (Do you remember that one? It was a favorite magazine of mine!) where I found the directions was folded up with the nearly complete project. All it needed was a binding. Fortunately I had not trimmed the backing off yet, so I was able to do a “faux” binding, wrapping the backing up over the edge to the front. Quick finish. I wonder why I hadn’t finished it back then when there was so little needed. The project looks like a drunkards path project, with killer small curves but…it’s not. Squares were fussy cut from two fabrics: a black background with white polka dots, and a white background with black polka dots. The polka dots were about 1 inch in diameter originally, so the curvy portions […]
February 14, 2014

I can make that!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Do you also run across things in stores and say to yourself “I can make that”? That’s a picture of a pillow from Anthropologie, a very trendy shop. Would make a nice Valentine gift for a young person. And what did I say to myself when I saw it? Yep, ” I could make that!” And not only do I think I can make it, I can make it better, and definitely cheaper! It sells for $198!!! How’s that for $ew worth it?!
February 14, 2014

For the love of…

Hello my quilty Valentines! Happy Valentine’s Day! Right from the start – how about this cool Valentine? Isn’t it just beautiful!? Even better, you can have a pattern for it – this is the newest creation from Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson! blog – one very talented modern quilter! I just love how this is patchwork, multicolored, has depth, interest…just fun! Speaking of fun – did I had some last Friday! I went to a lecture/trunk show/demo by amazing sisters, Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson, of Sew Kind of Woderful designs. They are long time quilters, have been professional long-arm quilters and now they are just playing and creating new, beautiful designs, using their new Quick Curve ruler. I saw this ruler a while ago and of course had to buy it asap, but – of course AGAIN – did not have a chance to play with it yet! So […]
February 13, 2014

Meet Bonnie

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Preparations for our fall seminar are underway. Bonnie Hunter will be our national teacher. If you haven’t heard of her, here’s a little clip to begin to introduce you. (click here.) Mark your calendar (September 17-20) and please plan to join us for a class or two. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. If you want to find out more about Bonnie, visit her website. (click here.)
February 13, 2014

We are $ew Worth It

Hello all, Mary Ellen again. This will speak for itself. (Click here for an interesting point of view on what our hand-made things are really worth.) I wonder if you”ll agree with her. I’ll be honest, I stopped selling my quilts because I couldn’t get very many folks to pay what I felt they are worth. And I’ve learned to be judicious in choosing gift quilt recipients who appreciate what they are getting. Here’s a cute project for spring. Some cheerful shoes and digging in your button box. Have a look at this. (click here.) If you’ve sewed a lot lately, it might be time to take care of your scissors. I do this now and then (training from my old tailoring teacher who was a strict old bird!), but not often enough. If you own some really good scissors, and you do this “maintenance” routine, along with periodic sharpening, […]
February 7, 2014

Seams Unlikely

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ll bet that many of you have watched Nancy Zieman’s show, Sewing with Nancy, on PBS for many years. (Tuesday afternoons at 2:00 on Channel 17 in this area)  I know that I kind of “grew up” as a seamstress with Nancy, learning so much about all aspects of the craft from her. I started with garment sewing, and used many of her tricks and techniques to make my clothes look very professionally made. She still has many shows for garment makers, and has added quite a bit of quilting to her line up. I just recently went back and watched (shows available at her website) her series on the dresden plate. I have her templates and have made some of her Christmas ideas from that show. I think next I’ll try one of the giant dresdens with some of the latest variegated fabrics I […]
February 3, 2014

The Olympic patchwork

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Many of the Olympic games have had associations with quilts and textiles of all sorts. The upcoming games in Sochi are no different. Here is a link to a site showing the patchwork designed for this year’s games.   When you get to the page, click on “look of the games”. It will take you to pages with explanations of many of the Russian textile traditions featured in the patchwork. If you click on “collection”, or “catalogue” in the upper right hand corner, you’ll see some of the clothing using this patchwork design. So very interesting.  (Click here.) Here’s another link to the Kansas City Star quilting website from a 2011 posting with lots of information about this patchwork branding for the Olympics. Within the article is a link to another with photos of many ways the patchwork will be used in publicizing the games. I […]