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odds and ends

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

How’s everybody enjoying the new season of Downton Abbey? I haven’t watched the 3rd episode yet, but I am enjoying the season to date. Love that Maggie Smith/Dowager character. She says the darndest things! And Lady Mary’s escapades…my, my! Have you purchased any of the Downton Abbey fabrics? I think they’re on the third collection now. I’ve used a few as fillers in a project or two for the shop where I teach, but have not gone for an entire project with them as of yet. How about you? If you did make an entire project, what was it? Quilt? bag? purse?

I get the newsletter from Superior Threads regularly. Bob always includes a joke-very tame and inoffensive. Often they include a play on words or some sort of pun. Love myself a good pun. Since I am working on a very common goal of eating better this year and hopefully losing a few pounds, I had to chuckle at the joke he included in today’s issue. Complete credit for this is given to Bob at Superior Threads.

Don’t know why I didn’t figure this out sooner.  I use shampoo in the shower and when I wash my hair, the shampoo runs down my whole body.  Well, printed very clearly on the shampoo label is the warning, “For Extra Volume and Body.”  No wonder I have been gaining weight!
So I got rid of that shampoo and decided to shower with Dawn dish soap. That label reads, “Dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove.”

Will be working on some log cabin blocks today. I’m making up a bunch so I can show my beginner students the versatility of this classic block. I have an article from a past Quiltmaker magazine showing about 50 ways to use half square triangles. Those same layouts are possible with log cabins, or any block with a strong diagonal division. Drunkard’s Path blocks can be used that way . Next time you see a new or interesting block using half square triangles, imagine it as a quilt instead–substitute a log cabin for each half square triangle and voila!

Did anyone else pick up on the news stories last night of the dangers of sitting for too long? Very bad for your health in many ways. So those of you who have set up your sewing room with an ironing board and cutting station near by so you seldom have to get out of your chair–it’s time to rethink that layout. The suggestion was to get out of your chair for several minutes during every half hour. Some companies are encouraging the use of work stations/offices which require standing. Some even have treadmills running below the desk. Yikes. How would we set up a sewing machine so we could sew standing up? Brings to mind another old quilter quote–”If I sew fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise?”

What’s on your sewing machine right now?



  1. Paula says:

    Just off my sewing machine….the Guild’s Paint Chip Churn Dash Challenge. I’m ahead of the March deadline. Hope others are working on their ideas. I just started cutting some fabric that I picked up at our auction. I’m using it to make some preemie quilts.

  2. Robi Witulski says:

    Hmmm…a treadmill below my sewing machine. If we manage to hook up the drive belt to it, would that not make it the ultimate treadle???

    Absolutely love DT. Mr. Carson is my favorite. But you are right, MaryEllen, Violet does get the best lines. I like the scenes with her and Isobelle interacting. Isobelle says, “Servants are people, too”. Violet responds, “Of course, dear. But preferably only on their days off!” Cracked me up.

    • Mary Ellen says:

      A treadmill driven treadle machine!! The ultimate in eco-sewing, don’t you think? I’m surprised no one has done it yet.

  3. Marija says:

    Ha ha! Thanks for the good laugh Mary Ellen – I love Bob’s jokes but didn’t open that email yet…(yeah, always behind).
    I agree about treadmill driven sewing machine – lets hope someone makes it!!
    I never caught up on Downton Abbey… Maybe I should do it on Netflix or wherever those old seasons are (Amazon Prime has them I think, for free) while I sew? I need to sew, sew, sew….I really want to keep up with finish at least ONE big project a month and all the little things too!! So, what is on my sewing machine right now? Till this morning it was some baby sewing (car seat poncho) and tonight back to that large quilt I want to be my January finish – mind you it is a VERY old UFO! Oh, I might be a lost cause…. 😛

  4. Standing to sew? I do it a lot. I have my machine on a 36″ high surface and it works for me!

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