March 31, 2016

Use It or Lose It by Mary Ellen

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Do you have lots of “stuff” in your sewing room or craft room that you haven’t used in ages? Me too. I saw a series of posts on a paper crafter’s web site. She is going through her stash a little bit at a time, and either using the trove of supplies or putting them aside for donation or the trash-losing them. In each of her posts she gives ideas for how she is using some of the supplies, and sometimes also explaining why she is losing some of the other supplies. She has challenged her readers to play along with her, and to share how they are using or losing the overflow in their own stashes. I thought this might be a fun thing for us quilters to try also. So here we go. The category for this week’s “use it or lose it” […]
March 23, 2016

quilting at the Broadway Market??

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’m just back from an almost annual trek to the Easter time Broadway Market. The place was abuzz. I have a Polish brother-in-law who has taught me which stands to frequent and which baked goods one must have at this time of year. But what does the quilter in me gravitate to? The decorated eggs. There were many more stands selling the traditional pysanki than I’ve seen in other years. Must be more folks collecting them, or fewer folks making them at home. I have quite a collection that I’ve accumulated slowly over the years. Nearly all of them are traditional geometric designs, with a bit of symbolism of wheat etc thrown in here and there. Most of those designs are very quilt-like with “piecing” in the geometry, and “applique” in the symbols included. The colors choices are broadening somewhat from those I recall back […]
March 14, 2016

X marks the spot

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. When groups of quilters get chatting about their art, the conversation will often come around to favorite methods for marking. Chalks? pens? pencils? markers? Do the marks come out?… Mark Lipinski, an infamous quilting male, has done a series of tests on an assortment of marking tools and has posted his results at his facebook page. I like the way he structured his testing, and found the results interesting. If marking your quilts is a bugaboo for you, you might be interested in what he has found. Click here. I like crayola products when I absolutely must mark on the fabric. I generally try to avoid having to mark in areas that will be seen, because of the lack of confidence in being able to totally remove the markings later on. I must say though that I have done some “severe” marking with Crayola washable […]
March 10, 2016

Take me out to the ball game…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. It’s often difficult to come up with quilt ideas for the men in our lives. Even changing the fabric choices to near solids often doesn’t make a quilt design quite manly enough. This morning I came across this quilt idea which is perfect for the sports fan. A baseball quilt! Actually with a bit of ingenuity any ball–football, soccer ball, golf ball–could be placed into this plan for a super quilt! I’m thinking I may make this into a softball quilt for my sister who just retired from many years of very successful coaching of varsity softball teams. See what you think. Click here.
March 4, 2016

Put it in neutral

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Went to the car wash the other day. Can’t tell it from the looks of the car now. I’m always a bit nervous about getting the wheels of the car lined up with those tracks that pull the car through the “washing machine”. When “he” says to put it in neutral, that’s my signal that I’ve done it correctly. What else do neutrals have to do with anything? Well for us quilters they usually mean “lights” or “backgrounds”. Each year I set myself a quilting goal. Last year it was to use more orange in my projects. I think I succeeded pretty well on that, and was generally happy with the spark the orange gave to my projects. This year’s goal is to be more adventurous in my choices of backgrounds…to stay away from the whites, ecrus, and very pale fabrics. My first full size […]
March 3, 2016

a grand old gal

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. This video came on my Facebook feed yesterday. It’s about an 88 year old quilter, still going strong. She lives in Indiana, not too far from where I once lived as a youngster. I hope I’ll be as spry as she is when I reach her age. Does she remind you of anyone in your life? Look at the quilts all over her house. I think I might be approaching her collection’s size, but not there yet! Click here to see the video.