September 30, 2016

Dear John

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Many of you who are members of our guild enjoyed the visit in June by John Kubiniec. His classes got very nice reviews. If you purchased his new book at our most recent guild meeting, and had it autographed, you’ve got (in my humble opinion) a great set of patterns to play with. I have been a fan of the Drunkard’s Path block for a long time. I love those classic standby patterns that have so much versatility when you veer away from the traditional settings or traditional fabric construction. Apparently Bonnie Hunter, another one of our popular national instructors, is a fan of John’s as well. On her blog she is featuring John’s book, with links to other designers’ use of John’s patterns. Enjoy a little virtual quilt show or shop hop. Get a cup of hot tea and settle in with this link. […]
September 25, 2016

2 spools and a pack of bobbins

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Every now and then I run across an idea that causes the “why didn’t I think of that?” kind of reaction. This is one of them. I do not enjoy winding bobbins. Especially when it is in the middle of a row of stitching. Here’s an idea, cheaper than buying prewound bobbins, that can be just a perfect solution if you, like me, use one or two types of thread for all of your piecing. Buy two spools of the same thread. One will be your top thread, and the other spool will all get wound onto bobbins to use for the bottom thread. All of those bobbins you wind from the 2nd spool will run out just about the time you use up the first spool which was reserved for the top thread. Yes you do have to spend some time up front winding […]
September 24, 2016

the quilting world evolves

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Do you remember those years when it was so hard to find cottons appropriate for quilting? How exciting it was when you ran across a new pin dot color? The mauve and dusty blue color combination that was wildly trendy for a few years? We’ve come a long way from those days, haven’t we? If you’ve been around long enough to remember those, then you probably remember when Quilter’s Newsletter magazine was just about the only one available for purchase. How nice it was with historical articles, articles about the winners of the big shows, news about quilting in other countries. A few patterns were included but they weren’t repeats of pattern ideas that many other magazines also ran. Sadly that era of Quilter’s Newsletter has come to an end. It’s final print issue is on news stands now. Maybe you’re one of the quilters […]
September 20, 2016

what’s the deal with stitch length?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ve been doing a lot of free motion quilting lately. I started with a metallic thread that has never had issues in the past and it shredded like crazy. I changed to an old reliable 40 weight and fortunately it worked well–for awhile. Then I changed the machine needle and rethreaded both the top and the bottom threads. That seemed to have solved the machine issues. But…for whatever reason I could not get into the groove of a nice stitch length that made me happy. Fortunately I was working on a test sandwich–not the good project. I already was going to have to go back and pull out the shredded stitches that started this whole session. Do you ever have days like this at the machine? I must not be the only one. Anyway as I was working my way through the troubleshooting process I […]