Amherst Quilters Guild

October 14, 2016

Quilts in the family

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I have a quilt that my great-grandmother, the master quilter in our family, made for my mom for her 16th birthday. Since we did not save our quilts “for good” in our family, the quilt is quite tattered in some areas. However the center medallion is still a lovely appliqued ring of irises. I have been looking for a long time to find the source of my grandma’s inspiration. I had been fairly certain that it was from the Mountain Mist collection until quite recently. At the Indianapolis Museum of Art there is currently an exhibit of the quilts of Marie Webster. If you have memories of lovely appliqued floral quilts, often in medallion style, it’s not unlikely that Marie Webster may have played some role in their designs. When I downloaded the pdf of the brochure for this exhibit, there it was. The iris […]
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 […]
August 19, 2016

back to school supplies

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Many of us who have been quilting for awhile now have a selection of quilting supplies that have been taken from other parts of the house and repurposed for quilting. This helps to save money to use on purchasing fabric instead of purchasing high priced gadgets. Now don’t get me wrong…I love me some good gadgets but many times the old timey things actually work as well or better. For example, I use quadrille graph paper for measuring and trimming triangle points. There are two plastic templates on the market which are sold for the purpose of aligning triangle (or other shapes too) pieces which have to be offset for stitching. They cost about $10 a piece (which is equivalent to about a yard of fabric). I’d rather use my ten bucks on the fabric and stick with my 1¢ piece of graph paper for […]
August 17, 2016

ornament pdf post update

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Thanks to all who tried the pdf posting and then let me know how it worked. Apparently the Kaye Wood video that I referred to in the post has been taken down. If you would like to see her technique for cutting hexagons quickly and easily, try the link below. Just know that the Starmaker 6 ruler she refers to is basically the same thing as a 60 degree triangle ruler that many of us already own. You can get the same results using that; you do not need a Starmaker 6. cutting hexagons trick
August 14, 2016

ornament pdf test

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. At our guild meeting this week Jackie G. told us of our guild’s commitment to making ornaments for one of the museum’s Christmas trees. She also asked for any member who has an easy ornament pattern to please share it. With this post I am testing whether I would be able to post pdfs here for members to access. Please try clicking on the link below and then in a comment let me know if it opened successfully for you or not. Thanks! ornament demo
July 27, 2016

a wooden quilt

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Amazing! When you see the finished quilt, even after watching the video as it takes shape from the wood, it appears to be a gorgeous creation in cloth. Such skill. Click here.
July 23, 2016

print or digital, a changing quilt world

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Have you heard the news that Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine is going out of business soon? I was caught off guard by this announcement. I started subscribing to QNM way back in the days of Bonnie Leman, its original publisher. I consider it one of the influences that made me the quilter I am now. I will definitely miss it. I am not one who is happy with digital publications, should they decide later to perhaps publish it only digitally. If there is not a hard copy print version, then I am gone as a subscriber. Even daily blog posts or e-mails are not equivalent substitutes in my book. Here is a link to an interesting post from a much more recent addition to the quilt magazine market, with some information on the publisher’s outlook, and a magazine’s writers’ take on this. Interesting to say the […]