Amherst Quilters Guild

July 10, 2016

crayola box of 64

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. When you were a kid did you find that certain crayons in the box got worn down and broken very fast, while some of the colors still had the pristine unused points from the factory? I sure did. And that sharpener built into the back of the box did not do the trick–AT ALL! I would want a new box of crayons when my favorite colors were wearing down. Did you see the article in Friday’s Buffalo News about color combinations? What combinations say summer to you? What combination is your go-to when you are making a new quilt? I find that if I don’t force myself to get “out of the box” that I will always be drawn to something with purple, and hot pink in it. I used to be drawn to shades of blue, as would be evident if you could see […]
July 6, 2016

graffiti quilts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Finally things around here are settling down and I’m back in the quilt room more. My teaching assignments are farther apart for the summer so I’m tackling a bunch of UFO’s. I finished up some runners that were all pieced and just needed either the layering etc, or even less. It feels good to get those off of the bed in the spare room. Right now if I had a surprise guest they’d have to sleep on a dog bed! I’ve also been getting back to zentangling and free motion quilting practice. When I ran across this video in my e-mail today I really was interested. Graffiti quilting. Looks so much like zentangle–with some twists. Can’t wait to finish up the topper I’m working on now so I can try out some of the graffiti ideas in its quilting. See what you think about this […]
May 22, 2016

basting your quilts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Who does your quilting? Are you one of us who does all of your own quilting because “it’s not your quilt if you pay someone else to quilt it”? (overheard being said by a visitor to our quilt show as she saw the name of a long-armer on the quilt label) Do you do some of your own quilting and hire some of it out? Hand quilting or machine quilting? I enjoy doing the quilting of my projects. I do all of it by machine, some free motion and some walking foot. But what I don’t enjoy about the process is the layering and the basting. Definitely a necessary evil-but evil nevertheless. I do remember crawling around on the floor basting a larger quilt to be done on my domestic machine. And the aches and pains in my knees and back after that adventure are […]
May 8, 2016

what’s in your locker?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. We should all be recovered from our quilt show by now. So many lovely inspiring quilts. Will I live long enough to make all the quilts I’d like to try? I’m sure that for almost all of us, that answer is no! So which quilt project is next on your list? Although applique is for me almost a four letter word, I admired so many of the quilts which combined piecing with applique. Maybe that will be my next challenge to myself. But I digress. Have you ever tried locker hooking? I did quite a bit of it a few years back and then moved on to another hobby. I do really like the old fashioned look of mats and rugs made with this technique. I happened to get Ami Simms’ newsletter this week in which she gives a very nice tutorial on how to […]
April 17, 2016

use it or lose it part 2

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. In my last post I talked about using or losing your scraps. One of my strategies which kind of combines the two ideas was to clean out my scrap bins to give a bunch away. At our guild’s upcoming quilt show (Apr. 22-24) there will be a scrap pool to play in. (Pay a small fee, get a bag, jam as many scraps of your choice into the bag to take home!) I have some pictures following to show you my “success”. I have been keeping the two bins (one for darks and one for lights) somewhat under control by giving away my smaller scraps to Robi, our guild president, who will work with scraps smaller than I like. But nevertheless the lids and sides of the two bins are usually bulging. So I thought I’d put a big dent in that with a garbage […]
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 […]