February 2, 2019

cleaning up

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. As I’ve been changing the quilts for the new month (bringing out a few heart/Valentine quilts) I’ve also been washing a few of the things that are going back into storage. This is a topic that can divide us into the red quilters and the blue quilters. We have several of those topics. I find them out when beginner quilters ask me my opinion and then tell me what other quilters have said. Example 1: pre-wash your fabrics or not (me? yes unless they’re small precuts) Example 2: steam or dry iron? (me? the more steam the better, but I have learned the hard way to press and not iron) Example 3: hand stitch or machine stitch your bindings? (me-90% of the time by machine. It is not relaxing for me to sit and stitch those miles of binding, and why not use some of […]
January 21, 2019

what’s in your bucket?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I hope you’re still making progress on your quilting bucket list. (see post of December 29,2018) . If you give us a status report in the comment section or comment on anything related to our postings, your name will be entered in a drawing for prizes paid for by our guild. We had our first prize drawing at our guild meeting last week. Sylvia Siegel won 2 spools of Aurifil thread. You can read her comment at the end of the post on Dec. 29, 2018. If you’re going to play along with us, working on your bucket list, you do not need to go back to the original post to add your comment(s). And I’ll say again you don’t ave to restrict your comments to the bucket list topic. Just comment on the most recent blog post. I’ll find you when I read through […]
January 15, 2019

projects for the new year

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Of late I’ve been working on Gudrun Erla’s Two Timer quilts from her latest book. Easy piecing! Mine is going to be scrappy-which does increase the cutting time a bit but I think it’s going to be a fun look. I’m trying out her third Stripology ruler to see how I like it. So far, so good. If you’re taking part in the bucket list challenge (go back a post or two), the first prize drawing will be happening at our guild meeting this week. You can comment on any of the posts from the introductory post up until this one to get your name entered in the drawing. If you’ve already commented, feel free to comment again–particularly if you’ve checked off another thing on the bucket list. Hoping to see you Thursday at the meeting-morning time slot remember! Starts at 10:00 a.m.
January 5, 2019

normalcy??

Hello all, Mary Ellen back again. I’m slowing striving to get back to normalcy, whatever that means. I’ve washed and put away the big holiday quilts (I’m counting that for #29 on the bucket list). Have yet to do likewise with the smaller table toppers, wall hangings, etc. Starting that one room at a time because it entails many a trip to the attic. The big quilts just get layered onto a bed in the spare bedroom which is an easier task. I’ve chosen which of the “kits” of my UFO’s I’ll be working on first this year and have gotten all the “stuff” collected and stowed next to the machine. It’s a group of little storage pouches from a demo I did for one of the guild early bird specials. When I finish them up, I’ll have 4 of the same pouch. Gifts for nieces and my sister – […]
December 29, 2018

a fresh start for 2019

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ve started cleaning up my sewing/crafting room and table. One might think an explosion had taken place in there. I have lots of blocks and projects in various stages of completion that I have used in demos at a local quilt shop. I’m trying to make my own little “kits” with the fabrics, directions, and partially done projects so it will be easier to get progress made here and there when I can grab 10 or 15 minutes at the machine. Lots of small pieces of fabric have gone in the garbage–I need to be honest with myself about what pieces are truly too small to save. Many of us make some personal quilting resolutions each year–finishing UFO’s often is on the list. I resolve that nearly every year with varying degrees of success. I found recently a “bucket list” for quilters which for me […]
December 13, 2018

close to crunch time-easy gift

Hello all, Mary Ellen back again. I’m starting to get anxious about holiday preparations. How about you? All done yet? I hope I’m not the only one scurrying around like crazy! I like to dress up the gift cards I give so they look like I put a little more effort into the gift than just a spin of the rack at Tops! This snowman wrap of a candy bar will camouflage the gift card a bit, and who doesn’t like a candy bar? This makes a fun little gift for kids and neighbors even without the addition of a gift card. This author suggests buying one of the cheap fleece blankets that are everywhere this time of year to use for the hat and scarf. They would work great, but so would flannel scraps cut from an old flannel shirt or sheet. I also have used bright fluffy gloves […]
November 30, 2018

Are you making quilts for Christmas?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Have you ever spent hours making a quilt for someone only to find that they have no appreciation of the value of what you’ve made? I know that once you give the quilt away, you’re supposed to relinquish all ownership claims, including any parameters for its use. Hard to do sometimes. This morning I came across this post which really works out the value of a quilt, versus the blanket that some folks equate them to. One of the commenters to this post says she is going to print it out and include it with any quilt she gives away. Not a bad idea. I had another thought while reading the post. I often see quilts and quilted items for sale for less than the cost of the materials it takes to make them. Doesn’t the quilter value her own lovely work?  I’ve been told […]
November 18, 2018

let’s start holiday crafting

Hello all, Mary Ellen here again. Since I was a little girl Thanksgiving has signalled the beginning of holiday crafting season. Many of the crafting projects we did in our house were to be used as gifts-for family, for neighbors, for teachers, for tradesmen, …  That tradition is so deeply ingrained that I still start picking up crafty speed as November winds down. Today in the paper I saw many ideas for the holidays and thought to myself (as many of us do, I’ll bet)–I could make that! One easily crafted item that is very versatile in usage is the lowly Christmas stocking. It’s also a great first project for young stitchers or beginner stitchers. Here’s a link to an assortment of free stocking patterns, ( click here ), not that a pattern is needed. You can draw or trace your own outline of course. But keep reading! If you […]
November 14, 2018

let’s talk turkey

Hello again, Mary Ellen here. As I was perusing pinterest today in search of fun for the holiday crafting, I came across this “turkey” project. I no longer host the Thanksgiving dinner, but if I did, I think I’d be making this. Once made, I think it could be saved from year to year. Basically you are making a felt turkey head to put onto a fresh pineapple body for a fun Thanksgiving table centerpiece. If you have some tweens who enjoy crafting with you, they might find this fun to construct. You’ve still got enough time to buy the felt and get ‘er done. Here’s the link. Gobble, gobble!
November 14, 2018

crafty gifts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Had the kids here this weekend and we were brainstorming what gifts they would like to make for their mom and dad for Christmas. Last year we made painted signs. This year I’m hoping to find something to do with fabric. I also like to make fabric “somethings” for friends and for table favors. If you are planning to participate in the guild gift exchange at our December meeting, perhaps you are looking for something to make too. I found this video for making fabric stars. I have made this type of star many times in the past with paper and always have liked how they finish. When I’ve attempted them with fabric–not so much. The fellow who leads you through the process in the video seems to have worked out some of the trouble spots I have had in the past. I’m planning to […]