June 28, 2015

Be a quitter

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ve mentioned here before that many of the ideas for my blog entries come from other bloggers. I subscribe to quite a few blogs and receive daily or weekly updates from many of them. Leah Day, a phenomenal quilter, who wrote the 365 free motion designs blog, is one of them. She has added a few new threads to her blogging posts. Today her post was titled “You have permission to quit”. After listening to what she had to say in her youtube post, it got me thinking about some of the UFO’s I have accumulated. I can think of 2 that are unfinished because I do not like them anymore. One was so poorly written by the designer that every step of the way requires some sort of correction. Her math calculations were atrocious, and you can just imagine how that irks me, the […]
June 25, 2015

free motion quilting

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I apologize for the faulty links that WordPress has posted from me. I’m not sure what is going on there, but definitely it’s not what I want it to do. Ain’t computers just grand?! I’ve been looking around the web at free motion quilting tutorials of late. I will be teaching an intro class to FMQ myself this summer and am interested in what other teachers are doing. I also am becoming a bit of an online student at Craftsy, Craft Daily and a few other sites. I find that learning and listening in my jammies with my beverage of choice suits my style these days. I came across this blurb for a book/class on bobbin quilting by Michele Scott which is intriguing. That girl has an attitude! I’ve seen her work online and a few pieces at a national show, and she is very […]
June 19, 2015

Blog-chatting perks – we have a winner!

Hi everyone, I am so bummed I had to miss the meeting again!! It seems that un-planned things always happen on Thursday, the Guild night?? yeah…last night was unexpected family shuffle as some were battling a little stomach bug that baby is giving everyone these days (but me! – grandma is immune! ) Oh well – maybe in July I will just take a day off when Guild night comes, ha ha! In the meantime – using my coffee break here at work to quickly draw a winner of a surprise I promised, as I promised!! So…what is the prize?? Maybe you guessed it already, but yes – it’s a BOOK! Book we talked about – IRICH CHAIN QUILTS, Contemporary Twist on Classic Design. We had 8 guild members comment (so now we know what they are up to!), each got a number assigned in order of comments appearing – THANK […]
June 17, 2015

Are they done?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Although that title could be about quilt projects, it’s actually about the maple helicopters, whirligigs, schizocarps or whatever you call them. It seems that this year’s crop is at least twice the size of a usual spring. Every garden bed needs another cleaning from them, both those just dry and dead and those that are starting to sprout. The pathways are loaded too–I’ve got work to do before the mulch can go down. In the middle of summer I love those lush maples, but now I hate them. And I haven’t even mentioned cleaning the gutters and the flat roof!! I’ve been enjoying a new quilt book that just arrived. The Farmer’s Wife sampler (this is the 2nd book-using 30’s fabrics this time) is a project that intrigues me. I haven’t been enticed in the past to do any of the block compilation type quilts-Dear […]
June 16, 2015

Hello stranger…. (and a tiny surprise at the end, so read on! )

…and that would be ME! 🙁 Hello everyone, sorry to be MIA for so long from our blog!! What can I say… just life in general! New job, too much fun with my granddaughter, summertime… excuses, excuses!! But early this morning, while it was pouring outside and I couldn’t go for a walk with Marley, I was browsing quilty blogosphere of course, with my morning coffee…and thought that this particular new book (and the fun Blog Hop that goes with it), could be interesting for you all too! IRISH CHAIN QUILTS by Melissa Corry The subtitle is what I really, really LOVE – contemporary twists on a classic design!! And lets just say it from the start – I have no affiliations of course, I don’t even have the book YET! I just love the idea, love the quilts I saw so far and thought to share for inspiration. 🙂 […]
June 5, 2015

proven benefits of crafting

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. If someone asked you, “why do you quilt?”. what would your answer be? I’m betting it wouldn’t be that it increases dopamine levels in your brain, or that it helps to prevent premature cognitive decline. But quilting (and crafting) does have proven health benefits. Have a look. Click here. Now go make something!
June 3, 2015

update on our gift along challenge

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Back in January a challenge was thrown down to work on holiday gifts throughout the year instead of waiting for “crunch time” in November and December. The challenge was to make/finish one each month. How’s that working out for you? I’m doing pretty well. But to be honest…I have a little extra help. I teach classes at a local quilt shop and am frequently making sample to use in teaching. I’ve gotten smarter about choosing the fabrics. I now pick them with someone on my gift list in mind. (I’ve got 3 completed gifts living at the shop right now.) That way the sample, when it’s returned to me from the shop, becomes a completed gift. If I know the sample will be still living at the shop after the gift occasion passes, then I choose the fabrics for the step outs with the giftee […]
May 23, 2015

Needle Knowledge

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I know it’s a busy weekend for all of us, so I’ll keep this short. When I teach classes I am frequently asked questions about the needles I suggest. I usually will list the needle requirement for my classes as a microtex or sharp needle in a size 80/12 or 90/14, depending on what we will be sewing together. I used to buy all types of needles when they went on sale, but now have settled in to generally just using a sharp. (I have so many “quilting” needles that I could probably build things with them. I never buy universals anymore, and am making an effort to use up the ones I have. Maybe I’ll sell the rest at our upcoming guild garage sale! There’s a thought. (BTW did you know that your old sewing machine needles can be used as nails for hanging […]
May 9, 2015

Things mom taught me

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Many of us inherited our love of quilting and all things fabric from our moms. Our moms are often the best cheerleaders for our quilting efforts. My mom was my first sewing teacher. I was allowed to use the “real” machine when I was a little girl and never had to use “junk” fabric because I was just learning. If there wasn’t money to purchase good fabric for my projects, I learned to wait and save, rather than to buy fabric that wasn’t of good quality. In the days when the standard for well made clothes was clothing made by a dressmaker or tailor, I learned that you wanted your project to look “handmade, not homemade.” I think maybe the perfectionist streak I have came from my mom and great-grandma. Neither worried about the scars to my psyche that would result from picking out stitches […]
May 8, 2015

what are you up to?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Have you been busy at the sewing machine lately? Or have you been out in the garden? Or maybe neither or both? I’ve been doing a bit of both. In January I set a couple of quilting goals for myself. Of course there is the usual one to finish more of my UFO’s. In addition I set a couple related to getting out of my quilting comfort zone to try some new things. One is to use more orange in my quilts. Whenever I see quilts with orange in them, whether in shops, or quilt shows, or magazines, I always admire them. But I find that I seldom make orange quilts, except around Halloween. So far this year I’ve made 2 that took me a little more into the oranges. Another one of my goals is to get away from always using white or cream […]