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 […]
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 […]