Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Before I became a quilter, I was a garment sewer. Pinking shears were a tool often used in finishing seams. I still like to use them when sewing things like wallets, purses, tote bags etc. They help to reduce bulk in seams, particularly seams on curves. You might not think that they would be of use to a quilter, but I like to use them whenever I have a curved seam to work with such as those in Drunkard’s Path blocks. If you have a pair of unused pinking shears that you inherited from your mom or grandma, watch this video for a few tips and tricks to maximize their usefulness. Click here.
Hello all, Mary Ellen here. We are having an issue with the notification process after I post a new blog entry. If you DID NOT receive an e-mail notification about the previous post (“quilting goals for 2017”) and you usually do, please let me know by commenting on this post. Also if you know of any other technical issues with this blog, please let us know those as well. Do you purchase pre-cut fabrics? Charm packs, jelly rolls, layer cakes or any of the many other variations? Or perhaps do you like the patterns out there for the pre-cut packs but you prefer to cut your own fabrics (scraps perhaps) to make up the pieces needed for the pattern. I am going to be doing a demo soon on cutting for pre-cut type patterns and am curious how many quilters will take the time to cut the variety of fabrics […]
Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Wow-It’s been much longer than I thought since I last posted here. I’m going to make a goal to post much more regularly this year. I won’t be specific as to how often or on what days because life gets in the way some times–I’m sure you all know how that is. Despite one’s best laid plans for quilting, there are some things/people in our lives who will always take precedence. Have you made any quilting goals for yourself for this upcoming year? I hesitate to call them resolutions. Somehow for me that means failure when they aren’t met. On the other hand any progress toward a goal, no matter how small, feels like a success to me. Each year I set a small goal for myself related to my quilting–a color to incorporate more often, a new technique to try and/or master, a pattern […]
Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Sometimes I drive myself crazy with my perfectionist tendencies. Not every quilt I make needs to be perfect. The baby quilts that will get burped on and dragged around, the kids quilts that will be used as tents and forts, the graduates’ quilts that will be on the lawn behind the dorm–no need to perseverate over points cut off, or stitches that didn’t stay in the ditch. I like Beth Ferrier’s phrase (that’s the name I couldn’t think of at the guild meeting last week) that she is a “recovering perfectionist”. I describe myself that way too. I have let go of many of my tendencies to keep fixing things until they are just right, but I do like knowing how to make things perfect when the occasion merits it. I love a perfect binding for example. On a quilt that is going to be […]
Hello all, Mary Ellen here. My copy of McCall’s Quilting magazine (Jan/Feb 2017) arrived yesterday-and many of us know one of the featured designers. One of our guild’s very talented quilters even made it to be the pin-up in the centerfold. Look for Marija’s quilt right in the center (page 40ff). Any of you who like Marija’s designs should be awaiting our guild’s next raffle quilt (in process right now) with bated breath. Congratulations Marija! It’s a beautiful quilt. Can I have your autograph?!
Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’m starting to think about what quilts I’ll be giving away at Christmas time. I have 2 nieces who are always appreciative of a quilt so I need to pick out one for each girl. My larger dilemma than which quilt to give, is how to wrap and present it? I have done the matching pillowcase thing already a couple of times, done the boring big box thing, done the rolled up and tied with a wide ribbon thing, done the tote bag with quilt in it thing–I’m looking for something new to try. Any ideas out there? The larger sized quilts that I have been perusing for the dilemma above are all stored flat on the bed in the spare bedroom. That pile is getting quite deep. Even though I give many of my quilts away, it seems that my own personal stash is […]
Hello all, Mary Ellen here. One of my chores for today is taking down all of the Halloween decorations, which include quite a few quilted items, and replacing them with fall/Thanksgiving things. Do you have a collection of holiday quilts? After one has been a quilter long enough, it seems that a collection of “quilts” (I’ll use that term to include bed quilts, wall quilts, table runners, …, anything made of a fabric sewn to other fabrics!) grows and grows, until it seems that we will soon have day of the week quilts! Some of you are of an age to recall day of the week under pants! Did you actually wear them on the correct day?! Oops, I digress. What kind of quilts will you be bringing out for the month of November, until it’s time for all of the Christmas stuff? I’ve got a door quilt of a […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]