January 31, 2015

sewing by and for guys

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Nearly all of us have sewn a quilt for a male family member or friend. But…have you ever sewn with a male family member or friend? Not so many of us. I have mentioned Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company here before. She and quilter Rob Appell are starting a new venture together: Man Sewing. I think it will be fun and I’ve already subscribed to get the first few videos. I have 2 grandsons turning 8 today. Maybe I’ll be able to get a quilter out of one of them. One of them is very interested in any type of machine, and I’ve got a machine with considerable bells and whistles that he might find to be “awesome”. Have a look at Jenny and Rob’s skateboard quilt here. click here  Great idea for the boys in those “middle” years. Here’s a link to […]
January 22, 2015

Signing your work

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Do you label or sign your quilts when you finish them? I generally do except for table runners and toppers. I’m finding more and more when I change the “quilts” for the seasons or holidays that I like to look on the back to check when I made the piece. I’m often surprised-sometimes by how old the piece is and sometimes the reverse, by how recently I made it. I’m just checking for dates. I do hope that all of my pieces will find good homes after I’m gone. What would those owners want to know when enjoying my quilted art works? Maybe I should be including more information. Isn’t it fun when examining an antique quilt to find the quilters name and date somewhere-even more fun if it tells where and why it was made? We should be adding those little surprises to our […]
January 21, 2015

Hey, I know her!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Look at this site that I was mailed from Free Quilt Patterns.com.  I know her!! I think many of you do too. click here Congrats on your moment of fame, Marija!
January 20, 2015

odds and ends

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. How’s everybody enjoying the new season of Downton Abbey? I haven’t watched the 3rd episode yet, but I am enjoying the season to date. Love that Maggie Smith/Dowager character. She says the darndest things! And Lady Mary’s escapades…my, my! Have you purchased any of the Downton Abbey fabrics? I think they’re on the third collection now. I’ve used a few as fillers in a project or two for the shop where I teach, but have not gone for an entire project with them as of yet. How about you? If you did make an entire project, what was it? Quilt? bag? purse? I get the newsletter from Superior Threads regularly. Bob always includes a joke-very tame and inoffensive. Often they include a play on words or some sort of pun. Love myself a good pun. Since I am working on a very common goal of […]
January 16, 2015

One man’s trash…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Last night we had our annual auction at our quilt guild meeting. Throughout the year member’s earn “quilt bucks” by getting involved in our guild’s activities. Basically it is monopoly money, but it has been a successful motivator for many of our members. For example, one might earn 5 bucks for making a block for our charity committee, or 10 bucks for sewing the binding onto a charity quilt. We have a few guidelines for amounts to be awarded, but each chairperson has some leeway as well. Bucks are then saved by the members throughout the year to be used to buy items at our annual January auction. Items for the auction are donated by members. It’s a good chance to clean out our sewing rooms of excess fabric, kits, patterns, UFO’s etc. This auction is certainly an example of the cliche that “one man’s […]
January 4, 2015

quilting the new year-2015 gifting challenge

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’m hoping that tomorrow will begin a return to normalcy around here. The holiday goodies are all gone-either eaten or discarded. The plan to get rid of excess avoirdupois is in place. The holiday quilts and decorations are coming down and being laundered a few at a time. That chore should be complete by the end of the week. I’m ready to begin my new quilting-for-fun projects. How about you? Quilting for holiday gifting loses its charm after the 10th project or so. Part of my plan for this year is to spread those “gifty” projects throughout the year. I say we set a challenge for ourselves. Let’s complete one gift project per month through the year and report back here. In that gift project, try to incorporate something that will make it fun for you. I’ll remind us at the end of each month. […]
December 30, 2014

2014 in review

Hi everyone! Survived preps and enjoyed holidays, I hope? Back in your sewing room? I hope Santa brought you everything you wished for and you were surrounded with love of family and friends. And if we are honest – those two are two of the same thing, right? 🙂 As for me – most definitely they are the same thing and I count my blessings every day. Needless to say holiday preparations were busy and crazy, topped with a “lovely” event of our tree falling down this year…yeah, and right after we finished putting on the last ornament and the top and went to dining room to have dinner…A first for us, but hey, it is all good at the end – few broken ornaments but none that are important memories, and after few “repairs” – voila: With the most important part here of course: Our little granddaughter Juliana is […]
December 15, 2014

Where has the time gone?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I was quite surprised this morning when I looked at the date of my last post. Almost a month has gone by–where has the time gone? Anybody else running around like a chicken with no head trying to get everything done for the holidays? Yikes! What have you been up to in the sewing room (if you’ve had time to get in there!)? I have made a few adult bibs for  elderly patients in a nursing home.  I copied the outline of the institutional one that is given out, and then make them with hand towels from the dollar store and novelty fabrics around the upper body and neck. They have been quite popular-I did pumpkins in October, wacky turkeys for November, and birds in Santa hats for this month. Those have been sent off so the patients can enjoy them for a bit before […]
November 20, 2014

Buried? In Quilts?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I hope you are safe and warm and buried only in quilts. What a storm some of us have been through! It’s not bad here in my neighborhood, but one doesn’t need to go far from here to either find an other-worldly scape, or to be turned back by driving bans. What have you been doing to keep busy these past few days? I hope you got to sit at your machine or in your favorite chair for at least a bit of stitching time . I got a wall hanging cut and pieced and have begun the layering and pinning process. It’s a modern take on the old favorite drunkard’s path block. Love it. There are blocks of bright colors in the midst of white sashings. Not sure what color of thread to use in machine quilting it. I recently finished an online machine […]
November 11, 2014

What are your values?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What a beautiful morning we have today! The first canine perambulation of the day was so refreshing! Both of us enjoyed meeting some of the neighbors out walking too, since many of them are working today due to the holiday. I’ve been playing with a new computer program (EQ7 is new to me and my Mac) which makes it so easy to move the placement of values in a quilt block. I once heard a big name quilter (can’t recall exactly which one though!) say that “value does all the work, but color gets all the credit!”. Definitely is true. Here’s a link to a short video (click here) which makes this point so well. I think a fun challenge for our guild might be to choose a block, give just a line drawing to participants, and see what everyone does with it. If we […]