March 11, 2014

Sneak preview and true confession

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. You all know that Bonnie Hunter is coming to our seminar this fall. (You do know that, don’t you?) She has a brand new book about to be released and is showing sneak previews of the quilts in it over at her blog. If you leave a comment over there,  you have a chance to win a signed copy from Bonnie. click here Now for a true confession. A few posts back I put out a challenge to join in Bonnie’s challenge quilt for this year, called Lozenges. I had said I had a plan to use up my stash of 2 1/2″ strips. Well that was before I thought it all the way through to needing to cut a whole bunch of 1 1/2″ squares to use as the flippy corners. I fess up that the cutting of all those triangles is not a […]
March 7, 2014

Jelly roll 1600, chapter 2

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What a gorgeous morning we’re having today. I actually got too warm while walking the canine today and had to take off my hat and gloves! When was the last time that happened?! If you’ve read this blog for a while now, you may remember a few posts about the jelly roll 1600 quilts. If you need a refresher, look in the category list in the left sidebar and click on it. Today at Missouri Star Quilts Jenny Doan shows a variation on the basic jelly roll quilt. I love the fabric line she chose, but I think I might have chosen a different color for the “pop” of color she inserts. She gives a few good tips even for those of you who have made one of these before. If you haven’t, you should give it a try. This is a fun quilt to […]
March 4, 2014

Using your scraps

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Not all quilters enjoy scrap quilting. There is something way too random for the taste of many quilters when you start making a tossed salad of all sorts of fabrics. I’ve made a few scrappy quilts that push the envelope a bit too much even for me. (The dog loves them though; he’s lying on one of them in that photo.) Thus comes the concept of “planned scrappy”. By adding just a bit of structure to the scrappy theme, more quilters can become comfortable with some scrappiness in their quilts. After all, if you are a lover of Kim Diehl fabrics, for example, you probably have quite a few scraps from her lines. They all go together, don’t they? Or perhaps you have blue in every quilt you make. A 2 color quilt with a variety of blue scraps paired with a variety of creams […]
March 1, 2014

Are you up for a challenge?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Bonnie Hunter, our upcoming fall seminar national teacher, has just begun a quilt challenge at her blog. Bonnie is a scrap quilter. She doesn’t just collect scraps; she actually makes things with them. (a novel concept to me!). I’m going to try joining in this challenge so I’ll use up some of my scraps too. I might have to tweak the math a bit because I have so many 2.5″ strips that I’d like to use up–hers is going to use 3.5″ strips. Wouldn’t it be great (hint, hint, hint!) if a few of us joined in so we could show her our progress when she comes to seminar in September? I’m going to set aside a sewing day soon to get a bunch of pieces ready so I can use them as “leaders and enders” while working on projects for my classes. Here’s a […]
February 27, 2014

checking your work

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. That heading really sounds like a math teacher wrote it.  (a retired one!) I’m working on a sample of a block for a demo I’ll be doing in a month or so. The book has great ideas but was not edited carefully at all. I wonder who it was who fell down on the job…the designer, the copy editor, the technical writer…   This is very irritating to me every time it happens. And it happens much more often than it should. (In a perfect world it would never happen!) I’m sure many a quilter has come upon errors in a pattern and blamed them on herself. Actually I find that many times the errors belong to some one else. Why don’t they check their work more carefully? That said, our own inaccuracy in a 1/4″ seam cause us problems often. The block I am testing […]
February 22, 2014

Modern Applique

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What can be changed in applique to make it modern? I’ve seen a new book, The Modern Applique Workbook, talked up quite a bit in “the blogs” of late. And I’ve wondered what’s new under the sun in applique land? I’ll be honest up front. I’m not a big applique fan. I’m more of a piecer. I do fusible raw edge applique sometimes, but I am not a hand stitcher, needle turner. But one thing I am is curious. So I’ve been looking for some peaks into this new book that is getting a lot of press. Here’s a peek for you: click here.   At the end of the post to which I’ve linked you up, there is a list of bloggers participating in a blog hop for the book. I must say I found the close-ups of the quilting on the projects more […]
February 21, 2014

a UFO completion

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Yesterday I finished a Phd from 1999. How do I know that date? The issue of Miniature Quilts magazine (Do you remember that one? It was a favorite magazine of mine!) where I found the directions was folded up with the nearly complete project. All it needed was a binding. Fortunately I had not trimmed the backing off yet, so I was able to do a “faux” binding, wrapping the backing up over the edge to the front. Quick finish. I wonder why I hadn’t finished it back then when there was so little needed. The project looks like a drunkards path project, with killer small curves but…it’s not. Squares were fussy cut from two fabrics: a black background with white polka dots, and a white background with black polka dots. The polka dots were about 1 inch in diameter originally, so the curvy portions […]
February 14, 2014

I can make that!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Do you also run across things in stores and say to yourself “I can make that”? That’s a picture of a pillow from Anthropologie, a very trendy shop. Would make a nice Valentine gift for a young person. And what did I say to myself when I saw it? Yep, ” I could make that!” And not only do I think I can make it, I can make it better, and definitely cheaper! It sells for $198!!! How’s that for $ew worth it?!
February 14, 2014

For the love of…

Hello my quilty Valentines! Happy Valentine’s Day! Right from the start – how about this cool Valentine? Isn’t it just beautiful!? Even better, you can have a pattern for it – this is the newest creation from Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson! blog – one very talented modern quilter! I just love how this is patchwork, multicolored, has depth, interest…just fun! Speaking of fun – did I had some last Friday! I went to a lecture/trunk show/demo by amazing sisters, Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson, of Sew Kind of Woderful designs. They are long time quilters, have been professional long-arm quilters and now they are just playing and creating new, beautiful designs, using their new Quick Curve ruler. I saw this ruler a while ago and of course had to buy it asap, but – of course AGAIN – did not have a chance to play with it yet! So […]
February 13, 2014

Meet Bonnie

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Preparations for our fall seminar are underway. Bonnie Hunter will be our national teacher. If you haven’t heard of her, here’s a little clip to begin to introduce you. (click here.) Mark your calendar (September 17-20) and please plan to join us for a class or two. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. If you want to find out more about Bonnie, visit her website. (click here.)