January 7, 2014

it’s back…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Just finished watching the last bit of Downton Abbey’s first episode of season 4. Won’t say too much specifically since some of you fans might not have seen it yet. Several interesting developments-planting seeds for new story lines obviously. I will say that the dowager was surprisingly nice-for her, I thought. Have you seen the fabric lines inspired by the ladies of Downton? When they began to appear in ads in magazines, I was not impressed at all. Too dull in color for my taste. But now that they are appearing in stores, and I’m seeing a few projects made with the fabric, I’m starting to change my mind. Here’s a link to the photos over at Andover fabrics, with free project plans. What do you think? The purples hint at the Pantone color of the year, just muted down a bit. (Radiant Orchid images) […]
January 5, 2014

resolutions

Hello all, Mary Ellen back. It is amazing when I say 2014 out loud. How can I be this old?! I was reminiscing with a friend about a football party when the Bills came back from behind to the great enjoyment of the crowd and the consternation of the dogs in the room. I ended up with a Doberman in my lap who was very upset by all the shouting! Twenty one years ago! How can that be?! Yikes! Anyway, back to resolutions. Are you like me, resolving every year to work on your UFO stash? (Don’t tell me that you’re one of those quilters who has no UFOs because you always finish a project before moving on to the next one!) I want to actually do something about some of my UFOs this year instead of my usual tactic of just shuffling them. A few days ago I was […]
December 23, 2013

2014 color of the year

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Well, it looks like I have to buy some fabric. Such a hardship, but I have nothing in this shade in my stash. Can’t have that! How about you-do you own any “Radiant Orchid”?  (click here) We’ll be seeing this everywhere–just watch. What will appear first at your house? A sweater, a tee-shirt, or some packaging, or towels, or nail polish, or … even a quilt! Or are you ahead of the curve and already have some of this color living at your house?
December 22, 2013

Christmas cake frill

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I hope you’re all set for the upcoming holiday–all projects completed and wrapped under the tree. Yah, right she says with tongue in cheek. If you have to bring a dessert to the next party and have little time to prepare, here’s a way to dress up a store-bought cake. (click here) The one in the photo looks like a fruitcake. I don’t suggest bringing a fruitcake though, unless you can take the teasing in good graces. I hope you all have a safe, happy and healthy holiday. I’ll be traveling this week so probably won’t be checking in with you. Safe travels to all of you who also will be on the road!
December 11, 2013

How far we’ve come…

Hello all, Mary Ellen again. At last month’s guild meeting I picked up one of the freebie magazines that are always donated. It’s a copy of an early Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine from Feb. of 1982. Two things of note: There were profuse congratulations and excitement over the first Jinny Beyer line of fabric to be produced by V.I.P. fabrics. In the photo accompanying the article Jinny is wearing one of those quilted vests that all quilters wore back in the day. Hers features Mariner’s Compass quarters on the front. Remember those vests, girls? Come on now, fess up. You know you had one, if you’ve been at this long enough. Secondly a four page article raved about a new technique taking quilting by storm. Let me quote the introduction to you and see if you can guess what technique they are lauding. Remember now, February of 1982. ” … is […]
December 10, 2013

Christmas crafting

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. How have you been? I’ve been AWOL for a while-busy with Christmas preparations. I’m sure you all understand. One of the things I’ve been up to involves Mod Podge. Yes that goopy stuff from the old decoupage crafting craze is still around and going strong. It’s quite amazing what you can get to stick with it. Did you know there is a Mod Podge made especially for fabric? Me either. I found this review (click here) by accident at the site for Craft Test Dummies. After reading what it has to say about the improvement in the fabric texture, I think I will check out whether any of our local big box stores, with my 40% off coupon, have any of the fabric Mod Podge in stock. I do quite a bit of crafting with fabric–making fabric flowers and embellishments in particular—and if it performs […]
December 5, 2013

Busy, busy, busy

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Christmas is coming. It’s on the 25th. Every year, same date, right? Then why do I always find I’m playing catch up when December 1 rolls around? I should have my Christmas projects done by now! Does this happen to you too? Not too much time playing in the blogosphere these days for obvious reasons, but here is a great site I ran across for inspiration. I love the border on this “Christmas at the Hoffmans” quilt (click here). Going to put that into the idea file. TTFN friends.
November 24, 2013

origami ornaments

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What a surprise this morning when I checked the thermometer before heading out on our daily constitutional with the canine companion. 14 degrees!! He got his sweater put on him, and I got out my Nanook of the North hat! Thank Goodness the wind was calm, or we would not have gone far at all. As it was we only traveled around 3 blocks as my fingertips were protesting, even though they were encased in mittens rather than gloves. I think while I’m out and about doing some holiday shopping, I’m going to get some new outerwear for myself. I’ve been looking for some nice fabric origami ornaments to make for this year. Found this great idea.  (click here) I’m going to test this out with paper first, but I love the look of her samples. Just replace her word “hexagon” with the correct word […]
November 22, 2013

candy winners

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Finally awarded the 40,000 visitor blog candy prizes at last night’s guild meeting. Thanks so much to all of our readers, with special thanks to those who comment. Marija and I appreciate the support you show for this blog, whether you’re lurking or commenting. Here’s to many more visitors. All of those who commented from the entry announcing the blog candy until yesterday’s entry had their names put in a random drawing. The more times an individual commented, the more times they were entered into the drawing. We drew 7 names for “basic prizes”–Roxanne, Karen G, Sue K, Mary D, Kathy T, JoAnne C, and Sue K (who won a 2nd time). All names were then returned to “the hat” and one name was drawn for the grand prize–Jane B. Hope you all will enjoy your prizes and keep those comments coming please. It’s more […]
November 21, 2013

Stitched snowflakes

Good morning all, Mary Ellen here. Coffee in hand, cruising some blogs. My favorite morning routine. Soon to go up to the sewing room. I’m still looking around for some easy handmade holiday gifts and fun. When I want classy rather than cutesy, I often will visit the Purl Bee site. I first found it as a knitting site, but they have lovely patchwork crafts too. Someday I’m going to go to NYC to visit the actual store; I think I’ll have to allot an entire day for browsing! First off, I have a few of the Edyta Sitar snowflake silhouettes left after finishing another project. The pattern for that project includes an ornament idea in it that just doesn’t feel quite right. I’m going to adapt this idea from PurlBee (click here) and use up some felted wool scraps.  I’m think two layers of wool plus the fused silhouette, […]