June 22, 2013

your inner finger painter

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. We all know that quilting is good for the soul. We do it for a variety of reasons-seldom, in this day and age, is it a necessity for warmth and shelter. We get more esoteric value from it. But most of this confidence that quilting is a “good thing” is just a “hunch”. No science to confirm it. … Until now. At the guild meeting the other evening a friend shared an article from Prevention Magazine for me to use here at the blog. It’s from the June 2013 issue, and the article’s heading says “Medical research says: Put Some Fun in Your Summer…and the surprising reasons why you should”; the author is Sarah Mahoney. Here’s the excerpt she thought we’d be interested in: “FIND YOUR INNER FINGER PAINTER  While most of us gave up coloring by middle school, any creative endeavor–whether painting, writing, or […]
June 13, 2013

what goes on in our heads?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ve been sitting here with my coffee watching the rain come down. It’s such a rarity these days. (NOT!) Actually I think I’m watching my grass grow. I missed my opportunity to mow yesterday and will now pay the price for procrastinating. That lawn will be too heavy to mulch it, so I’ll be emptying the mower bag repeatedly whenever I am able to get out there. I only have only garbage can which I dedicate to yard waste and my lawn will over fill it. I either need to mow more often, or buy another can. The compost bin is full so that will not be an option til I use more of it.  Oh well..this makes for a great day to sew! I’m working on some fabric scarves from an Amy Butler pattern. She calls for voile but I’m using some regular quilting […]
June 10, 2013

there’s an app for that…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. How many times has a tech savvy, usually younger, person said to you “you know, there’s an app for that”? Well here’s an app that you might find useful if you are one of those folks who collects apps like the rest of us collect fabric. It’s an app from Schmetz needles, that will tell you just about anything that you might need to know about sewing machine needles. What size needle should I use with this fabric?  on the app What kind of needle  for this project? on the app What’s the difference between all these kinds of needles? on the app I often get asked needle questions while making demonstrations or teaching classes and this app answers just about all of them. See what you think: click here. I last wrote about the skirts I was making from the “Cute Skirts” pattern from […]
May 30, 2013

Amy and some new friends

Hello all, Mary Ellen back. A few days ago I posted about Amy Butler’s Quilt Market video. Thought I might make a skirt for myself. Well it’s done. I dug around through my archives (doesn’t that sound better than overstuffed storage bins?) to find a skirt pattern. Found one that I had used to make skirts for my nieces and pulled it out. I remembered how easy it was and that was just the ticket! The pattern is from Favorite Things, and is called Cute Skirts. Three styles in a wide size range, sizes 4 – 24. Of course those numbers do not match up with size numbers found in the stores. That would just make too much sense. If you have made garments in the past, you know that this has been an issue for years. Just measure yourself and choose the size you need from the measurement chart. […]
May 24, 2013

a bit of quilt history

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I received an e-mail this morning from a member ( our former president, Mary D.) returning from a vacation to Utah and some National Parks. She included some photos and a link to the story of the Panguitch Quilt Walk. I had heard this story before but had forgotten it. I also enjoyed seeing her photos of the hanging in the visitor center, near Bryce Canyon National Park,  with its stitchery and miniature quilts included.  I did a little internet search and am also including a link to “Utah’s Patchwork Parkway”. Cool concept. Enjoy. You can click on any of the photos for a larger view (which will not have the right hand edge cut off!).
May 23, 2013

OMG!

Hi again, it’s ME. Just found this video where Amy Butler goes through all of her new lines that premiered at Spring Market in Portland. I’ve been a fan of her fabrics since she came into the quilting scene. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with them though-those gorgeous big prints you don’t want to chop up. I’m thinking that I am going back to my roots in garment-sewing to make some simple skirts or toppers. Love, love, love the fabric in the dress Amy is wearing in this video with a pair of leggings. I think I am not built for leggings, but a longish A line skirt with a nice colorful T might be just the ticket. And those ribbons she shows–gotta get me some of them! I’ve been experimenting with some simple beading techniques so a few of those bookmarks or cuffs would be super […]
May 23, 2013

free videos

Hello all, ME here again. Thank goodness for the rain last night. I’m not one of those who loves the hot weather, and I was getting worried about the drought state of my gardens. I’m attempting to grow some grass seed in a few bare spots in the lawn. All of those issues were helped immensely by the rain. So, thank you! to Mother Nature. I’m teaching a series of lessons on some of the traditional blocks/techniques that I think of as the basis for all sorts of quilting designs. Recently I taught some curved piecing via a small drunkard’s path project. I wanted to find a good tutorial for sewing the curves, that would match the method I taught, so I could add it to the class handout as a back-up reference for my students. I found a pretty good one at the Fons and Porter site, in among […]
May 22, 2013

Moda School house

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. If you frequent your local fabric shop on a regular basis, you may have noticed that the owner was missing for a few days last week. International Quilt Marker for spring of 2013 was going on in Portland, Oregon. For those of us who wish we could go to Quilt Market each season, here is a treat. The folks from Fat Quarter Shop video taped the entire Moda School House presentation and posted it at YouTube. You’ll get a sneak peek at the newest fabrics coming from Moda, and their designers. Our fall seminar guest, Pat Sloan, makes an appearance at 15:36 in the video. I’ll warn you the “show” is about 45 minutes long. You might want to watch it in segments, or just treat yourself to a cup of your favorite beverage and sit down to watch the entire thing. I loved getting […]
May 21, 2013

May Guild meeting photos

Hi everyone, as always, I am a bit late but hey – at least I am consistent! 🙂 May meeting was really great! Our guest, Dennis Foster is truly amazing kite-maker and quilter, don’t you think? I am so proud to be able to say that I had a little bit to do with him becoming a quilter and it was and always is such a pleasure having him in my class. You can count on Dennis to come back with a masterpiece of his own after taking a class – teacher’s biggest reward! 🙂 So he started by showing us one of the early kites he made:Some smaller ones too (but so cool-looking, don’t you think?) And then came Bargello design kites – SPECTACULAR! Or how about some optical illusions effect: Bar-code anyone? Dennis’ big inspiration are quilt patterns and designs – so how about this for Ricky Tims’ […]
May 20, 2013

the wrong side

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Got to make this quick today. Miles to go before I sleep, as a famous man once said. Did you know battings have a right and wrong side? I discovered I have been using my favorite Warm and Natural batting wrong side up for years!! Have a look at this article from APQS and learn some new things about the part of your quilt that you don’t want to show!  click here! TTFN!