February 20, 2013

kick it up a stitch

Hello all, Mary Ellen again. I’ve been a viewer of Sewing with Nancy on PBS for many years. Now I tend to watch it on the computer instead; today I found a very humorous episode of Nancy and Mary Mulari doing a special for Wisconsin Public Television. The two of them are quite a bit more relaxed and silly than I’ve ever seen on the regular episodes. The premise is a cooking show and they do actually share some recipes, but the sewing projects are what gets kicked up. If you are a fan of Nancy’s, you’ll enjoy this. Be sure to read Anita Grossman Solomon’s comment on the previous post!
February 20, 2013

craftsy class

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I just finished taking an online class via Craftsy where I learned all the tips that Anita Grossman Solomon gave to her classes at our seminar last fall. I was only able to take one of her classes-the pineapple one-and had wanted to take her others as well. Her tricks just really click with my learning style. Well guess what! Beth Ferrier is now giving a class via Craftsy on her Hand Applique by Machine that she taught at seminar as well. I wonder if she learned about Craftsy from Anita. I know Anita mentioned working with Craftsy in some conversation I had with her at seminar. The price for Beth’s class is reduced right now, so if you are so inclined this would be a good time to sign up. You can watch the classes forever once you are given your access, so if […]
February 19, 2013

odd bits again

Hello all, Mary Ellen here on this blustery day. I just blew in from a round of errands. Went into BJ’s to get printer paper and ink in a little drizzle, came out to blowing snow. I thought that was to come later today?! Winter in Buffalo I guess. Well Downton Abbey fans! Season 3 is over-what do you think is coming next? Spoiler alert-don’t read further if you haven’t seen the season-ender yet.  About a month ago I had read in some publication about the demise of 2 characters with no reference to who those characters would be. Of course I had my own theories of who was going. I must say I didn’t have this one on my list of possibilities. I didn’t cry my eyes out, as I am reading many other fans did. Or do you think they have may have left the door ever so slightly […]
February 14, 2013

far and wide

Hello all, Mary Ellen again. This is really cool beans, I think. A few days ago I got an e-mail asking me (by name) to vote on a cover design for a children’s book. Sounds innocent enough. The book involves a quilt lost along the Oregon Trail. So far so good. The e-mail asked me to pass it along to my guild members as well. Whoa! Not so fast. But, something about it sounded legit to me, so I wrote back asking how the author had gotten my name and e-mail address. I received a very nice response which I am sharing below. It seems we AMQG members really get around. Someone attending the Sisters, Oregon show (I’m so jealous–I’ve wanted to go to that show for years, since the days of Jean Wells making multiple, frequent appearances on Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson) mentioned our guild and museum gift […]
February 13, 2013

Wednesday’s Wanderings…

Hi everyone, I think I like the sound of “Wednesday’s wanderings” so it might just be a regular feature? Well, I still have to work up to being regular anything…but that is another story. 😉 However, I am really thinking about it and in those thoughts, I remembered that I have some great Star blocks that I designed and wrote instructions for, so I was thinking that we can have another monthly feature, like Lucy Goosey was? The question is would you like that? And which one would you prefer – classic pieced stars or paper-pieced stars? Or a bit of both? Let me know and I can start! Now for the wanderings…If you are a person that likes new patterns to try and the social aspect of this passion of ours (quilting) – here is  a big, looking-like-fun blog hop and party organized by Moda (fabric manufacturer), called Moda […]
February 13, 2013

goin’ crazy

Hi, Mary Ellen here. I enjoy redwork even if it’s done in a different color-like blue or black. I used to do quite a bit of embroidery, crewel was my favorite in my college days. Gave kind of a refined hippy (is there such a thing?) look to ones bell bottom jeans. I also remember embellishing my nieces’ dresses and jumpers when they were tiny. I have an appreciation for the skill of embroiderers, even if I no longer do much of it. Have you ever gone to one of the shows the Buffalo chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America has had at the Kenan Center in Lockport? Knock your socks off pieces of all kinds. I believe it’s held every other year, opposite our quilt show years. Definitely worth the trip-what a perfect venue for showing their handiwork. Now crazy quilting–there is a combination of my love for […]
February 12, 2013

sewing for this holiday

Hello all, Mary Ellen here again. Is Valentine’s Day another Hallmark holiday? Do you celebrate it in any particular way? I should have posted this sooner but just found this compilation of Valentine sewing projects this morning. Some are easy enough to finish up for this year-others can go on file. Of course there is nothing wrong with giving a little special gift to someone for no reason at all. Maybe that’s the best kind actually. This is Random Acts of Kindness week so if your project isn’t done by V’s Day, give it anyway!
February 11, 2013

bits and pieces

Hi again, Mary Ellen here. Early in my blogging adventure with you (I think at our first provider) I posted a recipe for a chocolate cake for one which was a big hit. It was one of those “recipe in a mug” concoctions that you cook in the microwave for really quick results. I’ve found another one for you! This one is a chocolate chip cookie for one-done in about 10 minutes, they say. Can anyone tell I have a tremendous sweet tooth? I never get this excited over broccoli! Here’s the recipe! Fons and Porter are offering a free e-book of Civil War style quilt patterns if you sign up for their newsletter. One of the patterns is for a small Hummingbird/Periwinkle quilt. Here’s the spot. While looking around for more “modern” quilting to write about, I came upon this great tote bag made for a swap the LA […]
February 8, 2013

hummingbird or periwinkle?

Hello all, Mary Ellen again. Yesterday I watched another video from Jenny Doan at Missouri Star Quilt Company where she made her version of the antique quilt that has hung behind her in many of her earlier videos. I absolutely love that quilt. I always knew of the pattern as the hummingbird, but Jenny was calling it the periwinkle. I wanted to find out if they are just two names for the same block, or if perhaps there are small construction variations or proportion variations. Off I went to the site Quilt Index to have a look. I found quilts by both names and was able to take a good look. What I like about this site over some of the other wonderful similar sites is that one can pull up several photos of quilts side by side to compare them very easily. There also is a magnifying feature if […]
February 7, 2013

modern quilting

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Thanks to all for the kind words commenting on our “thread tales” here. Sometimes I think I’m talking to myself, but now it seems perhaps there are a bunch of good listeners out there. Paula commented that she feels drawn to “modern” quilting. I think I am too, but I’m going to guess that we may have different notions of what modern quilting is. From all the traveling to quilt blogs that I do, I’d say there isn’t a standard definition but perhaps just a few common threads (pun intended). Here are the threads I associate with making a quilt modern: lots of white space, bright colors, light gray used as background, solid fabrics used often, improvisational piecing often, but traditional blocks are very common as well. I’m also often surprised by how many of the younger modern quilters are using templates for their innovative […]