July 27, 2013

I’ve been MIA

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ve been MIA for a while now. Taking care of an elderly mom who has had several strokes. Things are beginning to come around; keep her in your prayers please. This post was in an e-mail this morning; since we’re having a visit from some of our WNY Modern Quilters to an upcoming guild meeting I thought this would be a perfect quick post.  Look around at their website while you’re there to get a peek at what some modern quilters are about.  Click here.
July 11, 2013

just wondering…

Hello all, Mary Ellen once again, If you’ve ever wondered why the thread tension on your machine is so important and sometimes so finicky, perhaps this animation of the formation of a stitch will clear up some of the confusion. Found a link to this at the selvage blog-great fun for fans of selvage quilts. Have a look here. If you’ve ever wondered how you could put zentangle into your quilts, here’s a nifty tutorial. Great for collectors or black and white fabrics like myself. Even small scraps could be put to use. (click here) I love this idea, and am definitely putting on my list. Some more “zentangle-ish” sketches from a quilter. Like the notebook idea she has. Scroll down a bit in her blog to see the “gray-haired” lady in her quilt. I can’t tell if the hair is selvages or just black and white strips, but I […]
July 5, 2013

what our quilts are worth

hello all, Mary Ellen back. I just came across this discussion at another blog on what our quilts are actually worth. I’m not talking the “sentimental” value. Quilts made and given from the heart are priceless. This discussion was among women selling quilts as an income. Those in the discussion are not the big name “professional” quilters, but are woman like us adding to the family income to pay for groceries, electricity, school clothes, prescriptions, etc. You know what I mean. Even though many were selling at craft shows or other small venues, they were wondering what they should charge for the time, materials and expertise in their items. I will admit that I usually under charge for the quilts/quilted items that I sell. Now that I look over the calculations in the post I will link to at the end, I am REALLY under charging. Granted there is a […]
July 3, 2013

red, white and blue

Hello all, Mary Ellen back. I need to finish a quilt. Back when we began the Lucy Goosey quilt-along here, I started making red, white and blue star blocks. It’s a UFO project. I’ve been working on the first version, the one done in tropical scraps, trying to get it finished as a summer project. As I hung the flag out front this morning, I thought I should get out some patriotic quilted pieces. Well…I don’t have many of them. Have to remedy that situation. Do you change out your quilts for the time of year, or for special days? How’s your collection of red, white and blue projects? Here is a gallery of patriotic quilts to inspire you. click here. Have a safe, fun, Fourth of July everyone!
June 30, 2013

Simplify again.

Back again, it’s ME. Yesterday since the selection of TV shows was so dismal, I started to go back through some of the things I’ve recorded on the DVR. I was way behind on the Sewing with Nancy shows and started there. I watched two episodes of a series where Nancy super-sized some of Grandma’s favorite one patch quilts. She did the tumbler block (thimble shaped) in one episode and Grandmother’s Flower Garden in the second. Those hexagon pieces are the latest pre-cut from Moda, joining the jelly rolls, charm packs, etc.  I’ll be interested to see how the designers show new quilters how to work with them. Usually the dreaded “Y-seam” puts people off. In Nancy’s technique she actually used half-hexies, (trapezoids to me the former math teacher), to completely avoid the Y-seam issue. You can watch those shows at her website I believe, since most of her past […]
June 29, 2013

a quilted Michelin man

ME back again, Here is a big name designer including our worst nightmares of quilted clothing in her ready-to-wear collection for this fall. If the model, who probably is as big around as one of my arms, looks like this in it, can you imagine any “real” woman’s figure being flattered by this coat? Couldn’t find many quotes of the price, but one I did find was $650. No there is not a missing decimal point. Six hundred fifty dollars. Yowza! Have a look here, and see if you will be see wearing one this year. If you will, I take it all back. It looks great on you!!
June 29, 2013

simplify

It’s ME again, After I finished perusing the book I talked about in yesterday’s post, I went to my other quilt book purchase: Simplify retro by Camille Roskelly. Camille is one of those “modern” quilters who is building a following on a national scale. She and her mom are the team of Moda fabric designers known as bonnie and camille. You might have loved the very popular Moda lines Ruby or Sky or Bliss that they designed. Camille’s premise in this book is using classic blocks, with modern fresh fabrics, often super-sizing the blocks. I’ve been looking for ways to make some of what I think of as the bedrock blocks of quilting, like a churn dash, or a log cabin, more fun for beginners. Generally I’ve liked those classic blocks in a smaller size, like a 4″ or 6″ or even smaller finished size. Seeing them over-sized has given […]
June 28, 2013

“We Love to Sew”

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. How are you this fine rainy day? I just finished marking a set of place mats for quilting. They will be another set of samples for the seminar class I am teaching this fall: Get Out of the Ditch. I borrowed some hand quilting stencils from our guild library and am adapting them for walking foot quilting. I used my favorite marker for this task: Crayola washable markers. That’s right, the ones kids buy for school. I have been using them for this sort of thing for several years and love it. They are very easy to work with, to see while stitching, and to wash out when you’re finished. It’s actually time for me to start watching for them as loss leaders in back to school supplies since some of mine are drying out and/or have worn out tips. Also time to stock up […]
June 26, 2013

shakin’ your booty

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Get up off that chair, step away from the machine and do the Quiltmaker Shuffle!! How fun this would be at a class or a meeting after we’ve all been sitting for too long!?  Give it a try, you already know the motions: hand stitching, free motion quilting, shopping, sewing, you’ll see. Lots of giggling to be had. click here to do the Quiltmaker Shuffle!
June 24, 2013

the next generation of quilters

Hi y’all, Mary Ellen here. If you’ve been following this blog for awhile then you know that I like to listen to Pat Sloan’s podcasts for American Patchwork and Quilting while I walk the dog. One segment of the most recent one was about a new author, Annabel Wrigley, and her book, We Love to Sew, containing projects for teaching tweens to sew and quilt. Great things at her blog too. click here to visit. I have a little sewing buddy who lives next door. She is the official babysitter for my dog, whenever I need someone to feed him or let him out when I’m at work or gone for long periods. She works for fabric. When she was tiny she asked me if I would teach her to sew. I told her when she turned 9 that we would start. She never let me forget it. We got […]