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 […]
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 […]