November 20, 2013


Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’m back at the sewing machine in earnest now. The yard work is done, and the machine is back from its tune up. I hate sending it away, but it does make a difference in its performance and sound. Working on a Christmas table runner from an Edyta Sitar pattern, and a springy wall hanging that is a sample for a class I will be teaching in April. Was cruising some of my favorite sewing blogs this morning and came across these cool pattern weights. At least that’s what the designer had in mind for them, but I can see some other uses as well. I love their shape and when she used the correct mathematical term for them in her directions I was sold. Tetrahedrons–yep. You can take the girl out of the classroom but I still like to call things by their correct […]
November 17, 2013

Got a nickel?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I thought after working outdoors almost all day yesterday that my yard work was finished for this season. Nope. When I opened the shades this morning, more leaves have appeared. While most of the trees in the neighborhood are bare, apparently a few are still holding on. I knew about the willow in the yard behind me which holds its leaves through the winter even. But where did these maple leaves come from? Maybe the winds today and tonight will take them away for me. I can only hope. If you’ve been a quilter for awhile, you’ll remember the nickel quilt rage. Before Moda grabbed the concept and started putting out precut charm packs, we used to cut our own 5 inch squares. (Five inch : 5 cents, hence nickel… for the newbies) Pat Speth put out several books that were ever so popular around […]
November 12, 2013

yoogly fabric

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. We all have some. Yoogly fabric I mean.What is it? Say it out loud a couple of times and I think you’ll get it. I have quite a bit of it actually–yoogly by other people’s standards especially. For a while after I retired I made custom eye spy quilts. They each had pictures to correspond to every letter in the alphabet. In order to do that, and be able to make “boy” eye spies and “girl” eye spies, I collected novelty fabrics galore. Some of which, when standing alone, are darn yoogly. But I think “yoogly” is in the eye of the beholder. Most of them I prefer to call quirky. This post  (click here) from Quiltmaker talks about a yoogly fabric swap. That might be a fun thing to do if the limits were kind of free and easy. There is a quilt made […]
November 11, 2013

Christmas crafting and whatnot

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Ever since I was a girl the approach of the holidays has meant crafting. I mean crafting in high gear, not the relaxed now and then crafting that goes on year round. I’m talking assembly line, 10 or 12 at a time kind of crafting. We would make ornaments for the tree, wreaths for the doors, and gifts for everybody-neighbors, friends, teachers, the mailman, etc., etc., etc. I still approach the holidays with the same crafty spirit. It’s part of the fun for me-the making of the craft as much as the giving. Right now I’m looking for pre-made muslin bags for some homemade lavender sachet. I’ll have to decorate the bags in some way…I suppose I could make my own bags as well, but there is a limit! I like to make my own Christmas cards too.  Here’s a clever idea for using some […]
November 6, 2013

Wednesday’s Wanderings…to Market again!

Hi everyone, as I wonder around cyber-space and blogosphere, everything still buzzes about the recent Quilt Market in Houston – what was most popular, what was fun, eye-candy…anything. So I thought you would want to know too! Here is one from Moda fabric, they talk about how it all comes together for the big show – see it HERE . But keep scrolling down, there is more in previous posts! One of the leading modern quilters, Victoria Findley-Wolfe gives a simple slide show from the Festival (eye-candy!) HERE Speaking of eye-candy, I was so taken by this wonderful video, made by Alex Anderson, about the special exhibit of Libby Lehman’s quilts. Many of you know Libby’s work and hopefully you even took a class with Libby when she was our Seminar teacher (that was my second time and loved it all!). She is an amazing artist and a very good […]
November 5, 2013

What’s Up with Me…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Been playing catch up lately. First, do you remember that I announced a run for some blog candy after we hit out 40,000 visitor milestone? I bet some of you thought I forgot all about it. I didn’t forget, but I did put it on the back burner for a while. I have since counted up how many comments have been made since I threw down the gauntlet and will shortly be announcing the winners. I plan to award the prizes at our November guild meeting. Thanks to all who have commented; please keep it up. It’s an incentive to me to keep posting when I know some one is reading. I keep a little notebook of quilting ideas for “out of the ditch” quilting done with a walking foot. I love the chevron quilting on the quilt here. I’ll be adding this one to […]
November 1, 2013

What’s Up with You?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What’s going on in your sewing and crafting space these days? I just finished a bunch of mason jar transformations, all using fabric, for a demo at the shop where I work. They all were fun, but I think I enjoyed working with the wool the best. It has been a while since I’ve done that. Some of you may remember our guild garage sales that we have had a few times. At the last one we had, I scored a bunch of wool from Betty L. who was moving south. Some was already felted, and the rest I did myself. There was enough fill 2 Rubbermaid storage bins. I’ve made many a project using the wool and have barely made a dent. I’ll include a photo of the jar cuffs I made with the wool. This project got me thinking that I should do […]
October 28, 2013

Quilt Market time….and some quick inspirations

Hi everyone, hope you are having a great fall and pre-holiday season! Stitching feverishly all those hand-made gifts? SHHH…don’t tell, but I kinda decided in my head that this year I will give my family all things made by me…one way or the other! Lets see if I can do it, but will report here how it goes. How about you – handmade for gifts or not, this year? This past weekend, I was not too productive in that regard, partly due to home-improvement projects still going on and partly due to gawking into my iPad in every break – following all the exciting new things at International Quilt Market in Houston. Market is a trade show, open to quilting professionals only (not public) where all the new things coming are exhibited – new fabrics, patterns, notions, trends… It is then followed by the famous International Quilt Festival in Houston […]
October 23, 2013

Halloween quilts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Do you have quilts that you only use at certain times of the year, or for certain special days? I’m talking about not just bed quilts, but any type of quilted project–table toppers, pillow covers, place mats, wall hangings, … I have more quilts that are wall hangings than anything else. I do make bed sized quilts, but not nearly in the numbers as my other types of projects. Why? Mostly for the fact of having the project finished sooner, I guess. A bed quilt is a long-term project in my book. Often I have one underway that I work on in between my other things. My favorite way is to have the pieces going as leaders and enders (see Bonnie Hunter’s site for this idea. She’s our seminar national teacher for 2014; I learned this idea from Bonnie.) I’ve been getting out a few […]
October 3, 2013

hunting for Bonnie

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Did you get your latest copy of Quiltmaker magazine? I think it might be my favorite of all the quilt magazines I subscribe to. Our next seminar national teacher, Bonnie Hunter, is a regular contributor to Quiltmaker. I like the scrap ideas she submits-see page 62 “addicted to scraps”. This month that’s all she’s got, but some months she has additional articles in the magazine. Bonnie just finished up a 3 part mystery quilt through the last 3 issues. Start watching for her in your issue, and in other magazines to get a feel for her style. At seminar one of our members told me that her sister and a friend are making a special trip to seminar next year from out-of-state because they love Bonnie so much. And she says that Bonnie is like a stand up comedienne–so funny! Looking forward to the lecture […]