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!
May 12, 2013

controversial quilts

Hello all, Mary Ellen again. We’ve been talking about the modern quilting movement and their recent gathering QuiltCon here at the blog of late. One quilt hung in the show at QuiltCon has caused quite a stir among quilters. It definitely “ain’t your grandma’s quilt”! But first let’s back track a bit. In the early 2000’s a group of quilters in Lawrence Kansas wanted to erase some of the “goody two shoes” from the image of quilters and worked together to make a quilt depicting the demise of Sunbonnet Sue. Many quilters were incensed by this attack on the beloved traditional pattern. Apparently some parts of quilting are to be held sacred. Here is a link to an image of the quilt, now residing in a university archives in Michigan. At the International Quilt Show in Houston in 2010, Rochester quilter Randall Cook caused a commotion with his art quilt […]
May 12, 2013

cheery projects

Hello all, it’s ME again. I’ve been looking around for some cheerful warm weather type projects. I’ll share a few I’ve found. Love to check in at Purlbee now and then. They have great project ideas for both knitting and quilting, two hobbies I enjoy. This one is actually stitchery more than patchwork, but that’s where I found it at the site. Great looking coasters–they’ve used wool felt, but craft felt would work too. It just wouldn’t be as absorbent when your Long Island ice tea glass begins to sweat. click here. I know we’re past Easter, but in my backyard we are into full swing bunny season. They tell all their friends to come to the salad bar at Mary Ellen’s. It’s hard to keep them from some of the perennial shoots-particularly they seem to love the bachelor buttons (centaurea, I think is the Latin name). So here’s the […]
May 10, 2013

drooling over dresdens

Hello all, Mary Ellen back again, After writing yesterday’s post, I got dresden plate blocks stuck in my head so I went exploring. I found some neato variations on the traditional block. Not all are easy-peasy but they all are keen! Enough already! Spoiler alert, many are paper pieced to get perfect sized wedges. This one is a off center swirled dresden:click here. A very modern angular dresden: click here. a peppermint pinwheel block: click here. dresden plate lampshade!: click here. ideas for finishing the middle of your dresden plate. The best one is shown on the very chic purse at the beginning of the post-it’s the dimensional rose. Love it! click here. I think this is what I meant yesterday about getting so much mileage out of a few great classic blocks. Enjoy!
May 8, 2013

the charm of traditional blocks

Hello all, It’s Mary Ellen back again. Between the garden, and the sewing machine I haven’t had much time at the blog lately. So I’ll try to catch up a little bit today. I taught a class today on designing your own “drunkard’s path” layout. Part of the class was also learning how to stitch that curve in the block without any puckers. I must say all the students were successful at that. YAY! Accurate cutting and very few pins are the keys in my book. I used Anita Murphy’s drunkard’s path book as a resource (thanks again, Helen). We also went a bit high-tech and used Google images to see SO many gorgeous variations on it. I had brought color photos, but one of the students had her iPad with her so we went on the internet. The students were floored by the versatility of the “module”. I think […]
May 1, 2013

Wednesday’s wanderings…

…is back! 🙂 Again have to apologize for being MIA. Life just runs over me sometimes… 🙂 April wasn’t the best of months around here…(see my blog for the story), but after all April showers DO bring May flowers, spring is in full force around here and it is time to “wake-up”, renew, enjoy the sunshine in your face and grow, grow, grow….Mother nature is so good about all that, we just need to follow! 🙂 Don’t you just LOVE all these first blooms, riots of spring color? I can easily go out for about 10 minutes and come back in with over 100 photos on my digital camera! All of which are quilt inspirations of course… Every spring, this is the color that fascinates me: This incredibly vibrant, “in-your-face” green that is in all the new growth! Specially when it is either against the gray of the tree bark […]
April 30, 2013

morning musings

Hello all, I’m back. Mary Ellen here. I’ve been doing a lot of stitching lately. I’m getting my samples for my seminar class (Get out of the ditch, class K) ready. Actually I have many samples of the quilting techniques around my house in a variety of projects. Your friend the walking foot is capable of many fun designs, once you free yourself from the “quilt in the ditch” box. I’m making up another set of the placemats we’ll be making in class to use as bases for the quilting. It’s hard to choose which fabrics will photograph well for our website, and to choose the 4 quilting motifs to use that will entice you all to take my class. I’m certain you’ll be pleased with the class if you attend, but I need to get a good teaser prepared to convince you of that. I’m also finding that all […]
April 16, 2013

love those hexagons

Hello all, Mary Ellen here again. I think I’ll share a bit more hexagon love today. Nothing quite as neat as the way hexagons will nest together and provide so much more interest than some of the other shapes that will nest (tessellate actually). Even Mother Nature loves a hexagon–think snowflakes, honeycomb cells, crystals… There aren’t very many regular shapes that will do this-squares, rectangles, equilateral triangles. There are ways to construct shapes that will nestle nicely–but they aren’t easy to piece as quilts, and it would require a math lesson to talk about those, so I’m not going there. Here’s a bit more of hexagon math for those who might want to design something of your own using this versatile shape. This is from the Quiltmaker magazine blog: click here. At the Hexie Love board at Pinterest that Quiltmaker has set up (click here) you’ll find wonderful ideas for […]