August 30, 2012

Where has the summer gone?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Despite the facts of our weather this summer, it seems like summer has been very short. Trying to squash lots of fun into the few days remaining. Went to the zoo yesterday with the 5 year old twin boys I have mentioned here before. Made the mistake of buying them each a glass of orange pop early in the adventure! Acted like hi-test gasoline in those little engines. We did the zoo at a very fast clip. The weather was perfect for the day-so many families and school groups were there enjoying it as well. Lots-o-fun! Picked up a new quilt magazine the other day at Wegmans. It’s called Generation Q. I’ve followed their blog for a while now. (The Q is for quilting.) It says on the cover that it’s the premiere issue-no subscriptions yet. I often start reading a quilt magazine with the […]
August 20, 2012

Say sha-tock-qwa

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I was surprised to find that title phrase at the top of one of the blogs I periodically visit. When I sounded it out, I thought “is that Chautauqua?” and I was right. All of us around here know about the fall Chautauqua quilting weekend. Mary Fons, daughter of quilting rock star Marianne Fons, who is taking up the reins that Liz Porter put down for retirement will be at Chautauqua with her mom this fall. See her post about it here. Many of you have tasted and loved Linda Hunter’s easy butterscotch cake. She sent her recipe to me to share with all of you.Click here Butterscotch Cake Recipe for the recipe. Are you into English paper piecing? Love those Grandmother’s flower garden quilts made with gazillions of hexagons? You might be interested in this new book Hexa-go-go and the blog tour about it. […]
August 18, 2012

not your grandma’s yo-yo’s

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Are you like me, buying lots of “one-use” gadgets for your sewing? If so, you probably have at least one of those Clover brand yo-yo makers in your sewing room somewhere. Maybe it’s a basic circle, for the traditional yo-yo shape. Or perhaps you went for one of the unusual ones-the heart, or the pentagonal flower, or the butterfly. Here’s a clever use of those tools, from the designers at Nancy’s Notions. Nancy demonstrates in this video how to use those yo-yo tools for a smocked effect. This really got my creative juices flowing. What can I do with this idea? The holidays are on the horizon-this effect makes a simple technique look quite glamorous. I love those kinds of things, don’t you? Sometimes it’s so easy to fool the recipient of your gift into thinking it took hours to make it, and quite a […]
August 12, 2012

Kim Diehl freebies

Hey y’all, ME here. Just was listening to an interview done by Pat Sloan with Kim Diehl on the American Patchwork and Quilting weekly podcast. If you haven’t tried those out yet, give them a listen some time. I find them perfect for listening while walking that same old boring route with the dog each morning. I had a chance to eat dinner with Kim when she and Jo Morton were our seminar teachers a few years ago. What a nice lady-very “normal” and friendly. Just like a neighbor or colleague might be. (well…some neighbors and colleagues, anyway!) She mentions her freebies in the interview. Here’s a link to her freebie section; lots of goodies there for fans. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making her free ornament for some folks this Christmas.
August 9, 2012

Wednesday’s lunch-time ramblings…

Hello everyone, yes, I do know today is Thursday…but read on, I’ll explain… 🙂 These summer days, as long as they are, don’t seem to have enough hours in them for everything! Sorry for not posting in some time, as always – promise to do better! 🙂 Anyway…how is everyone’s summer? Are you thinking holidays yet? Making gifts already? I just love, love love Mary Ellen’s instructions for those triangular coasters! (previous post) Those are promptly added to my favorite list of small gifts to make – thanks ME! As we start to rev-up our sewing, quilting and holiday gift making, some new tools might be of help…I just saw this blog post from Moda (fabric manufacturer) and …hmmm, not sure what to think about these QUILT STICKS! What do you think? Another inspiration came from the recent email that came from our Newsletter fairy, Colleen, about Karen Goddard’s quilt […]
August 9, 2012

Orange you glad I didn’t say…

Hello all, ME here. I was trying to remember, unsuccessfully, a silly knock-knock joke from my childhood that had a punch line that began with “orange you glad I didn’t say…”. That’s all I can remember. If you know this joke, please send it to me to put me out of my misery! Anyway, got an e-mail today from Quilting Arts about color choices. It seems “Tangerine Tango” is the 2012 color of the year from Pantone. Have we seen shades of orange everywhere this year? Not me, although I’ve stayed out of the stores more than usual. Thinking about the new quilt fabrics I’ve fondled so far this year, I do recall lots of orange. I’ve even purchased some yardage of a fabric with paisley in shades of orange and turquoise. So hot and summery looking. Here’s a link to a blog post from Quilting Arts about orange in […]
August 5, 2012

that 60 degree triangle ruler

Hello all, ME here. Wow, I went out to walk the dog this morning at about 7:15. I always check my kitchen weather station just before we leave so I know if I will need a jacket or not. It’s a habit, so even during the summer I check. It was 83 degrees at 7:15! This is not my idea of a great summer day, fans. I want it cooler in the evenings and early mornings. It was very gray and windy while we walked, so the old-fashioned method of forecasting tells me rain is coming-but I think it might be a heck of a storm instead of a steady soaker like we need. Yesterday I gave demos at a local shop-some of which were giving ideas for using the 60 degree triangle ruler that many quilters have. Once you have made the striped fabric table runner, what else can […]
August 2, 2012

Who is Ami Simms?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I have been a fan of Ami’s quilting patterns, books and teaching, almost since I started to quilt. I am so glad to have learned Ami’s invisible applique stitch a long time ago. I use it for almost everything I need to hand stitch, where I want my stitches to be completely unseen. I rarely take the time to hand stitch my bindings to the back of my quilts, but when I do, I use her stitching method. You truly can not see any stitches, and if I have been careful enough there are no puckers or traces of any kind to give hints of where the hidden stitches are. There is no need to use matching thread for the stitching, they are so invisible! At her website she still sells the book from which I learned this stitch, many moons ago! I got Ami’s […]
July 29, 2012

Lucy Goosey block #4–wonky star

Hello all,  Mary Ellen here. I know that this fourth block is going to make some of you very antsy. No, it’s not paper piecing again. It’s a liberated block-I prefer to call them wonky (love that word!)–inspired by the work of designer Gwen Marston. If you are of fan a quick cutting, no measuring, and relaxed precision (is there such a thing?), you will love her work and will enjoy this block. If you are of the camp that will take out a seam 5 times to make sure the points match, then this block is going to send your blood pressure up. Have a glass of an adult beverage, just enough to relax your standards but not enough to make you dangerous with a rotary cutter! Take a few deep cleansing breaths, maybe do a few yoga stretches and then read on! Here is a link to the […]
July 29, 2012

plan for the stash dawgs

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I had an inspiration over coffee this morning. I know that there are dawgs out there in your stashes even though no one has yet admitted to one. How about if each of us with a dawg, cuts a fat quarter of it, puts it in a plain brown paper bag, and seals it up tight. Then at an agreed upon guild meeting we swap bags. A few months later we all reveal the project we made which includes the dawg fabric. Anyone game? If I get a few of you who are willing to play, I will organize (what little is needed!) the swap and come up with  1 or 2 ground rules.  Or maybe this could be one of our next guild challenges? Lynne, are you out there? What do you think?