July 19, 2012

must see?

Hello ladies, Mary Ellen here. I will admit I’m not much of a movie goer. That said, this clip from the “HeyQuilty blog” caught my attention. “And I don’t mean to be crude, but if you think he looks good with a suit on, I’m telling you: Joe Manganiello NOT in a suit, sitting at a sewing machine? It’s good, folks. It’s real, real good.”( a plug for the movie “Magic Mike”) There’s Joe, in the photo below. What a cutie. So maybe I’ll be going to the movies soon.
July 17, 2012

Lunch time chat – who loves paper-piecing?

Hello everyone, I am here with just a quick, lunch-time chat to let you know that I have a new tutorial on my blog! If you love paper-piecing this small project might just be a thing to do while cooling down from summer heat: I call this one a Summer Song – hey I might even add a small appliqued bird in the center! 🙂 Anyway, this wreath is made from 4 similar blocks, both paper-pieced. Instructions on what you need and how to make it are here, on my blog. What I like about this block is that it can be very versatile, used in borders, small projects, to make a larger block…This is the exact project I use when teaching paper-piecing to beginners and the joy on their faces when EACH block turns perfect, EVERY time is what thrills me every time! I hope to see some of […]
July 16, 2012

guy quilters

Hello everybody, Mary Ellen again. When you see a man in a quilt shop, do you assume he’s there to buy a gift for his wife? If you see a man hand stitching under a shade tree, what do you surmise about him? Do we take for granted that stitching/quilting is a female domain? What about those gorgeous stitched kites that were in our quilt show this spring–made by a male stitcher? Whenever you see or hear about a guy who quilts, do you have a little voice in your head whispering something about his manliness? Is there a divide between sewing projects that are manly and those that are for the rest of us quilters? I sure hope we are beyond those stereotypes. Here’s an interview with a dad who quilts who is making quite a name for himself in the world of modern quilters. And here’s a link […]
July 15, 2012

what I’ve been up to

Hi again It’s ME. Got away from blogging for a bit, didn’t I? I was surprised to see how long it had been since my last posts, since I didn’t have anything impressive accomplished during my “hiatus”. I have been taking 2 online classes this month–one based on sewing, and one on my other favorite hobby of paper crafting. In a way the 2 classes are related. The sewing class is from Craftsy.com called Stupendous Stitching. The final project will be an “art” piece suitable for framing, based on machine decorative stitches, hand embroidery, and embellishing through couching etc. Right now I am working on what the instructor is calling a “stitch bible”. The idea is to make a sample book (fabric actually) of all the stitches that your machine will do, in the default mode and with changes to the stitch length and width. I have done this for […]
July 14, 2012

I’m back!

Hello everybody, it’s ME. The month of July has really gotten away from me. I’ve been busy with lots of odds and ends-have no big deal to report on. No fabulous vacation, or beautiful new room in my house. I have been in the garden quite a bit-mostly dragging a sprinkler around on a regular rotation schedule, and trying to keep up with the weeds. The ground is so hard that weeding is really a chore; usually my beds are nice and loose and the weeds come right out. Not this year. Getting set for a mulching and painting blitz outdoors next week-will have a young helper working with me with a strong back. I’ll be playing the “sidewalk superintendent” as my dad used to call it. I did finally get my next Lucy Goosey block done today. Will post a photo soon. Chose cool colors (blues and greens)-can’t imagine […]
July 10, 2012

Mid-summer chat

Hello everyone! I guess this amazing, hot summer has us all away from indoors and hence, from our computers, blogs, quilting…? TRUE or FALSE? In my case – a bit of both! Definitely spending more time outside of course, but then, when it becomes really hot, air-conditioning calls… and sewing in nice cooled-down room is just as good as sewing in a nice warm place while winter winds are blowing outside, right? If you ask me, I would be quilting just as much, but summer is also time for the garden, time for house remodeling…and I have been deeply into both! Just spent a long, 4th of July weekend remodeling our family room – started as “only needs fresh paint on the walls” and ended up with ripped out old carpet and installation of hardwood floors – yaiks! What can I say – now that kids are grown-up, family room […]
July 1, 2012

the goose is back

Good morning all, it’s ME. Can you believe it’s the first of July already? Wow! It’s time for the next Lucy Goosey star block. This one can be made to look very different dependent on your color placements. I’ve given you a few extra block skeletons so you can get out your crayons and experiment a bit before cutting your fabrics. Have fun with it. Remember you can jump in to this quilt-a-long whenever you want. If you haven’t done the other blocks you can skip them and start here, or go back in our archives and get the patterns to catch up. Not many rules for this project. Just have fun. Here’s the next pattern: lucy goosey #3-solstice
June 30, 2012

working out at the sewing machine

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Had my annual checkup this week, and got my annual advice about getting more exercise. As I decide annually, I will try to do more. (yah, right!) But to be honest I do notice that more than in my younger years, I feel tired and sometimes sore after a long session of stitching. Does that mean quilting is a workout? No, more likely pieces and parts are either suffering a bit from repetitive motion, or stiffening up from not enough motion. Recently on the Quilty video series (with Mary Fons, daughter of Marianne Fons of Fons and Porter fame) there was a video about stretching out before and after sewing. The nurse who was the guest gave several good ideas for quilters, many of which could easily be done right in your sewing chair. It would be good for all of us to take care […]
June 28, 2012

blog candy winner

Hey all, Mary Ellen here. Just got the random number to choose the blog candy winner from our little survey about sewing with shoes on or off.  Yay! the number 7 comment wins. Send me an e-mail (address in guild roster) so we can arrange how I’ll get your prize to you.
June 25, 2012

reversible binding

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I dug out an old pattern the other day which I have made many times. It was designed by Karen Montgomery, famous for her runner from striped fabric which uses the 60 degree triangle ruler. The date on this pattern is 1992. On oldie but goodie for sure. It is a “quilt as you go runner” which ends up reversible, with two different triangle/strippy designs on either side. She puts on a regular binding made with a fabric that matches both sides. I want to put a reversible binding on it, made with 2 fabrics so the binding that shows on either side matches the fabrics on that side. I have done this before, using directions from Anita Murphy. I think Anita came up with the “quilt as you go” method WAY before anyone else did. The trouble is that most of her things are […]