April 23, 2012

what else do you like to do?

Hello again. I have too many hobbies for the amount of time I have to spend. (and I have the supplies to go with them!) Just found out that my retired painting teacher is coming out of retirement and will again be offering classes. I haven’t done much painting in about 5 years. I think it might be the Irish in me, but I had just been thinking about how much I used to enjoy painting, wishing I could find another good teacher, when her letter arrived in the mail inviting me back to her class! Somewhat spooky, but not the first time something like that has happened. I also enjoy rubber stamping-mostly making cards for myself to use and for Operation Write Home. Different, but related color skills, than those used in quilt making. Found this blog post at a site I’ve followed for a while now. I love, […]
April 21, 2012

on the run

Hello all, Mary Ellen again. I’ve been running like a chicken with no head (can you youngsters picture that, or is it now one of those old expressions with no visual?) these days. I’ll bet any of you involved in getting the quilt show up and ready  are likewise. No time for much of a post today, but here is a link to a slideshow of quilts by Robbi Joy Eklow. Nothing I would ever make, but I love them, especially the Steampunk series. They are fused, artsy quilts in great vibrant hand dyed fabrics. Enjoy! More time tomorrow for blogging, especially if it is still raining. I need to transplant the things from two flower beds around the big maple that is coming down. Planning on tomorrow and Monday–but I have heard rumblings of the S word for Monday. Really? Aren’t we done with that yet? TTFN
April 20, 2012

your most valuable coin

Hello all, ME once more. “Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you don’t let other people spend it for you.” That’s a quote from John Dryden, English poet of 1600’s. Like all the other coins in our life, there is never enough time. How are you spending your time these days? (Is this quote the origin of our expression?) Are your quilt show things done or at least getting there? Here’s hoping you get to decide how to spend your time. I think that one of the best things about retirement is that most of those choices are now mine, not my employer’s. Now there are lots of times when I can say “no” to things that would take away from my time. Here’s a link to some very nice free quilt […]
April 18, 2012

All I can hear is….

…the humming of the sewing machines? Everyone busy, busy finishing the quilts for the Quilt Show? It seems a bit quiet here on our blog – where is everyone? 🙂 Well, I for one am “glued” to my sewing machine chair, every afternoon after work! Heck – the only reason I am writing this is because I finished work, waiting for hubby to be done, so in the meantime I can give myself a little luxury of web-browsing…and of course then I find interesting things that I have to share! 🙂 First, since we are all in the “finishing” mode (finishing quilts that is), I found few very useful things related to machine quilting. This blog is the one I mentioned a while ago and it has these really neat “Thread Talk from my sewing machine” occasional posts – lots of great inspiration of amazing free-motion quilting and then a […]
April 17, 2012

so how old is it?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. The oldest quilt in the Western World…how old is it? It’s been dated as between 1360-1400 AD. Where from? Sicily, Italy. Where is it now? In the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. What about it? Known as the Tristan quilt, it’s a wholecloth quilt, telling the story of Tristan and Isolde. Go to the link for a photo and its full story. Amazing to me that it is still around, in pretty good shape considering its age and past circumstances. That prompted me to spend a bit of time around the internet, looking for old quilts. Wow-what a mass of information is out there! I went to YouTube and searched for “history of quilts”. Too many results to summarize, but if this topic is of interest to you too, give that search a try. The history of quilts in general, the history of quilt […]
April 16, 2012

Monday lunch-time blurb…

Hi everyone, how was your weekend? I hope nice and relaxing! myself – haven’t had much time to relax, but it was nice! Lots of cooking and great family time – Saturday we had a farewell lunch for my daughter to see her off on one of her world travels for work (Nepal and Kenya this time), and then Sunday was our Easter – more cooking and good time with family and friends. Here is the result of family egg coloring (miraculously, my grown-up kids still indulge me in coming and doing this together – lucky me!)   : In Serbia, we have to fun Easter traditions – one is to have an “egg fight” (for the lack of better translation) on Easter morning: everyone picks one colored egg, you hold it in your hand and the other person taps on top of your egg with their egg – one of […]
April 15, 2012

Slow down Sunday

Good morning all, Mary Ellen here. Do you remember when Sundays used to be a day of rest? Stores were closed, not much was happening outside of the family. Maybe a musical performance, a club get together but generally it was a day to reflect and rewind. Couldn’t we please go back to that? Catching up on a few of my favorite blogs this morning. I tend to follow a group of rather “modern” quilters in blogland. I think it’s the fabrics they choose that I like so well. The blocks are generally just traditional ones done in a slightly tweaked way. Sometimes they are improvised or wonky, sometimes the pieces are skewed a bit-rectangles instead of squares, ovals instead of circles for example, often they are just as they’ve been made for a hundred years. One quilter I’ve always associated with free form wonky blocks is Gwen Marston. Her […]
April 14, 2012

Need a smile?

Hello again, Found this on another quilter’s blog. If you aren’t smiling when you finished watching this little film about a 9 year old with a great imagination, then your heart is made of stone. There still are people who will go out of their way to make a little boy’s day. Thanks so much for that!
April 14, 2012

what’s new in baby quilts?

Hello all, ME again. Just got an e-mail a few days ago from a young man I mentored while I was teaching. He and I locked horns a few times, resolved our issues, and have become friends. He loves gardening as I do and we have traded many plants. He keeps my most tender plants in his classroom over the winter and brings them back to me for their summer vacation in my garden. He has provided some muscle for me, when the plants I wanted to divide and move were too much for my somewhat (?) older back. Anyway he and his wife (who took my place when I retired; that’s how he met her. I get some credit for that match by default then, don’t you think?) are soon to have their first baby. And a request has come for a custom baby quilt. Of course I am […]
April 13, 2012

the simple life

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Going to try to have a simple day today. Going to grocery store to find something non-processed for dinner. I’m thinking homemade pasta fagiola. One of my college roommates, 100% Italian, had a mom who thought I should be able to make a few “from scratch” Italian specialties. There was no sauce in a jar to be found in her house. She always served pasta fagiola when I visited since I loved it, and it was the first recipe she taught me. Definitely is a humble folksy dish. I have modified it a bit-added a second type of bean, and a second tomato product, but she would recognize it-I haven’t gone Food Network on it at all. (Let me know if you’d like the recipe; there’s another feature of this blog I could try!) It’s even better the second day, which is a good thing […]