March 3, 2016

a grand old gal

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. This video came on my Facebook feed yesterday. It’s about an 88 year old quilter, still going strong. She lives in Indiana, not too far from where I once lived as a youngster. I hope I’ll be as spry as she is when I reach her age. Does she remind you of anyone in your life? Look at the quilts all over her house. I think I might be approaching her collection’s size, but not there yet! Click here to see the video.
February 28, 2016

Who quilts your quilt?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ve been working on several projects lately that all had deadlines. Because of the time crunch I decided I would quilt one myself that I would usually have sent to my favorite long arm quilter. The style of the quilt is somewhat modern, so I decided to try out some of the very dense quilting that one sees on so many of the Pinterest quilts. I did lots of wavy walking foot quilting and some free motion in opposite corners. The quilt measures about 48″ x 60″. I have a new appreciation for women who quilt bed size quilts on their domestic machines. Granted, my set up of my sewing room does not lend itself to positioning lots of tables around me to support the weight of the quilt. That’s my “fault” I guess you could say. I did put my ironing board next to […]
February 16, 2016

wabi sabi

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Sometimes I get great ideas for blog posts sent to me by a reader. Karen G., a member of our guild, put me onto this blog post from that great shop, Quilter’s Corners, in Ithaca. I had never heard of wabi sabi, which turns out to be a Japanese philosophy. It espouses appreciating simpler things and embracing imperfections in daily living. For those of us quilters who are “recovering perfectionists” (a term borrowed from Beth Ferrier, a past seminar teacher for us), wabi sabi is a concept to explore. If you are interested after reading this post from Ithaca (click here ), maybe we should come up with a banner design to hang in our sewing rooms to remind us!
February 11, 2016

cleaning up

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I took the opportunity today to throw a few quilts in the wash. I have some scrappy quilts, certainly not heirlooms, that I usually have on my couches to protect them from my dog. He likes to get comfortable wherever the sun in pouring in on his back. The quilts collect dirty paw prints and lots of hair (maybe I should join the weaver’s guild to learn how to spin his very prolific hair into a usable yarn? No, I don’t think so. That’s just a little too weird, although I have read about it on the internet. A very reliable information source…Not!) When I wash those couch quilts I just toss them in with towels, cool water, regular detergent and away we go. They go into the dryer along with the towels. In the summertime I take them out after a few minutes and […]
February 5, 2016

button, button, who’s got…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Like many of us, I have WAAAAYYY too much sewing stuff in my craft room. I have become the repository curator for many of my friends who get sewing or crafting things given to them by friends and family. Yesterday I was attempting to reorganize some shelves to make room for more stuff (why don’t I just get rid of some of it? Oh no! I might be able to use it some day!) and decided that I need to come up with some projects to use buttons. I’m talking lots of buttons. You know those boxes that are made for storing 4 x 6 photos, slightly larger than a shoe box? Well I have about 8 of those of buttons. One is full of white/cream buttons, another dark buttons, another metallic buttons, etc. So today when I got an e-mail from Fave Crafts about […]
January 28, 2016

your grandmother’s quilts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Do you get tired of the cliche that only grandmothers quilt? That your quilt is “not your grandmother’s quilt? That when a non-quilter comes upon a quilt of yours one of the first things apt to be said is “my grandmother used to quilt”? Don’t get me wrong-I have quilts made by my “foremothers” and I treasure them. But…my quilts are not like the ones they used to make. I admire their needle skills but I don’t want to imitate their quilting style. Apparently I’m not the only one. A recent entry in the blog of Quilters Newsletter Magazine shares the author’s view on this whole “conversation”. Click here. See what you think about it all and share a comment, why don’t ya?!
January 22, 2016

Hello…how are you?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. It has been a while since I’ve posted here. I’ve been making samples for classes, alternating with preparations to begin registrations for our new “Saturday Seminar Series”. Check it out as it gets posted at our guild’s page. The committee, my co-chair Jan, and I are hoping that you’ll find several classes to interest you this year. We’ve worked hard to incorporate all of the suggestions given, and to resolve your concerns. We’re hoping that our members, and their friends who are always welcome to join us, will be pleased with the changes we’ve made. Seminar has been a tradition for over 40 years in our guild–we’re hoping to honor the goals of seminar even with the changes that had to be made. I’ve been accumulating some quick links to interesting posts at other web sites-with help from some of our members. So without further […]
December 31, 2015

projects for 2016

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Beginning to get life back to normal in this household. Still will have to take down and put away the holiday decorations, but otherwise life is much calmer. I leave my decorations up until the Epiphany at least. We always had to wait to put the Magi near the creche on the 6th. I have seen lots of Christmas trees at the curb already. Even a few were out on the 26th. How about you? Are your holiday things already packed away, or do you stretch it out a bit? I’ve got a few quilting resolutions for myself that I’ll share. And I’m asking you to share a resolution or two in a comment after you’re done reading. Okay? Last year I resolved to use more orange in my quilts and I think I accomplished that well. It was a reach for me since in […]
December 18, 2015

checking in on a few details

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. We are just about finished with the switch to our new web format and provider. I’m asking you to let me know if you have signed up for e-mail notifications of a new blog post, and are NOT receiving them. If you got an e-mail notification about this post that you are reading now, you don’t need to do anything–you are all up to date as far as this blog goes. If you had been subscribed to our old blog, or recently signed up (in the past 2 weeks or so) for this one and did not get an e-mail notification about today’s post, please do 2 things. 1) subscribe for the notifications in the left sidebar and 2) let me know about the glitch. We want to get things squared away with our web guy before the final payment is sent. Now that business […]
December 13, 2015

last minute gifts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Have you recently discovered that there is going to be a gift exchange at your book club, or your “mommy” group? …or that your gift cards for the postman, newspaper delivery person, nail girl look kind of lame stuck on their cardboard backing? Here is an easy fabric ornament that you could whip up in fairly short time (if there’s any of that to spare!!). I have made these before and they really do go together quickly. I would follow Ami’s directions up to the handstitching part and then follow Kevin’s lead from there on out. I have not found it necessary to put in the firmer backer that Ami added, although it is nice if you want to have a place to write the year or a short message. I have never seen that sticky backed template plastic that she used. Has anyone of […]