August 27, 2015

Carol again

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. At the end of July I wrote 2 posts about Carol Bryer Fallert whose quilts and awards changed the trajectory of quilting. She gave machine quilting its stature in the quilting world, I feel. The quilting police were forced to recognize the skill and artistry that are required to quilt projects by machine, whether those machines are long arms, mid arms or, for most of us, our domestic machines. If you’re going to be in Massachusetts this fall you might want to visit the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts to see a retrospective of Carol’s work. What spectacular quilts you’d get to see; it might be worth making a special trip with this exhibition as your destination. Click here for details.
August 21, 2015

great shoes…!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Very short post. Look at these great shoes. Perfect for fabric fanatics, I think. Thanks to Cathy C. for this info. She saw them at the Lewiston Art Festival. Click here.
August 19, 2015

What would you pay for a quilt?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I think we all know that most of us hope our quilts are priceless–that they are loved and treasured by those to whom we give them. But let’s be business women for a moment. Many quilters sell their work as their livelihood or to supplement the family’s income. What do you think is a fair price for a quilt? I have seen quilts that I felt were mispriced in both directions. I have seen work at some of the craft shows that abound in the pre-holiday season that I think are very overpriced. Cheap fabrics and poor workmanship give shoppers a false impression of the work that many quilters produce. On the other hand I have also seen many quilters grossly underprice their work-sometimes not even charging enough to pay themselves back for their materials, let alone their time and talent. Have a look at […]
August 14, 2015

back to school…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Are you also trying to squeeze a lot of summer into the little bit that remains before school starts again? Why do we do that, even when we aren’t going back to school? I will admit that when I was still teaching for my supper, I hated to see the first back to school ad-whether it was a print ad or on tv. They seemed to come earlier and earlier each summer. I would boycott that business for awhile in my own childish protest at summer’s speed in passing. Nowadays I like to comb the back to school ads looking for bargains on school supplies that I can re-purpose into my quilting. Sometimes the item will be a store’s loss leader and the savings will be phenomenal! I’ll list of few of my favorites for you. If you’ve heard any of my lectures, or taken […]
July 29, 2015

Carol’s quilt

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I told you in my last post that when I found the correct information about Carol Bryer Fallert’s quilt, that I would share it here. Here’s a link to the story of that quilt that galvanized the quilting community. Many folks thought (in 1989) that a completely machine constructed quilt wasn’t really a quilt. Hand quilting was something that the purists weren’t willing to relinquish. It seems funny today when machine quilting your own quilts and sending them to long-armers is generally accepted among most quilters. I will say that there are a few quilters I know who still feel that hand quilting is automatically better somehow than machine quilting. Here’s a link to the information about the quilt that got the quilting community talking! Click here.
July 29, 2015

big name in quilting

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. If you are a true quilt “fanatic” then you are likely very familiar with the name Carol Bryer Fallert. When you see one of her quilts, you know you are looking at a Carol quilt. She has been recognized as one of the most influential quilters in America. I was researching Carol’s work, looking for a picture of her quilt which was the breakthrough prize winner that gave machine piecing and quilting a place in those top prize winners at Paducah and Houston. Until Carol’s quilt got the conversation moving through it’s controversy, the “quilt police” thought that only hand quilted works deserved those big prizes. (When I find the quilt I’m looking for, I will add it to this post. I don’t want to make an error and tell the wrong story). In this researching process, I came across this post in which Carol […]
July 26, 2015

OMG! Never, ever, ever hold pins in your mouth!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I think this article explains it all. I will break this habit TODAY! Click here.
July 26, 2015

easy summer recipe

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Although it’s going to be pretty hot for turning on the oven, here’s a very easy recipe for using all the great fresh fruits and berries of the season. Mix together 1 can of crushed pineapple (20 oz) and the dry ingredients of an angel food cake mix. That’s it-nothing else. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 min. (Do the toothpick test for doneness). As it cools the center will sink, not to worry. This will have the texture of a sponge cake. Serve with fresh fruit and cool whip. Yummy! and can’t get much easier. Let me know what you think. Got this recipe off the radio, and it was a hit with my family. And if you like them easy, have you seen these recipes? Click here.
July 19, 2015

Take the pledge

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. If you are of a certain age, that phrase has an entirely different meaning to you than it will in this post. I spent some time this morning looking around on Pinterest for NY Beauty block quilting designs. Didn’t find what I was looking for, but ran across this series of posts instead. Click here. I took the pledge this morning. I am often asked questions by my quilting students which have answers all boiling down to one simple fact. I make my quilts to be used; “for keeps” is the phrase the author uses. I would rather have them used up, worn out, stained with grape jelly, or skidded with green grass and red dirt stains than have them be still in pristine condition 20 years from now. That is why I prewash my fabrics (baby skin is so sensitive to chemicals in fabric […]
July 17, 2015

Are you a cut up?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. We had our monthly guild meeting last evening. Committee chairs spoke about their groups, activities and how one can get involved if so desired. It is amazing to me how much we have going on in our guild. We can rightfully be proud of all of the charity work that gets made and given away with little, if any, fanfare. True giving from the heart (and hands). Lori R and I demonstrated our guild’s Accuquilt machine. It is available for any of our members to use whenever the BNHV is open. You can find documents of what dies we own at our guild’s web page. Some of our members were not aware we owned the machine, and some of our long time members had not seen how easy it is to operate. In today’s e-mail I got a link to a video where a shop […]