November 6, 2015

charming trays

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Do you think the end of the falling leaves is coming soon? The piles of leaves at the curb are quite high, the Town hasn’t even made one pick up run yet, and my yard is really getting covered today. I’m hoping that these variable temperatures, rain and wind are going to bring down the rest of them so I can finish up and declare fall finished for 2015. Raking leaves is not as fun as it was in my childhood when all the families would make a huge leaf pile, and then we’d set it afire and cook hot dogs! Of course that was many, many moons ago before all of those pesky rules about open fires were put into place to protect us. How did we ever make it to adulthood with all the “dangerous” (air quotes) things our parents let us do! […]
November 4, 2015

Handmade Holidays

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Ever since I was a little girl I have made gifts at the holiday time, and made decorations, and made cookies, etc. etc. The holidays have always been a time for crafting. Judging by the displays in most of our local stores, it is now officially holiday time. I even came across a radio station which is already playing Christmas tunes 24/7. That’s over the top in my book. Anyway if you are a bit like me and enjoy making all sorts of things for the holidays, you might enjoy this website’s annual tradition. They call it Handmade Holidays. There is a theme each day, with a list of projects fitting the theme. They explain it much better than I can summarize, and if you like you can look back through what they have featured in years past. So here you go–let the crafting begin. […]
October 23, 2015

starting on the Christmas gift trail

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Was at the hairdresser this week and the hot topic was how close we are getting to Christmas! Just about 8 weeks to get all that shopping done. Well, those of you who have kept up with our gifting challenge here on the blog should be in good shape. You’ve got 10 gifts complete if you stuck to our timeline—LOL! I hope you have a few done anyway-those UFO’s that you intended to finish up. Remember?? Sure you do. If not, here’s a very quick idea for the teens and twenty-somethings on your list or maybe even for yourself if you need some warm hats for winter. This video came in my e-mail today and I have a sweater that I bought in Scotland years back that will be perfect for it. Isn’t it funny how sweaters just shrink up when left in the drawer […]
September 28, 2015

the heat over Frixion pens

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. In every class I teach where marking the fabric is involved, the topic of Frixion pens comes up. I use Frixion pens for some of my marking, but I am very careful about the placement of their marks. When Frixion pens first hit the quilting world, I did some experimenting on my own, and some research at the company website. Quilters love the nice fine line markings they make, and how easy it is to remove them with a little heat. I thought that a red line drawn by a Frixion pen would be a perfect marking for the red work embroidery I was doing at that time. The problem is…those markings are not really gone. Here’s an article written by a quilter who did her own research, (click here), and who contacted the company to get their input. I will tell you that the […]
September 15, 2015

What’s up with you?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Busy, busy, busy! Even though I no longer am going back to school at the start of September, life really ramped up for awhile. How about for you? Let’s check on a few things. How are you coming on the gift-a-long challenge? Remember? The challenge was to make/finish a gift each month this year so when the holidays roll around, you have quite a few gifts ready to go. I’ve gotten a few more things finished since my last update but I’m not at #9 for September! I think I’ll look around for a few UFO’s which are very close to completion to see if I can get back on track. Awhile back I talked about a selvage project I am working on which uses a 60 degree triangle ruler as well. That project is in pretty good shape. The 48 triangles covered in selvages […]
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.