gift ideas

October 24, 2014

odd bits

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What have you been up to lately? I recently drove down to Penn Yan with a friend to have my sewing machine serviced. Discovered that Mapquest and Yahoo maps can’t always be trusted. After having a very detailed tour of the Cayuga Lake shore neighborhoods, we eventually ended up at the shop we were aiming for. Fortunately it was a nice day, and the hillsides were gorgeous with fall colors. After dropping the machine off at the shop, we headed further on for some quilty fun. Our first stop was at Quilters’ Corners in Ithaca. I had known of this shop from quilt show venders malls, but had never been to the brick and mortar place. Wow! Lots of eye candy. So many samples to look at, and of course many different fabrics than our local shops. I love seeing the different choices that each […]
September 2, 2014

Amy Butler et.al.

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Are you a fan of Amy Butler fabrics and patterns? I just received notification that her free pattern for her latest fabric line is now posted at her website. Here’s the link: click here. I also received notification not long ago that her latest clothing pattern: a pieced duster, is now available. She looks great in it, and I love the concept but I’m afraid I may be past the age cut off for her style. Although I am thinking about how it would look in a collection of somewhat “quieter” fabrics–batiks maybe. See what you think of her style. It would be great for you younger women out there. Looks like it would be very comfortable and could definitely take a pair of jeans up a few notches. Click here. As I worked through my e-mails today, I noticed that a theme was in […]
August 18, 2014

the old ways…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Visited Bonnie Hunter’s site this morning. Found this link to a clip about making scissors by hand. Would love a pair of these! Click here. Bonnie is just home from a recent quilters’ trip to Great Britain. That girl sure gets around–she’s home right now, but before she comes to us in mid September, she’ll be spending time in Alaska teaching. Weaving modern cloth on old looms (found in side bar at link above): click here Here’s a bit of trivia for you. The roots of modern-day computers are linked to weaving. Joseph Jacquard came up with a system of punched cards for weaving patterns which eventually inspired the binary code of ones and zeros representing the punched or unpunched holes in the cards. Those ones and zeros were linked to electronic circuitry being on (the one) or off (the zero). And the rest is […]
June 27, 2014

A little of this and that…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I finally got the mulch spread all over the flower beds. Wow, the body protests a full day of labor. Remember those days when we could work hard for 8 hours and then go partying until all hours? Those days are long gone for me. I still enjoy the parties, but the recovery period is a killer. I should buy stock in one of the analgesic companies! Cool feather block. Great for Gen X’ers or scrap hoarders: click here. Very cute for fashionistas of any age: click here. She calls it a scrapbuster, but I think this block would be nice in coordinated fabrics too. How about shades of one color, or for honey bun strips? click here. Just finished up a series of classes for beginners. Thinking about what new projects to do when the class series is repeated in the fall. The first […]
May 10, 2014

quilts for the men in your life

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Quilts for guys. A continual puzzle. How do you find a quilt pattern that is manly but still fun to make? Is it possible to make a guy quilt without using camo fabric or tractors or muscle cars? Of course it is, but it ain’t easy!! Even the fabrics in most quilt shops are working against us–those gorgeous florals and prints are just too pretty for most men. It’s the time of year for graduation quilts. Quilts that can go into dorm rooms. I think Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company has come up with an easily made quilt that fits the bill. This one could go into a guy’s dorm room I think. The blue and white combo she uses is a classic, but of course any 2 color combination works. Even school colors-but some of those combos would be godawful–I’m thinking of […]
April 24, 2014

more morning thoughts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Lovely sunny spring morning. Shh! don’t jinx it! Here in WNY we’re still in the “anything could happen” stage of weather. Was thinking about going out to get new sneakers today and came across this in my inbox. Love it! All of you zentangling ladies might like it too. click here Lovely idea here for coloring stitchery blocks. She has a free BOM quilt available too. click here Same woman’s site-great idea for a mother’s day gift, either the gift itself or its wrap. click here If you have an upcoming graduation or wedding for a social media junkie, then this hashtag block might be just what you need for the quilt you are going to make. (Don’t we always make quilts for those occasions?) click here
March 7, 2014

Jelly roll 1600, chapter 2

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What a gorgeous morning we’re having today. I actually got too warm while walking the canine today and had to take off my hat and gloves! When was the last time that happened?! If you’ve read this blog for a while now, you may remember a few posts about the jelly roll 1600 quilts. If you need a refresher, look in the category list in the left sidebar and click on it. Today at Missouri Star Quilts Jenny Doan shows a variation on the basic jelly roll quilt. I love the fabric line she chose, but I think I might have chosen a different color for the “pop” of color she inserts. She gives a few good tips even for those of you who have made one of these before. If you haven’t, you should give it a try. This is a fun quilt to […]
February 13, 2014

We are $ew Worth It

Hello all, Mary Ellen again. This will speak for itself. (Click here for an interesting point of view on what our hand-made things are really worth.) I wonder if you”ll agree with her. I’ll be honest, I stopped selling my quilts because I couldn’t get very many folks to pay what I felt they are worth. And I’ve learned to be judicious in choosing gift quilt recipients who appreciate what they are getting. Here’s a cute project for spring. Some cheerful shoes and digging in your button box. Have a look at this. (click here.) If you’ve sewed a lot lately, it might be time to take care of your scissors. I do this now and then (training from my old tailoring teacher who was a strict old bird!), but not often enough. If you own some really good scissors, and you do this “maintenance” routine, along with periodic sharpening, […]
January 18, 2014

this and that

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I enjoy looking around the blogosphere at what other quilters do with the old tried and true quilt blocks. You know the ones I mean–the classic half square triangle, log cabin, flying goose (do you say geese when it’s just one block?), four patch, nine patch, and so on. You wouldn’t think you’d see too much new done with those since they’ve been around for so long.    New look (to me anyway) for half square triangles (or friendship stars if you want a bigger unit): click here. I know many quilters are knitters as well. I just finished some warm mittens for my godsons and a friend, and have some bulky yarns remaining. I was looking around on the internet for an easy cowl neck that I could wear under a coat or perhaps with a turtleneck. Here’s a link to the one I settled […]
November 24, 2013

origami ornaments

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What a surprise this morning when I checked the thermometer before heading out on our daily constitutional with the canine companion. 14 degrees!! He got his sweater put on him, and I got out my Nanook of the North hat! Thank Goodness the wind was calm, or we would not have gone far at all. As it was we only traveled around 3 blocks as my fingertips were protesting, even though they were encased in mittens rather than gloves. I think while I’m out and about doing some holiday shopping, I’m going to get some new outerwear for myself. I’ve been looking for some nice fabric origami ornaments to make for this year. Found this great idea.  (click here) I’m going to test this out with paper first, but I love the look of her samples. Just replace her word “hexagon” with the correct word […]