gift ideas

November 20, 2013

Tetra-what?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’m back at the sewing machine in earnest now. The yard work is done, and the machine is back from its tune up. I hate sending it away, but it does make a difference in its performance and sound. Working on a Christmas table runner from an Edyta Sitar pattern, and a springy wall hanging that is a sample for a class I will be teaching in April. Was cruising some of my favorite sewing blogs this morning and came across these cool pattern weights. At least that’s what the designer had in mind for them, but I can see some other uses as well. I love their shape and when she used the correct mathematical term for them in her directions I was sold. Tetrahedrons–yep. You can take the girl out of the classroom but I still like to call things by their correct […]
November 1, 2013

What’s Up with You?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What’s going on in your sewing and crafting space these days? I just finished a bunch of mason jar transformations, all using fabric, for a demo at the shop where I work. They all were fun, but I think I enjoyed working with the wool the best. It has been a while since I’ve done that. Some of you may remember our guild garage sales that we have had a few times. At the last one we had, I scored a bunch of wool from Betty L. who was moving south. Some was already felted, and the rest I did myself. There was enough fill 2 Rubbermaid storage bins. I’ve made many a project using the wool and have barely made a dent. I’ll include a photo of the jar cuffs I made with the wool. This project got me thinking that I should do […]
June 28, 2013

“We Love to Sew”

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. How are you this fine rainy day? I just finished marking a set of place mats for quilting. They will be another set of samples for the seminar class I am teaching this fall: Get Out of the Ditch. I borrowed some hand quilting stencils from our guild library and am adapting them for walking foot quilting. I used my favorite marker for this task: Crayola washable markers. That’s right, the ones kids buy for school. I have been using them for this sort of thing for several years and love it. They are very easy to work with, to see while stitching, and to wash out when you’re finished. It’s actually time for me to start watching for them as loss leaders in back to school supplies since some of mine are drying out and/or have worn out tips. Also time to stock up […]
May 23, 2013

OMG!

Hi again, it’s ME. Just found this video where Amy Butler goes through all of her new lines that premiered at Spring Market in Portland. I’ve been a fan of her fabrics since she came into the quilting scene. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with them though-those gorgeous big prints you don’t want to chop up. I’m thinking that I am going back to my roots in garment-sewing to make some simple skirts or toppers. Love, love, love the fabric in the dress Amy is wearing in this video with a pair of leggings. I think I am not built for leggings, but a longish A line skirt with a nice colorful T might be just the ticket. And those ribbons she shows–gotta get me some of them! I’ve been experimenting with some simple beading techniques so a few of those bookmarks or cuffs would be super […]
March 1, 2013

a bag of encouragement

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Let me first just pass on some “modern” quilt info before I get to my real topic. There’s been quite a bit written here lately about modern quilting and “QuiltCon” was mentioned. At Craftsy you can watch all the lectures for free. Haven’t done it yet, but am going to make it a priority so perhaps I can figure out what all of the hubbub is about.  Enough of that commercial… I recently gave a demo at a local shop on making quilted gifts of comfort . One of the gifts I spoke about I called a “bag of encouragement.” We all have situations where a loved one or friend needs some encouragement. It could be due to illness, an accident, some other life event or maybe “just because”. I think many of us would like to give gifts which are a bit more personal […]