local quilt shops

March 4, 2016

Put it in neutral

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Went to the car wash the other day. Can’t tell it from the looks of the car now. I’m always a bit nervous about getting the wheels of the car lined up with those tracks that pull the car through the “washing machine”. When “he” says to put it in neutral, that’s my signal that I’ve done it correctly. What else do neutrals have to do with anything? Well for us quilters they usually mean “lights” or “backgrounds”. Each year I set myself a quilting goal. Last year it was to use more orange in my projects. I think I succeeded pretty well on that, and was generally happy with the spark the orange gave to my projects. This year’s goal is to be more adventurous in my choices of backgrounds…to stay away from the whites, ecrus, and very pale fabrics. My first full size […]
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!
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 […]
March 28, 2014

Tula who?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Gray and windy today, but spring is coming. Didn’t need a hat today while walking the dog! To me that’s great progress toward warmer weather. I am intrigued with the work of Tula Pink. She is a fairly new designer on the quilting scene. I first learned of her on a Sewing with Nancy episode and loved her take on some vintage type patterns with very modern looking fabrics and color choices. She designs fabric which makes up into gorgeous quilts (IMHO). I’ve been looking around for a shop carrying her lines without success so far. Does anyone know where I can find a good choice of her fabrics? If you’re on shop hops this spring, keep an eye out for me if you would, please. Here are a couple of links to help you get to know more of Tula’s work: Up close views […]
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 […]
January 7, 2014

it’s back…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Just finished watching the last bit of Downton Abbey’s first episode of season 4. Won’t say too much specifically since some of you fans might not have seen it yet. Several interesting developments-planting seeds for new story lines obviously. I will say that the dowager was surprisingly nice-for her, I thought. Have you seen the fabric lines inspired by the ladies of Downton? When they began to appear in ads in magazines, I was not impressed at all. Too dull in color for my taste. But now that they are appearing in stores, and I’m seeing a few projects made with the fabric, I’m starting to change my mind. Here’s a link to the photos over at Andover fabrics, with free project plans. What do you think? The purples hint at the Pantone color of the year, just muted down a bit. (Radiant Orchid images) […]
January 5, 2014

resolutions

Hello all, Mary Ellen back. It is amazing when I say 2014 out loud. How can I be this old?! I was reminiscing with a friend about a football party when the Bills came back from behind to the great enjoyment of the crowd and the consternation of the dogs in the room. I ended up with a Doberman in my lap who was very upset by all the shouting! Twenty one years ago! How can that be?! Yikes! Anyway, back to resolutions. Are you like me, resolving every year to work on your UFO stash? (Don’t tell me that you’re one of those quilters who has no UFOs because you always finish a project before moving on to the next one!) I want to actually do something about some of my UFOs this year instead of my usual tactic of just shuffling them. A few days ago I was […]
June 13, 2013

what goes on in our heads?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ve been sitting here with my coffee watching the rain come down. It’s such a rarity these days. (NOT!) Actually I think I’m watching my grass grow. I missed my opportunity to mow yesterday and will now pay the price for procrastinating. That lawn will be too heavy to mulch it, so I’ll be emptying the mower bag repeatedly whenever I am able to get out there. I only have only garbage can which I dedicate to yard waste and my lawn will over fill it. I either need to mow more often, or buy another can. The compost bin is full so that will not be an option til I use more of it.  Oh well..this makes for a great day to sew! I’m working on some fabric scarves from an Amy Butler pattern. She calls for voile but I’m using some regular quilting […]
May 22, 2013

Moda School house

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. If you frequent your local fabric shop on a regular basis, you may have noticed that the owner was missing for a few days last week. International Quilt Marker for spring of 2013 was going on in Portland, Oregon. For those of us who wish we could go to Quilt Market each season, here is a treat. The folks from Fat Quarter Shop video taped the entire Moda School House presentation and posted it at YouTube. You’ll get a sneak peek at the newest fabrics coming from Moda, and their designers. Our fall seminar guest, Pat Sloan, makes an appearance at 15:36 in the video. I’ll warn you the “show” is about 45 minutes long. You might want to watch it in segments, or just treat yourself to a cup of your favorite beverage and sit down to watch the entire thing. I loved getting […]
January 22, 2013

Celebrate your local quilt shop!

Hi everyone, MIA-Marija here…finally!! Hope you are all doing great in this still somewhat NEW year and maybe even have a few resolutions intact? :) Not the case with me, but hey – I didn’t even make any! Clever, huh? No not really, but I did declare to myself a “word-of-the-year” to be DISCIPLINE. Well…we can talk about this over pages and pages here, but that is for another time. Today, I want to tell you about much more important thing: Thursday, January 24th is National VISIT YOUR LOCAL QUILT SHOP DAY!!! Yes, yes my friends – we need to go visit, shop, have fun – and it is all legitimate and justified!! YAY!! But wait – that is not all! Industrious, creative quilting community made it into a real, big, national party – there is a web-site , a Facebook page  and even a great photo-contest for all of […]