For all of us who love to read!

January 12, 2013

a little of this, a little of that

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Odds and ends found while blog hopping: Pat Sloan, our 2013 seminar national teacher visits a NYC group: click right here. If you are a knitter and a Downton Abbey fan as well, you may enjoy these free knitting patterns: click here. Stopped at Wegman’s today for a few items not to be found at my small neighborhood tops and almost fell prey to all of that extra “stuff” in the seasonal aisle. That’s why I’ve pretty much sworn off Wegman’s for the basics. I did pick up a new magazine from the Fons and Porter group called Quilting Quickly. It is full of patterns from Jenny Doan and the crew at the Missouri Star Quilting Company. If you are an avid fan of Jenny’s videos on YouTube, be forewarned that many of the patterns in the magazine have already been featured on Jenny’s channel. […]
August 30, 2012

Where has the summer gone?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Despite the facts of our weather this summer, it seems like summer has been very short. Trying to squash lots of fun into the few days remaining. Went to the zoo yesterday with the 5 year old twin boys I have mentioned here before. Made the mistake of buying them each a glass of orange pop early in the adventure! Acted like hi-test gasoline in those little engines. We did the zoo at a very fast clip. The weather was perfect for the day-so many families and school groups were there enjoying it as well. Lots-o-fun! Picked up a new quilt magazine the other day at Wegmans. It’s called Generation Q. I’ve followed their blog for a while now. (The Q is for quilting.) It says on the cover that it’s the premiere issue-no subscriptions yet. I often start reading a quilt magazine with the […]
August 20, 2012

Say sha-tock-qwa

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I was surprised to find that title phrase at the top of one of the blogs I periodically visit. When I sounded it out, I thought “is that Chautauqua?” and I was right. All of us around here know about the fall Chautauqua quilting weekend. Mary Fons, daughter of quilting rock star Marianne Fons, who is taking up the reins that Liz Porter put down for retirement will be at Chautauqua with her mom this fall. See her post about it here. Many of you have tasted and loved Linda Hunter’s easy butterscotch cake. She sent her recipe to me to share with all of you.Click here Butterscotch Cake Recipe for the recipe. Are you into English paper piecing? Love those Grandmother’s flower garden quilts made with gazillions of hexagons? You might be interested in this new book Hexa-go-go and the blog tour about it. […]
June 20, 2012

antique quilt patterns

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I have admired antique quilts for years. Our family has a few, and I own two. One was made for me before I was born, and sadly I must admit that is enough to make it antique. It’s a very simple polka dot quilt. My great-grandmother had set herself a goal to make a quilt for each of her great-grandchildren. Mine is the last one she finished. The second is an Iris applique quilt that the same great-grandmother made for my mom to celebrate her 16th birthday. In our family quilts were used, not saved. Sadly this iris quilt is in bad shape. The edges are so tattered that there is no saving them-and there are irises appliqued all along the edges. The center of the quilt is a large iris medallion. I have been searching for the pattern and designer of this quilt for […]
May 14, 2012

Make It Monday

Hello all, it’s ME again. The brownies were a hit yesterday. Very rich! About 1/2 of a regular brownie size and a bit of vanilla ice cream and you’re good to go. Definitely a keeper recipe. I’m going to write it up, and figure out how to start a recipe file. Oh! I’ll just send it to the file over at our website for now, and get to the file here eventually. Finished my first block for Loosey Goosey. Not real happy with the slight hole at the center, but I think when I take all the paper off the back, I’ll be able to fix it up with some steam. I’m leaving the papers on until I attach this block to something else. I’ve used all sorts of scraps with no regard for grain so I’m sure my block’s edges would get really wonky if I take the paper […]
May 12, 2012

Saturday chores

Hello everyone, it’s ME. I don’t know why Saturday still is the day I do a lot of the typical household chores. Now that I’m retired, I could do them any day I want. It must be programmed into my genes now after all those years. I was elected to bring the dessert to the Mother’s Day get together tomorrow. by request, I am making a recipe from the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook Food from My Frontier. I am a sucker for cookbooks with big color photos, as this one is. She could give Paula Deen a run for her money as far as rich ingredients go, as well. Not every recipe has a pound of butter in it though. The dessert I am making is called Knock You Naked Brownies. I just took them out of the oven, and the bubbling caramel, chocolate chip gooiness (sp?) in the corners is […]
May 10, 2012

seminar spotting

Hello all, ME here. Did my weekly grocery run yesterday. Instead of going to the small Tops near me (where I can buy just the basics), I went to a Wegman’s. I’ve avoided Weggies lately, since I find I buy way too much “fun” but not “necessary” stuff when I shop there. I picked up 2 quilting magazines. (Which group do they fall into?) The first is the summer issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks. Both of our seminar teachers for this fall have blocks featured in this issue. Beth Ferrier’s block is called Butterfly Dance-a lovely appliqued piece. Anita Grossman Solomon’s is called Ginger and Fred, an interesting and versatile pieced block. I’ll bet there is a quick trick for cutting it as well. Maybe she’ll share it at seminar. One of our future teachers, Bonnie Hunter for 2014, has a block in the issue too. Her block is called […]
May 1, 2012

getting back to real life

Hello all, Mary Ellen here Aren’t those photos on Marija’s post fun to look at? It’s nice to have time stand still for a moment in each shot, so I can really give a good look at everything in each photo. Somehow when it’s all happening in real-time, things go by so quickly they can’t be savored. How did Marija find time to take all those shots, with everything else she was doing at/for the show?! Real life is back–getting caught up on laundry, tried to catch up on yardwork but the rain intervened yesterday (will finish when it dries out), grocery shopping, dog training class, sewing for an upcoming class, ya-da, ya-da, ya-da. When I chose the pattern I will next be teaching, I was looking for a small-scale project that used some traditional blocks and could be made up quickly for gifts. I chose one that uses just […]
April 15, 2012

Slow down Sunday

Good morning all, Mary Ellen here. Do you remember when Sundays used to be a day of rest? Stores were closed, not much was happening outside of the family. Maybe a musical performance, a club get together but generally it was a day to reflect and rewind. Couldn’t we please go back to that? Catching up on a few of my favorite blogs this morning. I tend to follow a group of rather “modern” quilters in blogland. I think it’s the fabrics they choose that I like so well. The blocks are generally just traditional ones done in a slightly tweaked way. Sometimes they are improvised or wonky, sometimes the pieces are skewed a bit-rectangles instead of squares, ovals instead of circles for example, often they are just as they’ve been made for a hundred years. One quilter I’ve always associated with free form wonky blocks is Gwen Marston. Her […]