step by step instructions

February 22, 2013

scraps from my inbox

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. All of these little bits were in my inbox this morning! what a day! modern quilt example: I follow this blog each day and I think Victoria’s work fits my personal definition of modern quilting. Lots of white, modern fabrics with traditional blocks. What would you think about having her as a seminar teacher? Would there be enough interest? Hmm..? How many of our members have an interest in modern quilting? Or would like to explore it? McCall’s Quilting University video portal: click here  and/or here.  Free tutorials on many topics free e-book of pillow covering patterns– some modern, some not: click here. new (somewhat) technique and book I will definitely be trying!: click here. spent the morning with the little guys at the Explore and More museum in East Aurora. The place was swarming with little people. Had a great time, but boy am […]
February 19, 2013

odd bits again

Hello all, Mary Ellen here on this blustery day. I just blew in from a round of errands. Went into BJ’s to get printer paper and ink in a little drizzle, came out to blowing snow. I thought that was to come later today?! Winter in Buffalo I guess. Well Downton Abbey fans! Season 3 is over-what do you think is coming next? Spoiler alert-don’t read further if you haven’t seen the season-ender yet.  About a month ago I had read in some publication about the demise of 2 characters with no reference to who those characters would be. Of course I had my own theories of who was going. I must say I didn’t have this one on my list of possibilities. I didn’t cry my eyes out, as I am reading many other fans did. Or do you think they have may have left the door ever so slightly […]
January 16, 2013

a classy HST

Hello all, ME again. The half square triangle is really a quilting work horse. So many designs, from simple to complex, incorporate the HST. I ran across this idea today for taking your HSTs up a notch. It’s kind of like putting a piping or flange along that diagonal seam. This definitely is an idea to file away for future reference, but if you’re like me… don’t forget where you filed it! Here’s another classy HST. She calls it a cathedral window remix–let’s say it’s a hybrid of the two. Again an idea to remember for those times when you want to make a basic block look snazzy. It’s time for me to get off the computer and go get some work done. TTFN!
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. […]
January 5, 2013

free motion quilting project

Hello again. Mary Ellen back. When talking with quilters at the demos and classes I present, the topic of free motion quilting often comes up. I consider myself proficient at FMQ but certainly not an expert. As I tell those who ask, the concept of free motion quilting is very simple but the practice of it is not. There is a long learning curve for most of us, requiring lots of time spent stitching to build muscle memory. I have never met a quilter who mastered FMQ right away. One of the websites I visit frequently, when in FMQ mode, is the one maintained by Leah Day. Lots of ideas for designs, well explained. Her blog gives guidance and encouragement. I’m sure many of you have visited her at one time or another,  if FMQ is a goal of yours. This year Leah will be approaching FMQ from a different […]
December 30, 2012

perfect timing

Hello all, Mary Ellen back again. In yesterday’s post I mentioned I’m going to make some tote bags for my organizational “system”. In my e-mail today I got a link to a video from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. If you haven’t watched any of her videos, make that a resolution for this year. You will love Jenny Doan, the hostess, who has such a nice way about her and her wonderful ideas. In the video today she shows an easy way to make three totebags from one charm pack. Yep, that’s right-three!!!! Granted they’re not big bags, but the “pattern” can easily be modified to be wider or taller or both. The general procedure, which she explains very clearly, is so simple. Sometimes Jenny plays fast and loose with some of “the rules” of quilting, but that’s okay by me. She makes it fun, and gives great ideas. Most […]
September 18, 2012

Seminar aftermat – inspired to sew! …or sew inspired? :)

Hello everyone, hope you are having a good Tuesday – as rainy as it is. You know, ever since I became a quilter I learned to love rainy day – it really is my favorite time to sew! Something in the sound of raindrops on the small roof right bellow my sewing room window…the rhythm? Not sure, but I just love it! And right now – there is about half a dozen projects on the pile by my sewing machine – so bring on the rain! 🙂 I wish I could be in my sewing room right now (yes, this in yet another lunch-time break post from work), for nothing like sewing puts my mind to ease…and today I am holding my breath until our daughter lands safely in Kathmandu, Nepal. She travels the world for her work and you would think I am used to it by now – […]
July 26, 2012

Who made this quilt?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Imagine this scene. Fifty years from now as someone is admiring a gorgeous quilt made in many hours of loving stitching, she says to her companion “I wonder who made this quilt. It’s fabulous. Do you think it was for someone’s wedding? Or maybe it’s a graduation gift. OOh! And look at this baby quilt. Do you suppose a grandmother made this-or an auntie-or maybe the mom while she was pregnant? ” Wouldn’t it be terrible to be looking down from wherever we go after life, to be looking down trying to say “I made those quilts. That blue one with the flowers was for…” You know where I’m going with this. Do you put labels on your quilts? You really should. If you’re an Antiques Roadshow fan, you know how having the provenance of an antique really helps its value. And even if not […]
July 23, 2012

foundation paper piecing

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I am getting back to some serious sewing time. I’ve taken a bit of a break for about 3 weeks now where I have only sewn a little bit here and there. Now it’s back to my usual mode-several hours each day at the machine. Some of it is sewing for my part-time job making samples or preparing for lessons I’ll teach, some is working on my own pattern pieces to sell, some is for myself (or friends or family). Generally I love it but it’s been nice also stepping back a bit to spend more time at other interests I have. I’ll soon be teaching a class to paper foundation piecing beginners. I am working on my notes. Is it just me or is this technique one that needs demonstration much more than written instruction? I’m finding even in notes for myself to refer […]
July 17, 2012

Lunch time chat – who loves paper-piecing?

Hello everyone, I am here with just a quick, lunch-time chat to let you know that I have a new tutorial on my blog! If you love paper-piecing this small project might just be a thing to do while cooling down from summer heat: I call this one a Summer Song – hey I might even add a small appliqued bird in the center! 🙂 Anyway, this wreath is made from 4 similar blocks, both paper-pieced. Instructions on what you need and how to make it are here, on my blog. What I like about this block is that it can be very versatile, used in borders, small projects, to make a larger block…This is the exact project I use when teaching paper-piecing to beginners and the joy on their faces when EACH block turns perfect, EVERY time is what thrills me every time! I hope to see some of […]