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September 30, 2016

Dear John

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Many of you who are members of our guild enjoyed the visit in June by John Kubiniec. His classes got very nice reviews. If you purchased his new book at our most recent guild meeting, and had it autographed, you’ve got (in my humble opinion) a great set of patterns to play with. I have been a fan of the Drunkard’s Path block for a long time. I love those classic standby patterns that have so much versatility when you veer away from the traditional settings or traditional fabric construction. Apparently Bonnie Hunter, another one of our popular national instructors, is a fan of John’s as well. On her blog she is featuring John’s book, with links to other designers’ use of John’s patterns. Enjoy a little virtual quilt show or shop hop. Get a cup of hot tea and settle in with this link. […]
September 25, 2016

2 spools and a pack of bobbins

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Every now and then I run across an idea that causes the “why didn’t I think of that?” kind of reaction. This is one of them. I do not enjoy winding bobbins. Especially when it is in the middle of a row of stitching. Here’s an idea, cheaper than buying prewound bobbins, that can be just a perfect solution if you, like me, use one or two types of thread for all of your piecing. Buy two spools of the same thread. One will be your top thread, and the other spool will all get wound onto bobbins to use for the bottom thread. All of those bobbins you wind from the 2nd spool will run out just about the time you use up the first spool which was reserved for the top thread. Yes you do have to spend some time up front winding […]
September 24, 2016

the quilting world evolves

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Do you remember those years when it was so hard to find cottons appropriate for quilting? How exciting it was when you ran across a new pin dot color? The mauve and dusty blue color combination that was wildly trendy for a few years? We’ve come a long way from those days, haven’t we? If you’ve been around long enough to remember those, then you probably remember when Quilter’s Newsletter magazine was just about the only one available for purchase. How nice it was with historical articles, articles about the winners of the big shows, news about quilting in other countries. A few patterns were included but they weren’t repeats of pattern ideas that many other magazines also ran. Sadly that era of Quilter’s Newsletter has come to an end. It’s final print issue is on news stands now. Maybe you’re one of the quilters […]
September 20, 2016

what’s the deal with stitch length?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ve been doing a lot of free motion quilting lately. I started with a metallic thread that has never had issues in the past and it shredded like crazy. I changed to an old reliable 40 weight and fortunately it worked well–for awhile. Then I changed the machine needle and rethreaded both the top and the bottom threads. That seemed to have solved the machine issues. But…for whatever reason I could not get into the groove of a nice stitch length that made me happy. Fortunately I was working on a test sandwich–not the good project. I already was going to have to go back and pull out the shredded stitches that started this whole session. Do you ever have days like this at the machine? I must not be the only one. Anyway as I was working my way through the troubleshooting process I […]
August 17, 2016

ornament pdf post update

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Thanks to all who tried the pdf posting and then let me know how it worked. Apparently the Kaye Wood video that I referred to in the post has been taken down. If you would like to see her technique for cutting hexagons quickly and easily, try the link below. Just know that the Starmaker 6 ruler she refers to is basically the same thing as a 60 degree triangle ruler that many of us already own. You can get the same results using that; you do not need a Starmaker 6. cutting hexagons trick
August 14, 2016

ornament pdf test

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. At our guild meeting this week Jackie G. told us of our guild’s commitment to making ornaments for one of the museum’s Christmas trees. She also asked for any member who has an easy ornament pattern to please share it. With this post I am testing whether I would be able to post pdfs here for members to access. Please try clicking on the link below and then in a comment let me know if it opened successfully for you or not. Thanks! ornament demo
July 27, 2016

a wooden quilt

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Amazing! When you see the finished quilt, even after watching the video as it takes shape from the wood, it appears to be a gorgeous creation in cloth. Such skill. Click here.
July 23, 2016

print or digital, a changing quilt world

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Have you heard the news that Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine is going out of business soon? I was caught off guard by this announcement. I started subscribing to QNM way back in the days of Bonnie Leman, its original publisher. I consider it one of the influences that made me the quilter I am now. I will definitely miss it. I am not one who is happy with digital publications, should they decide later to perhaps publish it only digitally. If there is not a hard copy print version, then I am gone as a subscriber. Even daily blog posts or e-mails are not equivalent substitutes in my book. Here is a link to an interesting post from a much more recent addition to the quilt magazine market, with some information on the publisher’s outlook, and a magazine’s writers’ take on this. Interesting to say the […]
July 6, 2016

graffiti quilts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Finally things around here are settling down and I’m back in the quilt room more. My teaching assignments are farther apart for the summer so I’m tackling a bunch of UFO’s. I finished up some runners that were all pieced and just needed either the layering etc, or even less. It feels good to get those off of the bed in the spare room. Right now if I had a surprise guest they’d have to sleep on a dog bed! I’ve also been getting back to zentangling and free motion quilting practice. When I ran across this video in my e-mail today I really was interested. Graffiti quilting. Looks so much like zentangle–with some twists. Can’t wait to finish up the topper I’m working on now so I can try out some of the graffiti ideas in its quilting. See what you think about this […]
May 22, 2016

basting your quilts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Who does your quilting? Are you one of us who does all of your own quilting because “it’s not your quilt if you pay someone else to quilt it”? (overheard being said by a visitor to our quilt show as she saw the name of a long-armer on the quilt label) Do you do some of your own quilting and hire some of it out? Hand quilting or machine quilting? I enjoy doing the quilting of my projects. I do all of it by machine, some free motion and some walking foot. But what I don’t enjoy about the process is the layering and the basting. Definitely a necessary evil-but evil nevertheless. I do remember crawling around on the floor basting a larger quilt to be done on my domestic machine. And the aches and pains in my knees and back after that adventure are […]