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March 1, 2014

Are you up for a challenge?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Bonnie Hunter, our upcoming fall seminar national teacher, has just begun a quilt challenge at her blog. Bonnie is a scrap quilter. She doesn’t just collect scraps; she actually makes things with them. (a novel concept to me!). I’m going to try joining in this challenge so I’ll use up some of my scraps too. I might have to tweak the math a bit because I have so many 2.5″ strips that I’d like to use up–hers is going to use 3.5″ strips. Wouldn’t it be great (hint, hint, hint!) if a few of us joined in so we could show her our progress when she comes to seminar in September? I’m going to set aside a sewing day soon to get a bunch of pieces ready so I can use them as “leaders and enders” while working on projects for my classes. Here’s a […]
February 22, 2014

Modern Applique

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What can be changed in applique to make it modern? I’ve seen a new book, The Modern Applique Workbook, talked up quite a bit in “the blogs” of late. And I’ve wondered what’s new under the sun in applique land? I’ll be honest up front. I’m not a big applique fan. I’m more of a piecer. I do fusible raw edge applique sometimes, but I am not a hand stitcher, needle turner. But one thing I am is curious. So I’ve been looking for some peaks into this new book that is getting a lot of press. Here’s a peek for you: click here.   At the end of the post to which I’ve linked you up, there is a list of bloggers participating in a blog hop for the book. I must say I found the close-ups of the quilting on the projects more […]
February 14, 2014

I can make that!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Do you also run across things in stores and say to yourself “I can make that”? That’s a picture of a pillow from Anthropologie, a very trendy shop. Would make a nice Valentine gift for a young person. And what did I say to myself when I saw it? Yep, ” I could make that!” And not only do I think I can make it, I can make it better, and definitely cheaper! It sells for $198!!! How’s that for $ew worth it?!
February 13, 2014

Meet Bonnie

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Preparations for our fall seminar are underway. Bonnie Hunter will be our national teacher. If you haven’t heard of her, here’s a little clip to begin to introduce you. (click here.) Mark your calendar (September 17-20) and please plan to join us for a class or two. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. If you want to find out more about Bonnie, visit her website. (click here.)
February 13, 2014

We are $ew Worth It

Hello all, Mary Ellen again. This will speak for itself. (Click here for an interesting point of view on what our hand-made things are really worth.) I wonder if you”ll agree with her. I’ll be honest, I stopped selling my quilts because I couldn’t get very many folks to pay what I felt they are worth. And I’ve learned to be judicious in choosing gift quilt recipients who appreciate what they are getting. Here’s a cute project for spring. Some cheerful shoes and digging in your button box. Have a look at this. (click here.) If you’ve sewed a lot lately, it might be time to take care of your scissors. I do this now and then (training from my old tailoring teacher who was a strict old bird!), but not often enough. If you own some really good scissors, and you do this “maintenance” routine, along with periodic sharpening, […]
February 7, 2014

Seams Unlikely

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ll bet that many of you have watched Nancy Zieman’s show, Sewing with Nancy, on PBS for many years. (Tuesday afternoons at 2:00 on Channel 17 in this area)  I know that I kind of “grew up” as a seamstress with Nancy, learning so much about all aspects of the craft from her. I started with garment sewing, and used many of her tricks and techniques to make my clothes look very professionally made. She still has many shows for garment makers, and has added quite a bit of quilting to her line up. I just recently went back and watched (shows available at her website) her series on the dresden plate. I have her templates and have made some of her Christmas ideas from that show. I think next I’ll try one of the giant dresdens with some of the latest variegated fabrics I […]
February 3, 2014

The Olympic patchwork

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Many of the Olympic games have had associations with quilts and textiles of all sorts. The upcoming games in Sochi are no different. Here is a link to a site showing the patchwork designed for this year’s games.   When you get to the page, click on “look of the games”. It will take you to pages with explanations of many of the Russian textile traditions featured in the patchwork. If you click on “collection”, or “catalogue” in the upper right hand corner, you’ll see some of the clothing using this patchwork design. So very interesting.  (Click here.) Here’s another link to the Kansas City Star quilting website from a 2011 posting with lots of information about this patchwork branding for the Olympics. Within the article is a link to another with photos of many ways the patchwork will be used in publicizing the games. I […]
January 31, 2014

a little of this, a little of that

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Were you able to spend any time at your machine during our recent arctic spell? I’m working on some Dresden plates for a class, and trying to come up with a fabric adaptation of a knitted shawl pattern for myself. It’s cold in my favorite reading spot and I’m trying to find the perfect shoulder wrap. If it works, I’ll be sharing it in a demo at the shop.  I love that classic Dresden plate pattern, but not so much in the classic way–with 30’s reproductions and lace. I’ve been exploring to find other ways to use the plate or fans and have found some that are “out of the box”. I’ve made a wreath with the blades in the past, but these are beyond that. The internet is such a great source for inspiration. I started with a google image search and then just […]
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 10, 2014

getting back to a routine?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. It seems that life is ever so slowly getting back into a normal routine. The holiday decorations are back in storage (except for the outdoor wreath on my gate), the kids are back to school (except for the snow days), and I’m back to the machine (except for when I’m knitting).  Do those exceptions all mean it’s not a normal routine? Hmm… I’m working on my favorite type of quilt now. It looks fairly tricky, but it’s actually quite simple. Don’t you love that kind of pattern? This one is from one of the jelly roll and pre-cut books by the Lintotts. I have several of their books: well written and clever ideas for those pre-cut bundles that are so hard to resist. I’ll get the exact title for you shortly. (Here it is at amazon.)The only ever so slight trickiness comes from the fact […]