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August 22, 2013

more on modern

Hello all Mary Ellen here. Since our guild meeting last week with the “modern” visitors, I’ve been looking at my latest magazines and blog subscriptions through a different lens. I’ve been thinking, as I shared in an earlier post about the show and share projects at that meeting, that many “standard” or traditional projects have a modern look, or could easily be modified to look “modern” with just minor tweaking. This link to a “tweak” of Dresden Plates, one of my favorite blocks, illustrates my point well I think. Before you click on the link get a mental image of a dresden plate block. I’ll bet it’s a fairly “traditional” image you have in mind. Now click on the link to the modern dresdens. Whole new look, but still very recognizable as a dresden. Cool beans, I think. Modern Dresdens: click here. Still gathering celebrants in our 40,000 visits party. […]
August 16, 2013

It’s time to celebrate!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here again. We had a very nice presentation by the WNY chapter of the Modern Quilting Guild at our regular guild meeting last evening. Many of us had some of our questions about “modern” quilting cleared up for us. Those of us who consider ourselves to be “traditional” quilters have more in common with the “modern” girls than we might have thought. Several of the quilts that they brought along to share didn’t look “modern” to me at all. Some of the fabrics used looked like repros to me more than brand new designs, which is not to say that others of the fabrics did not have a really fresh new look to them. The use of solids in many of their quilts reminded me, and perhaps many of the others in attendance, of the days of old (now I’m really aging myself) when solids and […]
August 8, 2013

More Joe

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Not too long ago I mentioned quilter Joe Cunningham in a few posts (search for Joe if you didn’t see those posts). We also have been mentioning modern quilting quite a bit of late. Today I came across a posting at the Generation X blog (August 7 posting) interviewing Joe. There is an upswing in the interest in hand made work, and in many of the “traditional” quilting patterns. Will hand quilting be the next “new” thing? Read Joe’s thoughts on this, from his 34 year history as a hand quilter. Click here. We’re coming down to the wire for our fall seminar. Please sign up soon to join us in the fun. All classes still have spaces.
July 31, 2013

just a smile opportunity

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Do you know what yarn-bombing is? I’ve never seen a yarn-bomb “in person” but have viewed many posts about them in my internet travels. Yarn-bombing is the placement of knitted works in surprising urban settings. For example, putting a knitted sweater on a fire hydrant along a busy street. Just introduces a pop of color into an otherwise gray environment. Maybe one would call it knitted graffiti? But somehow I don’t find “yarn-bombing” to be damaging to another’s property. After all if the owner or caretaker of the property doesn’t want it, the yarn-bomb is quite easily removed. Disagree? Personally I would love to come across one of these installations of yarn-art. That brings me to a loosely tied group called “Dispatchwork”. They install Lego art in surprising places. Again it doesn’t seem to be vandalism in my scope, but you might disagree. I think […]
July 28, 2013

looks too good to resist

Hello all, Mary Ellen again. Was trying to catch up on my e-mail and blogs this morning and came across a photo of this recipe at Pat Sloan’s blog (our upcoming seminar teacher). (BTW have you signed up for your class yet? We’ll be mailing supply lists out soon, if you want to get yours the easy way please register this week!) Anyway this recipe really appealed to me. I have loads of fresh basil in the garden waiting for the right recipe, and have been overdosing on fresh spinach in my toss at salad bars. If you made your own bread crumbs from Fiber 1 cereal (click here), this could be a very WW friendly recipe. Have a look at the photo and see if you can resist. click here. The text in the blog entry that goes with it is amusing too. I think the ingredients will definitely […]
July 11, 2013

just wondering…

Hello all, Mary Ellen once again, If you’ve ever wondered why the thread tension on your machine is so important and sometimes so finicky, perhaps this animation of the formation of a stitch will clear up some of the confusion. Found a link to this at the selvage blog-great fun for fans of selvage quilts. Have a look here. If you’ve ever wondered how you could put zentangle into your quilts, here’s a nifty tutorial. Great for collectors or black and white fabrics like myself. Even small scraps could be put to use. (click here) I love this idea, and am definitely putting on my list. Some more “zentangle-ish” sketches from a quilter. Like the notebook idea she has. Scroll down a bit in her blog to see the “gray-haired” lady in her quilt. I can’t tell if the hair is selvages or just black and white strips, but I […]
July 5, 2013

what our quilts are worth

hello all, Mary Ellen back. I just came across this discussion at another blog on what our quilts are actually worth. I’m not talking the “sentimental” value. Quilts made and given from the heart are priceless. This discussion was among women selling quilts as an income. Those in the discussion are not the big name “professional” quilters, but are woman like us adding to the family income to pay for groceries, electricity, school clothes, prescriptions, etc. You know what I mean. Even though many were selling at craft shows or other small venues, they were wondering what they should charge for the time, materials and expertise in their items. I will admit that I usually under charge for the quilts/quilted items that I sell. Now that I look over the calculations in the post I will link to at the end, I am REALLY under charging. Granted there is a […]
June 30, 2013

Simplify again.

Back again, it’s ME. Yesterday since the selection of TV shows was so dismal, I started to go back through some of the things I’ve recorded on the DVR. I was way behind on the Sewing with Nancy shows and started there. I watched two episodes of a series where Nancy super-sized some of Grandma’s favorite one patch quilts. She did the tumbler block (thimble shaped) in one episode and Grandmother’s Flower Garden in the second. Those hexagon pieces are the latest pre-cut from Moda, joining the jelly rolls, charm packs, etc.  I’ll be interested to see how the designers show new quilters how to work with them. Usually the dreaded “Y-seam” puts people off. In Nancy’s technique she actually used half-hexies, (trapezoids to me the former math teacher), to completely avoid the Y-seam issue. You can watch those shows at her website I believe, since most of her past […]
June 29, 2013

simplify

It’s ME again, After I finished perusing the book I talked about in yesterday’s post, I went to my other quilt book purchase: Simplify retro by Camille Roskelly. Camille is one of those “modern” quilters who is building a following on a national scale. She and her mom are the team of Moda fabric designers known as bonnie and camille. You might have loved the very popular Moda lines Ruby or Sky or Bliss that they designed. Camille’s premise in this book is using classic blocks, with modern fresh fabrics, often super-sizing the blocks. I’ve been looking for ways to make some of what I think of as the bedrock blocks of quilting, like a churn dash, or a log cabin, more fun for beginners. Generally I’ve liked those classic blocks in a smaller size, like a 4″ or 6″ or even smaller finished size. Seeing them over-sized has given […]
June 26, 2013

shakin’ your booty

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Get up off that chair, step away from the machine and do the Quiltmaker Shuffle!! How fun this would be at a class or a meeting after we’ve all been sitting for too long!?  Give it a try, you already know the motions: hand stitching, free motion quilting, shopping, sewing, you’ll see. Lots of giggling to be had. click here to do the Quiltmaker Shuffle!