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April 5, 2013

back in business

Hello again, Mary Ellen here. As I strolled around the garden beds this beautiful morning, I enjoyed seeing the daffodils coming up every where. Those are the only bulbs I plant, because I find that my local squirrel population eats any other bulb I put in. I’ve got quite a variety of them-early to late bloomers, singles, doubles, ruffles–whites, yellows, pinks, multi-colors. Many of them are what my grandma used to call narcissus, but now it seems they all get named daffodils. Soon I’ll be having to put the rabbit repellant on the new shoots of the perennials to keep the bunnies from bringing their friends to Mary Ellen’s rabbit salad bar.  The hellebores are unfurling; cutting off the weathered leathery leaves will be a chore soon. I enjoy getting out there in the dirt-I even have my nail girl trained now that when gardening season begins she needs to […]
April 4, 2013

legos for quilters

Hello all, Mary Ellen’s back. I’ve been busy working on our seminar brochure so we can get it to our members at April’s guild meeting. It’s off to the printer’s now, so I have a bit of time until my next deadline! We (actually Kit and Marija) have lined up wonderful teachers for this year, please join us for 4 days of quilting camaraderie. (Sept 18-21, 2013…go here for more details as they become available) Quilters are often very creative in incorporating tools and gadgets, which are seemingly unrelated to sewing, into our craft. An easy example could be my method of organizing piecing for blocks and quilts with paper plates. Many of you use blue painters’ tape for a variety of quilty tasks. Here is a tutorial from a mom, who is apparently surrounded by her children’s Legos, on how to make a mini sewing machine from them. If […]
April 3, 2013

Wednesday’s Wanderings

Hi everyone, hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend! I just looked at the date of our last blog post and said – yeiks! – almost 10 days? Well, I hope you missed us a bit, but not too much to be upset? 🙂 Busy, busy is the name of the game…holiday, family, sewing and even some…just a bit…yard work? Whaaat? Yard work? Well, there was that one gorgeous weekend, so we did do some rose pruning, some cleaning and of course – some grilling! You wouldn’t know it looking outside today – it is snowing, it is cold….But hey – no complaints! We do live in western NY, we are tough and yes – spring is here! Look what is in my front yard: Snowdrops were the first…             Then crocuses came up – yellow are always first!         And […]
March 23, 2013

seminar stuff

Hello all, Mary Ellen back again. By now I hope you all know that Pat Sloan is going to be our featured national teacher at our fall seminar this year (September 18-21). Over at her blog today she has posted some photos of student projects from a class she is teaching now for another group of quilters. If you’d like to see some samples of the work they are doing, in the same classes that Pat will be presenting for us, click here. Pat loves to share photos of the classes she teaches. That will be us in the fall (don’t forget your lipstick!) Keep an eye on our visitor counter. At 35,000 visits (wow, I’m still amazed!) we’ll have several special things for you. Prizes, tutorials, etc. What would you like to see us write more of in the future? AMQG activities, links to other sites, ramblings about nothing […]
March 19, 2013

tats

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ll bet we could guess your generation from what “tats” means to you. Here it means ink. This is one way in which I will never be a modern quilter, but it was interesting to read how these members of the Modern Quilt Guild wanted to celebrate their quilting by getting a tattoo. For many it was not the first. Here’s the blog entry from them about the experience: click here.
March 16, 2013

in a rut?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Happy National Quilting Day! Go buy a layer cake or a jelly roll (not the edible kind, silly) and celebrate! I have a quilt to “fix” up. I thought I was done, but whenever I looked at it I kept thinking “something isn’t right”. Friends who’ve seen it say it looks great. I think it needs more quilting. But I’m stumped as to what to add. Ever been in this predicament? I think maybe this is how many UFO’s come into our world. We get to a point in a project where something about it just isn’t right. The gorgeous colors we began with aren’t looking so great. Or the directions are unclear or even worse, incorrect! (I’m amazed at how many math mistakes in patterns go out into the publishing world.) Or we didn’t choose the value differences carefully enough. The quilting isn’t right.  […]
March 13, 2013

more of it…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What’s up with this weather?! I enjoy winter but I’m ready for spring. I suppose this is our annual Buffalo St. Patrick’s Day weather roulette. Could be gorgeous, could be a blizzard-just roll the dice! Once again I’ve got a collection of odd quilty bits for you. The next post I’ve got on the drawing board will actually have a cohesive thread through it! I’ve done this technique for making a binding with a mini flange before, but haven’t seen such a well done tutorial of it. Great technique to add to your bag of tricks. She also gives some good general binding tips. click here  BTW, maybe you are like me and have given up on a paid subscription to the Anderson/Tims Quilt Show online. If you subscribe to the blog or newsletter (free) you still can see many of their guests, in short […]
March 11, 2013

Tutorial, giveaway and few other things…

Hi everyone, jumping-in here on another lunch break just to quickly let you know about few things! There is a new tutorial to show you and this time – it is mine! 🙂 Here is a springy little wall hanging or a table topper made almost entirely from Flying Geese blocks – those easy, 3D, one-seam Flying Geese blocks! Add a few little tricks and you will have some neat-looking curved blocks and accent lines – check it out HERE! If you go back one post on my blog, you will find another fun  thing – a giveaway! I am participating in current Blog Hop Party and of course besides my blog, there is over 200 others you can visit, be inspired, learn something and maybe win some goodies – hope you have fun! Now if that is not enough, there is yet another big “party” brewing up in cyber […]
March 10, 2013

geegaws and doodads

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Beautiful morning today. It’s the first morning in a long while when I did not need a hat or gloves while dog walking. Sun’s out, I spotted lots of tulip and daffodils peaking through the soil. Even saw a few snow drops opening up. Definitely teasers that spring is coming. Once again I’ve got some unrelated links for you. fun stuff for quilters, great T-shirts: click here I can relate, but I’m working on it: click here Just finished listening to one of the free QuiltCon lectures over at Craftsy. Because I subscribe to Mary Fons’ blog I got a nudge to go listen to her lecture, billed as one from a member of a Quilt Mafia family. I think she was truly great! Mary spoke for about 45 minutes, with very few visuals, and kept my attention the entire time. She is very eloquent […]
March 9, 2013

whatnots

Hello all, ME again! Another collection of only slightly related quilty bits: a collection of quilt blocks celebrating Ireland in case you need a quick table piece before your St. Patrick’s Day blowout party: click here March Madness of the fabric kind: Nominate your favorite fabric line and watch and vote in the competitions for the best (most popular) lines this year. click here You’ll see why: click here. Back to the sewing machine. I’m on block 143 of 145 and I’ll soon be able to start assembling the quilt!