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February 8, 2013

hummingbird or periwinkle?

Hello all, Mary Ellen again. Yesterday I watched another video from Jenny Doan at Missouri Star Quilt Company where she made her version of the antique quilt that has hung behind her in many of her earlier videos. I absolutely love that quilt. I always knew of the pattern as the hummingbird, but Jenny was calling it the periwinkle. I wanted to find out if they are just two names for the same block, or if perhaps there are small construction variations or proportion variations. Off I went to the site Quilt Index to have a look. I found quilts by both names and was able to take a good look. What I like about this site over some of the other wonderful similar sites is that one can pull up several photos of quilts side by side to compare them very easily. There also is a magnifying feature if […]
February 7, 2013

modern quilting

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Thanks to all for the kind words commenting on our “thread tales” here. Sometimes I think I’m talking to myself, but now it seems perhaps there are a bunch of good listeners out there. Paula commented that she feels drawn to “modern” quilting. I think I am too, but I’m going to guess that we may have different notions of what modern quilting is. From all the traveling to quilt blogs that I do, I’d say there isn’t a standard definition but perhaps just a few common threads (pun intended). Here are the threads I associate with making a quilt modern: lots of white space, bright colors, light gray used as background, solid fabrics used often, improvisational piecing often, but traditional blocks are very common as well. I’m also often surprised by how many of the younger modern quilters are using templates for their innovative […]
February 6, 2013

Wednesday’s wanderings…

Hi everyone, how is your Wednesday going? Or this week? Or this still somewhat new 2013? I am not even going to ask about those resolutions…mainly because mine are all over the place, just not where they should be, ha! So one of them was (or it still really IS), to have a more regular time for blogging. Really. I am not just saying that because I feel guilty for not writing more posts here, I am not. Truth is, almost every day I have some thoughts I would like to share, some inspirations, I take photos with intention of sharing..and then somehow the day gets away from me… Or, sometimes I start and then think – who needs this? Is this too much? Is this interesting to anyone? I suppose most bloggers have these questions.  So, I am thinking I would like to ask all of you for some […]
February 1, 2013

Downton Abbey again

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ve been working on a UFO hoping to have it ready for the next guild meeting. How are you progressing on your quilting resolutions? I somehow missed this series of posts at the Quilter’s Newsletter blog about the Downton Abbey Sew-In. That would be a good time to reserve for sewing-whether you watch it on Sunday nights or DVR it for later in the week. Wow, what did you think of last week’s episode? Sure didn’t see that coming! Here’s the link to the 4th blog post from Quilter’s Newsletter about the Irish Chain quilt she is working on as she watches Downton. But…spoiler alert! If you haven’t seen episode 4 yet, and don’t want to know what HUGE event occurred, don’t go to the link until you are ready. You could go to site and read the first three blog posts about her quilt […]
January 27, 2013

the power of a quilt

Hello again, Mary Ellen here. I’m not much of a baseball fan. I know just enough to keep up my end of a conversation about the generalities of the game. My sister, on the other hand, is a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan. Really, by her request, she and her husband went to Fenway Park for a game on their honeymoon. It’s a long story for her going back to playing checkers with our grandfather, while listening to the Red Sox on the radio. In the blog entry here, you can read about a quilt moving a tough baseball player, Joe Torre formerly manager of the NY Yankees, to tears. He sponsors a foundation to help at risk school children in NYC who are living surrounded by violence. As a thank you to him and in recognition of the 10 year anniversary of the foundation he sponsors, a group of […]
January 25, 2013

running smack dab into ugly

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I stole that title from the blog post I’m going to talk about. You know I like scrap quilts if you have read most of my blog posts here. There’s just something about the interplay of the colors and values, and I enjoy imagining where the fabrics came from. What is the story of the quilt? Even though I have made several, I’m not always happy with the colors in my own scrap quilts. I’m getting better, but I have a way to go yet. I’ve learned that smaller pieces are better. I like a quote I read at Bonnie Hunter’s blog (Bonnie will be our 2014 seminar national teacher) “If it’s still ugly, you haven’t cut it small enough.” Truly random placement of the colors works better for me than attempting to have a plan. (Very hard to do for a retired math teacher!) […]
January 24, 2013

The Wrath of the Crazy Quilt Ladies

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Found a video on YouTube by that name. It actually is from the New England Quilt Museum. A new intern there has made 2 videos about the museum, one serious and this one not so much. Is this what your relatives think about quilts? Check it out here. You’ll find a link to the serious video there as well. Enjoy!
January 20, 2013

getting craftsy

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Have you visited the Craftsy site? You really ought to. Although it is free to join, you don’t have to be a member to visit much of the site. There are all sorts of goodies to explore. As a crafting addict I have supplies for more crafts than I’ll ever be able to complete in several life times. I’ve tried so many things. I think I can name the crafts I have NOT tried in a shorter list–stained glass making, pen and ink drawing, sculpting, glass blowing …  Right now at Craftsy I am taking an online class taught by Anita Grossman Solomon, who was our national seminar teacher last fall. I was only able to take one class of hers during seminar and I really enjoyed it. Haven’t finished the project of course. The block I made in seminar, the pineapple block, is one […]
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 15, 2013

See the USA…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Wouldn’t a quilt like this be a fun group project? The next raffle quilt? No, I don’t think so! Read all about it at this blog. (Jan. 11 entry) I think this rainbow idea is very nice, but wouldn’t it also be fun to try to choose a fabric to represent each state? What would be good for NY? First thought was apples, or Statue of Liberty but those are more for New York City rather than the entire state. I suppose this idea might also be difficult to execute–getting enough contrast between bordering states. So many of the comments at the original blog post talked about making the quilt for kids-maybe this could become a quilt for courage kind of thing. Anyway, I love this quilt.