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September 3, 2012

seminar “stuff”

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ve been at the computer quite a long time today, working on things needed for seminar. I took a break to check my e-mail and found two things “seminar-ish”. The first is from a blog done by Martingale, a publisher of many quilt books, including those done by Karla Alexander, one of our national teachers from last year’s seminar. In it the writer talks about being a traditionalist and a way in which Karla helped her get out of the box. Here’s the post. If you took one of Karla’s classes last year, or have made anything from her “stack the deck” series, you’ll enjoy this. The second was sent to me by Anita Grossman Solomon who will be teaching for us this year. Anita was a member of our guild many years ago, and has not forgotten her connection to us. If you have […]
September 3, 2012

Here she is, Miss …

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I think we’re all dating ourselves who can remember what happened for years on Labor Day weekend with Burt Parks singing that famous song “There she is…” I won’t finish it, so if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ll be able to kid yourself that it’s because you’re too young!! I finally got the next Lucy Goosey directions (#5) worked up. You’ll find the pattern here: sept lucy goosey. I’m kind of amazed that we’re at month 5, one more to go! I must admit that with the summer hub-bub and seminar preparations, I am behind. I have to finish my #4 and get a sample done for #5. I had told myself that if I was organizing this quilt-a-long, I would have to keep up! Oh well, life happens. Do you have any kiddos heading off to school this week? My 5 […]
September 1, 2012

Quilts are the bomb..!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. You probably haven’t heard of Ada Lovelace, a female who was WAY ahead of her time in a man’s world. Well read here to find the connection between Ada and a man billing himself as a “heterosexual quilter”. Maybe a bunch of us should “bomb” a building on the grounds!
August 20, 2012

Say sha-tock-qwa

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I was surprised to find that title phrase at the top of one of the blogs I periodically visit. When I sounded it out, I thought “is that Chautauqua?” and I was right. All of us around here know about the fall Chautauqua quilting weekend. Mary Fons, daughter of quilting rock star Marianne Fons, who is taking up the reins that Liz Porter put down for retirement will be at Chautauqua with her mom this fall. See her post about it here. Many of you have tasted and loved Linda Hunter’s easy butterscotch cake. She sent her recipe to me to share with all of you.Click here Butterscotch Cake Recipe for the recipe. Are you into English paper piecing? Love those Grandmother’s flower garden quilts made with gazillions of hexagons? You might be interested in this new book Hexa-go-go and the blog tour about it. […]
August 18, 2012

not your grandma’s yo-yo’s

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Are you like me, buying lots of “one-use” gadgets for your sewing? If so, you probably have at least one of those Clover brand yo-yo makers in your sewing room somewhere. Maybe it’s a basic circle, for the traditional yo-yo shape. Or perhaps you went for one of the unusual ones-the heart, or the pentagonal flower, or the butterfly. Here’s a clever use of those tools, from the designers at Nancy’s Notions. Nancy demonstrates in this video how to use those yo-yo tools for a smocked effect. This really got my creative juices flowing. What can I do with this idea? The holidays are on the horizon-this effect makes a simple technique look quite glamorous. I love those kinds of things, don’t you? Sometimes it’s so easy to fool the recipient of your gift into thinking it took hours to make it, and quite a […]
August 12, 2012

Kim Diehl freebies

Hey y’all, ME here. Just was listening to an interview done by Pat Sloan with Kim Diehl on the American Patchwork and Quilting weekly podcast. If you haven’t tried those out yet, give them a listen some time. I find them perfect for listening while walking that same old boring route with the dog each morning. I had a chance to eat dinner with Kim when she and Jo Morton were our seminar teachers a few years ago. What a nice lady-very “normal” and friendly. Just like a neighbor or colleague might be. (well…some neighbors and colleagues, anyway!) She mentions her freebies in the interview. Here’s a link to her freebie section; lots of goodies there for fans. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making her free ornament for some folks this Christmas.
August 9, 2012

Wednesday’s lunch-time ramblings…

Hello everyone, yes, I do know today is Thursday…but read on, I’ll explain… 🙂 These summer days, as long as they are, don’t seem to have enough hours in them for everything! Sorry for not posting in some time, as always – promise to do better! 🙂 Anyway…how is everyone’s summer? Are you thinking holidays yet? Making gifts already? I just love, love love Mary Ellen’s instructions for those triangular coasters! (previous post) Those are promptly added to my favorite list of small gifts to make – thanks ME! As we start to rev-up our sewing, quilting and holiday gift making, some new tools might be of help…I just saw this blog post from Moda (fabric manufacturer) and …hmmm, not sure what to think about these QUILT STICKS! What do you think? Another inspiration came from the recent email that came from our Newsletter fairy, Colleen, about Karen Goddard’s quilt […]
August 9, 2012

Orange you glad I didn’t say…

Hello all, ME here. I was trying to remember, unsuccessfully, a silly knock-knock joke from my childhood that had a punch line that began with “orange you glad I didn’t say…”. That’s all I can remember. If you know this joke, please send it to me to put me out of my misery! Anyway, got an e-mail today from Quilting Arts about color choices. It seems “Tangerine Tango” is the 2012 color of the year from Pantone. Have we seen shades of orange everywhere this year? Not me, although I’ve stayed out of the stores more than usual. Thinking about the new quilt fabrics I’ve fondled so far this year, I do recall lots of orange. I’ve even purchased some yardage of a fabric with paisley in shades of orange and turquoise. So hot and summery looking. Here’s a link to a blog post from Quilting Arts about orange in […]
August 5, 2012

that 60 degree triangle ruler

Hello all, ME here. Wow, I went out to walk the dog this morning at about 7:15. I always check my kitchen weather station just before we leave so I know if I will need a jacket or not. It’s a habit, so even during the summer I check. It was 83 degrees at 7:15! This is not my idea of a great summer day, fans. I want it cooler in the evenings and early mornings. It was very gray and windy while we walked, so the old-fashioned method of forecasting tells me rain is coming-but I think it might be a heck of a storm instead of a steady soaker like we need. Yesterday I gave demos at a local shop-some of which were giving ideas for using the 60 degree triangle ruler that many quilters have. Once you have made the striped fabric table runner, what else can […]
August 2, 2012

Who is Ami Simms?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I have been a fan of Ami’s quilting patterns, books and teaching, almost since I started to quilt. I am so glad to have learned Ami’s invisible applique stitch a long time ago. I use it for almost everything I need to hand stitch, where I want my stitches to be completely unseen. I rarely take the time to hand stitch my bindings to the back of my quilts, but when I do, I use her stitching method. You truly can not see any stitches, and if I have been careful enough there are no puckers or traces of any kind to give hints of where the hidden stitches are. There is no need to use matching thread for the stitching, they are so invisible! At her website she still sells the book from which I learned this stitch, many moons ago! I got Ami’s […]