September 26, 2020

using up jelly rolls

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ve had a few requests from my nieces for seasonal quilts for their family rooms. I have so much fabric in my stash that I want to use what I have rather than buying more, and I want to use a pattern that will chop some of the uglies into small pieces AND will be fast and easy to cut. I’ve decided to make jelly roll race quilts. Do you know what those are? (See here if not).(You could also search for jelly roll quilt or jelly roll 1600 to see other blog posts about this.) One modification I am planning to make is to cut each 40 inch strip in half to 20 inches. That will give more variety – scrappiness? – to the top. Both nieces are quite tall. I wanted to make sure that there will be enough size to the quilt […]
September 23, 2020

What’s in your quilt?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’m not a big fan of award shows, and no, I did not watch the Emmy’s this weekend. But as I was watching the videos at our guild’s YouTube channel, a teaser came up about Tyler Perry’s acceptance speech for his award. His grandmother’s quilt was to be mentioned in it. If you didn’t see this show and his speech, take about 3-4 minutes to see what he has to say about his quilt. Then think about what patches are in your quilt. Click here for the video.
September 22, 2020


Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I can’t believe it’s the first day of fall already. I guess with our world in turmoil the usual season clues passed me by. Fortunately I did remember to bring my christmas cactus indoors before the first frost. It’s the only house plant that I take in and out for the seasons. I’ve had this cactus for years; it was started from a huge cactus that my Nana had next to her favorite chair for as long as I can remember. If I have this plant die on me, I will be heartbroken. We’re working along on the 2020 Quilt Guild Showcase. We started photographing quilts outdoors at the museum on Monday, taking advantage of the nice sunny day. We’ll be continuing that at the end of the week, and perhaps into next week if it takes longer than we expect. We discovered that staging […]
September 6, 2020

catching up on things

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What’s up buttercup? I’ve been getting ideas together for our guild slide show showcase. We have just over 50 quilts offered for photography for the show. That should give us enough shots for 2 slideshows easily. The quilts will be coming to the museum this week, and we’ll start the photography as soon as we organize them all. We want to take advantage of the wonderful fall weather and the light should be perfect for most of our outdoor shots. Now that we have a guild YouTube channel it will be very easy to get the show available for all of you and the public at large. Do you decorate for fall and Halloween? I have lots of Halloween “quilty” stuff but I’d like to add some things that are more Septemberish (is that a word?) Here are a few of the links I like […]
August 3, 2020

bits and pieces

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. What’s up at your house? Lots of bits of inconsequential stuff happening here. Reading binges of series of novels from kindle unlimited. It’s so easy to ignore jobs that I should be doing if I am in the middle of a good book. Making masks round two with a better pattern for family members. The garden is coming on strong. Harvesting lots of lettuce, herbs, and beginning to get tomatoes. There is nothing like a home grown tomato for summer deliciousness, is there? I’m getting zucchini like crazy from other gardens and always in the market for a good zuke recipe. I’ll share one of my favorites at the end of this post. Ran across this fun quiz to see what Free Motion Quilting Motif you are. Try it out. I’m Paisley. What a coincidence because the paisley, as she has illustrated it, is my […]
July 8, 2020

what are you up to?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.Now that the need for home made masks has slowed a bit, what are you doing at your sewing machine? I’ve been cutting scraps into 5″ squares and random width strips. I have an idea for a scrappy pinwheel quilt with a piano keys border. I’m planning to do the sewing for the scrappy blocks as leaders and enders when doing other projects. When I am able to get organized enough to have pieces cut and ready to go, the leaders and enders technique does help me sort of make 2 projects at once. What are you working on? Still am putting the names of all commenters into a bin for drawings for prizes at our next guild birthday party. Perhaps we’ll do the drawing sooner if the party is postponed until our next birthday! Anyway please keep commenting so you have chances to win. If […]
June 28, 2020

quilts at Berkeley Art Museum

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. The NY Times featured today an article about quilter Rosie Lee Tompkins. Her work is currently on display at the Berkeley Art Museum in California. It will bring to mind the Gee’s Bend quilts that were so trendy for a spell, but if you look at all of her work she has her own style. Since none of us is doing much traveling to quilt shows this spring and summer, perhaps you’ll enjoy this virtual show. Link to NY Times article: click here. Link to Berkeley Art Museum Slideshow of her work: click here.
June 16, 2020

face masks, Buffalo-style

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Did any of you see the article in Sunday’s Buffalo News Style section with the title above? All about masks, of course, which can be purchased in shops around town. It focused on what I would think of as the more “artsy” shops online or down in the Elmwood area.  “Whether simple or splashy, an array of options lets people show some personal style. Many are made right here in Western New York by local artisans and fashion designers – or by the wearers themselves.” Does the mask you wear show something about you and your interests? I have an assortment of masks which I wear–one has math formulas all over it, one is covered in pansies, one has compasses and protractors. Those masks which I have made for friends and family are of fabrics chosen with the wearer in mind. We’ll be in masks […]
June 8, 2020

puzzle answers

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Spoiler alert! This 5 differences between the two photos in the previous post are about to be revealed. I will phrase them with the photo on the left as the starter to which changes were made, resulting in the photo on the right. 1. The green thing in the upper right quadrant is a leather thimble. That has been removed. 2. Two additional HST foundations have been added. 3. The blue cylinder (actually is a chalk marker, but I agree it looks like a seam ripper) has been placed in the pin dish. 4. A second postcard featuring our raffle quilt has been added. 5. The scissors were exchanged for a different pair. The pair on the left are spring loaded and have a locking mechanism, those on the right are just basic. Do you do much stitching/quilting in the summer months? Too hot? or […]
June 6, 2020

a puzzle for you

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Some of you must have a lot more free time now that we are on hiatus from mask making. I want you all to know how appreciative Roswell Park is of all of our efforts – they still have masks remaining that we have given to them. I’m certain that the other places that got masks from us are equally thankful. When I made the first challenge back at the beginning of the pandemic-could we make 2,000 masks – I never thought we’d go as far as we did. Hats off to all of you ladies, and thank you to the friends of the guild, not members, who also contributed to our effort. Now you’ll have time to finish up things for our postponed quilt show. There’s always something, isn’t there? I saw a puzzle like this at another crafting blog that I visit so […]