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May 22, 2016

basting your quilts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Who does your quilting? Are you one of us who does all of your own quilting because “it’s not your quilt if you pay someone else to quilt it”? (overheard being said by a visitor to our quilt show as she saw the name of a long-armer on the quilt label) Do you do some of your own quilting and hire some of it out? Hand quilting or machine quilting? I enjoy doing the quilting of my projects. I do all of it by machine, some free motion and some walking foot. But what I don’t enjoy about the process is the layering and the basting. Definitely a necessary evil-but evil nevertheless. I do remember crawling around on the floor basting a larger quilt to be done on my domestic machine. And the aches and pains in my knees and back after that adventure are […]
March 23, 2016

quilting at the Broadway Market??

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’m just back from an almost annual trek to the Easter time Broadway Market. The place was abuzz. I have a Polish brother-in-law who has taught me which stands to frequent and which baked goods one must have at this time of year. But what does the quilter in me gravitate to? The decorated eggs. There were many more stands selling the traditional pysanki than I’ve seen in other years. Must be more folks collecting them, or fewer folks making them at home. I have quite a collection that I’ve accumulated slowly over the years. Nearly all of them are traditional geometric designs, with a bit of symbolism of wheat etc thrown in here and there. Most of those designs are very quilt-like with “piecing” in the geometry, and “applique” in the symbols included. The colors choices are broadening somewhat from those I recall back […]
March 10, 2016

Take me out to the ball game…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. It’s often difficult to come up with quilt ideas for the men in our lives. Even changing the fabric choices to near solids often doesn’t make a quilt design quite manly enough. This morning I came across this quilt idea which is perfect for the sports fan. A baseball quilt! Actually with a bit of ingenuity any ball–football, soccer ball, golf ball–could be placed into this plan for a super quilt! I’m thinking I may make this into a softball quilt for my sister who just retired from many years of very successful coaching of varsity softball teams. See what you think. Click here.
February 5, 2016

button, button, who’s got…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Like many of us, I have WAAAAYYY too much sewing stuff in my craft room. I have become the repository curator for many of my friends who get sewing or crafting things given to them by friends and family. Yesterday I was attempting to reorganize some shelves to make room for more stuff (why don’t I just get rid of some of it? Oh no! I might be able to use it some day!) and decided that I need to come up with some projects to use buttons. I’m talking lots of buttons. You know those boxes that are made for storing 4 x 6 photos, slightly larger than a shoe box? Well I have about 8 of those of buttons. One is full of white/cream buttons, another dark buttons, another metallic buttons, etc. So today when I got an e-mail from Fave Crafts about […]
January 22, 2016

Hello…how are you?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. It has been a while since I’ve posted here. I’ve been making samples for classes, alternating with preparations to begin registrations for our new “Saturday Seminar Series”. Check it out as it gets posted at our guild’s page. The committee, my co-chair Jan, and I are hoping that you’ll find several classes to interest you this year. We’ve worked hard to incorporate all of the suggestions given, and to resolve your concerns. We’re hoping that our members, and their friends who are always welcome to join us, will be pleased with the changes we’ve made. Seminar has been a tradition for over 40 years in our guild–we’re hoping to honor the goals of seminar even with the changes that had to be made. I’ve been accumulating some quick links to interesting posts at other web sites-with help from some of our members. So without further […]
December 31, 2015

projects for 2016

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Beginning to get life back to normal in this household. Still will have to take down and put away the holiday decorations, but otherwise life is much calmer. I leave my decorations up until the Epiphany at least. We always had to wait to put the Magi near the creche on the 6th. I have seen lots of Christmas trees at the curb already. Even a few were out on the 26th. How about you? Are your holiday things already packed away, or do you stretch it out a bit? I’ve got a few quilting resolutions for myself that I’ll share. And I’m asking you to share a resolution or two in a comment after you’re done reading. Okay? Last year I resolved to use more orange in my quilts and I think I accomplished that well. It was a reach for me since in […]
December 18, 2015

checking in on a few details

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. We are just about finished with the switch to our new web format and provider. I’m asking you to let me know if you have signed up for e-mail notifications of a new blog post, and are NOT receiving them. If you got an e-mail notification about this post that you are reading now, you don’t need to do anything–you are all up to date as far as this blog goes. If you had been subscribed to our old blog, or recently signed up (in the past 2 weeks or so) for this one and did not get an e-mail notification about today’s post, please do 2 things. 1) subscribe for the notifications in the left sidebar and 2) let me know about the glitch. We want to get things squared away with our web guy before the final payment is sent. Now that business […]
December 13, 2015

last minute gifts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Have you recently discovered that there is going to be a gift exchange at your book club, or your “mommy” group? …or that your gift cards for the postman, newspaper delivery person, nail girl look kind of lame stuck on their cardboard backing? Here is an easy fabric ornament that you could whip up in fairly short time (if there’s any of that to spare!!). I have made these before and they really do go together quickly. I would follow Ami’s directions up to the handstitching part and then follow Kevin’s lead from there on out. I have not found it necessary to put in the firmer backer that Ami added, although it is nice if you want to have a place to write the year or a short message. I have never seen that sticky backed template plastic that she used. Has anyone of […]
December 10, 2015

Hello! (testing new blog site)

Hi everyone, long time no see, right? Yes, it is me, Marija, the perpetual MIA blog writer… Nothing like a brand new web-site and blog to give me a kick in… (you know what) to get back on the wagon and be much better about writing – promise to be better, with all my might!! OK, enough about that! Hey – this is a test – I just got all the information and I am trying to see if this works, I hope it does! Please, please – re-subscribe (add your name and email, on the upper left side), if you didn’t so already, so that you continue to get notifications about new blog posts. It just wasn’t possible to transfer that from the old blog, so it will only take minute for you to re-subscribe – THANK YOU!! I will keep this post short, since it is a test, […]
December 8, 2015

factory stitching mode

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. As we are approaching the big deadline for our holiday crafting, it might help to switch into factory or assembly line mode for getting those crafty or quilty gifts done. Here are some suggestions from a crafter who not only works a full time job, but is a productive quilt artist as well. If you read and used a few tips for finding time to sew from quilt artist Pat Sloan that I wrote about in a previous post, maybe this one will help you make the most of your found time. Click here. Are any of you working on a batch of gifts for the holidays? Today I’m going to be working on pajama pants. The pattern has been traced out in the correct size. Now I’m off to layout the fabric, cut it out, and get to the serger. I don’t use the […]