Monthly Archives: December 2012

perfect timing

Hello all, Mary Ellen back again.

In yesterday’s post I mentioned I’m going to make some tote bags for my organizational “system”. In my e-mail today I got a link to a video from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. If you haven’t watched any of her videos, make that a resolution for this year. You will love Jenny Doan, the hostess, who has such a nice way about her and her wonderful ideas. In the video today she shows an easy way to make three totebags from one charm pack. Yep, that’s right-three!!!! Granted they’re not big bags, but the “pattern” can easily be modified to be wider or taller or both. The general procedure, which she explains very clearly, is so simple. Sometimes Jenny plays fast and loose with some of “the rules” of quilting, but that’s okay by me. She makes it fun, and gives great ideas. Most of her ideas are using precuts, but we certainly can make our own from our stash of yardage, right ladies?

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resolutions

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

It’s approaching that time again-the time for goals for the new year. In addition to the old standards-more exercise, less food, finish UFO’s, buy less fabric (actually this goal might be INSTEAD of the old standards!) I’m thinking about adding some new ones to my list.

One of them is going to be to start diving into my increasing collections of selvages and make a few projects. I love every project I’ve ever made with selvages and I always get such nice comments when folks see them. Perhaps I’ll take some photos of a couple of them to show you (the ones I still have in my possession). I want to make another big tote bag-I find that I organize my “stuff” for classes and demos by the totebag system (each class or demo gets its own bag) and I could use a few more BIG bags. I also want to try a “funky” selvage project. I have followed this blog for a while, interested mainly in her selvage creations. Don’t you love her snowman idea? Look around there if you like selvage quilts. You do know about the selvage blog, don’t you? She doesn’t feature selvage quilts exclusively, but there are quite a few to admire at her site too, both her own and from other quilters.

I also am resolving to do something with my Christmas scraps. I think I’m going to go back to the leaders and enders idea (from Bonnie Hunter’s site and book ) that I used a few years ago when I wanted to make a dent in the scraps. I’m doing scrappy 4 patches this time, and will make an Irish chain-maybe single, maybe double-depending on how many I get made before I go crazy. I will be sending the top to an Amish girl for hand quilting as an “audition” of her skills before I recommend her to anyone.

I hope you all had a safe, healthy happy holiday so far and that it will continue to be so through the rest of this holiday season. I must say that those of you who had been wishing for a white Christmas, can stop now! I love the snow but enough already!

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Heeeeeere’s Bonnie!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

By now I hope you are all in tune with our upcoming seminar instructor, Pat Sloan. You now perk up for her ads in magazines, have visited her blog, maybe listened to a podcast or two. Great!

In 2014 we’ll be hosting another live wire in the quilting world, Bonnie Hunter. You may know I am a big fan of scrappy quilts, love this quote at Bonnie’s site: “If it’s still ugly, you just didn’t cut it small enough!!” She has been the force behind www.quiltville.com for some time now. Over at the Quilty Pleasures blog, from Quiltmaker magazine, Bonnie is featured today. Take a moment to “meet” another one of our instructors-to-be. There are links to her site and to her feature called Quiltcam. As you might expect, it’s a video cam in her studio which she will sometimes make live while she is sewing. Apparently she narrates and “chats” with you while she sews. I haven’t seen this one yet so it’s now on my list. Bonnie offers loads of free patterns at her site, and has recently started a free mystery quilt there too, if that is something you enjoy.

BTW, Pat Sloan, also has a video feature from her studio now and then. It’s fun to watch a “pro” work at the design wall, peek in on the decision making in some projects. They puzzle it out with colors and patterns just like we do.

More baking on the slate for today. Gotta get those cookie trays filled and ready for weekend delivery!

TTFN!

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gifting

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Heard some amusing stories on the radio this morning about regifting mishaps. Perhaps some of you are using “regifting” as a way to cut down on shopping and spending. All of the callers seemed to be of the opinion that regifting is perfectly okay, as long as you don’t regift back to the original “gifter”.

Aren’t quilts some of the original “regifts”? We often pass a quilt along to a family member or friend, or down the generations. Perhaps that falls into a different category. I have been regifting for years. I must say though, that I usually try to repackage the gift, or personalize it in some way before it moves on. Somehow just taking the gift and putting it into a different gift bag doesn’t feel quite right to me. In these days of recycling and reusing, I think regifting is just sensible.

I’m passing on some quilts this season. Some are new-just made this year with the person in mind. Some are samples made for classes I taught, being passed to those who hopefully will like the color palettes more than I do. And one is a family piece going down the generations.

How about you? Are you gifting or regifting any quilts this year?

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You know a rock star!

Hello again, Mary Ellen back.

Just checked the results of the Morton Masterpiece contest. Our member, Lauren DeVantier, won the viewer’s choice prize! CONGRATULATIONS! If you have seen her work, you know that this quilt is probably truly spectacular in person. I hope she’ll be able to share it with us soon-at least to have it hang in our next quilt show.

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calling Sue Nickels fans

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I know that many of our members are big fans of Sue Nickels. She and her sister Pat Holly will be presenting a BOM over at the Quilt Show website, via the e-mail and blog. You do not need to be a paid member, I don’t think, since I’m not and have been receiving all the information about it. The quilt is called “The Two of Us”. As you would expect, it is a combination of wonderful piecing, lovely applique, and beautiful machine quilting. The quilt was shown at Houston this year. Here’s a link for some of the details.

Gorgeous, isn’t it?

 

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Getting to know all about you…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

We’re in the home stretch now, ladies. Lots left to do, and not too much time in which to do it. Just finished another batch of cookies. I’m hoping to do a batch a day this week. (LOL) And I’m hoping not to eat too many of them before the big day. (LOL even louder)

Mary D., one of our past guild presidents, shared this article with me. As you must know if you follow this blog, Pat Sloan is our next seminar national teacher. She is a big presence in the modern world of quilting. Here’s an article from the Sewing Savvy newsletter, helping us get to know her. Thanks, Mary!

Back to the kitchen sink, the dinner in the microwave is calling, and I’ve got cookies to package up.

TTFN.

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holiday treat

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Just finished cleaning up the floor from the crunching sugar sprinkles left by cookie decorating helpers. Had a good time with them. Didn’t get a ton of cookies made, but made a memory instead. I’m happy with that.

Here’s a musical treat for you. I love the Sugar Plum Fairy, and this is a different take on it.

TTFN

 

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seminar

Hello all, Mary Ellen back again.

I’ll admit I took a gulp when I wrote that heading. As soon as we enter 2013 we will begin the process of preparing the seminar brochure. We have our one national teacher signed, Pat Sloan. This will be the first time, I believe, that there is only one national teacher. It will help us cut our expenses considerably-but the gamble is whether it will also cut our attendance. We certainly hope not! Pat is out and about in the quilting and sewing world, a definite presence on the internet, and a pattern and fabric designer. There is a brand new free pattern designed by Pat over at the moda bakeshop. I would love to see a bunch of Pat’s designs in a show and share during seminar. Our guild library has recently added some of her books, and she has many freebies available at her own site.

We also will shortly be starting the recruiting of our local teachers. If you have any good ideas, names of teachers whose classes you or your friends have enjoyed, please let us know. To be honest the enrollment in our local teacher classes has been disappointing-and we’re trying to find out why that is. Please contact me, Jan Reilly, or Marija Vujcic if you have suggestions for teachers, or any other ideas that you think might help us fill those chairs. We are planning to bring the local teacher tuition down a bit this year. We will never be able to get it in line with what our local quilt shops charge though. They are able to fund their classes through the purchases you make of supplies for the class, or buying the eye candy while you’re in their shop. We don’t have a “retail” item on which we can make our profit.

How are your holiday preparations coming along? I’m into the home stretch on my sister’s long overdue signature quilt. Just needs its label and binding. All of the other quilted presents are finished. Shopped today for the ingredients for the yearly cookie baking extravaganza. On Saturday the twins (the 5 year olds I write about) are coming over to help MeMe decorate cut out cookies. I suspect the dog is going to have a hey-day cleaning up the floor. I hope I survive! Tomorrow is the annual field trip to East Aurora and Vidlers. Hopefully the crowds during the week are going to be less that what I’ve seen in weekend news coverage.

TTFN!

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cleaning the book shelves

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I’ve spent some time over the past few days cleaning the bookshelves that hold all of my quilting and crafting books and “stuff”. I will be bringing the back issues of many magazines for auctioning in our January quilt buck auction. There are issues of American Patchwork and Quilting back to the first issue, if you want a piece of quilting history. Those are the only magazines I kept whole. For all of my other subscriptions, I tear out articles that seem interesting and file them in notebooks. I must admit I seldom go back to find patterns to be made, but I do peruse them for inspiration now and then. So many of the quilting magazines (and others) now have digital subscriptions available. I’m thinking about switching some of my subscriptions (I subscribe to LOTS of quilt magazines!) over. I wonder if I would enjoy viewing them on the computer as much as I enjoy turning the pages, adding post it notes, dog earring corners, and tearing out the really great designs. There is something very tactile about those processes that a digital edition would not satisfy. The plus side would be the storage, or lack of it, and thereby no need to dust those old issues! Do you have any digital subscriptions? What do you think about them?

Today I was visiting the blog associated with Quiltmaker magazine. Even if you do not subscribe to the magazine the blog is available to you, and to be honest you get quite a bit of quilty content for free. They are counting down to Christmas, and for today are visiting the International Quilt Study Center. Some very nice green and red quilts are featured in the entry. Though they are not all “holiday” quilts, the colors fit the theme.

The blog authors mentioned a link to this chocolatier, saying that the chocolates would make great gifts for quilter friends. If you visit this link, you’ll open up to a slide show of lovely things. Just keep reminding yourself that they are all made of chocolate. The lovely antique “buttons” and the all white wedding cake decorated with “buttons” were among my favorites.

I’ve caught the “cold/flu” that’s going around, I think. I’m having trouble staying warm. Keeping a cup of hot tea with me today. I’ve got a party to attend tonight, and I don’t want to have to stay home. Hopefully the tea, lemon and honey mixture-an old standby- will get me in shape by this afternoon.

TTFN

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