Monthly Archives: December 2013

2014 color of the year

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Well, it looks like I have to buy some fabric. Such a hardship, but I have nothing in this shade in my stash. Can’t have that! How about you-do you own any “Radiant Orchid”?  (click here)

We’ll be seeing this everywhere–just watch. What will appear first at your house? A sweater, a tee-shirt, or some packaging, or towels, or nail polish, or … even a quilt!

Or are you ahead of the curve and already have some of this color living at your house?


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Christmas cake frill

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I hope you’re all set for the upcoming holiday–all projects completed and wrapped under the tree. Yah, right she says with tongue in cheek.

If you have to bring a dessert to the next party and have little time to prepare, here’s a way to dress up a store-bought cake. (click here) The one in the photo looks like a fruitcake. I don’t suggest bringing a fruitcake though, unless you can take the teasing in good graces.

I hope you all have a safe, happy and healthy holiday. I’ll be traveling this week so probably won’t be checking in with you. Safe travels to all of you who also will be on the road!

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Filed under eye candy, tutorials

How far we’ve come…

Hello all, Mary Ellen again.

At last month’s guild meeting I picked up one of the freebie magazines that are always donated. It’s a copy of an early Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine from Feb. of 1982. Two things of note: There were profuse congratulations and excitement over the first Jinny Beyer line of fabric to be produced by V.I.P. fabrics. In the photo accompanying the article Jinny is wearing one of those quilted vests that all quilters wore back in the day. Hers features Mariner’s Compass quarters on the front. Remember those vests, girls? Come on now, fess up. You know you had one, if you’ve been at this long enough.

Secondly a four page article raved about a new technique taking quilting by storm. Let me quote the introduction to you and see if you can guess what technique they are lauding. Remember now, February of 1982.

” … is an intriguing study in contrasts and contradictions. It is old but new–traditional but contemporary. It is simple but complex, easy but hard, quick but time-consuming. It is structured and planned, but also free nd creative. With this technique one can make either abstract or representational designs. No contradictions here though: it has tremendously exciting possibilities for patchwork design, is fun to do, and is the “hottest” technique being used for quilts today.”

Got your guess ready? The title of the article this quote introduced is “Strip Piecing”. Not once in this article is a rotary cutter mentioned. In fact in the quilt pattern which accompanies the article, all the hand drawn illustrations (no computer used here!) of the procedure show scissors cutting all the 2″ strips. Wow! By the way how many strips were to be cut–with scissors–for this quilt? You got it, a total of 42 strips. Here’s a quote from the directions: “Measure and mark 2″ strips across the width of the fabric. Cut strips on the markings through all layers at once. Very sharp scissors, like Ginghers, should cut through eight layers at once, but you may find it easier to stack the fabrics in …” Can you imagine? I’m surprised that some of us stuck with this hobby. Maybe because we didn’t know how much easier it could be once we purchased the new-fangled tool called the rotary cutter!

Here’s a challenge–make your next project without a rotary cutter! Anybody up for it? Not me that’s for sure!

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Christmas crafting

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

How have you been? I’ve been AWOL for a while-busy with Christmas preparations. I’m sure you all understand. One of the things I’ve been up to involves Mod Podge. Yes that goopy stuff from the old decoupage crafting craze is still around and going strong. It’s quite amazing what you can get to stick with it. Did you know there is a Mod Podge made especially for fabric? Me either. I found this review (click here) by accident at the site for Craft Test Dummies. After reading what it has to say about the improvement in the fabric texture, I think I will check out whether any of our local big box stores, with my 40% off coupon, have any of the fabric Mod Podge in stock. I do quite a bit of crafting with fabric–making fabric flowers and embellishments in particular—and if it performs as well as the tester says then I’m in. I love using my Big Shot die cutter, and will be using our guild’s cutter more in the future. (Update on that guild cutter coming soon)

By the way if you do crafts or DIY projects of any kind, you should check out the Craft Test Dummies website (click here). All sorts of gadgets and craft supplies get honest reviews. In addition, there are lots of project ideas and tutorials. Being a gadget lover, I have purchased so many over the years–but not with 100% satisfaction. The more I’ve visited their site, the more I’m a convert. I will be checking out more of my possible purchases with them before I make the spending plunge. Hopefully I won’t be buying any more lemons. Anyone want a strip cutter machine?


Filed under gadgets, tutorials, Uncategorized

Busy, busy, busy

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Christmas is coming. It’s on the 25th. Every year, same date, right? Then why do I always find I’m playing catch up when December 1 rolls around? I should have my Christmas projects done by now! Does this happen to you too?

Not too much time playing in the blogosphere these days for obvious reasons, but here is a great site I ran across for inspiration. I love the border on this “Christmas at the Hoffmans” quilt (click here). Going to put that into the idea file.

TTFN friends.

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