Monthly Archives: February 2014

checking your work

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

That heading really sounds like a math teacher wrote it.  (a retired one!) I’m working on a sample of a block for a demo I’ll be doing in a month or so. The book has great ideas but was not edited carefully at all. I wonder who it was who fell down on the job…the designer, the copy editor, the technical writer…   This is very irritating to me every time it happens. And it happens much more often than it should. (In a perfect world it would never happen!) I’m sure many a quilter has come upon errors in a pattern and blamed them on herself. Actually I find that many times the errors belong to some one else. Why don’t they check their work more carefully?

That said, our own inaccuracy in a 1/4″ seam cause us problems often. The block I am testing has 20 spokes (it’s a dresden plate variation) coming together in the center of the block. An ever so slight, one or two thread inaccuracy, multiplied by 20 becomes a problem. So in addition to finding ways to make the seams very accurate, I am also finding ways to compensate for the inevitable center issue in this block. I’ll want my students to be able to finish it, without too much frustration. This is not a block for those who think that 1/4″ inch seams aren’t as important as consistent seam widths.  That philosophy really limits the kinds of blocks and projects that a quilter can complete without a lot of angst. There is only so much a “fudge factor” can do for you.

This blog post  (click here) from Quilters’ Newsletter magazine talks about the process the magazine goes through to insure that what they publish is correct. I wish all publications were edited so carefully!! If while you are there, you back up to one post earlier, there is an interesting post comparing different hand quilting needles. Within that post she talks about Lady Edith’s developing fashion sense on Downton Abbey. If you are or were a garment sewer, or have an interest in historical costuming, I think you’ll enjoy the link she gives to notes about Lady Edith’s garments. I also was amazed at a photo of the actress who plays Lady Edith-what a different appearance she has in her “real” persona. (What did you think of the final episode?!)

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Filed under garment sewing, hand quilting, quilt history

Modern Applique

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

What can be changed in applique to make it modern? I’ve seen a new book, The Modern Applique Workbook, talked up quite a bit in “the blogs” of late. And I’ve wondered what’s new under the sun in applique land? I’ll be honest up front. I’m not a big applique fan. I’m more of a piecer. I do fusible raw edge applique sometimes, but I am not a hand stitcher, needle turner. But one thing I am is curious. So I’ve been looking for some peaks into this new book that is getting a lot of press.

Here’s a peek for you: click here.   At the end of the post to which I’ve linked you up, there is a list of bloggers participating in a blog hop for the book. I must say I found the close-ups of the quilting on the projects more interesting than their comments about the applique. The photos of the projects are intriguing too-they surely have a “modern” feel.   I suspect this book will be joining my library before too long.

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Filed under "modern" quilting, applique, quilt books, Uncategorized

a UFO completion

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

PHDYesterday I finished a Phd from 1999. How do I know that date? The issue of Miniature Quilts magazine (Do you remember that one? It was a favorite magazine of mine!) where I found the directions was folded up with the nearly complete project. All it needed was a binding. Fortunately I had not trimmed the backing off yet, so I was able to do a “faux” binding, wrapping the backing up over the edge to the front. Quick finish. I wonder why I hadn’t finished it back then when there was so little needed.

The project looks like a drunkards path project, with killer small curves but…it’s not. Squares were fussy cut from two fabrics: a black background with white polka dots, and a white background with black polka dots. The polka dots were about 1 inch in diameter originally, so the curvy portions on the “drunkard’s path” blocks are about 3/4″. Makes it look like I really worked hard at the curve piecing, but I had none to do. Just sewed my fussy cut blocks into rows and bam!, there it is.

Don’t you love projects that look like you really fussed, when you know how easy it actually was? The trouble is, too many of us give away the secret in a self-effacing way. “it was so easy, all I did was …” We should just keep quiet and let our admirers think we are genius quilt-makers.

Do you have a pattern secret you can share with the rest of us who are in the club? What pattern have you made that makes you look like a genius, even though you know it was a cinch?

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Filed under antique quilts, tips and tricks

I can make that!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

anthropologie pillow copy

Do you also run across things in stores and say to yourself “I can make that”? That’s a picture of a pillow from Anthropologie, a very trendy shop. Would make a nice Valentine gift for a young person. And what did I say to myself when I saw it? Yep, ” I could make that!” And not only do I think I can make it, I can make it better, and definitely cheaper! It sells for $198!!!

How’s that for $ew worth it?!

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For the love of…

Hello my quilty Valentines!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

EHartman-ValentineRight from the start – how about this cool Valentine? Isn’t it just beautiful!? Even better, you can have a pattern for it – this is the newest creation from Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson! blog – one very talented modern quilter! I just love how this is patchwork, multicolored, has depth, interest…just fun!

Speaking of fun – did I had some last Friday! I went to a lecture/trunk show/demo by amazing sisters, Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson, of Sew Kind of Woderful designs. They are long time quilters, have been professional long-arm quilters and now they are just playing and creating new, beautiful designs, using their new Quick Curve ruler.

I saw this ruler a while ago and of course had to buy it asap, but – of course AGAIN – did not have a chance to play with it yet! So this came as such a treat and so timely! Sisters are just wonderful, passionate and inspiring and here is some of the photos I took:

2014-02-07 06.50.55 2014-02-07 06.52.06 2014-02-07 06.53.33 2014-02-07 07.07.59 2014-02-07 07.41.05 2014-02-07 07.43.22 2014-02-07 07.43.32You would think these are really not so easy to make, but they are all made with the ruler, and very few basic blocks! I am so itching to try it now!!

Oh and did I mention both sisters are amazing quilters? Just look:

2014-02-07 07.36.25 2014-02-07 07.36.49 2014-02-07 07.37.17 2014-02-07 08.33.54 2014-02-07 08.34.21And as a “cherry on the top” here is the face of Grinch!!

2014-02-07 08.34.46So, are you intrigued yet? Will you try this new ruler? Or have you used it already? Do share if you did! I promise to share my trials soon!

Speaking of trials – I am always trying new quilting motifs. Lately I find a lot of inspiration, great tutorials and ideas with Lori Kennedy, of The Inbox Jaunt – a great blog to follow!

Sew…who is ready for the February meeting? Me – your humble program speaker…well, almost! 🙂 I will be talking about how I go from inspiration to a new quilt design. What tools do I use, what computer programs, what are my experiences when writing instructions for others.

It occurred to me that we can use this forum, our blog, to have questions ahead of time! So – is there anything you are particularly interested in hearing? Do you have a specific question? Is there an area you would like me to try and cover? Post your questions in comments and I will do my best to answer and incorporate it all into my presentation. Thank you!!

Leaving you with one of my “doodles” inspired by Valentine’s Day, love, the “melting” of two hearts together…red one and blue one becoming a purple one… I call it “Stitched Together”. 🙂

SMS-Stitched together2Wishing you love today and always,

Marija

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Filed under "modern" quilting, eye candy, free motion quilting, gadgets

Meet Bonnie

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Preparations for our fall seminar are underway. Bonnie Hunter will be our national teacher. If you haven’t heard of her, here’s a little clip to begin to introduce you. (click here.)

Mark your calendar (September 17-20) and please plan to join us for a class or two. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

If you want to find out more about Bonnie, visit her website. (click here.)

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Filed under scrap quilting, seminar, stash reduction, Uncategorized

We are $ew Worth It

Hello all, Mary Ellen again.

This will speak for itself. (Click here for an interesting point of view on what our hand-made things are really worth.) I wonder if you”ll agree with her. I’ll be honest, I stopped selling my quilts because I couldn’t get very many folks to pay what I felt they are worth. And I’ve learned to be judicious in choosing gift quilt recipients who appreciate what they are getting.

Here’s a cute project for spring. Some cheerful shoes and digging in your button box. Have a look at this. (click here.)

If you’ve sewed a lot lately, it might be time to take care of your scissors. I do this now and then (training from my old tailoring teacher who was a strict old bird!), but not often enough. If you own some really good scissors, and you do this “maintenance” routine, along with periodic sharpening, they will last forever. My favorite Ginghers are probably 35 years old and still are like new. I also have a pair of pinking shears that were my grandmother’s originally, that also still cut well. Who knows how old those are?! (click here for scissor routine)

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

 

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Filed under gift ideas, sewing with/for kids, tutorials, Uncategorized