Monthly Archives: August 2015

Carol again

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

At the end of July I wrote 2 posts about Carol Bryer Fallert whose quilts and awards changed the trajectory of quilting. She gave machine quilting its stature in the quilting world, I feel. The quilting police were forced to recognize the skill and artistry that are required to quilt projects by machine, whether those machines are long arms, mid arms or, for most of us, our domestic machines.

If you’re going to be in Massachusetts this fall you might want to visit the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts to see a retrospective of Carol’s work. What spectacular quilts you’d get to see; it might be worth making a special trip with this exhibition as your destination.

Click here for details.

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great shoes…!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Very short post. Look at these great shoes. Perfect for fabric fanatics, I think. Thanks to Cathy C. for this info. She saw them at the Lewiston Art Festival.

Click here.

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What would you pay for a quilt?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I think we all know that most of us hope our quilts are priceless–that they are loved and treasured by those to whom we give them. But let’s be business women for a moment. Many quilters sell their work as their livelihood or to supplement the family’s income. What do you think is a fair price for a quilt? I have seen quilts that I felt were mispriced in both directions. I have seen work at some of the craft shows that abound in the pre-holiday season that I think are very overpriced. Cheap fabrics and poor workmanship give shoppers a false impression of the work that many quilters produce. On the other hand I have also seen many quilters grossly underprice their work-sometimes not even charging enough to pay themselves back for their materials, let alone their time and talent.

Have a look at this quilt which is expected to sell at auction for over $100,000. Is it the skill or the provenance that is driving the price so high? You decide. Click here.    Any thoughts on this, readers?

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back to school…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Are you also trying to squeeze a lot of summer into the little bit that remains before school starts again? Why do we do that, even when we aren’t going back to school? I will admit that when I was still teaching for my supper, I hated to see the first back to school ad-whether it was a print ad or on tv. They seemed to come earlier and earlier each summer. I would boycott that business for awhile in my own childish protest at summer’s speed in passing. Nowadays I like to comb the back to school ads looking for bargains on school supplies that I can re-purpose into my quilting. Sometimes the item will be a store’s loss leader and the savings will be phenomenal! I’ll list of few of my favorites for you. If you’ve heard any of my lectures, or taken any of my classes you can probably name my item #1.

#1) Elmer’s washable school glue, both the stick form and the liquid. I use these more and more; my first use was for glue basting my bindings, rather than pinning them. I prefer to machine finish the majority of my bindings since my quilts are washed regularly, and because stitching by machine is so much faster. I know there are many who find the hand stitching of those bindings to be quite relaxing––but I’m not one of those. I also use the glue here and there for any job where a straight pin would be an annoyance. Last evening I worked on preparing some hexies for a demo on English paper piecing. A dab from the glue stick held the paper hexie in place nicely, keeping it centered until I had basted the six corners into position. (And for those who are amazed that I am doing that sort of hand work, the goal of the demo will be to show how the machine can be used for this sort of project. Exactly how I will do that is still a secret!)

#2) Crayola washable markers, both fine and bullet tips. I use them for drawing applique shapes, for tracing quilt stencils, and markings of all kinds. They have never failed to wash out completely. (Keep in mind though I wash my things in the washing machine, and am very careful not to accidentally heat set the markings before washing.)

#3) Nice clean pink pearl erasers. Great for helping to remove or gather together thread ends.

#4) Adding machine tape. Easy way to measure and subdivide the measurement for evenly spaced placements of motifs for quilting or applique.

#5) Mechanical pencils. Nice for very thin, nearly invisible lines on fabric, and accurate tracing of pattern pieces.

#6) Funky paper tapes. (Not duck tapes-I mean the ones kids use for marking and jazzing up notebooks). This is a new addition this fall to my school supply/quilting tool list. This paper tape, sometimes called washi tape, works just like blue painter’s tape but is more fun, and in a good sale can be much cheaper.

If you have any ideas for repurposing household and school items into our quilt rooms, please leave a comment.

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