Category Archives: free motion quilting

3 things we should stop doing

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Although Angela Walters says these are things that machine quilters should stop doing, I think they apply to all quilters–not just machine quilters. If you always send your tops out to be quilted by someone else, the main ideas in Angela’s piece apply to those who are piecers as well. The rest I’ll leave up to Angela: Click here. (p.s. Blog candy coming soon. I’m almost to a milestone in my blogging at this site. Stay tuned!)

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Filed under "modern" quilting, free motion quilting, hand quilting, Meeting Show and Tell, scrap quilting

Buried? In Quilts?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I hope you are safe and warm and buried only in quilts. What a storm some of us have been through! It’s not bad here in my neighborhood, but one doesn’t need to go far from here to either find an other-worldly scape, or to be turned back by driving bans.

What have you been doing to keep busy these past few days? I hope you got to sit at your machine or in your favorite chair for at least a bit of stitching time . I got a wall hanging cut and pieced and have begun the layering and pinning process. It’s a modern take on the old favorite drunkard’s path block. Love it. There are blocks of bright colors in the midst of white sashings. Not sure what color of thread to use in machine quilting it. I recently finished an online machine quilting class taught by Jacquie Gehring and want to use one of her ideas for the stitch pattern.

I also have been getting some knitting of Christmas presents done while I listen to the reports about our weather on the television. Fingerless gloves are going to be given to a few on my gift list.

What have you accomplished? I hope if you were stuck, it was stuck at home!

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Filed under free motion quilting, knitting

Don’t hurt yourself!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I’m sure if you’re more than a rank beginner to quilting, you know that quilting does use a lot of muscles. It’s not difficult to make your body tired and sometimes sore after an extended period of any of the processes involved in producing a quilt. We had a speaker at a guild meeting not long ago who gave some tips, but perhaps you weren’t at that meeting or you would like a review.

Check out this video. Tips are given for finding more comfort or less strain in each step along the way, starting from cutting the fabric all the way to the hand stitching of the binding. If you are an embroiderer the hand stitching tips and the stretches suggested would be helpful for you as well.

Have you got your project ready to work on in between tomorrow night’s trick or treaters?

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Filed under applique, free motion quilting, stitchery, tips and tricks, tutorials, Uncategorized

Double disappearing 9 patch

Good morning! Mary Ellen here.

I thought I was in New Orleans this morning. It’s so darn humid out-even with the actual temp at 67º I ended up all “dewy” from the humidity. Thank goodness for central air.

If you’re a fan of the disappearing 9 patch method, you’re going to like this one-the double disappearing 9 patch. It results in a very graphic, interesting block and it’s quite easy. Give this a look! click here

While you’re there have a look at some of her tutorials for free motion quilting. I like her all over patterns with no marking needed!

Just came back to add this bit. While exploring the blog above, I found this tidbit. Just yesterday I was puzzling over what to do with the bag full of batting scraps that keeps tipping over in the quilt closet. I like this idea! click here.

Have you got a mountain of batting scraps too?

TTFN!

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Filed under "modern" quilting, free motion quilting, tutorials

Just a quick note…

Hi everyone,

hope you still believe this is summer? Brrrr…a bit chilly I have to say, although I am really not complaining!! Some rain is always good for my sewing and cool nights are just wonderful to snuggle under the quilt and sleep well – nothing to complain about! 🙂

Today I am just popping my head in here during the lunch break to share few quick finds that I liked:

Here is a lovely quilty quote for you – maybe framed and up on the sewing room wall? 

Quilty quote

 

And as long as you are in your sewing room, how about busting that scrap basket by making a … SCRAP BASKET?? 

Scrap-Bucket-Bag-Hero

 

You will find a complete free pattern HERE.

Did you notice how this year all the flowers in the garden kinda just “rush through”? They open to bloom, lovely for few days and – boom! – all gone! At least that is my impression and I kinda miss my roses this year… Well, here is a bit of a cure – stitch a lovely rose! Either as a paper-pieced pattern or as a quilting motif – Lori Kennedy has a lovely set of tutorials for all of these HERE! I just love her blog…

I am sure many of you love sewing for your little ones (kids, grand kids, friend’s kids…), right? Well, this new grandma is completely in love with it all !! Here is the one I just did:

IMG_2483

 

Besides quilts, I just love, love love making other little things and internet is so full of wonderful patterns, tutorials, ideas…I am in BIG trouble! 🙂 But I so don’t care either, ha ha! 

HERE is a wonderful compilation of tutorials and patterns for all kinds of fun, beautiful and creative BIBS!! Sent to me by our own Karen G. – thank you so much Karen!! This will be fun!

the-worlds-12-cutest-bib-tutorials

OK, lunch over, back to work for me!! 

Wishing you a wonderful Thursday and weekend ahead and don’t worry about rain – it gives you wonderful little “jewels” to look at after! 🙂 (I saw these just this morning on my way to work!)

Marija

IMG_2497 IMG_2499 IMG_2500

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Filed under foundation paper piecing, free motion quilting, scrap quilting, sewing with/for kids, tutorials

What to write about today?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

How do I find something to write about nearly everyday? Strange how the mind works. Usually I’m just commenting on something I got in my e-mail or that has recently happened in “life”. For example…

In today’s e-mail I got my blurb from “The Quilt Show”, the Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims adventure. When they first put the show up to the web, I paid for a subscription so I could watch the videos like I used to enjoy Alex’s Simply Quilts show on HGTV. Now though I just do the free stuff, since there are so many free videos available all over the web. Today in the e-mail there is a slideshow of free patterns from Bonnie Hunter. In it you’ll see 2 of the blocks Bonnie will be teaching at the fall seminar for us: Boxy Stars and Pineapple Blossom. Also shown is the block I demoed at our recent quilt show: easy delectable mountains. Bonnie calls it scrappy Mountain Majesty. click here for the slideshow

Last night we had the Jim(?) and Wally show at guild meeting–two machine mechanics from a local quilt store talking about machine maintenance. I was amazed at how many of our members own featherweights! When Jim called  ladies up to show how to free motion quilt on a featherweight, nearly the entire audience went up! They took questions from the audience on a variety of machine care concerns. One member asked about having magnets near our machines. Both fellows said to keep the magnets away! Interesting because I had just read information to the contrary in the past day or two. This exact question came up on the message board at The Quilting Board.com and all of those who had chimed in said magnets today are not a problem. This is the link that one of the responders included to support her claim. click here for the opposing view  Just goes to show that even the “experts” don’t always agree. I keep the magnets in my sewing room (pin dishes mostly) away from the machine. Better safe than sorry I’m thinking. Another question of note: how often to change the needle? The answer boiled down to: more often than most of us do. You can usually hear it when the needle needs changing. Popping sounds as it pierces the fabric. Or you can see it when it needs to be changed. Poor stitch formation or skipped stitches.

Well the question for today–sewing or gardening? Gardening in light rain is not a bad thing. The transplants love it–no need for me to water them. The weeds come right out without a fight. Anybody else find that all of your garden edging heaved up this past winter and had to be completely redone this spring? I’m about 3/4 of the way around the yard and I must say the edges are looking better. I’m thinking though that it’s time to find a permanent sort of edging–river rocks or something. Of course if it rains as hard today as it has the past few days, the sewing machine will win. Actually I’m working on a second wreath sample for my seminar class, and it requires more hot glue than stitches. Tangled with some hot glue yesterday and have a blister to prove it. Maybe I’ll find some stitching to do instead. There’s always another project in the queue.

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Filed under antique machines, free motion quilting, free patterns, gardening, scrap quilting, Uncategorized

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