Category Archives: quilt bucks

earned for participation in guild activities, through donation of time and/or items.

One man’s trash…

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Last night we had our annual auction at our quilt guild meeting. Throughout the year member’s earn “quilt bucks” by getting involved in our guild’s activities. Basically it is monopoly money, but it has been a successful motivator for many of our members. For example, one might earn 5 bucks for making a block for our charity committee, or 10 bucks for sewing the binding onto a charity quilt. We have a few guidelines for amounts to be awarded, but each chairperson has some leeway as well. Bucks are then saved by the members throughout the year to be used to buy items at our annual January auction. Items for the auction are donated by members. It’s a good chance to clean out our sewing rooms of excess fabric, kits, patterns, UFO’s etc. This auction is certainly an example of the cliche that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Bidding was very spirited on some items, reaching  $300 on one. (Keep in mind–monopoly money!). This year we had a new wrinkle (pun intended) added. The board members added some mystery items. Wrapped securely in brown paper, only one member knew what was in each of the mystery packages. Some were gag gifts–scraps, pennies, selvages. Some were great–brand new good scissors, best press spray, a gift certificate to a local shop. Fun was had by all, I would say. I successfully sat on my hands and did not come home with any new fabric to add to my stash!! I did bid on one lot of purse supplies-handles, stabilizer, magnetic clasp, and a few good patterns. Paid $100 for it (again–monopoly money!). I also was given a treasure by a fellow member. She found a bag of selvages in the lot she won. To her they’re trash, to me it’s a treasure!! If you are not a member of our guild but think this would be a fun idea for your quilty group, I’d be glad to give you more details. We found out about this concept at a meeting of the NYS Quilters’ Consortium and have adapted it to suit our guild. Always glad to share good ideas! Just reply in the comment section and I’ll get back to you.

How is your gifting challenge coming along? (described a few blog entries back). I’ll admit I’ve not made much progress on my original idea for January (to make a Christmas quilt from a Jenny Doan tutorial). I have chosen the fabrics from my stash and have begun to cut them up. I think this is going to be my next leaders and enders project (Bonnie Hunter gets credit for that great concept). I have completed 2 runners though, that will be Christmas gifts. I needed samples for a class I will be teaching so chose the fabrics with gifting in mind. I think I’ll call that a success for this month’s challenge. I’m hoping to get all the fabric cutting for my original idea done this weekend, and to organize it for sewing. Next I’ll be choosing the February gift project for myself.

Does any one of you have a report for us on your progress on this challenge? Who is playing along with us?


Filed under 2015 gifting challenge, guild activities, quilt bucks, Quilt-a-Long, selvage projects, stash reduction

a little of this, a little of that

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Odds and ends found while blog hopping:

Pat Sloan, our 2013 seminar national teacher visits a NYC group: click right here.

If you are a knitter and a Downton Abbey fan as well, you may enjoy these free knitting patterns: click here.

Stopped at Wegman’s today for a few items not to be found at my small neighborhood tops and almost fell prey to all of that extra “stuff” in the seasonal aisle. That’s why I’ve pretty much sworn off Wegman’s for the basics. I did pick up a new magazine from the Fons and Porter group called Quilting Quickly. It is full of patterns from Jenny Doan and the crew at the Missouri Star Quilting Company. If you are an avid fan of Jenny’s videos on YouTube, be forewarned that many of the patterns in the magazine have already been featured on Jenny’s channel. That may be a good thing if you like to have written directions to refer back to and take notes on, or it may be a disappointment if you were expecting all new content. Her intro letter leads me to believe that this is not just a one shot specialty issue, but will be followed by future issues. The print and editorial style is what you are used to, if you are a reader of Love of Quilting from Fons and Porter. Easy reading, clean graphics and page layout. Lots of patterns for the price.

Working on a UFO today! Hope to have it ready for show and share at the next meeting. I don’t know if we’ll have show and share this month, since we have the quilt bucks auction.


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Filed under free patterns, quilt books, quilt bucks, tutorials, Uncategorized


Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Are you one who makes resolutions each year? I used to be such, but didn’t usually follow through very well. I have good intentions, but…

In the latest newsletter from Superior Threads, in my inbox this morning, Mother Superior gives a suggested list of resolutions which I think I will give a try. Some I do already, which cuts the list down from its ten. And others I’d like to push myself to try. I’m including her list here, with a few annotations from me. See what you think.

1. I will read my machine’s Owner’s Manual.
If it puts you to sleep, at least read the Tension chapter.  If you do not have the Owner’s Manual, go to Google and type in “machine brand, model number, owner’s manual” and you should find it online.

2.  I will use a thread I have never used before (as long as it’s Superior).
If you like softer and muted colors, try a bright and bold color. If you usually piece with only neutral colors, try matching the piecing thread to the main fabric color. If you applique with cotton, try silk or Bottom Line.  If you usually use fine or medium wt. threads, try a heavier thread just to see the effect. If you use only solids, try a variegated. (Last year I gave King Tut from Superior a thorough trial, using it for almost all of my quilting, both free motion and walking foot. I LOVE it. Never gives any trouble, great colors-solid and variegated.)

3. I will take a class.  There are opportunities to learn and improve skills and techniques at shows, online, at local quilt shops, and at guilds. Our educational Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob DVD is free this month. (Think, seminar!!)

4. I will be understanding.
Let’s face it.  Your husband will never understand why you need so much fabric or thread or so many quilt magazines. It’s borderline addiction. Just smile and be thankful that he really has no clue how much you really have. Encourage his hobbies.

5. I will finish a UFO.
We all have them.  Pull one out and commit to finish it. If it isn’t one of your favorites, finish it and then give it to someone who will enjoy it. (Got one out yesterday-a jacket from a class I took from Alice D. at a seminar about 5 years ago. I’m determined to get it done so I can wear it, dagnabbit!)

6. I will donate some of what I will not use.
We all have some fabric that was bought years ago and we will probably never use it. Most guilds have a philanthropy or charity arm and would love to use it to benefit those in need. Heather had dozens of quilts she made in her beginning years.  She said they were not good enough to use, show, or even give away.  She offered some to our children and they were thrilled.  One became a nice picnic quilt. Many were donated to the local quilt guild to use for charitable donations. (Hope you all do this already through our community service initiatives at the guild. And many of you probably donated things for our January auction. If so, you can put a check mark next to this resolution already!)

7. I will share my love of quilting or sewing with another person.
Young children and grandchildren love to learn.  They watch you and would like to try.  A few words of encouragement and some patience from you may be all they need to discover why you love it so much.  Or perhaps there is a neighbor or someone new to the sewing or quilting world who would like to learn. (I have a little sewing buddy next door. She got her own sewing machine for Christmas this year. Yesterday she and I got it all hooked up and working. I let her fill a ziplock bag with fabric from my scrap box. You would have thought I gave her a million dollars. It’s lots of fun watching her have so much fun as she learns new things. Try it-you’ll like it!)

8. I will step out of my box.
Some people always use Civil War style fabrics; others always use only bright fabrics.  Step out of the box and try something so. . . totally . . . not . . . you! (I already use many styles of fabric in my projects-but I seldom use orange. That’s going to be my challenge to myself this year.)

9. I will create a stitch book to learn the capabilities of my machines.
Make a file of various stitches using different threads.  Write a note next to each stitch stating what thread was used, what needle, and the perfect tension setting.  Then try some decorative stitching in your projects.

10. I will organize my fabric stash.
Whether by type, color, motif, or project, it will be easier to find if well organized.

11. I will learn to use those tools I bought. We all have them – rulers, gadgets, and accessories that haven’t been touched.

I hope 2013 will be a good year for all of us.

If you have a sewing resolution, please share it in a comment. We can then keep one another on track, maybe checking in here periodically through the year. In addition, there will be a blog candy prize given to a commenter, chosen at random, one week from today!


Filed under Giveaways, guild activities, quilt bucks, seminar