Category Archives: hand 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

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?!)


Filed under garment sewing, hand quilting, quilt history

What a Beauty!

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Yesterday I went on a “back stage” tour of the Heritage Village Archives. This is a perk of being a museum member-not a part of the guild membership. I had received the same mailing about it that all members receive and decided I’d love to see what’s up in the museum ” attic” so to speak. There were only two of us in the afternoon group so we got a great opportunity to be up close to the items (this tour focused on quilts and textiles) but since there were only 2 of us Jessica and Kayla showed us just about everything. How cool is that!?!   Take advantage of these museum opportunities–there’s another tour tomorrow. Maybe there is still space-you do need to reserve a spot in these tours. Besides the quilts and garments of the same eras, I really enjoyed looking at the garments they have from the 60’s and 70’s–both everyday clothing and gowns. I remembered having things so similar to some of those in the collection. Very,very fun and interesting. I highly recommend you go on one of these backstage visits–you’ll love it!

One humorous note-as we were passing the group of office machines I commented on the very old typewriter that they have. I shared a story of being in a stationery shop which also has an old typewriter, in which they feature signs of the current special events. I happened to be in the shop one day when the owner asked one of the young staff members to roll the newest list of specials into the typewriter…and the youngster had no idea how to roll the paper into the typewriter!! Well yesterday Kayla (also so young!!) admitted she too would not know how to go about it. The rest of us laughed and talked a bit about typing with carbon paper, erasing your errors and thereby getting the papers all out of alignment, and the assorted tribulations of working with typewriters. How many of you remember those days?! I guess that makes the bunch of us old codgers, doesn’t it?!

Today in my quilty e-mail was a newsletter from Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims’ blog. Much of what they have at their site is free-I don’t pay the subscription fee anymore. Basically I’m only missing some of their videos and I find enough free ones on the web to satisfy me. Today there is a slide show of some spectacular New York Beauty quilts being featured. Several shots are shown of each quilt so you can see the piecing well and the absolutely gorgeous quilting on some of them. It’s about 11 minutes long, so brew a cup of tea and get ready for some true quilting eye candy! Click here.

Don’t forget to get a comment in so your name will be in the drawing for our celebratory blog candy!


Filed under eye candy, Giveaways, hand quilting, Heritage Village