Apparantly Holly is mad about being left at home instead of spending the day at Grandma's with Murphy. Today she went into my cute little Game bag that I made to hold my fabric coins for strip poker and moved 9 of them to the floor in the living room. I told Mike to just throw them back in but he left them out for me to see. I know which coins I threw in there last so I'll be curious to see if she picked off the top or rooted through the bag. That little dog just cracks me up some times. Maybe she's telling me she'd like me to make her something new.
The Mary Ellen Hopkins lecture last night was very interesting. She is not at all what I expected. It was mainly a follow up on what was discussed at Saturday's lecture that neither my mom or I were able to attend. I didn't take many pictures, and they didn't come out that great. You can see the rest of them HERE.
First she showed us the center of a quilt that was going to be set on point and then explained how to make 2 identical log cabin blocks. Instead of having a light side and a dark side you sew around all four sides in the same color and you keep going until you can fold it in half on the diagonal to make sure it's large enough for your corner. If it's not, you just keep going until it is. The key to this method is to make sure your center square starts off large enough. Once your log cabin squares are long enough you cut them diagonally and sew them on. I would have never thought of this on my own. It's a neat technique because you're really putting borders on the quilt at the same time and you don't have an open, blah setting triangle. For people like me that's perfect because I can stitch in the ditch, I can stipple but I can't quilt a motif to save my own a$$. I've never before been inclined to put a quilt on point and now I can't wait to give it a shot.
She also showed what's called a "Zipper" Border. You sew strips together and cut off the amount of pieces needed to make a "checkerboard" pattern. Then you sew one strip of each color to either size so that it appears "zipped" together. You can also use this across a backing to put two backing pieces of different colors together while making it look planned.
She showed two log cabin quilts that had the same fabrics. One of them had a bird fabric in it that really made the quilt pop even though that fabric had nothing to do with the rest. She also showed a Northwoods type fabric that when cut into 1-1/2" strips and made into a log cabin didn't look like it had bears and deer and fish on it…you just saw the great colors within the fabric.
Terri is holding the Log Cabin, Julie is holding the fabric. Julie is the owner of The Patched Works, Terri is her mother.
There was one other time that I wanted to write about Mary Ellen Hopkins on my blog and really couldn't find any other information about her online. If she has her own website, I sure can't find it. There's one listed with her speaking engagements but it's from 2001. Besides the "It's Ok To Sit on My Quilt" book I really wasn't aware that she had written anything else. Sure, it only makes sense that she had but I never gave it any thought. Now that I've seen some of her books at the lecture I'd be interested in looking further at them. I found a few online but they're all out of print. I must really be missing the boat here because I just don't get where these things can be purchased. Are they only available at her main lectures and no where else?
She suggested that everyone make their own business cards or have them made. Even if it just has your name and address on it. She said it's easier when you meet someone to grab their card and write on the back of it what you promised to send to them because the card fits with all the other cards. Odd shaped pieces of paper get lost. I was laughing because I made up my own cards months ago with my blog address so that I could hand them out whenever blogging came up at any quilt type functions. She said you're to think of it as the old time calling cards and never leave home without a few.
Some of her other points were:
Mary Ellen Hopkins is quite the excentric woman. I don't know if you'd call her frugal or cheap but she describes herself as tight so might as well go with that. She pays her grand kids to take old calendars and fold them into envelopes. She won't buy note pads, and thinks people who don't use the backs of old envelopes are just foolish. When she talked about all the odd things she saves, all I could picture was one of those people with that Hoarding Disorder that they show once in a while on TV. She showed us how to make our own homemade duvet. I don't think I'll ever collect enough batting scraps to make my own. She's hoping to fill one with yarn ends. She did share quite a few ways to give money as a gift that she uses for her grandchildren. I don't think there was ever more than a minute that she didn't have us laughing. She may be scatter brained but she's a fun speaker to see.
One of the coolest things of the evening was meeting Robin. Robin is a member of the Janome 6500/6600 Yahoo group that I belong to. I noticed a while back from her signature line that she's from my area. We corresponded back and forth a few times. She wrote about the lecture last Saturday and I mentioned how mom and I were bummed that we couldn't make it. When this additional lecture was announced she emailed me and told me I HAD to go. I'm so glad I did and so glad that I got to meet her in real life. I swear I've run across her at some point in my life. Whether it was at one of the quilt stores a class or really I don't know. She looked so familiar to me. Maybe it's because she reminded me so much of my friend Marylou. Maybe that's the correlation and I've really never seen Robin before in my life. I don't know. Either way, I was thrilled to meet someone I had run across online!
I'm sure I missed quite a few cool things about the lecture, hopefully my mom remembers what they are and will post them on her blog.