Happy Thanksgiving!

It has been a wild and crazy fall, with a big PSQ swap, a new job, an extended bout of pneumonia, and winter deciding to crash the party and hit early and hard. But this weekend brings Thanksgiving, and a time to enjoy friends and family.No Shopping on Thanksgiving! We all need a break from deadlines and are ready to make simple decisions. Apple or pumpkin pie? Why not both?

Personally, I am looking forward to a quiet Thanksgiving, with family, food, football, and conversation. If you have to work on Turkey Day, you have my sympathy. I am not heading out to shop on Thanksgiving Day. I can think of nothing that I need more than time with family and to decompress. Certainly not anything I can only buy on sale that day.

111123052640_small-business-saturday-logo (1)After Thanksgiving, I know the stores will be busy.Why not off to shop until Small Business Saturday. I will visit shops in my area, family run business, small enterprises that help keep my money working in my neighborhood. I will find great gifts and unique items. After the gifts are found, I hope to also shop for me at a local quilt shop. Check out my post Small Business Saturday: Nine Great Ways to Shop Local, Shop Small on that other blog I write for. It includes a link to a site where you plug in your zip code and get connected with small businesses in your neighborhood.

All that said…

Quilter's Despair!

Nightmare on Quilt Street?

It has been four years since I wrote The Dream of the Mad Quilter’s Ball. Nothing like visions of hopeless “to-do” lists and piles of fabric and lint to give someone a nightmare. I had to have some fun with our collective goals for making gifts.

“Now, Singer! now, Brother! now, Janome and Elna!
On, Kenmore, Bernina, on Pfaff and Gammill!
Each machine in its place, Though we know it’s still Fall!
Just stitch away! stitch away! stitch away all!”

That’s a sampling. If you have not read the entire piece, you might enjoy it!  It may inspire you to take some time this weekend to edit down your own  to-do list.

I hope you are able to enjoy your holiday, stay safe, and recharge for the busy month ahead!
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comCurious QUIlter Happy THanksgiving© 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

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Happy Day Before Another USA Election Day

I know, about every two years I repost this piece. And I am doing it again, partly because I have a ton of new readers. Here in the US we have elections tomorrow. I hope that most voters do not base their votes on the political ads that are bombarding us on TV! But a little fabric parody? That’s a lot more fun. I hope you enjoy it! After all, who can resist a quote like “I am Mottle Blender, and I am throwing my threads into the basket and asking you to choose me for your next quilt”?


I am The Curious Quilter, and I Approved This Message. First posted October 17, 2010.

Wikipedia Commons Fall Scene
It is the middle of October {okay, it is now November} , and in Minnesota the fall color has given way to falling leaves. Football is now sharing air-time with hockey. Pumpkins are on doorsteps, Halloween goodies in the stores. And, with an election less than three weeks away, we are simply inundated with campaign ads on the radio, television, in the mail, and even online. I think that campaign ads are a nightmarish way for voters to get information. Thankfully, this advertising strategy (often accusative or negative) has not hit other marketing arenas as hard. Can you imagine trying to make purchasing choices based on this style of ads? Well, I can…

Cali Co portrait, Fabric Candidate“My name is Cali Co, and I want to be your quilt fabric of choice! Nothing is more important in supporting a sleeping family than providing the comfort and warmth of a traditional quilt. I will work hard on your behalf to bring colorful traditions back into your quilts. I am a classic, and you can count on me to finish with cozy results!”
Paid for by the Calico Fabric Section of quilt shops everywhere.

Rich Solid portrait, Fabric Candidate“My opponent, Ms. Cali Co, calls herself a classic, but what can be more classic than a basic, solid foundation? I am Rich Solid, and I have a lifelong track record of working well with other fabrics, and getting the most striking results. When you make the choice to go with Solid, you choose enduring color that will never go out of style.”
Sponsored by the Basic Solid Fabric manufacturers’ associations.

Ba Tik portrait, Fabric Candidate“It is time to bring fresh life and vibrancy into your quilts! Nothing says ‘I love you’ better than a cheerful quilt made from vivid colors. No solid fabric can give the wonderful sense of motion and natural flow that I am well-known for. No busy calico has my clarity of color. Choosing me will bring new energy to your quilting! My name is Ba Tik, and I approved this message.”
Paid for by the Wax and Dye Society on behalf of Ba Tik.

Mottle Blender portrait, Fabric Candidate“In this selection, everyone seems to think that these extremes are the only choice! Cali Co and Ba Tik can both offer color to your quilts, but see how they clash with each other! Rich Solid can be striking, but his flatness is so severe. What we need today is a middle ground, combining the base of a solid, with the textural quality of calicoes and batiks! It is time for a working compromise that can bring quilters everywhere together. I am Mottle Blender, and I am throwing my threads into the basket and asking you to choose me for your next quilt!”
This advertisement was developed by the Middle Ground Blenders Association.

Rich Solid portrait, Fabric Candidate“Ms. Blender has accused Cali Co and Ba Tik of clashing with each other, perhaps over the use of color. She has even called my own colors flat and severe, and offers herself as a middle ground. As quilters, you have the right to choose, and not just between muddy blends of colors, or clashing sets of prints. I offer you a crisp, fresh approach to the sense of flow and pattern. By choosing Solid, you show that you do not need the clutter of prints and textures to make a quilt sing! Choose Simplicity! Choose Boldness! Make the Solid choice!”
Sponsored by the Basic Solid Fabric manufacturers’ associations.

Cali Co portrait, Fabric Candidate“It is time to put Solid back in its place, as a modest, receding background for the glorious traditions of finely crafted florals, vines, and dots that been the workhorses of the quilt industry for decades. Your choice of Cali Co says you embrace the history and roots of quilting! You are not mottled in your clarity, you know just how important it is to have a balanced print that brings your projects to life! A vote for Cali Co shows respect for our heritage!”
Paid for by the Calico Fabric Section of quilt shops everywhere.

Ba Tik portrait, Fabric Candidate“Cali Co has claimed to be rooted in the history of quilting. I say she is stuck there, along with her cousins Repro and Duction. We need fresh brilliance to shine through projects! Blender wants us all to take the middle ground. I call on you to take a stand for color, pattern, and the earthy naturalness that makes life rich! Let Cali Co live in the past, Solid stand alone, and Blender strive to have minimal impact. Ba Tik will make your quilts shine for generations!”
Paid for by the Wax and Dye Society on behalf of Ba Tik.

“Heritage? Solid, you would never have existed without me, and sometimes your colors run! I was around long before Cali Co tested her first patterns. Ba Tik is nothing but a swirl of dyes set against the resistance of wax! I am Mus Lin, and I AM the classic choice for quilt foundations and backs everywhere!”
The Unbleached Muslin shelf is responsible for this advertisement.

“Quilting has evolved into very sophisticated craft, and Mus Lin needs to head back to the utility fabric section” – Rich Solid.

“Perhaps the grapes on the vines that Cali Co so loves have fermented her judgement” – Ba Tik.

“Ba Tik may be an illegal import” – Mottle Blender.

“Let’s keep this debate focused on quilting traditions, values, and basics” – Cali Co.

“The basics? You can’t handle the basics!” – Mus Lin.

Tye Dye Fabric Guy loves all fabrics“Chill, dudes. Don’t you know that all fabrics are beautiful? I am Tye Dye, and I say we gotta work together. We all shine on! Peace out, brothers!”
Opinion of the Aging Hippies Who Quilt Society.


The views and opinions laundered by these fabricated characters in no way represent The Curious Quilter (well, except for the last one!) The Curious Quilter, as all followers know, thinks all fabrics are wonderful (even ones not mentioned here.) Perhaps that is why she makes so many scrappy quilts!
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comSignature
© 2010, and 2012, and again 2014! by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

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All swap emails are out!

Swappers, donors, and Newbies you should all have mail. Watch your SPAM folders if you don’t see it. Remember that Newbie donors and Newbie emails come from DJMat and the swap emails come from maryeoriginals.

Mailbox common licenseOnly two people who signed up have had their emails bounce back – both because the email they supplied when they signed up was not a valid address. If you do not have your matches or Newbie info yet, drop me an email with your name and correct email address, please.

I appreciate your patience with the last mailings. It took a couple days longer than I hoped, but than the pneumonia lasted longer than I hoped as well!

And I am sure there will be a few adjustments to be made over the next couple of days. It will all work out soon!

A special thank you to this year’s “Newbie Goddess”, Ms. DJ Matulewicz, fellow quilter and Doctor Who fan! Having help getting all that set of matching done is a BIG DEAL!

Bedtime in Minnesota – Good Night Happy Quilters Everywhere!Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com© 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

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Swap emails coming out Oct 18-21

Yeppers. I know that’s later than I expected. But there is a very good (and unavoidable) reason for that.

Late in July, a job listing showed up for my nearly ideal job. I applied, got the perfunctory note saying “we got it” and heard nothing. If you have been in the job market lately, you know that you must do a lot of letting go and moving on . . . so I did. Then I caught a nasty cold. Life goes on.

The day the swap started, they called me. Quick interview process, and just before the swap closed, I started my new job. My cold shifted down to my chest. Work was fine, as the first couple of weeks would involve tons of reading and learning, mostly online. Birch Tree In FallActually, my new boss was wonderful about the whole thing, even when the chest cold turned into “walking” pneumonia. Sitting still was good, moving around and sleeping were horrid. Learning new stuff while feeling that way was tiring! Missing out on long walks in the lovely Minnesota Fall has been hard too.

I kept plugging away on the swap matches, and DJ on the Newbie assignments. Actually we are pretty close. The thing is, I hit a wall mid-week and had to let myself crash for two days. I did, and it has worked wonders towards my turning the corner for feeling like ME again!

So the weekend is dedicated to swap matches, lots of fluid intake, and more rest! About 500 sets of charms are looking to head to their new homes, it is always a fun thought. I love doing this, and knowing what delight these little packets bring people.

Thanks for your patience, I really appreciate it! And please do not comment about me getting better, etc, because I am healing well and getting my usual energy back! I just thought you all deserved to know why I have been moving in slow motion here.

Watch for your emails in the next couple of days . . .

- Mary
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com© 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

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Fall 2014 PSQ Charm Swap Closes. On to the Spring 2015 Swap!

Many thanks to all of you who have signed up to swap those addictive little Postage Stamp Quilt Charms this round. I will be starting the process of matching partners this evening, but it takes a while, so please be patient. My goal is to have all the swap partner emails out before 10/17/2014, or sooner. We have lots of new swappers (welcome Instagram crowd!) this round, which should make for a fresh set of fabrics coming your way.

Still my favorite Postage Stamp Quilt photo.And special thanks to all who are donating sets for Newbies. We all had to start somewhere and, if you are like me, you probably have plenty to share. “DJ Mat” is serving as our Newbie Goddess this year. She will be sending out emails to all Newbies, and to all the Newbie Gift Donors. Yep, that means if you are swapping, and donating newbie gifts, you will be getting emails from two people with your swap details. Makes it go faster!

Be sure to watch your spam folder as well as you inbox for mail from mary at maryeoriginals dot com and/or from djmat78 at Hotmail dot com.

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com

The ninth (yep, I said ninth)  PSQ Charm Swap will run some time in April 2015, dates to be announced. That gives you a few months to acquire more scraps, cut them up, and be set to trade again. It also should give people time to get a friend or two involved, the more swappers we have, the more fun we have!

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com

Instagram . . . and giveaways!

IG logoI have thoroughly been enjoying the quilting community on Instagram (IG). I think I prefer it to Pinterest, personally because there are conversations involved, not just pictures. I am “thecuriousquilter” in Instagram! I hope you will follow me there as well, my feed is not parallel to the blog. Most people follow on their smart phones, but there is also a website for joining the fun. C

Another thing that amazes me there is the daily volume of giveaways of fabric and books and notions and more. There are so many more in IG and Facebook than on individual blogs these day, if you are looking for giveaways, follow a few shops and fabric manufacturers on these sites.
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com
While you are waiting . . .

Clean and Oil Your Sewing Machine Bobbin Case AreaThis is a great time to clean and oil your sewing machine. If you have never done it, read the guidelines and directions in your user’s manual. What? You don’t have a manual? No Problem! Check out sewingmanuals.com for PDF versions of almost every machine manual you can imagine. There are also many videos on YouTube – search for your machine type.

Halloween Mug Rug QuiltsAnd then, if you are looking for a quick Halloween project, remember to make Halloween Mug Rugs! These fun seasonal samples are easy to make, and make great gifts too.

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comsignature © 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

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Ready to Swap? Just Thinking About It? Read On!

Sept-Oct 2014 PSQ Charm SwapSign-up for the Sept-October Postage Stamp Quilt Charm Swap is running nicely, but we have lots of room for more swappers! Even if you just have one set of small charms to trade with one other person, you are more than welcome to join! It is a fabulous way to build variety in your PSQ charm collection. To learn more or sign-up you must visit the post titled September 2014 Postage Stamp Charm Swap Begins! Please do NOT try to sign up on this post, it will not transfer to my list.

And here are some great things to look at as you plan and consider what to do with your charms:

Wedding Dress Blue, Film at Five © 2012

Film at Five

Growing Up Odd Weddign Dress Blue Blog

Growing Up Odd

Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot com

A Swap for 5″ Charms, from The Amateur Quilter

Mike over at The Amateur Quilter runs a great swap–very different format than the PSQ swaps.

Mike, The Amateur Quilter

Mike, The (not-at-all) Amateur Quilter

This round he is having people swap 5″ Scrappy and Low Volume Charms. Sign-up now, then get your charms ready using his easy directions, and mail them to him by October 25, 2014. You need two one-yard pieces of fabric that you will cut per his instructions. Once he does his sorting magic, you get back 56 sets of two charms each from 56 quilters. I’m in, are you?
Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comSignature © 2014 by The Curious Quilter, thecuriousquilter.net, maryeoriginals.com. All rights reserved.

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