Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Nearing the Finish Line

At 69.5" square I think maybe I'll add one more tiny border and be done. However, the borders on the side aren't quilted yet, while the top and bottom borders are. This may have something to do with how wonky the quilt looks at this point, or it may just be that the thing just isn't square.
What. Ever.
 I love it anyway, and can see this one in use in the very near future (after I bring it to show and tell, of course).
I planned to use some of my jelly roll strips and sewing them together was my first task. I have lot of leftovers and can see these becoming ninepatch blocks. Especially since I unearthed a bunch of Mary Ellen Hopkins books from my early days. Her simple designs are so fun and easy and use up fabric so efficiently that I know I will be making some designs from her books.
   OK... I have all these books, except the first one. I know it's here somewhere, but I just couldn't find it, so I ordered it again, in spiral bound format. Cheap, used.
What I especially like is that the designs can be made any size you like, from teeny to huge. It is all determined by the very smallest element. The PPM is her way of saying Perfect Patch Measurement. And that PPM is doubled or tripled or whatever is decided by the quilter. Her designs also list the number of each of the elements (blocks) of the final quilt. Make 28 nine patches, 12 solid squares, 28 rail fence blocks, etc. Then assemble according to the diagram. Easy.

I found this update on Mary Ellen on the Quilting Board
Mary Ellen is alive and doing fine in CA near [her son].
She lives in a retirement community, plays bingo and wins and loves it. She has retired from the quilt world about 2 years ago. Just too much for such a little lady. She does knit and crochet up a storm constantly. I am sure she would love to hear from you.

Unfortunately, no address of the retirement community was included.


  1. The piano key border really makes this quilt. It wasn't my favorite until you added it. Very nice choice!

  2. So nice to get word of Mary Ellen! She was one of my first teachers in LA and she made quilting fun for everybody. We used plain unmarked acrylic rulers and Ginghers Scissors at the time, drawing lines on fabric with a Bic to cut out strips! What a great pioneer she was! And then came rotary cutters! Phew!

  3. Once I took an It's Okay class, I could make any quilt without a pattern per se. It is so freeing, and easy! Great to see her smiling face.

  4. Great quilt... wonderful colors looks like it was a joy to design-as-you-go!
    I am so happy to hear word of Mary Ellen Hopkins! Lost word about her several years ago, after her shop sold. I'll never forget her presentations, her energy, humor and excitement about quilting. I, too, have all her books and must re-visit them soon.
    Thanks for the reminder of how much she contributed to our Quilt Community. I am sure she would be delighted to see your spin on her techniques!
    What, no dogs today?

  5. Funny seeing these books here. I did the illustrations and designed the last three of those books for Maryellen and her son. I suprised Maryellen at one of her lectures, she had not met me before the books were published. The shop owner kept introducing her to me, but she didn't put the name with a face until finally they introduced me as "that" Kevin.

  6. WHOA. That quilt is gorgeous. I LOOOVE the way the top an bottom borders are set horizontally as well...just might have to copy that idea!

  7. Great to see the finished quilt, love the lime green too.
    I to have the fist Mary Hopkins book, one of the first quilting books I ever bought and used it when making a Bears Paw quilt.


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