Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve !!!!

Kitty (who needs a new party hat ) and the entire MBIAJ staff wish all of you a very HAPPY and HEALTHY NEW YEAR !!!

Be back soon !
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, December 24, 2010


.... and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care ...

MERRY CHRISTMAS Blogland Neighborhood !!

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pretty paper stars

Happy count down (CRUNCH TIME) til Christmas Blogland Neighborhood! The MBIAJ Decorating Dept FINALLY finished getting the Christmas tree decorated ..... they like to make it a month long event of tripping over boxes in the living room .....

Anyhow, the Decorating Dept thought they'd share some pictures of a box of paper stars that were made about 45 years ago as a gift to George (my dad) the MBIAJ patriarch from one of his patients (he is a retired physician .... from back when family doctors made lots of housecalls any time of the day or night , in all kinds of weather AND delivered babies too !)

Aren't they BEAUTIFUL !!!!! Can't imagine the time and patience it took to make all of these! The Decorating Dept thought for a brief (VERY brief) moment that they would try to make some ..... they even found directions at Craftideas ......but then they looked at the "to do " list and the calendar and came to their senses!!! However, not daunted by complicated looking instructions, sweet MBIAJ niece Maura made .....

....this pretty new green one to add to our collection! She's such a sweet kid !! (just like her aunt !:)

OK .... that "to do " list isn't getting any shorter and the darn elves didn't show up again this year so we've gotta ZOOM !!!!

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday report on last night's Friday Night Sew In

Howdy do Blogland Neighborhood! We're zipping in for a quick report on last night's
Friday Night Sew In. Actually this isn't quite a report .... it's more of a confession ..... in fact, this post should be titled "Confessions of a Procrastinating Holiday Slacker" !!!!

So.... determined to get going on at least one thing .... just ONE Christmas sewing/quilting project, we started to go upstairs to the MBIAJ Sewing/Quilting room when we were distracted by the fact that the outside Christmas decorating wasn't quite finished .... as in close, but not quite .... which REALLY has been bugging the MBIAJ Decorating Dept, so first a quick detour OUTSIDE (just 5 minutes should do it) to finish putting up the wreath and adjusting the lights ...

....ok, that's done (oops, took a little longer than 5 minutes though). NOW, we can proceed upstairs with a clear conscience. But, along the way another distraction ....

...this bunch of beautiful new books just sitting there begging to be looked at.....well, they ARE sewing/quilting/crafting books ..... and the MBIAJ Sewing/Quilting Dept needed some inspiration so we feel this 2nd detour was well justified (and rationalized!) as part of the Friday Night Sew In .....

OK, so FINALLY we stopped piddling around and got down to the business of ....

....picking out some fabrics....

....tracing some applique shapes onto fusible web and .....

.....doing some fusing and cutting out ...... and then we were pooped and went to bed .....(sigh), th, th, that's all folks !

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Instant Christmas !!!

Good morning Blogland Neighborhood!

The MBIAJ Decorating Dept plunked some candy canes in mason jars for some instant Christmas because ....

.......this is pretty much what the rest of MBIAJ Headquarters looks like! (sigh) YIKES !!! Gotta zoom! Late for work .... again ......

P.S. Just realized tonight is the Friday Night Sew In over at Handmade by Heidi's blog ..... should we ignore the major mess in the living room and in every other inch of Headquarters and join in thr Friday Night Sew In? Hmmmmmmmm...... that is tempting .... and we do have a sewing "to do list" that would put Santa's list to shame, maybe .....

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Stick a fork in it cause it's FINALLY done !!! :)

WHAT?!?!? Halloween stuff ?!?!? STILL ?!?!? (sigh) .... yes (head hung in shame).
Happy Christmas Season Blogland Neighborhood! Yes .... that IS Christmas music you hear in the background .... and YES that is a picture of a Halloween project.... and YES, the MBIAJ Sewing and Quilting Dept JUST finished it ..... "Better Late than Never" is how we roll around here!

ANYHOW, we wanted to share our quilt hanging method we used here (which could be used for any small wall hanging for example a CHRISTMAS wall hanging ).

First thing we did was go outside and rustle up a stick.....

.....and paint it (just acrylic craft paint)

......just simple stripes and dots ....(please ignore cruddy laundry tub)

Next, finish sewing/quilting wall hanging (this is where we usually allow for about a 1 -> 3 year window of time......) BUT don't finish the binding .... yet! Well, you can bind the sides and the bottom but don't finish the binding across the top of the quilt yet. (I do 4 separate bindings ... one for each side instead of a continuous binding. I think this method would also work OK for a continuous binding ).

OK .... so you have the binding on both sides and the bottom. Now you need to make your hanging loops. Here's the recipe:

Cut 2 loops 3" x 8"

Press under 1/4" hems on each long side of each loop

Fold in 1/2 lengthwise with wrong sides together and press.

Top stitch 1/8" from edge.

Matching raw edges, pin loops equal distance from outer edges of quilt (for this wall hanging I pinned them 1 1/2" from outer edges)

Place and pin top binding along top edge of quilt OVER loops matching raw edges. Stitch 1/4" from raw edge. Finger press seam and loops flat.

Bring loops over top of quilt top to back edge and pin in place matching raw edges (makes a loop)

Bring binding over top edge of quilt to back , covering quilt and loop raw edges.

Stitch binding down, first folding ends in.

OK , so you've got your loops and you've got your painted stick . Now you need to put the stick through the loops (I know.... we're stating the obvious here). NOW, you have to have a way to hang the stick/quilt unit. So ........

Cut another piece of fabric 1" x about 52". Fold in 1/2 lengthwise with wrong sides together. Press. Topstitch long edge close to edge (edges are raw and unfinished).

Trace 4 shapes (we did stars) onto fusible web. Iron web onto wrong side of fabric and cut out.

Sandwich ends of long (52") folded fabric strip between 2 stars.

Fuse together.

Top stitch.

Tie onto either end of the painted stick.

Well, hope you can use some of this info!

OK ..... now that we finally have Halloween out of the way, it's time for the MBIAJ Decorating, Shopping, Baking, Wrapping, Card Writing, Stocking Hanging Depts to get a wiggle on since Christmas is coming faster than a freight train! YIKES !!!!!

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy (snowy) Thanksgiving !!!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! We have some of the white stuff here at MBIAJ Headquaraters (northeast Pa) ..... so "Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go...... the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh in the white and drifted (1 - 2 inches ) snow .....over the river and through the woods hmmmm hmmmm hmmmm hmmm hmmm hmmmm (don't know the words here) Thanksgiving Day !!"

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Holiday Head Gear ........

Hello everybody out there in Blogland! Well we're closing in on Thanksgiving here in the USA and if you don't yet have your Thanksgiving Holiday Head Gear selected, well you've come to the right place. We here at MBIAJ Headquarters are your Thanksgiving Holiday Head Gear resource guide!

First up is what we like to refer to as the "turkey tiara" .... available at Pottery Barn Kids ....OR you probably could make one fairly easily out of felt or even just construction paper .

Looks like Kitty might want one of those ..... after all, who wouldn't look good in a turkey tiara ?

And of course you just cannot show up at Thanksgiving dinner without your Pilgrim hats !!! The instructions for these are in ......

...the November issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine and online.

So, hurry along and whip up a bunch of those turkey tiaras and pilgrim hats because wouldn't it be fun to see grandma, grandpa, Uncle Herb, Aunt Martha, Cousin Earl and all of the rest of the relatives all sitting at the Thanksgiving table wearing their Thanksgiving hats!?!?!!! .... it would look like they all just stepped off the Mayflower and are celebrating the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth don't you think ?!?!?!

Be back soon !
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pissed off Pilgrim ....

Good morning Blogland Neighborhood! The MBIAJ Paperwork Dept is coming up for air briefly to say hello and see what's going on around here. UH OH ....... Kitty is looking like one pissed off pilgrim (or does she look more like a furious flying nun?) Anyhow, I think she's irked because the MBIAJ Sewing Dept is SOOOOOOOOOO far behind on projects (from what I hear they're still trying to get a couple of minutes together to finish up this Halloween wall hanging !) ..... and now that Thanksgiving is slightly less than a week away, you just KNOW that Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye ..... and, as is our usual state of affairs, MBIAJ Headquarters will be hastily clearing away our rotting pumpkins to throw Christmas together at the very last minute (and writing out I.O.U. notes for all those unfinished presents ) .....sigh ......

Be back soon !
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Drowning in paperwork ........(and laundry)

Hello Blogland Neighborhood! Is it November already ?!?!???? The days/weeks/ months are passing us by here at MBIAJ Headquarters because the day job has us DROWNING in endless piles of paperwork !!!! (to go along with the endless piles of laundry!)
(sigh) Anyhow, at least the computer seems to be working now ..... so as soon as we can get our heads above water (i.e. paperwork) we'll be back to play here in Blogland!

Be back soon! (hopefully!)
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween !!!!

vintage halloween clipart Pictures, Images and Photos

Happy Halloween Blogland Neighborhood! We're having major computer problems here at MBIAJ Headquarters (and have not been able to get to important things like blogging .... and finishing up the alternate directions to the "Practical Magic" wallhanging as previously promised .....SO SORRY !!! Right now, this blog post is being done on a borrowed laptop and we can't upload any of the pictures needed to go with the instructions ....AAARRRRRGH !!!!!!) SO....since our computer seems to be under an evil spell, we sent for this expert (the one in the picture with the pointy hat riding the broom) to conjure up a counter spell to FIX THE DARN THING !!!!

Time for Trick or Treating !!!

Be back soon! (hopefully!)
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Catching up ...... (trying!)

Hello out there in Blogland !! Have you all been by to visit .....

"Get Your Craft On" at Today's Creative Blog? Well, you should zip on over there because every Tuesday (I think) Kim (Today's Creative Blog Blogger) hosts "Get Your Craft On" where you can join in and post your latest creation! ....AND you can see lots of other crafters', bakers', decorators' fun stuff! So...the MBIAJ Sewing /Quilting Dept thought that SINCE they scrambled to finish the Breast Cancer Awareness Quilt Block Challenge for our local quilt shop AND actually finished and delivered it to the shop with exactly 1 minute to spare (and that was with the extention on the deadline from Wednesday evening to Saturday at noon) .... we thought we'd post a picture of it here AND on the Tueday "Get Your Craft On" ... So.....

....HERE it is!!! "Fight On Sister"!!! Ta Daaaa !

OK .... back to the sweat shop ....ummmm sewing room .... LOTS more stuff to catch up on !!! (including posting the alternate instructions for the quilt class I taught a couple of WEEKS ago ... yikes!!!! They're coming .... I PROMISE !)

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble"'s time to pick a WINNER !!!

TGIF Blogland Neighborhood and welcome to our Giveaway drawing! Now, as usual, Kitty has to be in charge of the actual drawing of the winner's name and she left instructions for us to meet her outside .....hmmmmm......

......oh no ....she's stirring up something in that caldron ....and she's chanting something about double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and caldron bubble .... witch's brew?!?!??? eye of newt, and toe of frog ?

.....oh (phew) it's just all the names for the giveaway drawing......OK Kitty, do your magic spell and conjure up a winner !

...."Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf; hocus pocus and a big fat POOF !!! ... and the winner is ......"

......Jan !!!! Yahoo for Jan !!!! Congratulations !! (Jan email me your address so I can send you your loot!)

Well, what a relief ... we have a winner AND Kitty didn't turn anybody into a frog! THANKS everybody for entering our giveaway and for all of your very nice comments !!!:)

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fight on Sister !!!!!

Good morning Blogland Neighborhood! YIKES !! Has it really been a week and a half since our last chit chat session?!?!?!!!! SO SORRY !!! That darn day job (and the piles of never ending paperwork that need to be done YESTERDAY ) keep getting in the way of anything and everything that's fun .... oh well, can't do anything about that unless , of course, we all of a sudden win the lottery !!!! ANYHOW, in the teensy tinsy little bit of spare time there is around here, the MBIAJ Design Dept and MBIAJ Sewing/Quilting Depts have (at the last minute as usual) decided to join in on ....

....the "Breast Cancer Awareness Month Quilt Block Challenge" being held by The Quilted Crow quilt shop in Lehighton, Pa.
So, over the weekend we scribbled out a quick design for the block using the white with pink polka dot challenge fabric and then .....

......slapped it together into the wee hours of last night/this morning....
AND.... NOW I'm scrambling to finish it (before going to work today) because ..... the DEADLINE is TODAY ...... YIKES !!!!

ANYHOW, in the meantime, I apologize to those sweet gals who were in my quilt class a couple of weeks ago because I STILL have not gotten the rest of the instructions posted on here for the alternate construction method (please don't hate me! ... I hope to have them on here REAL SOON!) ALSO, if you haven't signed up yet for our Give Away you still have time (drawing isn't until Friday evening Oct. 15th ).

OK, so while I'm scrambling (and calling the quilt shop for please,please, please an extension on that deadline ).... run along and sign up for our give away AND also, here's something fun to watch ....(you can click the "pause" button on my music playlist over there on the upper right sidebar to shut off Frank Sinatra for a minute)

Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall into Fall Quilt Blogger's Giveaway

Happy first Friday of October Blogland Neighborhood! Where the heck did the rest of September go? The MBIAJ Sewing and Quilting Dept was so busy getting ready for and then teaching their first EVER quilting class that the past week and a half just FLEW by!! Anyhow, the quilt class was held at The Quilted Crow in Lehighton, Pa and it was a GREAT experience. A small , but mighty class ! (Hi Vicky, Iris, and Nancy !!! I promise I'll get the rest of the instructions posted on here SOON!)

ANYHOW, in honor of our "FIRSTS" ... (design in a magazine, and then teaching a quilt class) we here at MBIAJ Headquarters thought it was high time for a GIVE AWAY !!!!!! .... AND see that cute scarecrow ? Well, it seems we're not the only ones having a give away! Starting today, there is a HUGE Blogland Fall into Fall Quilt Blogger's Giveaway ..... you should zip on over there and visit all of those blogs listed .... there is the potential to win LOTS of LOOT!!!!!

BUT ... WAIT .....

...Kitty and her scarecrow friend want to remind you to leave a comment on this blog to be entered to win our give away ! but what is it you ask?????

Well, it's the Sept/Oct issue of Quiltmaker magazine AND a fabric kit (made up by those lovely ladies at "The Quilted Crow") to make .....

..... our little Halloween wall hanging "Practical Magic" which is in the magazine ! (just click on the picture to make it bigger so you can see those pretty fabrics better)

SO, leave a comment(the drawing will be October 15th evening after Kitty cleans up the kitchen ).

Have fun blog hopping!
Be back soon!
Mary Anne (aka Mare)