Welcome to Gramma's Quilting Room.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Can I Upload A Photo???

I think I can! Thanks to my fabulous son in law, Mr. Mike, I think I can. And with just a bit of help from Mr. Mike, I think I just may have figured it out. Wow, what can I do next?

I think I'd better go eat my dinner that Mr. E cooked and I'll try to be back later to update this poor ole blog. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Busy, busy, busy

I've been home from the retreat for 2 weeks now and Crystal and Elliot are now safely at home in Arizona. I sure do miss them.

I have a new burst of quilting energy. I needed that quilt retreat. I was quite nervous about the reaction of the other retreaters about having a 9 month old baby there with us. We have never had any children at our retreats before. But these wonderful ladies pounced on that baby boy and spoiled him rotten and had a blast playing with him. He was absolutely perfect. Crystal stayed just one night and then came back home to sleep. I think more for Elliot's comfort (and her own!) and the fact that we old broads might keep him up too late with out snoring. She swears it was for our comfort! I chuckled each morning as 16 women watched the door to see if the baby was coming in yet.

I worked on 2 projects. I am doing a Four on the Road from Quilter's Cache. I got all of my blocks done and then discovered I didn't have enough of my background fabric to use in the borders. Suzanne thought she might have some in her stash at home so I put it away and was waiting to hear from her. Yesterday I got a nice little notecard that said if she has it, she can't locate it. Now I will have to go with plan B and use a different fabric for the border.

I worked on my Marbled Rounds Quilt. I had ordered the templates from Nancy Elliott MacDonald and had all of my pieces cut before leaving home. I got all of my blocks made and came home and sewed the black sashing to my blocks and it is now hanging on my design wall with the long sashing strips waiting to be sewn on so it can be made into a top. I already know how I want to quilt it. It is stunning, I love it and hubby hates it. (He just doesn't know art when he sees it!) So instead of hanging it in the living room like I'd originally planned, I'm going to hang it in front of some of my shelves in my quilting room. He doesn't know that when he is sitting in his chair and my door is open that quilt will be right in his line of vision! That will teach him to not like my work!!! I almost feel a bit evil with this plan but I'll get over that soon enough.

This week, I quilted a customer quilt and today I quilted and bound one of my older tops. I have spent some time each day with fabric in my hands. I've made alot of progress on my posie applique blocks and have only 2 more to do until I can start laying out the quilt. I finished the binding on a little table topper and on a lap quilt. I even took my sewing machine to work one day and worked on string blocks. But then got too busy and had to actually work! But my machine is still packed and ready for this week at work. I never know what kind of a day it will be--a sewing day or a work day! Gotta be prepared.

Now I need to get busy and work on a stocking for a stocking exchange. And since blogger doesn't like uploading my pictures, I am again photoless! I wonder if it has to do with changing the settings on my camera, the fact that I am still on pokey ole dial up or a combination of the two. Someday I'll have to try uploading from one of the girls computers.
(Tried again Sunday morning and I still can't upload my photos. Anybody have any ideas for me?)

Until then,
How's your Christmas sewing coming along???

Monday, October 30, 2006

Squeezing In An October Post

Wow, I was almost too late to have a post in October. I've noticed alot of my favorite blogs have slowed down posting so I have quit feeling guilty about being a slacker. I will just post when I can and be happy with that.

Since the last post, we took a trip to Arizona to see Crystal, Mike and Mr Elliot. Everyone told me it was going to be hot there. Imagine my surprise when we arrived and it was actually hot! Duh, people! I LOVED IT!!! The only day we saw 100 was on the way to the airport to come home. Got into Portland and it was raining. Enough to make me want to get back on a plane and head south. I plan to head back down the end of January for Mr E's 1st birthday in February. I sure hope it's not Super Bowl themed! (Does this make me a parttime snow bird?)

Mike wasn't able to be there with us after the 1st day so Crystal showed us all the local sites and good eats of Mirana. We took one day and drove south to Seirra Vista to see my friend Pat and her fabulous quilt store, Thimblweed Quilts and left her some of our money. Then after lunch, we headed over to Tombstone. I want to go back there when it isn't so warm (notice I didn't say hot!) so we can do the OK Corral tour. Grampa and Mr E were getting fussy.

Good news is that Crystal and Mr E will be here on Wednesday. We are going to our quilt retreat. We have friends coming from all over the state of Washington. It is held each fall at Royal Ridges Retreat. If you go to their website, you will see why we love it there. We sew with horses right outside our window. Some days there are kids there riding, the meals are homestyle meals and we get to have a slumber party with our girlfriends. Lots of sewing, laughing, eating. Fabulous show and tell. Oh I can't wait.

Blogger is being fussy now about my picutres, so I am going to keep on babbling.

Miss T spent the weekend with me and had a nice new denim skirt. Being Gramma, I took the liberty of deciding it needed some embroidery on it. We added some rhinestones to the flowers and she thinks it's just beautiful. It is pretty darn cute. I love all the embroidery on the jeans and skirts now.

On a quilty note, I haven't been doing much. I made a few blocks for the retreat, have 2 projects cut and ready to sew and I'll take my scraps to work on scrappy string blocks it I have time.

I guess I don't get to upload pictures tonight. So I'll have to try again later.

I have to eat dinner and finish the quilting a friends quilt tonight. We need it for show and tell.

Until next time,
Stay happy.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

September Tidbits

Wow, long time with out a message. I guess I am just a bad blogger. I've been busy at my sewing machine so haven't spent much time blogging. Long days at work and then trying to get a bit accomplished in the evenings makes for little time at the computer other than checking email and catching up on blog reading.

I did get my t shirts and jacket finished. It felt good to actually make something for myself with out a huge struggle. I still haven't make another pair of pants.

The red, white and blue quilt is Crystals. I quilted it using the Waterworld pantograph. It turned out great.

I have her second quilt, Turning Twenty, about 1/2 done with plans to finish it today. I goofed when measuring the backing and had to add to it. At least I caught my boo-boo before I got to the end of the backing. I had enough room on the longarm table to set up my Janome Jem and sew another strip with out having to take the whole thing off and used the roller as my ironing surface to press the seam open.

I'm using Daisy Swirl on this one. I am loving how it's turning out. I have to get it done so I can hand deliver both quilts to Arizona in a few days. Then I have 3 customer quilts to do and I can get busy on mine again.

Until next time,
keep smilin'.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Back to Normal? at Home

It's all quiet on the home front now. Friday evening we took Crystal and Elliot to the airport for their new Arizona adventure. Our house is a bit lonely now. Sure didn't take long to get used to having other people here. Even DJ, the dog, is lonely. He's so funny sniffing around Elliot's stuff that is still here.

I was lucky enough to get to work on Saturday! I forgot to take my sewing box with me! Darn and double darn. I have been working on my applique blocks--Thursday I finished 2 and Friday, 1 complete and 1 more started. It's fun to put the completed ones on the design wall and watch the quilt grow. I wonder if I watered it if it would grow faster!!

It was 5 hours of sheer boredom. I sketched some clothes that I want to make. I've been planning to make a wardrobe and now with a trip in a few weeks, it's time to get crackalackin'. I love reading the Sewing Fanatic's Diary. She gets more done that I can even think about and is such an inspiration. So instead of working on a quilt for an hour a day as in Judy of Sunshine Quilts is doing, I'm going to work on my wardobe.

Last night I took one pair of my pants apart. I guess I am so used to wearing jeans that slacks feel too baggy. These slacks are too baggy from the thighs down to almost the hem.

Today's plan is to clean the sewing room, rearrange my sewing table and then work on those pants. I've been thinking of slipping in to town to get the fabric for some tops and a jacket. I also need to get some new shoes. But first I want to work a bit in here and then when it gets hot, I'll run into town.

So time to get busy. I've babbled enough today. The sewing room arrangement kept popping into my head during my sleep so we'll see if it works out in real life.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Keeping It Together

This is Mr. Elliot's first attempt at a sippy cup. He didn't do too bad. It was more fun to play with it that to try to drink out of it.

Wow the last 2 weeks have flown by. Crystal and Elliot have been staying with us and will leave on Friday evening for Phoenix. I am trying my darnest to keep myself together. Sometimes, that's pretty tough. I'm going to miss them so much. It didn't take long to get used to the smiles and lovies I get as soon as I walked in the door from work. We already have plans to go down to visit in just a few weeks.

As for sewing, do I own a sewing machine or 12??? I haven't touched them. I'm getting in as much smoochie time as I can. I have been working on my applique blocks a bit at work. I think I only need to do 10 or 12 more. They really don't take that long when I just keep at them. A few stitches here, a few more there and I can complete one in a shift at work. I think I'll make that my goal. For the rest of August, I will try to complete 1 block a day at work. Right now that doesn't sound too ambitious.

Crystal had planned to get 2 of her quilts quilted while they were staying here but that hasn't happened either. I'll probably load one of them on Sunday and get started on it. I want to take them down to her on our visit. I also have a couple of Sonya's to get done before our quilting retreat. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea if I got one of my own finished also. Right now, I can't think of anything of mine that I have finished this year to take for show and tell. I think my brain is tired.

I should have my new templates and ruler mate tomorrow. That will inspire me more than anything else. I love playing with new toys.

Beddy bye time now,
I need my sleep if I'm going to stitch tomorrow.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

One Word

One Word for -
1. Yourself: fluffy
2. Your partner: steady
3. Your hair: wimpy
4. Your Mother: distant
5. Your Father: strong
6. Your favorite item: computer
7. Your dream last night: funny
8. Your favorite drink: coffee
9. Your dream home: log cabin
10. The room you are in: sewing/quilting/computer
11. Your pleasure: family
12. Your fear: loss
13. Where you want to be in ten years: retired
14. Who you hung out with last night: Ernie
15. What you're not: skinny
16. Your best friend: Ernie
17. One of your wish list items: security
18. Your gender: female
19. The last thing you did: baked
20. What you are wearing: standybys
21. Your favorite weather: sunshine
22. Your favorite book: Life Is Not A Dress Size
23. Last thing you ate: cheese
24. Your life: pleasant
25. Your mood: cheery
26. The last person you talked to on the phone: Dee
27. Who you are thinking about right now: family

More Sisters Quilt Show Pics

Here ya go Sister Sue, more pics from Sisters. I wish I would have taken more. I've been quite concerned about the wildfire over there. I pray no one gets hurt and that property loss is minimal.

One of these days I want spend the weekend in Sisters. They have such great shops. But during quilt show, it is almost impossible to really see what you want to see. This trip has been on my road trip wish list for several years. I think it's time to load up that diesel powered motor coach and hit the road for a while.

Now you have it, my favorite pictures from our day trip. Already planning 2007.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

1st Saturday in August

Today was family reunion day. For several years, our family reunion has been the 1st Saturday in August at Lewisville Park, usually in the Filbert Section. Wow, what a group we are. I missed Gramma today. She is 100 years old and would have loved seeing another of her great, great grandchildren. But we did get a 4 generation picture. Me and Ernie, my dad, Elliot and Crystal.

Food was plentiful, children running everywhere, cousins catching up on family news, 2nd cousins getting reaquainted, and "who does that one belong too" being figured out.

My favorite conversation was with Aunt Helen, Cousin Carl and myself. We decided that there isn't a great many years between us anymore. Aunt Helen will turn 60 next month, I beleive Carl said he is 61 and I am 52. They used to me so much older than me and then all of the sudden, they aren't. Time has a way of doing that to you.

Food was awesome. We can always count on Aunt Dot's famous baked beans and Aunt Helen's chocolate cake. Yum yum.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Baby It's HOT Outside

Call me a whimp, I don't care. I used to love the hot days but now I don't. What I really don't love are the hot nights. I like to go outside in the evening but when it's 80+ degrees, it isn't pleasant. We don't often get temps in the 100's on the west side of Washington state but today is the 3rd day, even when we do, it cools off at night. I am lucky to have a couple of window air conditioners and the house has stayed pretty pleasant. But I like to go outside on nice days. Especially when the munchkin is here.

Miss Taylor spent the weekend with us. Momma Crystal and Master Elliot sought releif here on Friday and Daddy Mike joined them on Saturday. We have a hot tub and Miss T wanted to swim. Well the water was yucky and it was too hot for tubing. So Poppy emptied it out, cleaned it, filled it up, warmed it up and turned it into a swimming pool. Momma Crystal dipped Mr E in then went and found a swimsuit for herself. After dinner, Gramma even took a dip.

Satuday morning Miss T and I made some Barbie dressed and a new purse for Miss T. It is so fun to have her assist me. She likes to choose fabrics and buttons and has a pretty good eye for color. Being 6 1/2, her attention span is pretty short. And since she thinks I am "smart and good", she is the designer and I am the sewist. She even helped me place fusible flowers and leaves on some more applique blocks to work on this week.

Everyone has gone home now. Poppy is napping in front of the tv and I think it's time to relax in front of the fan while holding down the couch for a bit. Think I'll make a nice little salad and call that dinner. Later, it's still TOO HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I Am Elmo

You Are Elmo

Sweet and innocent, you expect everyone to adore you. And they usually do!

You are usually feeling: Talkative. You've got tons of stories to tell. And when you aren't talking, you're laughing.

You are famous for: Being popular, though no one knows why. Middle aged women especially like you.

How you life your life: With an open heart. "Elmo loves you!"

Friday, July 14, 2006

WOW!! What A Week

I can't believe this week is over. It seems like yesterday that Sonya and I boarded the tour bus and spent the day at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. It was last Saturday! I love the huge hanging baskets. They are all over town. I only saw one that really, really wanted a drink of water. Water was the beverage of the day!
It was so hot--How hot was it??? We took refuge in a beer cooler.

97 degrees is too hot to for this ole gal to spend all day outside and by the time we boarded the bus to head for another quilt shop, I was not feeling well at all. I didn't buy a thing. But I'm still thinking of calling and ordering a quilt kit!

I love this string quilt with the 9 patch corner stones and 3 strip sashing. I think I will copy this for the string blocks I have in progress. You know, one of those on going things.

There were several quilts with the panels in the center and log cabin blocks around them. This quilt would be perfect on my log bed. I think I need mine to be flannel and bigger.
I've been so inspired that all week long, I've been stitching for a half hour or more after work. I'm working on a little wall hanging for my sewing room. It's amazing how much I can get done if I just sit down a do a bit.

On the bus, Sonya and I each won a book because we were the only travelers that have been on every tour with the gals that organized the tour. 3 tours, 3 trips. The book I chose is call Patches and Posies by Teri Christopherson. On the cover is a Posy Patch Quilt with 9 patches and alternate blanket stitch applique blocks. Perfect for me, I have a bag of floral and cream 9 patches. So Sunday afternoon, I traced and fused a whole bunch of flowers and leaves and cut some background blocks. I have been stitching on these all week at work and have 7 up on the design wall. This is a good summertime work project. Very portable and no problem laying it down when necessary.

So when my little wall hanging is finished, I am going to load up a top on the machine and get some quilting done, a little bit at a time.

TTFN, I'm gonna go stitch for a minute or 2.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


While at Netty's, I just had to shop. I need buttons for my camp shirts and when I went to pick them out, there was a box of buttons for 50 cents a card. She said some had been there for quite some time. I love buttons and came home with quite a few.

Then I needed more fabric. I saved a bunch of half square triangle from another project and made them into little pinwheel blocks. I needed a soft fabric for alternate blocks and chose a soft yellow.

Then I found this cute monkey print and got white background for a small border and then purple for the outer border and backing.Then there was this awesome orange that jumped off the shelf at me and I had to enhance my background stash. Actually, each piece I bought has a purpose. Oh and she had some wider lingere elastic that I was out of so 10 yards each of black and white.

Before going on our trip, I found Fays Fabrics on line and ordered some of her value packs. I got 2 value packs of elastic, 1 of lace and 1 spandex pack. $47 and I have enough fabric, lace and elastic to make lots and lots of awesome bras.

I am in bra making mode and needed to find fabric. I wasn't happy with what I found at JoJo's. When my package arrived, I was overjoyed. I love the lime green spandex . There were 5 large pieces of spandex in my pack.

(I've tried 3 times to upload pictures of the elastic and lace but blogger is cranky! Maybe they think I've been too chatty today! )
The lace is great. Each piece is at least 2 yards long. I can't wait to use the maroon or the orange or the dark green on the lime green fabric.

I love the variety of elastic. There is some Victoria's Secret elastic and Honors and several pieces of picot edge. The pieces are just like she advertised, and I think I want some more of the value packs. Nothing like a good surprise! I also need to order underwires, hooks, and probably a few other things. ;-0

Off to make more buttonholes, 1 shirt done, 2 to go, and both pair of pants need a button and buttonhole. Don't think I'll do much for the rest of the day.

Back To Quilting

After work yesterday, I decided I better get my hiney busy and finish Sharon's quilt. I call it "Sharon's Fireworks Watching Quilt". I don't know when Sharon started piecing this top but she hated it. So when she decided she did not want to be a quilter (have you ever heard of this before?!?), she cleared out most of her stash and gave it to me. I had already finished 2 quilts for her. And I had to finish this one. She was just going to throw it in the trash but I couldn't let that happen.

This poor quilt was in a bag with all of it's parts crying to be remade (probably the reason she didn't want to be a quilter). So during this past winter, I took all of the seams apart (Trust me, I will never do that again!) and remade the blocks--Oh I love projects at work. I had them all sewn together and yesterday, after doing some serious sewing room cleaning. I remembered the date and paniced. So I got this project out, added a couple of borders, pieced some of the leftover fabric for a back, then went to bed.

At 5 am, I woke up raring to go. Tiptoed out of the bedroom, shut the door, made coffee, wound a few bobbins, got a cup of coffee in me, loaded the quilt on the frame, warmed up the machine, went out to get another cup of coffee, came back in and went to work. I love doing the loopie meander and this quilt was finished at 10 am. Binding on and machine stitched down. Done, done, done!

Sharon is going to love snuggling up in this quilt. I hope she doesn't have anymore hidden treasures crying to be finished.

What a productive day. Finished a quilt, washed my car, shampooed out the spilled coffee, wrote in my blog. Sometimes I scare myself. Now on to the next project. I need to make some buttonholes.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Rant--I Hate Working Saturdays

Yes I do! I'd rather work 12 hours Monday through Friday than work 5 hours on Saturday. But when I took this job, I knew I would have to work lots of Saturdays. I've been doing it for almost 10 years! I shouldn't really complain too much now because I get lots of Saturdays off. It's just when I think I'll be here for 5 hours, then find out it could be 10 or so, I tend to get a little cranky. Everyone says "But it's all overtime.", big deal, that just means I'm paying more taxes! And I am not at home doing what I want to do.

Ok, I'm done with my rant! I have put on my happy face. The attitude is now good.

Remember when I wrote about my job and the fact that I can do what I want when there are not trucks???

The biggest advantage at being here today is that I brought my laptop and I can use the extra phone line--yes I am still on Dial Up--to be on the internet. I have spent the morning reading sewing blogs. How fun is that.

Here are some of the blogs I've read today:
Getting Stitched on the Farm
Right Sides Together
Sew Random
Diary of A Sewing Fanatic
Rusty Bobbin

Now I think I'll go on a search for something more. There are so many facinating blogs to discover.

Until next time, don't worry, be happy!

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Perfect Weekend

What a wonderful weekend I had with my dear friends. After a great breakfast on Thursday morning, Sonya and I left home for our road trip to Netty's. I don't think there was one moment of silence in the car the whole way to Goldendale. We had a lot to talk about! In fact there wasn't much silence all weekend.

After arriving, hugs, welcomes and a tour of Netty's, we set up our machines and went to work. It felt great to be able to sew and chat and not have anything else to take care of.

Netty and her husband Bob,own a fabric and craft store and she does long arm quilting, they also do machine embroidery and silk screening and a few other things. They are always busy. I get so inspired just being there. I have a mental list 10 miles long of things I want to do.

I worked on pants fit attempt #5. Netty helped me tweek my pattern just a bit more and I made 2 awesome pair of pants--sorry, no pictures yet. I think I need just a bit more tweeking but I am very happy with the way they turned out. I also made 2 camp shirts (they both still need buttonholes and buttons) and almost finished a t shirt. I didn't get done all I wanted to but I think 5 new pieces is a pretty good weekend. My plan is to finish everything over this next long weekend. Hmmmm, 2 4-day weekends in a row. A girl could get used to that.

I tried uploading a scenic picture I took on the way home but blogger is being blogger. No time to try again, I have to get to work!

Until next time, drink lots of water and use sun screen!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

My Bags Are Packed,

I'm ready to go. I won't be leaving on a jet plane, but in a Honda Accord headed east, taking the scenic route.

I'm off for 4 days with my friend Sonya. We are going to Netty's for a weekend retreat. It's been 3 years since we've been there. How did that happen?

I plan to spend most of my sewing time working on clothes. I will come home with at least 2 pair of pants, 3 to 5 t-shirts and who knows what else. Netty has a really cool fabric store. Ohhhhh, the danger of that. The best part is, if I forgot anything or need anything, it will be right there close.

So, be good, be safe, have fun.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Pants Pattern Draft Attempt 2--The Light Came On

I hope in my last post it didn't sound like I was unhappy with Margaret's drafting instructions. It wasn't the instructions at all, it was the person that was drafting the pattern. That would be me.

When step one says to draw a line the length of the side measurement, that is what it means. Not the center back measurement, the SIDE measurement. No wonder my sideseams went up to my bra line! No wonder my back waist cutting line was straight. My body isn't shaped that way, because of my big ole butt, I have to have a much higher center back than a side. Duh! The light is on. I am home.

Back to the pants pattern draft and hopefully some time soon, some pictures of an awesomely, perfect fitting pair of pants.


How Many Attempts Does It Take To Get It Right

When I started this blog, I had such great intentions. I was going to update about once a week. As you can see, it's been over 2 months. I will attempt to make it right again. I have been sewing, I have not been quilting. I have been having fun and I have been having some frustrations.

You see, I went shopping one day. I was going to get a new serger. My old one was just a piece of junk. I go into the Viking store inside of Joann's, I know what I want for a serger. I buy it. I also buy a Designer 1! They were right there, I've wanted one forever and THEY WERE ON SALE! So I bought one. In my spare time, I have been playing.

Right there is the problem. Any spare time I find when I am not not playing with my newest toys, I am filling the spare time with my latest obsession. I want to draft a pants pattern that fits my strange shaped body. I buy a pattern, I take my measurements (big mistake, have someone else take your measurements--they really are only numbers!), I measure the pattern, make adjustments, cut out a muslin, sew it up, try it on, cry.

Ok, I see I need more adjustments. Make those, cut out another, sew up another, try on another, cry some more-not as much, this one is a bit better.

Before thinking about Attempt #3, I start surfing the web for some fitting hints for plus size women. I stumble on to Debbie's Sewing Projects and see she has a link to projects and tips. What the heck, I click it. Oh my gosh, there is one of my problems, the wrinkles right under the butt cheek. She has the solution, right there in front of me on the computer screen. I print out the Fisheye Dart Pants Alteration pages and now I am ready for Attempt #3. I am sooo excited, I can't stand it. Of course I had to look at all of her other fabulous pages and do more research (that's called surfing, I believe) so Attempt # 3 was put off for a few days.

During my surfing time, I also run across Margaret Islander's site. I have heard about her pants pattern drafting before and have seen great results, so I clicked on the link for the videos, see there is a Pants, Etc DVD and Book. The first line in the description is? "Are you tired of trying to alter ready-made patterns to achieve a perfect pant fit?" Well, you know what I did, I jumped up screaming, "YOUR DARN RIGHT I AM!", as I'm running for my credit card.

While I am not so patiently waiting for the arrival of my book and video, I work on Attempt #3. Adjusting out the fisheye problem and make another muslin. (These really aren't out of muslin--I don't have any muslin that isn't earmarked for quilting projects but I have lots and lots of old fabric that I don't know what else to do with!) Woohoo! The butt cheek wrinkles are gone. Oh lordy, why did I add so much to the back seam. Crap, another problem. I'm disgusted, discouraged and done.

Then the book and video arrive, I watch the video, have Crystal take my measurements, fill in the chart and put it away. Finally yesterday, I have enough time to draft the pattern. It was kind of fun. I should have drafted a pattern for someone with a more normal size body than myself but I didn't. I made the pattern, cut out and sewed the muslin, tried it on and sat down and bawled. This was going to be my perfect solution and it wasn't. The waist fits perfect. The back is perfect, the front is perfect. The side seam goes clear up to my bra, the pant legs can fit another person in them. I know that sewing for plus sized women is a challenge. I know that I will do Attempt #4. I know where I need to work on this pattern and I know I am going to have Crystal remeasure me today. I will make another draft. I am going to do her measurements and make a draft, pattern and muslin for her just to prove to myself that Margaret's system works--I know it does, I have seen other's projects. Now I want to see mine.

So now that I am over my disgusted, discouraged and done mood, I am going to make Attempt #5. It might take me several more attempts but I am going to get myself the perfect pair of pants. I will do it. I know I can. After all, I am Women, Hear Me Roar!!!

Until next time,

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Long Time, No Blog

I was not so gently reminded last night that it has been over a month since I have updated this blog. Shame on me! I spent 3 weeks being sick with the cold/flu, going to work everyday and coming home and basically doing nothing. It was a chore just to find my pjs and pillow. I started feeling good again last week, went to the gym a couple of days and now I feel puny again. Did the gym do that to me!!! I think not! Will this ever go away??? OK, Pity Party is over.

I have been working on some ufo quilts. One is an angel quilt for my youngest daughter. I quilted it a couple of years ago, but I just wasn't happy with it. I frog stitched quite a bit, loaded it back onto the machine and finished quilting it. It now is waiting for the binding. I also took 9 blocks and made a lap quilt. I quilted it with some free motion work. Boy oh boy do I need to practice that. Some of it looks pretty darn good. Some of it looks not so great. But I will go ahead and put binding on it and call it happy.

Stay tuned for the next blog on how not to get your quiting machine unjammed. I always have to learn things the hard way. This was no exception. Until next time........

I hope you are happy now Sister Sue!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Surprise

My Darling Husband came home from work tonight with this awesome old quilt and ladder. What a surprise and what a thoughtful gift. We had looked in this shop in Woodland when we were getting ready to buy our log bed. I wanted that quilt so bad but didn't have the extra cash to buy it at the time. I couldn't quit thinking about it and I knew when I had a chance to back there, it would be gone. So when I saw it, the tears flowed. This is one of the most special gifts he has given me in over 33 years of marriage.

You can feel the love in this tattered beauty. I don't understand why anyone would get rid of an old quilt. I has been loved by many. It will continue to be loved by me. It now has a new home in my bedroom and my Gramma Maple's quilt will be at home with it.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Making of a Maverick Quilter

Darling Granddaughter, Taylor, age 6, spent the night with us last night. She has developed a fasination with my scrap basket. Oh Yeah! another fabric loving granddaughter. That makes 3 out of 3 and that makes me happy.

We got out some fusible web and made a nice background. More fusible pressed to some scraps and started cutting out shapes. Then she placed them where she wanted them and we pressed them down. Well that wasn't enough so we turned it over and added a few more pieces to the back. I think this girl is ready to learn to use the machine and start something for her baby dolls.

After the photo, we pinned it on the wall. Everytime I looked at it, I couldn't help but feel all giggly inside. We had so much fun! Now it's with her and had a place on her wall.

I haven't had much time to sew in the last 2 weeks. I did spend some time last week working on more floral 9 patches for my swap and on Monday I had to get my flannel strips ready to mail off for another swap. I swore I wasn't going to participate in any swaps this year. The first 2 that are announced, here I am jumping up and down with my hand in the air, "Me, Me, Me, pick ME!"

Now it's time for jammies, hot chocolate and a look through 2 new quilt magazines. Today I got all my errands taken care of because tomorrow, I SEW!

Being a Gramma is the Best!

Little Elliot is now all settled in at his home. Today Gramma and Poppy went to visit. Mommy didn't have a rocking chair and we all know every mommy needs a rocker. Poppy bought her one and Daddy and a friend had to assemble it. (Yip, it was fun to watch!) It's going to get lots of miles put on it. There just something about a tiny baby and a good rocking chair.

Little E sure is a cutie. I had a blast just holding him and looking at him. I am amazed that it wasn't that long ago when his mommy was only 6 days old and I was cuddling her. Geepers, where does the time go.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Welcome to the Family, Elliot Micheal

Little Elliot arrived February 5, 2006. Mommy, Daddy and baby are doing fine. He is a little bit of a thing and will stay in the hospital nursery for a few days. His original due date was for March 10 but I think is was anxious to meet his family.

Daddy swears he wanted to see the Seahawks in the Superbowl. I'm thinking he is going to believe that Superbowl Sunday is just a big ole birthday party for him.

Gramma is going to go take a nap. Go Hawks!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The FUN Part of my Weekend

I made this wallhanging about 2 years ago. Most of the blindstitch applique and the big stitch quilting was done while I was at work. ;-) All of the buttons came from my Gramma Maple's button tin. Some of my fondest memories are of that ole blue button tin.

Once I acquired the tin from my baby sister, I had to use some of the buttons. I wanted to see them and touch them again. When I saw this wallhanging in a magazine, I knew that was where some of Gramma's buttons would live. How it hangs right beside my bed.

This weekend has been spent making 6" nine patch blocks. I joined an internet swap even though I swore I was not going to do any swaps this year. The blocks are made with floral prints and cream --5 flowers, 4 creams. I have made 7 sets of 11--10 for the swap, 1 for me. I have strips cut for 8 more sets.

I couldn't believe I had to go to the quilt shop for this swap. I knew I had lots of florals. Wrong! I had several but not enough for what I want. And very little cream background fabrics. So on Friday--it took a 3 day sewing weekend--I made a trip to my favorite quilt shop. I only bought 6 floral prints--3 FQs and 3 1/2 yard pieces and 5 different cream backgrounds.

I think I need to replenish some of my stash. I didn't realize how little background fabrics I have. I have been very good about not buying fabrics. I have been living the "Use what you have or do without." mantra for about 4 years now. Now I think I have to live the "Only buy what you need." mantra.

So now I will clean up from dinner, fold the last load of clothes, finish those dreaded gun socks and then work on some 9 patches.

Work has been too busy all week to get much sewing done. I still have my strip twist blocks to finish sewing together but I think I will do that at home. I will work on my tumbling blocks quilt this week. It is all hand work so I might make a bit of progress on it.

Until next time,
Have some fun.

Putting the FUN in Functional

I really wanted to keep up with my fun sewing but today is not one of those days. Yesterday DH decided he needed socks for his rifles. He keeps them in gun safes--2 of them in my kitchen beside the fridge, but I don't care because unauthorized people can't get to them--if ya know what I mean.

So, being the good wife that I am, I asked what the heck he was talking about. He doesn't want them touching each other--isn't that a kid thing???--while they are in the safe. So he described how I should go about making these things. I DREAMED ABOUT GUN SOCKS!!! What is wrong with me. What in the world do I have that I can make these things out of. My 2 a.m. moment--Ohhhhhhhh, I have some really heavy flannel like camo stuff that I had made him a shirt/jacket out of several years ago and refused to make another.

This morning after some neglected household chores (can you tell I was putting this project off?), I got out the stash of camo fabric, (who else has a camo fabric stash?) to see if it was acceptable fabric. He really wanted fleece because it is softer but I didn't have any more and I wasn't going to town to buy any. This was going to have to work--use the stash. So I washed it to soften it a bit and designed a pattern.

So far I have made four custom fit gun socks. I have fabric for 8 more. Oh lucky me. I swear this will get done today. I am so excited about these things that I am even cooking dinner. That doesn't happen too often on weekends.

Good news, I just asked how many more I need to make. Only 2! For now. Luck me. They really only take a few minutes to sew up, it's just that they aren't fun. They are functional. Functional--oh look, there is fun in functional. This also means that I still have camo in my stash.

I started out using my serger. It isn't a very good serger. It's loud, it clatters, it breaks needles. It's a classic example of you get what you pay for. I wanted to throw it in the garbage. I still might, it's still sitting on the kitchen table, it's real close to the garbage can. As I was using my sewing machine, I kept thinking of a new serger. Hmmmmm, might have to visit the local sewing machine dealer.

What if my dream comes true and I am mass producing these things and selling at gun shows on weekends. It wasn't a dream, it was a nightmare!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Quote of the Day

I have this Mary Engelbreit Oh So Breit Day to Day calendar. Each day has a great ME picture and a quote. I can't even throw the pictures away. I use them for note paper.

Today's quote is "It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis."--Mararet Bonnano

Sure made me think. I was pouting because we are so busy at work--the sun is shining!--and I have not had a minute to sew anything. I did make 10 3" friendship stars for my wallhanging yesterday. I hung them up on the design wall tonight. Then I looked at my calendar and got my wake up call. Stop whining and live happy. So I am going to rearrange my stars and figure out how to set them together. Or maybe not, maybe I'll just look at them!

It might be Friday before I get to sew on anything again. I am taking a 3 day weekend just for myself. 3 days is a mini vacation for me. I am a firm believer in many mini vacations! I am going to make a mini list of many things I want to do. Maybe I'll look at my list, maybe not.

Until then,
live happily ever after.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


I love wallhangings. I started a new one last night. Here in SW Washington state, we have had one day in the past month without rain. It can get depressing if you let yourself go there. I love looking out at the stars on a clear night so I decided to make myself a star light, star bright wall hanging for my bedroom. I have a few nice yellows and this awesome gray moda marble--perfect for a dark night. I have a Lazy Angle ruler that I have never used and decided it was a good time to find out what it is all about. It is pretty cool once you get the hang of it.

This is my 1st attempt at paper piecing. It hangs in my living room. The fabrics are all hand dyed by my friend, Sonya. She makes marbled fabrics and invited me over to learn the process. We had so much fun. I have a basket of marbled fabrics that I get in to every once in a while.

This is my funky hen and chicks. Again, using marble fabrics. It hangs in my kitchen. I still think I need to put little feet on those chicks.

This little Debbie Mumm design also lives in my kitchen. This is my 1st wallhanging. I love Debbie Mumm designs.

More wallhanings later, I need to make more stars.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

On The Job Sewing

I have worked at a rock pit for over 9 years. I weigh out loaded gravel trucks. I am the only woman on the job in my location. I work alone in an 8' x 8' office. I have a computer, coffee pot, AM/FM radio, an outside porta potty and enjoy the company of my 11 year old toy poodle. There are usually 8 to 10 men that work in the pit and on the rock crusher. We all have CB radios for communication. There are busy, busy days and there are days when you wonder when 4:30 will ever arrive.

I learned real fast to bring something to do. I hate to be bored and I can only play on the computer for so long before I go nuts--no online at my job. I have created many quilts and read many books while I am getting paid to sell rock.

This week I have been working on Bonnie's Strip Twist. I printed off the directions, packed up my strip container and my machine and supplies. I set myself up just like in the photos. When I need to press, I just spin my chair around and there is my pressing station. See my iron on top of my radio??? The pressing pad is on the other side of the cutting mat. When I need to trim blocks, I move my machine off the desk and cut there.

Such a tiny space and I can get so much done.

This is one view from my office. I love the waterfall right beside the mudslide. Always interesting. I think I prefer mud and muck to dust. Fewer trucks run in the winter and I get more done!!!
One day my boss asked just how many quilts I have made while he is paying me to be there. Thank goodness he allows me to be creative when we aren't busy. I do bust my hiney when the construction season is strong. 10 to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, truck after truck, with barely time to run out to the potty.

I have been sewing on the job so long that now that most of the drivers ask what I am working on today. When I'm not sewing, the want to know why.

Sometimes this curtain comes down to be my small design wall.

Today was not a good sewing day. Oh, I had great plans but vandals thought it would be fun to break my window. I didn't even bring my things in from the car. There were glass shards everywhere. They didn't get in my office but they did get in some equipment and caused some major damage. Nope, not a good day at the office. Monday had to be better. My Strip Twist had been piled in rows, ready to me made into a top. Yip, it will be a good day.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dee's Christmas Quilt

This is the final Christmas quilt for 2005. It started with an online string block swap. I wanted to be an overachiever so I made my blocks while I was at work last winter. One day, I made 65 6" string blocks. I couldn't wait to get home and tell the group what I had accomplished that day. Before posting, I read the day's digest. The group had decided we should make our blocks with a 1" black strip down the center. I laughed so hard at myself that I cried. I am not an overachiever, I never will be. So I decided to set my blocks aside and make new blocks for the swap during the week. I would use all of them in a quilt.

After several months of aging, it was time to set the blocks into a quilt top. I placed them all on the design wall, moved them around, then started sewing. After several rows were sewn together, I got impatient and put the top back up on the wall. Eeegads! I didn't like this at all, the corners didn't form a black X!

I went to bed, woke up about 1 am and knew exactly what I had to do. I had to sew in some black corners on my plain blocks.

The corners aren't exact but neither am I. I used another of Jodi Beamish's pantographs called Rhapsody and lime green thread for the quilting.

Dee loved the quilt as soon as she saw it, whining that she wanted it. No, I am keeping it for myself, that is until she unwrapped it at Christmas. Pretty sneaky mom!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Bonnie Does It Again

I can always count on Bonnie at Quiltville.com to come through with instructions for the exact quilt I want to make.

This quilt, called Smokey Mountain Stars was made for my son, Doug. He is the one that inspired me to make quilts for Christmas this year. He told me he "needed a new blankie...it doesn't need to be for my bed, just something for on the couch".

I had no idea what I was going to make for him. Then one day, WAH LAH! I get an email notice from Bonnie at Quiltville about a new quilt she has posted. (Bonnie has a yahoo group for announcements only when she updates or adds to her website--how great is that!) This was the quilt I HAD to make for Doug. I had a container full of plaid homespuns that I knew would be made into something just for him.

I was running short on time so I spent one Sunday cutting fabric. I packed up my sewing machine, supplies and fabric kit to take to work. It took me a couple of days (thank goodness for slow days at the office--that's a whole article by itself) to piece the blocks. Then I had to take it home to the design wall to lay it out, pin and label my rows so I could sew it together at work.

Saturday I added the borders, made the backing and loaded it on the longarm. By Sunday evening, it was meander quilted, binding was on and ready to stitch down. The quilt was finished on Monday--at work, of course.

Thank you Bonnie for all the work you do on your website. It is a true pleasure to visit.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Lovin' a Saturday Afternoon

This quilt was made for Crystal's house. Crys is my only quilting child. It's so much fun to show each other our latest projects. I wasn't sure if she wanted a quilt made by me but that didn't matter, she got one. She is a very organized quilter. Not loving the scrap thing until lately and they have to be organized scrappy. Is that a new term???

This Pinwheels on Parade is also from the Nickel Quilts book. I used a whimsical garden print for the corner stones just for fun. It was also quilted using the Popcorn pantograph. I constructed the blocks at a quilt retreat that Crys and I went to this past fall.

I had the pleasure of working this morning. Not really in the mood to work on my applique project so I just played cards on the computer. One of these days I will post photos from my work and explain how I get so much quilting time in at my job.

After work I went to my LQS to buy flannel for a strip swap with an internet quilt group. We are swapping 3" strips. I had made the statement that I was only going to be involved in one swap this year and then this one came up. I was first to sign up! I love flannel and don't have a flannel stash any more. A girl needs to have a flannel stash!! And it was all on sale for 40% off--how could I not get 8 yards.

I stopped on the way home, picked up a take and bake pizza for lunch and dinner. Then I finished sewing a cute Veronica Pocketbook--Lazy Girl Designs. Dee came to visit and the little purse went home with her. All I did was show it to her and she said thank you. Stinker--not really, it was just too small for me and it did match well with her coat. I'll have to get a picture of it next time she is here.

I think I will start making me the Towne Purse, also a Lazy Girl Design. The last purse I made is just too small. It's cute but I need more room. I have alot of important stuff that I have to pack with me everywhere I go.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Life is Short, Take a Nap

My dear friend and co-worker's husband passed away on Monday. 2 days before Christmas, he was diagnosed with cancer. I have spent the last few days thinking of them and about how short life really is.

Last night, instead of sleeping, I lay wide awake wondering if we have our things in order. If something should happen to my husband, would I be able to pay the bills. What about getting firewood for the winter, what about the plumbing that needs to be updated, etc., etc. All kinds of things that wouldn't leave my mind. I know the answers to all of these questions but it didn't ease my mind.

So I got out of bed and turned on the tv. That was silly, only depressing news was on. I blocked out the tv and peered into my sewing studio. I can see the baby quilt on the long arm waiting for more attention. That started my brain on the path of my fabric stash. I have a plan for most of the fabric that I own. I do, really, I do. I just don't have the time right now to set all my great plans in motion.

I love scrap quilts and made each of my children a new quilt for Christmas. This is my oldest daughter,Jenny's. The design is Labor Day Madness from the Nickel Quilt book. All of the fabrics came out of my stash.

I quilted it using Jodi Beamish's pantograph called Popcorn and Superior Rainbow thread.

I hope Jenny and her family get years of use from this quilt. It isn't bed size but it is perfect for a nap on the couch. Come on Jen, let yourself take a little nap and know that Momma hugs are wrapped around you.

So now that I have titled today's blog, I am going to put on my jammies and take an 8 hour nap under my favorite quilt of the day.

Good night and sweet dreams.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Did I Just Post a Photo?

I can't believe I just did this and how easy it was.

This baby quilt is my current project.

In October 2005, I went to a quilting retreat with my daughter, Crystal, who is expecting a baby boy in March. We showered Crystal with quilt blocks for a baby quilt.

I made a few more 9 patch blocks and set the quilt together this weekend. I needed to "boy it up", as Daddy Mike said, so I added the yellow and blue borders. It is now ready to put on the frame and be quilted. I'm not sure how I'm going to quilt it yet but I at least know which thread I will use.

I Can't Beleive I'm Blogging...

...but here I am. I love to read blogs about everyday life, quilting and sewing. Sometimes spending too much time reading about quilting instead of actually putting needle to fabric.

I decided it was time to have my own quilting diary. Maybe this way I can keep track of what I have accomplished. With doing a blog, I need to learn to display photos. That will be my next lesson.

Until then, I need to get a quilt loaded on the frame and start quilting.