Welcome to Gramma's Quilting Room.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Where Did January Go?

I was shocked when I saw today is the last day of January. Who took January away from me? I had a very good quilting month. Two UFOs are marked off my list, I finished Sharon's quilt. That one was a challenge for me but it is finished and she will pick it up this weekend. Can you tell how much give there was? I had to do a lot of pushing and pulling to get most of the folds out. I didn't get them all, there are some frinkles on both the front and the back but I think that adds to the charm of Gramma's stitching. I quilted over most of the long stitches to hold them in place and hopefully fingers or toes won't get hooked up on them. I hope her cousin is happy with it.

I took out the depression blocks and started working the HSTs as leaders and enders for my Double Delight quilt (which has all the blocks finished and is ready to lay out and piece into a top). I used almost all of my pieces so I had to do a layout to see how far I was. And I wanted to look at it again! After doing some figuring, I decided to pull out more short strips from the 2 1/2" drawer and cut more HSTs. I will take it off the wall today and just keep working on those little HSTs, get a bag full and make more and more blocks. Maybe next time I put it on the wall, it will cover my queen size bed!

Today I am going to quilt a baby/momma quilt that I pieced at the last retreat. I thought I had a picture of it but I don't. I'll have to remember to take one when it's finished. I did put it on my UFO list because the top was finished last year-in November-and not quilted. Again, that's just how my mind works!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Choices--How My Mind Works

How do you decide which project you are going to work on when you have a day dedicated to just sewing? Today, I had the day to myself-mostly.

I gave myself 3 choices: 1-the quilt the quilt on the frame that I am procrasting about-everything is ready to go, 2- UFO #22-the homespun blocks that I am not so thrilled with or 3-work on my Double Delight blocks and my leader and ender HSTs.

My choice today was easy. Today is Wednesday Sewing at Marian's. But there is no sewing today, she has company and I had to wait at home for the phone guy. We had planned to go shopping in Portland today but I had to pass. I really wanted to go too.

I didn't want to run the longarm, it's too noisy and sometimes I can't hear the phone ring--music might be too loud--or the dogs barking--could be the unwanted visitor and I don't want to go see. I didn't want to work on the homespun blocks so I picked the Double Delight--and it's all set up right by the machine.

And besides, if I were at Marian's today, I would be working on my DD.

So after a few hours of sewing, I have 33 blocks complete of my 50 needed. No, I didn't do all those today! I did finish 9 of them though. I have 6 more almost finished then I only need to finish the 11 double 9 patches. That will go fast. Maybe I'll just sew the rest of the day away.

I don't get to have DSL, I live too far outside of the circle. Alway looking in from the outside!!! So I will live with my pokie ole dial up, save money by not going satellite and be happy with it. And I will sew!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Deep Fried Cajun Tilapia

Judy at Patchwork Times is having a giveaway and I really want to win her prize. As soon as I read her post I knew I had to get hubby to cook his blackened cajun salmon. (His hunting club friend had given me a recipe for cajun spice mix and this is the only cajun thing I have ever tasted.) Only thing is, salmon is very expensive right now and I am very frugal. So I had to come up with a new plan.

Hubby has recently decided he likes to cook and I like it that he likes to cook. He had just bought a Fry Baby to deep fry his fish. He has become a master fish cooker. Almost as good as Skipper's, our favorite fish place. So tonight, I made up his coating mix and he fried our dinner. Deep Fried Cajun Tilapia and salad. One balances the other in my mind.

I mixed up equal parts pancake mix and flour and added some of my cajun spice mix until it smelled good. (I don't measure, I dump, then smell. If it smells right then I continue.) Then I mixed up an egg with some milk. He did the good ole dry, wet, dry dip method and fried up our fish. You need to have 2 dishes for the dry so your first dish doesn't get too ookey.

And as you can see, I have a pretty good mess to clean up. It was worth it, dinner was very good. Wonder what I can get him to cook tomorrow..........

I Am A Shameless Procrastinator!

I really should be working on this quilt (it is a preprinted design) for my friend Sharon. Her old Auntie was hand quilting it for a granddaughter and didn't get if finished. Sharon brought it to me to see if I could quilt it and leave the stitching in. I said sure! I'll do just about anything for Sharon. Even this! (I should say that after hanging overnight, the wrinkles are no where near as bad as they look in this picture! Thank goodness)

The quilt was full of straight pins, huge safety pins and hair clips. Auntie had done quite a bit of quilting on it on all sides. So I pinned one edge to the take up roller and started to roll it on, back, poly batting and top. Ouch, there's a needle inside, oooohhh a pin I missed. I am having to clip some of the stitching to try to get some of the folds out. I just don't know how much to take out. So I will continue to roll it up, then reroll it to the backing roller. Then I will "quilt as desired" (I hate that term!) and hope she likes what I do.

Instead of working on the quilt, I have been working on journaling my quilt photos. I don't do fancy scrapbooking like Daughter Jenny does. I just opened a Word document, inserted a picture and wrote what I wanted. Then I printed it out, put it in a clear sleeve and into my notebook. I think now I will start saving my pages and have them printed out on nice cardstock at the copy place. Until then, I feel good about getting a few photos journaled.
Now I must work on that quilt!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

#17 Is Not a UFO Anymore :-)

WooHoo, it is now in the washer getting rid of any bad words that may be in there. Why did I fold it up and put it away instead of finishing it? I have 28 other projects that I am wondering the same thing about. But I have finished 2 UFOs so far this year and it is only month one! I wonder if I can do 3........

When I showed it to hubby, I had him pick a number between 12 and 30. He picked #22. Crap, I don't like this quilt, that's why it's in a box and I haven't looked at it for 2 years. It is home spun plaids that I made 30 Slice "Em and Dice "Em blocks. You know the 9 patch that you slice and sew back together. The quality of the fabric isn't that great but I am going to go ahead and sew them into 2 small quilts, quilt them and donate them. I was thinking about not being in a hurry to do them but that's what happened when they went into the box. I'm going to try to get them sewn together tonight.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A bit of Progress

Quilting has begun on UFO #17 aka the 6" diagonal string quilt, but will now be known forever as #17! I love the Plumage pantograph. It goes pretty fast and looks good.
I'm using a medium gray thread which really shows in the black and hides in the colors. One of these days I'll find the perfect thread color to use on black. So far I haven't found it. I'll keep looking.
I'm tired now so #17 will have to wait until tomorrow to be finished. It's time for pj's and snuggling on the couch with my quilt and my book.

How Cute is This?

Mr. Tony has learned to jump up into the big dad's chair. If you are sitting in this chair, get up and walk away, he jumps up there and looks at you as if he's saying HaHa. This is what I saw when I came out of the sewing room today. A Kodak moment--aka blog fodder.
Not much quilting has happened today. I started pinning the back to UFO #17 to the frame and then realized I had to hurry and get the big dog up to the groomers for his day of pampering. Then I came home, talked on the phone for a while and then started to finish pinning when my brother came over.
Oh Lordy, the guy is a pain, but I can't be mean to him so I sat and watched some tv with him--hubby is conveniently at a gun show today. We did watch CMT Cribs and they showed Charlie Daniels home and Craig Morgan's. Craig Morgan has a tv watching room full of animal heads (which is kind of cool in a creepy kind of way) and one of his chairs is a tree stand chair on one of the support pole things in the middle of the room. Hilarious! I can't wait to watch it again with hubby, cuz ya know I have to, Charilie Daniels and a hunting dude on one show--must see TV!
Anyhooo, I am going to work on the quilt now so I can post another UFO done.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I've Made Some Quilty Progress

Here is my progress on the Double Delight Mystery from Quiltville. Sorry if you are reading this and didn't want the mystery revealed. I have all of my block parts made and now need to finish assembling my blocks. I am close to half way but I have other things that need my attention more.
After yesterday's post full of nothingness, I got busy. I filled bobbins for the next 3 quilts that I plan to quilt. I looked at quilt number 4 that I am not too excited to do but I'll do it anyhow because I said I would.
I sorted through a bunch more fabric that was piled on my cutting table. I need to get busy and get my basket of scraps cut into sizes I use based on Quiltville Bonnie's Scrap User's System. If you haven't looked at her site, you should at least read what she says about your scraps. Yes, I am a fan, a huge fan, of Bonnie's and I have been for as long as she has had webpages. She also has a new page that I found to be quite awesome called Behind Her Scrappy Mind. Enough of my shameless promo for Quiltville.com.
This morning I have decided what's for dinner and have it thawing--turkey meatloaf, zucinni quiche, maybe some homemade bread but I haven't started that yet. I've started the dishwasher, fed the dogs, cleaned up the papertowel roll mess that Mr. Tony made and now I am going to finish this and get behind the quilting machine.
I loaded Nadine's quilt yesterday and then my dad came for a visit so I didn't get started on it until after dinner. It will get finished this morning and then I will make the back for UFO #17. And sometime today get it loaded and started. I am using the Jodi Beamish pantograph called Plumage on both of these quilts so that makes it pretty easy. I may use it on the 3rd quilt in the pile also. Just because I can!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Post Full of Nothing

Judy over at Patchwork Times blogs today about having a "Nothing Blogworthy" week. I've had nothing blogworthy months before. I do feel bad for anyone that comes here expecting to find something new and exciting and all they find is the same old stuff. I'm trying to post more often but sometimes I just have days full of Nothing. Then there are the days when I don't shut up.

So here is a post full of nothing important. I am very excited about next Tuesday. I will be leaving the boring world of pokie ole dialup. I will come into the modern era with something they call Extended Range DSL. My box full of important equipment arrived yesterday so now I will wait patiently for the very nice guy to get here to install it. I know it will be a very nice guy because that is what I ordered. Really I did, I asked for a very nice guy, not the grumpy guy that hates his job.

I'm super excited about having a faster internet speed because right now I am waiting not so patiently for my email to down load. Someone forgot that I CANNOT accept supersized emails, meaning anything over 300KBs is too large. I seem to have one of the supersized messages coming my way because this will be my 2nd day of trying to download my emails to my computer. Even going into my servers webmail is not working because the big email is somewhere in cyberspace trying to get to my inbox. So I've read the important ones and am going to tie up my phone line this morning to get this taken care of. If that doesn't work, I'll be on the phone with my internet people. Oh yeah, I have people.

Yesterday was sewing day at Marian's. It was bittersweet because Sonya was home in bed trying to deal with her back pain and not dealing with it very well. We had a birthday party for Nadine and she loved the bag that was made for her. We make each other gifts for birthdays. So far we have been very sneaky and the recipient doesn't know what's going on. This time Nadine told us exactly what she wanted so that is what we did. She is an awesome lady and I'm glad I have such great friends to spend every Wednesday with.

I came home very ispired to get my sewing room organized and rearranged. I have been doing some work every day but then I sit down to sew for just a few minutes and that turns into a few hours. I'm working on my Double Delight mystery blocks. I think I have about half of the blocks sewn together and on the design wall and there are about 10 little square in a square blocks to trim. Baby steps on the boring stuff and it eventually will get done.

Today's big plans include loading a quilt on the frame, filling bobbins and laying out the pantograph. I might even get it quilted. Next of the list of quilting room stuff is to make the back for the string quilt that Crystal has laid claim to. I have a quilting list so it would be nice to mark 2 off the list this week. I have dinner planned, will do a quick dance with the vaccuum cleaner, a load or 3 of laundry, and keep an eye on the dogs. If the sunshines again today, I'll work on the leash traing of Tony. I forgot all the little details of puppy training. Ugh!

I guess I'll post this Post Full of Nothing, go find the number for my tech people and give them a call. 45 minutes should be enough to download email! Is it Tuesday yet?????????

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I've Got The Whim-Whams

Do you ever feel like you have the whim-whams? You know, like the heeby geebies, when you can't settle on one thing? You bounce from project to project?

That's how I am today. My brain doesn't want to slow down. I feel like I have accomplished nothing. But I have. I made a Marian Blankie.

Yesterday I met Crystal at Joann's for a short shopping spree--I had a gift card, I needed a bulb for my OttLite, no longer have a gift card. Dang those things are spendy and of course I didn't take the old bulb with me so I bought the wrong one. (Came home, ordered one online.)

Anyhow,I found this cute flannel that I had to have to make Clella a Marian Blankie out of. (A Marian blankie is 2 1 1/4 yard pieces of flannel that you sew wong sides together, turn and topstitch--named after our friend Marian who made Clella her first Marian Blankie.) You see, Miss Clella loves her Poppy. If she hears his voice, she just about snaps her head off to find him. It is near impossible to get her away from him. She will shove your hands away and go right back to loving on Poppy. He loves it. So now she has a blankie to remind her that she has a Gramma.

So as I was getting ready to sew this blanket, I needed to get out my screwdriver to change my sewing machine needle--I do that quite often--and I decided to take a picture of this thingie. It came with my machine and I have no idea what it is or what it is for. I've even looked in the manual and can't find anything. One end says in, the other says out. Any one have a clue??

Edited....I have the smartest friends! Cheri wrote and told me this is used to change the light bulbs and that she went through the whole manual before she found it. I looked at my manual, in fact I have looked in it several times since I've had my machine and I never, ever saw that page. It is on the first page in the section that is titled Care of Your Designer 1, page 110 in my book. I have looked at that section, honestly I have. And I didn't know that my machine had 2 lightbulbs.........makes ya think of the joke how many whatevers it takes to change a light bulb. Thanks Cheri.

Now I think I am going to put some things away so I can load a quilt on my frame. Oh yeah, I need to cook dinner. Chicken and spanish rice. I hope I make it back into the sewing room today.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

UFO #17

Like most quilters, I make a list in January of my UFOs. This year's list has 29 on it so far. It could grow as I move things around and discover something old that should be added. After finishing up #5, I decided I should get out another one and keep going while I was still happy with my finish.
When I was talking to Crystal today, I asked her to pick a number between 12 and 29. After explaining to her why I needed the number, she picked 17 and this is what it is. On my list it says "diagonal strings--is this a top that needs quilted?--2005 & 6". How sad that I don't even know if it's a top or not.
So I go get it out of the box and sure enough, it is a completed top. I thought about adding an outer border but I decided I am not going to. I have picked out the fabric to use for a backing and I will get that made and get it loaded on the machine. I already have batting and a drawer full of thread. I think I will quilt it with a fun pantograph and as Larry say's "Get 'er done!". But first, I see where I need to do a little unsewing and get some sashing lined up a little better.
But first, I need to do some more domestic stuff.........

Let's Do The Happy Dance

IT'S DONE!!! How happy am I??? I can't even tell you. UFO #5 is finished, in the washer getting a bath with a color catcher (please don't let any of the red run into the cream), then will go in the dryer to get all crinklie and fluffy and soft. WooHoo.
To my friends that made me blocks, to my friends and family that encouraged me, to my dogs and hubby who left me alone, thank you. Sounds like I just won some fabulous award doesn't it??? This is the one UFO I dreaded working on and you do not know how happy I will be to give this one away. I think she'll like it.
Now that this is crossed off my list, which one will be next? I only have 28 to choose from and I have the Double Delight Quiltville Mystery that I have been working on.......Hmmmmmmm let me think........

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Things to Think About

Here are a few things to think about. I'm talking to myself today.

1-Notice the photo, see the pin on the right? The point is sticking up. The pin on the left? It's been tucked into the batting. When you are happily stitching along and you forget to tuck that sharp little point down into the batting, you stab yourself in the thumb. It hurts, it bleeds. I didn't want to get blood on this quilt so I had to take a break.
2-When you take a break because you are bleeding, you need to come back to what you were doing. 16 hours is not a break! It's a whole new day. (May want to consider putting a box of bandaids beside the machine so you won't need a 16 hour break.)
3-When working on a quilt as you go, or any other quilt with sashing, you probably want to check that your blocks line up before you sew the sashing. If you do this, you won't have to spend quality time with your favorite seam ripper. Duh!
4-Don't go thinking you are going to have this quilt ready to stitch binding down today. You have 3/4 of a row of stitches to take out and you have 3 more rows and 2 more sashing strips to sew on. And you haven't even cut and pressed the binding yet.
5-Figure something else to take to work on today.
I'm going to take my Double Delight blocks to work on. I am loving this quilt and want to get it done but first, I have UFO #5 to work on. I can't wait to call this one DONE!
~TTFN, I've got stitches to take out.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

UFO #5

On one of my small online quilting groups, we are doing a UFO challenge. There are a few of us that picked 11 of our UFOs, listed them with a number, sent our list to the UFO mom--she didn't want the UFOs! Then once a month, she will pick a number and that is the UFO we will work on. My goal is to get each of mine finished. I tried to pick some of my older ones and a few of my recent ones.

Well, lucky me, she picked the one I liked the least. Or the one I thought I liked the least. When I unrolled #5, I decided I really like this quilt. It's the process I chose to quilt it with I didn't like. It's the quilt as you go method and I'm a longarm quilter so this wasn't fun for me. And I swear I will never do this again. But knowing myself as I do, I'm afraid I might.

Here's my progress on this quilt. I belonged to another group and in 2004, we did a block exchange. You picked your colors, pattern and then made 2 blocks for each person in the swap according to their choices. I chose Civil War reds and blues or something close to that and I wanted stars. Let them age a few years and then in March 2008, I start to quilt them, put it asided, start again in May and again in July. By then, I hated this quilt so I rolled it all up and stuffed it away. (As I think about this now, I did it this way because I could sew but not cut after my carpal tunnel surgery and I needed to sew something.)

Then 2009 rolls around and it is still on my UFO list. Not for long. I got it out today and will start to work on it tomorrow. I'm hoping to have binding on it by Wednesday so I can stitch it down at Sewing at Marian's.

But today is play day with the kidlets and I need to get ready to play.

Friday, January 09, 2009

I'm NOT Starting Anything New.....

Have you said that before??? No new projects until whatever, whatever....
Whatever happened for me when Dear Miss Bonnie of Quiltville fame decided to do a New Year's Eve Mystery. I do love all of the things Miss Bonnie does so I had to jump in and start the Double Delight Quilt. I picked most fabrics from my stash but had to buy some cheddar and chocolate brown. This time I wanted to stay pretty close to the colors Bonnie used. And my stash is dwindling and there aren't many big pieces of fabric left.
I don't know about you but when there is a mystery, I want to keep up with the clues because I am not good a not peeking. There was no way I was going to keep up with this mystery so I turned into a shameless peeker. After a cutting error (or as I call it-building of my 2 1/2" strips stash) and the need to go buy more fabric, I jumped ahead a step and started making my little 9 patches. So much fun! I love grab and sew.
I couldn't stand it any longer and had to lay out a couple blocks to see what my quilt will look like. I love it and will spend the day working on parts 2 and 3. Last night I got the rest of my 9 patch strips sewn and cut into units ready to form the cute little blocks (I love the June Taylor Shape Cut Ruler) . The rest of my browns and cheddars are cut and I have piece 1 sewn to most of my cheddar blocks. I hope to get those finished up today.
I already have the flanned that I am going to use for the back of this. I was in JoAnn's one day when they had the mega flannel sale and found a brown background with quiltie things all over it. I had to buy all they had! I knew it would be used for a back, I just didn't know I would be using it so soon. I sure hope Bonnie posts the border step soon. I can't wait to see what the finished quilt will look like.
Maybe I should get crackin' and see what mine is going to look like. But first I am going to take my lint brush and clean off my fancy flannel backed table cloth/design wall.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

My Goodwill Find

I really wanted to title this post Tessa, You Ungrateful Snot but then I got to thinking and decided that maybe it wasn't Tessa's fault that this cute little wallhanging was at the Goodwill Store. I really would like to know how it ended up there and why. But this will problaby be one of the mysteries that I will never solve. I know I am happy I found it and it was still there for me to buy.
I saw it there on Tuesday when I went searching for a good deal on shirts--but that's another rant for another day. I left it there and then spent the night hoping it would still be there in the morning so I could rescue it. So on my way to my Wednesday sewing date, I went back and bought it.
I don't know why Tessa doesn't still have this. I only hope her Grandmother doesn't see this post. How would you react if this happened to you? I know my feelings would be crushed.
So if you are Tessa or her Grandmother and would like to have this back, please contact me and I will make sure it is returned to you. Until then, it has a home on my guestroom wall. I think it's adorable.

Puppy Update

Tony has lived with us for 2 weeks now. Has it really only been 2 weeks?? He has doubled in size and length and trouble.
Here he is with Taylor on New Year's Day. The laughter was out of control. She would hide her face and then call him and he attacked. So much fun.
Notice the soda bottles? See the one under my sewing box? That one has to be resuced by a human. But how much fun is spinning 2 or 3 or 4 bottles for an over excited puppy! The soda bottles are the best toys but my advice is to peel the label off before you spin the bottle for the puppy. After a day or two, you will be picking up little scraps of plastic label.
Notice the box blocking the outlet where the tv is plugged in? I decided not to take any chances--didn't want to see the big guy cry because his surround sound was trashed. That would not be pretty. So far the box has worked but no one has touched it so he hasn't been curious. But you know as well as I do that he will discover it, probably sooner than later.