Welcome to Gramma's Quilting Room.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Design Wall-Week 14

This has been a very unproductive sewing week. But I'm OK with that. I honestly didn't feel like sewing much. On Wednesday, our sewing group went on a field trip to a Longview kitchen/fabric/quilting/sewing machine/vacuum cleaner shop. First it was out to lunch with a birthday celebration for Harriet. Then on to the shop. After we were done there, we went to Momma Made It. Sharon has moved into a very nice new shop.

I thought maybe I would be inspired to get sewing but no. I have lots of ideas floating around in my head, just nothing has been started yet. I have been doing some embroidery work in the evenings but that is even on hold. I need to trace my next design and haven't done that yet.

The garden is going crazy so every day there is something to take care of. I canned a couple boxes of beautiful peaches and made a couple pies. I'm happy to say the pies turned out excellent.

Since I have no sewing/quilting pictures to share this week, I thought I'd share a couple of pictures Taylor took this weekend. First is of our grand-dog (Taylor's little princess) Shadow. And the hen is the one Amanda named Patricia. Patricia tries to be a bit bossy but Sally, Jessie or Sue keep her in check.

That's it for me today. I am going to go put my chickies to bed and then I am going to be done for the day. Be sure to go over to Judy L's and see what she is up to and check everyone else. This is still fun even with nothing to show on my wall......really there is nothing on it. I finished up the string top.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pretty Pickles

I had an overload of lemon cucumbers and had no clue what to do with them. My google search lead me to Jillicious Discoveries blog and a post she wrote about lemon cucumbers. From there I did a search for bread and butter pickles using lemon cucumbers. I found this recipe and decided to give it a try with my lemon cucumblers. After all, isn't that how great recipes are created??? Just try this and this and this . Well my pickles turned out delicious. So I made a second batch and added a red pepper because in one of the photos at the recipe, I saw red. It could be a carrot for all I know but I put in a red pepper. It makes the jars very pretty. They have set on my counter for 3 days, now I must put them away. I think today is a good day to bake a chocolate zucchini cake. Yummm.

Remember the other day when I wrote about starting a fire in my microwave ? Well, I was adjusting the glass tray and it broke in about 20 pieces. Right in front of Hubby! I've been using it a little bit with the big ole burned out spot on the try but now I have to go to the repair place and order parts. Darn!

It's kind of a rainy cool day here today so I am going to bake a couple things and sew. And do some laundry.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Design Wall-Week 13

Wow, 13 weeks of Design Wall Mondays! I don't think I've ever been this consistent with posting anything.

I had a little time at the sewing machine this week. I decided I have to get this quilt finished. I left it with the last 3 block halves that need to be put together. I have a bin full of short stings that will be made into a border that I think I will work on today.

I have to get busy on my UFO for my small group. I haven't even gotten the bag out of the box yet. But I don't feel guilty about it. I have had other things going on that aren't sewing related! I have a small bucket of tomatoes that need to be taken care of this morning and I need to bake some bread. That shouldn't take long if I get started. I'm having a really hard time not crawling back into bed but I know that will put me in complete slug mode! Instead I think I will have another cup of coffee then get started on my day.

Head on over to Judy L's and see what everyone else is up to. I think my next string project is going to be Mary's String Diamonds. She has awesome instructions right here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Look Out My Kitchen Window

I have the best view out my kitchen window. This morning the orange flowers on the pumpkins sparkled. So I grabbed my camera and took a walk. I'm no fabulous photographer like my daughter Jenny, but I think these pictures turned out well enough to share with you.

First is the lower yard. It used to be cow and horse pasture, now it's chicken pasture. The bush is a climbing rose. When we moved here, it was up the side of the garage. Since this was my grandparents place, I've known that rose forever. The poor rose has had a tough life. Hubby wanted to put the woodshed on the garage so that meant the rose had to go. I salvaged a start and planted it. Then I had to salvage again and again. Now we have this bush and there are roses that have traveled up trees along the neighbor's driveway.

The yard looks horrid. We had an extreme heat wave here and the yard couldn't take it so parts of it shriveled up and died. Notice I didn't call it a lawn.....it's mostly weeds but it looks nice when it is green and mowed.

Next is the garden......well watered and growing like crazy, veggies and weeds! Potatoes are in the garbage cans, corn is set on, 2 or 3 ears per stalk. Tomatoes are amazing, zuchinnis are starting to come on good and lemon cucumbers are plentiful.

The orange pumpkin flower is food for a couple of bees. The vines are taking over another part of the yard. There are a couple nice sized pumpkins and several small ones. I sure hope there will be enough for pies and breads.......no jack o lanterns from these!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Design Wall-Week 12-Part 2

I sewed blocks! I put them up on the design wall!! I am an achiever, not an over achiever like I want to be, just a plain ole everyday achiever. And it feels good.

I'll take these down and put them away until next month after I admire them for a while. These are the blocks for the Stashbuster BOM. The top left and center left are this month's blocks.

The instructions for the center block were for one 12" block. I made 4 6" blocks. I like the scale of this with the other blocks and it's a pretty neat design. I will probably made the 12" block like the instructions call for. I want to have 30 blocks for this quilt and there are a couple other blocks that are a larger scale. The real challenge was making the 2" square in a square for the center of the 6" blocks. But Bonnie of Quiltville came through with an awesome chart for square in a square blocks. Thanks Bonnie. Whenever I am in doubt about something, I always check Quiltville first.

Now I need to figure out what to make for dinner that is quick and easy because I am in the mood to sew! WooHoo.

Design Wall-Week 12

I guess the only time I am going to post anything almost quilt related this month is on Design Wall Monday hosted by Judy at Patchwork Times. My sewing machine got a little bit of a work out this past week. Not much but enough to produce this cute coil basket.

One day while cruising blogland, I stumbled upon The Quilt Rambler. She had written this post about her morning juice mix. I was intrigued so I kept going to visit to see if she had written any more about it. After a couple days of reading her blog, I was hooked and her blog is now among my favorites. Isn't blogland great??

Fast forward a month and she is hosting a workshop with Jamie Wallen and one day they made these awesome coiled bowls. I loved the look of these and couldn't wait to find out more. I've made several but this was a different technique and I HAD to know how to do this!

I am very pleased to tell you there is a new 2 disc DVD set for sale at Jamie Wallen's website . The DVD is called Mrs. Kings Gallery Baskets. I ordered it and stalked the mail lady until it arrived (which was maybe 3 days after ordering!). All I can say is this DVD is FAB U LOUS! You have Rosanne Campisi right there on your tv teaching you everything! I mean everything! This DVD is full of tips and techniques from start to finish. Every secret she has for making these fabulous baskets is right there for you! I can't wait to get in my sewing room and finish my basket and the lid. And start another and another and another.

I love having a library full of instructional DVDs. I don't go to classes so I bring the classes to me. I have watched each of my DVDs more that once, heck I've probably watched them more than 5 times each. My brain is full of useless information most of the time and it's great having something I can watch again when the information that I need hasn't stayed in the brain. Don't laugh, you know exactly what I'm talking about! I think I'll watch the first part again.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Design Wall-Week 11

Not much happening on the big design wall this week so I thought I would show you my little design wall. While putting together my Diamond String blocks into 4 patches and trying not to get them turned while moving to the sewing machine, I had a brain storm! I know, kinda scary!

I made a little design wall to sit beside me at the machine. I've had this 17" Q-Snap quilting frame for several years and have only used it once for just a little while. It's an excellent product, I'm just not much of a hand quilter and when I do, I don't use a frame or hoop. So I got the frame, a piece poly batting and flannel and made this little wall. I was very surprised how much I used it. I am going to take the frame to the hardware store and see if I can figure out something to make it free standing. If I can't I'll just prop it up like I have been.

These little blocks are for my 3rd wall hanging like this one. And they still have the paper on them and are staying on the flannel. And yes, someday, I will get them sewn together. But right now I have a garden that is taking a bunch of time and grandkids that I love to spend time with. And I've been working on organizing my sewing and quilting stuff so my room is more chaotic than normal. Hopefully this week I will have time to spend in there and get it the way I have planned in my head, my other design wall.

Be sure to hop on over to Judy's Patchwork Times and see what everyone else is working on.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

There hasn't been much quilting or sewing going on around here this week. Monday was spent doing errands. I left pretty early and picked up Taylor. We planned to go to the big grocery store. Just before we got there, I asked her if she wanted to go to the craft store first. Of course she did! But we got sidetracked by the bagel shop.

After our early morning snack and craft shop tour, we headed to the grocery store. I swear I won't ever go there again without that girl! At this store, you have to bag your own stuff. That is Taylor's favorite part of the trip. So as I'm unloading the cart, she is at the other end with the pile of bags and is expertly loading up the bags, picking them up to make sure they aren't too heavy. The cashier wanted to keep her, I said no. She's mine! I even paid her with a new lunch bag with some reusable containers.

Next we were off to a couple other stores, a quick drive thru for some lunch and the last grocery store for meat and produce. We came home, put everything away and then got busy so she could fix us a fancy dinner. Taylor made stuffed shells because Aunt Cryssie, Uncle Mike, Elliot and Clella were coming out for dinner. She is turning into a very good cook. And she is fun to work with in the kitchen. After dinner, we all headed to the garden. Beans, tomatoes and cabbage filled our basket and buckets.

Tuesday's project was to take care of the beans and make strawberry fruit leather and watermelon candy. I only have one tray for the leather (and promptly got online to ordered more!) so we cut up a whole seedless watermelon and loaded up the dehydrator. They have been drying for 12 hours now and are almost ready for the taste test. I did a quick rotation of the racks this morning--they say you don't need to but I did it anyway. I think I'm as anxious to have it finished as she is. Hopefully by the time she wakes up this morning, there will be something for her to taste.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Design Wall-Week 10

I don't have much on my design wall this week. I'm still working on my Diamond Strings from the last post. I haven't spent much time sewing on them. A few minutes here and there but my blocks are coming together. I decided to set them as stars with white sashing and then a few borders. Be sure to head over to Judy L's and check what everyone else is working on.

I need some new clothes so I got out a pattern and some fabric and now I have a wearable muslin--it's really a cotton/poly blend--and a new favorite pattern. I need to lengthen it a little just for my comfort. I've been in such a funk about my weight gain that I haven't bought any new clothes for a long time. The funk is gone now and I have a pretty good plan. One of these days I'll tell you about my inspiration.

I bought a new dehydrator the other day and have been giving it a workout. I've had a dehydrator for years--hubby bought the Ronco one off tv years ago and it finally died. My friend got me a bag of Walla Walla sweet onions fresh from the farm so I dried 2 big batches of them.

Next I had a banana that was ripe and decided to experiment. I sliced 1 banana , 1 apple and opened a can of pineapple chunks, drained it and put them on the dehydrator to see how much they reduced down to. After a few hours (overnight), here are the results in the picture, minus a couple slices of banana and apple and several chunks of pineapple. The pineapple is my favorite. Next experiment will be some fruit leather for the grandskiddos, then I have some herbs and a garden full of veggies that I can dry out.

I want to try some tomatoes. I read that you can dry the tomatoes, then make a powder out of them and use small amounts to make tomato paste. That would be handy! Now I just have to wait for more tomatoes to get ripe.

Today is run around day. I'm going in to pick up my sidekick, Taylor, and then the real fun begins.