Welcome to Gramma's Quilting Room.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Scrap Sorting

Today I spent the day sorting some of my scraps.  In my continuing quest to become organized (will it ever really happen??), I bought a bunch of bins yesterday that I intended to use just for scrap sorting.  The blue tub was stuffed full of scraps and chunks of fabric.  So Taylor and I layed out all the bins, turned on a movie and got busy.  When the bin was empty, she quit on me.  This was a big job.  The movie wasn't over so I went in and got more.  I had a bunch of bags from April 2010 that I hadn't sorted yet so I grabbed those and a big box and kept on working.

After a while, I had full bins of scraps all sorted out by color.  What will I do with them???  Right now they are still stacked in the living room in front of the couch.  Tomorrow, I'll figure out which shelf needs to be cleared off so these bins will have a home.   I bet there will be a new book coming out pretty soon that will help me decide what to make with some of them.  I sure wish I would have done this project before the Orca Bay mystery started.....but I didn't!  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's A Quilt Top

The Ultimate Scrap Quilt Like Julie's is officially a quilt top.  All 2200 scrap pieces.  When I first saw Julie's quilt, I knew I had to have one like hers.  So publicly I'd like to thank Julie for making hers and not minding that I copied it.  Thank you Julie!

I started cutting with my GO! until I had a lots and lots of triangles.  As soon as I had them all sewed together, I cut more and more and more.  The scrap bin was emptied,  smaller chunks were cut and eventually fat quarters were shortened.   This top used 440 large triangles, 440 print small triangles and 1320 small neutral triangles.  I cut more than that so I think I might make the extras into a pillow or 2.

Don't get me wrong, I still have lots of scraps......bins and bins of strips and squares.  I have other projects in mind for them but first I have some quilting to focus on.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Design Wall Monday

I just realized this is the last DWM of 2011.  Sighhh.  I finished up my little bit of Christmas sewing the first part of the week-another post soon about that-so I had lots of time to work on Orca Bay.  I am working on part 6 and I feel like I am all caught up.  I have row 3 of the first set of stars matched up and ready to sew on.  The second set standing by ready to be put together.

It's great that Ernie is doing so well that I don't feel so needed now.  Some people in my family-DD2-call it hovering......she could be right!!  But now I can spend lots of time in front of my sewing machine while he watches stupid TV shows and loud, explosive movies.  I just turn my audio book up a little louder and sew, sew, sew.

Fill yourself a cup of something good and sit down and enjoy some time in Blogland today.  I'll be visiting DWM posts here and Mystery Link Ups here.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011 UFO Challenge Report

Here's my 2011 UFO Challenge list:  I didn't do very well.  There were some months that I didn't touch the project.  I'm not hanging my head in shame though.  I'm thrilled that I got some quilts finished and made progress on others.
  1. 2009 BOM-blocks are finished, setting decided   Blocks have been turned in to a quilt top and is now ready for quilting.  The back and binding are even made.

  2. Scrappy Twin Sister with back and binding  Nothing happened here.

  3. Depression blocks top  Nothing happened with this one either.  

  4. Hearts and Flowers-set of 12 blocks  Blocks were quilted using the quilt as you go method and sashing is almost all on.  I need to decide on borders and finish.  Maybe I should pick a day and do this. 

  5. 9 Patches and Posies top  Nothing.......I don't think I even took it out of the bin.

  6. Double Delight Quiltville Mystery with back and binding   DONE

  7. Corn and Beans with back and binding   Nothing

  8. Lime green butterflies top   Nothing

  9. flannel Baby Yellow Brick Road with back and binding   Nothing

  10. Carol Doak BOM with back and binding  DONE

  11. Tumbling Blocks top  Done-Blog post photo.  

  12. Bright Trip Around the World top  Nothing

7 projects where nothing happened, 3 finishes and 2 about finished.    I'll try to do better in 2012 but I'm not promising anything.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
May your day be special.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Tis the season to listen to Christmas music over the hum of the sewing machine.  Just when you think the projects are complete, you see something really cool in Blogland....  And that delays your progress on Orca Bay just a little bit farther, if ya know what I mean!

I did spend some quality time listening to my audio books and Christmas music.  As of last night, I need to make 24 more red sting blocks and start sewing on part 5. I cut a bunch of half square triangles while listening to my book, thinking it was almost finished~it wasn't, so step 5 is started~and the book completed later in the day. I'm quite excited to see how the quilt is put together.  I do believe we are not finished making blocks though.  That Bonnie is very tricky when it comes to her mysteries!!!  I won't even try to figure it out, I'll just wait for the clues.

This morning will be spent cruising Blogland through Design Wall Monday links at Patchwork Times and Mystery Monday Link Up at Quiltville.  And finishing up the last of the gifts!!!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas or a Happy whatever you celebrate.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sock Challenge

Denise at Just Quiltin is hosting a 12 in 2012 challenge. 12 pair of socks completed in 2012.  I've decided to join the challenge.  I have 2 socks that need their mates so I have January and February covered.  I have a bin full of sock yarn and a folder full of new sock designs to try so I shouldn't have any trouble finding a project.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Design Wall Monday

My design wall is sad. It is bare. I think it is feeling neglected. Poor design wall. This week was hard to sneak in a few minutes to work on Orca Bay but I made a little progress on step 3. I have all my HSTs cut and I have 150 sewn, pressed and trimmed. I'm bundling these into 25s. I have my bin of red strings and strips ready with my phone book pages and my ruler.

Most of my sewing time was spent working on Christmas gifts. I've almost got everything sewn that needs sewn. Pictures have been taken and now gifts are waiting for their wrappings.

Ernie is doing great on day 9 of the new knee. The walker has been retired and he is now using the cane. His stitches come out this week and physical therapy has begun. He thanks you for all the well wishes posted on last week's DWM.

Check out Patchwork Times for other fabulous DWM links and Quiltville for Orca Bay progress links. Mondays are such a great day in Blogland!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Design Wall Monday

This is where I left off on The Ultimate Scrap Quilt Like Julie's. Yes, that is the name. I started calling it that when I first started and it's stuck. 5 rows are webbed together.

I wrote yesterday about taking care of my husband and working on Orca Bay. I think TUSCLJ is going to take the back burner for a few days.

Thanks everyone for all the kind words yesterday. He is doing great! I got a little sleep. It will we wonderful when the knee is healed.

There will be great DWM posts here at Patchwork Times and OB Link Up here at Quiltville.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Step 3, Whoa Is Me

Orca Bay Step 3 (see side bar link) was released Friday. Friday I was in the hospital waiting room (knitting) while Dr. Greene gave Ernie a brand new right knee. Thank you Dr. Greene. I pray my man doesn't have to walk in pain ever again like he has for the last several years.

Sooooo my Step 3 is going to be worked in a few minutes at a time. This morning when I should have been in the shower and getting ready to go bring Ernie home, I took a few minutes and went in and pulled my fabrics. The other day while sorting through yet another scrap bag, I found several pieces of black and red that I will use. If she calls for much more black, I may have to go shopping. Time to enhance the black stash again.

I hope I can be caught up by the next clue. If not.........

**Monday morning note~~I was able to cut my black strips and 3 pair of triangles before he work up from a nice long nap. I'm well on my way. LOL

Monday, November 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Over the weekend, I finished steps 1 and 2 for the Quiltville mystery-I wrote about that here--and went right back to work on The Ultimate Scrap Quilt Like Julie's. It is starting to become a quilt top. I am webbing the top like Bonnie shows here. I really love this technique. Careful pressing make the rows play together so nice.

I was so lucky to spend most of the weekend in the sewing room. I became engrossed in my audio books and didn't want to leave. I've never read the Elm Creek Quilt books and picked up a couple from the library...my favorite source for audio books. I'm hooked and now have all of them on hold. I will be spending lots of time in the sewing room.

On my list for the week is the finish this top, finish a fun, fun birthday gift and work on the last of the Christmas gifts. Join me in touring Blogland by visiting Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday and Quiltville for Mystery Monday Link Up-Part 2.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mystery Update

I'm very excited to say that I am ready for part 3 of the Orca Bay Mystery from Quiltville~link over to the right. I know the next part isn't due out until December 2nd but I'm ready!

Here are 238 quarter square triangles. Don't you love those cute little clothespins? I don't know where I got them but they sure are handy.

I loved doing the 3 1/2" string blocks! I lay out my center string then put a dot of washable Elmer's glue stick on 2 corners of the paper and stick it to the string. Then I cut them apart, stack them up and make a bunch of blocks! I use my small Brooklyn Revolver cutting mat and in to time they are all trimmed up and ready to de-paper (movie time work).

I was surprised how fast these went. Aren't they fun!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Another Monday with an empty design wall. I did quite a bit of sewing but it was on units and nothing is ready to put up on the wall yet.

I worked on little quarter square triangles for the mysterious Orca Bay -- find the info tab at the top of the Quiltville page. In the basket on the left are the bonus half square triangles from the first cut of the strips for the quarter square triangles. Once in a while, I'll sew a few of those together while doing the QSTs.

These are a stack of the birds in the air foursies waiting to be pressed open for My Ultimate Scrap Quilt like Julie's . I am almost done with the 4 patches. I'm resisting laying them out until I have the correct number of blocks. I keep telling myself its all about the process right now. One step at a time! I wonder how long I can hold out.

I wanted to spend the day sewing but Thanksgiving dinner groceries need to be bought. I've put it off and put it off and I can put it off no longer. But this morning I am up super early. Ernie has to plow snow in the hills today and he tried to be quiet when he got up but whenever he tries, something goes wrong. I tried to go back to sleep but the brain started working overtime and I know that means I'm wide awake and may as well get up and do something. So the washer is washing, the coffee has brewed and the grocery list needs to be made.

Visit Judy L at Patchwork Times for fabulous Design Wall Monday links. And Bonnie at Quilville for Orca Bay Progress Reports. Oh dear, I hope I don't get sucked into Blogland and forget the groceries.............

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's Mystery Time

I love Quiltville Mystery Quilts! I just love them. I know there is going to be a kabillion little pieces. I don't care. The quilt is going to turn out fabulous. Today Orca Bay started. Go to Quiltville and click on the tab at the top of the page for all the info.

I'm sticking with Bonnie's colors. I trust her and the colors she chose for this quilt are plentiful in my stash. Here are my background stings. There are lots of tans and whites but not many creams. I don't want to cut the 2" or 2 1/2" strips so I just pulled out yardage and cut my 1 1/2" strips from several pieces of yardage.

I have several blacks, even though some of these look navy. I took them outside to be sure they were black. And if they really and truly are navy, who cares! I also have lots of reds and blues.

This morning I spent quite a bit of time cutting for step one. Excited!!! I sewed for a while, pressed and made hour glass blocks. So far I have 30 itty bitty blocks. I can't wait to sew more.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stocking The Pantry

Today I had to finish processing the venison. I love having canned meat in the pantry. Now I have 14 pints of venison to add to the beef and chicken.

As I was filling jars today, I kept thinking how good burritos would taste and then I thought about enchiladas. I can't wait until I try them.

It's now official. All of my pint jars are full. I think I should stock up on more pint jars during the off season. I also was quite surprised how low my lid stash is. I usually buy a box or 2 of lids when I grocery shop but I haven't been doing much of that lately. Just picking up a few things now and again.

I'm thinking of trying the Tattler reusable lids. Have you used them? What are your opinions.

Now I'm going to grab my crochet bag and work on my Granny Square Project while I enjoy an episode or 2 of Drop Dead Diva on Netflix.

Design Wall Monday

Or maybe I should call this a Non Design Wall Monday because the wall is blank except for the massive amounts of thread that linger there. I continue to work on my Ultimate Scrap Quilt Like Julie's whenever I have some time. I did quite well with my Saturday Challenge. All the twosies are finished and now I'm making the foursies. Pin a stack until I run out of pins and then sew and press, pin again.

Saturday night I learned that we were going to be processing venison that one of the hunting buddies got. Where, I asked. Here, I was told. Uuuugggggghhhh! I didn't want to do that but since it is the share plan, I quit my whining and got ready for the day! And boy was it a long day. Thanks to 2 of my kiddos and their families for all the help!

See other fabulous design walls here at Patchwork Times.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Saturday Challenge

You know how it is when you wake up in the morning and all the must dos start popping into your head??? That's what happened to me this morning. I knew I had to deep clean the kitchen. It's driving me crazy. I knew I wanted to work on my Ultimate Scrap Quilt. What to do, what to do. Both.

I've challenged myself to stick to the timer game today. I set the timer to 20 minutes. Started with one kitchen project, was almost finished when the timer went off, so I stuck to it. That cannot work in the sewing room, only the kitchen. I know me, I will forget the timer isn't running and I will have been sewing for an hour or so.

Almost all the onsies are sewn into twosies. Some are already pressed.

I've sewn a few foursies. I had to, I needed to see if I like it. 18 blocks done, 92 to go. I decided to make it 80 x 88. After all the foursies are sewn together, I'll count up the extras and maybe I'll have enough to make it larger. Right now, I have no idea where I am. So I'll just sew a bunch, press them pinwheel style--you know where all the seams spin one direction--pin them into groups of 11 until I have 10 sets. Then take it from there.

But now I need to tackle that pan cabinet and the spice cabinet and see if I can do both in 20 minutes.....

Oh and during my sewing time, I'm listening to a really good book. I don't know if that's a good thing or not, it makes the time go by really fast. I'm so easily entertained, it's almost scary.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Finished Project

While putting away some of my retreat supplies, I decided to sit down and finish my pillow tops. I had taken this old UFO kit with me just in case I needed one more project to work on. I have taken this kit with me to retreats for 3 years!

My table buddy Marilee was working on a pillow cover made from a quilt block. As I was making my first block--one was already complete--I decided to make the 2 blocks into pillow covers and be done with this UFO. I did it. I just needed to put the binding on this morning and decorative stitch it down.

Now I have 2 new couch pillows and 1 less UFO and I am happy! I told you the retreat was full of inspiration! The pieces for this former project will go back into the correct bins and I will mark this UFO off the list. Now back to laundry. :o)

Design Wall Monday

After resting up (prying myself out of the recliner) from retreat, I decided to play with my Birds In The Air blocks.

I have decided to stick with my original plan and make the quilt just like Julie did.

Today I am going to start sewing my blocks into pairs and then into 4 patches. I love that there is no design plan. Just pick up 2 and sew them together. This will be quite fun while I listen to a new book or my new Michael Buble Christmas CD-which I highly recommend, it's fabulous.

That is after I do some laundry and housework.

Check out other fabulous design walls here.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Fall Retreat Report

Fall Retreat #2 was fantastic. My face and my stomach hurt from laughing. I had the best table mates. We all got so much done and had such a blast doing so.

I broke my iron handle and it kept flopping down and pinching my finger. If you click the picture to enlarge it, you can will see several things going on. See where I monkey rigged it to be able to continue to use it and it . I emptied a thread spool (and heaven forbid I would throw it away) and using a selvage strip, I tied it to the handle and kept on going. I will have Ernie look at it to see if he can figure out how to keep the handle up without the spool. If not, it's a good thing Jo told us about her new iron and I ordered myself one. I must have had a premonition.

I continued to work on My Ultimate Scrap Quilt like Julie's here. I have all my bird in the air blocks made with lots of leftovers to maybe make it a bit longer. I'll decide that when I need to.

The folded strips in front of the green basket are from our batik strip swap. We swapped batiks and background fabrics and I had 4 sets of each. I love strip swaps! And thanks to my friend Sue, I have 2 new strip books. One was a late birthday gift and the other I won in the Greedy Gift Game so lots of new projects to use them in.

My crumb basket is back there too. I made several more crumb blocks while showing a few of the gals how I make them. Then I set them aside and continued to work on my bird in the air blocks. My tablemate Pam worked on crumb blocks and was quite amazed at how her bin looked as if she had twice the amount of crumbs after using so many--she now knows the secret of multiplying crumbs and the fact that the quilters give you their scraps. Except the new to crumb quilters.......haha, I wonder how many came over to the crumby side.

I own a Sidewinder and seldom used it. A while back, I needed to wind a few bobbins for my Janome Gem machine before a class so I got it out and decided to just keep it in with my machine. It's my travel machine. I was too lazy to walk to where my bag was to get the thread stand out so I used my pinky as a thread holder. I thought I was pretty clever!

Thanks to everyone at retreat for another fabulous time. I miss you when I don't see you and I'm so happy we are able to spend time together. Now I am ready to stay home and work like a crazy woman. I have so many ideas that need to be written down before I forget and so much energy to do them all. Thanks for the inspirational weekend.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Yeah Me!

After years as a UFO, weeks on the quilting frame, Butterfly Garden is complete. I no longer feel like such a slacker! I think I like the Challenge Plan.

I kept my nose to it all day long. Even with Ernie coming and going most of the day, I kept at it.

After the quilting was finished, I cut the binding fabric. I was thrilled that I knew right where it was at! Then I decided to sew it together and press it. By now Ernie was headed to the dentist so why not put the binding on!

With leftover stew for a quick dinner, I machine stitched the binding down, marked it off the UFO list! and now it it ready to be fluffified!

Yeah me!

Quilting Challenge Plan

Inspired by Quilter Kathy, I have created my very own Quilting Challenge Plan.

My November 2011
Quilting Challenge Plan

1-Make a plan. Pick a project, write down the plan for the project.

2-Work up the courage by practicing and by saying kind words to myself.

3-Be brave and just start.

4-Have faith that it will go well and if it doesn’t,
have hope that I can figure it out with another plan.

5-Relax and have fun!

Here is the first part of my project. It is one of the projects on my 2011 UFO Challenge list. This is the project from April! For heaven's sake!! April. It has been on the quilting frame since September. I am so frustrated with myself sometimes. I am so close to being finished with it but just don't do it. To say I haven't been in the mood is an understatement. Granted I have had a few other things happening but my life is fairly calm now and it's time to focus.

I need to focus on that project so I can quilt Corbin's quilt. The top is finished, binding and backing are ready. The frame is not ready. I am working on that today.

So here is my plan of action.
  1. Finish the quilting on the Butterfly Garden quilt.
  2. Load Corbin's quilt.
  3. Quilt Corbin's quilt using a large meander.
  4. Bind Corbin's quilt.
  5. Bind Butterfly Garden.
Such easy things that just need to be started.

I am done beating myself up over this stuff. Quilting is supposed to be fun. I am going to have fun!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Crumbs! I'm playing with crumbs. Remember Jo's Crumb Along? I'm a little behind. I want to make some like she showed,--stars, triangles, pinwheels, maybe a few more geese.

I haven't had a lot of sewing time this week but when I did sew, I mostly played with crumbs and strings. This weekend is another retreat-I know, lucky me! And a few of us are going to sit together, dump out our crumbs and strings and go crazy. How much fun will we have?!? I am going in with a plan, the other gals are crumb beginners. I know for one of them, this is a major milestone but she is super excited and I am excited to show them how to do this.

I'm going over to Judy L's now to start checking other design walls......I should be there for a while.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Design Wall Monday...

... 3am Thoughts

I woke up this morning at 3 with thoughts of blue spirals in my head. I have so many strips left and I'm on a mission to use them up. I decided to see what this little quilt would look like with a scrappy blue border on it. I like it so much that I am going to add it on this morning.

For your viewing pleasure (click to enlarge), a collage of some of the retreat show and tell. None of these projects are mine, they belong to my talented friends!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Retreat Report

I love spending time at Royal Ridges. Fall is so beautiful surrounded by these huge old Maple trees. It's so quiet and peaceful there. A quilter's paradise.

My first project was to make this top for newest grandson Corbin. I used the tutorial at Love Laugh Quilt. I like how it turned out. I think I will add another 2" border before I quilt it. Right now it's 36" x 36".
Then I started working on my blocks for the quilt like Julie's. I learned that if I have only 1 earbud in listening to my music, the volume is higher than if I have them both in. The gals several tables away could hear my music....I was a bit embarrassed not because of what I was listening to but because I didn't know it was so loud. LOL

I sewed and sewed, press and snipped, stacked and sewed again. After the end of Saturday, I had 202 4" blocks made. I'm 2 blocks over half way. Now I have to dig through more of my scraps and cut more triangles. That will be cutting session 3. But that's fine, I'm going to love this quilt.

My face and stomach hurt from laughing so much....that's a good thing. Thanks quilter friends for making my weekend so special. I can't wait to do it again!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Retreat Prep

It's hard work for me to prepare projects for a retreat. It's even harder if you have 2 retreats within 2 weeks. Am I complaining? Goodness no! (I love Pete the Cat!) It's hard because I have so many things I want to do that it's a bit overwhelming. So I made a list. Now I am kitting projects.

I will start with a project that I have wanted to do for a long time. I read this post from Julie at Quilter Behind The Barn Door. It got my blood pumping.

As you can see, I've collected a few inspiration pictures for this block. So easy but creates such drama...for me anyhow.

Today I will cut this pile of fabrics.

Using these fabulous dies.

I will add bits and pieces to my bin.
As you can see, I had to make a few (23) test blocks.
I am inspired by Julie's attitude, it matches mine.

See why I say it is the ultimate scrap quilt? And for pete's sake. If you are one of those people who try to keep the same fabric from touching when you make scrap quilts, don't attempt this one. You will go berserk. Just slap those squares together any old way. And don't worry about an occasional point getting cut off in the seams. Believe me when I say No one will ever notice.

Next (or if I get bored) I will work on this Spiral Log Cabin. I found the tutorial at
It's over on the right hand side bar under Tutorials.

This should keep my out of trouble. If I run out of something to do, I'll grab another project when I come home to let the dogs out. It's good to be so close to home and retreating at the same time.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Design Wall Monday...

...on Sunday night.

I spent quite a bit of time Sunday working on the Twisting Mystery from Carol Doak's Yahoo Group.

These are the fabrics I chose.

Clue 1 was completed here.

Then all my focus was shifted to new grandson Corbin.

And finishing up the canning.

Sunday I did Clue 2.

And Clue 3.

And Clue 4.

And half of Clue 5 with the other half needing piece 3 sewn on, trimmed and joined together.

Maybe that will happen Monday.

If it does, I will work on Clue 6.

I'm hoping to be caught up before Clue 7 is posted.

I'm afraid of getting distracted by reading Design Wall Monday posts that can be found at Patchwork Times on Mondays.

Wish me luck.