Welcome to Gramma's Quilting Room.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Design Wall Monday

I spent Saturday working outside and Sunday morning working in my sewing room. I'm making progress but it's taking so long...anyhow, I wanted to sew. I was whining to Ernie and he finally said to go in and sew. So I did.

I opened up my little bin and started on the flying geese blocks. I got those white triangles from a quilter's sale and started cutting them in half. Then I tried cutting them into quarters and they are perfect! I should have plenty of white to finish this mini.

If you don't know the story of the purple mini, I wrote about it here. It felt so good to just sit and sew for a while.

Surprised, Amazed and Inspired

The other day while I was cruising around Blogland, I came across this post at I Like To Quilt Blog. She has some fabulous minis posted and I fell in love with her purple flying geese. So much so that I started playing in EQ7 and created my own mini.

My mini is already in a kit, ready to work on when I get to sit down and sew...which I hope is soon!

Imagine my surprise this morning when I click on to Quiltville and see this post. I love all the photos of the tile work. Then I scroll down and I see Bonnie has created the same block as I did and has started sewing her blocks. Amazing, isn't it!

Of course I had to leave a comment and after a few emails back and forth, Bonnie has given me a couple more sorting ideas for my crumbs and strings....I will be sorting them into neutrals and everything else. I'm not going to dive into the string bins and numerous crumb bins and bags right now but as I am working in a bag, I will pull out the neutrals to keep separate. I already do that with the scraps but not the strings and crumbs. We think that will make our lives a bit less chaotic.

Now I'm inspired to get in that sewing room and get working!!! Thanks Bonnie for making my day!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My New Book

It's dangerous for me to buy a new book. Especially a cookbook or in this case the Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving.

It all started here at Chickens in the Road where Suzanne writes about strawberry lemonade concentrate. I followed the link to the book and in half a heartbeat that book was ordered. It came yesterday and I started looking at pictures.

This morning while being quiet so someone could sleep in, I started reading. I found the strawberry lemonade concentrate on page 192. I marked recipes for ketchups and relishes. I found a recipe for carrot cake jam.....oh my, I think I am going to be busy!

I just looked at the copyright date--2006.....How did I miss this??? No longer matters. I have lots of pages marked, a list made and have lots of ambition. The list for the garden just got longer.

Life is good here on the farm. Speaking of the good life on the farm, we are getting bees in a couple weeks. Ernie is out right now making a nice home for the hives. I better get out there with the camera and the gloves and be a helper bee. More on this later.

Now go order your own book and make your list. :0)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What Was I Thinking???

I am overwhelmed with my sewing room project. Just when I think I'm making progress, I make a bigger mess. But I am a seeing teeny, tiny light at the end of the long tunnel. Here are 3 projects that I have made into kits. I spent some of my rest time-maybe too much-playing with EQ7 deciding how to set my blocks, wondering what sashing I wanted to use.

The sampler is from a 2010 quilt along. I wasn't a fan of some of the blocks but I made them anyhow. I took them to the Wednesday group for opinions and came home ready to throw them in the garbage. But I didn't, I sorted likes and dislikes. Then I searched through the 12" blocks on Quilter's Cache and printed out instructions for 5 more blocks. Included in this bag is the fabrics for the blocks and the sashing and border fabrics.

The blue blocks have a bag of blue strips with them that will be used for scrappy borders around each block and then set together in a 3x4 setting and made into a charity quilt.

The third bag is my own design with fabrics cut with the basic die for the Go! cutter. Included in that bag are all the blocks with sashing and border fabric. These 3 projects will go with me to my May retreat if they aren't finished before then.

I did order some finishing fabrics from Thousands Of Bolts. That totally cracks me up that I need to order fabric when all week I have been putting fabric into bins. But in defense of myself, I don't have much yardage. I have lots of small pieces and lots of prints for backs.

It does feel really good to have a plan. I just wish the plan was working faster....too many interruptions with real life to get my big project done in my super imaginary timeline.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Progress

Mr. Dozer has found himself a new favorite lounging spot. He likes to lay there and look at his adorable face in the mirror. I got up to get my camera and he sat up and posed. Such a goofy cat.

Well, I made lots of progress today. Several more bins were taken out of the sewing room. I had put a bunch of acrylic yarn into a bin like Dozer is sitting on but then I found another bin so it all went in to a big bin like the blue one. I labeled it Yarn, Lots and Lots of Yarn. The bin he is sitting on is all my sock yarn and the swifter and ball winder, also labeled with the contents.

Tonight my back is hurting so I am going to take it easy a bit tomorrow. I have a stack of magazines that I need to go through so I think that will be a good time to work on them. You know, take out the pages I want, recycle the rest. I want to have my patterns and papers organized like Teresa of Fabric Therapy shows in this guest post at Sew We Quilt. I have 3 big notebooks full of page protectors and like the way she uses magazine organizers instead of the notebooks. And her file system...green with envy but I only have a 2 drawer file cabinet so that's all I am using. And that idea book......want that too. Teresa is such an inspiration for me. I want to be like her when I grow up.

This undertaking has become so much more than just taking stuff out of the room and building a new sewing table/counter top. So much more! I'm even too tired to knit.........

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Design Wall Monday

What's on my design wall? Nothing but threads. No fabric, no blocks, just threads, lot and lots of threads. The design wall will come down this week and a new one will take it's place soon.

I got the fabulous idea to rearrange my sewing room. I am taking almost everything out of the room. As I do, I am putting projects in to bins. I am labeling, I am doing inventory of sorts. The top left big bin is labeled bin 1. I made a list of everything that is in there, 8 projects ready to quilt. Tops, backs, bindings and battings. In the photo below, there are 2 more big blue bins. Bin 2 is all completed tops--some with backing and/or bindings, some without. Bin 3 is completed tops and several UFOs. There is a list for each bin. Mt. ToBeQuilted has been taken down and organized. I have A LOT of projects!

The top left bin is full of kits. Some I have bought, a few were given to me and several I have made up. The green and clear bins are projects in various stages. The shoe boxes have smaller projects in them. This is only one side of the room..........oh boy, what have I started!

At times I felt like I have taken on more than I can do. I thought I could do this in the 3 days Ernie was out of town. I always underestimate the time it takes for a big project. This reminds me of my son in law's favorite saying--"This will only take an hour, hour-ten at the most!" I figure I am about 1/3 of the way done. Hopefully by mid-week, we can start putting in the countertop/sewing table. Let's hope that will go faster than the taking things out. If it doesn't that's OK, I have nothing but time!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Socks Are Finished

My March socks for the sock challenge are done! WooHoo!! These are called Dragonfly Socks. I started them back in January and finished them last night. This is the fabulous yarn I won from Judy L called Muscadine Sock from Springtree Road. I see there are new colors there...oh dear. I must be strong but gosh, that blue!!! I. Want. It. I must be strong......

I had such fun with the simple lace pattern of the Dragonfly Socks that I chose to use a different lace pattern called Into The Green Socks. I'm using Premier sock yarn from my stash for this pair. I had planned to try 2 socks at once, toe up but I'm having a devil of a time with the cast on. Maybe I will try that one next month with some thicker yarn. Maybe I just need to sit down a concentrate for a while and I will figure it out.

See the red rectangle in the photo. That is a Clover Knitting Counter Kacha-Kacha I had no clue it had the words Kacha-Kacha in the name and that kind of makes me giggle. So I will call it the Kacha-Kacha from now on instead of the clicker. Anyhow....I like to use a magnet board to hold my instructions and I need to use the counter because I usually knit for just a few minutes at a time doing just a few rows (unless I just park myself in the chair for a while) and I am notorious for losing my place.

So last night when I lost my clicker for the 4th time, I remembered I have a bunch of magnets. I got one and the bottle of Weldbond and in just a minute, I had my problem solved. Wonder why it took me so long to think of this...

Oh and my blue sock blockers, a gift to myself from KnitPicks--you know I needed to get that free shipping!! Now I feel just like a real sock knitter............

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Winner, Winner...

Linda Franz made an awesome tutorial on How To Make Finger Pincushions and if you left a comment, you could be a winner. I left a comment and I was a winner!

It's always a wonderful to find a surprise package in the mail box. See my fabulous blue finger pincushion in that cute little box and that gorgeous fabric printed with Inklingo shapes??? I have not tried Inklingo yet but I am going to soon.

Thank you Linda Franz for making my day! And for giving me something new to try. I love a good mail day.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Design Wall Monday

First, let me say how much I dislike the first 5 days of daylight savings time. Thanks, now I feel better about that!

Not much sewing going on around here. With the busy Saturday and babysitting Sunday, the only thing I sewed on with another house block.

I did spend some time making up a few little block kits. There are 4 sections for each block so I pinned some sets together and have some with the fabrics with them for when I want to sew for a few minutes.

This will be another slow week at the sewing machine. I am getting ready to move a bunch of stuff out of that room to do some rearranging and redoing. This has been needed for quite some time and I'm very excited about it.

Go over to Patchwork Times and see Judy's fabulous blocks on her wall and then visit with other fantastic quilters to see what they are up to.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Saturday Night Date

Last night was the annual Friends of NRA banquet for the local area. This is our 3rd year attending. There is a huge silent auction and then the oral auction.

This basket was call The Bread Basket. I though that a rather odd name because of all the garden goodies inside. But there is a gift certificate for a free loaf of bread a month from a bakery in Portland so that's why they named it that. I change the name to Mine!!! We bid on it a couple times and won the bid. There are 3 packages of garden seeds, green beans, radishes and carrots. Those will pay for the basket with the amount of beans and carrots that will be preserved this year. Plus there are 3 garden books and lots of knick knacks.

The first year we went to this, I took my knitting. The second year there were a few other knitters and last night, I think I may have been the only one again. I just can't sit there, it makes me nuts. So before we left home, I cast on this scarf and knit a few rows before arriving at the dinner. Then with visiting, wandering around and dinner, I didn't get started until the oral auction began. So a little progress was made and this will go into my to go bag for car trips or other occasions I can work on it.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

My Day So Far

I'm having one of
those days. I don't like those kind of days. I didn't sleep well last night. We watched the Sons of Guns show and I kept having wacky dreams about them. Why would they contact me to make them quilt blocks to shoot at??? Told you it was wacky!

I was reading Pokey's blog yesterday and couldn't stop thinking about those cute little houses. So I played in EQ7 for a while and drafted my own paper piecing pattern. Right after Ernie left this morning I pulled out a bag of bright scraps and started playing. I can't wait to play more but I really need to get the crumb quilt finished today.

After checking on the baby chicks--it's always good luck when they make it through night one--then feeding the hens and changing out the water, I got busy in the kitchen.

I took spaghetti sauce out of the freezer and did a quick thaw in the microwave and put it in the crockpot--it's not as thick as I like it to be so it can cook down more until dinner time. Then I decided to cook some Italian sausage and add it to the sauce. Heck, I have 2 packages in the fridge so I cooked both of them. I put some in the sauce and now when it is cool enough, I will package the rest of it up and put it in the freezer for the next spaghetti day or to put on pizza or put in an egg/veggie casserole.

Do you do that??? I precook hamburger and sausage then flash freeze them before putting them into zip bags. I usually have taco seasoned burger in the freezer too. Then I can take out the amount I want for a quick lunch or dinner.

While the sausage was cooking, I changed out the washer/dryer, folded clothes and put them away. Then the dog groomer called saying the boys could go in at noon for a bath and pedi.
Looks like my day is off to a great start. I'm about to head into the sewing room again and dance with the longarm.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Baby Chicks

I was minding my own business driving home from my sewing group today when I looked to my right and saw my daughter pass me. At the light, I tried to call her but she didn't answer her phone so I just followed her. She was going to the same place I was. I needed to get new shavings for the chicken house and they were after something else. This kind of stuff never happens to us!

Anyhow, the kids had asked it they could have a baby chicken and if it could live at my house. Well yes, of course they can. I was going to get a few more chicks anyhow. So we went chick shopping and these (hopefully) little girls came to live at Gramma's house because Momma doesn't like chickens. She only like the eggs.

"Baby chickens are very little and soft." Melts my heart.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Ready For Binding

I am so slow, I feel just like molasses. Roll, Roll Cotton Boll was started November 2010. The top was completed January 2011. The back was completed in February. The batting was cut, the binding was made. Everything was folded together and put on Mt. ToBeQuilted and promptly ignored.

Then I decided I wanted to be involved in the Patchwork Times 2012 UFO Challenge . I was a bit late getting my list made so I already knew that this quilt was going to be the project I worked on for January. 7 weeks go by and this quilt has been started and then ignored. The quilting mojo just wasn't there. It's finally back with a vengeance.

I love using 10 1/2" squares and 5 1/2" x 10 1/2" rectangles for the back. I also love using spare parts on the back. I know I learned about this from Bonnie at Quiltville but I can't find the page right now. I'll keep looking and link back to it when I find it.

This quilt was a mystery from Bonnie at Quiltville and will appear in her new book which is due out soon. Yeah! I can't call this a finish yet but it is near the sewing machine with the binding laying on top of it. I love binding because that makes it so close to being a finished quilt. Of course my favorite part is taking it out of the dryer for the first time and laying it on my bed.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Design Wall Monday...

..on Sunday night. Jo, over at Jo's Country Junction hosted a Crumb Along that started last September. I love crumb quilts so of course, I jumped right in with both feet. I keep a bin of completed crumb and string blocks so i had a bit of a head start. After a while, I got sidetracked-like I do do easily-and didn't complete my top.

Then she posts a Crumb Quilt Roundup where we can show off our completed quilts and enter for some great prizes. I like prizes. I like completed quilts. So...I spent Saturday joining my blocks. In my crumb block bin, I have border pieces that I've made on phone book pages. I grabbed a stack of them and joined them to make borders.

See those butterfly blocks throughout the quilt??? Those were gifted to me several years ago by a gal that tried to teach me to paper piece. I wasn't a very good student and never caught on to her way. I thought this would be a good place to use those blocks. I had to take the heavy interfacing that she used off the back and resew several of the seams. No offense to her, but I really like the Carol Doak method better.

Sunday morning, I sewed all the borders on and now have a completed top. Then I had to kick start myself and get the quilt done that has been hanging on on the quilting frame for way too long. It's taking longer than I thought it would because of the dense quilting so it will be done Monday morning.

Then this quilt will get loaded on and quilted. I need this done so I can try for one of the prizes. Yip, it's all about the prize.

My funny moment of the day...I had stopped quilting and was stretching and looked up on my shelf of bins. I spotted a big bin labeled crumb and string blocks.........I had 2 bins??? Yes, I did. The bin is now close to the sewing machine so when I take a quilting break I can sew a few blocks together. Soon I'll have another quilt top this size or larger.