Welcome to Gramma's Quilting Room.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

UFO No More

My oldest UFO is no longer this one. This one is my latest finish. The blocks were from an internet swap years and years ago. One day they were set into a top and then stacked on Mt. ToBeQuilted where it got buried by loads more quilt tops.

I started this one on my longarm but I've been having lots of trouble with arthritis in my lower back and standing at the longarm is painful.  I invested in a Brother 1500 sewing machine so I can go back to sit down quilting. I've been reading a lot about this machine and once Denise at Justquiltin with Denise Russart bought hers, I really started looking at them. I love this machine and used it this morning to finish up the last row and do the binding.

I bought 2 Craftsy classes on free motion quilting, one with Angela Walters and one with Leah Day--both are excellent. There is always something new to learn.  This block was done using Dot To Dot quilting which I found to be so much fun. There is some serious work to do on my free motion straight lines but right now I'm just happy to have this finished.  I love how crinkly the quilt gets after washing. It has flannel on the back so the shrinkage of that makes it extra crinkly and cozy. I can't wait to give it the cozy test.

Next up is the quilt for the hunting club. Nothing like a new machine to get some quilts finished.

Friday, May 30, 2014

On The Needles

I was so excited last night when I finished the last square motif for the In Love With Color Throw.  I just had to start stitching it together! I'm glad the little triangles and corner blocks were made before the squares or I might still be working on those.

This has been such a fun project. I think the bright colors help, that it will finish small and the fact that I have been doing lots of sitting with my best friend the ice bag.  There is enough yarn leftover to make something else. Maybe a stripped afghan like I did here (can't believe all that time has passed since I made those!) or a fun ripple of some kind.

This is dishcloth number 7. The little ball has not been tossed in the garbage but is in the knitting bag, just in case I run short of this next color. The new yarn for Number 8 is blue and white and it was finished at Binding Friends group and promptly given away. I thought there would be a fight over it. LOL But it didn't happen. So now the next 4 dishcloths will have homes. Number 9 has been started, I hope I don't run out of dishcloth steam before these 4 are finished.

See great On The Needles Projects at Patchwork Times.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Freezer Challenge

This is what my refrigerator/freezer looks like. I love that beast!  But the freezer needs some attention. Stuff gets tossed in and forgotten. It's time to empty it out and give it a good scrubbing. This week I am giving myself the challenge of staying out of the big freezers and only using what is in this freezer to fix dinner.

A couple weeks ago, Judy L had a Prepping Challenge where you only used what was in your home for food and drinks.  I did pretty good except that one day when Ernie stopped and brought dinner home with him and then I left for retreat. I would have been fine all week with what I had in the house. Now let's see how I do with this one.

I almost didn't take a picture but what the heck......this is what it looks like. Before the picture there were 3 packages of beef stew meat, 2 bags with some chopped onions and a bag of green tomato sauce. All of it went into the crock pot (enough to turn into a few freezer meals for the big freezer). Enough for dinner will be turned into BBQ steakettes. (Just cooked meat simmered in BBQ sauce. I used to make this for my kids and there were never leftovers! And the stew meat got used up without making stew.) There was also a container of Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream Noodles (just the noodles and sauce without the ground meat) that needs used.

I'm wondering if one night we will empty out that Margarita bucket and the other booze bottles that are in there. wink, wink--I don't think so! I will take that bucket out and empty the contents into a smaller jar. There will be breakfast for dinner one night using sausage patties and the hasbrowns. There is some cooked chicken that will be thawed and reheated one night, fruits for smoothies, 2 bags of egg shells for the tomatoes if they ever get planted, and probably some stuff that needs tossed to the chickens.  The bag of chopped broccoli and the ham bits will be used in ham, cheese and broccoli fritatta.  Maybe I'll use the bag of red spaghetti sauce with some of the stew meat and make a spaghetti pie from that.

The ice bags are constantly being used lately.......did you know if you put rock salt in with your ice and water that it won't freeze hard and will form to your knee???

So there you have it.......the challenge to myself has been issued. Want to join me?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Design Wall Monday

I go to 2 of the same retreats as my friend Billie. At each retreat, she gifts me with a  grocery bag or 2 or 3 of her scraps. I do love scraps. Billie is getting ready to move and needs to sort stuff and make decisions. Lucky me! This year she gifted me 3 bags.  I was super efficient and instead of just putting the bags in the bin of scraps until I am ready to dig into them, I spent one morning's knee icing time sorting scraps-on my lap!  There were oodles of strips of all sizes. Oodles I tell you!!

There were some wedge pieces, some nice sized chunks and very few crumbs.  So after looking at the wedges, I started to play and came up with 2 mug rugs. I am finally able to sew a little so play time began!  I still have to put binding on the second one but that won't take long. I had fun quilting with decorative stitches and fun thread. These will be fun for the kids when we have our snacks or picnics out on the deck. I'm glad I didn't find a home in my scrap bins for theses pieces. Thank you again Billie!!

I'm headed over to see what others are doing at Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times.

Friday, May 23, 2014

On The Needles

I'm making a bit of progress on the In Love With Color Throw. There are 2 hexies in each colorway and 7 sets. I have the last color to put on the center pair and then start set number 7. I don't even know what part comes next in the instructions. I did read them through at the beginning but promptly forgot everything.

Did I tell you that I injured my knee at retreat? I did-not too serious but I'm doing lots of sitting, elevating and icing. I thought for sure I would get lots done on these but my mind just isn't focused enough so I've spent time reading instead.

Have you read One Second After?  OMG, it is so good and thought provoking! It's one of those keep you awake thinking books if you read it at night so I'm reading it during the day. I need to sleep!

I did spend time with my Binding Friends group this week so I finished another dishcloth. I think this one is #6. There might be enough yarn in there for 50 more. Seriously!  I think the keeping track is half the fun of these.

See what everyone is working on at Patchwork Times.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Design Wall Monday

I spent the weekend at our spring retreat. I went prepared with blocks clipped into rows ready to sew into a quilt top. I am thrilled with my Split 9 Patch Windmill. This was such a fun leader/ender project. 

I also had my Pieced Hexies and Framed 9 Patches together in rows.  This one didn't turn out quite the way I had it layed out. I got busy yakkin' and didn't pay close attention to what was the top left hand corner of the pile of blocks and several of the blocks got turned willy nilly. But it doesn't mater a whole lot now. My 4 patches are still scrappy and my teenager loves it.  Borders will be added soon and quilting will begin.

I have nothing on my design wall and have no plans to put anything on it until a few quilts are quilted. But I know myself and I will have something at the machine for break times.

See what others have on their design walls at Patchwork Times.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Prepping Challenge-Day 5

Day 5 was pretty successful if you don't count the fact that I wasn't home to fix any meals other that the lunchbox which was the exact same as Thursday. My meals were prepaid with my retreat fee and they are cooked at the center so I'll count that as successful. It's not like I went quilt shop hopping and stopped for a milkshake or anything.......I'm not naming names. LOL  Ernie rummaged dinner from the fridge.

I have a nice list of things I want to add to my stockpile, of things I want to try-like more dehydrated veggies and can more homemade soups. I want to prepackage some pasta and rice mixes for my convenience. I've worked out a good mix for 4-6 people but would like to have some that don't make quite as much.

This has been a fun challenge and I'm anxious for what Judy L brings to us in June. See how others are doing at here at Patchwork Times.

Friday, May 16, 2014

On The Needles

I was so excited to start this In Love With Color Throw when my yarn arrived on Friday but I didn't touch it until Saturday evening.  We live such exciting lives around here so a quiet Saturday date night in front of the TV and I had 4 of these made.

The yarn is Red Heart's With Love, acrylic and is oh so soft! The colors are so bright and cheerful!

See what other's have going on at Patchwork Times.

Prepping Challenge-Day 4

After sending Ernie off to work with a lunch box full of fried egg sandwich, apple, zuke bread, and the other stuff I can't remember, I fixed myself a smoothie for breakfast and loaded up the car to head to retreat.

After a lunch of home made soup and sandwich, I came home to check my chickens and let the dogs run for a while.  Son in law Mike arrived with a bucket of bees that had swarmed from his hives. (That's not Mike or the swarm in the picture, that's Ernie with our bees from last year.) So we-mostly he-set up a new hive and got the bees in and was off again.  And so was I!  Back up to retreat-it's only 3 miles away-and sewing and laughing up a storm.  We are hoping to have a successful bee season so we can start stockpiling honey. Maybe one of these days we might have enough to sell or barter with if needed.

There was a little talk of food stockpiling for "just in case" and it was interesting to hear other people talk about it. No one talked about a zombie apocalypse but of power outages and storms and illnesses and the real "what ifs".

So I'm headed back up bright and early.  I know for this challenge that I don't have a problem with feeding my family with what I have on hand for the short term. I do need to stockpile more water and animal food. The little dog and the cat have a good amount but for the big dogs and the chickens, I need to be at least one shopping trip ahead of them.  I do have the space to store an extra bag or 2 away from critters. I just need to do it and stay ahead of them.

I'm adding this to the day 4 link list at Patchwork Times.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May Prepping Challenge-Day 3

Hello Beautiful Wednesday! The clothesline is full today! I just love the solar powered dryer.

My Prepper story-I always thought Preppers were the extreme Preppers like the ones on that tv show. I never thought of myself as a Prepper, being prepared is just something we do.  I grew up on a farm-dad worked in the logging industry and worked the farm, mom took care of 6 kids. We had a garden every summer, canned fruits and vegetables, animals butchered and processed for the freezer, a trip to the Prairie Market to buy a car full of groceries for the month or longer. When it was time to fix a meal, everything was pulled from the supply at home. You didn't run to the store for something. You used what you had. We also had a milk cow and if we didn't, there was a local farm that we bought from.

When I got married, I did the same thing. We bought a freezer from Ernie's mom-oh that thing was a beast! and we filled it up-he grew up the same way I did so this was normal. I shopped at Prairie Market and stocked up on things. I helped mom can and had a small pantry.  After a couple years we moved here and I grew a garden. Each year it got bigger and bigger and my pantry shelves were full for the winter. I seldom make a trip to the store just to get something special. Even when I went to work and stopped canning so much, the pantry and freezers were always full.

We never worried about being without power for several days or being snow bound. We had plenty to eat, a wood stove for heat and cooking. As soon as the weather would start to get nasty, I filled everything I could with water. If we needed more water for the toilet, we have a creek to dip out of. This is all true still today only I just go out to the hot tub and fill the bucket.

We survived all the snow and ice storms, we survived the ash from Mt. St. Helen's erupting and the several ash storms after. We survive because it's what we have always done.  I am not worried about being house bound for any length of time, we will not go hungry.

Still today, I stock up with each grocery trip. If there is a sale and it's something we eat, I buy as much as I can get. Each time I go to Costco, I buy tp-I refuse to run out of that stuff! I buy canning lids every time I buy groceries so I have them when I need them. It took me a long time to get my stash/stockpile to a comfortable level. Slow and steady. A little here, a lot there. Whatever I can afford at the time I buy, but always, always jar lids and tp. LOL

Today Ernie's lunch box is full with a ham sandwich, everyday apple, more venison jerky-no, he isn't tired of it yet!, zucchini bread and energy bites. I get up each morning and make his lunch. I honestly don't know how he does it, everyday it's pretty much the same things in his lunch. I keep asking him if he wants something more or different or what but no, he'll tell me when he's tired of something or if I've forgotten something that is normally there.  Crazy! I need variety.

For my breakfast, I had a smoothie. I juice berries when they are in season (I can't have the seeds) and freeze them flat in quart Ziploc bags, then when I want a smoothie, I break off a chunk. So I had mixed berries, a banana (also from the freezer), some ground oatmeal (I use the blender to grind it up and keep it in a jar in the cupboard), some ground chai seeds, a spoon full of almond butter and water.  It makes a nice size smoothie and keeps me full most of the morning. For lunch I had leftover turkey soup.

Dinner was not something I fixed at home. Ernie had physical therapy late this afternoon and said he wanted teriyaki from our favorite place, so he is picking that up. But if we were eating at home, it would have been steak and salad.  So he can have that tomorrow for his dinner because I'm headed out in the morning for retreat!

I'm anxious to read how everyone else is doing today.  Check out the links today at Patchwork Times.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May Prepping Challenge-Day 2

Last summer I raised 4 turkeys. Last Friday I cooked one of them and today I made turkey stock. I had planned to can the stock but the day was so nice, I decided to freeze it in quart bags and I'll can it on a rainy day. It's been so rainy here that I wanted to take advantage of being outside in the sunshine today.

This morning, in Ernie's lunch I put a turkey sandwich (Tonight he asked if he could have something different tomorrow. LOL), venison jerky, apple, potato salad and 3 energy bites. For breakfast I had a couple of energy bites--recipe below, lunch was baked beans (seriously I could eat them every day and not get tired of them), later I had an apple and for dinner we had turkey noodle soup with enough leftover for my lunch for the next 2 days.  Just now I went to the freezer to get out some ham for tomorrow's lunch and found the last loaf of zucchini bread. I see a snack in my future.

I can't wait to see who has linked up with today's post at Patchwork Times.

 Energy Bites

1 cup oatmeal-not instant-I've used quick cook or old fashioned
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
Next add the goodies you like--I use
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup mini choc chips
1/2 cup Craisins or raisins.

Then mix it all up and make walnut size balls.  It helps if you wet your hands a bit. I put mine on a waxed paper on a cookie sheet and put in the fridge. When they are set firm, I put them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge.  2 or 3 with some fruit make a great breakfast or a couple for an afternoon snack.  I wouldn't eat any after dinner.  They really are energy bits. :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Judy L's Prepping Challenge

(This is hamburger soup I canned a while back.)

Judy L is having a Prepping Challenge. You can read about it here.  This week's challenge is to eat all of our meals using what we have at home. This isn't hard for me at all.  I detest grocery shopping so when I go, I stock up. I usually only grocery shop once a month unless I stop to stock up on sale stuff. I have 2 freezers stocked, a pantry stocked with my canned goods and store bought goods.  We don't drink milk, have eggs from our hens.

We could eat from home for a long time without leaving the house for supplies.  In the past, I have challenged myself to make dinner all week only using meat that is in my kitchen freezer and veggies from the fridge. It really is kind of fun. Once in a while I have to get veggies from the pantry but most of the time, I can clean out my freezer and fridge with no problems. Of course I'm only feeding Ernie and myself.   But even if we have company for dinner, I'll be fine with what I have.

Today was a pretty easy day for me. I had leftover baked beans for breakfast--I know--and Ernie, not being a breakfast eater, usually will eat whatever looks good when he opens his lunch box. Today's lunch box had a turkey sandwich, an apple, cookies and venison jerky (I think, that was at 6am.)  I had some macaroni salad and an apple.  Dinner for me will be whatever leftovers look good when I open the fridge. Ernie had a dinner meeting that was already planned so I won't force him to eat at home and watch all the other guys eat. LOL

We are going to link up daily at Patchwork Times to learn and support each other. See how we all did here.

Design Wall Monday

Today we revisit the Pieced Hexies and 9 Patch quilt, It is layed out and ready to pin into rows to be sew up this week at retreat!  WooHoo! Sometimes I don't realize how much I need the retreat until it's time to get things ready to go. And right now, I need to surround myself with a bunch of fabulous quilter friends.

I think with this quilt, the only thing I have to watch out for is not having any of the same fabrics in the 4 patches. I used such a good variety that it shouldn't be any trouble at all. (She says before it's all sewn together.)

Check out all the fabulous design walls today at Patchwork Times.

Friday, May 09, 2014

On The Needles

Off the needles are the Plain Jane socks that will go to Granddaughter Taylor. She is so excited to have her first pair of hand knit socks. I was hoping she would catch the knitting bug but it hasn't bitten her hard enough yet. She sure loves the knitted items though.  Maybe one day.

I've made some good progress on my No Purl Monkey Socks.  Every time I sit down to knit on them, I'm trying to knit a color--or more. I am loving these socks.

I'm not so patiently waiting for the mail to get here today with my yarn order from JoAnns.  I saw the In Love With Color Throw . You know how when you see something and just know you have to have it???  That's how I am with this little afghan! I want it, I want it in those colors, with that yarn, all of it! Crazy. So I did what I do and went to JoAnn's website and ordered the yarn. I added a new crochet hook because I wanted free shipping. (I love the padded hooks-so much nicer than the all metal ones.) Then I got busy and finishing Taylor's socks and working on my socks so I won't feel guilty later today when I just crochet for hours and not think about knitting anything.

If you are interested, there is a series of really good videos here at the Not Just Yarn Blog for this free pattern.

I finished another dishcloth and started another but haven't made much progress on it--which means I haven't been watching anything on the computer. I had to add a different color to finish this one and now 2 more balls of yarn are out of the box. I was a big girl and pitched this little ball right into the garbage. I did think about putting it back in the bin for just in case..........but only for a second.

See Judy L's beautiful shawl and lots of other fabulous projects at On The Needles at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Productive Weekend

It's that time of year again when I put off start making the deer quilt for the Hunting Club. For this year, I found an elk panel, an elk print and this fabulous tree print. After many sketches, I decided something simple. I wish now I had framed the pieced border with brown but I didn't have enough so it is what it is. Ernie likes it so than means all the other guys will too.

I spent yesterday cutting fabric and making up my own kits for two Bonnie Hunter classes-I'm only in one class and on the waiting list for the second so I got ready for that one too. Even if I don't get in, I'll work on the quilt that day as I pout at home.

I'm going to a retreat this month and we always do a strip swap so I got those cut up too. I figured I cut close to 20 yards of fabric yesterday and paid for it all night long. My shoulder is telling my how crazy that was. But when I'm in the mood......

Now I have to go in and finish the quilt on the frame and get on to the next one. Or I could fix dinner.

Friday, May 02, 2014

On The Needles

Last week I showed you my 2 completed and 1 in progress dishcloth. I was on a dishcloth knitting frenzy with completed and gifted. This is number 5. I'm sure I'll use up this ball of yarn before this one is finished so I'll just add something else to it. There are plenty of little yarn balls in that bin and this makes me smile knowing the yarn is used up, making room for something else.  I really am trying to use up.

I worked a lot on my sock to get past the heel so I can put it back in the travel bag and work on something different at home. 

My new something different is another pair of socks. I love this Monkey pattern! I made one pair and every time I wear them, I tell myself to make another pair. I had read about a no purl pattern so I started looking around Ravelry and found all kinds of No Purl Monkey socks.  I love the Projects feature of Ravelry and quite often loose track of time whenever I use it.  I know you know what I mean. snicker~snicker

So here I am in the middle of the second repeat. I found myself being confused with the pattern so I printed up my own with a large font and use my clicker to keep me on track. The pattern is so easy and so fun. I'm sure I'll have these 2 skeins of yarn gone from the stash in no time.

While I was searching around, I found my next sock pattern. Jigsaw Socks--full of texture and fairly easy. Just my kind of pattern!  I think I'll knit for a while this morning.

See other fabulous projects today at Patchwork Times.