Welcome to Gramma's Quilting Room.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Design Wall Monday...

...National Sewing Month-Days 27-29

I haven't sat in front of the sewing machine since I finished this top on Friday.  But I have been sewing up a storm on Circle of Jewels.  This photo is from September 15th. 2 weeks ago and I have finished row 3 and I'm halfway into row 4-the halfway row. I'm kind of excited!!  I'm hoping for a nice day this week so I can lay it out on the grass and get a good picture.

Each day of September I have sewed and National Sewing Month is soon over-I'm going to miss this challenge to myself but Soctober starts and knitting socks will be my obsession. It's a good thing I have some in progress. That will give my brain a head start. LOL

Last week my plans were:
  • Recover from retreat and babysitting. :0)  Sort of!
  • Get all retreat stuff put away.  Again, sort of.
  • Tell It To The Stars  No
  • Friends and Companions block for the week.  Yes -- I tried to take a picture but I think my camera is toasted.
This week I hope to:
  • Finish Tell It To The Stars
  • Pin baste a quilt
  • Next block for Wishes, work of border and sashing
  • Next step for Friends and Companions
That's enough.  See what everyone has on their design walls at Patchwork Times.

Friday, September 26, 2014

National Sewing Month-Days 24-26

 Daily sewing continues as I celebrate (my word for the year) National Sewing Month. It's hard to believe we are this far into September already. Wednesday was my last day with the grands so after they went to bed and I patiently waited for Crystal and Mike to get home, I stitched more parts onto Circle of Jewels.  Thursday I pretty much was a slug so spent quite a bit of time in the recliner with my hexies and jewel parts. I think I have all the parts ready and now it's time to get serious about the top. Serious is my new term for obsession.

Today I wanted to sit at my machine for a while. I had a stack of 12 18" batik blocks that I wanted to get sewn up. I hung them on the design wall yesterday and today I sat down and sewed them up. In just a few minutes, I had a quilt top. Why did I wait so long to do this!!!  This photo is from my original post-July 20, 2009.   I bet I have a whole new crop of ugliness to make another top.  Not that they are all ugly--a few of them, yes!!--but beauty is in the eye......

The top is 54 x 72.  I think I am going to just quilt it up as is. It will make a nice cuddle quilt for a teen.  Although...I do have some black batik left from this quilt that will make a great border.  I wonder if there is enough for a 6" border and then some fun, scrappy binding.......Would you look at that! A new plan as I write. 

The batik strips came from strip swaps.  I don't even know how many swaps I have participated in over the years. Lots!  Each swap always has a couple of strips that make me go HUH??? but I take them and keep them and used quite a few of them here. I added a few of my favorites strips too.  Now my collection is 5 years larger. It's time to pull our a strips book or 2 and find something fun to make with them. 

Here is a fun picture from retreat. I love sitting back and watching the interaction of my friends. We are such a fun group!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

National Sewing Month-Days 19-23...

...And Retreat Report,

Design Wall Monday
And Staying With Grands

 The other day I said I sewed something that I couldn't show. It was this tote bag. I used a preview pack from Benartex and had a blast making it for our Greedy Gift Exchange at retreat. That is always so much fun and it made me feel good that so many wanted my bag. Jody took this home with her--does this make us even now?  

We spent Friday working on these bags. We used Gecko Delight (pattern here) and each of us made one to fit our personalities.  Mine is on the left and my table mate, Cheryl's is on the right. Cheryl cut out oodles of these butterflies and offered them to anyone that wanted them. Thanks Cheryl-it was so fun to sit with you.  I dug into my 1 1/2" batik chunks to create an even more scrappy band. I only had my featherweight with me and she did an awesome job. I hadn't used the walking foot with her before and she did beautiful. I will be making another bag and using my big machine and the decorative stitches that makes this bag so fun. 
Parade of bags. Aren't they great!  After the bags were finished, out came the Pineapple Crazy project. I finished 1 more border block and 4 pineapple blocks.  Each time someone gave me new scraps, I put them into the block immediately so old and new friends will be in my quilt.  

I spent Saturday morning swapping out strips.  This is one of my favorite things to do. I get to touch all the pretties and we each end up with such a fabulous assortment of new fabrics. We also did black and white strips but I forgot to take a picture.

Sunday morning I came home from retreat to unload the car of non-essentials, then repacked it to spend the next 4 nights with the grands while their parents went on a little vacation.  The only sewing since Sunday morning has been on my Circle of Jewels. I can still say I'm sewing everyday, Maybe later today I can get out my machine.  

As usual retreat was a blast. I have such great friends and being able to spend time with them doing what we all love to do, well does it get any better than that!

Last week's list of plans:

  • Keep working on Tell It To The Stars  Over halfway
  • Finish cutting Wishes and Friends and Companions blocks  All blocks are finished-Yippee!!
  • Lay out next row for Circle of Jewels.  Done!
  • Finish packing for retreat  Done!
  • Attend retreat  Done and FUN!
Plans for this week:

  • Recover from retreat and babysitting. :0)
  • Get all retreat stuff put away.
  • Tell It To The Stars
  • Friends and Companions block for the week.
That's probably all I can get to.  Have a great week.

Friday, September 19, 2014

National Sewing Month-Day 18...

...And Retreat Report-Day 1

As usual, retreat is a blast! It is so much fun to spend this time with old friends and make new friends and finally meet online friends (Hey Mel!!!) I spent a good share of the day doing the TahDah. Each time a block was finished a TahDah was said. Yes, we are easily entertained.

I started the year out with good intentions. I made 2 blocks for the Wishes Quilt Along, put it away and when that happened, I was lost. Once in a while I would print the blocks to catch up but it just didn't happen. The other day I came across the bin and decided enough was enough. I finished printing the block instructions I needed and started cutting. My plan was to work on these 7 blocks at retreat and not stop until I had them all finished.  I am now caught up and can't wait to make the remaining blocks.  Another project to mark off the list.

All the while 9 patch leader/ender blocks were being made. I must have my leader/enders!

Next I pulled out my Pineapple Crazy.  One border block was made and half a pineapple block before I couldn't sew another stitch so called it a night. I came home and had a quick conversation with Ernie-who was asleep--sorry babe-and spent some time with the dogs and kittens before I went off into dreamland.

When I forget things, I send myself an email. 3 messages have been read and things gathered for another day a sewing, laughing and having fun. Today is more Pineapple Crazy and a group bag making project. This is going to be fun!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

National Sewing Month-Days 15-17

3 more days of sewing and not much progress to show. Tell It To The Stars has another row attached and another row sitting and waiting it's turn to be sewn.  Last week's block for Friends & Companions Sew Along is finished.

This bin full of 1 1/2" batik scrap strips was dug into. A bunch of us are making our own bag at retreat, I needed some strips and couldn't resist joining a bunch of these to turn into a fun focal point for my bag.

There is another project in there but I can't show anything yet. Stay turned...

Time for me to pack the car and head out the 3 1/2 miles to the retreat center.  I know, I'm a bit spoiled by the distance I travel to my fun weekend. The fact that I can go, come home for a while to care for the animals and return until I come home to my own bed is priceless.

I shall return but in the mean time, I will be sewing away......National Sewing Month continues with daily machine time for me.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to sew I go.........

Monday, September 15, 2014

Design Wall Monday...

...National Sewing Month-Day 14

My quest to sew every day is still going strong but on days like the last couple, if I hadn't went in early to sew for a bit, nothing would have happened. This photo is where I left off Saturday,  Sunday I sewed sashings to the blocks for row 3 of Tell It To The Stars and part of the sashing and cornerstone row are together. I'm going in early this morning again to hopefully get the row completed.

Last night I cut blocks for the Wishes BOM that I am so far behind on. I have 2 more to cut along with this weeks Friends and Companions block and these will get sewn up this week. It's so easy to sew them up when they are cut and ready to go!

Each evening I work on Circle of Jewels. It's kind of hard to do with those two little stinkers though. Laying out the next row will involve closing the door so the helpers cannot help. I still need to figure out the sides. I have lots of time for that. I would never to jump into a project like this with it all planned out first. That just isn't my style.

The list for last week:
  • Work on Smith Mountain Morning   DONE!!! And I love it!
  • Work on Tell It To The Stars    Working on it.
  • Lay out next row for Circle of Jewels  Done and the row is mostly sewn on.
  • Baste UFO Parade project #2  Looked at it and thought about it but didn't touch it.
My list for this week:
  • Keep working on Tell It To The Stars
  • Finish cutting Wishes and Friends and Companions blocks
  • Lay out next row for Circle of Jewels.
  • Finish packing for retreat
  • Attend retreat
That's right, it's retreat week!!! I cannot wait. I have my list of projects and supplies readdy. I just need to load them in the car and mark them off my list.  

I'm headed over to Patchwork Times to see what others have on their design walls.

PS: Happy 42nd Anniversary Dear Husband. We showed them, didn't we?!?!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

National Sewing Month-Days 12 & 13

I have wanted to make Smith Mountain Morning since I first saw it on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville blog I don't even know how long ago. The top was finished Friday and I am thrilled with it.  I had hoped to take the class from her when she was in Portland in June but couldn't get in. So we cut our fabrics while our other friend was in class. I'm quite happy that both Cathedral Stars-the class I took and Smith Mountain Morning are ready for quilting.

This afternoon I started putting together this year's mystery from Patchwork Times, Tell It To The Stars. All the blocks are laid out in their rows waiting for sewing machine time.

This morning was spent watching 3 different soccer games-so much fun but a little too warm. Then we went out to lunch and ran a few errands before coming home. Hubby napped, I sewed. I am so lucky to have an air conditioned sewing room.

This evening I am going to cut blocks for the Wishes Quilt Along. I am way behind on that one and hope to catch up during retreat next week.

Friday, September 12, 2014

On The Needles

Brace yourself! 
I have an announcement! 
 I picked up my knitting needles
 and worked on my No Purl Monkey Socks!!!!!

I haven't touched these socks since May.
I feel bad about that,
but the return of the missing mojo is exciting.

I didn't make much progress, 
only the pink section but
any progress is good at this point.

I must be careful though,
I might loose my sewing mojo for knitting
and I don't want to do that right now.
Maybe a a row here, a row there for now.

Doesn't matter,
I'm just excited to be knitting again!
Now to train those 2 kittens to lay nice and leave the yarn alone.

See what others have on their needles 
Isn't Judy L's sweater just the cutest thing ever?~!

National Sewing Month-Days 10 & 11

Wednesday was Day 10 of my mission to sew every day in September. So far, so good. At Binding Friends group, I worked on 2 of the final flowers. I think I have 2 remaining and a few more jewels to stitch.  I never made it into the sewing room but I worked on this more in the evening.

Thursday, the 11th was power sewing Smith Mountain Morning. The center is complete, the inner border is ready to attach as is the pieced border. Will that happen Friday?  I don't know. Maybe, check back later to find out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

National Sewing Month-Days 8 & 9

 Monday I started to pack things up for retreat next week. We are using these blocks for our lotto blocks. They are made with batiks and red/white/blue--2 different blocks, not batiks and r/w/b together but I guess that might work... I have a bag of patriotic fabrics and had made some blocks with that fabric to give to my friend for their group. I still had some of this fabric out so I cut more fabric and made more blocks. The video showing this block is from Missouri Star Quilt Company and can be found here.

Next up I put borders on the Piece Hexies top and stitched the binding pieces together.  The plan for the backing has been drawn out and now needs to be sewn. This was not on my list of projects for the week but it didn't take long to get it done.  I had finished my audio book and was listening to mp3 music while sewing and on my player is an interview Bonnie Hunter had with Pat Sloan a while back. It is always a pleasant surprise when that shows up in shuffle.  I had to sit there and sew until the end of the interview.

Tuesday was coffee day with my dear friend Cindy.  I surprised her with this quilt. She was shocked, there were tears, there were hugs, there is love. After our date, I had a full day of errands and then a nap and time to cook some dinner. No machine sewing for me.

After dinner, I got cozy in the recliner and added the next 3 flowers to Circle of Jewels. It amazes me how much I get done in a couple of hours.  I need to figure out what to do on the sides with the second row. I'll think of that another day. 

Today will be spent with my Binding Friends. I love my Wednesday group!  Today I will be basting more jewels. So far I am on track with my sewing every day in September as I celebrate National Sewing Month.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Since it is National Sewing Month, I've been sewing every day. I hope to keep this up all month long. This week it helped that I had my list from last Monday or I would have been off on a wild goose chase. I did start out on a chase but pulled myself back onto my path.

This is last week's list:
  • Finish the 2nd wall hanging.  Done
  • The Hexi Quilt--baste, quilt, bind. Done
  • Take SMM to Wednesday group and decide on a layout.  Done and ready to sewing into a great top.
  • Sew some Pineapple Crazy blocks.  5 done (added the 6th to make a good picture)

This week's list:
  • Work on Smith Mountain Morning
  • Work on Tell It To The Stars
  • Lay out next row for Circle of Jewels
  • Baste UFO Parade project #2
These should keep me busy. If I get all this done, I'll work on more Pineapple Crazy blocks.

See what others are doing at Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

National Sewing Month-Day 7

I was a wee bit obsessed with this bag.
I wanted to get it finished so I could use it at my upcoming retreat.
I love the front and back pockets.

I love the red buttons!
Notice the hexi in the top photo?!?!
This is a good sized bag and will hold lots of important stuff.

I added this extra little pocket inside.
Just because I love these ladies.

Instructions called for a zipper in the center pocket but 
I didn't have one I liked so I skipped that step.
I made a boo=boo and made my little zipper pocket narrow instead of wide.
I didn't want my lady looking like she was laying down on the job,
so I went with the narrow pocket. 
I can still get my hand inside if I need to reach my treasures.

There are pockets on each side of this bag.
The side pockets were just a bit tricky but
not too hard at all. 

Now I guess I should do something outside the sewing room.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

National Sewing Month-Days 5 & 6

I spent Friday morning fixing the corners of the block on the left 
and then made block 6 for the Friends & Companions Sew Along. 

On my list for this week was to make more Pineapple Crazy blocks.
I made 5 more and added 1 to make a nice picture.
These are so fun and addicting but they take a long time to make.

The other day I found a pattern for a cute bag,
printed it off and now I can't remember where I found it and
a Google search has turned up nothing.
It's called Retreat Bag.
It's been fun to sew on using black and white strips from swaps at retreats.
Even the fabric I used for the pockets came in a greedy gift at retreat.

Today is a full day of Grandkids soccer and an afternoon picnic.
I got up super early (really no earlier than normal) so I could get my sewing time in today.
So far, only these pockets were quickly quilted and binding put on.
But it counts for sewing time today.

Have a fabulous Saturday!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

National Sewing Month--Day 4

You all know I am easily influenced to join in the sew alongs, right?  This time I will blame blog friend Kathy--snicker,snicker.  She posted here about the Marcus Fabrics "Friends & Companions" Sew-Along.  She talked about using the fabrics she had left over from her Votes for Women project.

That was all I needed to see.  I have fabric leftover from my Grandmother's Choice-Votes for Women quilt (still a top at this point) and I will use mine for this one too.  I have lots of fabric left from Taylor's Piece Hexi quilt so I added that for the black.  (That top is still waiting on borders too and is now sitting beside my machine.)

I started printing the blocks. After a couple weeks of not starting, I talked myself out of it. Then she would show another block and I would print off that one and put it with the others for someday.

Guess what! Someday showed up this week.  I was putting some things away and there is the bin of fabric. I pulled it out, sat down and cut the pieces for these 5 blocks.  Last night and this morning, I sewed and now I am caught up, ready for tomorrow when the next block is revealed.

Thanks Kathy for not getting out of my head. I really like these and I'm glad I jumped on the band wagon with you. Fabric from my stash is being used instead of being stored and has prompted me to add the borders to an unfinished top. This is going to be a fun little quilt.

As I look at the block with the blue frame, I've decided to change out the corner triangles to the same background as the others. I have lots of that fabric and I like that so far, the corners of each block are half square triangles.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

September Sewing-Day 3

I am using National Sewing Month as my excuse to sew every day this month.
I really like having my little list posted on Mondays.

On Monday, I set up tables on the deck and basted my hexi quilt.
I quickly basted the section that was in the sun and covered it up.
By the time I was finished, the whole quilt was shaded.

Then I started quilting until it was time for 2 1/2 year old Corbin to spend the afternoon. 
After he went home, I collapsed in the chair for the rest of the night.
I picked up the hexi box but all I did was open and close it.

After a very good night of sleep, 
Tuesday I quilted and quilted until it was done.
Added the binding and label, then settled down to stitch them down.
By the end of the day, 
I had a finished quilt. 
UFO Parade quilt 1 is marked off the list!
Simple somewhat straight line quilting in the ditch.

This morning I finished up my 9 patch wall hanging #2.
Wednesday is Binding Friends (sewing group) day and 
we laid out my Smith Mountain Morning blocks.
Darn me, I forgot to take a picture.
They are all pinned into rows but I'm not sure when I'll start sewing them.

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings,

Monday, September 01, 2014

National Sewing Month

I am going to try to sew every day in September. 
This is the 3rd year for me to do this.

Sewing every day with my plan should get a lot accomplished.
Care to join me?

Design Wall Monday

I had such a good plan last week. My first project was to finish the blue stars for Smith Mountain Morning so I could put it away and get to quilting the hexi quilt.  I used the cornerstones for the courthouse steps block as my leaders and enders. That lead to sewing a few more of those blocks which lead to what the heck, may as well finish those up and be done with them.  So that's what I did. Smith Mountain Morning is ready to be laid out.

Then I took a coffee break and read some blogs. I read Katy's blog where she showed her 9 patch wall hanging.  Afterwards, I went back in the sewing room with intentions of putting SMM away but instead...

I started making 9 patches from the remaining 1 1/2" strips. Just a few, and a few more, and a few more. Next thing I knew I was laying out my 9 patches and sewing them together into 2 wall hangings.

One is finished, this one will be finished soon.  Pitiful isn't it! I am such a follower. But they are so cute and one will make a nice gift. I didn't have to store those strips. I used up 2 small pieces of fabric-one for the borders and bindings and one for the back and those scraps of batting I don't have to store. A method to my madness.  LOL

I can't sew without leaders and enders so I worked on more 9 patches. These started out as 4 patches but that plan changed to needing 9 patches.  See those extra blue and brown squares?  I cut the shortie/short strips into squares instead of putting them back in the strip bin.

I am making another plan for my week.  Let's see how I do...

  • Finish the 2nd wall hanging.
  • The Hexi Quilt--baste, quilt, bind.
  • Take SMM to Wednesday group and decide on a layout.
  • Sew some Pineapple Crazy blocks. 
See fabulous design walls today at Patchwork Times. Be careful, you could be starting something new!!