Welcome to Gramma's Quilting Room.

Friday, May 29, 2015

On The Needles

I'm knitting again. Not much, just a little at night. Lillian-pattern at Ravelry-has come out for some attention. 

This will be the final color section, then one more black section before the crochet edging.  The color runs are quite long in this yarn. I'll have enough for another cowl. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday Work

Yesterday I proved to myself that I should not go back to bed after Ernie leaves. I wake up feeling like I have a hang over which I haven't had in so many years that I can't remember when it was. (One of those life lessons.) It seems like everything I did turned out wrong. I made a backing for the Framed 9 Patch quilt top and when I was finished and folding, it looked wrong. I measured it and yikes!!! Who read that tape measure?? I walked away.

When I went outside to do some things, I locked the door. Why? I don't know! After the panic was over, I went to the front door and it was unlocked. Time to hide a key outside. I hope I can remember where I hide it. Later in the day, I was reaching for a jar of brown sugar, dropped it and broke it all over.  See what I mean!!  About the only thing I did right yesterday was make a good dinner-if you don't count the under seasoned rice. 

This morning I decided to get an early start on things.  I went in to the sewing room and fixed the backing. I then pieced some batting scraps.  Next I decided how I want to quilt this and wrote it on my note for this quilt. I pulled out my threads and wound some bobbins.  It is now ready for the basting table later today.

Binding Friends has been cancelled for today. BooHiss.  I decided I need to go to Costco and this would be a good day since I had already planned to be gone.  My list is ready.  Now I need to get ready.

It's 8 am here and this has already been a good Wednesday Work day. Let's all cross our fingers that it continues to be.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Design Wall Monday

I forgot it was Monday!  Sometimes (quite often) that happens when I have no place to be or nothing important to do.  There has been a whole lot of sewing going on at my house because the Cat's been away.  He's home again so now things are back to normal and I got a very good night's sleep!

I can't remember the name of this little quilt that my friend Trina talked me into starting. I'm not a fan of making pinwheels and these are itty bitties. I made this many and decided that was all I needed. It is now quilted and ready for corner hanging triangles and binding. On minis I usually write my label on one of the triangles. Here's a nice little tutorial on the hanging triangle tabs. I Googled it so you don't have to. *wink, wink  

See lots of great Design Walls at Patchwork Times.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

While The Cat's Away...

My Cat-Ernie-is gone this weekend on a halibut fishing trip.  
The Mouse--me--is playing.

On his way out of town,
he dropped the beast off at the spa.
Instead of a weekend full of quilting tops from Mt. ToBeQuilted,
 I came up with a new plan-
finish more tops.

I had put my Ambassador machine in this cabinet a few weeks ago
with the intention of sewing in the living room in front of the tv.
I don't have a tv in my sewing room.
I had yet to open it until this weekend. 

I have done so much while Ernie has been gone.
I make a list of 3 household to do projects, 
hurry and get them done so I can sew without guilt.

Project 1 was to finish this top.
I had made a mistake on row 6 while at retreat and had already taken the row apart.
I thought maybe the other rows were wrong too 
but I waited until row 6 was sewn back together and checked them.
Thank goodness they were all good and no more un-sewing had to happen.
This is now a top with the backing and binding selected, waiting to be quilted.

Town Square is is ready for inner and outer borders.
I love this, it's so bright and happy.

What will happen today?
I have a couple ideas....
but first I must take care of those 3 things on my list.

The Cat will be home tomorrow so this Mouse must get playing.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Retreat Roundup-Finallly

May Retreat is always fun but this year it was extra special for me. 
I sat with my daughter, busy mom of 4, wife of 1.
Her husband took vacation days so she could retreat with mom.
He is super special! Thanks Mike.
Day 1-I worked on these, my version of Windows To Heaven
 found in the book Strip Delight by Suzane McNeill.
It was fun laying the blocks out at home.
Hopefully they will become a top soon.

 Friday I used daughter's machine while she went to the zoo with 1st graders.
I had 10 hexi designs to applique to the background fabric.
I am thrilled to be one giant step closer this UFO  being completed.

I started putting my tumbler blocks together Friday evening.
While working on them Saturday, I found I had made a huge mistake in my design so I put it away.
Come to find out, only one row was off.

Next up were these fun blocks. 
These are for Town Square from Kim Brackett's book
Most of the blocks are finished to this step. 
I made a few cutting errors-nothing too serious-so those will need some work.
This will become one of the quilts for my special project that I can's talk about yet.

One of my favorite activities are the strip swaps. This time we did 2 1/2" batiks and neutrals (where is that picture??) and 1 1/2" neutrals and blues.

Since I am the swapper, I get to touch all of these and dream of what I'll do with them.

Retreats are so much fun, energizing and so exhausting all at the same time. It's fun to catch up with old friends. Most of these women have been retreating together for a long time. While I didn't complete any one projects, I made serious progress on each that I worked on. That was my plan!!

I have most of my things put away. 2 projects have moved forward.  I'm already planning for the next retreat in the fall.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Design Wall Monday

This past weekend was our Spring Retreat so I have a few things ready to put up on the design wall. Most of the time I worked on making blocks for several projects. Project 1 were these blocks for Windows to Heaven found in the book Strip Delight by Suzane McNeill. Her quilt calls for 20 blocks, I made 42 blocks for a larger quilt and used a constant background in the center of each block. For years we have traded batik strips at retreats and it's way past time to be using them. I added 39 new strips to my collection so I am only down 3 from where I started with this quilt.

After I took a much needed nap and put some things away, I had to lay these blocks out to see what I had. I didn't move too many around before I was happy with the layout. They are all nicely stacked and ready to sew into rows.

Retreat is so inspiring for me. I come home and all I want to do is sew, sew, sew, sew. After I work through my list this morning and run those couple of errands, that's what I plan to do.  I'll write more about my retreat projects later.

Check out great Design Walls today at Patchwork Times.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Design Wall Monday

It's that time of year again...Retreat Time!! WhooHoo. I need a retreat!  I decided this retreat was all about working from my stash. Instead of focusing on Pineapple Crazy like I have at past retreats, I decided to make a couple new quilt tops.  They have a purpose, I just can't talk about it yet and NO, there are no new babies or weddings planned that I know of.  

I went to my stash of batik strips and strip books to create one project. I had another kit started and finished cutting for the blocks for the second. Then yesterday I was wanting to consolidate a couple of UFO bins into one and found these tumblers all cut with a note that said 12 x 12. To the wall I went! There were 7 different fabrics so I started playing. This is the design I went with. They are all stacked and pinned into rows, ready to sew. But with a project like this where each row needs to be sewn together one at a time, I need a good stash of leader/enders. I need to think of this one a bit!

 I found a bag with this charm pack and 2 pieces of yardage together. I had a plan at one time but there are no notes. I haven't a clue what I was thinking. I have a couple books with charm pack designs so I'll figure something out.  I also found this jelly roll and 2 yards of the green and 4 yards of the tan batik together in a bag. No note, no clue, no problem, again to the books I'll go.

I finished A Little Bit Hexi! found on Quiltville's free pattern page.  I can't wait to hang it on my wall. I learned that my Morse machine is not a good machine for free motion quilting but I had fun using it. (I could be the machine operator too.)

Last weeks plans went pretty good. I still haven't taken my Brother machine to the shop. Won't happen this week either because it's Retreat Week!!!  Lots to do before I go.  Lots planned to do while I'm there!

See great projects happening at Patchwork Times-Design Wall Monday.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Friday Fun

Sometimes I need to take a Judy Day and do whatever I want to do. Friday was that day for me. I needed to play. I love Bonnie's A Little Bit Hexi! mini and knew this is how I would spend my day. You know I love all things hexi and as soon as I saw this, I knew I would make one. Today the binding will go on. I would have loved to use the dark brown batik for binding but these fabrics came out of the batik scrap bin (and I believe all these batiks were gifted to me by my friend Sharlene) and there was only that one hunk of dark brown. I auditioned several pieces and settled on the background fabric for the binding.

I love sewing gadgets and since May is my birthday month and I celebrate all month long with little gifts to myself, I recently gifted me with the Fabulous Fabric Glide.  I saw it on someone's blog and checked it out. I'm willing to try almost anything to make free motion quilting easier for me and my shoulders.  I love this gadget! It has grippy feet on the underside. 2 sizes come in the box. It is easy to use and to move and it makes me stop and adjust. I used the small one with my Morse machine and it worked great!!! I didn't use it with the walking foot, that was on the machine when I took the picture. I wonder how it would work while guiding the fabric with the walking foot on...something to try out!

Here's a short YouTube video. I  bought mine from Amazon. I buy a lot from Amazon because my friendly UPS man brings things right to my door so I don't have to leave my house and search for things in stores.  Oh how I wish I enjoyed shopping sometimes. Well sometimes I do but mostly I don't.

I just had another thought-I know--scary! I do have a Sewing Mate extension table surrounding my machine so I went in and set the small frame on the bed of the machine.  Your machine will need to be in a cabinet or have an extension table of some kind to use these glides or you will have a very small quilting area.  Can you tell I really like these?!?!

Today will be an Ernie Day as he has a list of errands.  I call this a Judy Day in Disguise because there will be riding and waiting and knitting will happen today. Win, win!!  I might even have him stop at a quilt shop so I can find a nice dark brown for binding!   Another win for me.

Monday morning update:

I finished this Sunday morning. I had the brown in my stash. It isn't batik but it doesn't matter to me, the background isn't batik either. I love how it looks with the brown binding and so happy I didn't choose the cream.  I can't wait to hang it on the wall!

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Dear Nancy,

Dear Nancy,

I wish I could express what you have meant to me over the years. As a wife and mother of 4, I have very little time to go to town to take any sewing related classes. I am basically self taught other than a wonderful Aunt that would help me over the phone, my sweet Mother In Law that left us too early, a little bit of help in my high school home ec classes and trial and error.  As much as my own mother tired to help me, she did not enjoy sewing at all.

One Saturday by chance, I turned on the TV and there you were.  We didn't often watch channel 10 except in the mornings for Sesame Street so I don't know why the tv was on that channel. It must have been fate. What I saw thrilled me to pieces. I have spent many hours with you, you have taught me so much. Little tips and tricks that have stayed with me all these years.  I have a collection of VHS tapes that are only your TV shows. I have a notebook of what is on each tape. One time I almost threw them away but I just couldn't do it.  I remember when I bought 10-20-30 Minutes to Sew. What a thrill it was for me to have a book written by "my TV friend Nancy".

One Saturday morning in the recent past, my adult son came into the house while you were on tv. He says "Is She still on tv???"  How sweet, he remembered!!!  I love that my children know who you are and I think they know how important it was that I spent some of my Saturday mornings with you.

I'm sending you well wishes and strength as you face your current medical issues.

Your Friend,

You can watch the video message from Nancy here.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Design Wall Monday

Weill things did not go as planned last week. After spending all day Monday full of frustration over my fabulous Brother sewing machine, I had to give up and switch out machines. I decided it was time to use my Morse while Brother goes to the spa. Which I hope will happen one day this week.  

Since there is no quilting in my week, I decided to work  on my current leader/ender project-Tumalo Trail which is found in Bonnie Hunter's book Scraps & Shirttails II. I've been making 9 patches for quite a while-you need lots of them and then the half square triangles, I did in groups of 4 so the set for each block was together. 

It's fun when the project turns from leader/ender to the project.  I love using my little design boards (Link is to Lori Holt's tutorial) to lay out 6 blocks at a time. (I must really like this lay out and stack method as you can see here and here.)  By the time they are sewn together, it's time to get up and move around. On the right you can see my new leader/ender project, Bonnie's cover quilt from Quiltmaker magazine called Garden Party.

As always, I have a bit of help from Miss Shirley while trying to get a good picture of my current UFO project.  Goals for the week? I don't have a clue...but I need to:
  • finish planting the garden
  • take machine to the shop
  • get ready for retreat next week
I think that's enough pressure for me. :)  Maybe I'll work on some of last week's goals too. 

This morning I'll be spending some time touring Blogland as I read what others have on their design walls.  Check them out at Patchwork Times-Design Wall Monday.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Slow Stitching Sunday

It's been a while since I've done a Slow Stitching post.  Over 2 months! But I've been stitching. I chose last year's BOM from The Hexi Blog as my next UFO to work on.  I have these 4 designs machine to applique to the background squares. Only the green 4 leaf clover is pinned on and I see I need to adjust it before stitching. The others are just laying there.  It feels good to be over half way now with the designs. The next block is a basket and it's half finished already.  My goal is one block every 2 or 3 days.  I think I can, I think I can!!!

It's been fun digging in the scrap bins that were sorted by color for just the right fabrics. I think my biggest challenge is finding pieces large enough to cover my 3/4" hexies. I am wondering if I will ever be able to lay something out on my bed without help from Miss Shirley. If that happens, I'm sure Miss Polly will be right there to help me.  I've raised very helpful kitties!

I have worked on my Castle Wall project too. Lots of hand stitching happening in my living room. Ernie asked me if I have given up knitting.  No Silly Man! Stitching is my current obsession, knitting will crowd it's way in again one of these days, don't you worry.

After the 20th block, I had to put it up on the wall to see and share.  It's now back in it's protective bin. The next block is in my to go box for working on at Wednesday's Binding Friends group.  I can talk and stitch and laugh with the ladies while making good progress on my block.

Check out what others are doing with their Slow Stitching Sunday at Kathy's Quilts.