Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Post of 2011!


My Husband, MIL and I are spending the last few hours of 2011 together, enjoying an early evening dinner out (first time in a decade or more!) and then heading home to read and maybe even stay up to watch the ball drop.  Sounds like heaven to me.  No cooking, no partying, no over-indulging, just being with folks I love.  I may even sew a bit!

Speaking of sewing, here is something I finished recently, complete with its own tale of woe

This wall-hanging is called "Loretta's Gate".  It belongs to my Mom.  She put it all together, pin-basted it, and then discovered that she just couldn't see well enough to quilt it (blanket-stitch around the black raw edges).  So it languished in her sewing room for quite awhile.  Then she mentioned it to me and I said I would quilt it for her.  So it languished in MY sewing room for quite awhile.  

Deciding to quilt/bind it for her in time for Christmas this year (I have to say "this year" because I have many projects intended for Christmases past that are still UFOs), I set everything up on my dining room table (more room to move the quilt around) and proceeded to work on it a little at a time for a couple of weeks.  Well, my cat apparently got tired of it being there so she proceeded to, um, "sprinkle" it, pretty thoroughly, on one corner.  

(The Perp)

The next day when I sat down to continue the quilting, I discovered her message of displeasure.  I quickly unfriended her (for several days!).  Trouble was, I couldn't wash the quilt until I had finished quilting it because of the raw edges.  So after it dried from its "sprinkling" I QUICKLY finished the quilting, QUICKLY bound it and then soaked it for several hours in the bathtub with a gentle quilt wash product.  Then I disinfected the dining room table!

Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention:  Since the quilt had been pin-basted for a LONG time, there were a few places where some of the pins had rusted. (sigh)  I had hoped that the good soaking would help get rid of those rust spots but, of course, it didn't.  So after the quilt had dried (and been lightly fluffed up in the dryer), I used a fabric crayon to color over those spots.  After all this, the quilt turned out quite nicely. 

Mom is very happy with it.

But I hate that quilt.

And my cat. (Not really, but I should.)

And safety pins.

Luckily, 2011 didn't end on that sour sewing note.  I was able to finish a table-topper for my MIL and a little wallhanging for myself.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Gramma Sheri

Friday, December 16, 2011

Some Occupy My Sewing Room Results

 The red lace bows I machine-embroidered a couple of days ago.  They are earring "jackets".  From Criswell Embroidery. 

4-sided placemats (sorry about the sunstreaks across the photo).  They are MUCH cuter than the photo shows, and I hope the recipients enjoy them (along with the goodies tucked between the folds...).

It has been such a fun week, sewing almost every day with few interruptions.  Wednesday was shopping day with my Mom, and we had SUCH a lovely day!  It was a Christmas gift in itself, and most likely will be the most memorable part of this Christmas.  We tend to forget the gifts we receive, but the time spent with loved ones, we remember! 

The packages have been mailed and now I can concentrate on the two items I need to finish sewing, and Christmas cards, and planning Christmas dinner.  Its all good, though, and worth the effort.

I hope you are enjoying your Christmas preparations also, and will share some of your ideas and traditions with me.

gramma sheri 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Its been a few days since my last post.  I HAVE been doing stuff...just not talkin' about it.  When I'm in "Just Do It" mode my focus is on Task, not Talk.  So, what have I been doing?  Why, Christmas-y stuff, of course!  I'm down to the wire, getting my kids' gifts in the mail and finishing up some old projects. 

Here's a sampling of what i've been up to:

Finished my Countdown to Christmas calendar (by Nancy Halvorsen...started 2 Christmases ago) 
 I do like it, very much.

 Almost finished a Sudoku quilt (started 3-4 years ago - still needs the binding)
 Aren't the bright colors fun?  The border print has Bingo cards on it and the setting squares are fussy-cut free spaces (from the Bingo cards).

 Finishing the quilting on my Mom's Garden Gate wall-hanging.  Will post pics of the completed quilt...hoping to have it done so I can give it to her for Christmas.
Go ahead - ask me how fun it has been blanket-stitching (in black thread) around hundreds of leaves and skinny iron-work-like gate pieces!   ARRRRRGGGHHHH!!!

Embroidered a bunch of little lace bows that can be worn with earring posts for some festive Christmas earrings.  
Made them in red, green and white.  Will show in another post how they look as earrings.

Christmas shopping tomorrow with my Mom.  Yay! We started this a couple of years ago and both enjoy the time together so much.  We will meet in town and have breakfast and then will shop until we finish up the last of our Christmas lists.  

Mom-in-law isn't up for shopping this year.  At 90, she deserves a break.  She has always loved to shop but it is just too hard for her to get around anymore (and she won't be seen in a wheelchair). I miss having a Christmas shopping day with her. 

I will show the finished items as soon as I get them done.  Once they are wrapped and mailed, THEN I can start on the tutorial for the steering wheel cover that I promised in my Ghastlie Blog Hop post.  Boy, am I running behind!

Have a lovely Wednesday,
Gramma Sheri

p.s.  It has RAINED for TWO DAYS!  Woo hoo!  What a treat for the thirsty Southwest!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

IT'S DONE! (or as done as it's gonna get)

The sewing room is finished, stocked, organized (my version of it, anyway) and IN USE!


 OK, so it doesn't look too bad, but most of my REAL supplies (fabric, thread) were stashed in other rooms.  Plus, the area was carpeted...not such a good idea in a sewing room.

Built-in ironing board on the wall of the pass-thru between great room and laundry room/garage. I have not yet hung the design wall board to the right of the ironing board, but it goes up very soon!

Cabinets contain quilting/sewing/beading books and office supplies. Pegboard with cutting tools, embroidery hoops, bobbins. Printer, Pfaff and spool rack (with storage in it for stabilizer).

Another view. The under-counter cabinet tucked in the corner provides additional support for the counter top and contains all of my rulers and acrylic templates. Laptop is on the wooden TV table, close to the printer.  Yes, there are TWO teddy bears on top of the cabinets and my very own Cabbage Patch doll in the corner between them. :D  My Bernina 830 is hogging her own space on the right.

 FABRIC!  Where I can SEE it!  Woo hoo!  Mr. Wonderful built the shelving for me (and the counter top, and hung the cupboards and installed the in-wall ironing board). The stacked drawers contain notions and tools.  The fabric is arranged by color, except the Christmas, Southwest, Halloween, panels, and kids' prints are in their own stacks.  
Truth in Advertising:  Is this all of my fabric?  Well, no.  I have three tubs (the size of the white one there with the blue latch) of fat quarters all nicely arranged and stored in the guest room closet.  And I have a big cardboard box of scraps that I am in the process of cutting into strips and squares.
Also, there are stacks of books still stored in the guest room (neatly, on the built-in-shelf near the ceiling) that I haven't transferred to the sewing room yet.  See the empty top of the shelving? Well, it won't be for long!
But this is pretty much it.  Done.  It feels SO good!

Big Bertha the Bernina is pretty content, too!

Oh, and remember this?

Well, it now looks like this!

It's a guest room again! 

Whew!  What a process it has been, but totally worth it.   I feel calmer and more focused, and sewing is fun again.  

Many thanks to those who offered helpful advice and words of encouragement.  It kept me plugging along, eatin' away at that 'ol "elephant" one bite at a time!

Next Post: Exposing the L-O-N-G list of UFO's and PPTD's (Projects-Purchased-To-Do) found amidst the reorganizing chaos.

Until Next Time,
Gramma Sheri
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