Thursday, January 30, 2014

Juki TL-2010 Longarm

Michelle, my QBee sister-in-law, has taken the big quilter's plunge and purchased a Juki TL-2010 longarm machine.  She did a lot of research and decided on this model because it had the features she was looking for and also because it seemed like it would be dependable with all metal gears.  It took about six hours to set up . . . plus a number of hours to make a workable space in her basement.  It was a choice between the basement or a spare bedroom, and now, looking at the size of this machine, I think the bedroom would have been too small.

Michelle is so excited with her new toy, and knowing her, she will complete some beautiful quilts with this baby.  Her favourite line is "there is no such word as can't."
Wow!  Long enough for a king size quilt!

You can work from either side 

It's difficult to see the stitches with the white on white, but they looked nice and even to me!

If anyone owns this machine, please post your thoughts or any helpful hints you might have about this model.  I know Michelle would appreciate that.

More Snow Rollers

My last post featured the weather phenomenon we experienced in Ohio, snow rollers.  On the way over to Michelle's house, I had to stop and take this picture.  As you can tell, she lives way out in the country.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Surviving Winter - Eat, Sew and Read!

I don't have to tell anyone how cold and snowy it has been this winter.  This weekend in Kent we had about 10 inches of snow and lots of wind.

My son called this morning to tell me about a weather phenomenon out where he lives in Freedom.  Last night it warmed up, rained a little and then got really windy.  As a result, out in the fields, hundreds of balls of snow were rolled up by the wind, almost like snowy white hay bails.  Some were even hollow in the middle.  I didn't get to see it, but found a picture on Google.  They are called snow rollers.   Click here to read the story about snow rollers in Northeast Ohio from NewsNet 5. 

Tomorrow and the next day it is supposed to be a high of about zero.  Brrrr

After not getting out for two days I pulled out my unfinished not so "Easy Street" mystery quilt.  I had 12 half square triangles to finish, but now only one!  While sewing I worked on some enders and leaders for fun.  I do have a scrappy quilt on my list.

Now I have to find a place big enough to lay out the blocks and start sewing them together.  
The end is in sight for Easy Street

Cream Cheese Dessert  

Michelle called and needed the recipe that Mama Barb made on our Winter QBee Day.  It was delicious, easy and tasted like cheesecake.  Here it is:

2 8oz packages of cream cheese
2 cans of crescent rolls
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.  Set aside.

Press one can of crescent rolls into the bottom of a 9x13 pan

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the rolls.

Top with second can of rolls and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar
Bake 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes - top should be lightly browned
So easy and delicious.

It could easily be cut in half by using an 8" pan.

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Between sewing and eating I finished the true-life novel, Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.  This book is dedicated to all teachers.
I have already read Walls' memoir The Glass Castle.  It was honest and unforgettable; you should definitely put it on your list of books to read.  Not being a fan of books about the West, Half Broke Horses has been sitting on my shelf for over a year and I almost gave it away but decided to read the first chapter.  That was all it took.  Who can stop reading a book when the first line says:

"Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.  It was late on an August afternoon, the air hot and heavy like it usually was in the rainy season." 

Half Broke Horses chronicles the life of Lily Casey Smith, Jeannette Walls grandmother.  You will love her spirit and adventures.  If you decide to read both books, I would start with The Glass Castle, but they can be read independent of each other.

So cuddle up under a warm quilt and read a good book.  Don't forget the comfort food!  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winter QBee Day

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.  ~Annie Dillard,The Writing Life
Last Saturday four lucky quilters were able to sieze the day and go down to quilt at Miss Carol's studio from Sweet Peas and Possum Blog.  I usually make this trip 80 miles south to Plainfield in the warmer months, but together, we braved the cold weather and made it just fine - no snow, just cold.  How cold was it?  Lets just say that Mitzi, on a double-dog-dare, got her tongue frozen to the sewing machine.  Don't worry, it ended well.  
Don't try this on a cold day!
We begin our day with show and tell, and let me tell you, we had a lot to show.  Here are the highlights:

Show and Tell for Earlene

Earlene, my daughter, just finished her first quilt ever!  It's a jelly roll strip quilt done in thirties prints.  Wait till you see the cute backing she found in a quilt store in PA.

Here it is with the borders.  
Love the flower garden backing.

Show and tell for Mitzi

A Stack and Whack Pattern.  Stunning!  Can you believe that Mitzi just learned how to sew not too long ago.  Amazing work!

Show and Tell for Michelle

Michelle is actually Mitzi's mentor for quilting.  She also brought a stack and whack for show and tell.

This is the same pattern as Mitzi's quilt, but with a new spin - sashing and blocks.  I hang out with creative quilters!

Show and Tell for Miss Carol

Miss Carol did a fun falling charms quilt and a mountain majesty from homespun material.  I really admire the mountain majesty!

Little Barb Show and Tell

Remember back in November when Barb was working on blocks she found in an attic of her husband's old farm house?  Click Here to See that Post:

I just found out from Bonnie's Blog, Quiltville, that this is called an Album Block Quilt.  She was showing one like it in an antique mall.  Click on the Quiltville link above to see her post.

Now the top is finished and it will be hand quilted.  Barb thought that would be fitting since it was hand pieced.
Album Block Quilt

Look at the fine hand stitching.  What patience to make blocks by hand.
Barb was working on a cute ladybug rag quilt for her granddaughter.  

Mama Barb's Show and Tell

Get ready because here is Mama Barb's great accomplishment of "Snake River."  I can't remember how many pieces, but it is gorgeous!

I love this cross quilt!  I am starting to save my two and a half inch blocks, five of each kind, to make one.  This will be a future, future project.
Earlene calls her Aunt Barb the bionic quilter.  I just say she has too much time on her hands.  Whichever, Mama Barb accomplishes a lot and is a joyful quilter.  I'm so proud of my best friend! 

 At the end of our QBee day, Mama Barb was kicked back and doing hand quilting on her teapot quilt.  This one is a work in progress too.  So Victorian!

Winter really is the best time to quilt.  Stay warm everyone and happy quilting.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The End of Your Life Book Club

I have always loved books, after all I was an English teacher, so reading was, and still is, a big part of my life. When I was teaching high school, a majority of the books I read were young adult literature like the Harry Potter series or The Hunger Games.  Now retired, I am starting to read more adult literature.

One book that I just finished was excellent, so I want to recommend it to my blog readers.  It's called The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe.  I know, the title sounds a little depressing, but trust me, it's not.  It's more inspiring and hopeful than sad.  The book is written in memoir form and told by an adult son who forms an informal book club with his mother to have something to talk about during her chemo treatments for cancer.

As I was reading, I found myself jotting down the names of books that I would like to read and then discovered that the books and authors were already listed at the end of the novel.  Should you decide to read this book, you will find out that it is not just about cancer or dying, but about love, family and especially books.  It shows how books can affect or change lives.
 "For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography, and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in many parts of the world, in all periods of time~ Louis L'Amour
Never fear, this blog is still about quilting, but if there is one thing I have noticed, most quilters are readers too.  

I finished piecing the middle of the Falling Charms, no borders yet.  I used two charm packs and it will be plenty big enough for a twin bed.   The colors and design are are more winter than Christmas; I like that since it can be used more.  It reminds me of a zig zag quilt now that I see it on the bed.

I wish my readers happy winter quilting and happy reading!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Falling Charms Quilt - Happy Birthday, Elvis!

Yesterday, since it was zero all day,  I worked on the Falling Charms quilt to keep warm.  This pattern is from Missouri Star Quilt and uses charm packs and two and a half inch strips.  Yes, I know, it is not on my list for 2014.  That's because it was started in December on the retreat at Mrs. Miller's Cabin.   We all need fun and easy sometimes!
Falling Charms on the Design Wall

Here is the tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt:

Today Elvis would have been 79.  His image and music are now ageless and timeless.

I have to admit to being a huge Elvis fan in high school.  His picture was pasted inside my locker door.  Back in the day, QBee Mama Barb and I watched him on the Ed Sullivan Show, black and white TV, and screamed till we were hoarse.  They called it Elvis fever.  For us now, it is a good memory; one that I can relive today in celebration of Elvis' birthday.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Downton Abbey, Season 4

I am so excited and am sure you are too.  Today, airing Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on PBS, is the first episode, Season 4, of Downton Abbey.  I won’t give away what happened at the end of last season, but as most of you know, it was a shocker!  Based on blogs that I follow, quilters seem to love this show, as do I, and maybe that is why they have designed a new line of fabric called the Downton Abbey Fabric Collection.

Downton Abbey Fabric Collection

 Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics released this new line of Downton Abbey fabric.  Missouri Star Quilt Company carries it; you can find it on their website.  CLICK HERE FOR A DIRECT LINK.    

It’s a lovely line of fabric with feathers, swirls, tapestry, lace and castles.  So far my favourite is Mary’s Berry and Sybil’s Tulle.  Will I ever make a Downton Abbey Quilt?  Not sure.  It is not on my future projects for this year, but it might be the time to buy some material for future, future projects.  Oh, my, one never knows, does one?

Quotes from Violet, the Dowager Countess:

“Things are different in America, they live in Wig Wams.”
“I was right about my maid. She’s leaving – to get married! How could she be so selfish?”
“First electricity, now telephones. Sometimes I feel as if I’m living in an H.G. Wells novel.”

Tonight I will cuddle up under a quilt, sew binding and watch the drama of Downton Abbey unfold.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Quilt Plan List for 2014

January is a time for planning and a time of reflection.  Today I am not going to reflect, but instead, plan quilt projects that I will complete in 2014.  Please note that I used the word "will" instead of "hope to."  

10 projects for the new year.  The nice thing is, I already have the material or kit for most of these projects.  So here they are in no particular order, but I do have a deadline for the wedding quilt so it is #1..

1. Wedding Quilt – Log Cabin Maple Leaf Quilt Kit - "Fall Foliage" - This is for my nephew who is getting married at the end of the summer.   He and his future wife both love the outdoors. 

Had to buy this book for the pattern.  Kit was purchased a Gramma Fannies.
2. Nursery Rhyme Time Kit - This quilt will be for a new baby.  The couple doesn't want to know if it's a boy or a girl, so this will be gender neutral.  It looks like a fun easy quilt:
The Cow Jumped Over the Moon 
3.     Celtic Solstice - Anyone familiar with Bonnie Hunters Quiltville Blog knows that this is her latest mystery quilt.  I was just getting started and "Wham" she had the big reveal on New Year's Day.  I was certainly surprised.  Well, now it is a 2014 project.  I did get clue 3 done. 

4. Pokey Little Puppy Quilt - I found this in a magazine and bought the material at Fabric Shack last summer.  It's about time to get started with this cute quilt!

Dec. 2009 Quilter's World has Pokey Puppy quilt pattern
5. 2013 Amish Shop Hop Quilt - This was what I purchased on my first ever official shop hop.  I bought the setting at my favorite quilt shop; Mrs. Miller's Dry Goods.  This is the shop right by Mrs. Miller's Cabins where we go for quilt retreats.  It's a wonderful place for any retreat!

Can't wait to get started on this quilt!
6. Black and White Jelly Roll Quilt - This will be an easy quilt that would work well for a retreat.  LOOK - I have all the material and jelly roll in my stash!!  Woo Hoo!
Black and White Material
7. Scrappy Quilt using two inch enders and leaders.  No picture, but enders and leaders are in progress as I sew.

8. Scrappy Rail Fence.  I have always wanted to make a Rail Fence Quilt - No picture and don't know the colors yet.

9. Irish Chain.  I fell in love with this quilt and plan to make it this year:

Irish Chain Pattern, "Mountain Paths" can be found in Quiltmaker, Summer 2013
10. Random Quilt, my choice - This would be a good chance to try something new outside my comfort zone, or just make an easy fun one!  It also gives me the opportunity to buy new material.

I hope this helps you to think about your future quilting goals or any other goals you may have for the new year.  Have fun making a list and be sure to write it down!

Quote to ponder from Eleanor Roosevelt - First Lady

"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan"

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year - New Direction

Happy New Year to all my followers of Glady's Gab.  Did you notice that I changed the name and added "on Quilts and Quotes"?  I wanted the blog title to reflect the content which is mostly about quilts or quilting.  In past blog posts, I have included many quotes to go along with the content.  Since I dearly love quotes, they will now be featured as part of Glady's Gab.

Gladys Taber Quote for the New Year:

This first quote for our new year is taken from Stillmeadow Calendar written by one of my favourite authors from back in the 1960's, Gladys Taber.  She has authored many books and used to write a column for Everywoman's Family Circle called "Butternut Wisdom."  Does anyone remember that column, besides me?

Gladys Taber's books are homey and inspiring.  I have collected many of them from Ebay since I first discovered the Stillmeadow books when the Hiram book mobile would come around to my neighborhood in the 1960's.  My kids were young and we were so excited when the book mobile stopping right in front of our house in the rural development of Red Fox in Shalersville.  We ran out, climbed right up inside the big van and picked out our treasured books to read!  

What better way to start the new year than by revisiting this delightful, vintage book, complete with charming illustrations, and allowing Gladys Taber's message of home and peace sink into your heart. ♥

"What the new year will bring, we cannot know.  I think of the year that has been folded away in time.  There has been much good in it, although some sorrow.  But there are always, in any year, many lovely memories, and I shall cherish them.  Life is not, for most of us a pageant of splendor but is made up of many small things, rather like an old-fashioned piecework quilt." ~ Gladys Taber

Peace and joy in the new year!