My Gammill

April 02, 2017

Stuck in a Rut?

(I saved this question because it is a question that I have asked myself many times. I have lots of unfinished projects, so this is a perfect email for me!)

A morning email from Pat Sloan, asked the question,
"What do you do if you get stuck in a rut about a project?"

This is Pat Sloan's answer.

"So many times people ask me what to do if they get in a rut about a project.
I've been mulling this over, I even got solutions from my Guest Emily Herrick on my talk show last week (Listen HERE)
Last month at Instagram one question was to share your 'oldest UFO' and then I wondered.... WHY is it the oldest?
Ask yourself "Why don't I work on a project?" There is a reason.
It might be 
* You felt you didn't have the skills needed, so got stuck 
* You only have a little bit to do and for some reason don't work on it, maybe it's bulky and your table needs cleared before you have room to work on it. 
* You actually have fallen 'out of love' with this project.
Here is my solution. 
1. Pick ONE item to deal with. NOT all of them... Just ONE. 
2. Pick a project you know you CAN decide on easily 
3. Evaluate your skills, bet you have them now! (or take a great class to learn!) 
4. Fix whatever is keeping you from getting to it. Clear the table, make the binding, find the floss, or give it to someone else to do."
I LOVE Pat's ideas! It's time to Pick One!

March 30, 2017

February and March Quilt Tops

The end of March is here. Where did the month go? Where did February go, for that matter?

February was a Quilt Productive month, but not as fantastic as January.
In February, I finished 3 quilt tops.

Bringing Home the Christmas Tree (2017)

Is it weird that the quilt is a night quilt? My memories of bringing home a Christmas tree always are about night time. We went out to get the Christmas tree after Mom and Dad came home from work and in the winter it gets dark early. So, Bringing Home the Christmas Tree is at night, under a full moon!

This is from a wool quilt pattern, that I just changed it up a bit. I made it much bigger. I added a dark starry sky and a full moon. I added a hill and several stumps where the trees were already cut down. It is a cozy quilt from cozy memories. It makes me very happy. 

Black and Green Garlic Knots (2017)

This quilt was done with my Mom's quilt group in Washington during their quilt retreat. I, of course, made my completely different than everyone else. I chose black for my background and a variety of greens. (Everyone else used white background and a mixture of colors.) I also made my quilt much larger than theirs. I just like twin size quilts.

Red and White Nine Patch and Snowball Blocks (2017)

I made the Nine Patch blocks for our BYU Alumni Quilt Retreat two years ago. We did a group exchange and I made a quilt top with these nine patch blocks and some churn dash blocks that I made. I didn't like the quilt top at all!

So, I took it all apart and seperated the nine patch and churn dash blocks and set them aside for a year. Then I was recently looking through Pinterest and saw this quilt design- nine patch and snowball blocks. I like how the reds blend together and the quilt looks rather old fashioned.

And, I made 3 Sewing Bags. 
Sadly, the free pattern is no longer available on the RJR website.
They are so cute!
I am making more sewing bags today. They are addictive!

In March, I finished 2 quilt tops. Only 2!

Headed North (2017)
This pattern was from the Modern Quilt Guild online named Meeting of the Geese..
 I chose gray and white with a dark turquoise for the geese.
To me, the gray looked like a color called Seattle Gray. Seattle gray, rainy skies.
So, I changed the quilt to fit my impressions of Seattle.
The geese all are going the same direction- North to Seattle.
I added extra rows at the top and bottom to make it twin size and added a few more flying geese.
And, for the backing, I chose fabric called Rain, rain, go away!

Nita's 30's Reproduction Feedsacks (2017)
I started this quilt years ago but decided to finish it and give it to a friend, Nita.
They are all 30's Reproduction fabrics with a muted green background.
I love the calmness of this quilt.
Cozy and Calm.

February 01, 2017

January is for Quilting!

January was an amazing month for me...Quilt-wise. My Mom has been here visiting with me since Christmas. She is a Quilt Pusher! She asked me to look through my boxes and bags and forgotten spaces and find some quilts that I had abandoned.

Mom is a Finisher. And, I am a Let's-Move-On-To-Another-Exciting-Project kind of quilter. So, I've taken advantage of Mom's support/enthusiasm and have finished 8 Quilts this month!

I have been very enthusiastic about piecing quilts this month...old, sitting in the closet unmade, UFO's, some as old as 11 years old unfinished Quilts. This is my list:

I have finished the Mama Made It Celebration Sampler that I started in 2005.

I have finished the One Block Wonder Quilt made from Kaffe Fassett fabric that I started in 2007.

I have finished the Grandma's Scrappy Stars 30's and 40's Reproduction Quilt that I cut out in 2008 and started sewing the blocks last September. I was reminded of the quilt by my Mom. She had wanted to start sewing her blocks for the quilt and so, I brought my bag of cut blocks to sew along with her. I made 24 blocks and ended up only using 20 blocks.
So, my Mom has 4 more blocks to add to her collection.

I have finished a Black and Brights Squares and Stripes Quilt #1 that I started last summer. I had to rethink it and remake it and I finished it in January. (2017)

I have finished a Black and Brights Squares and Stripes Quilt #2 with the leftovers from #1. I had to make a few more blocks and I had an almost instant second quilt! (2017)

I have finished a Black and Brights Squares and Stripes Baby Quilt. After making a few more blocks I was able to make a 9 block baby quilt. Those darn blocks just kept growing!
I made 2 quilts from the "leftovers"! (2017)

I have finished a White, Cream and Tan Texas Blocks Quilt. I was part of an Exchange Group in 2012 that we were focusing on making white, cream and tan blocks. It was hard for me to keep the fabrics so calm! I found some quilt fabric at Creations Quilt Store in Kerrville, Texas, that was a Texas toile. I used it in some of the blocks and highlighted certain scenes from Texas... The Alamo, the stockyards, oil derrics, cowboys on horses, longhorn cattle. It was perfect for my calm quilt!

I finished a Hot Pink X-Plus Quilt that I started at the first part of January.
It was fun to put the focus on the center with hot pink cute animal faces fabric.
(I realized after the quilt was finished that I made it wrong!
The X's are supposed to be going OUT.
I made them with the X's going IN, forming a circle.
I'm surprised how much it changes the look of the quilt.)

That's 8 quilt tops finished in one month!

So, my Mom is a Quilt Pusher! She encouraged me to work on old projects and get them finished and ready to quilt. I appreciate that! I really do! I'm excited to move on to the next projects! On to the February quilts!

January 18, 2017

Where Have You Been?

I have to laugh when I look back at my last post. It's been almost a whole year! A whole year! That's amazing to me... and so sad.

Jann and I were very enthusiastic about piecing The Farmers Wive blocks with our quilt retreat friends.  Then, we realized that Jann and I were piecing the blocks ALONE. No one else in the group was piecing them with us. So, we quit. If no one else was working on them according to the schedule that we had set up, then we didn't need to feel the pressure to get the blocks done either. I have made more blocks, but I haven't posted them. I will get back to them next month after my Mom goes home. Actually, one of the reasons that I quit piecing them was that I had to clean up the sewing space in the dining room and I just haven't gotten back to them. There just isn't enough room upstairs in my quilting studio to cut and sew the blocks. The Farmers Wife blocks take a lot of room with all of the fabrics and block pattern pieces and somewhere to organize them... It just takes a lot of room. I think that I will take over the dining room again and start cutting out the blocks again in February. That will make it a One Year Anniversary project!

February 25, 2016

Three Weeks!

I have neglected to update my blocks for the Quilt Along! I have 3 weeks to show you...

Week #4.
The top block is from the Moda Sampler Block Shuffle, Block #4, done in blue and white civil war fabrics. I love this combination! It is so simple and cute.
The bottom block is my choice of a Heart block, which is my sister, Jann's suggestion on the schedule. It is done in red and tan, with the red making a sort-of-squished-to-the-side heart shape. I didn't want an obvious heart shape in this quilt. The block is from The Farmer's Wife, Block #75, Rosebud. It was pretty easy to make. I'd like to make another in a different color. I saw it in another book with the points and the two rounded top of the heart in different colors, so it didn't look very much like a heart. I wonder how that would look?

Week #5
This week, I chose PURPLE and white Civil War fabric for the Sampler Block. I love Churn Dash blocks!
For the second block, I chose to make The Farmer's Wife, Block #44, Gentleman's Fancy, as my choice of a square in a square option. I love the cheddar but I am hoping that it will not be too harsh in my quilt. I am, of course, adding more cheddar in the coming blocks.

Week #6
For Week #6, I chose Red, Black and White for the Moda Sampler Block #6- Star. (Why is this picture so blurry? Yikes!)

And, the challenge for the second block was to make a Log Cabin Block. I couldn't find a traditional Log Cabin block pattern, so I did an online search and found this modern version of the Log Cabin Block. It is from the Super Simple Sampler, which is a modern 6" block sampler. This is the modern log cabin block from the blog.

I also chose to make a Schoolhouse Block with Marti Michell templates as a joke. I couldn't find a Log Cabin Block, so I make a Log Cabin! Well, I think it's funny, anyway!

February 22, 2016

Live Contentedly with Quilts!

Double Wedding Ring

"...Search your past for clues as to how to live contentedly 
in the present."
"Return to the home of your childhood."
Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, February 22

In my childhood home, I remember there always being antique quilts. They were quilts made by my Great-Grandmother, Flora Belle Riley, or we always called her Grandma Johnson. These are pictures of the types of quilts that she made. They are cozy and sweet. A perfect clue of "how to live contentedly in the present".

Grandmother's Flower Garden

Trip Around the World

Image result for antique quilts yo yo
Yo Yo

February 04, 2016

Let Go Of The Struggle

"Whatever situation exists in your life right now, accept it... Let go of the struggle.  Allow the healing process of change to begin."
Simple Abundance by Sarah ban Breathnach

How to Make a T-shirt Quilt

I have had several people ask me lately how to make a t-shirt quilt. I have never made one and have not great desire to make one. But, I can share a tutorial on how to make one with you!

This is from wikiHow:

Do you have a bunch of tee shirts that you haven't worn? Are your dresser drawers overflowing with race commemoratives, favorite team tees and the like? Here's a clever way to keep those tees in circulation.... make them into a quilt!
  1. 1
    Sort through your tee shirts.
    • Stack them by color and/or design.
    • Determine how many of them you want to use. The size and design of your finished quilt will depend on the amount of material you have available.
    • 14x14 inch (35.5cm) squares are a common and comfortable size to use, but you can enlarge that to 18x18 inch (45cm) if the shirts are XXL and shrink that to 10x10 (25cm) or less if you will be using children's shirts.
    • Common blanket sizes are:
      • Crib - 42" x 72" (3x4 or 3x5 shirt grid = 12 to 15 shirts)
      • Twin - 66" x 96" (5x8 or 6x9 grid = 40 to 54 shirts)
      • Double/full - 81" x 96" (6x8 or 7x9 grid = 48 to 63 shirts)
      • Queen - 90" x 102" (8x9 or 9x10 grid = 72 to 90 shirts)
      • Standard King - 108" x 102" (10x10 or 10x11 grid = 100 to 110 shirts)
      • California King - 102" x 110" (10x11 or 11x11 grid = 110 to 121 shirts)
      • Note: you can use "sashing" or strips of cloth between the T-shirt panels to reduce the number of shirts needed... these numbers are approximate, and are for a quilt top made of nothing but tees, with no sashing.
  2. 2
    Evaluate your collection. Is there a common color scheme? A theme that runs through them? Any patterns or messages that you would like to emphasize?
  3. 3
    Choose a pattern. A simple grid pattern is the easiest, but you can get as creative as you like. For example:
    • 45 degree block turn
    • 22.5 degree turn
    • Window block
  4. 4
    Launder all of the shirts. Do not use fabric softeners or anti-static sheets.
  5. 5
    Lay the tee shirt out flat. You may want to iron the shirts (note that many designs on t-shirts have transfers that may melt, so test a small area prior to ironing) to get out any wrinkles still left after washing and drying.
  6. 6
    Determine what part of the tee shirt you want in the quilt and trace the perimeter of your template.
  7. 7
    Cut your square panels from the shirts using a template. A square Plexiglas template can make rotary cutting of these panels a breeze.
    • Note: Remember to allow a half inch (1.25 cm) of seam allowance all around.

  8. 8
    Stabilize the tee shirt panels by ironing a non-woven fusible interfacing or lightweight, fusible tricot interfacing to the back sides. This prevents the T-shirts from stretching or sagging during construction.
  9. 9
    Check to be certain that the interfacing has adhered properly.
    • Once you've stabilized the knit tee shirt fabric, you are ready to sew as you would with "normal" fabrics.
  10. 10
    Decide how you'll sew the panels together. Sewing the panels in columns or rows and then joining those together for the complete panel is the most common method of constructing a quilt top. 
  11. Tips

    • Sashing between blocks helps to stabilize the edges of the knit as well 
    • Sashing between blocks helps to stabilize the edges of the knit as well as adding width and height to the finished quilt panels.
    • Machine quilting in an "all over" pattern also helps hold the layers together and prevent sagging and stretching.
    • You might use a fusible webbing and fuse the shirt panels to muslin as an alternative to the tricot or Pellon interfacing.
    • Use your "walking foot" to sew the seams to prevent seam stretching or bunching.


    • Hand quilting a finished tee shirt quilt is quite tough on one's hands. Go with a long arm quilting machine instead.
    • Scissors and needles are sharp. Handle with appropriate care.

    • Things that you will need:
    • T-shirts (see size suggestions above for quantities)
    • Scissors
    • Sewing machine
    • Pellon or fusible webbing and muslin for stabilization
    • Laundry facilities
    • Iron
    • Supplies on the ironing board.
      The usual sewing notions such as thread, etc.
    • Sources and Citations