Tuesday, November 29, 2011

15 Minute Challenge - November 29th

I'm having a hard time getting my mind around that.  How about you? 

I was off most of last week, but we typically visit My Guy's family for Thanksgiving, so I wasn't home much the last week.  Significant progress was made on the Geisha quilt before I left.  But it couldn't go with me, so the Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks came along for the trip.  Not Christmas sewing, but the handwork was nice to have in the car during the drive. 

Not a bad week, 7 out of 7 days with some type of quilty activity even though it wasn't all Christmas related sewing.  I'm beginning to doubt that the Geisha quilt done in time for Christmas.  If I can get it done by the weekend, maybe.  We'll see if that happens. 

How did you do last week?  Were you able to fit in some sewing along with the baking and family time?  Here's Mr Linky so you can share your crafty successes from last week.

1. Pat
2. Kate @katiemaequilts
3. Liz
4. Shay
5. Thea
6. Amanda, Seabreeze Quilts
7. Imaginary Blooms by Marcia

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday - November 28th

Have you recovered from the all the festivities and shopping of last weekend?   I didn't do any Christmas shopping this weekend.  I did a bunch of cyber shopping last Wednesday before the holiday.  I checked out a few of the Cyber Monday deals this morning but haven't seen anything tempting as yet. 

It's Monday, so it's time to show what's up on the design wall.  I've not posted the last couple of weeks due to business travel and other family obligations.  I'm still working on the Geisha quilt.  I managed to get the sashing all done before we left for the holiday last week.

Now I just need to add the borders, which hopefully will happen this week.  I'm not sure this one is going to get done for Christmas.  I'll keep working on it and we'll see if it slides in under the wire. 

To see what else is up on design walls this week, check out Judy's Patchwork Times

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stash Report - November 27th

Wow!  As Judy points out, it's the last weekend in November.   Only four more weeks in 2011!  I'm always amazed at how quickly those last few weeks go.  Must have something to do with all the shopping and wrapping that gets added to the schedule this time of year. 

I missed last week's report because of Kiddo's swim meet.  But since I was away on business for most of that week, it wouldn't have been a great report anyway.  On to this week's report.  For the first time in 13 weeks, I've added fabric to the stash.  I won a Fairy Frost charm pack from Konda of Moose on the Porch Quilts as part of her Fat Quarter Stars Quilt Along

Thank you Konda.  I love wide spectrum of colors in this pack.

Not sure what I'm going to make with this one, but I'm sure I find something.  I'd really like to try mixing all these colors with black.  Probably a project for next year. 

I did manage to get some sewing done this week before we started the Thanksgiving visit with family.  So there is a little out to balance out the little in. 

Used this week:  0.82 yards
Added this week:  0.87 yards

Used year to date:  51.86 yards
Added year to date:  61.12 yards

Net stashed for 2011: 9.26 yards

I almost broke even for the week, so not too big of a set back.  Plus I'm still under 10 yards stashed for the year, which compared to last year is terrific!  Not sure I'll get back into the black over the next 4 weeks, but I'm going to try.  My stash management goal for this year was just to use more than I bought. 

How's your stash management going?   Good luck to all the bloggers linking in with Judy over at Patchwork Times on meeting their stash management objectives.   

Friday, November 25, 2011

Foto Finish - Birds

Is it Saturday?  I've been off since Tuesday and it's easy to loose track of the days.  I think we finished off the last of the turkey left overs at dinner tonight.  Now I just need to work off the ? pounds I've gained since Thursday. 

I missed last Saturday's Foto Finish due to business travel and Kiddo's swim meet.  I'm ready for this week.  I even have a brand new photo to post. 

It was a glorious warm and sunny Thanksgiving this year.   My Guy was nice enough to loan me his newest telephoto lens for our morning walk.  With it I was able to get this shot of a Cedar Waxwing having his own Thanksgiving feast of left over Persimmons.  There was a whole flock of Cedar Waxwings enjoying the bounty.  We watched them for awhile before heading back indoors to enjoy our own Thanksgiving feast. 

For more "fowl fotos"check out Cat Patches

Favorite Thing Friday - November 25th

If you live in the US, I'm guessing you are either sleeping off all the turkey and dressing from yesterday or you are out shopping on Black Friday.  Either way, I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was wonderful.  If you live elsewhere in the world, Happy Friday. 

Since it is Friday, so it's time for FTF with Shay over at Quilting in My Pyjamas.  I didn't have to think too long to come up with this week's favorite.  My Guy's family has a long standing tradition of taking a walk after Thanksgiving dinner.  All the women (with the occasional assist from one of the guys) pitch in and clean up the kitchen, then most all family heads out for a walk. 

My Guy doesn't go far without his camera.

Neither does Kiddo.

Daisy dog goes along as well.

After walking off dinner, we head back to the kitchen for pie and coffee.  After that?  I took a much needed nap. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

May your day be full of blessings, family, and good food. 

           From Kate, My Guy and Kiddo

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

15 Minuted Challenge - November 21st

Are you ready?  Because it's only: 
This week it's Happy Thanksgiving to those in the US.  Are you baking or sewing?  Can one bake and sew?  I know I can't.  I'm fortunate that my guy loves to bake and since we long ago learned that two in the kitchen doesn't really work for us, I've abandoned that field to him, and go sew.  Not really a sacrifice, he's a better baker than I am anyway. 

I've been a bit scarce the last week.  It's been frantic and manic at the In Pieces house.  I was out on a 5 day business trip last week. Unfortunately the hotel where I stayed had lousy Internet access, so no emailing or blog reading for me.   Came home on Thursday evening, had enough time to run a couple loads of laundry before we left on Friday for Kiddo's weekend swim meet.  So in the last 7 days, I've been home for 2 of them.  Which clearly shows in the lack of sewing noted on the 15 minute challenge report this week. 

Only 2 of the last 7 days saw any type of sewing room activity.  That's definitely better than nothing.  The Geisha quilt is coming along, I'm almost finished with the sashing.  If I can get the borders on, I may still be able to get it shipped out for quilting in time for it to be a wrapped and under the tree for Christmas.  This week should be a better, even with all the family activities we have planned for Thanksgiving. 

Did you find 15 minutes to be crafty or did life get in the way?   Link up and share how successful you were at carving out time for crafty stuff. 

1. 501quiltblocks
2. Liz
3. Kate @katiemaequilts
4. Amanda, Seabreeze Quilts
5. Shay
6. Thea
7. Marcia's First Bloom Quilt

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

15 Minute Challenge - November 15th

Christmas is coming, really, really fast!!!

Not as good a week as I had hoped.  But progress was made.

Only 4 of the last 7 days spent on sewing stuff and only 3 spent on Christmas stuff.  I have a very challenging schedule next week, so I don't look for next week's report to improve much, in fact it may be worse.  Sometimes life just gets in the way. 

How did you do this week on being crafty?  Was it a good week or a bad week?   Naughty or nice?    Whoops, probably jumping the gun on that one a bit.  Here's Mr. Linky, link up if you are willing. 

1. 501quiltblocks
2. Kate @katiemaequilts
3. liz
4. Amanda, Seabreeze Quilts
5. Shay
6. Marcia
7. Thea

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Stash Report - November 13th

It's been a quick week with lots going on at work and at home.  Unfortunately, not much sewing going on as a consequence.  Progress was made on the Geisha quilt, so I do have a bit going out this week.

Used this week: 0.92 yards
Added this week: 0 yards

Used year to date: 50.90 yards
Added year to date:  60.25 yards

Net stashed for 2011:  9.35 yards

Nothing in this week helped me gain ground on the stash reduction.  I'm finally less than 10 yards in the red. I should be able to break even if I have the time to sew.  With the holidays coming up, I'm going to have to spend time I'd usually be sewing doing other things like baking and the gift buying/wrapping.  I love the holidays, so I'll take the trade off.  I'm off the whole week after Christmas.  So I'll have a chance to put some effort in the stash reduction front right before we end the year.  It doesn't matter when right, just before midnight December 31st?   

Have a great week.  Check out Patchwork Times for more tales of the stash. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Foto Finish - Pets

Normally, Life in Pieces is a a few times a week undertaking, but after taking a few days off of the computer and cleasning my writing palette with a marathon reading session, I find I have more to say than can be contained in one post. 

Not really.  Acutally it's Saturday, which means it's time to raid the digital photo files in hopes of finding something that fits Cat Patches theme for the week.  This week is a hard one for me.  I'm very allergic to animal dander.  So though I love cats and dogs, having one in the house is just not a good idea.  It's too hot in the summer and cold in the winter here in Oklahoma to subject a dog to a complete outdoor existence, hence we have no pets.  That fact is very much a drag for Kiddo.  She loves animals.  So to make up for the lack of live animals, she has a complete menagerie of stuffed animals.  Including her favorite Simba. 

Simba is a almost full sized white tiger.  He's been Kiddo's buddy ever since Santa delivered him in 2006.  Simba is fully car trained.  He doesn't mind sitting in the back of the Jeep on top of the luggage or being squished into the back seat of the car with Kiddo.  He doesn't like to fly though.  He finds overhead bins quite uncomfortable.  So in those instances he sends his mate, Siberian to watch over Kiddo.

Siberian doesn't mind being under the seat or even being stuffed into the overhead bins for take off.  Simba, being the good guy he is, takes over cub care in his mate's absence. 

A little over a year ago, Kiddo decided that Simba and Siberian were getting too old to travel with her.  They now have comfortable permanent accomdations at the foot of Kiddo's bed and watch over her when she's home. 

Check out the other buddies and friends posted at Cat Patches

Favorite Things Friday - Saturday Version

What a week!  Thank goodness it's Saturday.  I've been AWOL the last few days.  It's not so much that it's been busy, I was just tired of being on the computer.  I spend a lot of time on the computer at work, so many of us do these days.  Recently my work days (and a few nights) have been full of report writing.  I must have reached my limit on written communication this week.  Though I love the written word, trying to get those words on paper can be amazingly difficult.  Especially when you have to write within the lines so to speak, my division has a style guide that must be adhered to.    So answering emails and writing blogs was really not something I wanted to do the last couple of nights. 

So what did I do last night instead of rushing home to write an FTF post?  I did one of my favorite things instead.  After work, Kiddo and I went to the local Hastings (the only bookstore in our small town) to hang out for a couple of hours.  I love wandering around book stores, thankfully Kiddo does to.  You can pick up the random volume that has an interesting title or cover and read a bit.  I like to skip around, a page here, a paragraph there.  Maybe it's too weird for me, maybe it doesn't fit my mood at the moment, or maybe the pages draw me in and it ends up in the pile that has to go home with me. 

Both Kiddo and I arrived home with a few new tomes to enjoy.  Then I proceeded to partake in another favorite.  I put on my pjs, grabbed one of my new escapes routes, then spent the rest of the evening here

with a murder/romance story that kept me riveted for most of the evening. 

It seems that reading last night has purged my palette so I can write today.  So Shay forgive me for being a very late FTF this week. 

If you haven't already linked up with Shay and the other more timely FTF writers check out Quilting in my Pyjamas

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

15 Minute Challenge - November 8th

Welcome to week 5 of the "crazed Christmas sewing" installment of the 15 minute challenge.  Reality has set in, of the five quilts I had hoped to finish as Christmas gifts, I'll get 3 done.  Which is perfectly OK.   There will be Christmas next year, as well as birthdays, Mother's Day, because I love you days, so it's not worth adding sewing stress to an all ready overloaded schedule. 

I still have a ways to go on the Geisha quilt, I worked on it 6 out of the last 7 days.  All the blocks are finished and I started adding the sashing last night.  Hopefully adding all the sashing will go quickly.  But I have 4 borders to add, plus the backing to piece before it's ready for quilting. 

Friday night I was so tired that any time in the sewing room was likely going to end up with me needing bandages or spending extensive time with the seam ripper.  It seemed to be more productive to just go to bed earlier and get a jump on Saturday.  Do you ever have days like that,  where it really is just more productive to avoid your sewing room?  

I have just about 2 weeks left before I hit the deadline for getting the Geisha project shipped out for quilting.  I'm going to have to spend more than 15 minutes every night of the time I'm home to make the deadline.  I still have to put a label on the Texas Twilight quilt, then bind and label the Flurry quilt. But those are things I can do while Geisha is off being quilted.  That's my game plan for the next couple of weeks. 

Are you managing to spend 15 minutes a day on your Christmas sewing or keeping up with other crafty projects on your to do list?  Link up and let us know how things are going in your sewing space.  

1. Kate @katiemaequilts
2. Shay
3. Thea
4. Amanda, Seabreeze Quilts
5. 501quiltblocks
6. Marcia

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday - November 7th

I'm a bit groggy this morning.  Supposedly we are sleeping later, but we went to bed later too.  At least the aftershocks from Saturday's earthquake didn't keep us up or wake us up.  What a weird weekend. 

We were actually home this weekend.  Kiddo had no games, no school stuff to go to.  She did get started on her science fair project, but other than having to spend a few minutes as one of her study subjects, she didn't need much from Mom. 

Since we were home, I did manage to get some significant sewing done this weekend.  I finished all the blocks for the Geisha quilt.  I've put them up on the design wall to play with placement. 

Hopefully I'll have time to play with the layout tonight and get started on the sashing.  I'm using the same dark blue in the sashing as was used in the center frame of the block.  The fabric in the large Geisha panel was the inspiration for this quilt.  I found it on line several years ago and just loved it.  It just took me a while to come up with the quilt to highlight it. 

So that's my design wall this week.  Click over to Judy's Patchwork Times to post your design wall and check out what's been going up on other design walls. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stash Report - November 6th

I live in Oklahoma, a state known for it's spring tornado season.  Which I've learned to deal with.  Last night we had a 5.6 earthquake which was really, really freaky.  My sewing room is on the second floor and it was really weird and just a tad scary to have all that swaying going on for what seemed like forever.  I haven't turned on the TV this morning, but from what the local news stations have posted on line, there are reports of significant damage near the central part of the state.   Not exactly the type of excitement I was looking for this weekend. 

I was sewing last night when the quake hit (again it was a really, really strange sensation).  Still I did manage to finish up 6 blocks for the Geisha quilt last night.  I had also made the binding for the Flurry quilt and another 3 Geisha blocks earlier in the week.  So I have a bit going out this week. 

Used this week: 1.31 yards
Added this week: 0 yards

Used year to date: 49.98
Added year to date:  60.25 yards

Net stashed for 2011:  10.27 yards. 

Over 1 yard out is a good week for me.  Nothing in helps the stash numbers too.  Another milestone was passed this week.  I've used more fabric year to date than I used all last year.  With 7 more weeks in the year and at least one more quilt back that will get made, I should manage a bit more than 50 yards out this year.  To get back to the black, I need to hit over 60 yards out.  That's doable I think.   

We are getting down to the wire in terms of years end.  To see how close others are to their stash management objectives, check out Patchwork Times

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Foto Finish - Photographer's Choice

This week Barbara made the Foto Finish theme really easy, we can pick any photograph we want.  I say easy, but it's actually harder in some ways with no guidelines.  I could spend the whole morning opening files and highlighting favorite shots.  That's one of the things I really enjoy about doing a Foto Finish post, looking at all the photos and finding those that I've forgotten. 

I decided this week to go with a recent photograph.  Last weekend My Guy and I snuck in a mini fall photography session while Kiddo was helping to decorate for her school's Fun Night.  While enjoying the brilliant fall color in one of our local parks, I came across a tree with the most unusual berries. 

The tree was just loaded with these bright pink and red berries.  Add in the blue skies and the yellow leaves and I had all kinds of photo ops with this one tree.  It took a bit of looking this morning, but I think this is an Eastern Wahoo.  Also known as an Eastern Burning Bush or if you are into the Latin names, an Enonymus atropurpureus

That's it for me this week.  I'm going to go check out all the other photographer choices over at Cat Patches.  Can't wait to see what everyone decided to post this week. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Favorite Things Friday - November 3rd

Thursday night and counting.  Friday will be here soon.  After the whirlwind of the last few weeks, there are actually no "have to be at" events this weekend.  We can stay home all weekend!  That in of itself is a pretty good favorite thing.  But I do have something else in mind to share.

My Guy and Kiddo have a wonderful father/daughter relationship.  He constantly claims he doesn't understand her and she consistently claims she doesn't get her Dad.  See something in common already!    Kiddo does know how to amuse her Dad.  My Guy loves kitchen gadgets.    She found a couple of kitchen gadgets that her Dad couldn't possibly live without.  This is what he got for his birthday last month. 

Which was appropriately relabeled as the -

- Alien ice cream scoop. 

Every Dad needs one of those.  Dads everywhere also need-

-Mr. Well Dressed Alien Pizza cutter. 

Needless to say, My Guy was absolutely thrilled with his new kitchen gadgets.  Another unassailable example of how well Kiddo and My Guy truely understand each other. 

What's my favorite thing?  The look on his face when he opened the bag, which was not photographed because I was laughing too hard to hold the camera steady! 

For more favorites, check out what's posted over at Quilting in My Pyjamas.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

15 Minute Challenge - November 1st

The ghosts and goblins are all gone.  There's a pile of candy wrappers on the dining room table where Kiddo did her homework last night.  Halloween is over and it's November already.  So  welcome to week 4 of "Oh No It's November Already!" version of the 15 Minute Challenge - Christmas Sewing edition.  I'm working hard to finish 5 quilts that I want to give as Christmas gifts this year by committing to spending at least 15 minutes in my sewing room each day.  I did OK this week, working on projects 7 out of the 7 days last week.

Though 3 nights weren't actually sewing nights, I've spent some time on the computer working up a label for Texas Twilight.  I know what I want it to look like and I'm not there yet.  I had some CD drive problems that I'm having to work around.  I want to load a photo to add to the label, but the computer won't cooperate.   

I did make significant progress on the Geisha quilt.  We don't have much going on this next weekend, so I'm thinking of a doing a private quilt retreat to see if I can finish the Geisha top so it can go to Trudy for quilting.  That's probably my last chance for significant progress on Christmas sewing, things get busy after that with business travel, swim meets and Thanksgiving preparations.  What I want quilted for Christmas has to be in the mail to Trudy just after Thanksgiving for her to have time to finish it and mail it back.  So my deadlines are getting close.   

If you are looking for a more concentrated bout of Christmas sewing closer to the big date, you should check out Cat Patchs' Occupy Your Sewing Room blog event. 

Occupy Sewing Room

She has prizes and such if you participate.  Since I work I can't dedicate the time she proposes, but I may try to kick it up a bit during that week to see if I can get some other projects done.  If I start on Jigsaw, maybe I can get it done in time for Kiddo's birthday.  I don't think she's getting it for Christmas this year. 

How did you do this week on finding time for crafting?   Link up with Mr. Linky and let us know. 

1. Think outside the BLOCK!

2. Kate

3. 501quiltblocks

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