Tuesday, November 27, 2012

15 Minute Challenge - November 27th

One day back at work and an evening of helping Drama Teen with her science fair project pretty much wiped out the relaxed haze from the Thanksgiving weekend.  Now it's back to business as usual, except now there is also stuff that has to be done to get ready for the Christmas holiday.  I enjoy getting ready for Christmas, I just wish there was more time to fit it all in.   Thankfully most of the family shopping is done and all I need to do is get a few things for My Guy and DT. 

The Thanksgiving holiday was absolutely perfect for sitting down with some thread and an embroidery hoop.  I did get a few hours to work on the sewing machine, but most of last week was spent working on a embroidered panel which will be the center of a medallion quilt when it's finished. 

I made good use of my Thanksgiving break, working on quilt related projects for 6 out of the last 7 days.  Wednesday was spent baking and making other preparations for the holiday.  Even so it was a really good week.  I need a few more of those over the next couple of months as there are projects for DT's middle school teachers that need to be done by next May.  That will be here before I know it. 

I'm not working on any projects as Christmas gifts, so I'm not working under any immediate deadlines.  How about you?  Are you trying to finish up a few Christmas gifts?  Are you finding/making 15 minutes a day to make some progress?  Link up and share how your Christmas sewing is going. 

1. Lesley
2. Kate
3. Thea
4. Amanda

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Design Wall Monday - November 26th

Not a lot of changes to the design wall this week.  There simply wasn't a lot of time to do much sewing with all the baking and visiting going on last week.  A bit of progress was made on Evening Star.

Evening Star Pattern from Calico Carriage
Designed by Debbie Maddy

A few more blocks were added to this month's UFO project, Scrappy Stars.

Pattern is Folk Art Christmas Stars
by Robyn Pandolph

Not sure how much progress there will be on any projects over the next few weeks.  Christmas preparations will get underway in earnst next weekend, so there won't be as much time to sew as there usually is.   

Linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times this week.  I hope to take a peek at what is up on everyone's design walls later today. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stash Report - November 25th

Well, I'm in the same boat as Judy at Patchwork Times this week.  Too much cleaning and cooking needed to get done, plus a lot of good family visiting went on this week.  So not much going out this week.  On the other hand, what was ordered last week showed up on the doorstep this week. 

The green and black dot are stash builders, the floral print was ordered as a potential quilt back. 

I just loved the bright colors in these two.  No plans for any of the above, but it was all on sale.  So it seemed wise to add a few pieces to the retirement stash. 

Here's the damage done:

Used last week: 0.35 yards
Added last week: 12.5 yards

Used for 2012:  37 yards
Added for 2012:  337.88 yards

Net stashed for 2012:  300.88 yards

Linking up with Patchwork Times weekly stash report.  Check out all the links to see who shopped and who sewed this weekend. 

Slow Stitching Sunday - Progress At Last

We've been hanging out with family since Thursday.  The sewing machine doesn't fit real well on the couch, so the embroidery gets pulled out for "visitation" time.  We did a lot of visiting, so I made a lot of progress on the Embroidered Medallion Quilt.

Not the best picture, but I didn't have a lot of choice on the lighting.  The last time there was a post on this project was at the end of September.  I had not worked on in it much since then, so most of what's shown has been stitched over this weekend.  I always forget how enjoyable and relaxing embroidery is.  I really should find a way to work more in during a typical week, like maybe on those evenings the sewing room is just too far to walk to. 

I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts this week.  Grab a cup of coffee and check out all the amazing hand crafting posted there. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Rainbow Scrap Challenge-Back in Black

I've eaten, I've stitched, today I'll shop.  Not a bad Thanksgiving weekend.  My Guy's flight got in right on time last Wednesday, so he did make it home to celebrate Thanksgiving with the rest of us.  He's back on the road Monday for another week, so I'm enjoying his company while I can. 

This is the last Saturday in November, so it's the last chance for "shades of gray" blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Block three using that color scheme was finished last week. 

Block pattern from Janet McCarroll
publised in Block Magic Too
by Nancy Johnson-Srebro

The bright colors in the print really help keep the black from looking too dark up on the design wall.  I've always loved this fabric, I have yards of it left just waiting for a special project.  I should audition it as a border for this quilt.  I still need 6 cups to finish out the layout I had planned.  I've picked out the fabric for those and actually have one almost assembled.  I hope to finish those up this month, then spend December assembling the top. 

I've already been scheming for next year's challenge.  I've got a couple of ideas I'm playing with.  One is this project. 

This is a real rough layout, but the basic idea is there. This butterfly block has been on my bucket list for years.  I've also been playing with the idea of doing houses and or hot air balloons (also blocks that are on my bucket list), but haven't done any playing in EQ with those two motifs.  There's still time to pick one and change my mind a few times.

Check out all the other cool uses for the color gray over at Soscrappy

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

15 Minute Challenge - November 20th

My Thanksgiving holiday starts a little early since I'm on vacation today and tomorrow.  I hope that translates to a bit of sewing, but I have a lot of errands and other things that also need to get done today. 

The last week was a pretty dismal one in terms of finding 15 minutes to sew.  Actually that's not quite accurate, it was finding the time and the energy at that same time.  Last week was really busy with the start of club volleyball and getting stuff prepped for the Lean Team weigh in.  Monday was spent printing off the T-shirt transfers and ironing them on the shirts. 

The team liked them, so I guess they turned out OK. (Keep in mind that I work in an R&D organization with a lot of PhDs.  We are a skewed crew to say the least). 

I'm stalling.  Here's this week's report.

Only 3 days with any quilt related sewing going on.  I debated on counting the T-shirt work, but I set the 15 minute challenge up to help me focus on making progress on my quilts, so that activity just didn't fit.  

We'll be spending a lot of time with family next week.  But I hope to get a lot of hand work done during that time.  It's easy to talk and stitch. 

How did you do this week?  What are your plans for next week?  Link up and share how things are going. 

For those in the US, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Be safe, enjoy your family time and hopefully some extra time to make a few stitches here and there. 

1. Kate
2. Thea
3. Lesley
4. libbyQ
5. Amanda

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Design Wall Monday - November 19th

It was a quiet weekend around our place.  My Guy is off in Wyoming until Wednesday, so Drama Teen and I were on our own all weekend.  She's fully recovered from her round with the stomach bug, so it will be back to school for her today.  This is the only day I'll work this week as I'm taking a couple of vacation days in advance of the holiday, mainly because if I don't take them I'll loose them.  I'm sure I'll find lots to do around the house between baking, starting prep for the next holiday and hopefully a bit of sewing. 

The sewing room got some much needed attention on Saturday.  I reorganized a few areas and put away a few things.  Some sewing happened too.  The center section of Evening Star is now about three quarters of the way done.

The right most section is now up on the wall waiting to be sewn together.  It should go together fairly quickly.

I picked out the fabric for the last 6 cups for the Scrappy Coffee Cups project, but didn't think to take a picture of them.  I hope to work on some of those while I'm off work this week.

That's it for my design wall this week.  Check out Patchwork Times to see what's up on design walls everywhere. 

Safe travels to those in the US who are traveling to see family this week and have a happy Thanksgiving.        

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Stash Report - November 18th

Yesterday was a day of rest around this house.  Drama Teen's stomach is still a bit tender, but she felt much better than she did on Friday.  She spent most of her day on the couch in the living room watching The Food Channel.   I ended up with a monster headache for the better part of the day. A bit of zoning out in the recliner and a few naps had it receding by evening, so I was able to get into the sewing room for a while. 

Rather than sew, I ended up doing some cleaning up and reorganizing.  Things had just been stuck on the shelves and tossed into corners, it was time to put some things up and clear up some space.  It will be time to wrap Christmas presents once we get done with Thanksgiving and the sewing room doubles as gift wrap central in this house, hence a bit of extra space to store the gift wrap and ribbons is needed. 

I did sew a bit.  Which is a good thing for the stash report. As small as it was, without it there would have been nothing going out this week. 

Used last week:  0.1 yards
Added last week:  0 yards

Used for 2012:  36.65 yards
Added for 2012:  325.38 yards

Net stashed for 2012:  288.73 yards

It's a good week, nothing came in.  

As the year winds down, I've been trying to decide what I want to do about stash management for 2013.  I'd like to focus more on how much I use rather than what I buy.  Retirement is a few years in the future, but with it will come a definite need to cut back on expenses, so maybe adding to the stash now is not such a bad thing. Anyone have any prespective on that observation?  

Check out Patchwork Times for more stash status reports.    

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Foto Finish - Look Down

What a week!  I've been away from the computer most of the week, so my apologies to those who I owe emails and for not being up to date on what's going on with you.  It's always a mad house when My Guy is on the road and I'm left to hold down the fort.  Monday was a zoo and my hopes for a slower paced Tuesday didn't happen.  Wednesday was the only night we didn't have something going on and I was asleep in the recliner by 7:00 PM that night.  Thankfully Drama Teen and I have nothing on the schedule this weekend.  That's doubly good as poor DT caught the stomach bug making the rounds at school and spent her Friday morning either in the bathroom throwing up or in bed asleep.  She managed a little dinner last night, so I'm hopeful she's over the worst. 

It was nice to just sit back this morning and search the photo files for something that fit Barbara's theme of "look down".  Some Saturdays I know just what I want to post, others I have to really do some searching.  I remembered that we had taken some walks at Easter this year and thought there might be something in that set of photographs. 

I'd completely forgotten about this photo.  This little guy was taking advantage of some of the early spring wildflowers.  The shot was taken at My Guy's family farm.  Things were just starting to green up.  We all spent a lot of time looking down that weekend as the snakes were also starting to wake up.  Copperheads are common in the area and my brother-in-law had found one by the tree not far from where this was taken just the week before.  I've never seen one close to the house, but many in the family have. 

Check out Cat Patches to see what else is down with the world this week. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

15 Minute Challenge - November 13th

Yesterday was what I call a Monday Squared.  I felt rushed all day.  We were late getting out the door yesterday morning, and that feeling of being a few minutes behind hung on all day.  I was late getting away from work.  Drama Teen was not checking her phone, so she wasn't waiting at the door of the library when I got there.  That meant finding a place to park and walking in to find her.  By that point, we were running so late that we had to make a mad dash home where she ate and changed in just about record time.  I did manage to get her to the first night of club volleyball practice on time.  From there it was on to Staples to look for T-shirt transfers for a work related project.  Of course, they are out of the dark T-shirt transfers.  On to Hobby Lobby, which has them, but a brand I've never used.  I stop to get gas because the little light is on, then run into the grocery store to pick up what we need for  breakfast and lunch, go back to the school for the Club Ball parents meeting, finally getting home at 7:45.  Then find that the milk has leaked all over the back seat of the car (it was cold enough last night that I figured 30 minutes in the car was not going to be that much different than being in the fridge).  The rest of the evening was spent decorating T-shirts for a team event at work.  I am hopeful that today will be much less rushed.

How has the stitching been going?  Not too badly.

I managed to find at least 15 minutes to stitch 4 out of the last 7 days.  I debated about counting my T-shirt making last night.  It's a crafty endeavor, but not at all quilt related.  In the end I decided it didn't count.  Though it was fun to do something a bit different.  The T-shirts are for our Lean Team competition.  Every year the company fitness center sponsors this competition to help people maintain their weight over the holidays.  Each team is weighed as a group on one of the company's big warehouse scales.  We'll be weighed again early in January 2013 to see if we kept our weight constant or maybe even have lost a little.  This year they are having a competition for the most creative sign, so my team decided that we'd put our sign on matching T-shirts for the group.  

Obviously, real life has been distracting me from sewing much.  Are you having the same problem?  Or are you on target?  Link up and share how your sewing endeavors are progressing or not as the case may be. 

1. Kate
2. Amanda
3. Thea
4. Lesley
5. libbyQ

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Design Wall Monday - November 12th

Drama Teen and I are on our own for the next week and half.  We took My Guy to the airport on Sunday.  It's been a while since he's had to travel for work and be gone over a weekend.  At least this time he didn't have to fly half way around the world and spend 4 weeks where our only means of communication was instant messaging via our work email system.  I've decided that these business trips do serve a useful purpose, they always remind me of how much of the load he carries around here and how much I miss him when he's not here. 

Between laundry and the scheduled events during the weekend, not a lot of sewing happened.  I did make some progress on Evening Star, but not enough that it's worth posting a new picture.  It looks pretty much the same as it did last week.  I did finish the binding on The Fat Quarter Stars quilt, but didn't have a chance to get a photo of the finished quilt.  On Saturday, I posted the newest "darkest shade of gray" scrappy cups for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, but didn't post a picture of all the whole collection. 

Block patterns from Karen F. Srebro and Janet McCarroll
published in Block Magic and Block Magic Too by
Nancy Johnson-Srebro

The third black coffee cup is about half assembled.  After that one is complete, the quilt still needs 6 more cups to finish the layout.  I've already picked the scraps for one of the six.  This has been a really fun project. I'm hoping that Soscrappy is going to sponsor this sew along next year too. 

That's it for my design wall this week.  To see what else is in the works, check out the links over at Patchwork Times

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stash Report - November 11th

It was a busy week and weekend.  Not much stitching going on in the sewing room this week.  Too many deadlines that required some evening work, then trying to get caught up with laundry and a few other house maintenance issues.  Consequently, the stash report looks a bit anemic.

Used last week:  0.1 yards
Added last week: 5.5 yards

Used for 2012: 36.55 yards
Added for 2012: 325.38

Net stashed for 2012:  288.83 yards

The added fabric is for the back of Evening Star.  That quilt will be a gift, so I don't want to piece a back out of scraps.  Plus the Fat Quarter Shop had it on sale.   There are some great sales going on at several of the fabric sites, I succumbed to pushing a few more buttons last night.  I've missed my targets by so much, I might as well indulge before trying to get a handle on the incoming for 2013.  (Why does limiting fabric purchases sound exactly like going on a diet?)

That's it for me today. Check out the state of the stash across the globe by clicking on over to Patchwork Times.   

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - The Darkest Shade of Gray

I just thought the deadline pressure was over.  Two more popped up this week.  One of them required work at home in the evening, so I'm way behind on email, blogs, laundry-well basically everything else.  Hopefully, that's it for crunch time goals this year. 

Thankfully, I did get some stitching in last weekend and finished two "shades of gray" blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge project. 

Block pattern by Karen F. Srebro
published in Block Magic by
Nancy Johnson-Srebro

I really like how this one turned out.  Black and white is always so elegant, but the swirly print is a bit modern.  Looks like a cup you might drink from in an elegant little tea shop.  The next cup is definitely more in the vein of a fun and funky little coffee shop.

Block pattern from Janet McCarroll
publised in Block Magic Too
by Nancy Johnson-Srebro

Butterflies are one of "my things" as my family terms it, so this quilt definitely needed a butterfly cup.  Plus the bright colors in the wings helped the black fit in better with all the other cups. 

The fabric is selected for the third "shade of gray" cup, but it's not been cut yet.  Hopefully that will happen later today.  After that one, the quilt still needs 6 more cups to be complete (I skipped the neutrals and there won't be a color next month).  It will be fun checking out my stash for favorite scraps to complete those.  Then I need to decide on sashing and border fabrics.  I will be sorry to see this project completed, it's been such fun. 

Check out all the other shades of gray over at Soscrappy

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

15 Minute Challenge - November 6th

Morning came earlier than I was ready for today.  Drama Teen played her last volleyball games for her middle school last night.    They won against both teams they played. DT had an excellent night, including scoring 12 consecutive points during the second match.  What a way to end the year!  But we didn't get home until almost 11:00, so it was late when we got to bed.  I'm sure we'll all be dragging by the time we get home tonight.

I'm done being the proud mama, so we can move on to the 15 Minute Challenge results.  I didn't have to work over the weekend, so that helped a bit with finding a bit more time to sew.  I'm still fading a bit during the middle of the week.

I'm up from 3 days last week to 4 days this week.  The lack of stitching on Mondays the last 2 weeks have been due to volleyball.  Those should free up now that the season is over.  If I look back over the last few weeks, the pattern pretty clearly shows that I'm not finding my 15 minutes on Wednesday and Thursday.  It has to be that the recliner is keeping me prisoner on those nights.  Maybe I'll have to avoid sitting in it this week, see if that gives me any motivation to head upstairs and sew a bit. 

How's your motivation doing?  Are you gearing up for holiday sewing?  I decided this year to do only small sewing projects as Christmas gifts this year.  I gave 4 quilts last year, but just don't have the energy to do that again this year.  Finding time to sew is going to get a bit harder with all the baking for Thanksgiving and shopping for Christmas.  I've not really given much thought on how to fit in some stitching with all the other extra stuff.  With My Guy on the road a lot this holiday, he's asked me to do the Thanksgiving baking this year, which is normally not on my to do list. Do you have a game plan for how you are going to find your 15 minutes to sew?  Here's Mr. Linky, share how things are going or not going as may be the case. 

1. Kate
2. Amanda
3. Thea
4. libbyQ
5. Lesley

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Design Wall Monday - November 5th

Sewing time this weekend was split between organizing my sewing space and actual sewing.  The stash closet also doubles as the holding area for Christmas gifts which puts them in close proximity to the cutting table where we do most of the gift wrapping.  After shopping on Friday, space was needed to store what came home.  It will be a few weeks before the mayhem of wrapping starts, but it seemed like a good idea to take a bit of time and get ready. 
Progress was made on Evening Star. 

Evening Star
Pattern from Calico Carriage
Designed by Debbie Maddy
I found the perfect fabric for the back on sale for 40% off, so I ordered it this weekend.  Nothing in the stash matched and as this quilt is intended as a gift, I wanted it to have a nice back. 

Two more blocks were added to the collection of Scrappy Star blocks up on the design wall.

Scrappy Stars
Pattern is Folk Art Christmas Stars
by Robyn Pandolph

The pattern calls for 48 of these stars.  With only 16 done, I've got a ways to go. 

I also worked on the binding for the Fat Quarter Stars quilt which will probably be the last quilt finished this year.  Hopefully, Evening Star, The Sofa Quilt and the Scrappy Coffee Cups quilt will all make it to the flimsy stage before the end of the year.  At least that's the plan anyway.  Which should help give me a quick start to next year's finishes. 

Due to dual matches of volleyball tonight, it will be tomorrow before I get to check out all the other design walls linked up with Patchwork Times 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stash Report - November 4, 2012

Hard to believe it's November already.  I'm not planning to give any quilts as gifts this year, so there is no pressure to be in the sewing room.  I've had to get an earlier start on some holiday stuff as My Guy has a new project that will keep him away from home for two weeks this month and at least one, maybe two weeks next month.  Hopefully getting an early start will allow me to fit in all the holiday stuff and manage to find time for the sewing room. 

This week's stash report is better than last week's, but not by much.

Used last week: 0.73 yards
Added last week: 0 yards

Used for 2012: 36.45 yards
Added for 2012: 319.88 yards

Net stashed for 2012:  283.43 yards

My goal for the year was to use 75 yards of fabric.  I'm probably not going to make that goal.  In looking back at the last couple of years I finished a lot of quilts as part of my focus on getting quilts off the UFO list.  Of course I did the "more complete" ones first.  What was left on the list this year were the ones that only had one or two blocks completed.  So they were almost like starting from scratch.  I've started seven new quilts this year, but none of those got done either.  Backings are the fastest way to use up yardage and I've just not needed to make that many this year.  Hopefully all the quilts I started this year will help make next year a better one in terms of fabric usage.   

I'm linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Foto Finish - Birds

Ever have one of those weeks where you are not sure how you got to Saturday?  This is one of those weeks for me.  I think part of why the week seems so strange is that there was a lot going on away from work.  I took off Wednesday afternoon for Drama Teen's Halloween party at school (I'm the homeroom mother this year), then My Guy and I took off Friday to do some Christmas shopping.  I realize that seems a bit early, but My Guy has a new project that will require he be on site for 2 weeks this month and probably 1 to 2 weeks next month.  So he won't have much time to Christmas shop, so we got done what we could yesterday. 

Barbara has suggested "Birds" as this week's optional theme.  I don't have a lot of bird shots, I tend to photograph flowers, so I'm usually looking down rather than looking up.  But I did come across one photo that has a good story, though the photo is not all that good. 

Last May, I was cleaning house and kept hearing this noise coming from the office. I'd walk into the office and not see anything.  I'd hear the noise a bit later, walk into the office, still not see anything.  This went on for a couple of weeks.  It wasn't until one Saturday when I had to work in the office for a couple of hours, that I found out was making the noise.  The weird noise started up, when I looked over at the window this creature was there tapping on the glass.   

This female cardinal had built a nest in the rose bush just outside the office and apparently didn't like that other bird she saw in the window.  She was going to peck the poor thing until it left.  Doesn't she look annoyed?  If she saw movement, she'd fly away.  That's why I never saw her there before, my walking into the office was enough to make her abandon the pecking program.  The window tapping stopped sometime in late June.  She was pretty persistent until then. 

That's it for me this week.  Check out what else managed to wing it's way onto Cat Patches' Foto Finish post.