Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 NewFO Challenge - December

Hard to believe this is the last day for the 2012 NewFO Challenge.  Thankfully Cat Patches is going to continue the challenge in 2013.  So out with the old and in with the new. 

My last NewFO post was back in September, when I started three new projects.  Needless to say, those starts have kept me pretty busy the last few months.   In total, seven new projects were started in 2012, one more than I had originally committed to.  Even so I really wanted to start one last NewFO, but it needed to be one that wasn't on the list for 2013.  I like starting new projects, but it can take me a while to decide on a pattern and fabrics.  I've been wanting to make a Quilt of Valor ever since I stumbled across Alycia Quilts.  Last year a set of fat quarters and yardage of Connecting Threads' "Firecracker" line made it into my stash.  It was the perfect fabric for the project, but I couldn't find a pattern that seemed to fit.  Then last Thursday, I spied this pattern by Miss Rosie.

So now I had the pattern.  Unfortunately, as written the pattern only makes a 33"X 33" quilt, way to small for a QOV.  So a few modifications were necessary.  Rather than 5" finished blocks, I made my 9" and changed the border to work with that block size.  One block is completed and the second is almost completed. 

No target date for finishing this project, it gets done when it's done.  But the blocks go together pretty quickly, so I do hope to finish this one before the end of 2013.   

Where did I end up on the other seven projects? 

1.  McCall's Mystery Quilt - Need to finish making blocks
2.  Scrappy Coffee Cups - Cups all done, need sashing and borders
3.  Sweet Treats - Need cornerstones, sashing and borders
4.  The Sofa Quilt - Need to finish making blocks
5.  Embroidered Medallion Quilt - Need to finish embroidery
6.  Evening Star - Need to finish adding borders
7.  Grandmother's Choice BOW - Need catch up on making blocks. 

My project list for the 2013 challenge can be found here.  The list includes 8 projects for next year, three of which will start in January.  I can hardly wait! 

Monday Design Wall - December 31st

Happy New Year's Eve!  Hard to believe it's already the last day in 2012.  We don't have any plans for this evening.  We'll stay home, maybe watch a movie together, watch the ball drop and then go to bed. Not an exciting evening, but it works for us.  I'll probably get to stitch a bit as well. 

I've been on vacation since before Christmas, but holiday preparations kept me busy for about 3 days, then we spent about 5 days visiting family over the holidays.  Since last Friday, I've been able to sew for a bit each afternoon and have made a lot of progress on several projects.  I thought Evening Star was done, but then realized it still needed the borders added. 

Pattern from Calico Carriage
Designed by Debbie Maddy

More stars have been added to December UFO, Scrappy Stars.

Pattern is Folk Art Christmas Stars
by Robyn Pandolph
This is the oldest UFO on my list, dating from 2003.  This project will at the top of my "to do" list for 2013.

The Sofa Quilt has been a leaders and enders project for months now.  I finally got enough pieces made to complete a few more "block 2s". 

Pattern is Nicole's Sofa Quilt by Judy Laquidara
(available here)
 I like how this one is going together.  I'll continue to work on the blocks as a leaders and enders project, so progress will be slow, but at least there will be progress. 

That's it for my design wall this week.  It's been nice being off work.  The house is cleaner and my design walls are fuller.  To check out what else is showing up on design walls, click over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stash Report - Goodbye to 2012

It was a good year for stash enhancement, not so good for using fabric.  Looking back at this year, as well as the previous two years, the big difference was not finishing as many quilts.  That means fewer backs were required and it's those quilt backings that really boost the "out" totals.  Though I didn't meet my stash goals for this year, I did learn a few things about my stash habits:

1.  Start more projects.  Even if they get put aside at some point, a pipeline of started projects yields more finishes per year, which in turn means you use more fabric.

2.  There are still a few holes in my stash in terms of color (no teal, burgundy, or gray). 

3.  Need to buy a few 5 to 6 yard cuts for larger projects.  Though I have a lot of fabric, outside of white, beige and black there aren't many larger cuts of fabric in the stash.  My default purchase pattern seems to be to buy 1 or 2 yards, maybe 3 yards if I really like it. 

So how does the report look for this last week of the year?  As has been typical for me this year, light on the out and a bit heavy on the in.  I couldn't resist the post Christmas sales. 

Used last week:  0.40 yards
Added last week:  34.5 yards

Used for 2012:  38.79 yards
Added for 2012:  413.39 yards

Net stashed for 2012: 374.59 yards 

I think 2013 is definitely going to need to be a stash diet year.  So what came home this week?  I did my part to help the local quilt shop clear out their Christmas fabrics;

as well as some of their sale fabrics.

The blue and white stripe will be the backing for the Coffee Cup quilt, the other two were just because.  And finally, I couldn't resist all of the sales over at the Fat Quarter Shop.  I have a whole collection of cardinal fabric, so I couldn't resist Moda's Winter Elegance when it was offered for 50% off at The Fat Quarter Shop.

Hopefully 2013 will be the year of finishes in my sewing room so I can start to make a dent in that stash of mine.  What are your stash plans for 2013? 

Check out all the other end of year stash reports over at Patchwork Times

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - An End and A Start

Hard to believe this is the last weekend in 2012.  Hope your Christmas was merry, ours certainly was.  As much as I enjoyed it, having all the shopping and wrapping behind me until next year is a very pleasant thought.  There was even time yesterday to get back in the sewing room.  Though the first order of business was to get the wrapping paper put away so I could actually get to the cutting table.  That accomplished, I finally finished the last two blocks for the 2012 Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

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

I really like the fish cup.  It looks a lot like one I brought back for DT after one of my business trips to Florida.  Here's the whole set.

This has been a really fun project.  Scraps from 14 completed quilts are used in the blocks.  It didn't make a dent in my scraps, except for the white used in the background. I don't have much of that left.  It's OK, I'll have lots of scraps to play with in 2013. 

Next year's project will use another picture block. 

This block can be made with templates or by paper piecing.  I'm going to try the paper piecing method.  That will be a new skill for me.  I'm playing with an idea for a second scrap challenge quilt for next year.  Hopefully I have that one figured out by next Saturday. 

I'm looking forward to seeing all the cool scrappy projects for next year.  Check out Soscrappy for some sneak peaks of what's in the works for next year. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Stash Report - December 23rd

Happy Holidays!  Our Christmas preparations are almost done.  I finished all my wrapping this morning.  Now My Guy has taken over the sewing room to finish up his.  I'm going to sit back with a cup of coffee, reply to a few emails, catch up on a few blogs before I get serious about doing too much of anything else today.  As much as I love Christmas, it's a good thing it happens only once a year. 

Most of the last week has been devoted to holiday preparations, but a bit of sewing happened here and there.

Used last week:  0.48 yards
Added last week: 0 yards

Used for 2012: 38.39 yards
Added for 2012: 378.88 yards

Net stashed for 2012: 340.49  yards

I'm definitely going to finish the year in the red. I have one back to make after the holidays, so that should make a nice jump in the out column before the end of the year.   Next year's goals will be focused on stash usage.  I may not even put a goal on the incoming fabric.  Not the most balanced approach to reducing one's stash, but I'm ready to try something a different.

Check out all the other stash reports over at Patchwork Times

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Nearing the End

The cards are sent, the shopping is done, My Guy is baking, the laundry is going and now all that is left is to get all the gifts wrapped.  That's my assignment this morning.  I hope to get enough done so that I can sew this afternoon.  Other than a few stolen minutes here and there, I've not had a chance to spend much time playing with fabric.  I really need the sanity break before the happy madness of family visits begins. 

I did manage to finish two more coffee cups this week. 

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

The last two cups are in progress.  If I get time to sew this afternoon, I should finish both of them.  Then it will be time to finalize the layout and raid the stash for sashing and border fabrics.  I'm leaning towards dark blue for the sashing and a medium blue for the border. 

This has been such a fun project, I'm sorry to see it come to an end.  The butterfly quilt that I've selected for next year's project should be just as fun, though it will require me to learn how to paper piece.  But it will be good to pick up a new skill as well as get rid of a few scraps. 

Hop over to Soscrappy to see more scrappy fun.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

15 Minute Challenge - December 18th

One week till Christmas!  Can you believe it?  I certainly can't. There is still a lot around this house that needs to happen before we are ready to celebrate.  Thankfully this is my last day at work for the year.  Even so, the rest of the week will be busy.  Tomorrow is Drama Teen's school party, most of the work for it is done.  DT and I have been invited to a girl's night out on Wednesday evening.  Then Thursday is the volleyball team's Christmas party.  Plus My Guy should be home tomorrow evening.  I really do hope by Friday to have all the shopping done, plus have it all wrapped so I can enjoy the weekend.

In spite of all the goings on last week, I did pretty well at finding time to work in the sewing room.  Some nights it was just 15 minutes.  Even with so little time in the sewing room some nights, Evening Star lacks just one long seam of being a completed flimsy and I've finished one more coffee cup block

It's amazing how a little disgust can motivate you.  After managing only 2 days in the sewing room last week, this week I managed 6.  As I said some nights it was just 15 minutes right before bed, but it made a world of difference. 

Since next Tuesday is Christmas, let's take a break from the 15 Minute Challenge.  There will not be a post next Tuesday.  You can either take a week off the challenge or just report for two weeks on the January 1st post.  I'll be doing a bit of updating for the 15 Minute Challenge between now and then.  Look for a new button in the next week or so, the current one has been in use for 2 years, so it's time for an update.  Posts will continue to be on Tuesday in 2013 to avoid some of the more popular linky parties on the weekend and Mondays.  

With holiday prep well underway, it gets harder to find time for even just a bit of sewing.  How did you do last week at finding a few minutes to sew each day?  Were you madly trying to finish Christmas gifts?  Or did you slack off since there was so many other things on your plate?  

1. Lesley

2. Kate

3. Amanda

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Monday, December 17, 2012

2013 New FO Challenge

 What's a NewFO Challenge?  Per Barbara of Cat Patches, it's permission to start new projects, without a plan to immediately finish them, thus leaving you with a nice list of UFOs for all those UFO challenges.  I've been working hard to finish off all my UFOs, I'm down to two that are older than 2 years.  What I've found as my UFO pile decreases, I'm not finishing as many quilts each year.  You have to start a quilt in order to finish it and I wasn't starting much new stuff.  I only committed to starting 6 quilts for the 2012 challenge and ended up starting 7 quilts, though not all of them were on my original list.  But that's OK, I should have a lot of finishes in 2013 now that I've got a good start on a number of projects.  So to keep the pipeline full for 2014, here are the quilts I want to start this year (in random order).

1.  Back to Square One Mystery quilt along with Judy Laquidara over at Patchwork Times.

Back to Square One

2.  Lonestar Quilt - I bought this pattern several years ago thinking this may be the only way I ever finish a Lonestar Quilt. The pattern is printed on interfacing, it's a flip and sew type deal.  It's supposed to be fast and easy.  (Pattern by William Reinhold)

3.  Jigsaw - Drama Teen saw this pattern and immediatly wanted a new quilt for her bed.  She choose some really bright batiks.  Not all the fabrics are shown, but you get the idea where she was going with the palette. (Pattern from Lehman Quilting, designed by Alyssa Clancy)

4.  Calico Cats - I saw this pattern in the July 2006 issue of The Quilter Magazine (they called it Fat Cats).  It just begged to be redone in softer florals and a blue colorway.  (Pattern by Lucy A. Fazely and Micheal L. Burns).

5.  Butterfly Quilt - I had such fun with this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge that it's on the list to do again next year.  The butterflies will be paper pieced from various scraps. 

6.  Vienna Stars - This is another quilt where I've had the pattern and fabric for a few years and just haven't gotten to it. So it's on the list for next year.  (Pattern from Calico Carriage, designed by Debbie Maddy).

7.  Oklahoma State Quilt - I've been collecting OSU and various orange fabrics for several years.  I plan to pair the orange with black.   Haven't picked a pattern yet, but have been playing around in EQ to see what might work.


8.  Christmas Angel Quilt - This one was on the NewFO list for 2012.  Other projects ended up taking it's spot, mainly because I've not hit on the right layout in EQ to showcase the angels. 

So that's my list for 2013.  Come up with your own list and join up over at Cat Patches

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Stash Report - December 16th

Saturday certainly sped by.  It's been a fast week.  I've been working on wrapping Christmas presents, as well, as a bit of house clean up.  My Guy is still in Montana, he should be home on Wednesday.  Drama Teen finished the report on her science fair project and is now studying for midterms.  I have managed a bit of sewing here and there this week.  Unfortunately not enough to make any kind of significant gain in the out column. 

Used last week:  0.72 yards
Added last week: 0 yards

Used for 2012:  37.91 yards
Added for 2012:  378.88 yards

Net stashed for 2012: 340.97 yards

So a little out, none in.  That's about the best it's been for me all year.  Just two more weeks in 2012.  At this point I'm looking forward to setting all my totals to zero and starting over in 2013. 

The normal linky party over at Patchwork Times does not appear to be working this morning.  Hopefully Judy will get that fixed sometime today and you can then check out the state of stash management across the US.    

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

15 Minute Challenge - December 11th

This week got off to a much smoother start than last week.  At least it did on the home front.  Work, well that's another story.  I only have 5 more work days this year.  Unfortunately, I have more than 5 days worth of things that have to get done this year.  That means I'll have to put some time in this weekend to get the most important stuff off my plate.  I'd rather do it now, get it done, so I can enjoy the rest of the holiday. 

The high activity level last week definitely impacted my ability to find even just 15 minutes to sew. 

I managed to sew on only 2 days last week and one of those was last night.  Holiday shopping, preparation for Christmas parties at work, Drama Teen's science fair project and the volleyball tournament this weekend took higher priority then sewing.  This week should be a lot slower, even if I have to bring some work home in the evenings. 

Have you been able to find a few minutes to stitch a bit in the middle of all the holiday madness?  I'm not making any Christmas gifts this year, thankfully.  How are yours coming along? 

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

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Design Wall Monday - December 10th

Winter came to visit last night, it's 27 F outside right now.  I can't complain, My Guy is back in Montana and it's a lot colder there.  However, as is typical, all kinds of things went wrong just after he left.  There were problems with the upstairs thermostat last night.  Why is it that you can fool and fool with something and it still doesn't work,  but you get your guy involved and he tells you to do the the exact same thing you've already done twice but it works when tells you to do it? 

Not a lot of sewing this week, lots of outside activities made it hard to get into the sewing room.  I did get in some sewing time this weekend.  There's not much change to Evening Star, but I did finish up a couple of blocks for the Scrappy Coffee Cup quilt.

Scrappy Coffee Cups
Block patterns from Karen F. Srebro and Janet McCarroll
publised in Block Magic and Block Magic Too by
Nancy Johnson-Srebro

Only 4 more cups left to make.  I need to start auditioning sashing and border fabrics for this project.  Maybe I'll get to that point next weekend.  I'm hoping that this week is a bit more laid back than last week was so I can fit in a bit more stitching.   

Check out all the other design walls posted over at Judy's Patchwork Times

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stash Report - December 9th

What a week!  I love holiday cheer, but we may have gone overboard this last week.  We weren't home any evenings this week between holiday shopping and other social events.  Drama Teen's first club volleyball tournament was yesterday, so we were gone most of the day.  While we were at dinner, she started cramping so badly we almost took her straight to the emergency room rather than home.  Thankfully the cramps eased up on their own in about an hour.  Once she was settled, I had to get busy with laundry as My Guy is on the road again this week and needed a few things washed so he could finish packing.  I'm very hopeful that this week will be somewhat slower.   In fact, I've decided to hide in my sewing room for most of today.  I need the sanity break! 

The stash report is still going in the wrong direction.  Nothing out this week as any thoughts of making to my sewing room were mere dreams this week.  However, I did push some buttons last week and bought some more fabric on sale.  However all of this fabric is designated for a couple of projects.

The blue is a likely background for next year's Rainbow Scrap quilt (sometimes you have to buy a little to use a little) and the oranges are for an Oklahoma State quilt that's on the list as a gift for one of Drama Teen's teachers. 

So how much damage to the stash?  At this point it's not even noticeable. 

Used last week:  0 yards
Added last week:  9 yards

Used for 2012:  37.19 yards
Added for 2012:  378.88 yards

Net stashed for 2012:  341.69 yards

At this point, I've quit worrying about the in/out balance.  Hopefully next year will be a bit more equal. 

Check out everyones end of year strategies to meet their stash management goals by clicking over to Patchwork Times

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

15 Minute Challenge - December 4th

Christmas is only 21 days away!  That's only 3 weeks!  Oh boy, I'm even more "behinder" than I thought.  Not so much on Christmas prep, but on work stuff.  With the end of the year approaching, I've got a lot to get done.  I can see a few long days in my future, which means not much sewing for a couple of weeks.  Not that I've been setting the sewing room on fire anyway, but last week wasn't too bad. 

I managed to find at least 15 minutes to sew on 4 of the last 7 days.  The middle of the week still seems to be my downfall.  I can usually manage to carry the momentum from the weekend into Monday, but then usually struggle the next 3 nights to make it back into the sewing room.  To expect to sew 7 days each week is really unrealistic based on my schedule, so I may have to set my goals a little lower.  I seem to average about 5 days a week.  That may be as good as it's going to get while I'm working full time and have a teenager at home. 

How well are you doing at meeting your expectations regarding your sewing/crafting time?   What are your biggest barriers to finding time to stitch a bit?  Link up and share how your last week went. 

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

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Design Wall Monday - December 3rd

Weekends are so very short don't you think? They seem to get even shorter during the holiday season.  We didn't have much going on this weekend, so I was able to get laundry done, plus get the tree up.  I even managed to work in a little sewing.  Evening Star is now two thirds complete.

The top and middle sections are all sewn together.  Now just the bottom section needs to be pieced.  It should be a lot quicker than the center section as it doesn't have as many pieces. 

Progress is ongoing with both the Scrappy Coffee Cups and the Scrappy Stars quilts, but just not enough progress to be worth posting.  The Sofa Quilt is also moving along, but I'm out of room on the design wall so no pictures of the progress on that project. 

That's it for my design wall this week.  Check out all the other ongoing projects over at Patchwork Times

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stash Report - December 2nd

Only 4 more Sundays in December and each week will go by fast.  The tree is up, the lights and tinsel have been added, now Drama Teen just needs to add the ornaments in between working on her Science Fair project and working on another class project.  I did get in a little sewing last night, but not a lot.  The stash report is pretty lopsided as I have been taking advantage of numerous on-line sales to buy a few backings and stash builders.  Here's the damage for this week.

Used last week:  0.19 yards
Added last week:  32 yards

Used for 2012:  37.19 yards
Added for 2012:  369.88 yards

Net stashed for 2012:  332.69 yards

Definitely not a good year for stash busting in my sewing room.  But this year is almost over.  Next year I really do need to focus on finishing and starting more projects, which should use up more fabric.  That is at least is the beginning of a plan anyway.  Of course planning isn't the problem, implementation is! 

I'm linking up with Patchwork Times this week as usual. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Last Foto Finish - Food

Today is the last Foto Finish Post.  Cat Patches has decided to end the weekly linky party so she can move on to other things.  My first Foto Finish post was published on 12/4/2010, almost exactly 2 years ago.  I had not planned to post today due to a very hectic family schedule this weekend, but if this is the last Foto Finish post, I most certainly want to help Barbara make it a memorable one. 

Today's original theme is food.  I always mean to take pictures when we eat, but apparently my stomach overrides my brain most of the time and the camera never makes it out of my purse.  One exception was when we were on vacation this summer.  We were vacationing at one of the state parks and had driven into the closest small town looking for something other than a sandwich.  We were really surprised to find this little sushi restaurant along the main drag. 

That we were able to find a place in southern Oklahoma which sold sushi really speaks to how popular it has become in the US.  I'm not a big fish person and I definitely don't do raw fish, but smoked salmon with cream cheese is one of my favorite exotic dishes.  Exotic means different things to different people.  Growing up in the Midwest with parents who had both grown up on farms, tacos were exotic in our house when I was a kid.  Even Drama Teen will eat sushi.  At her age I wouldn't have even known what it was. 

So that's my last Foto Finish.  Thanks to Barbara of Cat Patches for being such a gracious hostess the last 2 years.