Thursday, January 31, 2013

January NewFO - 2013


Barbara over at Cat Patches has graciously agreed to host the NewFO challenge again for 2013.  The only requirement for this challenge is to start a new project, definitely not one of the harder things on a quilters list.   I had planned to start three new projects in January, but I only managed to start one of those.  

Calico Cats has been one of those projects that's been buzzing around my brain since I saw the pattern in the July 2006 issue of The Quilter Magazine.  The original pattern did the cats in blacks and whites, my vision was for "calico" cats with a blue background. So far I've finished 2 of kitty blocks.

Calico Cats
Pattern is Fat Cats from the

The Quilter Magazine (July 2006)
by Lucy A. Fazely and Micheal L. Burns
Only 18 left to go!  I'm hoping that I've learned all the problem spots with this block so that my unsewing time from here on out will be minimum.  The challenge doesn't require that you finish quilts, but this project needs to be done by May because it is a gift.  I best get busy on those remaining blocks.  

Hop over to Cat Patches to check out all the other NewFOs started this month.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

15 Minute Challenge - January Wrap Up

January 2013 is just about over.  As part of the 15 Minute Challenge this year, I'm looking for ways to not only find the time to sew, but  make that 15 minutes more creative.  The topic this month has been "Scheduling".  Here's a summary of what's been covered in the previous posts:
  • Set a scheduled time to sew each day.
  • If that doesn't work try mapping out your time each week or month and deliberately schedule in your creative time.  
  • Be prepared.  Look ahead and prep projects for those times when creative time is going to be at a premium.
  • Use "found" time, or that time you thought was going to be devoted to something else - being prepared helps here.
  • Focus on making progress, not meeting goals when you are pressed for time.  However if you do the "be prepared" part right you can make progress on your goals.  

A few other stray thoughts on scheduling creative time:
  • Ask for sewing/creative time as a gift - This should be a great one if your guy never knows what to get you.  Or if the kids want do something special for you but don't yet have the means.
  • Use "down time" such as doctor office waits and the mom's ever present "wait for whatever practice" to end.  I think most of us have our "mobile" projects for just such times.
  • Balance the "have to stuff" in your schedule with the "want to stuff". Spend 15 minutes on the mess that is the kid's toys and 15 minutes in your sewing room.  Or when you've got the laundry folded, take a 15 minute break in your sewing room before heading on to the next chore. 

I promised a give away for those who linked up in the month of January with a post that included a "diary" of your weekly sewing time for the previous 7 days and mentions the 15 Minute Challenge.  

Adis Erla's book "My Runners Keep Going" and
a layer cake of Connecting Threads Batiks
This is your last chance to link up for the give away.  I'll announce a winner next Tuesday along with the fostering creativity topic for February.   

So how have I been doing on scheduling my 15 minutes of sewing time?  It's been a very busy month at our house with multiple volleyball tournaments, business trips and unfortunately one sick teenager.  Looking back at the month, I've managed to find at least 15 minutes to sew 23 out of the last 29 days, that is a 79% success rate. Not bad at all (unless you are getting a grade, then it just a high C).  Here's how the last week went.  

To manage 5 out of 7 days with a 3 day business trip and a sick teenager falling in this week alone is not a bad week.  February looks to be as busy as well, so I'll get lots of practice scheduling my creative time.  

How did you do this week in finding 15 minutes to sew/knit/create?  

1. Amanda, Seabreeze Quilts
2. Julie in GA
3. Thea
4. Kate
5. Lesley A
6. Gloria

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Design Wall Monday - January 28th

Not a lot of sewing this last week.  Between the business trip early in the week and than having a sick kiddo over the weekend, sewing time has been a bit scarce.  Drama Teen came down with the flu on Friday.  Poor kid has had a rough weekend.  She's gone from feeling like she's been run over by a bus on Saturday to being run over by a VW bug last night (her descriptors).  She's not up yet this morning, so I'm not sure how she's feeling today.  I took a day of vacation so I could be home with her today.  Hopefully she'll turn the corner today and start feeling more herself.  

Not much has changed on the design wall from this week to last week.  I've added one block each to Mon Ami and the Scrappy Star projects since last week.  I did finish block 1 for the Calico Cats quilt and am almost finished with block 2. 

Calico Cats
Pattern is Fat Cats from the

The Quilter Magazine (July 2006)
by Lucy A. Fazely and Micheal L. Burns

These blocks are tricky, I've had to do a bit of unsewing during the construction of both.  Hopefully the third time is the charm and I'll have the assemble process down for it.  

For more eye candy, check out the links over at Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Slow Stitching Sunday - January 27th

One of the challenges in linking up with "challenges" is having the time to get the photos and then write the posts.  On weekends, it's especially a challenge because we are so often headed out the door for something or other (usually at o'dark thirty, heading to someplace that doesn't have Internet access).  During the week, the choice lately has been do I blog or do I sew.  I've cut back on the blogging in order to spend a bit more time in the sewing room.  

I did work on some embroidery over Christmas and during some of the volleyball tournaments earlier this month.  I've made progress on the piece for the Medallion Quilt. 

Not a lot of progress, but there is some.  If I ever want to get this finished, I'm going to need to work on it more.  This may start showing up in my "Finished Project" goals each month.  Maybe then I would make more progress on it.  It would probably also help if I commit to linking up with Kathy's Quilts' Slow Stitching Sunday the last Sunday of the month.   Looks like I've already got a start on February's goals.  

Drama Teen Update - She's still pretty sick with the flu, but is showing signs of improvement.  She was actually able to sleep most of the night last night and her fever is a lot lower.  Her words this morning, "I still feel yucky, but less yucky than yesterday." 

Stash Report - Week 4

This has not been one of our better weekends.  Drama Teen has the flu. I had forgotten just how badly the flu knocks you down.  She's on Tamiflu and has been taking regular doses of Advil/Tylenol, with the occasional bath thrown in to keep the fever at bay.  I'm hoping that she turns the corner today and starts feeling better (I know she's hoping for that too!).

On the sewing front, it wasn't a stellar week.  I had a business trip during the first part of the week, so no sewing those nights.  Yesterday was laundry day and I do mean day.  It took almost the whole day to get caught up there, plus keep a handle on how DT was doing.  Still a little sewing went on and even better, no button pushing this week.  

Used last week:  0.27 yards
Added last week:  0 yards

Used for 2013: 7.21 yards
Added for 2013: 1.5 yards

Net busted for 2013:  5.71 yards  

So I'm still in the black at the end of week 4.  I am hoping to get in some more sewing time this week.  I'd like to use 100 yards this year, that means 8.33 yards a month.  That seems doable this month.  

I'm linking up with Patchwork Times.  Grab a cup of coffee and check out all the other stash reports.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Forgetful, Fraught Friday and Kats with Kate

I knew I was forgetting something this morning.  It nagged at me most of the day.  But it never clearly came into focus as I had meetings all day.  Then just before the last meeting of the day I get the following text from Drama Teen who was in Tulsa for a Math Counts competition.

        "Can u schedule a doctors appointment i have a fever and my
          throats sore and i feel really achy"

Oh no!  She hadn't looked good that morning, but didn't want to miss the competition.  She thought it was just the usual sinus crude that she gets sometimes.  Thankfully My Guy had taken the day off and I caught him at home just before he left for a bike ride.  I had him on my Blackberry and school on my personal cell phone trying to figure out where she was.  Turns out she's on her way back from Tulsa and was still 30 minutes from home.  My Guy wants to me to call the doctor and deal with this, but I was already late for a customer meeting, so I dumped it in his lap.  He got her into the doctor.  The doctor confirmed type A influenza.  My Guy was able to locate a pharmacy that had Tamiflu.  Poor DT is currently sacked out on the couch sleeping peacefully at the moment.  We tried to get her a flu vaccine earlier this year, but I couldn't find any place that had any  left.  Hopefully the Tamiflu will blunt the symptoms enough that she'll be much better tomorrow.   

So what was it I forgot?  To link up with Katie Mae Quilts and Kats with Kate projects.  She's making Cat Tails and I'm making Calico Cats.  She's finished block 3 and started on block 4.  I've finished block 1 and started on block 2. 

Calico Cats
Pattern is Fat Cats from the

The Quilter Magazine (July 2006)
by Lucy A. Fazely and Micheal L. Burns

Reasonable progress had been made on block two, till I realized I'd assembled the ears backwards.  So on the agenda tonight is a bit of unsewing.  I don't usually have this much problem making blocks, but this pattern is tricky in that the cats don't all face the same direction.  Hopefully, I'll get better as I go along or else the next 17 blocks are going to be really painful.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

15 Minute Challenge - Scheduling Part 3

The 15 Minute Challenge is all about finding making time to be creative (sew, quilt, knit, etc).  Each week I try to find 15 minutes every day to spend time in the sewing room.  This year in addition to finding the time to sew, I want to be more creative with this time.  Not only finishing quilts, but learning new techniques and working on more creative projects.  For 2013, the journey is not just about making the time, it's also about doing more with it.  For January the focus is on developing a schedule for creativity.  

Last week, I managed to squeeze out a 15 minute "sewing" session in a full weekend by taking advantage of time which I thought was going to be needed to get ready for day two of a volleyball tournament.  But I got done early and was able to sneak off to get a finished flimsy measured so I could make the backing when I had more time.   How do you take advantage of that "free" time you didn't know you would have?  Here's a few thoughts:

Be prepared.  Angela of SoScrappy and Kate of Katie Mae Quilts are two masters of this strategy.  Before the holidays, Angela looked ahead and prepared take along hand stitching kits for all the time they'd be spending in the car over the holidays.  And Katie,  focused 15 minutes of her creative time in the late spring and early summer to kit up projects to take with her when visiting Her Guy over the summer before he deployed.  It's no small feat to be prepared to sew in a hotel room (or 2) for a month.  

Focus on making progress, not achieving goals.  What does that mean?  Know what little things you can do to move ahead.  Measure that flimsy you finished last week, cut a few strips so you can make the binding, or just sit down and sew up a few pieces (either blocks you have going or what's sitting on your machine as a leaders and enders projects).   This is one place where having a number of projects going on can be a good thing.  I have 2 active leaders and enders projects.   If I have a few found minutes, I can fire up the sewing machine and just stitch what ever is available.  Or if I stitched last time, I'll press and trim if I have a few minutes the next day.  

Not that you can't work towards goals with the above.  I made a conscious decision what needed to move ahead this month, so I'm working to get stuff cut and organized to be ready for any "found" time should it appear.     

However, some weeks none of your scheduling strategies are going to pan out.  Last Thursday was the school Science Fair and guess who had not gotten her poster ready yet?   Mom had to make a dash to Staples for printer cartridges, so printing out the pages for the display took a bit longer than planned, so no sewing the night before.  Monday night I had work stuff.  It's rare that I have work stuff to do in the evenings, but this week I have meetings both Monday and Tuesday nights.  Even so, 5 out of 7 is not a shabby week. 

So how did you do this week?  Do you have any tips for using that "found" time the surprises you some weeks?  Link up and share your success this week.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Design Wall Monday - January 21st

Not a lot of sewing this weekend, but some.  Made some progress on Scrappy Stars.  I'm half way on the star blocks, just need another 24.  

Pattern is Folk Art Christmas Stars
by Robyn Pandolph

Plus progress was made on Mon Ami.

Mon Ami
Pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company

Check out the other design walls over at Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stash Report - Week 3

It's amazing what a day off work and a Saturday with no place to go can do for one's stash report.  I was able to get in a solid morning of stitching before we left for Drama Teen's retail therapy session Friday afternoon.  Then with no place we had to be yesterday, a bit of housework and a full afternoon of sewing really made it possible to balance out the fabric addition needed for the Back to Square One project.  I had the background, the dark main, light main, dark secondary and accent, but didn't have a light secondary.  

Drama Teen was gracious enough to allow me to take a few minutes from her therapy session, to find that lighter green I needed.

I did get a bit more than the pattern called for just in case.  So now I have what I need to start that project.  

In spite of the very great temptation, that's all that I left the shop with.  That small amount in is more than balanced by completing the back for Evening Star

Used last week: 5.47 yards
Added last week:  1.5 yards

Used for 2013:  6.94 yards
Added for 2013:  1.5 yards

Net busted for 2013:  5.44 yards

So three weeks into the year and I'm still in the black.  Check out all the links over at Patchwork Times to see how everyone else is doing in managing their fabric acquisition habit.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - Good Eats

Whoohoo! It's Friday and I'm off work today!  I'm going to spend some quality time in the sewing room this morning, then Drama Teen and I will indulge in some fun retail therapy this afternoon. Hard to get more a more perfect day then that.  To top it off, we'll be picking My Guy up from the airport and then going out for dinner.  So a full, but fun day should be the result.  

Another fun thing going on today is Favorite Things Friday over at Quilting in my Pyjamas.  Shay was on hiatus for the last part of 2012, so I thought I had stored up a whole bunch of FTFs.  But I guess old age is creeping in, I couldn't remember a one of them once the typing started.  Thankfully the photo files saved me.  After a quick flip through the files, I came across this one.  

Drama Teen loves smores.  A couple of years ago we were in Fayetteville, AR for a swim meet and we decided to try a Mongolian restaurant called Hu Hot.  You pick the components of your meal and the guys grill it in front of you.  It's pretty tasty, but the favorite part of any meal there is the dessert.  

We challenge each other to see who can get the brownest marshmallow without catching it on fire.  You have to be really patient to do that.  Drama Teen rarely wins, she's more interested in eating them. 


That's it for me this week.  Hope you'll check out all the other favorite things over at Quilting in my Pyjamas.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

15 Minute Challenge - Scheduling Part 2

Welcome to week two of the 2013 15 minute challenge.  This year in addition to challenging myself to find just 15 minutes to improve my sanity by spending that time in the sewing room, I'm also looking for ways to make that time more creative and productive.  

For January the focus is on scheduling.  At different stages in life, the scheduling challenges are different.  I'm a working girl with a husband who travels a lot and a teenage athlete.  I don't have any experience with retirement, but I deduce from some of my mother-in-law's stories and from reading other blogs that there are still challenges to scheduling time to sew in that stage of life. (Most of those challenges seem to involve the spouse's idea of what you do in retirement.)  In 2013, I've committed to moving up to my sewing room at 8:30 PM and getting in at least 15 minutes to an hour of sewing.  Over the last 2 weeks I've managed to sew for at least 15 minutes for 13 out of the last 14 days.  The weekends are harder to schedule because those are a lot more variable then my weekdays.  I have to do a lot more planning and scheduling to get my sewing time in on those days.  Here are a couple of tips for scheduling creative time.

1.  If you can't seem to find any consistent time to sew, it may be worthwhile to track your time.   There are 168 hours in a week, do you know how you are using them?  Laura Vanderkam offers a printable pdf and Excel spreadsheet tool where you can track your hours for a week.  Her suggestion is to write down what you do all week, then decide at the end of the week, are you happy where your "billable" time is going, then make adjustments accordingly 

2.  If you can't seem to find a consistent time each day, Sarah over at Redline Design suggests you get a planner, map out the whole month and schedule 10 minutes each day for creativity.  

I've been mapping out my weekends, but sticking to a consistent time during the week.  How's it working?  Reasonably well.  Plans went astray last Friday and I didn't get in my 15 minutes (we were a lot later getting to OKC than I planned).  But otherwise, I managed 6 days last week, even with the volleyball tournament.  

So how did you do at finding 15 minutes to sew?  Do you have a "target" time to sew or is yours a "fit it when you can" type schedule?  

1. Julie in GA
2. Lesley
3. Julie in GA--my real post
4. Kate
5. Thea
6. Amanda

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Design Wall Monday - January 14th

It was another volleyball weekend, this one out of town.  So not much going on in the sewing room this weekend.  Though we did get home early enough for me to spend some time playing in the sewing room a bit last night.  I wanted to get the first block of Calico Cats made, I didn't quite get there.  

Calico Cats
Pattern is Fat Cats from the

The Quilter Magazine (July 2006)
by Lucy A. Fazely and Micheal L. Burns

I had to do a bit of unsewing at the start.  The cat blocks reverse every other block, which means you have to be careful to get the corner pieces added to the right corner.  Hopefully I'll be able to finish the first block tonight.  

What else is up on the design wall?  A couple more blocks of the QOV project, Mon Ami, have made their way to the design wall.

Mon Ami
Pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company

Scrappy Stars is still up on the design wall, but it doesn't look that much different than it did a couple of weeks ago.  

Slow progress, but at least it's still progress.  That's it for me this week. Check out all the other eye candy over at Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stash Report - Week 2

It was a busy week and it's been a busy weekend as well.  Drama Teen is playing in a volleyball tournament this weekend, so not much sewing for Mom.  She played in one last weekend as well, so weekend sewing time has been pretty much nonexistent.  I did finish one block of Mon Ami this week, but most of my evenings were spent working on the final fabrics for Calico Cats. I have most of the background pieces all cut and should have some progress with making blocks this week.  But for now, the stash report is a bit anemic.

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

Used for 2013:  1.47 yards
Added for 2013:  0 yards

Net busted for 2103:  1.47 yards.

At least there is nothing new coming in.  I will need to add a yard of green so I can start on Judy's "Back to Square One" 2013 quilt along project.  I've pulled all the other fabrics from the stash, but don't have a lighter green to go with my medium green.  Hopefully, I can limit the input to just 1 yard.  

That's my report for today.  DT has to be on the court by 7:15 AM this morning, so I need to get moving.  Maybe if I'm real lucky, the early start will mean we get home in time for me to get into the sewing room for at least 15 minutes tonight.  Check out the state of the stash over at Judy's Patchwork Times.     

Friday, January 11, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - Starting Something New

Favorite Things Friday with Mrs. P over at Quilting in my Pyjamas is back!  FTF is always a fun way to end the week and get off to a good start for the weekend.  I'm definitely ready to get back into this fun habit.  My first favorite thing for 2013 is starting a new quilt project, especially one that I've wanted to make for a while.  Back in 2006 I saw this quilt in The Quilter Magazine.

Fat Cats
The Quilter Magazine (July 2006)
by Lucy A. Fazely and Micheal L. Burns

I immediately had this vision of making it, but with the cats done in calico florals in a blue setting.  It took a couple of years to accumulate all the right fabrics.   On Monday, I scanned all those fabrics into EQ and played (another favorite thing).  Finally coming coming up with the final fabric selections and a preliminary lay out. 

The original pattern is written to use a pair of white and black fat quarters to make two cats.  Since I was using a common background, I needed to come up with strip cutting instructions to produce all the pieces needed to make 20 blocks.   Using the rotary cutting instructions from EQ, I was able to come up with the number and sizes of strips that needed to be cut.

This does involve quilt math, but I like playing with numbers (except when my quilt math is wrong, then it's not fun).  

Last night I got most of the background pieces cut (Confession:  cutting out the pieces for a new project is really not one of my favorite things, it ranks almost as low as unsewing something).

Now I just need to pick one of the floral fabrics, get it cut and make the first block.  There is nothing quite like working on and finishing that first block of a new project.  It can be both frustrating and exciting as you navigate those instructions for the first time and realize that either you have no clue how this is supposed to go together or it's a complete breeze. 

Another favorite thing this week is that Kate over Katie Mae Quilts is also making a cat themed quilt, so we decided that we are definitely going to cheer each other on with a Kats with Kate joint quilt along.   Since this quilt needs to be done by May, I'm hoping Kate will help keep me motivated and moving on this project.  

That's it for me this Friday.  Check out all the other favorite things over at Quilting in my Pyjamas   

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

15 Minute Challenge - Scheduling Part 1

The 15 Minute Challenge started out as an experiment in motivation.  My life includes a demanding full time job, laundry, other various household chores, a loving spouse and a very active teenage daughter.  The "have to do" is continually threatening to take all the time and just as important, a lot of the energy on my plate.  Sometimes there just does not seem to be much left over for the "want to do" quilting. 

For 2013, I wanted to explore how to be more creative and make better use of what sewing time I do have.  In the search to find some magic bullet to help me do that, I came across an article over at Mashable, "A 12 Step Guide to Fostering Creativity", that seemed to be a good place to start.  So each month, I'm taking a step from the article and exploring it more fully, looking for ways to incorporate it into my quilting.  Step 1 is "set a schedule".  The article points out it's not about just scheduling your creative time, it's about scheduling the other stuff that can distract you during the time you've set aside to do your crafting, designing, sewing. 

I'm a lousy scheduler, I know this because I've tried this approach at work.  There's always a meeting that seems to get scheduled over the time I set aside to work on project X, a phone call that requires immediate action that gets me going on something else rather than writing that technical report.  Same thing at home.   Plans were to get some laundry going Sunday evening after we got home from the volleyball tournament and I would sew a bit while that was going.  But we didn't get home until after 9 PM (compared to the 6 PM we thought we'd get home).  I'm sure you have similar things going on in your life.   Thankfully, I'd taken a few minutes before we left that morning to get Evening Star laid out and measured so I knew how big to make the back.  That turned out to be my 15 minutes of time spent on quilting for Sunday. 

There is no sure fire way to avoid some of those type of unplanned scheduling issues.  One way to side step some of that is to take advantage of time that was scheduled for something else that turned out not to need all the time you set aside.  Sunday morning, I'd finished getting ready and had everything packed for our day at the tournament. So I was able to sneak off for a few minutes get Evening Star measured and even managed to get it hung so I could photograph it.  That was about 20 minutes all together. 

So one trick to making step one work for you, is to take advantage of time that suddenly becomes "free" because you got done with a "to do" thing sooner than you thought.  Next week I'll talk more about how you can make the most out of that "recovered" time. 

I have been scheduling a time to sew during the work week, which usually has a more predictable schedule than the weekends.  At about 8:30 PM , I've been shutting down whatever I'm doing and walking up to the sewing room.  Add that in with my "recovered" time from the weekend and I manged to find 15 minutes every day out of the last seven to spend on a quilt project.

The last time I managed to sew for 7 days was last August.  The rest of January is going to be packed with another volleyball tournament and a business trip.  Managing 7 days a week is certainly going to be a challenge the rest of the month.

What's your biggest challenge in scheduling time to work on your stitching or yarn crafting?  How did you do this week in finding your 15 minutes a day to play with fabric or yarn?  Link up and share.  

1. Lesley
2. Kate
3. Amanda
4. Thea
5. Leah @ L3designs

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Design Wall Monday - January 7th

It was a long weekend.  We spent most of it perched on bleachers watching Drama Teen and friends play volleyball. It wasn't the most successful weekend on the court in terms of wins, but the girls are all getting better and what games they did not win, were pretty much nail biters. 

Unfortunately, being at the courts really put a dent in this week's stitching efforts.  Even so, all the borders did get stitched to Evening Star Saturday evening, so it is now a finished flimsy. 

Pattern from Calico Carriage
Designed by Debbie Maddy

Sorry for the dark picture, I didn't have a lot of time yesterday to get good photos.  Next step is to get the back pieced and then send it off for quilting.  

While I had all the photography equipment out, I finally got a shot of the finished  Fat Quarter Stars quilt (which was finished back in November).  

Fat Quarter Stars by Konda
of Moose on the Porch Quilts

I'm still looking for a name for this quilt.  It's intended as a gift for a family friend who is a mathematician.  At the moment, "Counting Stars" is the front runner.   

Neither of these are actually on the design wall, but there hasn't been much change in what's up there this week.  Hopefully, I'll more to show on that front next week.  You can check out all the other design walls over at Judy's Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Stash Report - A New Year, A Clean Slate

It's been a bit chaotic around our place.  Drama Teen came home from volleyball practice on Thursday not feeling well, by bed time she was just miserable with what we think was a head cold.  Her misery resulted in Mom having a very long night with very little sleep.  Amazingly by Friday evening, DT is back to normal, but Mom sure is not.  By Saturday, Mom has the head cold, complete with major headache and DT is playing in a volleyball tournament.  The head cold is better this morning, but I've still got the sinus headache.  Hopefully I'll have that kicked before we out the door for day two of volleyball. 

Thankfully, I've not felt so bad that it kept me out of the sewing room completely.  A couple of nights it was just 15 minutes, but even that has helped move a few projects along and I actually have a bit of fabric going out this week.

Used last week:  1.37
Added last week:  0 yards

Used for 2013:  1.37 yards
Added for 2013: 0 yards

Net busted for 2013:  1.37 yards

The last time the stash report showed any fabric busted was April of 2011.  I've been in stash enhancement mode since then.  I'm hoping to do much better with the busting this year.   At the moment I'm firmly on the "no buy fabric wagon" and have rededicated myself to finding time to sew each day. The only goal I have for stash management this year is to end in the black.

Hop over to Patchwork Times to see who has stuck to their stash busting goals for 2013 after the first week.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 - The Year of the Finished Project: January

Lynn over at Never Too Hot to Stitch is determined to finish up her UFOs and WIPS by hosting "The Year of the Finished Project".

Never Too Hot to Stitch!

Since I only finished 3 quilts in 2012, but started 8, I obviously need a few more finishes this year.  So this challenge should be helpful in getting me there.  Lynn has set up some rules that she plans to use for herself and encourages participants to set up their own rules for the year long challenge.   So here's my goals for the challenge:

1.  Actively work on one UFO each month.  I don't have to finish one per month, just make progress on it.  The ultimate goal is to finish the two UFOs that have been on the list for more than 2 years.

2. Actively work on one of the quilts started in 2012.  Again, I don't have to finish it, just make progress on it.  I'd like to finish all 8 quilts started in 2012. 

Those are pretty simple goals, but with the crazy schedule around here, I need simple.  So what's on the list for January:

1.  Finish at least 5 Scrappy Star blocks.  This is my oldest UFO (started in 2003).  I've cleaned up my UFO list over the last couple of years, but this one is still around because it needed a lot of work to get completed.   When I pulled it off the shelf in 2012, it only had 3 blocks completed (48 are needed for the pattern).  I'm almost half way there. 

Pattern is Folk Art Christmas Stars
by Robyn Pandolph
2.  Finish the borders and backing for Evening Star, then get it shipped out for quilting.  This is one of the quilts started in 2012 and is the closest to being finished. 

Evening Star
Pattern from Calico Carriage
Designed by Debbie Maddy

3.  Complete all the "B" blocks for The Sofa Quilt.  That way this one will be ready for assembly, borders and backing in February. 

Pattern is Nicole's Sofa Quilt by Judy Laquidara
(available here)
That should be enough for the month of January.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

15 Minute Challenge - Welcome to 2013

Happy New Year!  And welcome back to the 15 Minute Challenge.  For those of you don't know, the 15 Minute Challenge started out as a challenge to myself to find just a little time during the week to sew.  With a full time job and an active teenage daughter, some weeks my sewing room gets really lonely, my projects feel rejected and my sanity is hanging on by it's fingernails.  Playing with fabric makes me happy and in turn that makes me a nicer person to live and work with.  But with my hectic schedule, it's a challenge some days to arise from the recliner and navigate the stairs to the sewing room.  For some reason, knowing that I have to put in writing in a semi-public forum how well I do at finding time to sew seems to be the best motivator to overcome that inertia. 

For 2013, confession day will remain on Tuesday (i.e. the linky party where you proudly proclaim your success for the week will be posted).  In addition to finding the time to sew this year, I want to focus on improving my creativity (which covers the "recreate yourself" statement in the new button).  So each month will have a different "fostering your creativity" theme that I'll try to expand and develop in the posts for that month.  If all you want to do is put in your 15 minutes that works, but I'm hoping that if you have insights into any of the themes that you'll share those either in your comments or in your posts.  For the month of January the creativity theme is "Set a Schedule".  Setting aside a scheduled time to be creative seems a bit counter intuitive, but based on the literature it can help declutter your mind allowing your creative juices to come to the surface.  I'll expand on that theme more next week. 

Since it takes time to form new habits, lets start off the 2013 challenge with a give away.  To be entered into the give away you must be a 15 Minute Challenge Participant.  Which means you enter by linking in with a post that lists your sewing activities for the previous week and mentions the 15 Minute Challenge somewhere in the post in order to be eligible.  Each week in January (there are 5 weeks) you have the chance to link up and be entered into the give away.  (Even if you did nothing, if you are willing to write and link in with a post on your lack of activity, that's an acceptable entry).  I'll announce the winner in February.  What's in the give away? 

A copy of Adis Erla's book, My Runners Keep Going and a layer cake of Connecting Thread batiks. 

So now that all of the "paper work" stuff is out of the way.  How did I do the last two weeks of 2012 at finding time to sew in the middle of all the happy madness that is the Christmas holiday season?  I managed to sew 9 out of the last 14 days in 2012.

 So how did you do?  Did you sew or did you take a holiday vacation from your sewing room those last two weeks of the year?  Whatever the case, link up below.