Monday, September 30, 2013

A NewFO for Design Wall Monday

It's the last day of September, already.  Just three more months in 2013.  It's been a busy year, which may be one reason why it seems that time just flies.  This weekend was Drama Teen's last volleyball tournament with the Freshman team.  Just three more games before that season ends.  But she'll go straight from that to the high school swim team.  Then we'll start club volleyball in January, just before swim competition ends.  So 2014 isn't going to start off any less busy.  

I've been in the sewing room a lot the last week, but you can't tell it by what's up on the design wall.  I'm working on the Log Cabin blocks for Back to Square One, as well as more half square triangles for the Road to Brenham project and triangle in a square blocks for the Christmas Angels quilt. So not much new up on the design wall.  I have finished three more Scrappy Star blocks this month. 

Scrappy Stars is my oldest UFO and has been my leaders and enders project this month. I don't have room for the other 32 finished star blocks on the design wall right now, but this is what they looked like back in February. 

Pattern is Folk Art Christmas Stars
by Robyn Pandolph

The other block that is up on my design wall is September's NewFO.  


If you don't know what a NewFO is, you should check out the challenge page over at Cat Patches.  I had hoped to be able to start Drama Teen's Batik quilt, but we haven't got the final layout worked out yet.  So I looked through my patterns to see if there was anything else I wanted to start this month.  A few months ago everyone was making Scrappy Trip Around the World quilts from Bonnie Hunter's pattern (which can be found here).  I loved how all those quilts looked and really wanted one of my own.   Since my scraps are getting out of hand that seemed like a good project to start now.  

Pattern is Scrappy Trip Around the World
by Bonnie Hunter.  Pattern can be found here.

I made one block to test out the instructions.  I'm trying to decide if I'm going to go truly scrappy or pick three colors for a controlled scrappy look.  

That's it for both the design wall and the NewFO this week.  Check out Patchwork Times for more design walls.  Then hop over to Cat Patches to check out all the new projects.  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Stash Report - Week 39 of 2013

It's almost 7 AM and it's till dark.  That's a sure sign that we've moved from summer to autumn.  You often can't tell by our temperatures as they were in the 90's on Thursday and Friday.  The shorter periods of daylight are the biggest tells of the new season.  I'm not ready for the cold and snow of winter, so hopefully we'll have a few weeks of fall before it gets truly cold.  

On the stitching front, I've been busy this week.  Even so, there's not much to report.  I usually count my fabric as out once a block is finished.  Lots of block assembly going on, but only a couple of finished blocks this week.  

Used last week:  0.22 yards
Added last week:  0 yards

Used for 2013:  58.07
Added for 2013:  157.83 yards

Net Stashed for 2013:  99.76 yards

Nothing in this week, so that's good.  I'm still hovering just below the 100 yard net stashed mark that's become my revised stash management goal for this year. 

That's it for the stash report this week.  Click over to Patchwork Times for more stash management talk.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Indulgence and Quilting ADD

I'm off work today and no one else is home.  My Guy is off on a business trip and Drama Teen is at school.  I always feel like I'm playing hooky when I'm off like this.  Especially when there is stuff going on at work that's already had me spending an hour writing business emails this morning.  However this is the one day left this month that I don't have a single meeting scheduled.  So it's pretty much take my day off today or loose it.  So even if I have to check the work email regularly, that's a small price to pay for having some time to just play in the sewing room.  So from now until 4:30 PM when I have to go pick up DT from volleyball practice, I'm having a mini retreat in my own sewing room.

So what's on the retreat schedule?  I'm not sure yet.  I need to press Mon Ami and it's back then package those up so they can go to Trudy for quilting.  Drama Teen has been dropping subtle hints that I promised her a new quilt for her bed so she could redecorate her room.  I need to scan all the fabric so she can play with the layout in EQ.  She has a very certain look she's going for.  

Then there's this, 

the pieces for 5 different quilts laid out in front of the sewing machine. This is my version of chain piecing. (Or maybe it's proof that I really do have quilting ADD?) I prep a certain number of blocks for each project then just do the stitching in assembly line mode.  On the far left is the beginnings of the Log Cabin blocks for border number 4 of Back to Square One.  Next are the HSTs for one Neutral Gem's block.  The next pieces are the Triangle in Square blocks for the Christmas Angels quilt.  Forth in the line up is more HSTs, but these are for Road to Brenham.  Finally, the last red and beige pieces are in progress flying geese for my current leader and ender project, Scrappy Stars.

Decisions, decisions.  Maybe I'll just give into my ADD tendencies and do some on each.  For now, I'm going to crank up the music (Nickelback for now to keep the energy high) and go do some stitching.   Hope you are having a great day in your corner of the world.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - The Last of the Roses

15 Minute Challenge - Benefits of Leaving the Rut

It's the last Tuesday in September.  Next Tuesday will be the first of October.  That's a scary thought.  As is the fact that last weekend I ordered the first Christmas present for 2013.  I wasn't consciously thinking about Christmas shopping, but there was a sale at PBTeen and I saw something that Drama Teen would enjoy, so it went into the shopping basket. I'm not thinking about it anymore or else I'll scare myself.  

Since it is the last Tuesday in the month, it's time to wrap up the fostering creativity theme of "learn something new every day".  That's definitely a challenge, especially for those of us who are already over scheduled.  There are on line classes that make that type of learning more schedule friendly.  But learning something new isn't limited to just taking classes.  Reading, UTube, Google are all ways to quickly find tips about how to do just about anything.  

In wrapping up this month's creativity theme I Googled "benefits of learning something new".  Those lists included everything from developing a sense of pride and accomplishment to the fact that learning something new improves memory and brain function.  My favorite benefit that showed up on one list was that the funniest stories are often the result of trying something new and failing.  I enjoy a good laugh, which is one of things to remember when trying something new, don't forget to bring along your sense of humor.  

The few days I've sewn this week, I have been learning something new.  I bought a specialty ruler a couple of years ago and finally found a use for it this week.  I'll have a post on that later this week. It's a good thing I've been working on something new because I sure didn't spend much time in the sewing room the last seven days.

There were only three days where I found both the time and energy to get myself into the sewing room.  There was just a lot going on at work last week in terms of deadlines.  Hopefully this week will be much better. 

How did your stitching go last week?  

1. Thea
2. Julie in GA
3. Kate
4. Pat

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Design Wall Monday for September 23, 2013

It was a gorgeous weekend, once I got over the sinus crude that started up Saturday afternoon.  Sunday morning was a bit rough, but by mid afternoon, I was feeling more myself.  Well enough to spend some time in the sewing room.  

The third border has been added to Back to Square One, but it doesn't look all that different than it did last week, so no pictures of that project this week.  Neutral Gems is up on the other design wall.  Not a ton of progress on this project, but it hasn't shown up on the blog in a while, so here it is. 

Neutral Gems
Pattern is "Gems" by Donna Lynn Thomas
found in the book Patchwork Palette

Drama Teen is lobbying for this to be her quilt.  She loves the colors and the pattern.  That's not what I had in mind, but I do have another ongoing project that I could gift to my friend if I let DT have this one.  We'll see, it's not like DT really needs another quilt.  She's already asked for a batik one that I hope to get started on this month.

That's it for my design wall this week.  There's more design walls to check out over at Patchwork Times.    

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stash Report - Week 38 of 2013

Last week was one of "those" weeks.  Work was really busy, with two presentations that had to be given, a major report that has to get done before the end of the month, as well as some work needed to jump start phase 2 of an ongoing project.  I've been going into work early and staying late, so my computer time at home as been really limited. Unfortunately, there hasn't been much stitching time this last week either.  At least the presentations are done for now, the next one isn't until November.   

To top off the crazy week, it's either that time in the fall when my sinuses typically go nuts or I'm coming down with a cold.  I ended up sleeping most of the afternoon yesterday because I felt so yucky. Not much stitching happened yesterday either.  So not a stellar stash report this week.

Used last week:  0.39 yards
Added last week:  0 yards

Used for 2013:  57.85
Added for 2013:  157.83 yards

Net stashed for 2013:  99.98 yards

Well at least the net stashed has dropped below the 100 yard mark.  The goal for the rest of the year is to keep the net stashed from exceeding 100 yards.  This year's usage tally is only 2 yards short of equaling my best usage year ever.  So hopefully I'll set a new personal record for fabric usage this year.  

That's it for my stash report.  Check out all the others over at Patchwork Times.  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

15 Minute Challenge - It's not the How, It's the When

I overslept this morning.  My Guy didn't realize I hadn't gotten up, and didn't think to check on me until he'd finished his coffee.   So now I'm a bit behind this morning.  It seems on days like this that once I'm behind, I just stay that way all day.  Thankfully there is not much on the work calendar, so hopefully I won't feel like I'm running late all day.

Feeling time pressured isn't conductive to learning new things, which is this month's fostering creativity theme.  It's an hours drive to the nearest quilt shop, so taking classes hasn't been much of an option since we moved back to Oklahoma.  Thankfully there are a number of on line options for taking a class on a new technique.  Craftsy is one of the more popular ones and right now they have a number of classes that are 75% off.  I've signed up for 3 of their classes, but haven't found the time to watch them.  The first on-line quilting classes I found were at Quilt University.  I've never taken a class from them, but have seen pretty positive reviews from others who have.  Of course these days all you have to do is go to Google and type in what you want to learn then hit return to see everything from pdf files to YouTube videos that will show you how make most anything.  

Still with all the options open, I'm more likely to tackle things that I've done before rather than learn something new.  With the schedule we have around here, when I get the chance to sew, I want to relax and de-stress.  Learning something new can be frustrating, for me that's counter productive.  Or maybe I'm just learning so much new stuff at work that I don't have any room in my brain to add any when I get home?  

It's time to get serious about getting out the door and on my way to work.  So I guess it's time to get to talk about how last week went in terms of finding time to sew. I didn't do too bad, 6 out out of 7 days. 

Tuesday was a training day in Houston and the evening was taken up with flying home.  But other than that, I did pretty well at getting in at least an hour most days.  

Did you find some time to stitch this week?  

1. Pat
2. Kate
3. Thea
4. Lesley A

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Design Wall Monday - September 16th

I woke to the sound of thunder this morning, which is a good thing.  It's been several weeks since it has rained and things were starting to get really brown around here.  The only thing I didn't appreciate about the storm this morning was the loss of power.  Thankfully I was out of the shower when it went dark.

The sewing room got cleaned up this weekend, sorry no pictures.  It wasn't so much the cluttered as it was dusty and in need of vacuuming.  Though I did finally clean out one of the books cases so I had room for some of my quilting references.  Sunday I was back to stitching.  Progress is being made on several projects, but the only one that has enough completed to be up on the design wall is Back to Square One.  

Back to Square One
by Judy Laquidara (pattern available here)

I finished with Clue 5 and am more then halfway done with clue 6.  I'm still 3 months behind on the clues, but am catching up. I'm happy with the colors and how it's working out.   

That's it for my design wall this week.  Check out Patchwork Times for more eye candy. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mid Month Progress on September Goals.

I've been following along with Lynn's Year of the Finished Project over at Never Too Hot to Stitch.  Since today was the 15th, it means we've reached mid month and it seemed to be a good time to assess on my progress on September's goals.  

1.  Mon Ami
     Make Back                          Done
     Send out for quilting
2.  Back to Square One
     Finish Clue 5                        Done
     Finish Clue 6
     Finish Clue 7
     Finish Clue 8
     Finish Clue 9
3.  Neutral Gems
     Make 5 blocks
3 blocks complete

4.  Scrappy Stars
     Make 5 blocks
1 block complete

5.  Christmas Angels
     Make 9 - 4 patches            Done
4-patches complete

6. Road to Brenham
    Make 32 HSTs                   Done
HSTs completed

So 4 out of 9 goals completed thus far.  Not bad progress.  In fact this is probably the best I've done since January. Completing the remaining 4 clues on Back to Square One is going to be a challenge and I doubt I get that one finished, but it looks like the other goals are all achievable.  

Stash Report - Week 37 of 2013

It's been a slow weekend around here, which is good.  I didn't get much sewing done yesterday, but did get some much needed cleaning done in the sewing room.  I do hope to get some serious stitching in this afternoon once laundry is caught up.  

For lunch yesterday we ventured out to the new coffee shop that opened recently.  Drama Teen ordered a Coke-a-Cola and it was delivered to our table in a tall glass bottle.  She was a bit surprised, she's never had a soda from a glass bottle.  I can remember when glass bottles were the only way you could buy soda at the grocery store.   

After her first drink, she said it definitely tasted better than what you get in the plastic bottles.  I didn't think to get pictures of our food, we were all hungry.  But the food was good, the latte I had was heavenly, and Drama Teen will definitely go back for more Coke-a-Cola served in a glass bottle.  

The business trip to Houston took me out of the sewing room for three days, so I didn't get much sewing done last Sunday.  But since I finished up the back for Mon Ami, this week doesn't look so bad. 

Used last week:  1.58 yards
Added last week:  9 yards

Used for 2013:  57.46 yards
Added for 2013:  157.83 yards

Net stashed for 2013:  100.37 yards

I did push some buttons last week.  Connecting Threads had their batiks on sale.  I'm hoping to start a batik quilt for Drama Teen this month and decided to order some of the sale batik to use as backing for it. 

The black batik at the top is what I ordered for the back.  Since I'm pretty sure you can never have too many batiks, I also couldn't resist ordering a yard of the blue, red and yellow fabrics as well.  Even with this addition, I'm just a bit over my goal of keeping the net stashed for 2013 below 100 yards.  Hopefully by next weekend I'll be back on track.  

That's it for me this week.  For more stash stuff, check out Patchwork Times.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

15 Minute Challenge - From Houston, TX

I'm still in Houston this morning, getting ready to head out to a training class related to my job.  This class covers some software I need to use for an upcoming project.  Learning new software is not my first love, but it's going to help me do some cool stuff this next year.  So I'm excited about that, which makes spending 8 hours straight on the computer bearable. 

This month's fostering creativity is "learn something new every day".  Since I'm taking a training class this week, it got me to thinking that learning something new every day isn't really very realistic.  In this software class we are working through real world examples, starting first with ones that use just one module and working up to ones that use all the modules.  The examples have nothing to do with my project.  So that means that when I get home, I'll have to figure out how to make those modules work with those specific situations.  Well, maybe that is learning "something" new every day.  I guess it depends on how you define "something". 

Learning how to machine quilt is on my "to do" list and I think of that as something you "learn" then practice to get good at it.  I've read posts from quilters learning that skill.  Most mention "I learned, how to adjust my tension, how to hold my hands, do this to get better....." Sounds like my definition of "learning" needs to be adjusted too. 

Well, while I've been learning new software, not much stitching happened the last couple of days.  I did manage 4 days last week, but a couple of those were really not much more than 15 minute sessions because that was all the time I had.  Still every little bit adds up to progress. 

So how did you do last week in finding time to stitch, knit, craft or learn something new? 

1. Julie in GA
2. Pat
3. Kate
4. Lesley A

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Design Wall Monday - September 9th

It was a busy weekend with a volleyball tournament on Saturday, which meant laundry had to wait till Sunday. Then it was pack, drive to the airport and catch a plane for a training class in Houston.  So not much sewing happened over the weekend. The back for Mon Ami is almost finished, but that's not something real exciting to show for Design Wall Monday.  The only project with visiable progress is Back to Square One.   All the work for Clue #5 is just about done.  

Back to Square One
by Judy Laquidara (pattern available here)

All the white bordered Economy Patches are finished, they just need to be sewn to the blue bordered patches.  I'm hopeful that by next weekend Clue #5 will be completed.  

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

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Stash Report - Week 36 of 2013

It was a busy week and a busy Saturday.  We spent yesterday in Tulsa watching Drama Teen's volleyball team play in a tournament.  It's amazing how long one of those can last.  I got in a bit of cutting and pinning yesterday morning before we left, but that's all the sewing time I got in yesterday.  I hope to get a little in today.  

In addition to the volleyball games this week, I also had some evening meetings, which really cut into my sewing time.  If it wasn't for what I did on Labor Day, there would be really nothing to report.  

Used last week:  3.44 yards
Added last week:  0 yards

Used for 2013:  55.88 yards
Added for 2013:  148.83 yards

Net Stashed for 2013:  92.95 yards

The back for Mon Ami is most of the outgoing yardage this week.  I'm piecing the back and still have 3 panels to add.  Those should make it into next Sunday's stash report.  

For more news on stashes, check out Patchwork Times.  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September - The Year of the Finished Project

It's the first Thursday of a new month.  That means it's time to link up with Lynn over at Never Too Hot To Stitch to report progress on my August goals for The Year of the Finished Project challenge.  

Never Too Hot to Stitch!

For August I picked 3 projects to focus my efforts on.  

Mon Ami
     Sew blocks together          Done
     Add borders                      Done
     Make backing
     Send out for quilting


Mon Ami as of 7/31                   Mon Ami as of 8/31

Lots of progress on this project this month, especially getting all 5 borders added.  I'm very happy with how this one is turning out.  Not quite a finish, but I'm getting really close.  The back is almost pieced, so I'm hoping this one becomes a finished project by October.  

Back to Square One
     Finish Clue 4          Done
     Finish Clue 5
     Finish Clue 6
     Finish Clue 7


Back to Square One in July              Back to Square One in August

This is Judy Laquidara's Medallion Mystery for this year.  I was finally able to start the quilt back in June.  Which was 6 months after everyone else started.  I'd like to catch up, but I'm not there yet.  Those little Economy Blocks take forever to stitch together.  

Neutral Gems
     Make 10 blocks          Finished 4


Neutral Gems in June                      Neutral Gems in August

In addition to finishing up 4 blocks, I started sewing the blocks into rows.  I love these fabrics and really like the secondary designs that show up when you put the blocks together.  So though progress has been slow, it's been moving along in the background.  

So what am I going to do for September?  Once Mon Ami goes out for quilting, I want to focus on Back to Square One and see if I can get caught up on all the clues.  Then there are 3 other projects, I'd like to make some progress one.  Christmas Angels and Road to Brenham are new projects started in the last two months.  Scrappy Stars is my oldest UFO.  Scrappy Stars got put away while I worked on finishing up several quilts that needed to done back in May.  I'd really like to make some progress on it this month.  Here are my September goals:

1.  Mon Ami
     Make backing
     Send out for quilting

2.  Back to Square One
     Finish Clue 5
     Finish Clue 6
     Finish Clue 7
     Finish Clue 8
     Finish Clue 9

3.  Neutral Gems
     Make 5 blocks

4.  Scrappy Stars
     Make 5 blocks

5.  Christmas Angels
     Make 9-4 patches

6.  Road to Brenham
     Make 32 HSTs

Is it doable?  Probably not, but I'm sure I can make some progress on each project and that's really the whole point.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

15 Minute Challenge - Learn Something

Sadly the holiday weekend has come to an end.  I was fortunate enough to get to spend most of Monday in my sewing room after doing some serious deep cleaning around the house during the weekend.  I'd been neglecting the house a bit, but now the more "public" rooms are at least presentable should someone drop by.  

Last week was a pretty good one on the sewing front.  I managed to spend 5 out of the 7 seven days stitching for at least 15 minutes. 

Mon Ami became a finished flimsy last week and with the marathon sewing session yesterday, the back is almost assembled. So hopefully it will be ready to send out for quilting before the end of this week.  I probably shouldn't be too optimistic on that front, we have two home volleyball games, a volleyball tournament, a church youth group dinner and swim team tryouts this week.  I'm not likely to get much more than 15 minutes in the sewing room on any of those nights.  Some weeks are just that way.  

It's already September, which means we are three quarters of the way through this year's effort to foster creativity.  This month's theme is "learn something new every day".  The more you know, the more resources you have to solve problems in your quilting and in the non-quilting part of your life.  If you solve those non-quilting problems quickly, you have more time to stitch.  Works for me.  We'll definitely explore resources for learning something new about quilting with maybe one post focused on non-quilting stuff just so we stayed balanced.  

That's it for this week.  If you had a chance to get some stitching in or even if you didn't, link up and share how your week went.  

1. Pat

2. Julie in GA

3. Kate

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I worked hard most of the weekend to get some much needed house cleaning done.  My reward for all that hard work is to spend all day today in my sewing room.  That's how I'm celebrating Labor Day. 

My Guy did make it home yesterday afternoon. He had to stay in Montana due to a medical emergency that occurred with one of his crew last Friday.   Thankfully everyone is fine.  My Guy took off for a long bike ride this morning.  His way of celebrating Labor Day, though I think he's also planning to make some ice cream later.  Drama Teen is still in bed, though I really should go wake her up so she'll be ready to go to bed tonight.  She's been unwinding by watching movies, instant chatting with her writing group and working on their joint novel.  But today she has to get serious about her bug collection for biology class.  Thankfully she has drafted My Guy to help her with the all the hunting and trapping.  

Mon Ami is now a finished flimsy.  The last of the borders went on Saturday evening.  

Modified from Mon Ami
by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company

This isn't the best shot, but it was cloudy yesterday so I didn't even try to get Mon Ami up on the photo stand for a good picture.  Maybe that will happen this afternoon.  I'm happy with how it turned out.  Now to make the back so it can be sent off for quilting.  
That's it for my design wall.  I'm linking up with Patchwork Times and then I'm going to get busy on making that back.  

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Stash Report Week 35

It's been a slow weekend here so far. Drama Teen is a bit traumatized after 3 weeks of high school, so she slept till 11 AM yesterday.  Going from a school of just 100 kids to one with at least 3 times that many has been a bit stressful on her.  Not to mention daily volleyball practice and all the homework. She's really good with her time management so far and hasn't yet had stay up till midnight working on homework as I've heard from some of the other volleyball mom's has been happening with their daughters.  She was definitely in a better mood after her extended sleep session, so it was apparently much needed.    

My Guy is still in Montana, but he is hoping to make it home today.  There was a medical emergency that put one of his crew in the hospital.  Thankfully it turned out to be nothing serious, but My Guy needed to stay until the individual was released from the hospital and cleared for travel.  My Guy's been gone for over 2 weeks.  DT and I are ready for him to be home. (He's ready to be home too!) 

I did some much needed deep cleaning yesterday morning and then spent the afternoon in the sewing room.  All five borders have been added to Mon Ami, which I'm sure will show up on tomorrow's design wall post.  Most of the outgoing stash was used in those borders.  

Used last week:  1.20 yards
Added last week:  0 yards

Used for 2013:  52.44 yards
Added for 2013:  148.83 yards

Net stashed for 2013:  96.39 yards

There were no additions to the stash in August.  I was so tempted to push a few buttons in response to some of the Labor Day sales on the Web.   However, I remembered my goal  to keep the net stashed below 100 yards for this year.  So I emptied my cart and deleted all those sales emails.  

That's it for my stash report this week.  I'm linking up with Patchwork Times.  Check out all the other tales of the stash posted there.