Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy 2015: New Beginnings

2014 In Review: Accomplishments and Wishful Thinking

In some ways this year has gone really fast, but there are a few times where the year just seemed to drag.  The year was pretty uneventful till it reached late summer.  In the space of a about a month Drama Teen tore her ACL, then had surgery to repair it. The same day DT fell, we learned that My Guy's mother was terminally ill and we lost her just a few days after DT's surgery.  The holidays were hard this year as my MIL has always played such a big part in them.  As hard as it's been,  her loss reminded us just how precious time is with the rest of the family.  Drama Teen especially learned that lesson and made some significant changes in her approach to spending time with everyone, but especially with her remaining Grandma.  

There have been some bright spots this year as well.  Drama Teen passed her permit test and is learning to drive. 

The learning to drive is probably a brighter spot for DT than it is for us.  It will be nice not to have to jump through hoops and call in favors to get her from point A to point B for volleyball practice and such.  The brightest point in the driving situation for me is that she'll be driving my 11 year old Toyota, so Mom needs to find something else to drive. 

This came home with us on Monday (We were supposed to be just looking, not buying). But it wasn't red.  Our last two cars have been red, my only requirement was that it not be red (well that and that it have all wheel or 4 wheel drive).  My Guy really liked the way this one drove, so that decided it.  

I've also been reflecting on what got accomplished in the sewing room this year.  Quilting is a hobby, one I enjoy immensely, but this year I struggled to get myself into the sewing room.  Maybe I just needed a break this year.  I spent a lot of 2013 sewing on a deadline where I really had to be in the sewing room almost every day.  I was so flush with the victory of having finished 7 quilts in 2013 that when it came time to make goals for 2014, I probably fell victim to a lot of wishful thinking.  It makes for a bit of let down as I review what did get done this year.  

The Plan
1.  Finish 10 quits, 5 UFOs and 5 WIPs
2.  Start 8 quilts
3.  Add only 100 yards of fabric
4.  Use 75 yards of fabric

The Actual
1.  Finished 3 quilts, 2 UFOs and 1 WIP
2.  Started 5 quilts, only one from the list
3.  Added a lot more than 100 yards
4.  Used less than 35 yards

On the bright side, one of the quilts that was finished this year, Scrappy Stars, was the oldest one on the UFO list.  I haven't blogged about that finish yet as I put the final stitches in the binding, then promptly wrapped it up for my Mom.  And though I only started one of the quilts on my "to make list", I can look back and know why none of the others got started.  I'll be less ambitious this year and only add what I'm positive I'm going to start (that's easy as both relate to challenges). 

I added a lot more than 100 yards, but I have a more robust stash now. Of the 5 quilts started this year, there were 2 where all the fabrics were pulled completely from the stash.  That's better in past years where I've had to buy a background or accent fabric because my stash didn't have that color. So hopefully I'm set up this year to do a better job of using the stash and not adding to it as much.  

For the rest of this last day of 2014, laundry ranks as a "have to do".  Other than that, we have plans to go to the gym and get a slight jump on our exercise plans for 2015.  Drama Teen has a church party tonight. My Guy and I will probably watch the ball drop on TV, so there will probably be some slow stitching on tap for this evening.  

Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve.  

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday Archives - Log Cabin Blocks

It's been awhile since I've linked up with Val's Quilting Studio for the Tuesday Archives. 

Val's Quilting Studio

Most of the time I just don't have appropriate archival subject matter to blog about, but probably just as often there hasn't been the time to write the post.  Since I'm off work this week, I was able to do a bit of digging into the blog archives.  Unfortunately there are no log cabin quilts in any of my posts.  The only place any log cabin blocks make an appearance on the blog is as a border in a medallion quilt. 

The pattern is Back to Square One by Judy Laquidara who blogs at Patchwork Times. This was a mystery BOM she hosted in 2013.  There is one more border that includes log cabin blocks mixed with friendship star blocks.  I finished a few of those star blocks before this quilt got put away in favor of working on Bonnie Hunter's 2013 mystery quilt. The last post noting any progress dates from December 2, 2013, so this quilt is definitely on the UFO list.   

Back to Square One is probably the closest to being finished of all my UFOs;  so it's a candidate for my 2015 UFO hit list.   But I have 10 UFOs that are older on the list as well.  So I'm trying to decide between focusing on the older ones first or working on the ones closest to being completed.  How do you decide which UFOs to work on?  

That's it for me today.  Check out Val's Quilting Studio for more archival fun.  

Wordless Wednesday - Bird Watching?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Design Wall Monday and Grand Illusion Progress

Not much stitching got done last week, there was just too much Christmas prep to finish.  We had a nice visit with my family, lots of talking and laughing.  Things finally got back to normal on Saturday and there was some time for playing in the sewing room.  

The first thing that got done was cutting the strips for step 5 of the Grand Illusion mystery.  

Grand Illusion
A Bonnie Hunter Mystery

I finished the four pink/black/yellow 4 patch blocks and made a good start on the blue/yellow 4 patches.  The top blocks are from step 4, that's the only step I didn't have a chance to really make a lot of progress with.  I'm off work all this week, so hopefully I can get caught up there before clue 6 comes out next Friday. 

The other project up on the design wall is the Rainbow Challenge Sampler quilt.  I've been working on adding all the sashing.  

 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
By Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy

I wasn't sure how well all these blocks were going to work with each other, but the black sashing helps unify and highlight each block.  Hopefully this will be a completed flimsy by the end of the week.  

That's it for me this week.  You can find more progress on Grand Illusion over at Bonnie's Quiltville blog.  Design Wall Monday is going on over at Judy's Patchwork Times, pop over there and find out all the stitching that went on over the holiday. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Last Stash Report for 2014

It's hard to believe that this is the last stash report for the year.  I have mixed feelings about that.  This year certainly wasn't a stellar one in terms of busting stash, but I did do a good job of filling in some big holes in my stash with what I bought.  My biggest disappointment is that I didn't use more fabric this year.  December was a pretty lack luster month in terms of usage as you can tell from this week's report.

Used last week:  0.11 yards
Used in December:  1.03 yards
Used year to date:  33.45 yards

The low December numbers are a result of not counting any of the fabric used in the Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion mystery.  I won't count that fabric until all the parts get made into blocks.  At least it will give me a good start to 2015.  But I failed miserably to meet my 2014 goal to use 75 yards of fabric.  I've been tracking fabric usage since 2010. I used less fabric this year than I did in any of the previous 4.  Which is sad considering 2013 was the best year I've ever had for fabric usage.  

But there does seem to be a pattern doesn't there.  Every good year seems to be followed by a poorer year.  Hmm wonder if there is something to that.  So maybe I can hope that 2015 will be better for stash usage than 2014 was. 

Have you decided on stash busting goals for 2015?  I'm still mulling over the results of this year.  But since the New Year is only 3 days away, I'll have to come up with some quilty resolutions soon.  

Check out Patchwork Times to see more reflections on the year's stash usage.  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Year End Review

It's been a whirlwind week.  We had a wonderful Christmas with my family.  Drama Teen decided she needed to spend some time in the kitchen learning to fry chicken. 

Later she donned The Santa Hat to pass out the Christmas gifts, taking a few minutes here and there to open her own. 

She got two sets of Legos for Christmas.  She'll definitely be busy the next few days (so no "I'm bored" complaints till probably about mid-week).  

The holiday definitely put a crimp in my sewing room time. The only stitching that happened was focused on finishing up a Christmas gift, not playing with scraps.  So I don't have any progress to show off.  A review of the year's scrappy play is all I have to post today.  

Angela suggested a sampler as part of the challenge this year.  For the most part I kept up, though will admit to not making all the blocks.  

 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
By Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy

Still there were enough for a good sized lap quilt.  I'm still in the process of getting all the blocks sashed and set together.  

In 2013, Scrappy Butterflies was started as part of that year's Rainbow challenge, but only one block got made.  I did a lot better at keeping up with those blocks this year.

 Scrappy Butterflies
Block is available in EQ 7 Block Library

I have the fabric picked out for the last block, but haven't found time to cut out the pieces and assemble the block.  Hopefully that will get done this next week.

This year's challenge project was to make 12 Inverted Star blocks.

Inverted Star
by Jessica Boschem of Common Threads
available from Craftsy as a free download

Ten of the blocks are completed, one is in progress, but I've yet to decide on the color to be used for the last block.  This is another set of blocks I hope to finish up in the next week.  

Looking ahead, I've picked the block for next year's challenge.  It's one that Angela included in the challenge sampler, Twinkle Star.  Last week I posted 4 different variations of the blocks and got lots of feedback.  I made one more modification based on a couple of comments.  Now I've got 6 versions to decide between.  

Twinkle Star
Tutorial by Angela of Soscrappy

Versions B and C were the most popular last week, with A a close second.  Layouts E and F are the new ones.  Any one of these will look great, which is making it so hard to decide on the final block modifications.  I really want the block to shine, so maybe A, E or F?  Thankfully I still have about a week to decide.  

I'm off work this next week. The plan is to spend the mornings cleaning out closets and the afternoons sewing. A good balance between the need to do and the want to do. It's snowing here at the moment, so I'm going to grab another cup of coffee and check out all the other scrappy projects posted over at Soscrappy.  

Monday, December 22, 2014

Design Wall Monday and Grand Illusion Part 4

On the one hand a lot got done, on the other not lot got done on all things.  In my attempt to make a dent in the mountain of laundry that had piled up when the dryer was out of commission I managed to wrench my back yesterday afternoon.  That slowed me down considerable.  Thankfully after a bit of rest, a couple of sessions with the hot pad and better living through chemistry (Advil is considered almost miraculous in this house), I'm feeling better.  The back is still tender, but at least I can walk fully upright.  

What time that was spent in the sewing room, was spent on getting the binding on Scrappy Stars.  

This is a Christmas gift, so it needs to be finished before Thursday. As of this morning, the binding has been stitched down on 2 corners and on about 2 and a quarter of the sides.  This is a queen size quilt, so it's a big one.  Hopefully I can get this one knocked out today.

Since I've been working so hard on Scrappy Stars, there wasn't much time to work on step 4 of Grand Illusion

I was hoping to have at least one of each block for the design wall, but that just didn't happen.  Here's the progress on the other steps:

I'm really curious to see how all these blocks are going to fit together.  I'm probably not going to get much more done on Grand Illusion until after Christmas.  We have a lot of family stuff starting tomorrow and running through Christmas, so there won't be much time to stitch.  Hopefully by the time clue 5 is released next Friday, I'll be able to spend some time catching up in the sewing room.  

Wishing everyone a happy holiday season no matter what holiday you are celebrating.  And if you don't celebrate this time of year, I hope that you can at least enjoy the goodwill the season generates.  

I'm hoping to have some time today to sit down with a cup of coffee and look at all the progress posted over at Bonnie's Quiltville and see what else people are working on over at Judy's Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Stash Report and Some Slow Stitching

The tree is decorated and the mountain of laundry that piled up while the dryer was out of commission is a bit smaller.  I still have a bit of climbing to do to conquer all the dirty clothes.  So that's on tap for today, along with gift wrapping and some slow stitching.  I'm working on finishing off the binding on Scrappy Stars.

This quilt is supposed to be a Christmas gift, so all that binding needs to get sewn down before Thursday.  The label is made, it just needs to be cut to size and bordered before it can be stitched into place.  I'm hoping to find some time this afternoon to make significant progress on finishing this binding.  

Not a lot of sewing going on this week, it's been competing with holiday preparations and losing in most cases.  The only fabric going out is the binding for Scrappy Stars . 

Used last week: 0.51 yards
Used in December: 0.92 yards
Used year to date:  33.34 yards

The only way I'll make my revised goal of 40 yards out for the year is if the Rainbow Scrap Sampler gets finished and I have time to piece a back.  That may well happen the week after Christmas.  I'm off all week, so I'm hoping for some marathon sewing sessions a couple of days that week.  

Check out more slow stitching over at Kathy's Quilts and more stash reports over at Patchwork times.  

Wishing everyone safe travels this holiday season.

Happy Holidays

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Project - Sidelined

It's hard to believe Christmas is less than a week away.  The preparations for the holiday have pulled me away from the sewing room.  Well, that and things like waiting on the dryer repair man, baking cookies, and standing in line at the post office.  What time I've been in the sewing room has been focused on making progress with Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion mystery.  This weekend the focus will be on getting the binding and label on Scrappy Stars.  It's supposed to be a Christmas gift, so it needs to get done before Tuesday.  

I've done some stitching on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler, but not enough for it to look much different than last week.  I'm still working on the gray Inverted Star. 

Inverted Star
by Jessica Boschem of Common Threads
available from Craftsy as a free download

It needs a few more HSTs and 4 squares before it can be stitched up.  Some of the colors look almost brown in the photo, they look much more gray in real life. 

I've been playing on the computer with the Twinkle Star blocks that are the planned project for next year's challenge.  The aim is to develop a secondary pattern in the quilt.  I wasn't a big fan of all the white space created when the block corners are just white squares, but sashing the blocks and adding corner stones fixes that problem.  

Here are a few other possibilities.  

There is a little bit of time before I have to settle on a final block for next year's challenge.  

That's it for me this week.  Happy Holidays and may all your holiday preparations go smoothly.  You can check out more scrappy projects over at Soscrappy.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mid-Month Report - 15 Minutes to Stitch - December 2014

Back in September I resolved to spend more time stitching.  I was having problems finding the energy to go sew in the evenings, so 2014 hasn't been nearly as successful in terms of quilt finishes as the previous year had been.  So I challenged myself to spend at least 15 minutes in the sewing room each day.  I've found if I can get myself into the sewing room, it typically ends up being more than an hour of stitching time.  

I did really well in October in getting up the stairs and into the sewing room.  November, I didn't do so well.  For December, well lets just say the holiday prep had more of an influence than I expected.  Stitching only happened 7 out of the first 15 days of the month.  That's one day less than I managed during the first 2 weeks of November.

This doesn't bode well for me reaching my goal of 50 yards out by the end of the year.  I'll have to work really hard to find 15 minutes before I start on holiday preparations each night.  Maybe I can finish strong like I did in November.  

How are you doing at finding 15 minutes to stitch this holiday season?  

Wordless Wednesday - The Farm

Monday, December 15, 2014

Grand Illusion - Step III

The holiday madness pretty much dominated the weekend, at least the parts when I wasn't asleep in the recliner.  I'm still feeling a bit under the weather.  Some holiday stuff  got done because it had too.  My Guy's family gifts got wrapped and packaged for shipping.   I signed, addressed and stamped 51 Christmas cards.  That wasn't as bad as it sounds.  Several years ago I set up an Access database with all the addresses.  So each year, all I have to do is update the database, then do a print merge with the Avery address label form set up in Publisher.  So after the cards are signed, I just have to stick the label on the envelope.  So it's better than the days when I hand wrote all the addresses, but it still makes for a lot of peeling and sticking.  Too bad I no longer have a 5 year old who likes to play with stickers.  

Some stitching did get done this weekend in between the holiday prep.  I made some progress with Step 3 of Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion mystery

I have lots of 4-patch strips made, but only managed to get 4 sets sewn together.  Still, that's better than no progress at all.  A few more 4 patches from step 1 and diamond rectangles from step 2 are up on the design wall. 

Drama Teen won't have so much going on this week as after school activities are canceled as it's finals week, so we will not be running as much in the evenings.  But, I need to make a batch of cookies as part of a Christmas present for someone and then wrap a few other gifts.  Hopefully, I'll still be able work in some stitching time here and there during the week.  

I'm linking up with Judy's regular Design Wall Monday post and Bonnie's weekly Grand Illusion post.  One more thing on the to do list is to find some time for a cup of coffee so I can go ooh and aah at what's up on everyone else's design space.  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Stash Report - Week 50 of 2014

It's been a busy weekend, though today is likely to be slower since I seem to be coming down with some type of respiratory infection.  A scratchy throat and achy limbs have pretty much squashed any plans for shopping or housework.  We'll see if I make it to the sewing room this afternoon.  Right now the recliner seems to be a really good location.  Hopefully taking it easy today will nip this stuff in the bud.  

Holiday activities have taken a toll on my stitching time.  Since I've not been able to make it to the sewing room, I've been using the bits and pieces of the time in-between errands to work on next year's quilting goals.  I'd like to finish up the Inverted Star blocks that were this year's Rainbow Scrap project, but deciding on a setting has been difficult.  I started with black sashing, but all that black seems to over power the blocks.  So what if I stick white and go with a scrappy border?

I like the keyboard border better than the black.  

I'm wondering if gray would be a good choice for setting and bordering these blocks.  Obviously a bit more playing in EQ is in my future.  How do you decide on settings?  

I did find some time to get in the sewing room, though it doesn't look like it amounted to much.

Used last week:  0.11 yards
Used in December:  0.41 yards
Used year to date:  32.83 yards

Most of my sewing time has been spent on Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion Mystery.  I'm not counting any of that fabric as out, I usually count fabric out once a block is finished.  Hopefully we'll start assembling the blocks before too long.  That will really help the stash report.  

You can check out other stash management efforts by hopping over to Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Project Progress

Yesterday was a vacation day, though it really didn't feel like one. Probably because I spent the morning waiting for a service guy to come look at the dryer.  Of course he couldn't fix it, he had to order the parts.  So I'll spend my vacation day next Friday waiting on someone to come and actually fix the dryer.  

I did manage to get in some stitching time yesterday afternoon.  Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion Mystery has taken center stage at the machine, but bits and pieces of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects have passed under the needle.  I finished the black Inverted Star block earlier this week.

 Inverted Star
by Jessica Boschem of Common Threads
available from Craftsy as a free download

I'm really happy with how it turned out.  The gray Inverted Star is partially assembled, hopefully I'll get that one done this week. 

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler has seen some progress too.  

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
By Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy

I'm more than half way done with the sashing and I like how the top is coming together.  Not sure what I'll do for the border.  The easiest option is to do a narrow black border, which at this point is most likely what will happen.  

Both the Scrappy Butterfly project and the Inverted Star project need one more block each.  I have the fabrics picked out for the final Butterfly block, but am still trying to decide between beige neutrals or prints with a lot of white in the background.  The whites will probably not make for a crisp star, so the beige neutrals are probably the better option.  

That's it for me this week.  Check out Soscrappy for more fun scrappy projects.  

Monday, December 8, 2014

Grand Illusion Step II

Even a three day weekend wasn't enough to get everything done. But My Guy and I made a serious dent in the Christmas gift list, the tree is up and the lights are on it.  Drama Teen and friends are going to add the ornaments sometime this week.  Next weekend will be all about getting the Christmas cards addressed and hopefully mailed, plus getting stuff wrapped. 

I did manage to sneak up to the sewing room a few times this week. Six step 2 blocks of Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion mystery ended up on the design wall as a result.

The design wall has a whole lot more of the step 1 blocks on it after having a full week to work on those. 

That's it for me this week.  I'm off to check out all the other Grand Illusion variations at Quitville, and then see what else is up on design walls over at Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stash Report - Week 49 of 2014

Week 49?  Just three weeks left in the year.  That doesn't seem right, but the calendar doesn't lie.  Other than starting on Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion mystery, time in the sewing room has been directed at finishing up the blocks for three Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects.  Since 2015 is right around the corner, I've been giving some thought to next year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  One possibility is to make a whole quilt of the Twinkle Star block.  Angela included that block in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler and I really liked it.  After playing around with EQ, a couple of layouts have come to mind.  Here's one.  

Half square triangles were added to the star blocks to set up a secondary pattern.  The other version has no HSTs and no sashing.  I didn't get it all colored in so I'm not showing that version.  The block would finish at 6", so I'm thinking of either a 8 x 9 with sashing or a 9 x 10 without sashing.  So I'd need between 72 and 90 blocks.   I'd like a few two colored blocks, so a few blocks each month may be that month's color plus last month's color.  Or maybe I'll find some formula to pick the accent colors from the color wheel.    At any rate the final quilt will probably look vastly different, but I'm pretty sure the Twinkle Star block is going to be my 2015 Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  

Obviously, I've been playing on the computer rather than stitching.  Even so I do have a bit going out this week.

Used last week:  0.51 yards
Used in December:  0.30 yards
Used year to date:  32.72

My numbers don't include the fabric that's been used for the Grand Illusion mystery. I'll count that once the pieces get made into blocks.  So hopefully, I'll see a big surge in the out numbers before the end of the year.  

Linking up with Patchwork Times for the weekly stash report once she has it posted.    

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Wrapping Up

Where did the week go?  It seems like it was just Saturday and here it is Saturday again.  Drama Teen caught a cold this week and was miserable for a couple of days. I've been fighting off the symptoms with lots of rest and cold remedies.  So far, so good, but it definitely has affected my stitching time. 

I've made progress on getting all the Rainbow sampler blocks sewn together, but I forgot to take a picture of my progress before the next row was taken down so the sashing could be added.  Those blocks are still laying by the sewing machine waiting to be stitched.  

The 11th butterfly block is finished.

Scrappy Butterflies
Block is available in EQ 7 Block Library

I wasn't sure about using the gray, but it turned out nicely.  I really like the fabric in the upper wings.  Block 12 will be mainly white. Since the background fabric is a light blue, that should work out OK.  I hope to get that one made this weekend.  

I've been playing with setting possibilities for the butterfly blocks.  This is the current front runner. 

I like the Irish Chain setting, but am not certain about the border fabric.  This one may be too light.  I tried dark borders, but didn't like them as well. If I switch to white as the second color in the Irish Chain blocks, the border fabric seems to fit better.  

Which one do you like best?   Any other suggestions?  

That's it for me this week.  Check out all the other scrappy fun posted over at Soscrappy.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tuesday Archives - Layer Cake Quilts

I'm a bit late linking up today, I had to leave early this morning to take the car to the shop and wasn't able to wait till Val had her Tuesday Archive post up.  It's been awhile since I've had a project that fits into the weekly theme of the Tuesday Archives.

Val's Quilting Studio

Though I'm not sure it's exactly wise to share this particular piece of my quilting history.  I've only made one quilt using a layer cake.  Moose on the Porch offered a Layer Cake Quilt Along starting in September of 2010.   I had a layer cake that had been purchased for a special project, but I ended up not using it.  So this quilt along seemed ideal to make use of that left over layer cake. I don't remember the fabric line, but it was one of those that had a lot of color lines that didn't necessary all play together really well.  But I was game. 

Layer Cake Quilt Along
Moose on the Porch Quilts

The blocks aren't too bad, though some of them don't really have enough contrast.  But I think it was the border fabric that led the whole project astray.  That border print was one of the fabrics in the layer cake, so I just assumed it would work.  The narrow teal borders work and had I used more of that color, it would have calmed the quilt down.  Oh well, live and learn.  

This top hasn't been quilted.  I was saving it to practice my free motion quilting on since I wouldn't be upset if the quilting wasn't perfect.  It has lain in the "to be finished" pile for the last 4 years, so it's probably time to use the left over layer cake pieces to make the back and then get if off the pile. 

That's it for my dive into blog history.  For more archives, check out all the posts over at Val's Quilting Studio.  

Wordless Wednesday - Nature's Christmas Decorations

Monday, December 1, 2014

Grand Illusion on the Design Wall

It's back to work today after a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday.  I'm not looking forward to getting back into the groove, there's a report due and I'm supposed to give a talk at the safety meeting in a couple of weeks.  There definitely won't be a lack of things to do this week.    

We were visiting family until late Saturday afternoon.  It was early evening before I was able to get into my sewing room to start on Bonnie Hunter's newest mystery quilt along.  

By the end of Sunday, I had finished about 36 of the pink/teal HSTs and put together 8 of the four patch units. These are definitely bright blocks.   I'm using yardage rather than scraps.  The only way I could defend starting a new project was if it helped bust some stash. Only the teal had to be purchased, all the rest is from the stash.  

Grand Illusion
a Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt Along

These are easy to sew, so I hope to have a bunch more finished by the time Friday gets here.  I've decided to make my version 3/4 the size of Bonnie's.  That means I need 75 of these 4 patch blocks, so only 67 left to make.  

I'm looking forward to seeing all the versions of Grand Illusion posted over at Quiltville.  I'm also linking up with Design Wall Monday over at Patchwork Times.   

November Review - 15 Minutes to Stitch

I love to stitch patchwork, but for some reason my recliner's gravitational pull requires such an effort to reach escape velocity that I rarely make it upstairs to play.  To motivate myself, it seemed wised to revamp a challenge that has worked for me in the past.  Hence the 15 Minutes to Stitch came into being.

The goal is to spend just 15 minutes in the sewing room each day. Usually once I make it up there, its easy to stay for much longer than 15 minutes.  But I have to get there first, there seem to be all kinds of reasons not to leave the recliner.  Maybe I need to put my lap top someplace else that's not as comfortable?  Hmm I'll have to give that some thought as November wasn't as productive as it could have been. 

Only 16 days with stitching in November compared to the 26 days in October.  December is going to be a challenge as there is a lot of other holiday stuff that goes on.  I'll just have to be diligent about finding just those 15 minutes.  Maybe Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt along will keep me pumped up enough to do better in December.  

So how did you do at finding time to stitch this month?   I sincerely hope you did much better than 16 days.  

1. Thea

2. Julie in GA

3. Amanda

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

November's last stash report and a NewFO

It's been a busy week.  Lots of cooking, visiting, driving, and even a bit of stitching went on at various times.  The weather was a little chilly to start off the holiday week, but it has been absolutely gorgeous the last couple of days. We drove out to the family farm on Friday and walked pretty much the whole afternoon since it was so nice.  I'm always surprised by the bright pops of color you can find during the winter if you look for them. 

Wild Rose Hips

Friday was also the start of the new Bonnie Hunter mystery.  I wasn't able to get back into the sewing room until last night and then there was only an hour or so before bed time.  I had to press out the pink fabric before cutting any strips, so only 6 HSTs got finished.

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt 
a sew along by Bonnie Hunter

I'll have time in the sewing room this afternoon to make some more progress on the HSTs.  Hopefully I'll get a few of the 4-patch blocks made before before bed time tonight.  Grand Illusion is my NewFO for November. Nothing like getting a project in just under the wire.  

I haven't started counting the fabric used for Grand Illusion yet, not that it would amount to much.  However, I did manage to finish up a few blocks for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects, so there is a bit of stash going out this week.  

Used last week:  0.64 yards
Used in November:  3.67 yards
Used year to date:  32.21 yards

I need to use about 8 yards of fabrics in the next 31 days to make my revised goal of using 40 yards.  I'd better stay on track with my 15 minutes of stitching time each day or I don't have a chance of making it.  

You can see other NewFOs over at Cat Patches and more stash reports over at Patchwork Times.  Happy stitching!