Friday, January 31, 2014

NewFO - January 2014

The first month of 2014 comes to a close today.  It was a fast and furious month around here.  I'm hoping that February progresses at a more sedate pace.  

Since it is the last day of the month, it's time to link up with Cat Patches and show off any NewFOs that got started this month.

So far this month seems to be the month of the scraps.  I finished the first block of my 2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge project. 

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

I was having so much fun with my blue scraps that starting the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler project seemed like a really good idea.  

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
a quilt along by Angela of SoScrappy

I've got the first 5 blocks completed and number 6 is lying by the sewing machine. It's rare for me to start more than one project a month, usually there just isn't time. But all those blue scraps were out of the drawers and sorted in piles on the floor.  They were just begging to be used in something.   

That's the new stuff going on in the sewing room for this month.  I haven't decided yet if there will be a NewFO started in February. Most likely there will be, it's just too much fun to start new stuff.   

Monday, January 27, 2014

Design Wall Monday - Mainly Scraps

It was definitely one of those Mondays at our house today.  I fully intended to get a blog post written, but that didn't happen with all the chaos.  

There has been some progress on a few projects.  A few blocks have been added to Celtic Solstice.

Celtic Solstice
Bonnie Hunter Mystery

One additional block for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler is done.

Plus, I finished butterfly block number 2 of what was supposed to have been last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  

 Scrappy Butterflies
Block is available in EQ 7 Block Library

Progress will be slow this week.  There is a swim meet on Tuesday and Saturday.  District Science fair is this weekend.  I'm judging Friday night, My Guy will judge on Saturday.  Drama Teen will also be going on Saturday as Science Fair participation counts as one of the three major projects for her biology class.  This is just going to be one busy week.  

I'm linking up, though it is rather late, with Judy over at Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stash Report: January 26, 2014

It's not exactly been a quiet weekend around the Life in Pieces house.  Drama Teen has been madly working on her science fair project which is due this week.  So in addition to my normal mom duties, I'm her Excel and statistics consultant.  However, I did get to practice the normal mom duties of pressing her dress, acting as hair consultant and taking a few photos as she prepared for her first high school dance. 

Hard to believe the little tom boy who wanted nothing to do with dresses, dress up or anything "girly", would willing put on a formal and wear heels.  When she was 5 she proclaimed that she'd be wearing a tux to her prom because you couldn't have any fun in a dress.  They certainly grow up fast.  

On the sewing front, I did get a bit of stitching done while DT was off at her formal.  So there is a bit out this week.  

Used last week:  0.83 yards
Added last week:  0 yards

Used for 2014:  2.36 yards
Added for 2014:  26.5 yards

Net Stashed for 2014:  24.14 yards

Thankfully there was no new fabric in this week so I can start working towards being back in the black.  I have been diligently deleting all the emails from the on-line fabric companies to avoid any temptation.  So far that's been doing the trick.  Hopefully I can maintain my "no new fabric" path for awhile.  

I'm linking up with Patchwork Times for Stash Report Sunday, hop over there and check out the state of stashes from all over the world.  

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - More True Blue

For some reason this has been one long week.  It's been really cold, which has made any trip outside just miserable.  I can't imagine what it's like trying to get any place in the northern US.  Probably our biggest frustration has been with the high school swim program. There's been some changes with the coaching staff that have left the parents concerned and the kids upset.  The biggest issue for Drama Teen is that as a consequence, practice times and locations keep changing, as does which coach she's supposed to be working with. Thankfully, Drama Teen probably only has two more weeks of active participation.  It's not likely she'll place at regionals, so she's pretty much done after that. 

 I have managed to make it into the sewing room here and there this week.  The Snowball block, block 5 for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler quilt is done. 

Block 6, the Anvil block, is cut out and ready to assemble.  That will probably get done today.  

Last Sunday, the backed up Electric Quilt files were loaded onto the new hard drive.  So I was able to print out paper piecing patterns for 11 scrappy butterfly blocks.  The butterfly blocks were last year's scrap challenge project, but only one block got made, so I'm going to finish those as part of this year's challenge.  Here's this month's block. 

  Scrappy Butterflies
Block is available in EQ 7 Block Library

This butterfly still needs the antennae added, but the piecing is all done.  I really like the spider web fabric used for the upper wings.  I'm not sure where it came from.  While scrounging around in my blue fat quarters drawer looking for partially used fat quarters, I came across a set of fat eighths that I don't remember acquiring.  Any plans I had for them have long since been forgotten, so those fat eighths have been added to the blue scraps.  

I've really enjoyed playing with my blue scraps this month.  Next Saturday will be a new month and I'm looking forward to seeing what color scraps I get to play with in February.  Check out Soscrappy for more true blue scrappy fun.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Design Wall Monday - CS and RSCS Progress

Monday morning always seems to come as a bit of a shock, especially after having a three day weekend.  It's just hard to switch gears from the home front back to the stuff going on in the office.  

Having Friday off meant that I got in some significant stitching time.  Progress was made on Celtic Solstice.

Celtic Solstice
Bonnie Hunter Mystery

I've got pieces made for several more blocks, so this should grow a bit more over the next week.  

In order to make a bit a dent in my scraps, I started the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler being offered by Soscrappy as part of this year's challenge.  


I'm having fun playing with my scraps.  Sampler block 5 is cut out and partially assembled.  I also finished the Inverted Star block which is the original project I had in mind for the RSC this year.  It's also this month's planned NewFO project.  

Inverted Star (available from Craftsy,
from Common Threads  

Mon Ami is January's UFO.  The label got made this weekend and the binding is sewn to the front, and I've started stitching the binding to the back.  

Modified from Mon Ami
by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company

So I'm on track with this month's goals.  It would be nice to end January with a finish.  

That's it for what's going on in my sewing room.  There's more January progress posted over at Judy's Patchwork Times.    

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stash Report - Week 3 of 2014

Where did the last week go?  My Guy and I were talking about that last night.  Nothing special in the schedule this week, but considering that Drama Teen has something going every weeknight we still did a lot of running. 

We took Friday off and I spent it in the sewing room.  Not all of it was stitching time.  I made the label for Mon Ami.  I hope to get the binding sewn to the front of that quilt today and then work to get it sewn to the back before the end of the month.  It would be nice to start the year off with a finish.  Work continued on Celtic Solstice and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler so there is some fabric out.  But as I mentioned last week, Connecting Threads brought back their Rhapsody of Reds line this year.  I didn't buy it last year and then kicked myself that I hadn't.  So I broke down and bought some of both Rhapsody of Reds and Rhapsody of Blues.  

I bought some yardage to go with the fat quarters and that's what is really going to hurt the stash report. My favorites from this collection are these two. 

No idea what I'm going to make with these two fabric lines, but I'm sure something will come up where these fabrics will be just perfect. 

So here's the stash report.

Used last week: 0.92 yards
Added last week: 26.5 yards

Used for 2014: 1.53 yards
Added for 2014: 26.5 yards

Net stashed:  24.97  yards

If I don't buy anything else, I should be back in the black before mid year.  I've been deleting all the fabric shop news letters to avoid any more temptation.  I do love both of these fabric lines and Connecting Threads prices are really reasonable, so I'm not at all sorry they got added to the stash.  I just need to work really hard at getting some of the older fabrics out so I can make room for the new.  

Check out how everyone else is faring with their own stash battles over at Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Week Two of Something Blue

My Guy and I were off work yesterday.  My day was spent in the sewing room, his was spent making beer.  The whole house smelled like someone was making pretzels.  Today I'm taking Drama Teen and three of her friends out for lunch then to the ice skating rink as a delayed birthday celebration for Drama Teen. We had planned this outing for last weekend, but one of the girls had state chorus and another had a debate tournament. This is one busy group of girls. 

I can't say the blue scraps are flying out of the bin, but three more Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler blocks did get assembled.  

Roman Stripes

Attic Window
Patience Corner

These little blocks have been fun to make, they certainly are fast and easy.  Especially when compared to the Inverted Star block.

Inverted Star (available from Craftsy,
from Common Threads  

This didn't go together smoothly. I'm debating doing a bit of un-sewing to see if I can get rid of some of the puckers.  In addition to all of above blocks, I did get started on paper piecing this month's scrappy butterfly block.  No pictures yet, hopefully there will be one next week.  

I'm enjoying playing with my scraps.  I still have a lot of cutting to do to get them all organized, but progress is being made there too.  That about covers my adventures with scraps this week.  Hop over to Soscrappy for links to more scrappy tales.    

Monday, January 13, 2014

Design Wall Monday

It was a slow weekend around here for a change.  My main goal was to get caught up on laundry.  The piles had gotten a big large since we were gone for a lot of the holiday, then I got sick when we got home.  The piles are much smaller this morning, so we'll have clothes to make it through the week.  I managed to fit in a bit of stitching both days this weekend, though from what's up on design wall you can't tell much happened.  

All the pieces of Celtic Solstice are sewn into blocks.  

Celtic Solstice
Bonnie Hunter Mystery

It doesn't look much different than last week in the picture.  I need to cut some more pieces in order to finish more blocks.  

Scrappy Stars has been my leaders and enders project for the last few months.  One more star was finished this weekend. 

Folk Art Christmas Stars
by Robyn Pandolph

Only 2 or 3 more stars left to make for this project and I can start setting them together.  Scrappy Stars is my oldest UFO.  It would be nice to finish it this year.  

In between stitching on the machine, I've been pressing fabric and cutting scraps.  I'm determined to get my sewing room better organized this year.  I'm hoping that getting all my fabric where I can see it will make it easier to resist purchasing any more.  

That's it for what's new on my design wall.  Check out all the other cool design walls over at Patchwork Times.   

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Stash Report - Week 2 of 2014

Hard to believe it's almost mid January.  It seems like the month just got started yesterday.  There's not much sewing going on so far.  I was sick for the first few days of the New Year, then work started along with Drama Teen's stuff.  She had a swim meet on Tuesday and then we went shopping for a formal for an upcoming dance on Friday.  So the week was pretty much shot.  

Some of the time that has been spent in the sewing room has been focused on getting the stash organized.  I've done a bit with the scrap drawer.  All the blues have been pulled out and sorted into piles.  I'm slowly cutting them into strips, squares and bricks as I work on my Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler.  

Last year I saw this idea to "file" fabric.  I was looking for a way to make better use of the file cabinet in my sewing room and decided this would be perfect storage for all of my fat quarters.  I've made some progress with the fat quarter filing since last year.  

Not only do I love looking at the rainbow of colors, it's a lot easier to find a given fat quarter when they are stored this way.  

I also really need to tackle the fabric in the "to be pressed" bin.  

If all of that fabric was pressed and waiting on the shelves, it might actually find it's way into a project. 

I did actually use a bit of fabric this week. 

Used last week: 0.14 yards
Added last week:  0 yards

Used for 2014:  0.61 yards
Added for 2014: 0 yards

Net used: 0.61 yards

Nothing in just yet, but I expect my Connecting Threads order will show up soon.  CT reissued their Rhapsody of Reds fabric line recently.  When they issued it the first time, I debated and debated about ordering it.  When I finally decided I wanted it, they didn't have it.  So I ordered it this time. The stash report is going to take a hit, but if delete all the other fabric shop emails, I should be able to get back on track.  

I'm linking up with all the other stash busters (or stash busters wanna be's like me) over at Patchwork Times.   

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Something Blue

The first full week of work after the holidays was a long one.  It takes a while to get the rhythm back.  Add in Drama Teen's crazy school athletics schedule and we were all glad to see the weekend get here.  One good thing that happened this week was getting the lap top back.  The hard drive crashed and burned a couple of weeks before Christmas.  The Easy Tech guys at Staples put in a new hard drive, reloaded the operating system and got MS Office working.   I'm still reloading my other software and rebuilding a few files that weren't backed up, but the most commonly used stuff is just about back to normal. It's nice to be to able to write this blog post from the nice warm recliner rather than the cold office.    

Not as much stitching going on as I would like, but I have made a start on this year's Rainbow Scrap projects.  Most of my scraps are just thrown into the scrap drawer, I've been really bad about cutting and organizing them when a project is finished.  I'm determined to do something with them this year, so I pulled out all the blue scraps and sorted them into piles. 

I don't have a big variety of scraps, but there is definitely some yardage left of a few of them.  I wasn't going to start Angela's Rainbow Sampler, but after seeing the amount of fabric here, it seemed like a good idea to do something with it.  I've only managed to finish the first half square triangle block.  

I hope to make a start on the other blocks sometime this weekend. 

There are two other scrappy projects on the list for this year.  One is to make more of the Butterfly blocks I started last year.  This block is a paper pieced project from Electric Quilt.  I hadn't printed any extra patterns, so I was dead in the water on this one till EQ was re-installed Thursday night.  I'm going to print off patterns for all 11 blocks that I need to make so that should there be other computer problems, that project will not get stalled. 

The second scrappy project for 2014 is to make some Inverted Star blocks.  This pattern is a free download from Craftsy. I've got all the blue half square triangles made. 

So hopefully I'll have some time to play with the lay out, decide on one and then stitch it all up before the end of this weekend.   

That's pretty much it for my adventures with scraps for the last week.  Check out all the other scrappy goodness going on over at Soscrappy.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday Design Wall - Celtic Solstice

Some Monday's are just harder than others.  I'm still dealing with the dregs of that cold I had last week and it's cold outside.  I know it's not as cold here as it is up north, but I'm sitting in our home office with a quilt draped over me because the heat just can't keep up.  I'm not looking forward to heading into work, our building is notoriously cold in this kind of weather.  Drama Teen was supposed to go back to school today, but they've canceled school.  I'm not sure if it's because of the 4 to 6 inches of snow we got yesterday or if the bitter cold caused them to make that decision.  Of course she's delighted to have one more day of holiday break before she starts the second semester.  

Now that the holidays are over, I've had more time to sew.  I made enough progress on Celtic Solstice to be able to put some pieces up on the design wall and check out how well the secondary design shows up.  

It's going to look good.  I'm still not thrilled with the lighter brown, but it looks OK.  It definitely has a southwestern feel to it.  No one at my place has claimed it as their own, so I'm thinking this may be this year's QOV.  

Bonnie is supposed to have one more linky party so everyone can show off how their blocks look together.  I'm also linking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday.  Check out all the eye candy at both blogs, there will be a lot of it.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Stash Report - Week 1 of 2014

It's snowing!

The one to two inches forecast has now turned into more like 5 to 6 inches of accumulation before the end of today.  Thankfully we have no place to go today, so I plan to get some laundry going and then go stitch the day away.  

Now that the holidays are over and I'm over my cold, a sense of normality has returned to the schedule.  I've found time to stitch so have a bit to show in the out column for this week (with nothing in the incoming column, for now at least).  

Used last week: 0.47 yards
Added last week:  0 yards

Used for 2014: 0.47 yards
Added for 2014: 0 yards

Net used:  0.47 yards

So I'm in the black for the first time in a long while.

To check in how everyone else is doing with their clean slate, check out all the links over at Patchwork Times.    

Friday, January 3, 2014

Something Old, Something New - January 2014

Lynn over at Never Too Hot to Stitch has a new monthly challenge for 2014, Something Old, Something New.  

Never too hot to Stitch!

I'm a day late with my post, but it's been a bit crazy here the past day or so.  Drama Teen was scary sick yesterday.  She wasn't able to keep food down or stay awake.  She slept pretty much 20 hours straight.  Thankfully by lunch time today she started showing an appetite as well as the ability to keep down what she'd eaten.  Now that I'm not worried, I can think to write a post.  

The "something old" part of the challenge is to work towards completing a UFO.  My definition of a UFO is anything that was started more than a year ago.  I definitely have a few of those.  This month I want to get the binding and label sewn on to Mon Ami.  

 Mon Ami
by Miss Rosie's Quilt Company

The binding is all made, I just need to trim up the quilt and then stitch on the binding.  

The "something new" part of the challenge for Lynn is to learn a new skill or technique.  Learning something new is a tall order for me as the schedule is a bit packed.  However, I do want to start a new project this month to go along with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I think that will be my something new for January.  

 Inverted Star by Jessica Boschem available on Craftsy

I want to start this scrappy Inverted Star project this month.  I've started cutting the fabrics, it takes a lot of half square triangles. 

That's it for my January "to do" list.  Check out all the other challenge posts over at Lynn's blog

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Celebrate the Past, Anticipate the Future

A lofty blog title isn't it?  Unfortunately I don't think my 2013 accomplishments and 2014 goals really live up to it, but you should start off the new year in the most positive light possible.  That's one of my non-quilt related personal goals this year, be more inclined to see that the glass as half full rather than half empty as my family tells me I'm most likely to do.  So I will celebrate my 2013 accomplishments and look forward to doing even better in 2014 You'll see when you get there that I well may be building 2014 on a house of cards.  (Well darn it, that half full glass stuff is going to be harder to pull off than I thought!) 

For 2013 there were just 3 major goals

  • Finish 10 quilts
  • Start 8 quilts 
  • Manage the stash
I finished five quilts in 2013.  

Two of the five finishes were actually on my "to be finished" list.  There were 8 other quilts on that list that didn't get done.  But the five finishes this year are definitely better than just the three finishes in 2012.  Now that I have momentum on my side, 2014 will be even better.  

Being a faithful follower of Cat Patches' 2013 NewFO Challenge, I started 12 quilts this year.

That's four more quilts than I had planned to start this year, which is also four more than were started in 2012.  I stuck pretty close to my list for 2013, only one quilt on the list wasn't started.  I finished two of the new starts this year, while none of the 2012 NewFOs got finished in 2012.  So even more momentum for 2014. 

Applying the glass half full stance to the Stash Management goals is a bit hard, I didn't meet a single goal.  But I did use more stash in 2013 than I ever have before, so that's definitely a bright spot.  I didn't buy as much fabric as I did in 2012, so there is definite momentum moving into 2014 on that front as well.    

The 2014 goals look a lot like that 2013 goals:

  • Finish 10 quilts (5 UFO's and 5 of the 2013 NewFOs)
  • Start 8 quilts as part of the 2014 NewFO Challenge (list is here)
  • Stash Management
  • Use 75 yards
  • Buy less than I use
  • Organize what I have
 Starting the 8 quilts will be the easiest goal to meet.  Finishing 10 quilts would be a personal best, the most I've ever finished in a single year is 7.  But I'm hopeful, one quilt just needs the binding added, another is pieced and just needs a back, one other has all the blocks made, it just needs to be set.  I'm joining Lynn's "Something Old, Something New" challenge for 2014.  I'm not too sure about the something new part of the challenge, but I am going to use the something old part of the challenge to keep me motivated to tackle those UFOs. 

I'm linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict's Goal's for 2014 linky party.  Stop by and wish everyone a successful 2014.