Friday, October 31, 2014

NewFO Challenge - Spooky Version

The scariest thing going on here is the prospect of 5 teenage girls watching horror movies into the wee hours.  Drama Teen and her friends are having a sleep over here tonight.  I'm sure it will be a chillin' time, though resting in peace is probably not a likely outcome.  

Another scream worthy happening is that I have a NewFO to report on, the first since last March.   The focus this year has been on getting UFOs off the list since it has grown to include twenty one projects.  But I couldn't resist this one.  Amanda over at Sea Breeze Quilts is teaching a class of new quilters and is sharing the sampler pattern, Chocolate Marshmallows, she's using for the class.  Her suggested colors were brown and pink.  The blocks are available for free download for 30 days after they are posted, after that they are available for purchase them from Amanda's Etsy store.  

I've always wanted to make a brown and pink quilt.  Plus the end of this year is all about using up the stash.  There are a few well aged pinks and browns in the stash, so it just seemed to make sense to make this sampler.  Four blocks have been posted so far, but I've only finished the first two.  

Blocks 3 and 4 are cut out and are in various states of assembly.  I'm off work today, so hopefully there will be some time in the sewing room this afternoon so I can finish those off.  

Have a very happy Halloween. I'm linking up with the cat-alyzing hostess of the NewFO challenge, Cat Patches.  Check out the terrifying beauty of all the new projects posted there.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Let's Book It Challenge - October Update

Hard to believe it's almost the end of the month already and time to report on the progress with all the fun challenges I took on this year.  Today it's the progress for the Let's Book It Challenge.

With all the quilting books lined up in my bookcase,  this challenge just made sense.  Dust off a book or one of those million quilt magazines stacked on top of the bookcase, find a pattern and make it.  So far there is only one project to show for my participation in this challenge, Poinsettias from the December 2013 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.

This has been my leaders and enders project for 2014.  The blocks and pieced sashing are made from 6 smaller units.  I did finally get enough of the smaller pieces made to at least see how my fabrics work in the block. 

With the end of the year looming it seemed to be a good time to take stock of where things are.  

Sub unit  1
24 done
48 more needed

Sub unit 2
48 done
24 more needed

Sub unit 3
12 done
48 more needed

Sub unit 4
20 done
40 more needed

 Sub unit 5
4 done
9 more needed

Sub unit 6
4 done
8 more needed

Looks like this will be my enders and leaders project for a while longer.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Design Wall Monday - Chocolate Marshmallows

This morning it feels like another weekend just went "poof".  I'm not really ready for another Monday, but at least I only have a 4 day work week to contend with.  My Guy and I are taking off Friday.  Not sure what we will be doing, other than a bit of grocery shopping for snacks since Drama Teen is hosting a Halloween sleep over party.  Five girls and a pile of scary movies, it should prove interesting.  

It's been slow going in the sewing room.  It feels like there has been more action going on with the rotary cutter than at the machine.  Though I realized last night I've got more block parts cut out than I really have space to work with.  Hopefully that means more stitching this week.  

The back for Scrappy Stars is still up on the main design wall.  Other than getting a few more of the panels sewn together, it looks pretty much the same.  However, I did finally finish block 2 for the Chocolate Marshmallows stitch along over at Sea Breeze Quilts.  

Chocolate Marshmallow
pattern from Amanda of Sea Breeze Quilts

Block 2 took a bit because I really didn't like how my first fabric selections worked out.  So I changed the color placement in my version and cut new pieces.  I'm pretty happy with how it came out the second time.  Blocks 3 and 4 are cut out, ready to be sewn together. 

That's it for my design wall this week.  Check out Patchwork Times to see more of design wall Monday.   

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Stash Report - Week 43 of 2014

The calendar says it's fall, but you sure couldn't tell that from the temperatures yesterday.  The high was 88 F, so it fell more like summer than fall.  The majority of the trees are still green, if you look hard you can see a few that have put on their fall colors.  But there is one thing that assures me it really is fall, the change in the morning and afternoon light.  It's softer and more golden, absolutely perfect for photography. 

Which is what I did yesterday rather than spend time in the sewing room.  We made the trek to Tulsa to run a few errands and do some much needed shopping in the morning.  The afternoon was dedicated to walking in the park along the Arkansas River with our cameras.  The light was just gorgeous.  

As I said in yesterday's post, this week has been a bit of a zoo.  I did get in some stitching early in the week, but not much the later half.  Here's this weeks stash reduction report:

Used last week: 1.96 yards
Used in October:  5.14 yards
Used year to date:  25.91

My goal of using at least 1.5 yards per week was met, even with the lack of time in the sewing room.   As sad as it is, the 5 yards out this month is my second best for the year.  I'm going to need to get busy if I want to make my revised goal of at least 40 yards out by the end of December.  

That's it for me this week.  There are more stash stories posted over at Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Stalled Out on Browns

How did it get to be Saturday again?  It's been such a long week, I'm thinking it should still be Friday, maybe even Thursday.  In addition to being long, it was busy.  We had an appointment one night to meet with the swim coach to see about getting Drama Teen back into the swim program.  That's not going to work, she's still in physical therapy.  Then I had to work late two nights this week.  So my stitching time has been a bit limited this week.  I only finished one more of the brown blocks this week. 

  Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
By Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy

The cat block is about half sewn together and the Inverted Star block is moving along, but that's it.  Hopefully I'll get more done this weekend.  

Check out all other browns, blacks and gray blocks over at Soscrappy.

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Pieces of a Rainbow

It's time for the fall version of the Blogger's Quilt Festival sponsored by Amy's Creative Side.

My entry for the ROYGBIV category got started as a request from my daughter, Drama Teen, to make this pattern, Jigsaw by Alyssa Clancy,

in rainbow colors as a bed size quilt for her room.  Here's what came out of that request.   

It took a couple of years for me to gather up the fabrics for this quilt.  Even then there was an awful lot of switching in and out of fabrics as I got to the bottom rows.  Getting the color change to flow from the orange to the red-violet from upper left to lower right as the shades moved from lighter to darker from left to right was probably more of challenge then I was really ready for.  The whole fabric selection process was an education in color theory.  I'm still not sure I got the flow quite right, but Drama Teen loves it, so it works.  

The quilting was done by Trudy Lindemann, who never disappoints.  She varied the thread colors to match the colors in the quilt. 

The free hand flowers echo the quilt back and look just as good on it as they do the front.

The colors in the backing fabric match the colors on the front and it has the same shifts in color as on the front, so it worked really well.  
 Hand stitching the binding for Drama Teen's rainbow quilt was completed a few days after she'd had knee surgery to repair a torn ACL that ended her high school volleyball season just a week before their first game.  She told me that the quilt reminded her that even while she was hurting, that she was loved.  Her quilt felt like one big hug from Mom when she most needed it.  

This quilt goes pretty much everywhere with her.  So I'm pretty sure it will be well loved.  That's the best gift she could give me.  

There's a lot of eye candy over at the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I'm going to go get a second cup of coffee and indulge in the best quilt show one can enjoy from the comfort of your recliner.  Thanks for stopping by my entry.  Enjoy the rest of the posts.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Design Wall Monday - Front to Back

It was a relaxing four day weekend.  Sunday afternoon was spent in the sewing room, but I did a lot more cutting than I did stitching.  That's OK, all the cutting sets me up to be able to do a lot of stitching during the week when the time in the sewing room is typically a lot shorter.  

Scrappy Stars is finally off the design wall, it's a finished flimsy now.  

Pattern is Folk Art Christmas Stars
by Robyn Pandolph

I'm happy with how it turned out.  Scrappy Stars is my oldest UFO, started 11 years ago.  It will feel really good to get this one off the list.  

The design wall isn't empty even though Scrappy Stars is a finished top, I've got the pieces of the back up there now.  


The reds, blacks and greens were used in the top, the light fabrics were originally intended to be the backgrounds for the star blocks.  But after making a few blocks, I realized the printed backgrounds would muddy up the stars.  At that point I switched to tone on tone neutrals for the star backgrounds.  The back will use up a lot of the left over fabrics, so other than a few scrappy strips, these will be out of the stash and into a quilt.  

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Stash Report - Week 42 of 2014

This is the last day of a four day weekend for me.  Drama Teen was out of school for fall break so I took a few days off to hang out with her.  Since My Guy was back in Montana, it was pretty much a girls weekend.  We hung out with my Mom and my niece, had a great time.  It was Krispy Kreme for breakfast yesterday morning.

Yum!  DT also met up with some cool dudes who were making sure the donuts were not haunted.

It's been 30 years since the movie Ghost Busters was released.  When I asked DT if she'd seen the movie she said no, she had seen them on an episode of Scooby Doo.  Sometimes that child really makes me feel old.  

We didn't get home till late last night, so I didn't get any stitching in yesterday.  Fortunately, I had done some stitching earlier in the week.  

Used last week:  1.59 yards
Used in October:  3.18 yards
Used year to date:  23.94 yards

Definitely a good week compared to most others this year.  My goal is to use 1.5 yards per week so I can claim at least 40 yards out of the stash by the end of the year.  

That's it for my report this week.  For more stash stuff, check out the posts on Patchwork Times

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Playing with Browns

It's a good thing I have a calendar on my phone.  I've been off work since Thursday so my date sense has been thrown off a bit.  The calendar says it's Saturday, my head thinks it's Monday since I've had the last two days off.  It's fall break in this part of the country, so I took off a couple of days to hang out with Drama Teen.  She and I headed out yesterday for a short visit with my family.  We'll do a little shopping today and then attend a college volleyball game late this afternoon.  After that we'll head home to see My Guy who couldn't come because he had to head out of town last week. 

I did get some stitching in on Thursday, but most of my time in the sewing room was working out how to make a scrappy back for Scrappy Stars.  So there wasn't a lot of stitching, but there was enough to finish the first brown block for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler.

 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
By Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy

And the brown Scrappy Butterfly block was finished a bit earlier in the week.  

 Scrappy Butterflies
Block is available in EQ 7 Block Library

The next two brown sampler blocks have been cut out and are partially constructed, so I'm farther along than it seems.  Though progress on the brown Inverted Star has been a bit slow.  

That's it for scrappy progress this week.  I need to go shower so DT and I can breakfast at the Krispy Kreme place before it becomes a mad house.  It may be tomorrow before I can check out all the other scrappy progress posted over at Soscrappy.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Finding Time to Stitch - Mid Month Report and Linky

Last month I took a look at my quilting goals for the year and realized that I was not making much progress on them.  There are lots of excuses reasons why I'm not making progress, but it basically comes down to the fact that if I'm not in the sewing room, progress doesn't happen.  So for the rest of 2014 I've committed to spending at least 15 minutes a day in my sewing room.  

The other part of the challenge is reporting on my progress.  I'm much more likely to stick with it if I have to report on my progress, or lack thereof, here on the blog.  For the first 15 days of the month I did pretty well. 

The sewing room saw some activity every day for the first half of the month.  Sometimes it was just the 15 minutes, sometimes it was a couple of hours.  Have I seen any progress on my goals?  
  • Scrappy Stars is a finished flimsy
  • a layout for the pieced back has been worked up in EQ
  • Chocolate Marshmallows was started
  • Finished Septembers Inverted Star block, started Novembers
  • Started the blocks for Novembers's Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
  • Used more fabric in half the month than I did in most full months this year
  • Pulled stash fabric for Bonnie Hunter's 2014 winter mystery quilt.

So it's been a good month so far and it's only half over.  

Have you been making good use of your sewing room this month?  If like me, you are more motivated to stick with a commitment if you know you have to come clean with your progress you can link up below and share your success and/or your struggles finding time to stitch. 

1. Jo ButterZ
2. Julie in GA
3. Val
4. FABBY: Halloween Tea Party with my G'girls
5. Amanda Bergamin
6. Kate @ katiemaequilts

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

Monday, October 13, 2014

Design Wall Monday - BOMs

The weekend was cold and damp, absolutely perfect for spending time in the sewing room.  Other than some laundry and a spot of housekeeping, that's where I spent most of my weekend.  I did play editor for a bit yesterday.  Drama Teen had to write a speech for English and wanted an audience for a few practice rounds.  

Scrappy Stars just needs one more border before it's a finished flimsy.  No pictures of it today, the last 6.5" border makes it too big to photograph in my sewing room.  I've been playing around with names for this one, Luminous Stars is my current front runner, with Elegant Stars the current runner up. 

Other than Scrappy Stars, the design wall doesn't have much on it.  The September Inverted Star block was finished yesterday.

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

It's definitely bright.  

Since I've finished two quilts, with a third almost ready to send out for quilting, I gave myself permission to start a new project.  Amanda over at Sea Breeze Quilts is teaching a beginners class at her local quilt shop, but is also sharing the blocks on her blog for one month so others can sew along.  The blocks are posting on the 15th of the month, so you still have a couple of days to get the instructions for blocks 1 and 2.  My version of block 1 is almost done.

Chocolate Marshmallow
pattern from Amanda of Sea Breeze Quilts

The pink is a bit brighter than it shows in the picture.  I've always wanted to make a brown and pink quilt, so it was just too hard to resist starting this one.  It's going to be a good stash buster too, I noticed while I was cutting out the dark pink fabric for the second block that the selvage had a date of 2007 on it.  I'm pretty sure most of the fabrics for this project date from about the same time, except for the pink in the block above, it was purchased last year.  

That's it for me this week.  Check out Patchwork Times for more design walls.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stash Report - Week 41 of 2014

It's been cold and dreary this weekend.   But it's not been so cold as to keep the roses from adding spots of color to the gray days.  

It's been a good weekend to spend in the sewing room.  Though I've spent more time this weekend cutting fabric than I have stitching it.  Still I have a bit to count as going out of the stash. 

Used last week:  0.93 yards
Used in October:  1.59 yards
Used year to date:  22.36 yards

Hopefully all the cutting this weekend will mean more fabric out next week.  

For more states of the stash, check out Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - More Autumn

The temperatures dropped into the low 60's as the high yesterday; a sure sign that autumn is here.  The trees haven't caught up with the temps just yet, many are still green.  However the Sumac and Virginia Creepers are already showing off their fall finery. 

In addition to my efforts to spend at least 15 minutes stitching each day, I've also been trying to get outside and walk each evening after work.  I've been more successful with the stitching goal than the walking goal.  Schedules around here are still a bit crazy with end of year projects at work and Drama Teen still in physical therapy.  

Even though I've been making it to the sewing room for a bit each evening, not much actual stitching has happened.  Before I could start this month's brown Inverted Star block, I had to cut more white squares.  The pieces for the butterfly block had to be cut out as well. I've made progress with the butterfly block, but forgot to get a picture of it.  So all I have to show for scrappy progress is the Inverted Star blocks.

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

Last month's block is almost all stitched together and the beginnings of this month's brown block are up on second the design wall. 

These blocks are going to need to be set soon.  It takes me forever to decide on a setting, so I started playing around in EQ with possibilities.  

It's a start at any rate, it may be too dark.   I'll play some more later, for now I really need to get going on my Saturday chores.  

For more scrappy fun, check out what's going on over at Soscrappy

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Stitching in 15 Minute Increments

In an effort to get myself back into my sewing room and use up some more fabric, I challenged myself to find at least 15 minutes to stitch everyday between October 1st and the end of the year.  

Next week on the 16th I'll fess up to my success or lack thereof.  It always seems like it's more of a motivator if I have to report on my progress.  There will be a linky party for anyone who is also motivated by having to own up to their progress or lack of.  

So what can you do in just 15 minutes?

  • cut block pieces
  • press a set of seams
  • trim a stack of HSTs
  • cut up your scraps
  • measure a top for the next border
  • pin pieces for stitching

That's what I did last night, I cut one of the borders for Scrappy Stars and pinned it to the quilt top.  It's sitting up in the sewing room waiting for me to wander up and sew up that long seam during my 15 minutes of stitching this evening.  Hopefully my 15 minutes will morph into an hour or so. 

My biggest problem in the evenings is thinking I'm too tired to sew. I will usually wake up once I make it to the sewing room, but convincing myself to shut off the computer and vacate my comfy recliner is often difficult.  Challenging myself to 15 minutes every night starting at 8 PM is often the best way to get me moving into the sewing room. 

What is your biggest challenge to making it into your sewing room on a regular basis?  

Monday, October 6, 2014

Design Wall Monday - More Borders

I'm not ready for it to be Monday. The weekend was so nice, it's hard to gear back up for the chaos of the work week.  We didn't do much, which was pretty much what we had all decided the weekend should be before it got here. 

It certainly seems like not much got done even though I was in the sewing room most of Sunday.  However, most of that time was spent at the cutting table not the sewing machine.  That will pay off this week, but for now there's not much to show off.  The third border for Scrappy Stars has been completed. 

Folk Art Christmas Stars
by Robyn Pandolph

The first side of the fourth border is cut and pinned to the quilt.  I should at least get both vertical sides of that border on tonight.  

I've been calling this quilt Scrappy Stars for years, but that's not the name I want to put on the label. This quilt is intended for my mom, so I'd like to name it something a bit more elegant.  Any suggestions?  

That's it for me this week.  Check out all the other design walls over at Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Stash Report - Week 40 of 2014

Not much going on this weekend.  Drama Teen wants to go to a pancake breakfast this morning, so we'll head that direction in just a bit.  Other than that, nothing else is on the agenda for today.  So hopefully I can spend some quality time in the sewing room. 

The leaves are just starting to put on their fall colors here.

They will be in their full glory in another couple of weeks.  There are enough patches of color to promote the hope that it will be a pretty fall, not one where the leaves turn brown and just fall off.  Maybe by next weekend there will be enough color for some fun photography walks.  

Back to the sewing stuff.  I've been sticking with my goal of spending at least 15 minutes in the sewing room each day.  I had hoped to spend all yesterday afternoon stitching, but my sinuses had other ideas.  Instead I spent most of the afternoon felling feverish and too uncomfortable to stitch much.  I felt a bit better yesterday evening and managed an hour or so in the sewing room.  Still there's not a lot to show going out for this week.

Used last week:  0.94 yards
Used in October:  0.66 yards
Used year to date:  21.43 yards

To make my goal of using 40 yards by the end of the year, I need to use about 6 yards per month or about 1.5 yards per week.  That sounds doable.  

That's it for my stash report this week.  Check out Patchwork Times for more stash reports.  

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Something Old, Something New: UFOs and Scrap Management

Somehow I completely missed the Something Old, Something New post for September.   

Never too hot to Stitch!

Thinking back that would have been posted sometime the weekend Drama Teen had ACL surgery and we had the roof damage that caused water to leak into the sewing room.  Now I know why there wasn't a post for September.  There probably wasn't much to report anyway, so I'll just proceed on to where things are now.  

In terms of something old, Jigsaw finally became a finished quilt.  

Drama Teen has slept with it every night since it's been finished. She obviously loves it.  

Since Jigsaw is all finished up, I pulled out the box holding my oldest UFO and started putting it together.  All the star blocks were finished I just had to cut the alternating blocks and decide on a layout.  It looked like this back in August.

As of tonight, it only needs two more borders added before it will be a finished flimsy.

Pattern is Folk Art Christmas Stars
by Robyn Pandolph

This quilt is intended for my Mother's bed, so it needs to be queen sized.  Hopefully this one will be sent off to be quilted before the end of the month, but at the moment it's my something old for October.  

I had to really think about the something new for September.  I'm still wrestling with getting my stash organized, that includes my scraps.  The Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler quilt has really helped me understand how to make good use of strips that are already cut, so I'm trying to get all the odds and ends into either squares or strips.  My sewing time has been pretty limited and it's not fun to just stand and cut up scraps, but I think I came up with a workable system to "cut as I go".  I've been using this blue bin to hold the color scraps I'm working with. 

At the back of the bin are some plastic bags that I've labeled with the various strip sizes.  

These bags serve two purposes.  At the beginning of the month, I go through my already cut strips and pull out the color I'm working with that month.  As I cut up any odd sized shapes, I sort the newly cut scraps back into these bags.  At the end of the month the strips go back into the the general strip storage, when I pull out the next month's scraps.  This keeps all the action at my cutting table and I'm not running back and forth to my scrap storage putting up or looking for scraps. Plus I know what sizes I have available.  I did a pretty good job of getting most of the orange scraps cut up and stored without it seeming like I spent a lot of extra time cutting and organizing.  

That's my update for last month.  You can see more old and new projects over at Never Too Hot to Stitch.  

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - From Orange to Brown, it's Definitely Fall

Everyone at my house was ready for a weekend.  I asked Drama Teen what she wanted to do this weekend, the response was "absolutely nothing".  Since this weekend is homecoming, the teachers took pity and didn't assign much homework.  After 4 weeks of playing catch up due to her surgery, this is the first weekend in a month that she won't be spending the better part of Sunday on homework.  

We are only three days into the month, but I've managed to get 15 minutes in the sewing room each day so far.  That's my goal for the quarter, to spend at least 15 minutes in the sewing room every day for the rest of the year.  

All of the last month's orange blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler are finished.  

 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
By Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy

I'm still working on all the half square triangles needed for September's Inverted Star block.

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

This one should be finished by the end of the weekend and the brown one for October started. 

All the brown fabrics have been gathered up; now to decide which ones go into this month's butterfly block.

I'm looking forward to a weekend of fun stitching.  Hope you are too.  For more scrappy fun check out all the links over at Soscrappy.