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!   

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Finishing Up

It's the last Saturday in November!  I'm always surprised at how fast the year goes, the next few weeks will fly by even more quickly if past experience holds true.  I spent my time in the sewing room this week trying to finish up this year's Rainbow Scrap Projects.  I'm not there yet, but I made a lot of progress.  

Scrappy Butterflies is actually my 2013 Rainbow Scrap project, but I only made one block in 2013.  The goal is to get all the blocks done this year.  The next butterfly in the series is black.  

Scrappy Butterflies
Block is available in EQ 7 Block Library

There's not a lot of contrast in this one, but I still like it.  I need two more blocks to finish out my set of 12.  Butterfly number 11 will be gray.  That one is  cut out and partially assembled. That leaves the question of what color to use for the last one?  Since the background fabric is a pale blue, I'm hoping there is enough contrast for me to make the last one out of a white tone on tone and a print with a lot of the white background. Hopefully the scrap stash has something that will work.   

Last month's brown Inverted Star block is finally all stitched together.  

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

It turned out nicely, I love all those rich chocolate browns.  I need 3 more Inverted Star blocks to have a set of 12.  Black and gray blocks have been started.  But what color to make the last one?  I've come up with two options; either prints with a lot of white background or pale beige.  At the moment I'm leaning towards the pale beige.  Any other color suggestions for block 12? 

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler needed one more block to complete the 8 x 10 layout.   

Twinkle Star
Tutorial by Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy

The Twinkle Star block caught my fancy.  I like this little block so well that it's on the list as one of the potential scrappy projects for next year's challenge. Now that all the sampler blocks are done, I've started adding the sashing.  

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
By Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy

I really like the black sashing.  My plan is to work from the top and bottom.  That way I'll be able to meet in the middle and sew the two halves together. 

I've really enjoyed playing with my scraps this week.  To see who else has been playing with scraps, check out Soscrappy.  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Design Wall Monday - Back off the Wall

The rain held off till almost dark last night.  It was a wet weekend, though it wasn't as cold as last weekend was.  It's still drier than normal so the wet weekend was welcome, well My Guy would have been more welcoming if he hadn't been on his way home from a bike ride.  Thankfully he got home before the sky really let loose. 

So what do I have to show for my weekend?  Just the back of Scrappy Stars.  It's too big to put it up on the design wall, so it's draped over the cutting table. 

I used up a lot of the left over fabric in the back, including a few fabrics that were bought for the project but ended up not being used.  This quilt is all pressed and packaged to ship to Trudy for quilting.  It always amazes me how long it takes to press everything and get all the loose threads off.  That took most of the afternoon, so not a lot of stitching this weekend.  But I'm off all week, so I should get a bit more done than normal.  

Check out all the other design walls over at Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stash Report - Week 47 of 2014

It's that time of year where holiday activities are starting to compete with my sewing time.  I spent most of my evenings this week working on the photos for our annual calendar.  Between the three of us, we came up with 79 photos we thought were calendar worthy.  It was hard to whittle that down to just 13 shots.  I try to do it so that we each get at least 4 pages, then we all pick what goes on the cover.  Needless to say, I left out a lot of really nice shots.  Like this one from last Christmas. 

I'd forgotten there had been a major ice event here just before Christmas last year.  

Needless to say since I've spent my week playing with photos, I didn't do much playing with fabric and it certainly shows in this week's stash report.

Used last week:  0.05 yards
Used in November:  3.03 yards
Used year to date:  31.25 yards

I'm off all of next week, so hopefully I can spend some significant time in the sewing room this next week.  Bonnie Hunter's 2014 mystery quilt starts on Friday.  I participated for the first time last year and am looking forward to playing along this year.  Rather than scraps, I'm using yardage again like I did last year.  

I'm sticking with Bonnie's colors.  All but the teal/blue fabric came from my stash.  I don't have much teal, so I ordered that yardage.  It looks more blue than teal, but I think it works just fine. 

Now I'm off to do laundry, but I'll have this afternoon to spend some productive time in my sewing room.  There will more stash reports over at Judy's Patchwork Times once she gets her post up.   

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Sampler Progress

Not much stitching this week, but I did get a lot done on some family gifts for Christmas.  The last couple of years, we've made a calender for the family that has all the birthdays and wedding anniversaries on it.  That means going back through all the photographs we've taken during year and finding 13 to go in the calender.  Then there's a bit of cropping and other Photoshop enhancing that goes into polishing off that set.  That's pretty much what I worked on in the evenings this week. I was reminded during that whole process what talented photographers My Guy and Drama Teen are.  That makes it really hard to choose just 13 pictures for the calendar.  I've rarely shared any of their photographs, but here are two of my favorites that made the calendar cut.  

Taken by Drama Teen during our Utah vacation

Taken by My Guy on one of his walks

I hope you'll tolerate the bit of bragging and enjoy these reminders of spring since many of us have been in the deep freeze this week. 

Moving on to the progress on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler quilt.  To be honest there is not a lot of progress.  But I have decided on a final layout and on black for the sashing. 

 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
By Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy

One last pink block is under construction to finish out the layout.  I split the brown blocks, putting the lighter ones next to the yellow and the darker ones in the opposite corner next to the reds.  I'm off work this next week, hopefully I can make some significant progress on getting this made into a finished top.  

There's more scrappy stuff over at Soscrappy.   

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Stash Report - Week 46 of 2014

It's going to be a good Sunday to just stay home and putter in the sewing room.  

This is what the radar looked like a few minutes ago.  The snow is not here yet, but it will be soon.  The forecast is for 1 to 3 inches. Drama Teen is hoping it will be enough so that there's no school tomorrow.  Since the snow is coming early, unless we get more than 3 inches, she'll probably have school. 

On the stash front it was a pretty good week.  I decided a few months ago to focus only on what went out, not on what came in as my lack of will power to resist sales was making me cringe when I wrote my weekly reports.  However, the incoming this week was really gorgeous.  

I was lucky enough to win a package of Vicki Welsh's hand died fabrics last month from Soscrappy (hostess of the addictive Rainbow Scrap Challenge).  I'm not sure where these pretties are going to end up, but I definitely need to come up with something very special for these fat eighths.  Thank you Angela.  

How much left the stash this week?  

Used last week:  2.46 yards
Used in November:  2.98 yards
Used year to date:  31.52 yards

Last week was really good.  I'm hoping to use at least 40 yards by the end of the year, 50 yards is my stretch target.  I doubt I make the 50 yard goal, but I think the 40 yard mark is pretty achievable.  

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

Mid-Month Report: Finding Time to Stitch - November 2014

Back in September I was bemoaning my lack of quilty mojo this year.  There's not been very many finishes.  Not a lot of fabric usage.  Only three new projects started.  My biggest impediment is the gravitational pull of my recliner.  Escape velocity has been just about impossible to reach this year.  Once I make it to the sewing room, stuff gets done.  It's the getting there that needed to be addressed.  So in an effort to shame myself into putting forth the effort to climb the stairs to the sewing room after a long work day, I'm back to reporting on my efforts to stitch just 15 minutes a day.  

Fifteen minutes doesn't sound like a lot of time, but if you do it every day, the progress you make in a week is pretty significant.  At least it's more progress than would have been made if you don't make the attempt.  Once I'm freed from the gravity well of the recliner and  make it to the sewing room, I spend way more than 15 minutes there. 

So how is November going?   Obviously the recliner's pull reached black hole intensity as escape velocity was apparently beyond me the first week of the month.  

All of us were really tired that first week.  It's possible that the time change was dragging me down.  This last week has been much more productive.  Hopefully I can keep that trend up for the rest of the month.  

So how are you doing on finding some time to stitch each day?  Write a post about your efforts in the sewing room and link up below.  

1. Julie in GA
2. Maureen
3. Thea
4. Amanda

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Wrapping up the Sampler

Autumn ended in the deep freeze this week.  From highs in the 60's on Monday to highs in the low 30s by Wednesday.  There is snow in the forecast for this weekend.  My plans for the weekend are to stay tucked into my nice and toasty sewing room and avoid going out as much as possible. 

It's been a while since I've posted about the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  For some reason getting I really stalled out on finishing up the brown blocks.  Those were finally finished off last night.

 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
By Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy

I really didn't want a lot of brown, so I didn't make all 12 that were posted.  Once those were finished, the rest of the blocks were located and I started playing around on the design wall.  

 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler
By Angela Feldbush of Soscrappy

If I go with an 8 x 10 layout, just one more block is needed.   I'm thinking to make up another purple block.  I'm not sure I like all the browns in that one corner.  I may split them up, move  half up to the upper left corner.  I just put the blocks up by color, there will be lots more moving things around before I'm ready to start stitching the rows together.  How about black sashing?  I'll have to play around with that thought for a bit too.  

This is one of those projects, that I'm sad to see come to an end.  It's been a lot of fun.  Though I still have to finish up the Inverted Star blocks that were this year's challenge block and the Butterfly blocks that I started as part of last year's challenge.  I still have half the month to get those done.  Maybe I'll actually get all these blocks into quilt tops before the end of the year.  My Coffee Cup blocks from the 2012 challenge still need to be set together.  Well there's still December for that  right?  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Design Wall Monday - Sweet Blocks

It was a beautiful, though windy weekend.  Probably our last warm one for a while.  The weather forecast for next weekend includes a small probability of snow.  So My Guy and I took advantage of the relatively warm Sunday morning to capture a few shots of the fall color before everything freezes and the leaves fall off the trees.  

Sunday afternoon was spent in the sewing room.  The back for Scrappy Stars is moving right along.  All the pieces are cut, I just need to finish stitching it all together.  I finished blocks 3 and 4 of the Chocolate Marshmallow sampler, that's what's up on the main design wall this morning. 

Chocolate Marshmallow
pattern by Amanda Bergamin of Sea Breeze Quilts

I'm pretty happy with them so far.  Now I have to wait for Amanda to post blocks 5 and 6.  

That's it for me this week.  There are more design walls on display over at Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Stash Report - Week 45 of 2014

Sunday already?  It seems like it was just Sunday.  The weeks just appear to fly by this time of year.  Not much going on in the sewing room this week.  Project summaries and any thing that goes on end of the year activity reports has to be done before Thanksgiving, so it's been a bit hectic at work.  Drama Teen and I did some much needed personal shopping yesterday, though she came home with quite a bit more than Mom did.  We decided to try a new to us pizza place for lunch.  The pizza was yummy, but the dessert we ordered was definitely the most memorable part of the meal. 

I'm not sure even DT and 4 of her friends could have made a dent in that mountain of whipped cream.  There really was a delicious chocolate covered pound cake at the bottom of that creation.  Talk about a sugar high.  

Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling very well by the time we got home.  I ended up going to bed with a nasty headache and never did make it to the sewing room.  Couple that with my lack of stitching time this week, there's not much to report on the stash reduction front.

Used last week:  0.52 yards
Used in November:  0.52 yards
Used year to date:  29.06 yards

I'm still hoping to end the year with at least 40 yards going out of the stash.  I need to get busy, there really isn't much year left. For more stash stories check out Patchwork Times.

Before I hit publish there's one last thing to cover.   Who did Mr. Random Number Generator pick as the winner of the polka dot fat quarters from the 1000th post giveaway?  

Congratulations to Denise who blogs over at Count it *all* Joy.  She's got some beautiful projects that she just finished, plus she just started a gorgeous hand stitching project.  You should definitely hop over to her blog to say congrats.    

It was really hard to just pick one winner as most of the comments on my 1000th post are from long time blog buddies. Thanks for all the inspiration, laughs, and support.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tuesday Archives - The First Quilt

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

Val's Quilting Studio

The topics this week are Irish Chain and Fall Quilts.  I don't have a Fall quilt, but I have made an Irish Chain quilt.  It was my first pieced quilt.  I'm not sure who offered the class, it wasn't a quilt shop.  It was the summer of 1987 and my graduate school class load was pretty light that year.  My grandmother quilted and I had long wanted to learn how.  So I signed up for that summer class.  My fabric came from Hobby Lobby as did the rotary cutter.  The teacher offered a set of plastic templates which could be used to cut strips from fabric (I have no idea if rulers even existed at that time).  I actually finished the flimsy in class.  

Quilting the top was a whole other issue.  The flimsy got folded up and stuck with my unfinished embroidery stuff.  The top moved with me from graduate school to my first job, with me when we bought our first house and made the trip to Texas when the job took us in that direction.  Then one day, my 3 year old found it and asked me to finish it so it could live on her bed.  

By the time my Irish Chain was quilted, I was taking quilting classes again at the local quilt shop. They helped me make the back and showed me how to prep a quilt for quilting.  I handed it off to the long arm quilter at the shop.   That first quilt was a UFO for 17 years.  This quilt never did live on Kiddo's (aka Drama Teen) bed, by the time it was finished she'd come up something else she wanted me to make for her bed.

I supposed it's fitting that my 1000th post is about my first foray into what prompted me to start blogging in the first place.  To celebrate, I have a set of polka dot fat quarters to give away.  

Just leave a comment about which is your favorite Tuesday Archive posted this week over at Val's Quilting Studio.  I'll pick a winner this weekend using Mr. Random Number generator, so be sure I have a way to contact you if you are a no reply blogger.     

Wordless Wednesday - Fall Flower?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Stash Report - Week 44

We survived Halloween and waking up to 5 sleeping (well 3 sleeping) teens Saturday morning (two had been up all night and were still talking when My Guy walked into the kitchen to make coffee at 4:30 AM).  My Guy and I took Friday off to run some errands and take care of some stuff around the house.  He and Drama Teen did some last minute pumpkin carving Friday afternoon which turned out really neat.

Drama Teen had decided we needed Jack Skellington and his dog, Zero (of Nightmare Before Christmas fame) for this year's jack-o-lanterns.  Not bad.  How do you think they compare?   

The trick or treaters certainly liked them.  

Even with having Friday off, not much happened in the sewing room.  We spent most of Friday on errands and getting ready for DT's party.  It was early afternoon Saturday before all the girls were up and conscious enough to go home.  So there hasn't been a lot of stitching this weekend.  I do hope to spend some quality time in the sewing room this afternoon.  Even with all the going's on, I did manage to use some fabric this week.  Most of it going into the back for Scrappy Stars.  

Used last week:  2.63 yards
Used in October:  7.77 yards
Used in November:  0 yards
Used year to date:  28.54 yards

Hopefully I can break 30 yards by the end of the week.  That would leave me just 10 yards needed to break my goal of 50 yards out by the end of 2014.  

How are you doing on your stash busting goals?  Check out all the other stash reports over at Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Finding Time to Stitch - End of October Report

It's the first day of November.  I'm wondering what  happened to the year.  I've got two months to make some progress on busting some stash and finishing up a quilt, maybe two.  So the plan was to stitch at least 15 minutes each day starting October 1st.  

My mid-month report was really good, but I think I fell off the wagon the second half of the month.

There were only 9 days where I found the energy and the time to get into the sewing room for at least 15 minutes the second half of the month.  But on the bright side, I made it to the sewing room a total of 24 days in October, that's more than any other month this year.  So no perfect attendance button, but definitely a significant improvement.  

The second half of the month was rough.  Work required a couple of late nights and the end of the year meeting schedule is really playing havoc with my energy level.  I simply came home a couple of nights so tired that I was in bed by 8 PM.  There will probably be a few more of those days this month and that's just how life is sometimes, so I'll just accept that it will likely be that way.  But I'll still do my best to do better in terms of finding that sewing time each day.  It does make a difference. 

So how did you do the month of October finding time to stitch?   What was your biggest challenge this month?  

1. Julie in GA

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