Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WIP Progress for Mid-March

It's been a fast week, lots going on at home and at work, so I'm almost surprised that it's already Wednesday.  I've not been able to get back to the sewing room since Sunday.  But after stalling out on my projects the last couple of weeks, I did manage to get in some significant stitching time over the weekend.  Block 12 of the Chocolate Marshmallow WIP was started and finished.

Chocolate Marshmallows, pattern by Amanda Bergamin of Sea Breeze Quilts

Here's all 12 completed blocks.  

Amanda finished off her version with a straight set including stars as the corner stones (you can see her version here).  I'm trying to decide between 2 different settings. A straight set with a pieced border. 

Or an on point setting.  

I need to check how much of each fabric is left.  That may make the decision for me or force me to go in a different direction completely if there is not enough for either setting.   I have a bunch of bonus HSTs from this project, I'll probably use those to make one more block rather than do the pink square in the middle of the on point setting.  

For more in progress projects check out WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced, WIPS on Wednesday over at Esther's Blog, Needle and Thread Thursday hosted by My Quilt Infatuation, and  WIPS be Gone posted to be posted on Friday over at A Quilting Readers Garden.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Design Wall Monday - Not Much Going On

The weather was beautiful this weekend and even better we didn't have to be anywhere or do anything.  Well other then a bit of laundry and little housework.  But other than that, it was a very relaxing weekend.   Not that I'm any more ready to head back to work, Monday always seems to come too soon. 

In spite of it being a laid back weekend, not a lot of sewing happened.  Napping was the preferred activity after all the housework was done.  I'm still trying to catch up on all the sleep lost while My Guy and I were sick.  I did get row 2 of Grand Illusion done along with the next row of sashing.

Grand Illusion,  A Bonnie Hunter Mystery

I'm only making 5 rows of blocks, so I'm not quite half way there.  I'm still not thrilled with this quilt, but I've got so many of the parts made that it seems silly not to finish it. 

That's about it for the design wall this week. I've been working to finish up the blocks for several projects. Once those are all done, them I'm going to tackle settings one at a time.  Hopefully by reducing the number of projects I'm actively working on I'll get a few more quilts finished.  Grand Illusion is the first one of those.  

Check out Patchwork Times for more design wall goodies.  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Stash Report - Week 11 of 2015

So far it's been a fairly relaxing weekend.  Though yesterday got off to a rocky start when the clothing rack I use to hang freshly laundered shirts broke.  Thankfully there wasn't much hanging on it at the time.  One of the plastic brackets cracked and wouldn't support the weight of the top bar.  That necessitated a quick trip to Lowes to replace it.  I can't do laundry without a place to hang up the clothes that come out of the dryer.  Of course my idea of quick and My Guy's idea don't always match up.  He wanted to get the recyclables dropped off.  So by the time we added that side trip in, not much housework or laundry got done yesterday.  But I did get my new clothing rack.  

Maybe it was for the best I didn't have the chance to work around the house.  I'm still trying to recover from that respiratory bug I had last week.  My Guy had it this week, between his sneezing and my coughing we've not been sleeping real well.  I ended up taking a 2 hour nap during the afternoon, so it was later in the evening before I was able to make it to the sewing room.  I finished the last Chocolate Marshmallow block.  That's pretty much all that went out this week.  

Used last week:  0.24 yards
Used in March:  5.23 yards
Used year to date:  11.03 yards

March has been a pretty good month.  The fabric diet is still holding, nothing in this week.  It's been almost 5 years since I've had a 3 month stretch where I didn't add any fabric.  I just wish the fabric went out as easy as it comes in. 

I've not started a new project since January and I'm getting itchy to start something.  I played around in EQ in hopes that would satisfy the need and came up with this. 

I have some soft gray that I'd like to use for a background.  This project would use up few scraps as well.  I need 4 graduation quilts by May of 2017, this could be one of them. 

That's it for me this week.  Check out more stash reports over at Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - A Little More Yellow

This weekend couldn't come soon enough.  It was pretty much a whirlwind week.  Last weekend we were busy judging science fair and setting up for Energy Days.  My Guy unfortunately spent the week fighting the same bug I had last week while he was also overseeing the 250 volunteers who performed the various Energy Day demonstrations for 970 fifth graders over the course of 3 days.  Most of my evenings this week were spent running errands and replenishing supplies for the next day's demonstrations.  This weekend the plan is to catch up on a few household chores, but not do much of anything else. We all need a break.  Hopefully that means I'll get to spend some quality time in my sewing room.   

I did get some time in the sewing room last night.  Yellow Twinkle Star block number 2 is now up on the design wall.  

 Twinkle Stars, Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

I'm really enjoying these blocks.  I hope to get a few more finished up this weekend. The sewing plan for the weekend also includes getting started on the setting blocks for the Scrappy Butterfly blocks which were finished up last week. 

Scrappy Butterflies, Block is available in EQ 7 Block Library

These are going to be set with alternating Irish Chain blocks.  Scrappy Butterflies was my Rainbow Scrap Challenge project for 2013.  It would be nice to get it to the finished flimsy stage this year. 

That's it for this week.  Unfortunately the piles of laundry have reached mountainous proportions due to my illness and the business of last week.  So that's first on my list today.  Hopefully I'll be able to steal a few minutes here and there to take a peek at all the other scrappy projects posted over at Soscrappy.   

Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday Design Wall - Ready for Butterflies and Spring

It was one of those busy weekends that doesn't seem like a weekend at all.  Of course it didn't help that we lost an hour due to the time change on Sunday morning.  I'm so not ready to go back to work this week.  After being out sick all last week, there will be a lot of catching up to do.  

Being out sick also means there is not much going on with the design wall.  I did manage to finish up the red-violet version of the Scrappy Butterfly block before succumbing to that virus last week. 

Scrappy Butterflies - Block is available in EQ 7 Block Library

It's definitely a beautifully bright butterfly.  I couldn't resist pulling out all the other butterfly blocks and putting them up on the design wall.

I'm pretty happy with my 12 scrappy butterflies, but now I'm not sure they are going work well in the setting I had worked out last year. 

I'm afraid the butterflies may be too bright for the border.  I'm pretty committed to the Irish Chain setting with the white and the light blue fabric that was also used as the background for the butterflies. I may opt for a different border, maybe just finish it off with more Irish Chain blocks.  I'll have to play around in EQ to see how that looks.  I have enough of the light blue background to be able to make that work. 

That's it for what's up on the design wall.  For more Design Wall Monday, check out the links over at Patchwork Times.  

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Little Slow Stitching and Stash Busting

Science Fair is over for another year.  My Guy and I judged, while Drama Teen presented her project.  It made for a rather long Saturday as we were out the door by 7:15 AM and didn't wrap up until about 4:30 PM.  We were all pretty tired by the end of it.  Naps were pretty much the favored activity when we all got home.  It's going to be an even longer day today.  My Guy heads up a week long science education program for the local 5th graders.  Set up is today.  This morning he woke up with the same symptoms that kicked off my week long illness.  I'm hoping he doesn't get as sick as I did.  It's going to be a very long week.  

First the stash report for week 10.  Any sewing done this week happened last Sunday, before the respiratory virus tied me to the recliner and my tissue box.  I finished piecing the backing for the 2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler.  That made for a nice leap in the outgoing column for this week.  

Used last week: 4.99 yards
Used in March:  4.99 yards
Used year to date: 10.79 yards

Even better still no stash additions for 2015.  So the fabric diet is still going strong.  

Even though I felt too crappy to climb the stairs to do any sewing, it did finally get to the point that sitting in the recliner with a book had become really old.   But doing some handwork didn't sound like an exhausting proposition, so I hauled out the embroidery project that was started a couple of years ago.  It was nice to just sit and stitch a bit.  I finally finished the first butterfly.  

I don't often take the time to work on this unless we are traveling.  If I ever want to finish it, I really need to pull it out more often.  That or we need to start traveling more.  

That's it for me this week.  Check out Patchwork Times for more stash news and Kathy's Quilts for more Slow Stitching fun.  

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Need a Little Sunshine

It's been a rough week.  I've been sidelined all week by a pretty potent respiratory virus.  The one attempt at going back to work was cut short by the resurgence of a fever.  So most of the week was spent in the recliner with a box of tissues.  I'm not 100% yet, but am definitely improved from where I was Thursday night.  

Not a lot of stitching this week, I felt too crappy to even attempt to sew until late Friday afternoon.  My only adventures with scraps is the start and finish of the first yellow Twinkle Star.

Twinkle Stars, Tutorial by Andrea Feldbush of Soscrappy

Purple and yellow has long been one of my most favorite color combinations.  I love how this star turned out.  

It will be a busy weekend with the rescheduled Science Fair and preparations for Energy Week (a program My Guy organizes for the 5th graders in the county to come and learn about the petroleum industry).  Drama Teen and I get drafted for set up and take down.  I'll also spend a day next week as a volunteer doing demonstrations for the kids.  Not sure I'll get a lot stitching done this weekend with all the activities on the schedule.  

That's pretty much it for me this week.  There's more scrappy fun over at Soscrappy.    

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Works in Progress - Working Ahead a Bit

It's been a slow week for stitching.  I've been down for the count with some type of respiratory infection, which may be one of the less severe flu strains, coupled with a sinus infection. 

Before I got to feeling so bad, block 11 of the Chocolate Marshmallow sampler did get finished. 

Chocolate Marshmallows, pattern by Amanda Bergamin of Sea Breeze Quilts

I ended up recoloring this one to work with just the 5 fabrics I've been using for the sampler blocks.  I need to cut out block 12, but haven't gotten that far yet.  

I've felt too bad to sew, but not so bad that I couldn't play on the computer.  I started working up settings for these blocks in EQ.  I've got it narrowed down to three possible settings.

Sample sashing with simple borders:

More complicated sashing with pieced borders:

And finally an on-point setting:

I don't have enough of the dark brown to make anything but a very thin border.  I'm having a hard time deciding between these three.  Which one would you make?

You can check out more WIPS over at WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, WIPS on Wednesday at Esther's Blog, and at Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Tuesday Archives - Original Patterns

It's Tuesday so it's time for the Tuesday Archives over at Val's Quilting Studio.  

Val's Quilting Studio

The topic this week is "original patterns by you".  Before I could pick a quilt to highlight, I had to ask what is an "original pattern"?  Is that a quilt made without following a pattern published by some one else?  For it to count as a pattern does it have to be published some where?   Since Val didn't give more particulars, I'm going to highlight the first quilt I made on my own with out using any type of pattern.  It's another project that I can't find posted elsewhere on the blog.  

When Drama Teen was just a little thing, she developed a liking of stuffed tigers. She has quite the collection.  Her favorite was a white tiger she named Siberian.  

Drama Teen when she was just a kiddo of  7 or 8 with Siberian who was "stealing" breakfast

Siberian pretty much went everywhere with her.  Siberian even flew to Washington State with us on vacation one year.  She was quite happy to reside in the overhead compartment during the flight, much to the delight of several younger flyers seated near us.  

I was fortunate enough to attend the Houston quilt festival in 2005. During the festival, a fat quarter packet with several tiger prints caught my eye.   Those fat quarters just had to come home with me. DT (aka Kiddo) absolutely needed a tiger quilt for Christmas.    I really wanted to let the tigers take center stage so the idea of using simple squares came from that.  One early problem was that one of the fat quarters only had enough tigers in it to make two squares.  So I took pictures of some of her stuffed tigers, including Siberian, and printed those onto fabric.  From that Kiddo's Tigers Quilt came to be.

Tigers designed by Kate

DT loved that the quilt included her tigers on it, especially Siberian.  At the time it was the perfect size for her to cuddle under on the couch.  She has since outgrown it, so it sits in the closet waiting for the next little one.  

It's certainly not a perfect quilt.  I had to piece one of the tigers to have enough to make a full square.  But at age 6 Drama Teen wasn't the quilt critic she is now, the fabric photos were the coolest thing to her.   It was a fun quilt to make.  I really enjoyed figuring out how to use the fabrics to the best advantage.  Credit for the setting fabric choices has to be given to one of the ladies who worked at the local quilt shop.  She suggested the orange fabric for the sashing and the black fabric in the border.  I had my doubts as they just didn't seem like the fabrics to use for a 6 year old.  But they were exactly right.

That's my blast from the past for this week.  You can check out more archival posts over at Val's Quilting Studio.  

Design Wall Monday - Finishes of a Sort

Sunday wasn't one of my better days.  I ran a low grade fever most of the day, struggled with a sore throat and runny nose.  Drama Teen thinks I've caught the cold she had a couple of weeks ago.  I'm not much better this morning, so I'm taking a sick day.  Hopefully I will feel more myself tomorrow.  Hopefully what follows is readable, I have the fuzzy brain feeling that seems to be the norm when I have a cold.   

I did get into the sewing room for a bit over the weekend, when I wasn't in bed sleeping off the cold medicine.  Now that the 2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler is off the big design wall, I can move on to something else.  For a very brief time this weekend the Inverted Star blocks were up on the design wall.  

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

The red-violet block in the center of the bottom row was finished up last week.  The plan is to frame all the blocks, but I'll need to check if I have enough of the tone on tone white from the blocks to do that.  I have a plan B if there isn't enough.  

Grand Illusion is still up on the other design wall. The plan is to finish up the blocks for this project in March.  I'd like to get this one to the finished flimsy stage, off the design wall and keep it off the UFO list.  No picture this week as it hasn't changed much from what I showed last week.  

That's it for my design wall this week.  You can find other design walls posted over at Judy's Patchwork Times.   

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Stash Report - Week 9 of 2015

It snowed most of Saturday.  Very unusual weather for the end of February in Oklahoma.  Usually by this time the early blooming wildflowers have started showing up.  This year it's still brown everywhere.  The snow was pretty, with big fluffy flakes falling most of the day.  The sparrows don't seem to mind the snow.  

They just fluff up more.  We had a male and female cardinal visit along with the sparrows, but they were both camera shy.

It was a good week in the sewing room, the borders got added to the 2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler, which helped a lot with the outgoing numbers.  The back is all cut out, but didn't get stitched together because by late Saturday afternoon I wasn't feeling so hot.  I woke up this morning with the same scratchy throat and low grade fever that I went to bed with.  

Getting back on topic, as they say on NPR's Marketplace, "lets do the numbers":

Used last week:  1.23 yards
Used in February:  3.18 yards
Used year to date:  5.8 yards

The 5.8 yards out may not seem like much, but it's more than I had used by this time last year.  Even better, there's been no fabric in yet this year.  So I've managed to maintain the fabric diet for two months.  Since the plan is to finish up a number of UFOs that have all the fabrics they need, I don't have a reason to be looking for new fabrics.  That has helped me keep the acquisition mode turned off.  The back for the 2014 Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler should add a nice boost to next week's numbers.  Hopefully I'll feel well enough this afternoon to spend some time in the sewing room.  

That's it for me this week.  For more stash reports, check out the links over at Judy's Patchwork Times.