Monday, February 29, 2016

Weekend Stitching and Completion of February's One Monthly Goal

It's going to be one of those manic weeks, so this is going to be a short post before the madness really gets started.  I'm on the road for a couple of days this week.  March will be a busy at work.  So yesterday was probably my last chance I had to do much stitching for while.  

I did get in a solid afternoon of stitching yesterday.  Midnight Mystery is now a finished flimsy.  

Midnight Mystery Quilt  From Meadow Mist Designs

I like the bold red with the black and gray.  Though I wish there had been enough of the gray so that I could switch it with the red.  Now I need to dive into the stash to see what I've got for backing fabric. There is quite a bit of the tulip fabric left, but I'll have to augment it with something else from the stash.  

Getting this to the finished flimsy stage was my One Monthly Goal for February. Since today is the last day of February, I'm squeaking in under the wire with this finish.  Not sure what I'll pick for my March goal.  It will have to be something simple, there simply won't be much stitching time.

Linking up with
Red Letter Quilts for One Monthly Goal
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking up Quilts for Main Crush Monday

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Week 9 Stash Report and February Let's Book It Update

I'm glad it's Sunday, I was ready for a day of rest.  It's been one of those crazy weeks.  Since Drama Teen has been able to drive herself, my evenings are typically free.  That wasn't true this week.  Evening meetings, a trip to Tulsa and judging at the regional Science Fair put a significant dent in my stitching time this week.  Even so, there's still a bit to report as outgoing this week. 

Used last week:  0.90 yards
Used in February:  6.85 yards
Used year to date:  16.12 yards
Purchased year to date:  0 yards
Net used for 2016:  16.12 yards

I finished the last block for the Midnight Mystery quilt, so my fabric usage will slow down in March.  There's a lot of business travel on my schedule for March, so my stitching will slow down a bit like it did this week.  There just wasn't both the time and energy to get in my 15 minutes of stitching many evenings this week.  

This week:  3 out of 7 days with 15 minutes of stitching
This month:  20 out of 27 days
This year:  51 out of 58 days

Some weeks are just going to be that way.  But having the goal helps with my motivation.  Three days of stitching is better than none. 

Along with finishing up the last block of the Midnight Mystery quilt, one more Poinsettia block is done.  

By Judy Blok for the December 2013 issue
of American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine

Poinsettias doubles as my current leaders and enders project, as well as my Let's Book It Project.  There are 9 blocks total, so I'm just over 50% done with the blocks. I like it more with each block added to the design wall.  This will probably become my "focus" project once Allietare reaches the finished flimsy stage.  But then I have to find a new Let's Book It Project plus a new leaders and enders project.  

I'm linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times for the stash report and Vrooman's Quilts for the February Let's Book It Challenge.  

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Stash Report - Week 8 of 2016

The weather here has been absolutely beautiful. Clear blue skies with highs in the low 80's yesterday.  The only negative has been the wind. It was strong yesterday, but not gale force like earlier in the week.   Since the weather was so nice, My Guy and I tackled cleaning out the rose beds.  We got one done and the other started before lunch time.  We decided to quit at lunch in hopes we wouldn't be too sore after all the bending and cutting.  My shoulder and back were a bit sore, but nothing that a 2 hour afternoon nap couldn't cure.  

The yard work and subsequent nap may have cut into my Saturday stitching time, but since I'd had Friday off, there is still plenty to report as outgoing. 

Used last week:  2.01 yards
Used in February:  5.95 yards
Used year to date:  15.22 yards
Purchased year to date:  0 yards
Net used for 2016:  15.22 yards

I'm still deleting all the quilt shop emails which helps keep the incoming to zero.  I'll have to do some refreshing at some point, but since I'm mainly working on UFOs right now, it will be awhile before I absolutely have to add some fabrics.

The stash output is aided and abetted by being in the sewing room on a consistent basis.  So I've been trying to spend at least 15 minutes every day working in the sewing room.  After getting a bit off schedule last week, I did well this week. 

This week:  7 out of 7 days with 15 minutes of stitching
This month:  17 out of 20 days
This year:  48 out of 51 days

It may not seem like much but those 15 minutes really add up over time.  

Though I didn't get much stitching done yesterday, I did get my new sewing room acquisitions set up.  The lighting in my sewing room is pretty poor, so I have floor lamps set up over the cutting table and the sewing machine.  The one by the sewing machine fell and broke a couple of months ago (possible earthquake damage?).  So it's been a bit dark which isn't a problem unless I'm un-sew  something.  Nancy's Notions had a sale on LED lighting last month, so I ordered a replacement floor lamp and a smaller desk lamp. 

My sewing area is definitely brighter.  The little LED lamp to the left is battery powered so I can move it pretty much anywhere I need it.  It also folds up. 

This will fit in my embroidery bag so I can add some much needed light when I'm on the road.  Hotel room lighting is pretty poor and my eyes just aren't what they used to be.  

The 2016 NASCAR season opens today at the Daytona 500, so I will definitely be at my sewing machine for most of the afternoon.  What are your Sunday stitching plans? 

Linking up with Patchwork Times once Judy gets the stash report post up.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Anything but Drab Brown

The weekend started early for me as Friday was a day off.  After a few errands that took up the morning, I was able to spend most of the afternoon in the sewing room.  Not all of it was stitching, I'm also trying to put some order to the sewing room.  The fabric closet has gotten out of hand, so some time was spent there figuring out a plan of attack and making a start on putting it to rights.  

Once the stitching got started, I finally finished a Vintage Dress block in brown.  

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

I would wear this one if it was real, though brown is not really my color.  This was the easiest of the 4 dress patterns, it went together so much easier than the first two blue dresses did.  Can't say that for the final dress in the pattern.  It has lots of pieces.  Lots of little bitty pieces.  I've started putting it together, so far so good.  But I haven't gotten to the part with the itty, bitty pieces yet.  

I'm hoping for some more good stitching time this afternoon. For now I'm going to finish my coffee and check out all the scrappy blocks over at Soscrappy.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Leader and Ender Progress for February

When I switched from sewing clothing to making quilts there was a bit of an adjustment period as the work process are a bit different.  I'm a relative slow sewer, I was always the one in class who finished each step last.  Which is OK, it's not a competition, I just never seemed to get much done while I was in class.  But there are two processes that really help on the productivity front.  Chain piecing really speeds up the assembly process, while leaders and enders allows you to make two projects at once.  Both techniques have made a big difference in how I approach quilting projects.  

It's the third Tuesday, so it's time to join Cathy of A Quilting Chick by reporting on the progress of the current leaders and enders project.  At this time in January, two of the Poinsettia blocks were finished.  

Poinsettias By Judy Blok for the December 2013 issue of
American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine

In the last month, another two blocks have been assembled. 

Poinsettias By Judy Blok for the December 2013 issue of
American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine

It's been fun to see each block come together.  The quilt has 9 of these blocks, so there are still 5 left to assemble, as well as the sashing that goes between the blocks.  Block 5 is partially assembled and will probably be completed by the end of this week. At two a month, it's still going to be a bit before this project is completed.  That's OK, it's not a race.  I am hoping to finish this one up before Christmas this year and that is still a ways off (thankfully!).  

You can see more leaders and enders projects over at A Quilting Chick.  Linking up the mid week WIP with:

Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  

Monday, February 15, 2016

Weekend Stitching: - More than Half Past Midnight

Did you have a nice Valentine's Day?  I certainly did.  We had a very slow and relaxing Sunday.  My Guy and Drama Teen made a very special Sunday dinner to celebrate the holiday.  It was better than going out.  

February's goal is to get the Midnight Mystery quilt to the finished flimsy stage.  Tomorrow is the 15th, so it's a good thing I'm more than half way there.  

Midnight Mystery Quilt From Meadow Mist Designs

The red doesn't photograph very well, the quilt actually looks a bit more sedate in real life.   I'm really happy with how this one is coming together.  Just three more blocks to assemble then it will be time to sew the rows together.  

That's it for me this week.  You can find more project progress at: 

Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Stash Report - Week 7 of 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!  Hope your's is perfect. Ours will definitely be low key.  Though I think Drama Teen and My Guy put their heads together to come up with something special for dinner tonight.  

I realized this morning that I haven't posted anything since last week's stash report.  It's been a weird week.  We received some disturbing news from the extended family last Sunday and it's taken me most of the week to process it.  I've been stitching, which always helps me work through issues, but there just wasn't the inclination to sit down and write.  

I've been working on finishing up the blocks for the Midnight Mystery quilt.  They are big blocks that go together really fast.  That's made for nice showing on the stash report. 

Used last week:  1.75 yards
Used in February:  3.94 yards
Used year to date:  13.21 yards
Purchased year to date:  0 yards
Net Used for 2016:  13.21 yards

Not as good as last week, but I didn't make it up to the sewing room as much as I have the previous 6 weeks. I've done really well this year in finding the time and desire to get into the sewing room for 15 minutes each day.  Getting to the sewing room for those 15 minuets each day didn't go so well this week.  

This week:  4 out of 7 days with 15 minutes of stitching
This month:  10 out of 13 days 
This year:  41 out of 44 days

Hopefully I'll get back on track this week with both my stitching and my blog posting.  I'll be linking up with Patchwork Times for this week's stash report when she posts this morning.  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Stash Report - Week 6 of 2016

Last week went fast.  That head cold kept me sidelined the first part of the week. But once Wednesday rolled around, I was feeling almost normal.  I did spend yesterday afternoon in the sewing room, but didn't get much stitching done.  A lot of time was spent prepping the back of the McCall's Mystery quilt for shipping.  Today I'll do the finished flimsy.  That has to be my least favorite part of the quilting process, the finial pressing and clean up.  

So though not a lot of stitching got done, I've reached the point on almost all the active projects where I'm finishing blocks.  That's the point I count my fabric as out.  So this week looks pretty good in terms of stash usage.  

Used last week:  2.31 yards
Used in February:  2.19 yards
Used year to date:  11.46 yards
Purchased year to date:  0 yards
Net used for 2016:  11.46 yards

The big blocks for the Midnight Mystery quilt use almost a half yard of fabric, so finishing up one of those makes a big jump in the numbers.  

It also helps that I've been really good about getting in at least 15 minutes of stitching every day.

This week:  7 out of 7 days
This month:  6 out of 6 days
This year:  37 out of 37 days

It's amazing how just a few minutes a night can make a difference in progress. I usually end up spending about 45 minutes in the sewing room each evening. 

I've also been trying to capture a photo a day as one of my 2016 goals.  I haven't done as well with that goal, I missed a few days when I was sick. Wednesday's beautiful sunrise got me back on track with the camera.  

It's always nice to start off the day with a pretty view.  Have a wonderful week.  Linking up with Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Vintage Brown and Pink

A weekend with no place to go.  Well at least I don't have any place to be.  Drama Teen will be off taking the ACT later this morning.  My Guy has a jam session with some of the guys from work this afternoon.   After  tackling a bit of laundry this morning, I should be free to hold up in my sewing room for most of the afternoon. 

Last night was spent printing the papers for the next two Vintage Dresses.  I cut up one page to use as guides for cutting the fabrics.  Then spent a bit of time selecting fabrics for February's dresses. 

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

I may have to replace the pale beige at the top left, there may not be good enough contrast with the background to use it as the belt for the strapless dress.  The three fabrics on the right are really brown and pink, though they look to be black and pink.  That's as far as I've gotten on February's Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks.  Hopefully, I'll have a finished one to show off next weekend. 

Linking up with Soscrappy.  I'm looking forward to seeing all the other scrappy browns linked up this week.  

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

WIPs - Visible Progress

Often it seems there is just enough time to either stitch or blog, but not both.  I've done a pretty good job of getting in the sewing room for at least 15 minutes each day.  But not such a good job of  posting regularly and reading other's blogs.  I'm trying to balance both, but some weeks it just doesn't work.  I didn't post any WIP progress last week due to attendance at that conference.  There just wasn't time to write a post.  Thankfully this week has been a bit slower and I actually have progress to show on Allietare. 

Allietare, Bonnie Hunter's 2015 Mystery Quilt

I've finally gotten back to making the star blocks and only have one more of the Pisa blocks to stitch together.  I still have more cutting to do for the star blocks, but at least there is visible progress.  I'm making the blocks for this project in between assembling the Midnight Mystery blocks. 

Midnight Mystery Quilt, From Meadow Mist Designs

The first block is now all stitched together and I've started on block number 2.  These big blocks will go together fast if I can keep up the momentum.  I'm hoping to have all the blocks pieced and in a flimsy before the end of the month.  

That's it for my WIPs this week.  You can find some very pretty things at the various WIP linky parties.  

Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
WIPs on Wednesay at Esther's Quilt Blog
Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Monday, February 1, 2016

Weekend Stitching - What's Next for February?

Thankfully I felt much better on Sunday. Not 100%, but I could at least breathe through one nostril and the fever broke.  Laundry was priority number one, but I was able to get some significant time in the sewing room Sunday afternoon.  

I seem to be most productive when I've got 3 to 4 projects going. With McCall's Mystery just needing some pressing before it can go out for quilting, it was time to find something to add to the current project rotation.  I'd put Midnight Mystery aside when I ran out of design wall space.  Since it's not that far from being done, I went searching for all the block parts.  After locating all of those and consulting the instructions, I realized I had missed a step somewhere along the line and would have to assemble a few block parts.  That didn't stop me from getting the rows assembled for the first block. 

Midnight Mystery Quilt, From Meadow Mist Designs

You never know what you'll get when you pick your fabrics for a mystery.  I was really beginning to worry that the tulip fabric was going to be way out of place.  I like how it looks in the final block.  Some of the star points may get lost, but I don't think that will distract from the quilt overall.   I still need to stitch the rows together to finish this first block, but I'll get to that tonight.  

There are 8 full blocks and 2 half blocks to finish for the Midnight Mystery.  I still need to finish 18 blocks for Allietare.  Since February is a short month, I'd have a better chance of finishing up the Midnight Mystery quilt, especially since all the block pieces are made, I just need to assemble the blocks.  Can't say that about Allietare.  So my One Monthly Goal for February is to get the Midnight Mystery blocks sewn together into a flimsy.  That should be doable.  

Linking up with:

Red Letter Quilts for the February One Monthly Goal
Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday
Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Cooking up Quilts for Main Crush Monday