Sunday, August 28, 2016

Stash Report: Week 35 of 2016

I'm not sure where this week went.  We've had a lot going on in the evenings.  Parent night was Monday.  It's a bit of a jolt to think that was our last one for Drama Teen.  I worked late one night and then had a girls night out with DT another evening.  That didn't leave much time for stitching this week.  Most of what's going out of the stash this week happened last Sunday. 

Used last week:  1.33 yards
Used year to date:  38.63 yards
Added year to date:  32.75 yards
Net used in 2016:  5.88 yards

For me that's a pretty good week.  I should get to the backing for the Zombie quilt this week.  That will bump up those outgoing numbers nicely.  There wasn't much time spent in the sewing room, but there's been some time spent in EQ working out the piecing for the Zombie back and playing with the fabric placement in the next graduation quilt.  That counts towards my 15 minutes of stitching time this week.  Good thing or else this week's report would be pretty minimal. 

Days with 15 minutes of stitching time this week:  6 out of 7 days
Days in August:  22 out of 27 days
Days in 2016:  189 out of 240 days

Unfortunately there has not been an opportunity to sew this weekend.  We've been in Kansas City attending a funeral for one of My Guy's brother-in-laws.  If you've been watching the weather, KC received about 5 inches of rain Friday night, that made driving difficult to say the least.  The storms rolling in over the plains were pretty impressive to watch, not so fun to be driving in. 

There were tornado watches all around Friday night, but we didn't have any tornadoes.  It hit a lot worse north of here.  

That's it for me this week.  Linking up with Patchwork Times for this week's stash report.  

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: From Being in the Pink to Seeing Gray

The first full week of school is over. So far Drama Teen is surviving.  I'm sure the work loads will pick up, but I've been advised that senior year goes much more smoothly than junior year does.  So far, so good.  

It's been a hectic week, so there wasn't as much time for sewing as I would have liked.  But I did find enough time to finish up the second pink Vintage Dress in time for this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge post.  

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

I like this one.  It looks like a dress my sister had when we were in high school.  Here are both pink dresses.  

I finished the first pink dress last week.  It looks like it's almost red when photographed next to the second dress, but it really is pink.  These are going to fit in nicely with the rest of the dresses.  

I've got the patterns and fabrics picked out for the August blocks.  

The really light gray on the right may have to be replaced.  I haven't checked to see how well it shows up against the white background. These two will take longer than the pink dresses did, both patterns have more parts.  So I doubt I get caught up in September.  But at least I'm just one month behind, it could be worse.  

That's it for my rainbow scrap adventures for this week.  You can find more rainbow blocks and at Soscrappy.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August One Monthly Goal: Back on Track

One more week in August.  That's hard to believe. Not sure where the summer went.  The beginning of the month was a bit busy, but it's slowed down a bit.  Last weekend was really nice as I got to spend a lot of time in the sewing room.  There was lots of progress on numerous fronts, including getting Zombies in Paris to the point of being a finished flimsy. 

Zombies in Paris by Kate

The border is a really dark purple not black.  Even Photo Shop can't seem to bring out the true color.  This is the first of 4 graduation quilts that Drama Teen has commissioned for next May.  She wanted each person's quilt to be something that they could wrap them selves up in next year at college when they feel they need a hug.  I think this quilt will do that.  I've got some left over fabrics and some that we bought, but didn't use in the front that we want to work into the backing.  I've been playing with layouts.  Hopefully, I can get the back made soon so it can go out for quilting.  

August's One Monthly Goal was to reach the finished flimsy stage.  That's done, earlier than I expected.  That's 7 out of 8 months where I've reached my monthly goal.  These monthly goals have helped keep the focus on moving one project ahead each month.  The progress hasn't hit my finished quilt list as much as I would like, but if I keep it up, there be a few more finishes to add before the end of the year.  

 I'm linking up with My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday and with Red Letter Quilts when she posts the end of August One Monthly Goal link up.  

Monday, August 22, 2016

Weekend Stitching: Potting Poinsettias

Do you ever have those conversations with your family that start out perfectly logical and then degenerate into the unlikely and silly?   That's where this week's blog title came from.  I made some comment about getting close to being finished with Poinsettias to My Guy and it went from there.  Somehow finishing this quilt ended up being equated with the potting of plants.  I was there and I'm still not sure how we ended up in the potting shed. 

At any rate, Poinsettias has two of the borders added, with a good start on the addition of the third.

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

Poinsettias has become one of my favorite quilts.  I've loved the pattern ever since I saw it in the magazine.  It's far from perfect, there are a few mismatched seams in there. Thankfully, it's a pattern where the eye tends to auto-correct and they aren't as noticeable. This quilt really stretched my piecing skills, but was still fun and not too frustrating.    

Adding borders always takes longer than I expect.  Even so, hopefully Poinsettias will be a finished flimsy by the end of the month.  I've got the fabric picked out for the backing.  It will just have to be cut and sewn together, but that probably won't happen this month.  The Zombies quilt needs to come first.  That one has a deadline, so I want to get it done first.  

Linking up with:
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Monday Design Wall

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Stash Report: Week 34 of 2016

It's been a busy few weeks and my sanity needed a marathon sewing fix.  Thankfully, that need was met yesterday.  I got a whole day to do nothing but stitch.  I'm feeling much better, well at least I was until the first load of laundry this morning.  There are plans to stitch this afternoon, so I should get my good mood back before the day is done.

Both Poinsettias and the Zombie quilt are at the add borders stage.  Next to backings, that's one of the fastest ways to use yardage. The two narrow borders have been added to Poinsettias, that's most of what went out this week.  

Used last week:  0.51 yards
Used year to date:  37.30 yards
Added year to date:  32.75 yards
Net used in 2016:  4.55 yards

The widest borders will probably get added this week to both Poinsettias and Zombies, so that should make for a good week next week.  Then come the backings for both.  That will really help with the stash numbers.  You can see more stash reports over at Patchwork Times.  

I've also been keeping up with how many days at least 15 minutes of sewing happens. The more of those 15 minute session, the more likely it will end up being a hour session, so the more that gets done each week.  

Days with 15 minutes of stitching time this week:  5 out of 7 days
Days in August:  16 out of 20 days
Days in 2016:  183 out of 233

I've been told it's easier to focus on a goal if you have a good measure of your progress.  This one works for me.  

We've had gorgeous weather in Oklahoma the last week, much color temps than typical.  I took advantage of the lovely weather and wandered out with my camera.  I'll close today with some end of summer images.

The Zinnias are at their peak

The bees are gathering the last of  their summer harvest

The Monarch Butterflies means that autumn is not far off

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: Still Pink in the Middle

Life should start settling back into our typical routine.  School started on Thursday.  Drama Teen is a senior in high school. How does that happen?  It seems like just yesterday we were sending her off to her first day of kindergarten.    The big project at work is winding down finally.  It will be another month or so before it finally wraps up, but the time devoted to it will start to taper off.  We should be back to our typical routine this next week, which I'm hoping means more sewing time.  

I got behind on my Rainbow Scrap Project back in March when I had a lot of business travel. This last month, another work project and the family vacation meant there wasn't much time to stitch.  So I'm still about a month behind on this year's Vintage Dress project. The first of the two blocks for July's color of pink was finally finished up earlier this week.  

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

I like how the dress seems lighter at the top and gets darker as you move down it.  That was completely unintentional on my part, but it definitely works.   All but the white pieces have been cut for the second pink dress.  

I'm hoping to make some progress on this one today.  Since life has been so hectic, the plan is to spend the day in my sewing room.  Well, other than a trip to Staples to get the last of DT's school supplies.  When they get to high school it seems the teachers all want a special binder, notebook or graph paper, etc. for their class.  

You can see more rainbow projects over at Soscrappy.  Also linking up Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Back Porch Blooms Sew Along: July Progress

The plan for the year was to start only three quilts other than my must finish graduation quilts.  But when Lea Brummett who blogs at Podunk Pretties posted her idea for a sew along using her Back Porch Bloom block, it was just impossible to not want to make a quilt using her block.  

Actually, I resisted pretty well, until she started adding butterfly blocks to her projects.  At that point resistance was futile.  Besides, there's plenty of left over 1930 reproduction fabrics in my stash that would be better enjoyed if they were in a quilt.  So with stash reduction as my excuse justification, off I went.  A little playing in EQ yielded a workable design. 

 Blooms and Butterflies, Back Porch Bloom block by Lea Brummett, setting by Kate

Unfortunately, July was not a good month for sewing room progress.  Work and vacation meant there wasn't much time to stitch.  But there's been some progress since the July linky party. 

There's a new bloom and a few butterflies have been added since the last linky.  Things should be calmer this month, so I'm hoping to at least get the center flowers all finished before September gets here.  

Linking up with Lea's August Back Porch Blooms August update.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Weekend Stitching: A Drained Brain Finish

It's the middle of August.  Already?  The last half of the year always seems to go faster than the first half of the year.  Wasn't it just June?  Life certainly seems to move at the speed of light sometimes. The last two weeks have been busy, work has been insane.  It's been hard to find time to sew.  I don't have to sew when my schedule gets amped, but finding some quiet time in the sewing room usually helps with the stress levels.  But I've also learned that sewing when my brain is really ready for idle mode isn't usually a good idea.  That tends to result in a later session with a seam ripper.  Thankfully I was able to set the brain to idle  and watch the Olympics while hand stitching the binding to the Midnight Mystery Quilt (Midnight Tulips). 

Midnight Mystery Quilt (Midnight Tulips)  From Meadow Mist Designs

This project was started last July as part of the Midnight Mystery Quilt Along sponsored by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs.  I wanted to get this quilt finished because Cheryl has a new quilt along this year.  There's just less guilt about starting the next mystery if you finished the last one.  Especially when your UFO count is 17.  I'm really happy with the finished project.  It has a bit more modern vibe than what I typically make, but it's good to branch out sometimes.   This quilt is going to be a Christmas gift for Drama Teen's confirmation sponsor.  She's a long time friend of the family and remains one of DT's favorite teachers.  

This quilt has been a bear to photograph. For some reason the red ends up as a ghastly shade of orange if I don't color correct in Photoshop Elements.  It was also really hard to get a decent photo of Trudy's wonderful quilting. 

I really like the red petals she quilted in the center of each star, they are still hard to see in this photo. The quilting in the black background is a simple meander.  Showing the back won't help, it' a pretty busy print.  My justification for starting this mystery was that I'd use up some of my older stash.  So the back was something I had on hand. 

I'd show you the whole back, but those little white flowers are a bit overwhelming in large quantities.  

Midnight Tulips is just my second finish for 2016.  The plan for the year is to finish 8 projects.  It's August, so finishing that many isn't likely.  But Allietare just needs binding, Poinsettias is almost a finished flimsy and Zombies in Paris is close behind.  So it's likely I'll get halfway to my goal this year.  

Linking up with 
Monday Making
Main Crush Monday
Design Wall Monday

Sunday, August 14, 2016

To Count or Not: Stash Report for Week 33 of 2016

Weekends never seem to be long enough.  This one is no exception.  The big project at work has finally reached fever pitch.  The cog in the wheel activities have been draining, I can't imagine what it's been like for those responsible for getting the motor started.  I've had to work overtime several nights this week, but thankfully I was exempt from the 9 PM call in meetings.  With the project now implemented, it's just a case of tying up loose ends.  Another couple of weeks and I can get back to my regularly scheduled work.  

Even with the added hours, I didn't do to badly at finding time to stitch this week.  Though a couple of nights all I could cope with was 15 minutes of hand stitching the binding on the Midnight Mystery quilt.  Friday night, I was so brain dead, even that wasn't feasible.  Still not a bad week in terms of finding time to stitch.

Days with 15 minutes of stitching time this week:  6 out of 7 days
Days in August:  11 out of 13 days
Days in 2016:  178 out of 226

Not much fabric going out this week in spite of the time in the sewing room:

Used last week:  0.49
Used year to date:  36.79
Purchased year to date:  28.75 yards
Fabric add from give away:  4 yards
Net used in 2016:  4.04 yards

Lea Brummett who blogs at Podunk Pretties really brightened up my busy week with a half yard bundle of Bernatex Indian Summer prints which she gave away as part of the Back Porch Blooms quilt along. If you haven't checked out Lea's patterns for this quilt along, you really should. They are all gorgeous. 

Very pretty fabrics in a very prettily tied package.  

The fabrics are gorgeous. 

Drama Teen has been hinting how much she likes them.  But these are perfect to use in a project for my niece.  She just painted her room pale green and was asking if I had any quilts in pastels.  These would be perfect.  Now if I can just find a pattern and the time, I'd love to finish a quilt for her.  

Linking up with Patchwork Times for this week's stash report.  Now I need to get my walk in and start on Mount Laundry.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Blooming WIPs

This week has gone fast, it will do that when your work day is spent working towards a deadline for a big project.  I'm not the lead for the project (thankfully!)  but those of us filling "functional expert" roles have to finish our tasks by today.  I got home later than normal last night, but still found some time to wind down a bit in my sewing room.  

The Zombies quilt is my focus project for the month, but I can't work on just one thing. Poinsettias had to come off the design wall in order for me to put the Zombie blocks up.  But I'd gotten two sections of border attached before it came down.

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

The narrow red border is hard to see in this picture, it will be more visible when the next border goes on.  

The Blooms and Butterflies project is still up on the small design wall. 

 Blooms and Butterflies
Bloom block by Lea Brummett, setting by Kate

I'm really liking how this one is turning out.  The little butterfly blocks take some time to make, but they are such fun little blocks.

The butterfly blocks finish at 4", which is pretty small for me.  I used the block library in EQ to work out the size of the pieces for this block.  

Flowers and butterflies are some of my favorite photographic subjects, so it's been fun to work with them in the sewing room too.  It's nice have such bright and fun projects to come home and relax with.  

Linking up with Let's Bee Social and Needle and Thread Thursday

Monday, August 8, 2016

Weekend Stitching: Zombies

As fun as vacation was, it was really nice to spend a relaxing weekend at home.  Thankfully I was able to do some laundry before we came home.  So there weren't piles of dirty clothes that had to be taken care of.  I had planned on doing some yard work, but it rained both weekend mornings and it was too hot to tackle later in the day.  So there was lots of stitching time this weekend. 

Progress was made on all my WIPs, but the biggest milestone was finishing up all the Zombie heart blocks.

I'm not in love with this project, but Drama Teen assures me it's perfect for her friend.  Now to get the blocks stitched together. That should be pretty easy, I won't have to worry about matching seams till I start sewing the rows together.  Assembly should go pretty quickly. 

With Zombies nearing completion, I should start getting the fabric ready for the next graduation quilt on the list for May 2017.

EQ mock up of Bejeweled, pattern from  All About Strips by Susan Guzman

The fabric for this one needs to washed and pressed so it's ready to go when Zombies is shipped off for quilting.  The piecing is pretty simple, so it should go together pretty quickly.  

Linking up with:

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Week 32 of 2016: Slow Stitching and a Stash Report

It rained yesterday.  That may not seem like news, but it's August in Oklahoma.  It's usually pretty parched this time of year.  It's nice to look out the window and see green rather than brown.  Plus the rain took the temps down to the mid 80s from the low 100s.  Unfortunately with the added humidity, it doesn't really feel a lot cooler. 

The humidity outside made it a good afternoon to hang out in the sewing room.  Progress was made on my August OMG, two more Zombie blocks are done.  That's pretty much all the fabric that went out this week. 

Used last week:  0.32 yards
Used year to date:  36.30 yards
Purchased year to date:  28.75 yards
Net used in 2016:  7.55

I did a lot better with finding time to stitch this last week.

Days with 15 minutes of stitching time this week:  6 out of 7 days
Days in July:  19 out of 31 days
Days in August:  5 out of 6 days
Days in 2016:  172 out of 219 days

I was able to bump up my stitching time last week by finally getting some time while we were on vacation to do a little hand work. We weren't up and out quite so early the last weekend of vacation, so I was able to pull out my long term emboridery project and make a bit of progress. 

I've still got a long way to go on this project.  Not surprising since the only time I work on it is when I'm not home.  Maybe that will change next year and I'll find a way to incorporate some slow stitching time into each week.  

Now I need to get going on laundry and other chores.  Have a great Sunday. 

Linking up with:

Kathy's Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday
Patchwork Times for the Stash Report.  

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Where Was I?

It was a short week for me.  Even so, it feels really good that the weekend is here now.  I mentioned last week that between work, Internet issues and family stuff that there just wasn't much to post.  The source of my Internet issues was my computer, but it was aggravated by the fact that I was trying to connect to the hotel wireless.  The family stuff going on was our summer vacation, which is why I was trying to connect via the hotel wireless.  The computer never would connect via the hotel.  Thankfully the Internet was stable and connectable at the house we rented for the last half of vacation.  I was able to do a little posting and a lot of catching up on everyone's blogs last weekend.  

We got home on Wednesday, but I didn't make it back to sewing room till Thursday.  After being gone for 10 days, plus being sidelined due to the long hours at work the week before we left, I had to spend a few minutes figuring out where I was on everything. This month's one monthly goal is to get Zombies in Paris to the finished flimsy stage.  I found those blocks, plus the parts and pieces for three other projects that were laying around the sewing machine.

So the plan for this afternoon is to make a bit of progress on these four projects.  

That's it for the quilty content for this post. I took a ton of photos during our vacation and decided to share just a few.  So continue on if you want to check out a few scenes from the Upper Peninsula and northern shores of Michigan. 

We started out in Traverse City, which is close to Sleeping Bear Dunes.  We spent our first morning climbing and hiking in all that sand.  From there we drove up the coast to Mackinaw City. 

Our hotel room there looked over Lake Huron, which was peaceful and gorgeous at sunrise.  

You can't go to Mackinaw City without taking the ferry over to Mackinac Island.  The Round Island Light house marks the entrance to the docks.  

We rented bikes and rode around the island.  But our favorite spot ended up being a coffee shop looking out over all the sailing boats. 

After the detour to Mackinac Island, we took a day trip up to Tahquamenon Falls in the Upper Peninsula.  


The golden yellow water is due to the high level of tannins that come from the surrounding vegetation.  The water really sparkled in the sun.  After our day trip, we headed back towards Traverse City, but spent a few days in Charlevoix.  We spent one day hiking along the Lake Michigan shoreline.  I've not been able to identify these pretty wildflowers, but they were everywhere. 

Our last day in Charlevoix we headed to Boyne City for a kayaking trip down the Boyne River. 

This was the calm part of the trip, it was a lot more exciting upstream of here.  Let's just say that we spent some of the trip hanging on to the kayak rather than riding it in.  The end wasn't completely without excitement.  In order to reach the dock, we had to go under the bridge where the flowers are sitting.  It looked like this:

We had to lie down in the kayak to get through that.  But it was pretty smooth sailing after that.  

Our last day in Michigan found us back in Traverse City where we had the most distinct feeling we were being watched.  

It was a very relaxing vacation.  The Great Lakes are beautiful, the food was really good (I have enough pictures for post just on the food) and the people were really friendly.  We had a great time.  But now it's time to get moving on back to school stuff for DT and on finishing up a few things before a big project deadline on Thursday.  I'm already ready for next year's vacation!  

Monday, August 1, 2016

August One Monthly Goal and Future Weekend Stitching

July was such a dismal month in terms of sewing room time, just too much going on in the rest of my life.  I'm hoping that August will be better.  Drama Teen starts her senior year of high school on the 18th.  With her back in school, travel should die down a bit, though I think she wants to do a college trip one weekend in August.  Even so, I'm hoping to get back in the sewing groove this month.

That brings me to deciding on what to tackle for August's One Monthly Goal

Looking at what needs to be done by May of next year, I'm thinking that it's time to get really serious about finishing up Zombies in Paris.  I've got three more quilts to finish by next May, so it would be good to get this one done now.  

Zombies in Paris by Kate

The last 5 hearts are all in various stages of assembly, so it really would not take too much to get those finished.  Then all that's left to get to the finished flimsy stage is to sew the blocks together and add two borders.  That should be doable.  So getting Zombies to the finished flimsy stage is the plan for August.  

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