Wednesday, November 30, 2016

WIPS: Piecing Gems

Wednesday already?  It's been a fast week, playing catch up after being out of the office for a week will do that.  There's not been a great deal of time for stitching in the evenings and what time I have had was spent on finishing up the binding for the Zombie quilt.  I've just got about 20" left to go on that. 

The few minutes I had in the sewing room Monday evening was spent cutting the remaining sashing strips needed for Bejeweled.  All the blocks were finished a couple of weeks ago.  Over the weekend I started sewing the columns together and started adding the sashing strips.  

From the book "All About Strips" by Susan Guzman

The strips hang off the design wall, so some of the blocks at the bottom of the quilt are still in the project box.  I'll pull those out as I sew the columns.  It seemed prudent to start with the outside columns and work in. Overall it's coming together pretty quickly when I have a chance to work on it.  Drama Teen is happy with all the colors.  She and I discussed replacing the dark plaid, but she likes the contrast.  To be honest neither of the plaids photograph really well, they have a lot more detail in them than shows up in the photo.    

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

Monday, November 28, 2016

Weekend Stitching and Mystery Monday: It's Mystery Time Again

It's going to be a Monday squared today.  After being off work for a week, going into the office and trying to remember where I was on the various projects will be a challenge.  It was definitively a nice holiday.  Drama Teen and I got to hang out a lot in the kitchen and we also did some toy shopping for our two Angel Tree kids.  That was a lot of fun.  We also got in some great walks with the family, including one with 300 and something steps down and then back up.   

Since we spent a lot of time with family, most of my stitching last week was limited to hand work.  The binding on the Zombie quilt should be done by the end of the week.  I didn't work on it at all yesterday.  My goal yesterday was to get going on clue one for Bonnie Hunter's 2016 mystery quilt, En Provence.  

I typically use yardage for these mysteries, there are never enough scraps in a given colorway to make mine scrappy.  Though this year's fabric choices are scraps in that some of the yardage is left over from a previous project.  My version of the mystery is going to be multicultural as I'm using mainly Asian prints to make a quilt based on scenes from the French countryside.  

Bonnie suggested to those of us using yardage that we consider adding in a second neutral for the four patches described in clue #1.  After looking at the stash, I found another beige and white print that was a bit darker than my first choice.  I think the two prints work pretty well together.  

The first ten 4 patches are made, just 100 more to make.  I've decided to start with half the blocks and add as needed after the reveal to get a nice lap sized quilt.  I'll get more 4 patches made this week, but all 100 won't be finished by the time the next clue comes out. That's OK, I rarely keep up with Bonnie clues, but I usually have enough parts and pieces to execute each clue when it comes out.

Linking up this week with
Bonnie's Mystery Monday
Beth's Monday Making
Beth's Main Crush Monday
Judy's Monday Design Wall 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Week 48: Slow Stitching and Stash Busting

We had a wonderful holiday with the family, but I'm glad to be back home.  I've got the day to get a bit of laundry done, plus make a start on the Bonnie Hunter mystery.  The fabrics are picked out, but that's as far as I've gotten as yet.  I'd also like to finish stitching the binding on the Zombie quilt.

You can't tell from this picture, but the last corner is only 5 inches away, then there is just one long side left to stitch.  That should be doable this afternoon.  Even with the holiday prep, I was able to sneak in 15 minutes of hand stitching time every day last week. That brings the total sewing days for 2016 to 263.  

Since most of the week was hand work, there's not much going on with the stash report. 

Used last week:  0.23 yards
Used year to date:  57.98 yards
Added year to date:  69.02 yards
Net added year to date: 11.04 yards

I'm slowly gaining ground on being back in the black.  Hopefully between the Bonnie Hunter Mystery and Bejeweled, I'll move a little closer to break even for the year. 

Hope you have time for some slow stitching today.  Linking up with Kathy's Quilts.  

Friday, November 25, 2016

November One Monthly Goal: Out the Door

We had a fun Thanksgiving with the family.  My Guy had an emergency at work that prevented him from doing his normal pre-feast baking, so Drama Teen picked up the mantle and ran with it.  She evened learned a new skill or two. 


She'd never used a hand mixer before. After a bit of training, she did just fine, but said she'd much rather use a one on a stand.  That hand mixer probably predates me, it was my Mom's only mixer when I was growing up.  Hope your Thanksgiving feast was grand and memorable in the best way.

Just a few days till the end of November (I am oh so not ready for that).  So it's time to report on the One Monthly Goal progress for the month by linking up with Elm Street Quilts.  

Elm Street Quilts

The November One Monthly Goal was to get the Poinsettias quilt top prepped, packaged and mailed to the ever creative Trudy for quilting.  Prepping tops is my least favorite of all quilting activities, so I tend to put it off.  That's the beauty of the One Monthly Goal, it's harder to put off something when it's your one goal for the month.   

The progress on this goal actually went backwards before it went forwards.  Poinsettias is a big quilt. The yardage that had been set aside as the back was almost 2 yards short.  Now what?  Well since Poinsettias is likely going to be a gift, it needed a nice backing.  So I broke down and ordered an extra wide backing. 

The backing fabric showed up about a week later, was washed and then trimmed to size.  It got one more press and de-threading before it was packaged for shipping.  Though it's not from the same line as the fabrics used in the top, it blends really well with the fabrics on the front.  Hard to go wrong with beige.  

After dealing with the back, it was time to prep the flimsy.  That's really the step I dread the most.  Clearing the back of loose threads is such a painstaking endeavor.  But I did it one Sunday afternoon while listening to the NASCAR race, so it wasn't so bad.  I found the right size batting in the stash and packaged it all up. 

It's been mailed and Trudy got it last Monday.  It should come back in early December with enough time for me to get it bound before Christmas.  

I've really appreciated the One Monthly Goal challenges.  It's been a great way for me to find the motivation to move several projects toward completion.  Not sure yet what the goal will be for December.  I'll have to cogitate on that a bit over the next week.  

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts for the conclusion of November's challenge.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

Weekend Stitching: A Touch of Summer

Usually I'm pretty bummed about Monday, but not this week.  I'm off for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Unfortunately, My Guy will have work due to an ongoing plant problem.  So, I'll have to do the baking he usually does.  Drama Teen will help, she's pretty handy in the kitchen.  We are looking forward to a fun week with the family.  Hopefully My Guy will be able to wrap up his stuff by the end of Tuesday so he can at least take one day of his planned vacation.  

Not much stitching happened Saturday.  We were all worn out after the debate tournament.  Drama Teen didn't get home till almost 8.  But I made up for the lack of sewing time on Sunday.  The two side borders are attached to Blooms and Butterflies. 

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

The top border is almost stitched together. I'm hoping to get all the last two borders assembled and attached this week. It was nice to have this reminder of summer up on the design wall, it's been cold this week.  We finally had to turn the upstairs heat on, it was really cold in the sewing room even with the iron on.   

The other project that's been progressing are my Meadow Mist Mystery blocks.  I finished October's clue earlier this month but forgot to post about those. 

Meadow Mist Designs Mystery
By Cheryl Brickey of the Meadow Mist Designs Blog

I've made a start on November's clue, but haven't gotten very far.  

Hopefully there will be some time this week to finish up the remaining 12 Economy blocks and make a start on the flying geese blocks that come next.  

If you live in the USA, have a very happy Thanksgiving.  If you live elsewhere, have a wonderful week.  I'm so very thankful for this inspirational and giving community here in blogland.  

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

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Stash Report Week 47 of 2016

Our lows have finally dropped below freezing with the highs in the 50's.  It really seems cold.  My Guy is wondering if it's because we went from the 80's one day to the 50's the next. I think it's the wind, which can be pretty brisk and cutting when it blows across the Oklahoma plains.  The grass is turning brown, so My Guy is at least happy with that effect of the sudden temperature change.  

Yesterday's post described our weird week, just too much going on.  We topped off all of that by being debate/speech judges yesterday.  It wasn't hard, but boy was it a drain on the brain cells.  We were all pretty tired when we got home.  I did manage to find the motivation to spend about an hour in the sewing room, making me 7 for 7 in terms of getting into the sewing room for at least 15 minutes.  That brings my total days for the year up to 256.  

But being in the sewing room doesn't always equate to stitching.   Four nights were spent searching for fabrics for Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt, En Provence.   Since mystery quilts can be quite a risk,  I try to pull older fabrics from the stash that haven't found a home yet. After three nights of hauling out and putting back stacks of blues, greens, reds, yellows and browns with no successful color palettes it was getting frustrating.  Then the stack of oriental fabrics left over from an acquisition campaign for the Geisha quilt caught my eye.  Bingo. 

The dark blue and the gold were actually used in Geisha.  The lighter blue and the pink didn't make the cut.  The dark red violet isn't an oriental fabric, but the pattern blends well enough I think.  So we'll see how this set works out.  

Even though there wasn't much sewing this week, part of last Sunday's efforts were to prep a back for the Poinsettia top.  Since that project got mailed to Trudy for quilting, I can count the fabric in the backing out.  That certainly helped the stash report. 

Used last week:  5.57 yards
Used year to date:  57.75 yards
Added year to date:  69.02 yards
Net added year to date:  11.27 yards

Don't know if I can overcome the deficient by the end of the year, but I will certainly whittle it down some.  If I can break even that's still a good thing in my book.  

Linking up with Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: Back to Black

It's been quite a week around here.  Drama Teen got accepted into one of the special college programs she was hoping for.  So we're thinking that's made her decision on which college she's going to in the fall.  That's the fun stuff.  The not so fun stuff is that I've had lots of weird stuff at work and so has My Guy.  Unfortunately My Guy's weird stuff will bleed into next week and though we had planned to be off work all week, he'll have to go in and work at least Monday, maybe all the way till Wednesday.  All of us are majorly bummed as we had plans for the week.  But we'll figure out a new set of plans and salvage something fun for the holiday.  

My weird work stuff put me home late several nights this week, so there was not a lot of time or energy left over to spend in the sewing room.  Even so, the fabrics for two little black dress blocks did get selected.  

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

There was enough energy to start cutting out the pieces for the first black dress.  But obviously my brain was tired as I spaced taking a picture of it before I started cutting.  But you can get a good idea of the fabric choices from the pieces waiting to be stitched.

A dress typically goes together pretty fast once I get it to this stage.  I'm hopeful this one will be ready to show off next weekend. 

There won't be much time for stitching today. My Guy and I have been drafted as debate judges for the tournament Drama Teen's school is hosting.  No one tells you at the start of this whole parent thing about all the learning opportunities you'll have.   On that note, I should go grab breakfast. Linking up this week with:

Rainbow Scrap Challenge
Oh Scrap 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Weekend Stitching: A Bit of This and a Bit of That

It was a good weekend for stitching.  Drama Teen was off at a debate tournament on Saturday and My Guy ended up mowing the yard.  Hopefully that will be the last time till spring.  It's been such a warm fall that the yard is still green and growing.  We had our first freeze this weekend, so that will likely start the spread of winter brown across the landscape.  

There was a bit of this and and bit of that going on in the sewing room.  Poinsettias is pressed, de-threaded and ready for shipping to Trudy for quilting.  Once that box is dropped off at the post office, November's One Monthly Goal will be done.  Prepping quilts for quilting is probably my least favorite activity.  I'm glad to have that off the to do list.  

A few more blocks for the Bejeweled quilt are finished and up on the design wall. 

The last four blocks are at the sewing machine waiting for the corners to be added.  Once those are done, these blocks will have to move to the big design wall to stage them for assembly.  I'm not in love with the dark plaid, it may get replaced with one of the other fabrics.  But I'll wait till  all the pieces are laid out on the design wall before making a decision on replacing it or not. 

The Zombie quilt moved a bit closer to being finished.  The binding has been sewn to the front. 

I'll start hand stitching it to the back this evening. It will be nice to have the first graduation quilt done well before graduation.  Hopefully Bejeweled will be finished before the end of the year.  Plans are to start on the third graduation quilt next month.  I just need to get Drama Teen into the sewing room to help pick the fabrics.  

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

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Stash Report: Week 46 of 2016

Week 46?  Oh wow, the year is winding down so fast. It just doesn't seem like it's time for the holidays.  Maybe that's because we've had such a warm autumn. My Guy mowed our still green and growing yard yesterday.  That's definitely not typical.  

This week's stash report isn't typical either.  I've been pretty good about limiting stash additions, but not this week.  Three of the additions were needed for ongoing projects, so I didn't add without reason.  I purchased some more of the tone on tone white used for the background in the Vintage Dress blocks.  There's not enough left to make the block frames and sash the quilt.  So I ordered more while Connecting Threads still had it.  I also ordered a few more fabrics from their Mosaic Blooms line for  Bejeweled.  What I had on hand wasn't working for one of the blocks.  I also ordered one additional tone on tone white for the stash.  It was on sale and it seems I never have enough neutrals for backgrounds.  No pictures of any of that.  Since I needed most of it immediately, it went straight to the washer once it arrived.  The other purchase was extra wide fabric to back Poinsettias.  That I did remember to take a photo of before it got washed. 

It's not a Christmas print, but I think it goes nicely with the fabrics used in the flimsy.  After all those additions, the stash numbers don't look so hot. 

Used last week:  0.77 yards
Used year to date:  52.18 yards
Added year to date:  69.02 yards
Net added year to date:  16.84 yards

Most of what was added will go right back out in a few months, but it's likely not all of it will be used before the end of the year.  So I'll probably end up slightly in the red for 2016, but that's OK.  

One of my strategies to use more fabric this year was to spend more time in the sewing room, at least 15 minutes a day.  I've done pretty well at that this week, managing to get there 6 out of 7 days.  That brings my total to 249 days for the year.  That's more than I managed last year, which was my unofficial goal for this year. 

Linking up with Patchwork Times.  You'll find more stash reports there.   

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Is Magenta the Same as Red-Violet?

It's amazing how fast the weeks seem to fly this time of year.  Thanksgiving is not quite 2 weeks away.  Thankfully My Guy and Drama Teen are responsible for that dinner menu, I'm just responsible for reminding them that it's time to decide on the grocery list and pick up the bigger items.  

My Guy has been off at a conference, so it's been just Drama Teen and I this week.  Sewing time was easy to come by.  So much so that 2 of the 5 remaining Vintage Dresses needed for this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt were finished up this wee.  The first is from the dark end of the red-violet spectrum.

Not sure where you'd wear this one, but I love the dragon flies on the insert.  The second dress is definitely on the lighter side. 

It would have been better had those lighter flowers ended up in the middle rather than off to one side.  I didn't realize that this fabric probably needed to be fussy cut.  But I"ll claim this was  deliberate design element and not worry about it going forward. 

Here are both dresses together. 

 Vintage Dresses by Charise Randell

The actual color of both dresses is best represented by this photo.  They are fun additions to the project. Now to pick the fabrics for the 2 black dresses.   

Just 3 dresses left to make before I can start on the assembly.  This project isn't likely to get done this year, but hopefully it will get finished up sometime early in 2017.  I've been doing pretty well at finishing up the projects I've started the last couple of years, but my UFO list hasn't gone down much.  

Linking up with Soscrappy for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and with Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap when those posts are up.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Weekend Stitching: Butterfly Stitching

It's been a log time since I've had the chance to just spend the day in my pjs.  Didn't have to go anywhere and with My Guy out of the house for the day, my schedule was pretty much my own.  So of course I spent the day in the sewing room.  Not all of it was stitching, it was time for some significant dust removal efforts, vacuuming and straightening up.  Once that was accomplished, I got going on the fun stuff.  

All the blocks for the pieced border on Blooms and Butterflies were finished last weekend.  After playing around with arrangements, this is the layout. 

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

Since this picture was taken, the blocks on the left have been removed and are over at the sewing machine.  Just one more seam and that border will be ready to attach. 

Up on the little design wall are more blocks for Bejeweled.

I really like the purple and teal color combo.  These blocks are going together really fast.  Just 3 more sets of blocks to make then it will be ready for assembly into a flimsy.  I might just get that done before the end of the month.  

The only other excitement this weekend was the 5.0 earthquake that shook Oklahoma last night at about 7:45.  The sewing room is on the second floor and I definitely took note when that rumbled through.  News reports say there is damage in the small Oklahoma town of Cushing, the epicenter of this one.  But thankfully no significant injuries resulted.  So far no reports of any damage to the crude oil terminal that resides there.  For those not aware, the Cushing crude oil terminal is one of the largest storage facilities in the world.  Damage to any of the pipelines leading in or out could impact fuel prices across the US, as well as cause a pretty significant oil spill.      

On that note, it's time to get ready for work.  Have a great week.  Linking up with:

Main Crush Monday
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Stash Report for Week 45 of 2016

It's been one of those weeks.  Between the evenings we had something going on and the evenings I went to bed early, not a lot got done in the sewing room.  Some weeks are just that way and it's OK.  I sew to maintain some sanity, it's insane to beat myself up because it's not working for me.  But even though the sewing room only saw me for three days this week, there's still a bit of fabric going out. 

Used last week:  0.79 yards
Used year to date: 51.41 yards
Added year to date:  47.59 yards
Net used in 2016: 3.82 yards

My net used will take a hit next week.  I had to order some fabrics to finish up a few projects and couldn't resist the temptation to add to my background fabric stash.  I'm OK with that too.  Even if the added is more than the used, the incoming to the stash is way down from where it was a couple of years ago.  It's about maintaining balance while still having the right fabrics in the stash closet.    

The weather here has been pretty spectacular.  Unfortunately, the leaves aren't changing much, too warm I guess.  But the sunrises have been pretty. 

And it's been nice walking at sunset.  You can get a different set of back lit images then. 

Have a great week.  You can see more stash reports over at Patchwork Times.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November One Monthly Goal: Prepping for Finishes

We really only have two months left in 2016.  I've accepted that fact, though I'd really, really like to think it wasn't true.  So just two months left to make progress on this year's quilting plan.  I've started 2 of the 4 graduation quilts, plus the Rainbow Scrap project and the Meadow Mist mystery.  Those were on my "to be started list".  I've got plans worked out for the last 2 graduation quilts and may actually get one more of them started before the end of the year.  Bonnie Hunter doesn't start up till later this month and there's no reason to think I won't manage to get that one started.  I only started one project that wasn't on my list, Blooms and Butterflies.  So as far as starts go, I've pretty much stayed true to the plan.  

Finishes are another story.  The plan was to finish 8 quilts this year.  That was a pretty aggressive plan as the most I've ever finished in one year was 7.  But there have been three finishes this year, Vintage Tea Time, Midnight Tulips and Allietare (you can see all three here).  So in contemplating November's One Monthly Goal I've been trying to decide if there is anything I can do to improve on that finished number.  Zombies in Paris just needs to be bound, so that's one option.  Poinsettias is a finished flimsy, but it needs a back before it can be sent out for quilting.  

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

If I can get Poinsettias sent out and back, it has a good chance of getting bound before the end of the year, as does the Zombies quilt. I have the backing fabric for Poinsettias.  It's just a matter of piecing the back and getting the quilt prepped for Trudy.  I really hate prepping quilts, so maybe it's the better option for the One Monthly Goal because I need some additional incentive to get it out the door for quilting.  So prepping Poinsettias for quilting and getting it mailed to Trudy is the goal for November.  

There's a new host for OMG, Patty who blogs at Elm Street Quilts is taking over for Heidi of Red Letter Quilts.  So I'm linking up with Patti for the November OMG.  Many thanks to Heidi to coming up with the concept of the OMG. It's been a great motivator for me this year and I'm so glad that Patti is going to carry it on into next year.