Wednesday, May 31, 2017

WIPs and UFOs: Seeing Stars but no Angels Yet

We are getting back into the routine after graduation and the holiday weekend.  The repair guy made it to the house yesterday.  The locking mechanism on the front loading washer is bad.  He'll have to order the part.  So I'm likely to be without a washer till sometime next week.  Looks like DT will get her laundromat lesson sooner rather than later.  

On the stitching front, I've felt just a little bit lost.  I started on the graduation quilts in May of last year, so I've gotten used to the "have to sew" projects that have been calling my name.  It's been a bit strange to walk into the sewing room with nothing that has to get done.  So it's time to refocus and figure out what's the goal for the rest of the year.  There are 21 quilts on my WIPs/UFO list.  Of those 18 are UFOs  (projects that were started more than a year ago).  So I've been doing really well at finishing off all the new starts, but not getting back to projects that got put up for one reason or another.  

I joined in with Judy of Patchwork Times for her UFO-2017 campaign at the beginning of the year.  But substituted in the graduation quilts for the first 4 months of the year.  May's focus was on quilt number 11 from my 2017 Quilt Plan.  That's my Christmas Angels quilt started in 2013.  The project box contained all the pieces for the alternate blocks so the easiest thing to do was to start sewing those parts together.  But before starting on that, I needed to fix the pattern.  I didn't realize until the quilt got added to this year's project list that the seams in the alternate blocks didn't match up to the seams in the focus blocks.  It didn't look bad from a distance, but close up it looked sloppy.  So the first step was to fix the design.  That meant adjusting the focus block since no fabric had been cut for those yet.  Here's the adjusted design. 


Christmas Angels:  Self Designed


With that done, I got started on the alternate blocks. 




The centers and four patches are really a dark green, not black as they appear in the photo.  I need 12 of the alternate blocks, so I've made good progress on those.  If Judy continues the UFO challenge, she'll pick a new UFO for June.  Working on multiple projects is pretty natural to me so I'll probably keep working on these alternate blocks as they are almost done.  Whether the focus blocks get started or the whole project gets put back in the box for later will depend on what June's UFO turns out to be.  

Linking up with:
Let's Bee Social
Needle and Thread Thursday
UFO-2017 Challenge

Monday, May 29, 2017

Weekend Stitching: May One Monthly Goal Finished

It's a beautiful weekend for honoring all those who've served our country.  My father in law was injured in World War II.  He really was a man of peace, but served because it was the right thing to do.  He really was an incredible person.   Our thoughts and prayers are with those who've served and the families who've supported them.  

Our  holiday weekend started off with Drama Teen's graduation. 



We are so proud of her.  She's been accepted into the Honors College at Oklahoma State University.  So come fall she'll be on to the next set of adventures and challenges.  

We had a fun visit with the family that came for graduation this weekend.  But that meant there wasn't much weekend stitching going on till last night.  The final borders were added to the Meadow Mist Mystery quilt on Friday.  


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

I'm really happy with how this one turned out.  Getting the borders on was part of May's One Monthly Goal. The rest of the goal was to get the back made and get the project ready for Trudy to quilt.  That happened last night.



All that's left is to seal up the box and write out an address label.  So May's OMG is done.  I'm 5 for 5 on my OMG goals for 2017.  I've really enjoyed this challenge.  Picking one priority for the month has really helped me get to the finished line with a few projects this year.   

Enjoy the rest of this holiday weekend. 

Linking up with:
May One Monthly Goal Finish
Monday Making
Design Wall Monday
Main Crush Monday

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Stash Stuff for Week 21 of 2017

Hope everyone in the US is having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  Ours has been a bit busy, but we should hit the relaxing stuff today.  I'm sitting in my recliner, drinking my first cup of coffee for the day trying to decide if I'm going to write a stash post or not.  Patchwork Times has discontinued the weekly stash report link up.  Doing a linky party is a lot of work and since stash management just wasn't a priority for her I definitely understand why she dropped it.  The stash report was my first ever linky party when I started blogging, almost seven years ago.  Having to confess those stash enhancements exercises coupled with those times I've been completely AWOL from the sewing room has lead me to develop strategies to incorporate regular sewing time into what is often a pretty hectic schedule.  So I'm a bit loath to give up on these posts as I find them useful. So here is this week's stash report.

Used last week:  0.30 yards
Used year to date:  29.28 yards
Added year to date:  188.42 yards
Net added year to date:  159.14 yards

I've not been doing such a hot job on managing the the incoming flow to the stash.  But Hancock's and Craftsy both had really good sales.  I bought some yardage of the black and a dark blue batiks from Hancock's, enough to use as background fabric.  No pictures of that addition.  But I did get some of the Craftsy additions. 



I love brights but never seem to have enough blenders, so this set of Robert Kaufman Fusions Meadow fabrics just jumped into the cart.  So did these RJR Basically Patrick fat quarters. 


To top off my week of acquisitions, I checked out the second new quilt shop in town and in the spirit of supporting a new local business walked out with a few fat quarters to use in my scrappy projects.


I need to just delete all those sale notices.  A stash enhancement diet would probably be wise for the next few months.  

On the finding time to stitch front, in spite of our busy schedule this week due to DT's high school graduation, I did manage to find 15 minutes in the sewing room 7 out of the last 7 days.  So sewing happened 140 out of the last 147 days.  Not bad.  Definitely a banner year on that front.  

Quiltpaintcreate is hosting a stash report linky for the next month.  If it catches on, she'll keep hosting the stash report linky party.  You could link up or just check out how everyone else is doing on managing their stash.    

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WIPS: A Timely Finish

It's graduation week for Drama Teen, so it's been a bit busy here.  Sunday was Senior Sunday at church.  Monday night DT and I ran a few errands to get ready for the last end of school celebration and sleep over.  On Sunday, DT decided that we really needed another label for the The First Amendment quilt, one that had been signed by all the newspaper staff.  So that left me scrambling Monday night to get the second label sewn to the quilt.  The plan was to present the quilt during the end of the year journalism party yesterday.  That stitching was done and the quilt was wrapped up ready to go before I went to bed Monday night.  So now I can claim that all the graduation quilts are done!  Talk about just in time finishes.  

Here's the finished First Amendment Quilt. 


The First Amendment Quilt, pattern self designed

The First Amendment is printed in the center panel.



The panel was printed using the largest size printable fabric sheet I could find.  This quilt was for Drama Teen's journalism teacher, so that seemed to be the most appropriate theme.  The background fabric is a fake newsprint, which also seemed appropriate.  Trudy Lindemann did a wonderful job on the quilting as always.



A chain of stars in the borders.  



And loops in the star center.  

The quilt was gifted yesterday during the end of the year journalism party.  According to DT, Miss T loved the quilt.  I got a very nice hug when I got home.  Doesn't get much better than that in terms of being thanked.  

The First Amendment quilt is my forth finish this year.  Considering that I only finished 4 quilts in all of 2016 (the same for all of 2015) and it's not even June yet, this is looking to be one of my better years for finishes.  I'd like to have a shorter WIP/UFO list for 2018.  The First Amendment quilt was on my Second Quarter 2017 Finish Along list.  It was number two on my list, so I'm halfway to my goal for the quarter.  That's a good feeling too!  

Linking up with:
Let's Bee Social
Needle and Thread Thursday
Can I get a Whoop, Whoop
Second Quarter 2017 Finish Along

Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekend Stitching: The Small Design Wall

Today starts the last week of high school for Drama Teen. She's got finals all week.  Physics is Wednesday, that's the one she's really dreading.  The last day of school is Thursday.  We're hosting the annual end of school year party and sleep over that day.  The graduation quilts will be gifted then.  I've got my fingers crossed that they are liked.  I put the last stitches into The First Amendment Quilt binding last night.  Pictures have to get taken this afternoon.  It needs to be wrapped up tonight as it will be gifted on Tuesday during the journalism end of year party.  Nothing like taking it down to the wire, but they are all done!  Now I'm ready to play with some non-deadline stuff for awhile.  

I've been working on getting the final borders on the Meadow Mist Mystery quilt.  It's been taking up space on the big design wall.  The next to last border is pinned on ready for stitching, so at the moment that project is laying by the machine.  But there is stuff up on the small design wall.  This month's UFO project is the Christmas Angels quilt started back in 2013.  


All the pieces for the alternate blocks were in the project box when I pulled it off the shelf.  The path of least resistance was to start assembling these blocks.  Before I started on the assembly, I did end up tweaking the final quilt design just a bit which meant cutting new centers for these blocks.  The plan is to make progress with this project this month, it will probably not get finished.  But moving it along is better than not.  

The other project up on the small design wall is block 7 of EnProvence.

 En Provence, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)

EnProvence is my current leaders and enders project.  I'll start sewing this block together this week.  I'm hoping there is enough fabric to make 12 blocks, so I'm just at the halfway mark with this project.  The plan is to finish it before then next mystery starts.  

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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Slow Stitching and Stash Stuff for Week 20 of 2017

Weekends always seem to go so fast don't they?  Yesterday seemed to just fly by.  High school graduation is this week, so we've got lots of family coming for next weekend.  Time just seems to pass by in the blink of an eye when there is a lot to do.  There never seems to be enough time to get all the stuff done no matter how early you start.  Why is that?   There has to be some space/time theory that explains all of that (And why your kids are babies one day and then graduating seniors seemingly the next!) The end of school also means that the graduation quilts are going to new homes.  Three of the four are done.  Thankfully, I'm to the binding stage on the fourth. 


Drama Teen's journalism class is having an end of year party on Wednesday, so the First Amendment Quilt needs to be done by Tuesday night as it's for the journalism teacher.  I've turned one corner so far, just three left.  So I'll definitely be taking refuge from all the rushing around we've been doing to slow stitch the rest of the binding down.   You can check out more slow stitching projects over at Kathy's Quilts.  

Sunday is usually also stash report day.  But Judy over at Patchwork Times decided to stop hosting that linky party after last week's post.  For whatever reason, posting how much fabric I'm using and how often I get in the sewing room helps keep me accountable.  Quiltpaintcreate is going to pick up the stash report linky party for at least the next month.  If she gets enough participation, she'll keep doing it.  So here's my stash numbers for the week:

Used last week:  0.77 yards
Used year to date:  28.98 yards
Added year to date:  154.3 yards
Net added year to date:  125.32 yards

I added 4 yards this week.  Not so much because I needed it, but because I do believe in supporting the newly opened quilt shop in town.  We've not had one for a while and I'd like this one to stay in business.  So about once a month I pop in and see what they've got.  I walked out with 4 one yard pre-cuts. 



I don't have much of these four colors in my stash.  We've not done orange yet this year for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and my project this year will need 16 different oranges.  So I'm picking up a few here and there when I find ones I like.  I also came home with a very fun pattern.


No plans for this one as yet, but with all the book lovers in the family, I'm sure this one will get made at some point. 

As far as finding time to stitch this week, 7 out of 7 days something needle and thread related happened.  I'm at 95% success rate with finding those 15 minutes to stitch each day.  This shows in my finishes.  It's been a while since I've had almost 4 finishes in before June.  I'm hoping I don't loose momentum once all the graduation quilts are done.  Though I will be glad to be done with the time constrained projects for the year.   

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: A bit of Green

This is proving to be one busy May.  I don't remember high school graduation being such a busy time, but looking back I suppose passing finals was my only focus then.  Yesterday was the senior awards ceremony.  Drama Teen did win one small scholarship, but lost out on the one she really wanted.   However, she didn't get too much time to mourn that outcome as there was a very fun surprise waiting when we got home.  Drama Teen's debate coach had asked if she was interested in an alternative final rather than doing a final case presentation.  Since she's on the journalism staff he asked DT to write an article about the debate team's year and see if she could get it published in the local paper.  She finished the "final" earlier this week then submitted the article and photos to the paper on Wednesday.  To her great surprise and pleasure, her article and photos were on the front page of the paper yesterday.  It was below the fold, but still the front page.  She was so excited to see her name on the byline. I would think that merits an A, but I guess we'll see how that goes.    

So enough proud mamma stuff (thanks for letting me get that out).  There has been some stitching going on, though I will admit it hasn't amounted to much the last few weeks.  Two of the large green fans for this year's RSC project are done. 



I love how the black background makes those greens pop.  There are two large green blocks and 4 small green blocks left to make this month.  With graduation next weekend, housework is the number one agenda item this week.  Plus, I need to get the binding sewn to the last graduation quilt by Wednesday.  I don't know that I'll get much done on the RSC blocks this week.  

Linking up with Soscrappy for this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.   And on Sunday, I'll be linking up with Oh Scrap.  You should check out both linky parties.  Lots of beautiful scrappy eye candy there. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Stash Stuff for Week 19 of 2017




Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's in the United States.  We aren't doing anything special this weekend, which is good.  With Drama Teen's graduation coming up in the next 2 weeks, we'll be busy with getting ready for family and friends to come celebrate with us.  I got scones for breakfast, one of my favorites.  Then My Guy and Drama Teen are grilling salmon for dinner.  I'm so lucky to have such a great family.  

It's been a bit hectic the last few weeks between work stuff and graduation stuff.  Due to My Guy's success as a nature photographer (his photographs have been used in company calendars for the last 3 years), he's been asked to photograph a number of company events, I got drug into that Friday night as he felt that it would take 2 of us to cover all the activity.  I'm also suffering from seasonal allergies, which resulted a very early evening on Thursday, I pretty much came home and went straight to bed.  So I didn't do so hot at finding 15 minutes to stitch every day this week, but I managed 5 out of the 7 days.  Some weeks it's just going to be that way. 

In terms of the stash, I did manage to get a bit moved out. 

Used last week:  0.85 yards
Used year to date:  28.21 yards
Added year to date:  150.3 yards
Net added:  122.09 yards

My family is going to let me do whatever I want today, so there will probably be some significant time spent in the sewing room today.  I need to make a back for the Meadow Mist Mystery quilt, so hopefully there will be some significant yardage going out sometime this week.  

Linking up with Patchwork Times.  Have very a happy Sunday.  

Monday, May 8, 2017

Weekend Stitching - Finished My Geometry Assignment

It was a beautiful weekend here, sunny and warm.  We were out and about on Saturday getting Drama Teen's senior portrait taken.  Here's one of the good shots.



Since one of the goofy shots was in yesterday's post DT asked for equal time for one of the better shots.  

Sewing time was a bit limited this weekend due to all the graduation preparation stuff going on.  However, I did find enough time to finish the binding on the third graduation quilt. 


Geometry, self designed
Started: December 17, 2016, Finished:  May 7, 2017

It's a very fun quilt.  Trudy quilted a different design in each color.








Trudy as always did a beautiful job with the quilting.  Drama Teen is very happy with it. We both hope her friend will like it.  The current plan is to have a hang out party the afternoon of the last day of school and we'll do the gifting then.  There's so much going on with graduation that it's best we do it before then.  

Geometry is the first finish off my 2017 Finish Along list for the second quarter.  It's my third finish for the year.  It feels really good to get another one off the WIP list.  My UFO count still sits at 17 as this quilt was started and finished within the year.  But getting it off the WIP list means it won't make it to the UFO list.  So at least the UFO count isn't going up.  Hopefully once all the graduation quilts are done, there will be time to work on shortening the UFO list. 

Linking up with:
Monday Making at Live Love Quilt
Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times
Main Crush Monday on Tuesday at Cooking Up Quilts

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Stash Stuff for Week 18 of 2017

It's been a gorgeous weekend so far.  Unfortunately, there's not been a lot of sewing going on.  With graduation coming up there's been lots of other stuff to do. Family is coming so housecleaning is a must.  Graduation announcements really need to get out, but that meant we needed senior pictures.  The school's photographer completely botched Drama Teen's shots and the retakes (the school used a new company this year).  We talked about getting a professional photographer, but DT decided she wanted us to take her pictures.  So we drove all over town yesterday looking for great places for portraits.  I've not culled those yet, that's on tap for later this morning.  But here's one that's definitely going in the outtake folder (I think it was something My Guy said that put that look on her face.)


  

So with all of those things going on in the background, sewing time has been a bit limited.  I have managed to get in at least 15 minutes each day this week, but most days it has been only been 15 minutes. So my stash report for the week looks a little dismal. 

Used last week:  0 yards
Used year to date:  27.36 yards
Added year to date: 150.3 yards
Net added:  122.94 yards

At least there wasn't any incoming this week.  I will get in some good stitching time this afternoon when I take a break to watch the NASCAR race.  I'm putting borders on a quilt, so next week should see some positive numbers in the used column.  

Linking up with Patchwork Times for the weekly stash report.  

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: Going for the Green

It was a looong week!  I'm not sure why, but it just seemed like we had a lot going on.  Though My Guy was out of town on business and Drama Teen spent most of the week studying for her advancement placement tests.  Being out of the office last week, I was playing catch up.  Maybe it's all of the above that added up to make for a long week.

The last graduation quilt was shipped off for quilting last Monday.  It's taken a bit to decide on what's next.  May's One Monthly Goal is up on the design wall and the borders are in progress.  Last night I found the box that contained the blocks for this month's UFO project and figured out what needed to come next there.  This morning it was time to figure out what was needed for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  This month is green.  Based on the draft quilt plan, I'll need 4 large fan blocks and 4 small fan blocks in green.  It took a bit of scrounging in the stash, but a palette eventually took shape.



It takes two fabrics for each fan, so all I needed was eight pairs. I've been trying for one dark and one light for each fan.  I think these will work. Now to decide which 4 make up the large fans and which go into the small fans. 

Linking up with Soscrappy for this weeks Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

WIPS: The Leaders and Enders Project

I'm a big fan of Bonnie Hunter's leaders and enders method.  It's a nice way to make progress on a project while you are stitching on other quilts.  It's especially nice for a project I've gotten stalled on because I don't like the assembly process.  That's not the case with my current leaders and enders project, I've just been busy trying to get the graduation quilts finished.  En Provence is my current leaders and enders project.  Just before my business trip I finished block number 6 and decided to throw all the blocks up on the design wall to see how it's looking.  

En Provence, A Bonnie Hunter Mystery (2016)

I'd like to end up with 12 blocks, but there may not be enough fabric for that.  There is enough for another 3 blocks, so I'm going to get those made and reassess.  I'm really happy with how it's coming together.  Leaders and enders is a slow way to finish a project.  On the other hand, there would be no progress at all if I wasn't working on a few seams at a time while making other stuff.  

Linking up with 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Working on the UFO List: May One Monthly Goal and UFO-2017 projects

The last of the graduation quilts got mailed off for quilting yesterday.  I'll be cutting it close on having it done by graduation, but I think that's doable.  The plan is to get the binding and labels made while Trudy is doing the quilting, so hopefully the finish will go fast once it's back.  Geometry still needs 2 sides of the binding stitched down before it's finished.  That's been one of my evening projects.  Either of those could be May's One Monthly Goal, but since they will get done on matter what, I'm really considering choosing something else to link up for this month's challenge. 



In addition to the two graduation quilts, there are two other quilts on my 2017 Finish Along list (I'm using every incentive possible to get some finishes this year!).  One of those is the Meadow Mist Mystery quilt.  I finished the published mystery, but knew I wanted to add some borders.  

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


I played around in EQ over the weekend and now have a plan worked out.  So May's One Monthly Goal will be to get the borders added, make a backing and get the Meadow Mist Mystery quilt ready to ship to Trudy for quilting.  

Patchwork Times is hosting UFO-2017 this year and I've been kinda sorta participating.  The graduation quilts were substituted in for the first 4 numbers drawn.  This month Judy picked number 11, which is my Christmas Angels Quilt.  All that's done on that quilt is some of the blocks. 




Looks like October of 2013 was the last time I worked on this project.  It's definitely time to dust off the blocks and see if some progress can be made.  The goal isn't to finish this project, but just to move it along.  

Hopefully the by the end of May there will be two more finishes, one quilt ready for quilting and another UFO moved a bit closer to completion.  I'd really like to get my UFO/WIP list pared down from it's current count of 23 to below 20 by mid year.  

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts for the May One Monthly Goal.  

Monday, May 1, 2017

Weekend Stitching: What Next?

We didn't get the severe weather that occurred to the south and north of us, but it was certainly a wet weekend.  It was a very good thing that I managed to get home on Friday.  Air travel would have been less than fun on Saturday, especially since I flew home through Denver.  Drama Teen is waiting to see if they'll have school today. The river is up and the parking lot at the high school is flooded.  It's been a long time since we've gotten that much rain.  

It was nice to be back in the sewing room after being gone for a week.  There were a few minutes of "So where was I?", when I first walked in.  The most pressing project was to get The First Amendment quilt prepped for packing so it can go to Trudy for quilting as that was my April One Monthly Goal.  I wrote about that yesterday but didn't realize until reviewing at my last few posts that I never posted the finished First Amendment flimsy.  


The First Amendment Quilt - self designed

Replacing the corner stars with the neutral backgrounds with the red was definitely worthwhile.  I like this layout much better.  The erroneous stars got used on the back. 


Backing for the First Amendment Quilt

I like how the backing came out.  Now both the top and the back have been checked for loose threads, pressed and packaged ready to go to the post office today.  

The First Amendment quilt was also my UFO-2017 project for April.  It's not done yet, but it definitely got moved along.  It will get finished this month as it's going to be gifted at graduation.  This is the last of the graduation quilts.  I'm still stitching the binding to the back of the third graduation quilt, but I'm getting close to being done with those projects.  What will I do then?  Hmmm.  

Linking up with

Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making
Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday
Cooking up Quilts for Main Crush Tuesday
Patchwork Times for UFO-2017