Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stash Report - July 31st

Can you believe it's the last day of July?  The start of school is only 2 and half weeks away!  Kiddo is ready though, she told me earlier this week that she was "school-sick" and missing her friends.  We went uniform shopping yesterday to find the shirts that French Toast is back ordered on. You might ask what this has to do with the stash report.  Well there is a link.  A few weeks ago Kiddo picked out a quilt she wants for Christmas.  It's "Jigsaw" by Lehman Quilting.

She wanted me to make this quilt out of batiks from my stash.  We pulled a number of fabrics out of my stash, but she wanted the quilt to have some green in it and that's one color I didn't have at all.  Kiddo is amazingly good at visualizing color layouts for quilts (I wish I could get her to sew, but she still prefers to leave that to me.)  She really wanted there to be greens in this quilt.  So yesterday after the uniform shopping was done we went by the quilt shop and picked up some greens and a few other blender fabrics, plus fabric for two borders like the shop's sampler showed. We had a lot of fun pulling fabrics for this quilt.  I really like the palette she's come up with. 

However, this project was not kind to my stash report. 

Used this week: 0.49 yards
Added this week: 8.25 yards

Used year to date: 40.43 yards
Added year to date: 36.75 yards

Net Used for 2011: 3.68 yards

Fabric Budget: 14 yards for July to September
Bought/Budget:  20.75 yards/14 yards

So I've pretty much blown my fabric budget for the quarter.  Actually, probably pretty much for the year as this will leave me with only 3.25 yards that I can purchase the rest of the year to stay on budget.  I already know that I'll need backing fabrics for a couple of quilts.  Oh well, the budget was intended to keep me on track so that I would make the real goal, which is to use more then I buy.  For now I'm still on track with that goal. 

That's it for my report this week.  How did you do?  Check out Judy's Patchwork Times for more stash stories. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Foto Finish - Farm Fields

It's Saturday and I'm home!  July has been insane in terms of activities:  family get togethers, swim meets, and business travel.  Consequently, I've been MIA on some of my regular posts, as well as being really slow on catching up with everyone else's posts.  Things should slow down in a few weeks, or at least I'm desperately hoping that they do!

Moving on to this week's Foto Finish topic of "Farm Fields".  I struggled with this one and ended up using my own interpretation of what constitutes a field used for "farming". 

There's not much farming in the part of Oklahoma where I live.  It's mainly ranching.  So you see miles of the Oklahoma prairie used to raise cattle and horses.  This shot was taken along Highway 60 between Pawhuska and Ponca City.  It's a pretty lonely stretch of highway.  Very few houses are visible from the road.  This is also oil country.  It's where the early oil industry in Oklahoma boomed, so you'll see the occasional oil pump.  In many ways this is a desolate land scape, but oh what the the light does out here.  I used to drive this stretch of road pretty frequently, usually leaving the house before day break and coming home as the sun was setting.  Watching either the sun rise or set out here is breathtaking.  

Thanks for stopping by for this week's Foto Finish.  To see more, check out Cat Patches

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

15 Minute Challenge - July 26th

This week's 15 Minute Challenge will be short.  I'm traveling this week for my day job.  Kiddo and My Guy are holding down things at home (I hope anyway).  Not too bad this week, managed at least 15 minutes on quilt projects 5 out of the last 7 days.   

Monday - Finished cutting out Flurry blocks
Tuesday - Started sewing Flurry blocks
Wednesday - Flurry Blocks
Thursday - Flurry Blocks
Friday - Flurry Blocks
Saturday - No Sewing (swim meet)
Sunday - GFG Hexes
Monday - No sewing (travel)

How did you do last week on your sewing goals?  Link up below and let us know. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Design Wall Monday-July 25th

I'm almost glad it's Monday.  I get to spend most of the day in air conditioning.  Kiddo had an outdoor swim meet last weekend, so we spent the last couple of days out in the 106 to 110 F heat.  That meet ends her long course season, so we'll get a few weekends at home.  Hopefully I can get in several hours of serious sewing next weekend. 

I have been sneaking in 30 minutes to an hour of sewing most evenings.  I've made some headway on the Flurry quilt. 

But I'm way behind Larri, Marg and Shay in this quit along.  If I do get a chance for significant sewing next weekend, this is the project I'll be tackling.  I did work some on the GFG quilt while sitting out in the heat this weekend, but not enough to finish a block. 

What's up on your design wall?  Check out Patchwork Times for more quilty goodness. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Stash Report - July 24th

It's hot.  I think it's hot pretty much everywhere in the US.   Even a day with heat in the mid 90's would be a relief.  Usually the first 2 weeks in August are the hottest here and we still have 1 week of July left.  It may be awhile before Oklahoma sees anything even remotely resembling comfortable temperatures. 

The heat has been pretty conductive to getting some sewing done.  At least once I've gotten over the near heat exhaustion induced by the walk from my office to the car and the drive home.  A change of clothes and a large glass of  ice water is necessary to induce sufficient cool down to contemplate doing anything else.  But I have been cool enough in the late evenings to work on a new project.  I've been doing more fabric cutting then sewing, but I did finally get enough cut this week to get a few blocks assembled for the Flurry quilt. 

Used this week: 0.9 yards
Added this week:  0 yards

Used year to date:  39.94 yards
Added year to date: 28.5 yards

Net Used for 2011: 11.44 yards

Fabric Budget:  14 yards for July to September
Bought/Budget:  12.5/14 yards

Definitely more out then in, so I'm on track with the stash busting.   Check out Patchwork Times for more stash talk. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Favorite Things Friday

Is it really Friday?  Already?  Why is it that time seems to speed up when we get to this time of year?  Or is it just me that feels that way?  I really do like Friday's, but some weeks I'm not just ready for them.

I am ready for Favorite Things Friday this week.  I skipped out last week due to the time warp effect.  Last Friday came much faster then I was ready for (which has happened a lot this July).  My favorite thing this week actually happened a couple of Fridays ago.  It's the biennial quilt show put on by the local guild.  I only got to spend 2 hours at the show since Kiddo had a swim meet that afternoon, so I had enough time to look at the quilts, but not much time for the vendors.  Here's some of my favorites from the show.

Embroidered (Punched?) Betty Hold
Quilted by Jody Bracken
The detail in this quilt was astounding.  I'm not familiar with the technique and the label didn't have a lot of details.  At any rate the workmanship was just incredible.  

Machine Appliqued by Barbara Weintz & Friends
Hand Quilted by Barbara Weintz
I don't care to work with applique, but I love to look at the work of those who do enjoy it.  I liked the detail and the whimsy of this quilt.  Each row in this quilt was designed and sewn by a friend of the owner.  How cool! 

My Southern Girls
Machine Pieced, Hand Embroidered and Machine Quilted by Charlene Henderson

My Grandmother made lovely embroidered quilts, though she never made anything like this, this one reminded me of the quilts she made. 

Sunbonnet Sue to Kansas
Hand Pieced, Hand Appliqued, Hand Embroidered and Hand Quilted by Joan Cary

I thought this quilt was just fun.  The label didn't say how long it took to make this quilt, it must have been a labor of love. 

Irish Chain
Machine Pieced by Gay Cooper
Machine Quilted by Wanda Jones

I really liked this variation on the Irish Chain pattern, plus blue and white is probably my favorite color combo. 

Yukata (Summer Robe)
Machine Pieced and Hand Appliqued by Jody Lamb
Hand Quilted by Jody Lamb
This was my favorite quilt of the show (that I got a decent picture of).  The fabrics all came from Japan and what was used in this quilt was the left overs from a first quilt.  Pretty spectacular for a scrappy quilt. 

My camera died about half way through the show, I forgot to recharge the battery the night before.  So there were several other stunning quilts, but alas, no photos of those.   

Now I have to wait another 2 years for the next show.  But hopefully you can hop over to Quilting in My Pyjamas  for more favorite things right now. (I can't, it's time for work!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

15 Minute Challenge - July 18th

It's Tuesday, time to fess up to what you did with your spare time last week.  Of course, that's assuming you had spare time, which seems to be in very short supply for many of us these hot, hot days of summer. 

Before we get to that part, the random number generator did it's thing this morning.  Here are the 3 winners for last week's give away.

                  Gretchen from 120 Blocks
                  Lynne from Never too Hot to Knit
                  Trudy from Quilt your Happy A** off with Trudy

Congratulations to all the winners.  All three have been notified via email.  I would like to thank everyone for all the wonderful comments about what keeps you from sewing and the tips/tricks you use to eek out more quilting time.   

Moving on to confession time.  I actually didn't do too bad this week.  I managed at least 15 minutes for 7 out of the last 7 days. 

Thursday was a total loss as we attended the local Children's Theatre production of "Annie get Your Gun".  Several of Kiddo's friends were in the cast.  They did a great job, it was a very good production.  I finished cutting all the fabric for the packages and ribbons for the Flurry quilt last night.  Now I just need to get a few background strips cut so I can assemble the packages. 

How did you fare this week?  Link up and share your success or seek consolation for last week's efforts. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Design Wall Monday - July 18th

I'm hopeful that this week will be at least slightly slower then last week.  Sewing has definitely been on the back burner the last couple of weeks, too much other stuff going on.  Couple that with starting new projects where I'm still cutting fabric and you can understand why there is not much going on with the design wall.  I have been working on my hand work project, the Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.  

I started this project in 2007 as my soccer mom project.  It's now become the swim mom project.  Maybe this one will get done by the time Kiddo graduates from college. 

Check out Patchwork Times for other design walls.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stash Report - July 17th

Is it really already Sunday?   It's been a fast summer.  Lots going on at work and home.  We've already started the back to school preparations.  New uniforms were ordered yesterday.  Kiddo had her required physical (she grew a half inch in the last month alone!).  She's finished her summer reading assignment. Wish I had my summer reports finished! 

It was a busy week and this weekend was spent with the extended family, so not much time in my sewing room.  I've been cutting fabric for two new projects, but no sewing on those as yet.  So nothing to count for this week's stash report.

Used this week: 0 yards
Added this week:  0 yards

Used year to date:  39.04 yards
Added year to date:  28.5 yards

Net used for 2011:  10.54 yards

Fabric Budget:  14 yards for July to September
Bought/Budget:  12.5/14 yards

At least I can claim nothing in, which helps balance the nothing out.  How's your stash management going?  Check out all the other stash reports over at Patchwork Times. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Foto Finish - Things That Fly

It's been a busy week and I'm more behind then usual. I'm slowly catching up on responding to emails and reading blogs.   The rest of July and early August are going to be really busy.  This morning I ordered new school uniforms for Kiddo.  Only 4 weeks before she's back in school.  What happened to the summer? 

Moving on to this week's Foto Finish, "Things that Fly". 

This photo dates from 2008 and it's one of my favorites.  But I have to confess I don't remember where it was taken.  I even asked My Guy about the location and he doesn't remember.  It was either in the field at the end of our street or at my husband's family farm in Missouri.  We think.

Stay cool (for those down under, stay warm).  Flit over to Cat Patches to check out other things that fly. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

15 Minute Challenge-Christmas in July Give Away

July is always a happy month for me.  My birthday is this month and my wedding anniversary is this month.  I'm on track with my quilting goals.  Plus this month the number of blogging buddies who follow this blog has reached and exceeded 50.  So a Christmas in July give away seemed to be an appropriate way to celebrate.  This is the first give away I've done, so I'm starting small.  There are 3 Christmas fabric charm packs up for grabs. 

The charms are Moda Flurry by Kate Spain, Moda Grace by 3 Sisters and Moda Fa-la-la-la-la by French General. 

So what do you have to do to have a chance at a charm pack?  Since this is the 15 Minute Challenge day, write a comment that discusses your biggest barrier to finding time to sew and ways (if any) you've found to deal with it.  I'll pick 3 winners using a random number generator and each will get one charm pack.  I'll post the winners next Tuesday. 

So how did you do on managing your sewing time this last week?  I actually did pretty well considering how much we had going on this weekend, managing at least 15 minutes of sewing room time every day the over the last 7 days.

Most of my time went to cutting out the pieces for the Flurry quilt.  But I also wanted to get back on track dealing with some other sewing room chores such as scanning new fabrics into the computer, pressing washed fabric and cutting up left over fabric scraps into for some as yet unidentified scrap quilt project.  I try to spend a few minutes at the start of my time in the sewing room catching up on one of those chores. 

Share your success (or woes) in finding time to sew by linking up. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Design Wall Monday - July 11th

Is it Monday already?  We had a busy and tiring weekend.  Kiddo's swim team hosted a swim meet at our local outdoor 50 meter pool.  It was hot, 110 F yesterday.  After spending a day as the meet Safety Marshall walking on that concrete pool deck most of the day, I'm actually thankful to be going back to work in the air conditioning. 

Not much activity on the design wall this weekend due to the meet, but I did lay out and start stitching on the next 2 blocks for the purple and yellow scrap quilt.

Since finishing up the Buck-A-Block top, I've decided to work on two other projects.  Both need fabric cut before I can do much sewing. 

The Geisha quilt is for my niece.  I still have a lot of 5.5 inch squares to cut before I'll be able to start sewing.

The second is a Christmas quilt along that Mrs. Pyjamas, Mrs. Seams Inspired, and Little Miss Sunshine have started up using Kate Spain's Flurry pattern.  You can check out the info here.  Still more fabric chopping to finish up here as well before I get to the fun part. 

For more inspiration, check out Judy's Patchwork Times

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Stash Report - July 10th

Looks like another hot, hot day here in Oklahoma.  As we were driving out of our neighborhood last night, I noted all the yellow patches in the typically green yards.  It rained last Sunday evening, but it didn't seem to do much good.  The sun has been merciless this July, with no end in sight to the hot, hot temperatures. 

Looking on the bright side, it's too hot to do much of anything outside, so my sewing room is seeing most of the action these days.  Unfortunately my stash report this week doesn't reflect that action. 

Used this week:  0.09 yards
Added this week:  12.5 yards

Used year to date: 39.04 yards
Added year to date: 28.5 yards

Net Used for 2011: 10.54 yards

Fabric Budget:  14 yards for July to September
Bought/Budget:  12.5/14 yards

The fabric out was one block of the purple/yellow quilt.  I finished the Buck-A-Block quilt last week, so it's time to start on something else.   I've pulled out one of my PIGS (Project in Grocery Sacks) and am starting a new project, Flurry by Kate Spain.  Shay over at Quilting in My Pyjamas showed her demo block for this pattern and I couldn't resist, it's just too cute.  Unfortunately both of these projects need fabric cut before I can do much sewing.  So not much out this week.  However, a survey of my Christmas fabric stash showed a lot of holes, so I treated myself to a fabric buying binge as a late birthday present.  Hence the 12.5 yards in this week. 

This is what came home with me.  I'm supplementing with a few pieces from my stash.  I'm still under my fabric budget and still in the black in terms of net fabric out for the year, so no big damage done to the over all stash reduction effort.  Most of this will go right back out as part of the Flurry quilt.

This recent quilt shop excursion also demonstrated the danger of fabric shopping with my family. Kiddo told me a couple weeks back that she wants a new quilt (It's only been a year since she got the last one I made for her).  She told me she wanted to pick the fabrics and the pattern.  While I'm having the above fabric cut, Kiddo remarks,
"Mom you've been doing so well don't blow it." 
"Mom, do you really have room for all of that? "
"You know Mom, I really like that pattern over there." as she points across the shop to one of the shop sample quilts hanging on the wall. 
"I promise to pull all the fabrics from your stash if you'll make that quilt for me." 
"You are going to need to do some significant stash busting after this." 
"If I decided on the fabrics this weekend could you have it made for me before Christmas?"   

In the wake of this so persuasive monologue, I bought the pattern.  It's so nice to have a family that believes in your quilting goals and goes out of their way to support your habit.  

If you made it this far, you should go check out the other stash reports over at Judy's Patchwork Times.  

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Foto Finish - Summer Fun

It's summer so you expect hot in Oklahoma, but it's typically not this hot for so long.  We got a break yesterday in the 100 degree weather, it was only 94.  However, today they are forecasting near record heat, 104.  So our plans are not to have fun in the sun, but to stay out of it today.  So this week's Foto Finish comes from last year.

Last year we spent the first week of Kiddo's summer vacation in Savannah, Georgia.  These fountains were in a park near the river.  This was our last day in Savannah, we were heading back to Atlanta later that afternoon. Kiddo took the opportunity to cool off before lunch.  

That's it for me today.  Check out more summer fun over at Cat Patches.    

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

15 Minute Challenge - July 5th

Happy July 5th.  For those in the US and Canada, hope your holiday weekend was lots of fun.  We visited with family.  Kiddo got her grandma's fried chicken and potato salad, so she was a happy camper (so were the rest of us). 

Actually, we are still at my sister's house.  Though she has Internet, she does not have wireless, so my computer is pretty useless.  I can log onto Blogger via her computer, but I can't access any of  the graphics that I normally use for the 15 Minute Challenge.  So this week's post will be low tech. 

How was the sewing at your house last week?  Last week was less then stellar for me.  

Tuesday - Finished Borders for Buck-A-Block Quilt
Wednesday -  No Sewing
Thursday - No Sewing
Friday - No Sewing
Saturday - Pieced back for Buck-A-Block Quilt
Sunday - Pressed Buck-a-Block quilt and packed, prepped for shipping
Monday - No Sewing

Now that the Buck-a-Block is ready to go off for quilting, I can start a new project.  Maybe that will give me the enthusiasm to get myself into the sewing room this next week. 

So how did you do?  Link up and tell all!

1. Jill

2. 501quiltblocks

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

P.S.  Be sure check in next week.  There will be a special "add on" to the 15 Minute Challenge. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Design Wall Monday - July 4th

Happy 4th of July!  We are planning to spend the day with my family.  Mom has promised fried chicken and potato salad for dinner.  Not sure what else is on the agenda, as is typical we'll make it up as we go along.  

Design wall #1 has nothing on it because I finished adding the final borders to the Buck-A-Block quilt. 

The back is done, both are pressed and folded up ready to go to Trudy for quilting.  I'm really happy with how this quilt turned out, but it doesn't look like what I had envisioned when I started it.   I'm going to need a new name for this quilt.  The dark fabric in the blocks is a print with Texas blue bonnets.  The last border was supposed to be TX blue bonnets too, but that didn't work with the rest of the setting.  So now I need a new name.  Any suggestions? 

Design wall # 2 has 3 rows of the purple and yellow scrap blocks laid out on it. 

Only one row, 7 blocks, left before this leader and enders project can be set together.  So what's going up on design wall #1?  I need to get going on my niece's quilt if I want to have it done in time to give it as a Christmas present.  But Shay over at Quilting in My Pyjamas posted a pattern on her blog this weekend for a Christmas quilt that I'm dying to make.  Decisions, decisions.  I guess there is no reason why I can't work on both. 

To check out what else is up on design walls in blogland, check in with Judy's Patchwork Times

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stash Report - July 3rd

It's July.  Halfway through the year.  I spent a few minutes yesterday reflecting on my progress this year.  I'm actually not in bad shape.   I finished the back for the Buck-A-Block quilt last night, so today's stash report is pretty good. 

Used this week:  10.88 yards
Added this week:  0 yards

Used year to date:  38.95
Added year to date:  16 yards

Net used for 2011:  22.95

Fabric Budget:  14 yards for July to September
Bought/Budget:  0/14 yards

My goal this year is to use more fabric then I buy.  I set up the fabric budget to allow me to buy fabric so I could finish projects and add a few fresh pieces to the stash, but not so much that I wouldn't meet my goal.  So far that seems to be working.  I've bought a lot less fabric then I did last year. 

There's a lot less red then blue on the chart, which is a good thing.  I've managed 3 months where I didn't buy any fabric at all.  Plus I've used more fabric then last year.

I got off to a slow start this year and wasn't doing too well until I challenged myself to spend a minimum of 15 minutes a day in my sewing room.  That started in March and it's made a big difference in both my fabric usage and moving projects to completion. 

I put a "quilt plan" together at the beginning of the year showing what specific and/or type of projects I'd like to make this year. 

It lists 13 quilts I'd like to finish or at least make significant progress on.  I've finished 5 and have been actively working on another 4 on the list.  PIGS = projects in grocery sacks, which now outnumber my UFO projects.  PhD = projects half done, in some cases this might be a UFO or it might be a work in progress.   The PhD challenge was hosted by Myra at Tactile Pleasures in Fabric. The challenge ended June 30th.  It was a great help in keeping me focused on those projects. I only finished one of the three by the end of the challenge, but I'm really close on finishing up the remaining two.  

Hope your weekend has been productive and that your stash report is moving in the right direction.  Check out other stash reports over at Judy's Patchwork Times

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Foto Finish - Patriotic

When Barb posted this week's Foto Finish theme I knew I had a set of images that I could use.  I went searching through my library and couldn't for the life of me remember when I taken them. Don't you just hate that?  I had this image in my mind of having scrapbooked those images, but I couldn't find the album anywhere.  Has my memory gotten that bad? 

I did eventually find the images, way back in the CD archive of the point and shoot camera's digital files (I assumed this shot had been snapped with the digital SLR).

Every year a few guys from work get together and host this huge 4th of July party.  I wrote a bit about this yesterday in the FTF post.  One of the group has a firework license so he can set up and off the big fireworks.   The cost of entry is a dish for the pot luck buffet and a 6 pack of beer (or a bottle of wine if your taste leans that way).  It's a fun group of people, if perhaps a little scary with their predilection for pyrotechnics.   This shot was taken with a little point and shoot camera, hand held.  I was thrilled to get any images shooting this way.  Maybe I should try the SLR with the tripod at this year's display?

Enjoy your weekend, holiday or not.  If you are hanging around blog land for a while, check out more Patriotic images over at Cat Patches. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Favorite Things Friday - July 1st

It's July, it's hot, must be Oklahoma.  The Weather Channel says near record highs for today, 103 F (39.4 C).  One of my most favorite things this time of year is air conditioning.  I'm old enough to remember not having air conditioning and sleeping in the basement when it got too hot in the summer.  Unfortunately the clay soil and high water table here in Oklahoma isn't conductive to basements, most homes don't have one. 

Another favorite this week is the upcoming 4th of July holiday.  It means a 4 day weekend as we get Monday and Tuesday off work.   When I was a kid, 4th of July meant a trip to Grandma's house.  From there all of my Mom's family would troop to one of the local lakes for a picnic and swimming.  Not much better than that when you are 6 years old and get to spend the whole day swimming and eating grandma's fried chicken and potato salad (plus Ding Dongs, a personal favorite in those days).   

More recently, we usually spend one day of the holiday weekend with friends from work.  You'd never know these mild mannered guys are actually closet pyromaniacs.  One friend has a class ?? license and is allowed to purchase and shoot the very large fireworks.  He always has a wonderful fireworks display at his home out in the country (beats fighting the traffic to watch the city display). 

On the 4th we usually head to Kiddo's grandma's (my mom).  Eat fried chicken and potato salad, which Kiddo will tell you is better than any one's in the whole world. 

So Happy 4th of July to those in the US.  Happy Canada Day to the Canadian portion of blog land.  Happy Friday to everyone else. 

Check out more Favorite Things over at Shay's Quilting in My Pyjamas.