Saturday, March 31, 2012

Rainbow Scrap Sasturday - Pink Week 2

I'm taking a break from my report writing to sneak in a quick post for this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge Post.  I've not had a chance to do much sewing, but last Sunday I did finish up a second pink coffee cup block for the month. 

If you want to see the proposed project, it's in last week's post here. This block pattern is by Janet McCarroll, published in the book "Block Magic Too! by Nancy Johnson-Srebro.  If you want to take a peak the previous blocks, that's here.  

Have a great Saturday and be sure to check out all the other great pink scrappy goodness over at SoScrappy 

Foto Finish - Flowers

I'm still lap-top-less, which in part explains my absence from blogland.  I was informed Wednesday that the lap top is well and truly dead, not to be resurrected without major surgery involving a new mother board.  A new computer would be cheaper was the verdict.  The only piece of bright news on that front is that they were able to transfer all of my files (including my EQ files) onto a portable drive.  So I'm at least not out my working quilt project files and my stash report tracking spreadsheet.  So it's not as bad as it could have been.  

Barbara over at Cat Patches has suggested flowers as today's optional theme.  Probably my most favorite photographic subject ever (well Drama Teen might have a slight edge there).   What says spring better than tulips and rain?

This was taken the week of Spring Break when we were in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  There were tulips all over town.  However the grounds of the Crescent Hotel had the most dazzling displays.  It was raining when this shot was taken.  I love the rain on the drops on the petals.  Though I will admit, it was a rather wet shooting expedition that day. 

That's it for me on the Foto Finish front.  Unfortunately, I need to go to work.  Due to some changes in the company that I work for, all of my projects for the last year are coming to an end and all the final reports have to written and turned in next week.  That's the other reason I've been a bit scarce this week.  I've been spending my evenings this week working on reports.  Hopefully by next weekend, I'll have those assignments done and can get back to blogging and email. 

Have a great weekend.      

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

15 Minute Challenge - March 27th

I really missed not posting the 15 Minute Challenge last week, but with no lap top and no Internet, it would have been impossible.  I'm still lap top-less at the moment.  I'm hoping that it will come home from the shop this week.  But I've been hoping that for the last 3 weeks. 

On to more fun stuff than busted computers.  We weren't home last week, but I took both a Grandmother's Flower Garden and an embroidery project to work on while we were away.  I ended up working on the embroidery project most days, so overall my report looks really good for this week. 

I actually managed 7 out of 7 days the last week.  I even found my way to the sewing room over the weekend and made some progress on the coffee cup blocks and getting the borders on the purple and yellow quilt which is this month's UFO.  So it was a really good week.  I'm hoping the momentum will carry over to this week and beyond.  I've not been doing real well on getting to the sewing room this year.  I'm behind on all of my goals.  Well not quite, I'm doing OK on starting new projects for the NewFO challenge. 

So how did you do this week and/or the week before if you want to report both on this week's post?  I saw that a few dedicated quilters posted a report last Tuesday even though I didn't.  If you want to link to both posts, just use your name and add the date (for example Kate 3-20 and then the second post would be Kate 3-27).   Here's Mr. Linky, write your post and link up.  I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone did. 

1. libbyQ
2. June
3. Thea
4. amanda
5. Kate
6. Darla

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Design Wall Monday - March 26th

My last Design Wall post was on January 30th.  I didn't realize it had been so long since I had showed what was up on the design wall!  To be honest, there hasn't been much up on the design wall the last couple of months, so it's not too surprising that I haven't bothered to post on Monday.  I'm hopeful that my mojo is back and that I'll start getting more done on the sewing front.

I spent the weekend getting caught up on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks.  I completed both red blocks for January, added the second green block for February and finished up one of the pink blocks for March. 

I'm working on the second pink block.  I'm hopeful that I'll get my lap top back from the repair guy this week so I can use EQ to work out the sewing instructions for the C, O and F for the letter blocks that will go into the quilt (click here to see the proposed quilt layout).  I think my favorite cup is the red and white floral one in the top right corner.  Do you have a favorite?  I'm enjoying these blocks.  It's been fun to sort through the scraps and find just the right ones to use.  The blocks are only 6.5" square, so they don't use up much in the way of scraps, but every little bit helps right? 

That's it for me this week.  Check out all the other design walls over at Judy's Patchwork Times

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stash Report - March 25th

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted a stash report.  The biggest reason for no post last week is the out of commission PC, I didn't have a back up copy of the Excel file I use to track fabric purchases/usage.  The second reason is there really wasn't much to report last week anyway as there was nothing in and nothing out.  There is a bit to report this week.

Used last week: 0.25 yards
Added last week:  0 yards

Used for 2012:  5.41 yards
Added for 2012:  116 yards

Net stashed for 2012:  110.59 yards

There were no stops at fabric shops during our trip, so I was able to resist the temptation of adding any new fabric.  I did take some handwork along on our trip, but I ended up doing embroidery rather than working on the Grandmother's Flower Garden project.  Since we've been home, I did finish up a few blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (I'll show those on Monday). 

Not much busted, but I have hopes of the net stashed being lower by next weekend.  For more stash tales check out Patchwork Times

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rainbow Scrap Saturday - Pink Week 1

It's not usual for me to post twice in one day, but I'm  hoping that will change for most Saturdays in the future.  There are so many challenges in blogland and one can't follow all of them.  Last year, I started following Kathy's Quilts.  She made a number of projects while following along with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at Soscrappy.  I wanted so much to join in that challenge, but starting a new project every month just didn't work in my my quilting plans.  Enter Cat Patches NewFO Challenge this year and inspiration finally struck.  From somewhere the idea for a scrappy coffee cup quilt came to mind.  If I made 3 blocks a month for the year, I'd have enough blocks to make a throw sized quilt. 

Last night I finished up the first pink block.

I'd finished one green cup back in February, but wasn't able to get any more done until last night.  In addition to the pink cup, I finished up the second green cup and the first red cup.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get caught up on all the past scrappy colors by the end of this month, in addition to finishing up the remaining 2 pink blocks for this month.  I'm not used to making such intricately pieced blocks, but thankfully they go fast.  I'm looking forward digging into my scraps to make these blocks. 

Check out all the fun uses for pink scraps over at Soscrappy

Foto Finish - Green

I do love blogging, but being lap top-less is a bit trying.  A week ago Friday, the shop told me the computer would be fixed by last Tuesday.  I made the mistake of saying that I would not be able to pick up the computer until Friday as I would be out of town.  When I stopped yesterday on the way into town after our spring break trip to pick up the supposedly repaired computer, the secretary said, "You said you were going to be out of town, so our repair guy moved on to another project.  Your computer won't be ready until sometime next week."  After I asked about why they ignored my comment about picking up the computer on Friday, she went and got the manager.  He did say that if the guy got it done he would call me today and he'd make a special trip into the shop so I could pick it up.  I'm not holding my breath.  So at the moment, I'm still without all my files and software programs.  I have learned my lesson about doing frequent backups of the files I use regularly, weekly backups is currently sounding like a very good idea. 

Enough ranting. Barbara over at Cat Patches has proposed "Green" as this week's optional Foto Finish theme. Thankfully our spring break trip to Eureka Springs allowed for some wonderful photography. 

I have no idea what type of tree this is, but it's located on the beautiful grounds of the Crescent Hotel.  We didn't stay at the hotel, though we have in the past.  We had lunch up in Dr. Baker's Bistro on the top floor of the hotel.  Lunch was quite yummy.  Outside a drenching rain was falling.  We discussed coming back to photograph the grounds later and then just decided we'd make do with the umbrella and take what shots we could in the rain.  Yes we both got soaked, but we both took some beautiful pictures of the tulips (I'll share those next week since Barbara has proposed the theme of "spring").  Shooting in overcast skies does result in nice saturated color, even though it is a bit uncomfortable and you do have to be careful about getting water droplets on the lens.   Drama Teen thought we were both nuts and she opted to stay dry in the car while we were running around in the rain.  No complaints from either of us, though that may be due in large part to the wine tasting that followed our rainy photo excursion. 

Have a wonderful weekend.  Check out all the green going on over at Cat Patches

Friday, March 23, 2012

Favorite Thing Friday - March 23rd

Hi.  I'm still here, kinda, sorta anyway.  Still computerless at the moment (That tale of woe is definitely not fit for a favorite things Friday post, so we'll save that rant for later). 

This is the last Friday of Drama Teen's Spring Break.  For most of the week, we were in Eureka Springs, Arkansas hanging out and getting wet.  The hanging out part was very fun.  DT and I did a lot of fun shopping, though not a lot of buying.  My Guy and I hung out a lot too in the evenings as someone was smart enough to rent a condo with the master suite upstairs and the spare bed downstairs.  DT had a whole floor to herself and was markedly scarce most of the time we were there.  Only coming up to make popcorn and grab a bottle of juice while she was watching movies.  The rain put a stop to a lot of our outdoor plans, but we found a few other things to do instead.  It was a wonderfully relaxing week for all of us.   

Spring Break is my favorite thing this week.  Check out all the other favorite things over at Quilting in My Pyjamas

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

15 Minute Challenge - March 13th

It's been quite a week here at Life in Pieces.  Most of last week and the weekend was taken up with Drama Teen's trip to the state science fair.  Sunday, my lap top imploded.  Well, maybe not completely, I think the video driver is what went south.  I've taken it in for repair and hope to know today just how bad the situation is.  My Guy is graciously allowing me to use his desk top computer in the mean time.  The two most annoying things about not having the lap top are that I don't have access to any of my files (I'm hopeful that even if the computer is trash, the files are at least recoverable) and secondly, I don't have access to my graphics programs.  So this week's challenge report will be a bit bland.

Even with all the rushed scramble to revise DT's science fair display, madly do a few loads of laundry so we could pack, and being gone for 4 days, sewing did actually happen last week.

Tuesday - borders for purple/yellow quilt
Wednesday - borders for purple/yellow quilt
Thursday - Grandmothers Flower Garden hexies
Friday - nada
Saturday - borders for purple/yellow quilt
Sunday - Coffee Cup Quilt
Monday - Coffee Cup Quilt

Other than Sunday, most days I really only spent about 15 minutes in the sewing room.  But still, I've got the first of three borders on the purple/yellow quilt and have cut enough background fabric for about half the blocks I'll need for the coffee cup quilt.  Not a bad week at all considering how much was going on. 

Next week is spring break in our neck of the woods.  Plans for next week aren't definite yet, but it's likely I'll be away from home for a couple of days.  Considering the uncertain lap top situation, I'm going to put the 15 Minute Challenge on spring break next week too.  So no post next week.

So how was your week?  Did you find a few minutes to play with fabric, yarn or other undertake some other arty endeavor?   Here's Mr. Linky, you know what to do. 

1. libbyQ
2. Shay
3. Amanda, Seabreeze Quilts
4. June
5. Darla
6. Thea
7. Hueisei
8. Kate
9. Leah @L3Designs, BC, Canada
10. PJ - off Avondale Rd

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Stash Report - March 11th

Since it's time to write the stash report, it must be Sunday.  I've been off the grid since Tuesday for various reasons, the main one being Drama Teen's participation in the State Science Fair.  Wednesday night was filled with last minute preparations, then we left early Thursday morning.  Unfortunately the hotel where we stayed had Internet problems, no one was able to log on all weekend.  We all had fun even though DT didn't place.  Just to get to go to the state fair was a huge honor, especially as a 7th grader. That's the youngest student allowed to attend.  

While DT was participating in the science fair, I found the local quilt shop in Ada.    

The Santa Fe Depot is housed in an old train depot.  No photos of the inside unfortunately.   It has a very roomy and gorgeous interior.  Lots of beautiful quilts on the walls, a nice selection of fabrics, books, rulers, etc.  The building dates from the early 1900's.  I spent a great morning just roaming around looking while DT was competing.  Unfortunately for the stash report, I didn't just look, I bought. 

A few fat quarters came home with me, along with a gorgeous black print and a dark blue print.  One of the big holes in my stash is large pieces that can be used as backgrounds in my quilts, so I bought lots of each of those two.  The stash report isn't pretty, but I'm hoping by filling a few holes, I'll actually be able to make more with what I've bought previously.  So here's the damage:

Used last week:  0.41 yards
Added last week: 14.5 yards

Used for 2012:  5.16 yards
Added for 2012:  116 yards.  

Net Stashed for 2012:  108. 84 yards

I'm hoping to spend today sewing so maybe I can dig out a little.  I probably won't make it to positive numbers this year, but if I can use more than last year, I'll be happy.  

To see more stash reports, check out who's linked up over at Judy's Patchwork Times.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Really Red

15 Minute Challenge - March 6th

Today is the 66th day of 2012.  How are you doing at finding 15 minutes a day to sew?   Since the beginning of the year, I've met the challenge of finding at least 15 minutes to sew 49 days.  Not bad, that's about a 75% success rate.  It doesn't seem like much, but all that time adds up. 

Is finding 15 minutes a day to sew/craft a habit for you yet?  The 66 day mark is the average amount of time it takes most people to form a habit.  I've been doing it for a year and as I said last week I always think about finding my 15 minutes, I don't always follow through and do it. This week I did well, 6 days out of 7 finding some time to play with fabric (and I didn't even have to count my fabric shopping from Saturday).

I'm putting the borders on the purple and yellow quilt.  I started to add a light puple border and realized after I got the two vertical borders on, that it wasn't going to work.  So I did a lot of unsewing this week. 

Now on to the important stuff.  Who won the last 15 Minute Challenge Give away? 

#4 Libby Q of Paper Napkin Poetry

Libby's fairly new to the challenge, joing earlier this year.  In addition to a lovely hexie project she's got going on, she makes the cutest covered buttons.  She starts every post with a beautiful photograph, mainly flowers the last month.  If you haven't checked out her blog, go take a peak. 

It's been a productive year with the 15 Minute Challenge for me.  I hope it has been for you too.  Special thanks to Amanda, Kate, Liz, Marti, Pat, Shay and Thea for linking up most every week since just about the beginning and for all the inspiration and support over the last year.  For those who've just started the 15 Minute Challenge, I hope you'll find it fun and productive. 

So link up and share how well you did in getting some "me time" at the machine over the last week.

1. hueisei
2. libbyQ
3. Barb H
4. Amanda, Seabreeze Quilts
5. Shay
6. Pat
7. Nana B
8. Darla
9. Thea
10. June

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stash Report - March 4th

I'm a little late in posting today, the migraine that came on yesterday afternoon finally faded to a dull ache about lunch time today.  Being late may also be related to the fact I'm a bit sheepish about posting the stash report.  There was a 40% off sale at a relatively new quilt shop that's only about 25 minutes from my house.  I took full advantage of the sale to fill in some gaps in red and black colorways.  Before I get to the eye candy, lets just get the stash report out of the way. 

Used last week: 0.3 yards
Added last week: 50 yards

Used for 2012:  4.75 yards
Added for 2012:  101.5 yards

Net stashed for 2012:  96.75 yards

I'm going to have to pick it up in getting some stitching done to get back to the black.  Not impossible, but getting more improbable.  Even so, I'm not sorry with what came home. 

It may be hard to see, but across the top is 9 yards of a tone on tone white dot, very nice to have on hand for background fabric.  The pale blue and green are going to be worked into the setting for some old embroidery blocks.  The rest of the new additions are meant to add some red and black to the stash.  Colors I was sadly lacking yardage in. 

I think my favorite is the gray and red paisley in the last shot.  Not sure what I'm going to do with the red, blacks and gray, but the Fat Quarter Stars blocks have been done in those colors and I really like how those are coming out.  Another red and black quilt is definitely on the bucket list. 

That's it for my report this week.  I'm linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times, so check out all the other stash reports there. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Foto Finish - Growing

I got to sleep in this morning.  And other than putting in a load of jeans to wash because Drama Teen has none clean, there is no need to rush around this morning.  My only plan is to wreck a little havoc with my stash numbers, there's a 40% off sale at nearby quilt shop.  With the price of fabric these days, that's a hard sale to pass up.  You'll have to check out tomorrow's stash report to see just how much the damage is.  

This week's Foto Finish theme is "growing".  I tried to find a clever interpretation, but alas, my brain appears to have lost it's higher cognitive powers (assuming it ever had any).  So I went with the obvious.  

I love looking at the new growth on trees.  About this time of year, the trees start to look just a little fuzzy as the new leave buds pop out and start to flower.  I have no idea what kind of tree this is.  The picture was taken over Spring Break last year when we were in Hot Springs Arkansas.  

Check out the links over at Cat Patches for more growth opportunities.