Tuesday, July 31, 2012

15 Minute Challenge- July 31st

Wow, it's already the last day of July.  School starts in about 2 weeks and it's tempting to say summer is drawing to a close.  Maybe summer vacation is about over, but based on the record highs, summer is still here and will be here for a while.  Thankfully the upstairs air conditioner just needed a new capcitor and after about a 30 minute repair call, we are no longer risking heat stroke if we walk upstairs.  The sewing machine migrated back to the sewing room and I enjoyed an hour of solitary stitching. 

Last week it was amazingly easy to find at least 15 minutes to stitch.  It helped that we were home this weekend.  So I managed to find my 15 minutes of sewing sanity 7 out of 7 days this week.  (Which is a good thing, I could use the extra sanity at this point).

You'd think as much time as I've put in on the Sofa Quilt, it would be done.  It's not, but I hope to actually have a finished block to show for my efforts tonight. 

Before we wrap up with Mr. Linky, I need to post the winners of the Christmas Panels from the 500th post give away.  (Fanfare please) The first winner is comment number:

which is Pat of 501 Quilt Blocks.  Pat's blog is all about her journey to make all the blocks in the book 501 Rotary Cut Quilt Blocks by Judy Hopkins.  She's made 356 of the 501 blocks.  Pat asked for the Tree Panel. 

Winner number two is comment number:

which is Barbara of Cat Patches.  Barabara's blog is a fun mix of photography and quilt posts.  She hosts a monthly NewFO linky party and give away which is all about starting a new project.  What's not to like about that?  Barbara also asked for the Tree Panel, she'll have to pick from the remaining 2 panels.  

Winner number three is comment number:

Which is Gari of Quilting in the South.  Gari is a regluar on Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday and always has gorgeous projects up on her wall.  Gari will get the third panel. 

Congratulations to all the winners.  They've been notified via email.   Thanks to everyone for helping me celebrate my 500th post. 

Now it's time to share how you fared on finding time to be inspired and creative (or if you are like me, just hoping to find a few minutes of sanity). 

1. Kate

2. Thea

3. Amanda, Seabreeze Quilts

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Design Wall Monday - July 30th

Yesterday the high reached 109 F.  I was out early watering the rose bushes and other plants in the front beds.  Even at 7:30 in the morning it was pretty warm out.  We've given up on watering the yard, as has pretty much everyone else on the block.  The yards look more like it's the dead of winter than summer.  Not much green to be seen, lots and lots of brown.  We are not under water restrictions yet, but if it doesn't rain soon, that's probably coming. 

Not a great time to be without an air conditioner on the second floor.  So far, the air conditioner on the first floor has continued to operate, so we aren't miserable.  Though the Drama Teen isn't happy about not being able to escape Mom and Dad.  She's had to camp out on the sleeper sofa in the living room as her bedroom is on the second floor and is uninhabitable at the moment.  The essentials from the sewing room have been relocated to the kitchen table. 

The iron is next door in what we call our library.  I couldn't find a place to put it in the kitchen that didn't really interfere with traffic flow.   It's not a bad set up, but like Drama Teen, I'm missing being able to shut the door and turn up my music.  I also miss my design walls. I could move the smaller one into the library, but I'm hoping this is a very short term set up so I am trying not to relocate the entire sewing room. 

What's up on the design walls?  I added 3 blue blocks to The Coffee Cup Quilt.  Now "coffee" is spelled correctly.  I'm looking forward to finding out what the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color is for August.  (This picture was taken Saturday, before the sewing room became an oven.)

Cup block patterns from Karen F. Srebro and Janet McCarroll
published in Block Magic and Block Magic Too by
Nancy Johnson-Srebro

Progress was also made on The Sofa Quilt. 

Pattern is Nicole's Sofa Quilt by Judy Laquidara
(available here)
The rows for the first block are all done and I've starting assembling the blocks.   So hopefully at least a few completed blocks will be up on the design wall next week. 

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

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stash Report - July 29th

Some weekends are just better than others, unfortunately this is not one of those better weekends.  I sewed most of yesterday, which typically falls within the better weekend range.  But when I made the trek to the sewing room last evening after dinner, I could feel the temperature gradient moving from cold to pretty warm by the time I reached the top of the stairs.  One check of the thermostat revealed the problem, it was set to 82, but was measuring 88.  My Guy dutifully checked the breakers, walked around the side of the house to examine the air conditioner.  His conclusion, the upstairs air conditioner decided it didn't like the heat either and took an early vacation.  Of course today the high is supposed to be 110.  For the moment, the downstairs air conditioner is working, so we aren't miserable.  I'm just hoping it keeps working until we can get a service person here. 

The sewing machine will probably get relocated to the kitchen table until the air conditioner gets fixed.  I did sew upstairs last night as it wasn't too bad since the air had been on through the worst of the day.  That won't be the case today. 

In spite of sewing quite a bit yesterday, as well as, over the last couple of weeks, there really isn't much going out.  On the other hand, the incoming has been incoming.  Last weekend we were in Missouri and My Guy offered me a stop at the quilt shop before we left town.  How could I say no to that?  I looked for a few orange fat quarters for the Coffee Cup Quilt because I'm sure that color is coming up and I don't have much of it. 

The little birdie print isn't orange, but it had to come home with me too.  So just 4 fat quarters were in hand when I headed to the register just as My Guy spotted this lovely piece. 

 Botanical Butterfly by Hoffman California International fabrics

I have a weakness for any type of butterfly fabric, so I had to have some yardage.  Oh well, I almost made it out the door with only 4 fat quarters, that should count for something.

The last little bit of incoming on the report arrived last week.  I won a give away over at Quilting and Stuff by Knitoid during the Celebrate Red, White, and Blue Blog hop. 

Three fat eights, a really cute stiletto, plus a very pretty postcard arrived in the mail earlier this week. Pam posted a beautiful block  it paired with other blocks in EQ to make up some gorgeous quilts.  You can check her cool designs out here.  Thanks Pam! 

So how much damage was there to the stash report?  Take a look:

Used last 2 weeks:  0.38 yards
Added last 2 weeks:  5.38 yards

Used for 2012:  22.79 yards
Added for 2012: 219.63 yards

Net stashed for 2012:  196.84 yards

I've been sewing, but the blocks have been small. Progress is steady on the Sofa Quilt, but most of what I'm working with now has already been reported as going out.  I really need to step up the outflow.  Once I get a few tops done, making the backs should really help. But I need to get the tops done! 

How's your stash doing?  Is it on the increase or in decline?  I'm linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times to share my unplanned expasions. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Blues

With two weekends of the month taken up with swim meets and family gatherings, it wasn't hard to get behind on sewing projects.  My blue blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge were definite victims of our busy schedule.  Thankfully, our evenings weren't busy this last week and I was able to get all 3 blue blocks stitched. 

The second "E" in coffee is now done. 

And both cups are finished.  Blue is my favorite color and the fabrics I used this month are a couple of my most favorite scraps. 

With the addition of the last "E", the layout up on the design wall no longer begs the question of my ability to spell (Every time My Guy walked in the sewing room he'd point out that coffee is spelled with 2 E's ). 

Cup block patterns from Karen F. Srebro and Janet McCarroll
published in Block Magic and Block Magic Too by
Nancy Johnson-Srebro

I'm not sure the blue and gold cup is going to work, it stands out a bit since it doesn't use all brights.  I'll wait till all the other blocks are done, then decide if I need to remake that block using something else other than the gold.  This has been a fun project to work on.  I can't wait to see what scrap color is up for August. 

For more blue scrappy goodness check out what's posted over at Soscrappy.

Foto Finish - Yellow

It was a good morning for sleeping in, so I did.  It seems like we've been going 90 miles an hour for the last few weekends.  The only thing on tap for this weekend is a trip to Tulsa to get school uniforms for the Drama Teen.  Only 2 and half weeks till school starts.  Hard to believe that the summer is drawing to a close.  Though you certainly can't tell that by the outside temperature.  It's hot, which is something you expect for late July early August in Oklahoma.  But boy it sure seems like it's been 100 plus degrees forever. 

To escape the hot and the dry for a bit, I took a journey back in the photo files looking for something yellow, as well as, cool and wet for today's Foto Finish.  I didn't have to go back far to find what I was looking for.

These rain soaked tulips were in front of the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  We were there over spring break back in March of this year.  It rained pretty much the whole week.  A week of rain sounds like a pretty good deal at the moment. We've had just enough rain the wet the ground and add a layer of humidity to the just plain hot. 

That's it for me this week.  Hop over to Cat Patches to see more sunny yellows. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

15 Minute Challenge - July 24th

Tuesday seems to come around really fast when there is stuff going on during the previous weekend.  Last weekend was Drama Teen's last swim meet for the long course season.  No more meets until September at the earliest.  But school starts in about 3 weeks, so it's time to pull out the uniforms, check on what fits and what doesn't.  This weekend we'll make the trek to Tulsa for replacement uniforms and whatever else she needs. 

Sewing time over the weekend was at a premium due to the meet.  I didn't manage to work in any sewing time on Friday, but managed to sew or hand stitch the rest of the week.

So progress was made 6 out of 7 days last week. Not bad.  I'm still way behind on the Sofa Quilt, but at least progress hasn't stopped. 

So how was your week?  Did you manage to find some time to stitch or sew last week?  Here's Mr. Linky, write a post and share what happened, or didn't happen with needle and thread. 

1. Amanda

2. Kate

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Design Wall - 500th Post

This post is my 500th!  I was trying to work it so that this post would fall on Sunday, but the stash report was on vacation yesterday to allow Judy to load up her new blog.  Life in Pieces came about because I really, really wanted to link up to the Judy's stash report.  A close second was wanting to participate in Design Wall Monday.  Since I work in a male dominated field, live in small town without a local quilt shop, and am unable to participate in the local guild due to work, these two weekly linky parties made me feel a part of a quilting community again.  I've made a lot of friends by following the links, plus I enjoy all the beautiful, fun, and cute creations that show up on the design walls each week.  So to say thank you, I wanted to do a 500th post give away.  But first, here's what's up on the design wall.

Pattern is Nicole's Sofa Quilt by Judy Laquidara
(available here)
It's the "bones" of block 1 for the The Sofa Quilt.  I'm still working on getting all the flying geese sewn together, but I wanted to lay out a few blocks on the design wall to see how they would look.  I don't normally work the way Judy has been giving the instructions.  I'm motivated by seeing the blocks come together, so I usually cut and sew enough to actually make a few blocks, then go back cut and sew some more.  Maybe not the most efficient way to put things together, but typically I'm not patient enough to do all the assembly line sewing and assemble the blocks last. 

Now on to the 500th Post Giveaway.  To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment about what one thing pushed you to become a member of the quilting blog community.  Next Tuesday, July 31st, I'll ask the random number generator to give me three winning numbers, then announce the winners on that Tuesday's 15 Minute Challenge report.   What's up as prizes?   My last significant sewing expedition was looking for Christmas fabrics for a gift quilt, along the way few Christmas panels made their way into my basket.  (I didn't get a chance to iron these, so my apologies on the photos).    

Away in a Manager
LGD Studies for VIP Exclusive

Candy Cane Dream Santa
LCD Studies for VIP Exclusive

Holiday Treasure Tree
Laurie Cook for VIP Exclusive
If you indicate which panel you prefer in your comment, I'll try to accommodate that, but first drawn will get first choice and so on.  Please be sure I have a way to contact you.  If you are a "no reply" blogger or don't have a blog, please put your email address in the comment.  (Don't know if you are a "no reply" blogger, check out this tutorial to find out if you are and how to remedy that). 

I'll have to wait till this evening to check out all the other design walls posted over at the new and improved Judy's Patchwork Times, but maybe you've got time for another cup of coffee and a browse now. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Slow Stitching - July 22nd

This is my first time linking up with Kathy's Quilts "Slow Stitching Sunday.  I don't do as much hand stitching now that the Drama Teen typically has practice right after school so I'm not waiting for her.  That used to be my preferred activity while she ran the field for soccer practice, or shot baskets, or swam laps.  My go to project for a number of years was a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt (it's still under construction).  More recently, I discovered a set of embroidery blocks stuffed in a hamper  used to store "craft" supplies during a recent sewing room clean up.  One block was finished and a second started.  I remember working on the project, but have no memory of when it was started.  

It's a sewing meet weekend, so I'm spending a lot of time sitting in the stands.  A good time to pull out the project and stitch a bit between DT's events. 

The darker thread is actually a very dark purple.  I'll probably put some more time into this today or maybe I'll work on a few hexes.  

It's time to get breakfast, then go wake up the sleeping teen and coax her into the suit and out the door.  I'll have to wait till we get home to check out what other busy hands have been stitching and posted over at Kathy's Quilts.   

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Foto Finish - Reflections

It's another swim meet morning.   This is the last meet of the season, unless the Drama Teen makes a qualifying time for the Age Group meet next weekend.  She's not even close at this point, but she has been known to pull off the unexpected. 

This week's Foto Finish was taken during one of Drama Teen's unexpected successes.  Participation in Science Fair is mandatory at her school, but entry into the District Science Fair is optional, but it's worth extra points.  She dutifully entered and ended up getting tapped to go to the State Science Fair.  She and one other 7th grader from her class made the trip to the fair.  Their science teacher was thrilled.  She gave both girls roses after the judging was complete.  Drama Teen was experimenting with her camera phone and the mirror.  She was hoping to get a shot that would be cool wallpaper of her rose for her phone. 

I love the look of concentration on her face and how it shifts a bit as you see it from two different angles simultaneously.  DT didn't place at the State Fair, but she enjoyed the experience.  Plus she's determined to go back next year and do better.  I'm sure my kitchen table will yet again be pressed into service as a science lab starting some time in October. 

That's it for me this week.  It's time to get Drama Teen up and moving, plus pack up the swim bag.  I'll have to wait till this evening to check out all the reflections posted over at Foto Finish, since there is no Internet access at the venue.  Have a great Saturday and stay cool. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

15 Minute Challenge - July 17th

Tuesday already?  Last week seemed really short, probably because there was a lot going on.  One night My Guy and I went out to dinner to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.  Another night we went to see the local Children's Musical production of Willy Wonka.  Drama Teen knew a number of the cast members, so we stayed late for the meet and greet after the show.  Then the weekend was taken up with the swim meet and family gatherings.   

Fitting in a bit of sewing here and there was a challenge.  But I did manage to find 15 minutes to sew most days last week. 

Five out of seven days isn't a bad week, especially with so much going on.  I did manage to finish sewing on the binding to the purple and yellow quilt.  Now I just need to decide on a name so I can add the label and that one will be all done.  Here's the list of names that I've come up with or that have been suggested

Shades of Violet (Kwiltnkats)
Lilac (Katiemaequilts)
Sunny Lilacs (Soscrappy)
Sunshine and Lilacs (Soscrappy)
Field of Pansies (Quilting in my Pyjamas)
Purple People Eater (Cat Patches)
Moorish or Moroccan Tiles (Never too Hot to Stitch)
Johnny Jump Ups (KT)
Purple and Yellow Scrap Quilt (My Guy)
Eve's Pansies (mine - the favorite flower of my favorite book series character)
Sunshine and Shadows (mine)

I get such a brain freeze when it comes time to think of a name for my quilts, but this is a pretty good list to work with. Thanks for all the suggestions.

One last thing before I add  Mr. Linky so you can share all your progress (or lack of, as the case may be).  This is post 496.  If I've counted correctly (and there's a good chance I'm off), post 500 should show up on Sunday, but it may be Saturday if I manage to make any progress on my Rainbow Challenge block.  Either way, check back later this week because there will be a small give away to celebrate my 500th post.  Who knew I had so much to say? 

1. Thea

2. Amanda, Seabreeze Quilts

3. Kate

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Design Wall - July 16th

How was your weekend?  Ours was busy and relaxing.  After our swim meet duty on Saturday, we made a quick trip to My Guy's family home for one of the local church's annual ice cream social.  It's become a favorite time for My Guy's family to get together during the summer.  Eight of the nine siblings made it home.  We had a great time catching up with everyone, besides eating some really good home made ice cream.  

Unfortunately, between the swim meet, the family gathering and one evening spent at the theater, not much sewing happened this week.  I had hoped to have the binding completed on the purple/yellow scrap quilt, but there just wasn't time this week to get it done.  One more finished block for the Red, White, and Blue Stars quilt did make it to the design wall.  

The Sofa Quilt is still in progress, but I'm way behind.

Pattern is Nicole's Sofa Quilt by Judy Laquidara
(available here)

All the flying geese for the first block are completed, but the corners are still in progress.  It's been a fun project to work on as I'm trying to enjoy the process and not worry so much about racing to completion. 

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

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stash Report - July 15th

It's been a busy weekend.  I've gotten spoiled.  Since school has been out, other than a swim meet last month we've not had much going on during the weekends.  That ends this weekend.  There are swim meets the next two weekends, though we'll only go to the second one if Drama Teen makes a qualifying time.  After that it's time to start the back to school prep, which means a few shopping expeditions.  DT has outgrown a lot of stuff since school started last year.  The summer seems to have flown by. 

It was a busy week leading into the weekend, so not a lot of sewing got done.  Consequently not much fabric going out this week.  I took advantage of Hancock's Fabric birthday discount and ordered a few favorite pieces, so more coming in than going out this week. 

Used last week: 0.56 yards
Added last week: 14 yards

Used for 2012: 22.41 yards
Added for 2012:  214.25 yards

Net stashed for 2012: 191.84 yards

I've decided to focus on the positive side of things.  Most of what has come in has been sale fabrics.  With current prices, it seems like a good idea to stash a bit at discount when possible.  A lot of the incoming has been blenders that can be used with the focus pieces in the stash, so I should be in better shape to put together a quilt from what's in the stash than I could last year.  At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

Here's what came in. 

I bought several yards of Robert Kaufman's black "Loose Fresco Textured Solids" for a quilt on my bucket list.  I also bought a few yards of Kaufman's "Under the Australian Sun" line.  I love the butterflies. 

The yellow tulips at the left are Robert Kaufman "Cottage Flowers".  The other two are Benartix "Kanvas Blooms".  No purpose for these, I just liked the bright colors. 

These two from Benartix "Robinson Festive Tulips" line finish off the birthday gift to myself.  I really liked the peachy tulips in with the red ones.  It's a different color palette for me, but one I think would be fun to play with.  On my bucket list to make is a quilt with a mitered border, I've been a bit chicken to try that technique.  Maybe since I like this fabric so much, it will get me past that bump. 

That's it for my stash report this week.  Check out the other reports over at Patchwork Times

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Foto Finish - Summer's Here

It's a swim meet morning, so I'll have to get moving in a bit.  Not as early as usual since Drama Teen's not swimming this weekend due to a nasty sinus infection.  She's been sick since Tuesday and finally turned the corner yesterday towards feeling decent.  However her coach said he'd rather she fully recover so she can swim next weekend at the division meet.  Consequently, we don't have to be at the pool until about 8:30 rather than the typical 7 am for warm ups.   

Hopefully, I have time to get in a quick post on this week's Foto Finish theme, Summer's Here.  This image seemed to fit the theme best:

Can you guess whose head is underneath those legs?  Of course it's the Drama Teen.  We spent a week at one of the state parks last year for vacation.  One morning we headed out to the swim beach to just hang out and keep cool.  Drama Teen spends a lot of time in the water due to swim practice, but she doesn't often get to just goof around in the water as she did that day.  Unfortunately, DT's antics were cut short by an impending rain storm that rolled in late in the morning. 

Time to get moving, I have a few things to do before we head over to the pool to help out with this morning's session of the swim meet.  Have a great weekend.  Check out all the other summer posts over at Cat Patches

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

15 Minute Challenge - July 10th

Monday wasn't as bad as anticipated, which is a really good thing as I have to go back today.  We had cooler temps as well yesterday, in the mid to high 90's compared to in excess of 100 last week.  It's still hot, just not blast furnace hot. 

With all the days off last week, finding 15 minutes to sew each day was not a problem, as this week's report shows. 

I mainly worked on the Sofa Quilt which Judy over at Patchwork Times is hosting a quilt along for.  I also managed to get the binding made and attached to the Purple and Yellow Scrap Quilt, I'm still in the process of sewing it to the back, but I'm on the last side. So it was a good week in the sewing room.  The next few weeks it's going to be a challenge to do as well.  We have a swim meet plus a family gathering this weekend and another swim meet the following weekend. 

During the work week, I have to mentally set a time to get out of the recliner and off the computer (usually it's 7:30 to 8:00).  If I don't set that mental timer, I can easily spend the whole evening in the recliner checking out blogs and reading email.  Have you found a way to ensure you get your sewing/craft time in each day?  Link up, share your time management tips and how well you applied them last week. 

1. Thea
2. June @ QuiltQuest
3. Kate
4. Lesley

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday - July 9th

It's Monday, after a 5 day weekend.  The time off has been both relaxing and productive, but today it's back to work.  I'm expecting a busy day.  I don't know why, but the longer the weekend before, the more grueling that first day back to work seems to be.  Survival is assured, it's just not going to be fun. 

The long weekend afforded lots of opportunities to sew and I did get quite a bit done, but nothing that shows up on the design wall.  The main goal for the weekend was to get caught up on The Sofa Quilt project ongoing over at Judy's Patchwork Times.  All the flying geese got made and I'm working on assembling the corner pieces for the first block.  I must sew a lot slower than Judy does, because I certainly don't get done in an hour what she does. 

I also worked on moving along some of the other UFOs that are hanging around.  I got the binding made and sewn on to the front of the Purple and Yellow Scrap Quilt.  The hand stitching on the back is going well, just one more side to stitch and I'll have my second finish of the year.

I've been struggling with a name for this quilt, something besides The Purple and Yellow Scrap Quilt.  The colors in it remind me of pansies.

Pattern by Judy Turner and Margaret Rolf
From the Book "Successful Scrap Quilts"

But My Guy has pretty much nixed that name.  I've thought of other purple and yellow flowers, like tulips and irises, but those don't seem right either.  Flower Garden seemed like a possibility, but that name doesn't seem to fit either.  Any suggestions?  I'm horrible at naming my quilts. 

That's it for my design wall this week.  Check out Patchwork Times to see what's going on in the rest of the quilty world. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Stash Report - July 8th

Today is the last day of our 5 day July 4th Holiday, so it's back to work tomorrow.  We accomplished a lot in the last few days, not everything we wanted, but one never does.  The living room has been mostly decluttered, the kitchen cabinets have been decluttered (that was My Guy's job), we celebrated the 4th, took Drama Teen and friends ice skating, plus some sewing got done as well.  So a good mix of need to do stuff and fun stuff got done. 

Moving on to the stash report.  I think it's time for another fabric diet.  I pushed buttons last week and bought some Hancock's sale fabric which showed up yesterday. 

I have no plans for any of these, but have enough to use as backgrounds or backings.  Yesterday, we also made the trek to Tulsa and I did some shopping for fabrics for a Christmas quilt I want to make for one of John's sister. 

The angels in the middle are from the focus fabric for the quilt.  I already had that.  I couldn't decide between blue or green for the accent color.  The angels have a lot of blue in them, almost no green.  I have a few mock ups in EQ, I'll see how the blue works. 

A few fat quarters came home with me as well. 

With all of that the stash report is a bit heavy on the incoming.

Used last week: 1.08 yards
Added last week:  30.75 yards

Used for 2012: 21.85 yards
Added for 2012: 200.25 yards

Net stashed for 2012:  178.4 yards

I still have one more Hancock's order outstanding.  They give you a discount for your birthday and I made use of that to order a few yards of some fabrics I've been lusting after for awhile.  After that, I think a fabric fast is in order for a few months.  At least until I manage to get the outgoing numbers into better shape. 

That's it for my stash report.  I'm hoping to be able to link up with Patchwork Times today, but Judy has been having problems with her web site lately, so that may not happen.  If she's up and running, be sure to check out all the other stash reports. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Foto Finish-Travel

Foto Finish is back after being on hiatus for the month of July while it's hostess, Barbara at Cat Patches, was traveling in Ireland.  Today's optional theme is travel.  I've shared a lot of my travel shots over the last year and a half.  We've not taken our vacation yet this summer, so I can't post any shots from that.  As I looked back on our family travels over the years, I realize how they've changed.  When My Guy and I started dating, we were still in school, so vacations were pretty simple.  We didn't have the money to do much.  Once I was out and working, we'd take a road trip in the summer to somewhere and stay for a few days.  Then Kiddo (aka Drama Teen) came along not long after we moved to Texas.  Since it was a 10 hour drive to my family's and a 15 hour drive to My Guy's family, most of our vacation time was used to go home for the holidays. 

One nice thing about our time in Texas was that both of us worked a 9/80 schedule, which allowed us to take every other Friday off.   During the spring, we'd always take one of those long weekends and go on a wildflower photo safari.  We'd bundle Kiddo into the car and just drive the back country roads looking for fields of Blue Bonnets and Indian Paintbrush. 

Some years we'd find lots of places to take photos, some years the pickings were slim.  I never managed to get Kiddo to slow down enough for me to get the seemingly mandatory picture taken by any Texas parent of my kid in amongst the Blue Bonnets.  But those weekend excursions took us all over the state, from Surfside to Sherman, from College Station to San Antonio.  

Unfortunately, Oklahoma doesn't have such a profusion of wildflowers.  Now many weekends are taken up with swim meets, volleyball tournaments and other Drama Teen activities.  Life has changed yet again and so has our travel lifestyle.  I'm sure it will change again once DT heads off the college.

That's it for me this week.  I should really go finalize plans for this year's vacation.  Visit Cat Patches this weekend and scope out the other links.  Maybe you'll find next year's vacation spot.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Celebrations

This is day three of our five day July 4th holiday.  I've been struggling to remember exactly what day it is, I kept thinking yesterday was Saturday.  I guess because both My Guy and were in deep cleaning mode. 

Three trash bags have migrated from our living room to the curb this morning.  There are still a couple of bags in the living room that will go to Goodwill sometime this weekend.  Where did Kiddo get all this stuff?  We hadn't done a purge of her toys since we moved 6 years ago, it was obviously long overdue.  Still have a bit to do in the living room, but it already looks more like a living room than a play room.  

Maybe next week, my newly recovered living room will be my favorite thing.  This week it's celebrations.  My Guy and I have a 5 day weekend due to the 4th of July holiday.  After spending a lazy day around the house we ventured out to the fireworks display. 

We had one other small family celebration this week.

My birthday was this week and my family helped me celebrate in their own unique way.  My first gift out of the bag pretty much set the tone for the rest of them. My Guy said the book needed these two photographs to be complete. 

Drama Teen gave me this to add to my "Board of Wisdom" in my office. 

Then finally, something to encourage my creativity and give me cool images to post on Wordless Wednesday and Foto Finish. 

But first, I have to figure out how to use it. 

We have three more days of our 5 day weekend, so I'm still celebrating.  Not a bad way to spend a Favorite Things Friday.  Hop over to Quilting in My Pyjamas for more cool faves. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

15 Minute Challegne - July 3rd

As My Guy said when he woke up this morning "It's Friday!"  Well it's Friday for us since we'll have the rest of the week off due to the 4th of July holiday.  Wish I could say that the news had me bounding out of bed.  Instead, I pulled the covers over my head wishing for about an hour more sleep. 

Sewing is definitely on the schedule for the next few days, along with some other home improvement projects that have gotten put off due to multiple weekends spent at volleyball tournaments or swim meets.  None of that this week and it shows in this week's 15 Minute challenge report.

A couple of nights last week, only 15 minutes got spent in the sewing room, but that's still progress.  I'm still working on the flying geese for the Sofa Quilt, it needs a total of 152.  Since most of my recent quilts have been made from fat quarters or scraps, it's been a while since I've done assembly line sewing. 

With all the gardening, finding activities for bored kids on summer break, and trying to stay cool have you been able to find 15 minutes on a regular (or irregular) basis to sew or craft?  Write up your tale of summer stitching (or other art/craft effort) and link up below. 

For those in the US, have a happy and safe 4th! 

1. Amanda, Seabreeze Quilts
2. Lesley
3. Kate
4. June @ QuiltQuest

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Design Wall Monday - July 2nd

Overall it was a lazy weekend.  Next weekend should be even better, as it will be a 5 day weekend.  I just have to make it through today and tomorrow, then we'll have a mini vacation for the 4th of July holiday.  We will be doing some more decluttering and other house projects over the weekend, but I still expect to get in some signifcant sewing time as it's too hot to do much else in the afternoons. 

Most of this weekend was spent making flying geese for the Sofa Couch Quilt project that Judy Laquidara has going on right now.  I have the first 72 done, and have made a start on the second 72.  So as usual I'm still behind.  

I did finish the last block for the Sweet Treats quilt finally (Judy's last quilt along).  

Designed by Judy Laquidara
(pattern available here)
I'm still playing around with the final layout, but I think this is close.  I'm not going to use the corner stones, so the next step will be sashing. 

The Coffee Cup Quilt and the Red, White and Blue Stars are still up on the design wall, but no progress was made.  The next color in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is blue.  I raided my scraps looking for blues to finish the last "E" and make two more cups.  Deciding on the fabric for the "E" was easy, but there was lot of debate about what to choose for the cups.  A decision was made and I hope to make a start on those next weekend as well.   

More design walls are posted over at Judy's Patchwork Times 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Stash Report - July 1st

It's been a nice slow weekend so far.  Drama Teen and I cleaned out part of her closet yesterday.  We've not done that for two or three  years and it's amazing how much she has changed in those years.  She was more than willling to part with the Spider Man arcade game and other favorite toys of her childhood.  However, all the stuffed animals had to stay.  Even so, she can now hang all of her clothes in the closet with room to spare.  The toy bins stacked behind the couch are on tap for this morning.  By the end of next weekend, I'm hoping to have recovered my living room out of the play room it's been since DT was born. 

In spite of the recent decluttering effort (we are slowly working our way through the whole house), I did get some significant sewing in yesterday.  Most of my effort this weekend focused on finishing the first 72 flying geese for the Sofa Quilt quilt along.  Only 4 more of those to make.  I just gave out at 10:30 last night and couldn't make myself finish those last 4.  I'll get to those this afternoon.  Flying geese are small, but even a little out is welcome. 

Used last week: 0.67 yards
Added last week:  0 yards

Used for 2012:  20.77 yards
Added for 2012:  169.5 yards

Net stashed for 2012:  148.73 yards

Nothing in this week, but that won't be true for next week.  Hancock's put some new fabrics on sale, so I bought a few yards of tone on tones, plus backing fabric for the Sofa Quilt.  It's hard to resist when the prices are less than $5 a yard, especially if you are looking for backs.  

I get two days off for the 4th of July holiday and decided to take my 19/30 day on Friday.  Next weekend will be a 5 day one for me.  I have plans to make a back and bind a quilt.  Maybe I'll use enough to offset what's coming in. 

That's the status of my stash for this week.  Hop over to Patchwork Times for more.